Aaaaand, we're back
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Well, I'm finally back from vacation and let me tell you-it was incredible. We saw every ecosystem and land possible. Forests, deserts, beaches... you name it, we hiked it. So now I'm back getting into my usual routine and I'm going to see where this path takes me. I'm thinking about changing careers and working more outside. We will see.

Anyway, I want to dedicate a few posts in the future to each trip I took and I want to upload a few pictures too! So until next time!

Monday... funday?
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Another monday at work, where I have no idea what to expect. I'm trapped up inside a cubicle inside a windowless office. I might as well be buried alive. After the hiring freeze gets lifted in Canada I might try taking the exam to become a park ranger. I love being outdoors, and I love working. Right now I hate what I do, so I might as well try to do something I love, right?

Trying to get back into the swing of things.
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Things have been difficult lately. My interesting in hiking and blogging is directly proportional to how busy I am at work and home. From going to the gym to just lounging with my family, all of these things require a lot of mental effort and personal time. As a result, I want to try to continue to be the best I can be. Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, but that's no excuse to give up. We can all accomplish extraordinary things.

Best Hiking Resources
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The following contains what I think are the best information resources for hikers. I have found that many people (especially the younger generation) are increasingly using the internet to begin getting into new hobbies. As the population of the planet grows and the number of natural areas decrease, the demand for hiking locations is outweighing the demand. While it can be easy to vicariously live through the life of an experienced hiker by watching television or by surfing the internet, those who decide to take action for themselves have the best chance of happiness. I have compiled this list for "beginners" as a way to introduce you into hiking. If you aren't a beginner, you can still use this list to meet others in the hiking community or to enhance your own understanding of camping, backpacking gear, and hiking routes.

Hiking Checklist - Every backpacker can't leave without appropriate gear. I encourage everyone to abjure backpacking checklists from websites like REI or Campmor. While these companies can provide you with a general idea of what camping equipment you will need, a general unbiased list is the way to go. Hiking-List.com provides you with a simple, easy-to-read, and printable checklist. Be sure to check out their specific lists too. The website supports an excellent backpacking list, for those who like to do long distance hikes. Different gear is required for different lengths of walking. Always be prepared.

Backpacker Forums - The forums give you an insight into what the hiking community is like. While not as advanced as the thru hikers on the Appalachian Trail, the people on these forums know their stuff. The best part is that they have forums which aren't a blog or other static website. So feel free to ask questions, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro. Sometimes the members can be a bit sanctimonious, but it's nothing to be intimidated by.

Sherpa Jeff - This is a personal website of a hiker who goes by the alias "SherpaJeff". While I usually stay away from websites that rely upon anecdotal evidence, I highly suggest you take a look. This guy knows much about the outdoors and can give a good insight into the mind of a seasoned outdoorsman.

Social Travel - A website like this should be more well known. Social Hiking allows you to map your progress and share different hikes. What I have found in my many years of hiking, is that those who love the outdoors, possess the greatest resistance to technological change. While I agree that tech can take away much of the outdoors experience, there is something about utilizing a little technology sometimes to augment the art of hiking.

The Importance of Safety
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Something I encountered this past weekend can not be understated. My friend had slipped and fell on a rock and we didn't know how severe the injury was. Not wanting to risk calling 911 and incur the costs of a medivac helicopter, we call our friend who has been a nurse for the past fifteen years. He told us that unless certain circumstances arose, my friend's ankle was fine (aka not broken). So confident my friend did not have any serious injury (I'm assuming that a twisted ankle is not a serious injury in this context), we hobbled out of the forest and back to my car.

The cell phone is something that wasn't as readily available 100, 20, or even 10 years ago. I know that many hikers "frown" upon using technological devices in the outdoors, but when it comes to safety it's a price worth paying. As long as you're not constantly texting or playing games on your smart phone, you will be okay. I keep my phone on silent or I turn it off entirely when I go camping. Why? Because I don't want to deal with the constant hassles of life. Work, friends, and even family can wait when I go for a hike. My cell phone should be a tool I only use in emergencies. I don't treat my mobile device as something to be used. I treat it as a convenience that I can use only in an emergency.

First aid kits are nice to have, even for shorter day hikes, but nothing can beat the usefulness and security of having an instant connection to anyone in the world. Obviously there are exceptions to this. Mainly when you can get a signal. But besides that, it can never hurt to have an additional layer of security when you go hiking. Even on the safest trails there can be dangers.


It's finally here
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The weekend is here and I'm excited to try out some new hikes. I think I'm going to try out the Charleston Lake Provincial Park trail. I've been here before and I love the park for its versatility. There are a few hikes less than 3 miles, and there are some that are up to 8 miles. The best part is that all of these hikes are loops so there's no dealing with the boredom of seeing the same scenery more than once.

I will hopefully get a chance to see this trail. If not, I will figure out some way to establish contact with the rangers at another park to find the best loops in the area. The best part about Canada is that it's sparsely populated. That means more room for nature, and nature means more hiking!


Friends Only... kind of
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In in my own mind I have a lot of random ideas and unusual thoughts. Because of that, I have decided to keep some entries friends only. I'm always looking for friends though! So if you love backpacking, hiking, or camping, please friends me! Actually if you are just looking for a friend to blog with, leave a comment or friend me and I'll try to reciprocate!

Think of it this way: Personal entries on my life, family, and mind will be friends only.

But entries relating to general outdoors stuff, hiking, and everything else will be public. I just want to share what I can!


Not enough time!
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Sometimes I don't feel like there's enough time in the day. I just want to grab my passport, my birth certificate, and all the cash in my bank account and hit the trail. A long term goal of mine is to hike the appalachian trail. My wife's acumen is unrivaled when it comes to my happiness and she knows that completing the entire AT has been something I've wanted to do my whole life. So I'm tentatively setting a date of a few years to complete the Appalachian Trail. I have most of the hiking gear I need from other backpacking adventures. Hopefully I will keep this blog to update you on my adventures, because the next year or so will all be about planning.

loving life!!
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hiker_hiking
Honestly, I can't wait until the weekend to be here!!!

Three Day Weekend = More hikes.
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hiker_hiking

A long weekend filled with great hikes! My employer has many American employees, so we were able to get off for THREE DAYS! WHOOHOO!!

We went down to the surprisingly beautiful Nodark Canyon. The waters were a beautiful aqua and the forest was verdant. While we were there we saw a lot of lush vegetation. The recent rainfall followed by a nice heaping of sun must have spurred their growth. I know it's the end of May already, but I was surprised to see so many things in bloom so far up North. My friends and I had a great time and I hope to go back there soon.

I'm also hoping to do a hiking gear list soon. Some of my favorite brands are Marmot and Columbia. I will post in detail about their different products later. Obviously I love being in nature and the outdoors, but I also love the protection modern technology can provide.

Also, I want to update my Appalachian Mountain Club membership. They do annual drives and I'm hoping to get my new card to take advantage of their offers. It's good to be part of a club where people share your values.

Until next time!


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