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Archive for the ‘Nordic Walking Poles’ Category

Deuter Futura 28 AC Daypack

Deuter Futura 28 AC Daypack

With the 2011 Hike the Highlands festival starting in less than a week, it is important to have your checklist ready for hiking so you pack your daypack  and enjoy the day hiking,

1) Weather reports – always check the weather reports before you start out hiking for the day. You can then pack & dress according – ie rain gear, suncreen, etc.

2)  Equipment for daypack  – sunscreen, sunglasses,  digital camera with extra batteries and card, whistle, hat,  jacket, water (2 bottles), snacks, lunch, extra pair of hiking socks, ziplock bags for garbage, insect repellent, small first aid kit, maps of trail(s). For day hikes, 4-6 hours long, you should have a daypack that is 20 plus litres.

3) Other equipment – hiking boots, hiking/trekking poles, gaiters,  watch, temperature gauge, baselayer, midlayer -fleece jacket.

Hiking Tip – A friend of mine takes a cold facecloth with her on those hot days to wipe her forehead and cool her down. She keeps the facecloth in a ziplock bag.

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Franey, one of the 3 Peaks

A new hiking event is coming to Cape Breton….on July 17th,  Hike the Highlands Festival with assistance from Cape Breton Highlands National Park will host the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge.  Pattern a bit from the UK 3 Peaks Challenge,  hikers in teams of  four will hike 3 Peaks in 12 hours… starting at 7:00 am. and finishing around 7:00  pm.

The 3 peaks are Franey, Sugarloaf and Acadien mountains averaging 400 m (1400-1500 feet high) approximately 20 km. The challenge involves approximately 113 kms of driving, and 20 km of hiking. Don’t under estimate the hiking distance, these are 3 of the toughest mountains in Cape Breton Highlands.   It also includes ascending and descending each of the mountains over difficult terrain. Most people will spend approximately 2.5 hrs driving between the peaks, and 9 hours or so walking in the mountains.

Only 15 teams will be accepted in this challenge. Teams comprised of 4 hikers, one must be designated as team captain. The team captain will be responsible for the a) safety and welfare of the team making sure each member is safely down each peak, b) preparing team members for this event . Because of limited parking in two out of three peaks…organizers ask that each team travel in one car.

The registration fee for each team is $100.00 and includes a souvenir t-shirt for each team member and a Parks Canada 125th anniversary souvenir. The team captain will register his/her team online including team name and members names along with their t-shirt sizes as well pay online. Deadline for registration is Friday, July 2nd.  Anything after this date, organizers cannot guarantee t-shirts with correct sizes.  Note: July 17th is Parks Day across Canada and there is no fee to use National Parks facilities on July 17th.

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A great month of April has brought spring hiking to the Cape Breton Highlands earlier than expected.  Spring hiking has its adventures – flowing streams, bridges out, windfalls, moose, wet trails and snow but  who cares when it is 15 degrees out and sunny.   

One of the most important pieces of equipment for spring hiking is trekking or nordic walking poles.  You need poles to help with your balance crossing streams & bridges, going over windfalls, navigating wet trails as well  going thru snow….There was still quite a bit of snow on Skyline – April 24 about halfway out it was clear.

Below are a few pictures of spring hiking in the highlands at Red Island, Plaster, Skyline and a few travelling to the trails & back… Enjoy the pics.

