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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
Essentials to Take on Your Hiking Trip
For many people, hiking provides them with the ultimate adventure. This is something you can do on your own, with a partner, with friends, and even with family members. When you go hiking, you can enjoy a totally unique outdoor adventure that lets you get close to nature, enjoy the wholesome fresh air, spend time outdoors, and enjoy a variety of new experiences.
In order to make the most of your hiking trip, you do need to ensure you have the right equipment and gear to take along with you. By planning ahead and getting yourself organized, you can take the stress out of the whole process and ensure you have everything you need for an exciting and memorable hiking trip.
Some of the Key Items You Need
So, what are the key items you need for your hiking trip? Well, first off, you should make sure you have a good, high quality backpack so you can carry all the items you need to take along with you with ease. There are plenty of different options available with bags of all sizes on the market. So, finding the right one for your needs won’t be an issue. You also need to make sure you have the right clothing for your camping trip, which means taking along a raincoat in case of bad weather as well as buying clothes that you can layer so you can add or remove as necessary. A good pair of hiking boots is essential, as these provide you with practicality as well as comfort when you are hiking.
If you are going to be camping over as part of your hiking trip, you need to ensure you have a suitable tent. A pop up one is ideal, as these are lightweight and very easy to put up so you won’t be left struggling. You also need to ensure you have a comfortable sleeping bag for your trip. There are many different sleeping bags you can choose from, so you can find one that fits in with your budget as well as your individual needs. You can get different sizes too so you can choose from single and double bags depending on your needs.
If you plan to hike in unfamiliar territory, it is advisable to take along a compass so you can get your bearings while you are on your trip. In addition, make sure you invest in a good, solid water bottle to carry around with you so you can stay hydrated while you are camping and hiking. If you plan to camp for a few days while you are on your hiking trip, make sure you look at extras you may need such as a camping stove for cooking.
By planning ahead and making sure you list everything you need, you can ensure you don’t miss any vital items you need for your camping and hiking trip. You can then make the most of your outdoor adventure and enjoy a really memorable and exciting experience in the great outdoors.
All hikers, especially those who love to travel deep into the woods, face the possibility of getting lost. So, what effective solutions can you employ? You can use a GPS that can provide you the information regarding your location while hiking, which would help you feel safe. There are other tools you can use, such as a rangefinder.
Some important factors in choosing a GPS include the unit’s display quality so you can read the GPS under bright light or dark skies. If you like to store waypoints in your GPS, you might want to buy a GPS with a larger memory capacity.
Furthermore, you can choose a GPS which is lightweight and waterproof if you know that you are more adventurous and would likely encounter bad weather. After choosing a GPS, here are some ways how you can keep yourself safe when hiking!
Using the Distress Signals
A GPS usually does not send any information because it is just a radio signal receiver with a logic chip that translates timing signals into Lat-Lon positions. Therefore, unless you buy a GPS that can attach to a cell phone or other transmission devices such as the ACR ResQ Personal Locator Beacons, you would not be able to send out distress signals.
There are two kinds of transmitters which you can buy, the personal locator beacons and satellite messengers. Personal locator beacons give out distress signals by utilizing the Distress Alerting Satellite System (DASS). This method can only be used in emergency situations.
Usually, we would use the satellite messengers when we are met with dangers. For example, there might be situations where we our hurt and we know that we need help. Satellite messengers can be purchased and used with your GPS to ensure help can be notified if needed.
Always Plan Your Hike
This is important because scouting would give you the information you need which is useful in emergency situations. By scouting properly with a quality pair of binoculars is also a great idea, a compact & lightweight pair is recommended. you would be able to understand the terrain you will encounter.
Use internet resources such as Google Maps to look at topography or aerial views. This would give you a good idea about the landscape you will hike, and you can plan your hike more effectively.
You can mark down locations which interests you using waypoints. These waypoints can be transferred to your GPS. When you hike, those waypoints can be used as your reference and the chances of you getting loss would be significantly reduced.
Utilizing Different Navigation Methods
You can explore different navigation methods that are available in your GPS and choose the one that is most comfortable to you. This is important because effectively using your GPS can keep you on your route and lower the probability of getting loss.
Different navigational methods include navigating by touching 3D locations on your screen or you can follow Point of Interests which you have previously set. If you are not familiar with which navigational method is best for you, experiment! If you get lost, it would be much easier to get back to your route if you use your GPS correctly.
