Tag Archives: walt whitman

Hiking Alone Or In A Group? Be Safe!

“I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, I am mad for it to be in contact with me.”

-Walt Whitman

In a reply to one of my last posts regarding hydrating, Barb Knowles of Saneteachers.com (a friend and colleague) asked if I could write a post about hiking/walking alone against being in a group. I added to that some simple things that you should do to help make sure that you come back home safe.

Over the last week I have spent a great deal of time thinking about this very subject. In my last post I told you about an incident last Thursday that led to me being in the hospital for six days. Thankfully I was hiking with friends but I have kept thinking, “What if I had been alone?” Would I have been  able get the help I needed?

Now that I am older, I tend to be a much more careful hiker than I was in the past. Twenty years ago, I would head out into the woods for hours at a time, alone and a times without a map. At times I would stay on the trail, others not. The point being I didn’t really pay much attention to what I was doing. I just did it!

Hiking Alone:

I love hiking alone. Some people don’t, but I like the time that I get to be in the woods and think things out. With that said, I now take precautions to make sure that if anything happens to me, it won’t be hard to find me. I don’t want it to get to the point where you would just look for the buzzards circling a set area. Here is a list of what I do:

  1. Leave an itinerary: This may seem obvious, but leaving a detailed route of where you will be hiking is imperative. Don’t forget to write down where you will be parking your car. The most important thing about having an itinerary is following it. If you decide to veer off the trail to see that extra view and something happens, that will just delay rescuers.
  2. Bring a MAP of where you will be hiking. If you have a GPS, include that as well.
  3. Make sure you have enough water. even if you are only going out for a couple of hours. BRING WATER! You never know when a couple of hours could turn into a half of a day or longer.
  4. Bring snacks/food. The amount/type of course depends on how long your hike is. Going out all day? Bring a sandwich. A short hike? Maybe an energy bar or some GORP (good old raisins and peanuts).
  5. First aid kit/Electronics/Extra laces/Extra shirt-Any other items that will make your hike that more enjoyable should be included.
  6. And of course last but not least-Your cell phone…

Hiking In A Group:

Hiking in a group, with either 2 other people or 20 presents its own unique set of challenges. I would still include all of stuff from the Solo Hike but other things will need to be adjusted. When you hike with a group, your pace will be at the mercy of the group. When you hike with a group, when you take breaks will be at the mercy of the group. You give up a certain amount of  the solitude and individualism that I cherish and this may affect the total distance you hike and the time it will take you. Some people, however, like the social aspect of hiking and don’t mind group excursions. It’s all up to you!

The bottom line is this. Whether you like to hike alone or in groups, it is really important to make sure that you let someone know where you are going to be. Be prepared!

If after reading this you believe that I have missed anything, please let me know in the form of a comment. Thanks!

Happy Hiking!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Summer Hikes

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
– Walt Whitman

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

Although the summer isn’t officially over for about three weeks, I return to work as a teacher tomorrow. What does that mean? That means summer hiking is pretty much done. I am hoping that I will be able to get out when I can, but the wonderful morning hikes that I have enjoyed the last couple of months will fade as quickly as the summer has.

Without a doubt, this summer has really been a good one for hiking. Although it has been filled with many rainy days, that was far outweighed by the beautiful mornings filled with blue skies and nice cool temperatures. This post is going to quickly cover my three favorite hikes of the summer. If you have been following my posts this summer, this list shouldn’t really surprise anyone!

Number One-Anthony’s Nose:

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Going to the Nose has been a source of refuge, peace and tranquility for many, many years. When I have good days, bad days and really bad days, the Nose has always been there. That’s all I have to say about that….

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Almost a perfect view!

Number Two-Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

This is a newcomer to my favorite list. In the past couple of weeks I have really come to love hiking here. Well maintained and blazed trails make hiking a really nice experience.  With the marked trails as well as the connector trails, you can shorten or lengthen a planned hike any number of ways. And if you don’t eat during your hike you can take advantage of the numerous picnic tables that are situated throughout the reservation. I am really excited about getting out there in the fall when the leaves change colors.

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The gateway to my favorite hikes in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The gateway to peace and tranquility!

Number Three-Bear Mountain

Located directly across the Hudson River from Anthony’s Nose, this hike has it all. Thigh numbing climbs, views up the Hudson, down the Hudson and all the way to NYC (if the weather permits).

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With the incredible amount of hikes in this area as well as thinking about the ones that I did this summer, it was difficult to pick my favorite ones. The ones that made my top three list were the ones that I have developed an affection for. Ones where I know I can go to recharge the batteries or just find some peace. They vary in length, but that isn’t the most important thing-keeping my peace of mind is.

Anthony’s Nose (5)

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”

-John Muir

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”
-Frank Herbert

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
-Walt Whitman

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The start and finish to the hike.

I was originally going to do a hike by Lake Tiorati in Harriman State Park today but my ankle was feeling sore so I decided once again to hike to Anthony’s Nose. I was afraid that at a length of 7 miles, the Harriman Hike would have put too much stress on an already tender ankle. So I decided to do my favorite standby, Anthony’s Nose.

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The sun coming up during the climb to the Nose.

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Looking north from the alternate viewpoint.

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The Camp Smith trail headed down off of the Nose. 

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/5/17: 3.8-19.82