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Merry Christmas

Lots of great gifts for hikers out there that won’t hurt the pocketbook.  Here are some ideas for you :  1) a pair of smart wool socks, 2) a bear bell, 3) small mesh bag, 4) drybag, 5) a whistle, 6) a trail map, 7) a compass, 8) a watch with carabiner that hooks on to the daypack, 9 ) a memory card for a digital camera, 10) a memory card case – Staples has one for $5.99 holds 6 cards, 11) batteries for camera, 12) battery charger, 13) a first aid kit, 14) bear spray, 15) a rain cover for daypack, 16) a national park pass, 17) a pair of trekking poles, 18) a hiking book, 19) a hiking hat,  20) sunscreen, 21) insect repellent,  22)  carabiner, 23) stainless steel water bottle, 24) a pedometer, 25)  headlamp, 26)  binoculars, 27) a camera tripod, 28) a swiss army knife, 29) a roll of duck tape, 30) rope,  31) a travel towel, 32) an emergency blanket, 33)  moleskin for blisters, 34) a trowel, 35) lip palm, 36) a hip pocket all weather note pad, 37) a tick plier, 38) camp suds, 39) waterproof gloves, 40) a toque, 41) a subscription to Explore Magazine and or Backpacker magazine.

Hikers are easy to buy for Christmas. Surprise your hiker friend with a small gift at Christmas time….The above items can be found at most outdoor stores such as MEC,  and box stores – Canadian Tire, Walmart, Home Hardware etc.

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End of West Highland Way

Recently, I had the opportunity to hike the West Highland Way in Scotland with my wife and nephew on vacation.  The West Highland Way is 95 miles (152) kms and involved eight days of hiking with an average of 10-14 miles a day. The most important piece of equipment on this hike for all three of us were the trekking poles. Next of course was the rain gear.

Trekking poles were used on the uphills, downhills, flats, crossing brooks & streams. With the amount of rain in Scotland, the poles were a godsend in helping us with our balance and crossing streams on the trail and brooks. I was amazed at my skill jumping rocks by planting my poles as I move forward. 

At this year’s Hike the Highlands Festival, Nordic Walking Instructor Linda Murray, pointed out quite early in the workshop that Nordic poles are for everyone. My 27 year old nephew used his poles everyday and thanked me for this gift. Please find below a few pics with our poles.

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One of my favorite things to do in the fall when leaves are turning is to hike Franey and later visit Mary Ann Falls.  Did both this weekend with my nephew and got lots of pictures. Unfortunately, the leaves were not at their full peak but the streams and the falls were flowing good with lots of water.

There was some snow on top of Franey and it was cold and windy. The view was incredible as usual and it made for some great outdoor photography. The rain later hit for a bit but we were well prepared with our rain gear plus our mid layer. We learned alot about hiking in the rain and layers while hiking in Scotland recently where it rained most days. Hiked with our trekking poles.

Below please find some pictures of Franey and Mary Ann Falls.

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Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

Roberts Mountain, Pleasant Bay

Day 5 of Hike the Highlands was all about avoiding rain and we did it. All three hikes  we got in. The last hike of day – Roberts Mountain lived up to expectations & more. It provided hikers with spectacular coastal scenery. Local guide Tina Roach, Pleasant Bay, indicated the Mountain was named after Robert MacLeod, one of the three families that had came over in 1800’s from the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Hiking up Roberts Mountain was a great day for hiking with poles,  up and down a mountain. I remember the proper techniques  instructor Linda Murray had demonstrated the day before at Nordic Walking workshop.

First hike of the day was Lone Shieling, a short hike led by guide and park interpreter John Francis Lane who provided hikers with an interpretative talk on the crofter’s house, the acadien forest and some studies being done in monitoring.  The second hike of the day was MacIntosh Brook, a short hiking trail to falls and one of the five geocaching sites in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Guide Lisa Dixon took us to the geocaching site and to falls which were flowing quite good due to the rain lately. MacIntosh Brook is also a picnic site and campground and has an excellent picnic shelter and washrooms.

Day 6 hikes are Otter Brook, the first half of Pollett’s Cove and Salmon Pool. The day ends with a social evening for hikers at the main theatre at Cheticamp Visitor centre. Hosted by Les Amis du Plein, a co-operative organization that runs the Nature Bookstore and a new partner in the Hike the Highlands festival. The evening will feature Acadien and English Folklore music, refreshments and food. The Nature bookstore will be open from 7-9 pm.

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