Have a Contingency Plan When Traveling
A GPS can help you to make important decisions concerning which back-up plan you should use. Psychologically, a GPS can help keep you calm whenever you feel lost, which would aid you in making clear-headed decisions on how to get back on route.
Also, a GPS assists you by informing you of your position, the orientation you are heading and by providing feedback on whether you are travelling to your intended destination. All of this information is imperative because missing any of them could mean that you are travelling the wrong way.
Your coordinates, which is the latitude and longitude, can help you communicate where you are to your friends as well! You might want to seek help from them if they are familiar with your location.
Learning how to use a GPS can go a long way in keeping yourself safe. Remember that your GPS is only useful if it works. It must be able to get satellite reception and you need to have backup batteries. You should also consider data sharing and how convenient is it to share data with the GPS unit you are using.
With these tips you can reduce your chance of getting lost, and if you do get lost, you can make informed decisions. This will make sure that you are not the next hiker who gets lost and calls Search and Rescue.
If you have any other tips on how to use your GPS, feel free to share below!
Author Bio: I am John Lewis, a blogger, survivalist and outdoor enthusiast. You can follow me at Epic Wilderness.
Basic Hiking Equipment
When hiking, and especially in high mountain environments, specific equipment is needed. The clothes and equipment will depend on the time of the year and the area. For example, the Sierra are very diverse throughout the different seasons and will go from the harshest winter conditions to mild in the summer. That is why this article will try to give advice on how to choose hiking equipment.
This will have a checklist that can help you when preparing for your backpack or hike. Some of the items below can be quite expensive, but if you do not have enough money you can learn about fast loans online. For more info: read more.
Hiking Boots and Shoes:
A good mountaineering boot will be the most important piece of equipment we will need for a route that takes several days. We must take into account that the journey travels through high mountains and analyze the route to make informed choices.
There are a thousand and one options, depending on the season and the weather conditions that we will find. We recommend layering or, as is commonly known, that of 'the onion'; that will allow us to have the versatility to remove and put garments on depending on the external conditions and the level of activity.
I recommend wearing thin clothes that you can take off and put on depending on the weather conditions. Your outer most layer should be a waterproof layer if hiking in raining environments. This is known as the system of the three layers.
Mountain Clothes for Hiking in Summer:
- Breathable t-shirt (avoid cotton or similar fabrics that keep humidity).
- Breathable underwear.
- Quick drying pants
- Lightweight waterproof jacket (optional, depending on the activity)
- Hat or cap for sun protection
- Mountain clothes for hiking in winter
- Breathable long-sleeved thermal shirt
- Thermal underwear (in many cases it will be the clothes to sleep, so it must be warm and comfortable).
- Cap, thermal brief
- Trekking pants (in case of foreseeing extreme environmental conditions or we are going to carry out the activity in snow conditions, it should be a rain pants).
- Waterproof mountain jacket.
- Thick and spare socks
The above can be variable depending on the situation. How many days are we going to be on the route? The backpack can vary from 40 liters to 80 liters. Keep in mind; with a light backpack you enjoy yourself more.
What are the sleeping accommodations? Or you sleeping in hotels, shelters, or on the ground? Hotels are easy to plan for. Commonly the blankets are available in most shelters, so that one sheet sack will be enough to spend the night (mandatory). If we are going to make camp along the route, a good waterproof sleeping rated for the temperature is a must.
Navigating the Route
Unless a person is knowledgeable about the route, they will have to be informed at all times of where they are going, and for this a GPS, map or compass are recommended. Nowadays, every smartphone can be used as a mountain GPS using applications such as OrusMaps, which work both online and offline.
We hope this recommendations help you have a fun and safe hike.
Equipment Needed to Rappel
There are three main pieces of equipment a beginner needs to buy if they want to safely take up rappelling (Abseiling).
1. Harness - there are many different types of harnesses on the market. For beginners a simple canyoneering type harness is adequate for basic rappels.
The harness attaches your body to the rope with the help of a carabiner and a device.
Virtually all harnesses go around the person's waist via a waistbelt and has two leg loops. The hareness is secured with a buckle that the thin part of the waistbelt is threaded through.
You can get a basic harness for around $60.
