Tag Archives: finis mitchell

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HAPPY HIKING!!!!

“We don’t stop hiking because we grow old – We grow old because we stop hiking.” – Finis Mitchel

“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.” – Diane Spicer

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! I know, I know. It’s January 2nd!! That’s ok. A new year usually brings with it a whole new basket of resolutions that most people will not keep. I’m sure some folks will disagree with me, but at this point, I’m just keeping it real!

So, my resolution this year is a simple one. After a year of almost no hiking, I want to hike more in 2023 and capture those hikes through photographs.

In trying to achieve and keep that resolution going, however, I have to further refine how I prepare for my hikes.

Over the years, I have found that how I get ready for my spring and summer hikes has changed drastically since I was a younger lad.

Back in the day, my prep used to include the following: 1) Go to the trail and hike. Now? The script has flipped on this one, folks. These days I have to think about my knees and ankles and making sure my hiking route is written out in detail so if I get injured, my family will know where to lead the authorities.

Filling my day pack used to be a pretty simple deal as well. The contents used to consist of maps, water, snack, lunch, camera, bug spray, first aid kit, and other assorted nonsense.

As I have explained in previous posts, I can no longer use a traditional day pack and have to, instead, use a sling pack. Since they are much smaller, I have to now choose very carefully what I bring with me.

Most of the items listed above will stay, just more condensed and in smaller containers. I’ll start experimenting shortly with packing my sling pack as the winter progresses.

Physically this year, I am going to add training with resistance bands to my winter routine. After doing a great deal of research, it looks like it certainly couldn’t hurt, so I will add that to my regimen. I have also added specific exercises to help strengthen my ankles and knees.

The point of all this? To make sure that my hiking experiences are safe and continue to be fun. If hiking is painful and no fun, why hike? So preventive maintenance is the way to go.

Once again, Happy New Year and, of course, HAPPY HIKING!!!

Just Let Them Know, It Could Save Your Life

“We don’t stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking.”

-Finis Mitchell 

“A ship is safe in harbor. but that’s not what ships are built for.”

-John A. Shedd

I was on Facebook the other day and I was reading a post by a gentleman by the name of Rob Davidson who came up with an interesting form to leave for folks when you go hiking. Not only did I take a great deal of it to make my own form, but I also added a section on the back where I list each of the medications that I am taking and any allergies that I may have.

Now, believe me, it’s not that I didn’t take my safety and the safety of others seriously prior to last summers mishap, but I’ve taken it a step further. The form, which is two-sided provides your family and potential rescuers with all of the information that they will need to assist in finding you if something goes wrong on a hike.

The best thing about this form is that it is quick and easy to fill out and just as easy for anyone who picks it up to understand. As Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts ma’am.” Only the most critical and pertinent information should be provided to your family and the authorities. As far as I am concerned, the less useless information folks have to sift through the better. That makes sense, yes?

So at the top of the form, we have my name and then the date that the hike is happening. Obviously, if you are going for multiple days, you would include them all.

Next is a pretty critical section. “If you don’t hear from me by:” says it all. This gives the reader a time and date to expect you back or hear from you. Please note the caveat below because we all have had times where you could just be running late and not in any kind of trouble.

Equally as important is your itinerary. Where are you hiking? Will you be on multiple trails? Do you plan on spending some time on a particular viewpoint? Where will your car be parked? These are all questions that you should consider when completing this section of the form.

Next, I have included a section where you can tell the reader whether you are hiking solo or with others. Did you just get separated from a group? Did you fall ill or injure yourself and others have gone to get help? If I was hiking with another person, I would also include at least one additional phone number so if my phone has no service, it may still be possible to contact that other person.

The last three sections are easy ones. All you have to do is describe what you are wearing, provide a description of your car with the license, plate number, cell phone and lastly, what medications you are taking.

When I was a younger man I would have scoffed at the idea that I needed to fill something like this out just to go on a day hike or an overnight backpacking trip.

But when you are hit directly in the face with a serious dose of reality, it tends to change your mind. I would suggest that hikers of all ages at least take a look at the form and then decide, “Is it worth the five minutes out this form to let my family and loved ones know where I am?”

If not, I would suggest asking Aron Ralston the very same question.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Obviously, the boxes below would be larger for the areas of trip information, hiking solo or with others and medications. 

Hike Plan For Michael Doyle

Date:

 

 

If you do not hear from me by:

 

If you do not hear from me by the time above, I may be in trouble, running late or may have no service on my cell. Please check for voicemail messages or texts that may give you more information.

Trip Information:

 

Am I hiking SOLO or with OTHERS?

 

What am I wearing?

 

Car/Cell:

 

Medications Currently Taking:

 

 If you have any questions or comments please let me know!!!!

 

 

 

Summer’s First Hike (1)

“We don’t stop hiking because we grow old-we grow old because we stop hiking.”

-Finis Mitchell

“I could never resist the call of the trail.”

-Buffalo Bill

The first hike of the summer season!!!!

I headed out to the Horn Hill Bike Path after publishing my previous post to start breaking in my new Vasque boots. Overall they did well. They were comfortable and I didn’t really experience any discomfort until close to the end of the hike. Not much, but exactly what I would expect from a new pair of boots. No twisted ankles, blisters or hot spots.

I decided to do the shorter loop of this hike and it truly is amazing how it changes throughout the year. I have documented this hike in just about every season and with the amount of rain we have had recently, everything is in full bloom.

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The kiosk at the start of the hike.

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The smell of pine was intoxicating on several sections of this hike!

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More pine…

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The only short hill on this hike.

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This wasn’t here the last time I was here.

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Although these roots can be perilous, they are cool to look at!

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The trail near the end of the hike.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

3.85-3.85