Tag Archives: REI

A Breath Of Fresh Air

REI has come up with these “A Breath of Fresh Air” meditation spots that are absolutely fantastic. They say in their description that:

“We believe that a life outdoors is a life well lived and that we all could use a break from everyday life. We suggest getting outdoors, but if you can’t in this moment, we’re bringing the outdoors to you. Slip on your headphones and give yourself a quick reprieve. Breathe in, breathe out, and let go.”

They range in length from a bunch that are under thirty seconds to those that run 3-4 minutes.

So if you can’t get outside or you need a few minutes to just get away from it all, listen to one or more of these. They are very well produced and especially when you are wearing headphones, all you have to do is just shut your eyes to experience the wonder of the outdoors.

So get the headphones out, Google “REI  A Breath of Fresh Air” and then pick and choose where you want to go.

HAPPY HIKING and HAPPY RELAXING!!!!

 

Solo Vs. Group Hiking

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

-John Muir

I have been thinking the last couple of days about the pros and cons of solo vs. group hiking.

In several posts over the years, I have written about the virtues of hiking solo as opposed to being in a group. For me, personally, hiking solo is the way to go. Now that I am getting a wee bit older, I do leave an itinerary so my family knows where I am. At this point in my life, it’s just a question of common sense and a hearty willingness to stay alive! But the fact remains that I still like to go it alone.

Obviously, however, I know people that feel that the more the merrier. I see on REI that they have group hikes on the weekends where they may meet at a bar, do the hike and finish the day at the same watering hole. They like the camaraderie and the overall social aspect of being in a group. Some folks are new to hiking and don’t have the confidence needed to be out there alone.

Since REI and other hiking clubs continue to offer these types of excursions, they must be pretty popular. As a matter of fact, in Bear Mt. several years ago, I ran into my cousin in the middle of nowhere and she was a member of a group of about 30. Too many people for me.

The bottom line in this situation is that people are getting out hiking. They may not feel comfortable hiking alone for a myriad of reasons. And that is cool. At least they are taking that first step (no pun intended). I fully believe that once you gain the experience and confidence and you head out by yourself, especially for the first time, you will find yourself in a whole new world. The possibilities become endless. 

What I see as the most complicated issue with group hiking is just being tied down by the group itself. From talking to people who have done these types of hikes, they say that they have had times where they might have wanted to stay on a peak or go in another direction but couldn’t because you would need group consensus for that to happen. To lengthen a hike or stay by a lake for longer than what may be scheduled all would need approval from the group or at the very least, the group leader. That’s too constricting for me and what I want to accomplish on my hikes.

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

-John Muir

So into the woods I will go, for as long as I can, solo.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

 

 

 

 

Ditty Or Not To Ditty

ditty-bags.jpg

One of the best and worst things about being a lifetime member of REI is the killer specials that they always have. Not only do they have these specials, but if you are a member, you sometimes get an additional percentage off on top of the deal. This presents me with a problem because, with such great deals, I have been known to impulse buy which means I might buy something I don’t need. For hikers, is that possible??

For many, many years I have put everything in baggies when I would head out into the woods. That would include my wallet, GPS and anything else I might be carrying. Baggies are easily sealed, which helps in keeping things dry, but lousy for organization. A couple of years ago I decided to add Ditty Bags to my packing system, thinking that it would be easier to store in my daypack and I was right. I have found that I can not only keep more “stuff” in my pack, I can also keep better track of my “stuff.” Last year I bought the Sea to Summit 6.5L, 4L, and 2.5L Ditty Bags to use for my daily hiking trips and backpacking.

This way, depending on what I am putting in the baggy, will depend on the size Ditty Bag I need to use. The bags have proven to be very useful so when I need to find something quickly, it really is a quick proposition.

Last week I saw that REI had a set of Ditty Bags on sale (see paragraph 1). Even though I haven’t been hiking with them yet, they appear to be more sturdy than the Sea to Summit bags. A little bit thicker than the S to S bags, the REI Ditty Bags come in 7L, 3L, and 2L sizes. 

It will definitely be interesting to see how everything fits into my Kelty Zephyr Daypack as well as my Osprey Kestrel 28 pack. Even though I have the Osprey Kestrel 28, it’s been hard giving up on the Kelty. Of course, I will provide you with a more in-depth review after I get back on the trail.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

 

Thinking About The Summer

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

– Jawaharial Nehru

 “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

-Henry Miller

After a lengthy cold spell, within the last week temperatures have actually made it up into the high forties to the mid fifties. I have to admit, feeling the (relatively) warm air made me think of spring days and being out in the woods. Looking over my maps of Harriman State Park and Bear Mt., I decided that just after the school year ends in June, I’ll backpack the Ramapo-Dunderberg trail.

Starting at the Tuxedo Rail Station, the trail runs through Harriman state park into Bear Mt. where it ends on route 9W right next to the Hudson river. At just about 22 miles, the current plan is to split it up into three days and two nights of what some web sites have said is relatively difficult hiking. Although the trail does have two lean to shelters along the way, I am bringing a tent just in case I show up at one and it has already been occupied by too many fellow hikers. With that saud, I am not thinking that this is going to be an issue because I am planning on doing this hike from a Tuesday to a Thursday so I will miss the weekend folks. More on that later.

So what am I doing now? I spent some time on the internet looking for a checklist that would help me get the stuff together that I will need for this short adventure. The decision to find a list was an easy one. I have backpacked before and gotten to my destination only to find out that I forgot to pack things. Here is the REI checklist that I am using:

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As I continue to plan for this excursion, I will post updates with some gear info, planned route and other stuff.

Happy Hiking!!!