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Shortoff Mountain, looking toward Lake James
Shortoff Mountain, looking toward Lake James

GetHiking! Extreme Hiking in the  Linville Gorge Area
GetHiking! Charlotte
When: Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 5
Where: Basecamp for the weekend is the community of Gingercake Acres near the north end of the gorge.

Join us for a fun-packed weekend of extreme hiking in the Linville Gorge area. Three hikes are planned, with lodging two nights in the Gingercake Acres

Another crossing in the Wilson Creek area
Another crossing in the Wilson Creek area

development. On the hiking agenda: Hawksbill Mountain, 1-mile warmup Friday afternoon; Saturday, a 9-mile loop in the Wilson Creek area on trail with lots of water crossings; Sunday, Shortoff Mountain to Table Rock on the gorge’s east rim, a strenuous 8 miles.

Hike leader: David Bryant
More info here

National Trails Day
American Hiking Society
When: Saturday, June 4
Where: Various locations statewide and nationwide.

Check-in for a National Trails Day workday on the MST
Check-in for a National Trails Day workday on the MST

The first Saturday in June is when we traditionally — “tradition” dating to the early 1990s — pay tribute to the trails we love. Organized hikes, workdays and other events occur at hundreds of locations nationwide in honor of National Trail’s Day. In North Carolina alone, 26 NTD events have been registered with the sponsoring American Hiking Society; even more events are taking place in North Carolina’s State Parks. And numerous trail maintenance events are taking place on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Find an event near you through AHS, N.C. State Parks or the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

GetHiking! Post National Trails Day
GetHiking! Triangle
When: Sunday, June 5, 9 a.m.
Where: Shinleaf Recreation Area, Falls Lake State Recreation Area

Worried about the post-National Trails Day blues? Hike leader Alan S. is here for you, leading an 8-mile hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake on Sunday. The hike heads west from Shinleaf and includes some nice up-and-down stretches through cove and hardwood forest. At NC 98, the hike will about-face and return home.

Hike leader: Alan S.
More info here


GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking
GetHiking! Triangle
When: Four-week session starts Wednesday, June 8, 6 p.m..
Where: Umstead State Park, Raleigh

Our May GetBackpacking! class, gearing up to hike
Our May GetBackpacking! class, gearing up to hike

Our Intro to Backpacking course consists of three training sessions focusing on a key skill each week. Week 1: Gear and packing; Week 2: Setting up (and breaking down) camp; Week 3: Rustlin’ up a meal. Each session includes a training hike of increasing length: 2, 4.5 and 6 miles. Then, in Week Four, we take a two-night graduation trip to South Mountains State Park.

This is a fee course: $85 for the session; Great Outdoor Provision Co. offers incentives, including a $35 gift card. Because of the longer daylight ours of summer, the training sessions for this class will meet Wednesdays at 6 p.m., on June 8, 15 and 22, with the graduation trip June 24-26.

Learn more about the program here.

Gear, Tips, Resources

Gear: Black Diamond Voyager Lantern

620709_MTBK_Voyager_ext_webAfter a day on the trail, after coming back to camp, cooking dinner, having some tea, swapping tales of the day’s adventures, comes what may be the highlight of my day: crawling into my tent and reading myself a goodnight story. I try to read something adventure-related, which lately has me thumbing through a used copy (thanks, Reader’s Corner) of any one of Canadian writer Farley Mowat’s tales of life above the arctic circle.  It’s a quiet way to end the day and it never fails to send me off to an adventure-filled sleep. And it’s all possible thanks to my Black Diamond Voyager Lantern.
After getting ready for bed — after getting my gear in order for the next day, after going over the route, after making sure a rogue Snickers hasn’t made its way into the tent — I move the lantern from the fairy hook in the peak of my MSR Hubba Hubba to an improvised spot just above the head of my sleeping bag and crawl in. The dimming light makes sure I get just enough light for reading. And, should I discover a Snickers did make it into my tent, the Voyager deftly slips into flashlight mode so I can make my way to my food bag for a deposit. Of the empty wrapper, that is.

Tip: Cotton … saves!?

%CE%95%CE%B9%CE%BA%CF%8C%CE%BD%CE%B110It’s summer — time for our annual bout of contrariness.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Cotton kills!” Or at least heard the advisory that you shouldn’t wear cotton because cotton gets wet, cotton stays wet, cotton keeps that wetness close to your skin, and if it’s at all cold out you can become hypothermic and, potentially, cotton kills.
Come summer, though, that cool, wet cotton next to your skin can act as a kind of air conditioning.
This strategy is best employed when the temperature is 80 or higher, and when there’s no threat that a cold front (accompanying a thunderstorm, for instance) could drop the temperature significantly. Caveat: this might be more of a Piedmont option than one for the mountains. Son of caveat: this also might be a better strategy for guys than gals.

Resource: National Trails Day events

ahspngSaturday is National Trails Day (it’s always the first Saturday in June). How will you celebrate? Will you help blaze new trail? Spruce up an existing trail? Take a hike?
Good questions, all, with so many options to chose from. Today, we direct you to two sites loaded with options. At the American Hiking Society, which sponsors the nationwide event, you’ll find hundreds of events nationwide, including 26 in North Carolina. You’ll find even more events at our North Carolina State Parks. Search the highlighted sites for an NTD event near you.