What’s up in the GetHiking! and GetExploring! worlds this week and beyond
Odds are you didn’t know that Morrow Mountain State Park had bridle trail. It does, and we will be hiking a bit of it — the Bridle Long Loop Trail — Sunday. Expect a hike of 8 to 10 miles that will take 4 to 5 hours on trail “rated as Moderate-Strenuous due to distance & some climbs, although we will stop as necessary for breaks & snacks.” Pack appropriate hot-weather gear, plus snacks and at least two liters of water.
Hike leaders: Lisa and Joe
More info here
GetExploring! Smart Cycling Course
When: Saturday, June 25, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Drew Steele Center, 1058 Elm St., Greenville
Are you comfortable riding on the road?
Gain skills and confidence to make your experience on a bike safer, more efficient, and more fun. Learn:
- How to avoid obstacles and get yourself out of a sticky situation
- How to maintain your bike and fix a flat tire
- How to prevent conflicts with other road users through skillful lane positioning
Classroom theory, parking lot practice, and on-road experience.
More info here
GetHiking! Southeast’s Classic Hikes: Standing Indian Area
When: Saturday, July 8 thru Sunday, July 9
Where: Standing Indian Recreation Area, Nantahala National Forest
Our third Classic Hikes weekend trip takes us to the Standing Indian area west of Franklin for two days of hiking. Saturday, from the group campground, we’ll hike up the Kimsey Creek Trail to Deep Gap and go north on the Appalachian Trail. Views abound, especially from Standing Indian Mountain overlooking the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, one of the biggest expanses of undeveloped forest in the Southeast. We return down Lower Ridge Trail, for a total distance of 11 miles.
Sunday, we will do a loop in the Sassafras Ridge area of about 5 miles.
This hike is part of our 2016 GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes series, sequel to 2015’s inaugural GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series. This is a fee program.
For more information and to sign up, go here.
GetBackpacking! South Mountains Mountain State Park
When: Friday, June 24 through Sunday, June 26
Where: South Mountains State Park, Connelly Springs
Note: Three spots remain.
Every month, we graduate a class of GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking grads with a weekend trip to South Mountains State Park. Twelve spots are allotted for each trip; if there aren’t enough grads to fill those 12 spots, we open the remainder to our backpacking members. Preference is given previous graduates of the program.
Learn more about this weekend’ trip here.
Gear, Tips, Resources
You need to carry a whistle. If you get in trouble, issue three blasts of equal intensity. If someone else is issuing three blasts of equal intensity, you need a whistle to signal back with two blasts that help is on the way.
Before you run out and plunk down $2 for a whistle, you may, unbeknownst to you, already have one. Check the sternum strap on your pack. Look at the buckle: is there a hollow nub? Blow into it: it’s a whistle, right? If not, then you’re about to make a good investment of $2.
Tip: Before you wash those hiking duds …
You’ve returned from a great weekend in the mountains — with the dirty, smelly clothes as proof. Before you blindly toss every smelly item in the wash, give ‘em the once over. Check your pockets to make sure, say, your Leatherman isn’t still aboard. That map in your back pocket won’t fare well in in the hot-water cycle, and the change from that life-saving soda-and-chips you scored at the mom-n-pop grocery on your way out will drive everyone nuts in the spin cycle. Be particularly thorough with those socks; if you had a blister-fest it’s unlikely that all the Band-Aids and moleskin withdrew with your feet.
Most of all, search for tissues. Miss even one and you could be looking at a long evening plucking fluffs of white from every article of clothing on the trip.
Check. It just takes a second.
Resource: Outdoor Gear Lab
Looking for a new headlamp, but befuddled by the options? Contemplating hiking shoes rather than boots, but not sure which pair is best for your needs? In need of socks? Gloves? Packs? You don’t mind spending the money, but you want to spend it wisely.
Start with a visit to Outdoor Gear Lab, which buys all the gear it tests, then puts them through side-by-side comparisons, in the lab and in the field. Their findings are published at OutdoorGearLab.com, where you can start the informed decision-making process.