Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Hiking with Tips and Suggested Apps

Every Monday I grab my trail shoes, backpack loaded with water, sunscreen, bugwipes, extra layers for unexpected weather & snacks and head to work to teach yoga before heading out with a handful of other trail enthusiasts for a 3-4 hour hike somewhere in the high country.  Most Mondays it even works out that I pack my kids to tag along for my favorite workday of the week.

The hillsides are alive with vibrant wildflowers right now:  Indian paint brush, elephant ear, delphinium, monkshood, sego lily, daisies, aster, lousewort, and more.
Trekking poles are handy if you are hiking steep terrain or sketchy scree (loose rock fragments that slide easily beneath your footing)...handy until you hit a big rocky section like this and then you'll want to ditch your poles to have boths hands available to scramble up the rocks.
 Columbine Colorado State Flower:
 Did you know aspens have a natural sun screen?  Rub your hand on an aspen and apply to your skin.
 Lily, Sego
Caution crossing small creeks and waterfalls- the tops of the rocks can become slippery.  Make sure you have shoes with good traction and a firm grip as you step across.
Don't drink the water!
 Stay on the trail and stay with your group!
Tips for hiking with smaller kids:  Pack a hat & sunscreen.  Let them carry a water pack or water bottle.  Keep their minds occupied searching for animal tracks or naming the wildflowers (so you don't have to listen to "are we there yet" for hours).  Have them find a stick to use as a hiking stick.  Take deep breaths filling the lungs rather than short shallow breaths which may lead to side stitches and complaints.  Take several rests.  Bigger kids:  free running (parkour) tricks off trees, stumps, rocks and switchbacks, safe climbing challenges, snacks.
Suggested Apps:  All Trails is loaded with all kinds of trail info, maps and reviews.  Peak.ar is an app that allows you to hold your device and it will show you the names of surrounding peaks, Colorado Wildflowers helps you identify different species of wildflowers.  Scat & Tracks helps you identify animal tracks and scat.  Rogers Mushrooms to identify edible shrooms.  Altimeter and weather apps are also handy.
Pack it in, pack it out.  Leave only footprints and take only memories.

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