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Archive for the ‘Raingear’ Category

White Point

Close to 100 hikers enjoyed the hikes on Day 2 of 2011  Hike the Highlands Festival at White Point and Sugar Loaf . It was a day to enjoy great coastal scenery,  a climb up a steep mountain and to prepare you with some wet weather.

White Point hike provided great coastal scenery, the history of the Unknown sailor and  Two Tittles. This trail is featured in many photos especially Wally Hayes, retired professional photographer with NS Tourism. He enjoyed this trail at sunrise, sunset and during the day.

Sugar Loaf Mountain

Sugar Loaf , one of the classic hikes on Cape Breton Island and also part of 3 Peaks Challenge, made for some quick pictures at the top as the skies opened up with rain.  There are some great pics of nearby mountains, North Harbour and 4 mile beach on the summit.

Day 3 hikes include Meat Cove Mountain and Money Point Gulch, both feature outstanding views at the top of each mountain. Don’t forget your camera on this sunny day.

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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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Hiking in the Rain

Despite some hot weather recently, the 2011 summer, has been a mixture of rain, showers, drizzle and fog. Here are 5 tips to help you hike in the rain :

1)  Equipment – a) daypack with a rain cover. If your daypack doesn’t
have one, invest in one,  b) rain gear – pants & jacket, c) gaiters – great for
keeping grass and branches from scratching or irritating your legs plus
water from entering your boots after the rain stops, d) goretex or
waterproof hiking boots to keep your feet dry, e) Poles – trekking or hiking poles will help you with your balance in wet conditions and cross in
streams or wet areas. They will also be great in ascending and descenting
hills or mountains.

2)  To be on the safe side put all your items in your daypack in clear       ziplock  bags or different colored small drybags. 

3) Clothes –  a) wear a base layer – merino wool or polyster – it wicks the
moisture away from your skin. Do not wear cotton,  b) Have a mid-    layer with you – polyster or fleece jacket. Put on for any long stops or    breaks especially on high elevation.  ie. lunch or snacks.  c) wear smart    wool socks or liners with other socks on top. They will wick the     moisture away from your skin …helps avoid any blisters or hotspots.   Always carry an extra pair of socks in your daypack and blister kit, d) wear waterproof or water resistant  gloves to keep your hands warm.

4) Ventilation – Rain gear is not always breathable even though it says so
on the label. . Often you get wet from condensation inside the jacket.  Important to open zippers under armpits for ventilation as well open the
zipper on the front. b) Important  to open t and zippers on your base-
layer and mid-layer to allow you to cool-down.

5)  Drink water and eat food ….you will need your energy while hiking in
the rain.,. Body & outside temperatures changes require more energy
while hiking and staying warm.

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Christmas treeThe christmas trees are up in some homes and more are on its way. It is that time of the year again…I read the other day on Canadian Tire Flyer cover – just 3 weeks to go. Wow time is flying by….Here are some ideas for you to help you decide and pick out the right gift for your hiker friend(s).

Lets start with the small ones under $30.00 –  mesh bags,  a watch that clips on your daypack, a good whistle,  a compass,  a hat,  sunglasses pouch,  a memory card for the camera, re-chargeable batteries,  sunscreen, insect repellent,a  tree book, dry pouches or dry bags,  maps, a pair of smart wool socks, a small knife, waterproof matches, pack biners, pedometer,  a stainless steel waterbottle,  gloves,  DVD spindle,  Turtle Light (MEC), a first aid kit,  gaiters, a bird book,  a wool toque,  a one year subscription to Backpacker, Explore or Outside magazine, and a nature or landscape photography book.      

Some bigger and more expensive gifts ($40.00 & over) –  baselayer, mid-layer,  fleece jacket, rain jacket & pants, daypack,  headlamp, trekking poles,  gps, water filter,  photo organizer & editing program, a pair of hiking pants/shorts that you can zipper off the legs, hiking boots,  a $50.00 gift card and registration fee for a photography course.   

I hope this list provides you with some ideas to help you with your christmas shopping. Good Luck and Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas

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Hiking in the rain WHW

Hiking in the rain on the West Highland Way in Scotland

Hiking can be enjoyed in most types of weather but the key is to prepare with right type of equipment, clothes and gear. Here are some tips that I learned over the years hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands, Scotland and Ireland.

Tip # 1 – Rain gear is supposed to be breathable however most are not. Make sure you wear layers – a baselayer to absorb moisture from your skin and keep your warm, and a midlayer to absorb the condensation from the rain gear…

Tip #2  – Make sure your daypack has a rain cover….the cover will protect the front of the pack. Alot of packs come with a rain cover…if not purchase one..they are not expensive.

Tip#3  – Unfortunately rain will run between the back of your daypack and rainjacket. To help protect the items in the back of  your daypack – make sure your items are placed in ziplock bags, dry pouches or dry sacs.

Tip#4 – Hike with poles for safety – Better balance,  able to cross streams and rocks better, easier to climb hills and descent hills.

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Branch pond Look-off Trail

Hikers on Branch Pond Look-off Trail

Today’s weather forecast was 30-40 mm of rain, heavy at times with winds 20-70 kms… I never thought 40 hikers on Day 8 would show up at 9:00 am. to hike Branch Pond Look-off at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. They showed at Middle Head at 10:00 am and later in the afternoon at 2:00 pm. at Broad Cove Mountain….I was proud to walk with them and be a part of this amazing hiking community….and the Hike the Highlands festival team…

It was a day of learning about dressing in layers – baselayer, mid-layer,  rain gear, and using trekking poles to cross streams and big puddles.  A day of adventure and enduring those tough days….One gentleman said – I paid to do this today….

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With just two weeks before the Hike the Highlands festival, now is a great time to check your equipment out.  Here is a checklist of what you need for the festival : hiking boots,  hiking socks,  gaiters – protect your legs from branches, thorns etc along with keep your boots dry,  hiking pants/shorts,  daypack, water bottles,  hat,  trekking/hiking poles, insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, digital camera along with camera case, extra batteries, charger and memory cards, rain gear,  mid-layer (fleece), base layer, bear bell, …. 

One of the most important pieces of equipment when hiking today is trekking or hiking poles. Below is a short video to explain the benefits of using poles.

Deuter Futura 28 AC Daypack

Deuter Futura 28 AC Daypack

Hike the Highlands has a number of 3-6 hours hikes and a few longer…So it would be wise to have a daypack in the range of 20-20 litres as you will need extra food , water  and layers for longer hikes…. The pack to the left is a Deuter Futura 28 litre, a  popular pack that MEC sells that has a number of compartments- see the bottom compartment- not many have this as well this daypack has a rain cover.

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