What to Wear When Hiking
“When is it better to go hiking? How to prepare for it? What to wear when hiking?” – questions like these are asked by first-time hikers most often. At first glance it might seem that a walking trip doesn’t require any special clothing; however, only thorough preparation will guarantee an unforgettable and safe hiking experience.
The thing is the weather can rapidly change from hot to cold, from wet to sunny, regardless of the season, especially if choosing mountain routes and trails. That’s why the hiking outfit is meant to be super versatile, comfortable, and ready-for-everything.
Best Fabrics To Choose
The main criterion that should be followed here is the moisture-wicking ability of the fabric, no matter if it’s hiking tights or a long-sleeve shirt. Synthetic materials handle it very well: polyester is known over time as a universal and affordable fabric, able to wick sweat and dry fast. Its only downside is a tendency to smell funky – the problem, which can be solved by means of natural materials like merino wool (so popular among tourists). Exceptionally lightweight, soft, odor-free, and breathable, it keeps you cool in temperatures of up to +35°C, and holds in the heat in -20°C. 21 things you should know before investing in wool.
Nowadays, lots of hikers also pick such innovative material as GORE-TEX, characterized by incredible longevity and waterproof/windproof protection.
Avoid cotton: despite being natural, it’s absolutely inefficient at wicking and drying. It soaks up the sweat and stays wet for a long time. “Cotton kills” – the longtime hikers claim, and that makes sense, indeed.
Layering is the Key
Is it really an issue? Absolutely! Three layers of clothing – basic, insulating, and shell – will trap the air warmed by your body heat, wick moisture away from your skin, allow you to adapt to changing weather condition, without sacrificing durability and comfort. Remove upper layers to prevent yourself from overheating, or add layers if it’s cold. Besides, you’ll have extra space in the backpack as a little pleasant bonus.
The layer, which is closest to your skin, is meant to trap the body heat and wick moisture. So, all wicking fabrics like COOLMAX will cope with it. Choose the thickness according to the climate, season, weather, and enjoy your adventure. Nylon, polyester, and merino wool are also good in keeping you clean, cool, and dry, so they’re perfect for:
Middle (Insulating) Layer
The second layer acts as insulation, it’s usually more than one garment. It may include a long-sleeved flannel shirt that you can take off or roll the sleeves up, a polypro pullover, polyester fleece pants, a pair of ordinary sweats, or the one able to transform from pants to shorts.
Never wear denim jeans for a hike, avoid pants with tight waists and if they’re not stretchy enough to climb up steps or over rocks.
Here goes the clothing that protects from wind and rain. Waterproof or water-resistant (less expensive) jackets with removable fleece interior for increased versatility can double as a windbreaker. Choose lightweight yet sturdy materials, so that it blocks the wind well while packing it isn’t a hassle.
Also, remember to take waterproof pants as well, when the rain is predicted by the weather forecast. The wider, the better – if you can get the pants on without taking the boots off, it’s a big plus in case of a sudden downpour.
Shoes are the most important part of the hiking outfit, as you are going to go big distances on foot, and blisters will quickly disable even a highly experienced tourist.
Sneakers won’t give you the grip you need on slippery surfaces, so better wear special hiking shoes or boots. They are both comfortable and safe and can cope with any terrain. The best shoes for hiking have a good sole, provide you with plenty of ankle support, stability, and flexibility.
For warm weather, don’t put on waterproof shoes as they feature bad breathability that will result in excessive feet sweating.
Head & Hands
No matter, if you’re planning a hike in Vegas or somewhere else, in summer or in winter, sunglasses and a hat are definite must-haves. The sun is too active even when it’s cold outside, so without proper protection, you’re risking to get sunburned. Cover your neck, face, tips of the ears, as well as head and eyes.
In winter wear a hat in order not to lose heat from your head, or try a balaclava. Waterproof gloves would also come in handy for a cold weather hike.
Be adventurous but stay safe, choose comfort over fashion, and you’ll have the most unforgettable hiking experience of the lifetime!
Written by Helen Rogers http://thecrossfitshoes.com/
Life-Saving Tips on the Trail
With a chance to spot rare animals and beautiful wildflowers in the springtime, the River Mountains Loop Trail is full of wonderful things to discover and enjoy. However, the Mojave Desert can be a dangerous place if you are unprepared. Locals may already know some of these dangers, but the unsuspecting traveler may be caught unaware. Read these tips before hitting the trail, they may save your life:
The Excessive Heat
Most desert animals are active during the morning and evening, away from the high heat of day. You generally won’t get too close to them before they scurry or slither away, unless you happen to find a particularly territorial or sleepy creature. Look before you sit in that shady spot, it may already be occupied by a desert creature who doesn’t like to share.
Most hikers and bikers won’t run into many of these dangers, but in the off chance you do, you can be prepared. Keep your eyes peeled for all the scenic views, unique wildlife, and be safe. Enjoy your time on the trail!
How many times do you have to retie your shoelaces during a hike? Twice, three times, or even more? Wouldn't it be great if there was a product that kept your shoelaces tight the entire hike? Well, now there is!
In the photo above I am at White Rock Hills Peak (6,423 feet) in Red Rock Canyon, which is just 20 miles west of Las Vegas, NV. It took me about 3.5 hours to scramble to the peak via the Surprise Canyon route. I never had to retie my shoelaces! Before using Lacelockers I had to stop and retie my shoelaces several times.
When you have to stop to retie your shoelaces, you lose your momentum. I believe it's easier, if you feel tired, just to slow your pace rather than take a break. Constantly stopping and starting back up again is difficult. With Lacelockers you will not have to stop, retie your shoe, and lose momentum.
Lacelockers are an ingenious and very simple way of keeping your shoelaces tight the entire hike. This is important if you are scrambling/climbing. You do not want your feet moving inside your shoes. This might cause you to slip and fall. Another great benefit is they also hide the shoelace loop so the loop will not snag on brush etc. I have been tripped by brush more than once when my shoelace became snagged.
I am so impressed with Lacelockers that I am giving leaders of the 52 Peak Club a pair for their shoes. The 52 Peak Club hikes to the best peaks around Las Vegas, NV.
Lacelockers are easy to use, inexpensive, and last a long time. They are available in assorted solid colors and graphic patterns or, with a minimum purchase, they can also be customized with a unique logo for your promotional needs!
For more information and to order: Lacelocker
Video explaining how to install lacelockers
TOP 6 SURVIVAL TIPS FOR HIKERS
If you are passionate about outdoor activities like hiking and planning on one, there is nothing better than that. It is an ultimately amazing way to strengthen your muscles, push your limits, and breathe in the fresh air of the natural world. However, keep in mind that just like any other outdoor sport, hiking brings some dangers with itself that you need to be aware of, such as rough weather, poisonous snakes and plants, wild animals etc. Therefore, if you are planning a hiking trip, you need to learn how to make it a safe one before you blindly head out for it.
Here are a few safety tips following which you can make it home safely after a great hiking experience:
2. Inform Your Family About the Exact Location:
Make sure some of your family members or friends know exactly where you are going to hike and when you are going to be home. Therefore, planning the whole trip in advance is recommended to avoid any mishaps.
3. Don’t Panic on Getting Lost:
You must have your nerves under control in case of feeling or actually getting lost. It is recommended to pause and not go further if you are lost, so that you do not get too out of reach for those who come in search for you. Therefore, stay right where you are, set a camp, and light some signal flames in case you feel like you are deviated from the route. Moreover, to avoid such a situation, keep a map and learn exactly how to read it.
4. First Aid Essentials:
Keeping the first aid essentials with you can help you aid any minor injuries instantly. Never forget your bug spray when you are heading for an outdoor activity.
If one of the members of the hiking group is on medication, it is better to keep some extra medication in case you get lost so the person does not have to miss their regular dose. Being prepared for everything in advance is the key to survival.
5. Stay Hydrated:
Make sure you have at least one liter water available for every two hours on the hike. Keeping yourself hydrated is necessary, especially if the trail is too inclined and needs a lot of force to push yourself up or you are overweight. It is also recommended to carry something to treat the water. You must also be aware of the possible water sources around your hiking location.
6. Pick the Location Prudently:
It is not necessary to make your hiking experience a test of your skills to survive in a desert. Analyse yourself as a hiker and your strength before you a pick your hiking trail. After all, hiking is about cherishing the natural beauty and strengthening your physical and mental capacity.
Shawn Michaels is a blogger who loves to write about his outdoor experiences. He is also a passionate rock climber and loves travelling. He is currently studying and spends his free time reading reviews and gear shopping! He regularly blogs at Thesmartlad.com. Check out the three top-rated climbing sticks that can be a life-saver for the outdoor sport enthusiasts.
Nevada is not only popular for its vast expanse of desert landscape but also for the hidden surprises of Mother Nature that’s waiting to be discovered. Desert hiking, however, needs more preparation and carrying the right gear can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
This is why you must have these essential items in your backpack before heading out to hike.
Things You Must Carry on a Nevada Desert Hike
1. Enough of water: Even though this sounds obvious, many people ignore the need of carrying water in large quantities and end up suffering later. Nevada desert is indeed arid and receives negligible precipitation, so it is very likely to assume that water supply would be scarce.
Hydration bladders are the best way to keep hydrated. Sipping water from time to time will keep you hydrated and make the extreme conditions bearable.
2. Sun block: Again, this is one of the essentials every hiker must have in their backpack, but don’t due to their own negligence. Desert hike will expose you to the harshness of the sun for extended periods of time that may cause serious damage to your skin.
Always go for sweat-proof and higher SPF level sunscreens that will act as a shield to keep your skin safe. Remember, Sunburn is not just an EDM concert; they’re a real thing and can be very nasty!
3. Hats and sunglasses: Admit it or not, most of us forget to pack these two essential items before leaving on a trip. Not having sunglasses will make you regret the whole hike as you’ll be facing the sun glaring into your eyes most of the time.
A wide-brimmed hat comes in handy for extra sun protection for your face and neck, so be sure to include this in your backpack before leaving.
4. High-energy food: One thing that you must carry during every hike is high protein, energy-rich food that can replenish you with the lost calories and other nutrients. Snacks are excellent things to eat on a hike because they contain plenty of healthy carbs, protein, and calories to keep you energized.
While walking in the Nevada desert, you’ll need the energy to persevere through difficult stretches of terrain. Munching on snacks will make traversing through this land a bit easier.
5. Map/GPS: Ever heard about mirages? While the appearance of a Mirage may not entice you with visions of an oasis and fair maidens, it can certainly make you get lost in the desert. This is why you always keep a map and a GPS, particularly when hiking in the desert.
The last thing anyone would want to experience is to lose their trail and end up in the outskirts with nothing but stretches of desert in sight. A printed map and a GPS are must have things in your backpack. Oh! Don’t forget to tell someone that you’re going hiking in the desert.
Also, a cell phone can come in handy if their is an emergency. More and more remote areas now have cell phone service.
Things to Include in Your Survival Kit
Hiking is no doubt very enjoyable, but in the wilderness, things can take a turn for the worse in a matter of minutes. This is where an emergency survival kit comes in handy and may as well pull you out of a life-threatening situation.
This kit generally contains items that are not one-size-fits-all; meaning an excursion in the desert would require things that are much different than a hike in a cold area. So before you head out, make sure you’ve got these things in your survival kit:
• A police type whistle that can act as a vital signaling device
• A multipurpose, sturdy two-bladed knife
• A trusty magnetic compass to keep you on the route
• A small size signal mirror
• Magnifying lens
• At least a dozen water purification tablets
• Adhesive tape for first-aid, repair of clothing, and the removal of cactus thorns
• An energy source if possible
• Flint and steel for the purpose of starting a fire
• At least a dozen pack of matches that are waterproof
• A solid, low energy flashlight
The Beauty of the Nevada Desert
The majestic desert of Nevada boasts of little creeks, rock formations that are a thousand years old, and native wildflowers that bloom once in every ten years or so. To discover all this destination has to offer, you’ve got to be prepared.
So, don’t ignore the essential items we discussed in this guide and get ready to have the best time of your life. Happy hiking!
Alternative Hiking Areas
Luckily, we have some alternatives. Lake Mead has hotsprings and peaks people can hike. Arizona Hotsprings is a local favorite. Northshore Peak and Fortification Hill are fun hikes.
Death Valley is less than two hours away from Las Vegas and offers very different and very scenic hikes. Manly Beacon is one of the most unique hikes in the country!
China Date Ranch is only 90 minutes from Vegas and features Death Valley type hiking. Fence Post Peak might be the craziest hike you will ever do! After the hike, you can enjoy a Date Shake.
And the good news is: All of these hikes are led by the 52 Peak Club!
Not into group hiking? Cool.
Become a member of this website and download the above hikes and another 395 hikes.
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV