Archive for January, 2016

What to Wear While Hiking

Clothes to wear while hiking in the cold
True lovers of nature are always looking for ways to spend time amidst the greens. Hiking and camping are the ideal choices to refresh one’s mood, while enjoying that adrenaline rush. However, before you set out on your hiking adventure, you must be well-equipped to handle various unforeseen situations that may arise. Apart from the basic essentials, the clothing that you opt for is equally important to ensure that your trip is safe as well as enjoyable.

The weather largely dictates the kind of clothing you should pack. Layered clothing will help you to adapt to the changes in the varying moods of Mother Nature!

–The best material for hiking gear in the summer is synthetic fiber like, polyester or polyamide.

–Start with a base layer of comfortable innerwear. Opt for a short-sleeved top and three-quarter length leggings.

–For the next layer of clothing, go in for a zip up jacket and comfortable trousers.

–Carry a jacket that is windproof as well as rainproof, for precaution against the natural elements.

–Wear a pair of liner socks and carry an extra pair along with you.

–Wear a thermal top with long sleeves and full-length leggings over your innerwear.

–As a second layer, go in for a fleece jacket with long sleeves or a woolen turtleneck. Over the leggings, opt for pants that are water-resistant and thick enough to protect you against the cold.

–For the third layer, take along a jacket that will act as a shield against the wind and rain, if required.

–While hiking in winter, two pairs of wool socks and two pairs of gloves are recommended.
Spring and Autumn
–The base layer includes a non-cotton top. Wearing leggings is optional depending on how cold you feel.

–The second layer includes full-length pants and an insulated jacket that is weatherproof.

–Carry a fleece jacket along with you.

–Wear two pairs of socks; woolen ones over synthetic ones.

Tips to Remember
**Always ensure that you wear a base layer of clothing made of fabrics that absorb sweat. This layer is the closest to your skin and fabrics that do not absorb sweat will make you feel sticky. Polyester microfiber is suited for the warm summers, whereas polypropylene is preferable for the cool winters.
**The outermost layers should be windproof and water-resistant. Look for a comfortable jacket with several pockets.
**Avoid wearing denim. Instead, opt for special hiking pants that are easily available in stores. Shorts can come in handy, so always keep an extra pair in your bag.
**The kind of footwear that you choose is extremely important. This would depend upon the climate and the kind of terrain you are about to explore. For example, during the rains, choose waterproof shoes with a sturdy sole that will enable you to get a better grip. Always look for the cushioning in the footwear. Stiff shoes are bound to make your feet hurt.
**Opt for hats or caps to protect yourself from the heat. Knit caps are ideal for the cool winters. Sunglasses are essential to protect your eyes from the harsh rays during the day.
With the right outfit for hiking, your trip can be made enjoyable without any hindrances in terms of comfort. The right clothing can help you face any changes in the weather with a smile!

Appalachian Mountain Facts

The Appalachian range is in fact the oldest chain of mountains on the North American continent.
The Appalachian mountain range, simply referred to as the Appalachians at times, is a vast mountain system in the eastern part of North America. The formation of this mountain range began approximately 300 million years ago as a result of tectonic movement, and continued through the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic periods.
Interesting Facts about the Appalachians
▶ In a broad sense, the term Appalachian refers to the entire mountain range as well as the hills and plateaus in the surrounding. The range derives its name from the Apalachees — an Indian tribe that inhabited this region.
▶ Almost the entire Appalachian mountain range is located in the United States, except for a small part which extends into south-eastern Canada. The range also covers a part of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.
▶ The Appalachians run along the eastern coast of the United States over a distance of 1,600 miles, extending from Newfoundland in the North to Alabama in the South. The average width of this mountain range varies between 100 to 300 miles, while the average height of individual mountains averages 3,000 ft.
▶ The whole range can be broadly divided into three sections: the northern section, central section, and the southern section. The northern section extends from Newfoundland and Labrador province in Canada to Hudson River in New York. The central section extends from the Hudson Valley to the New River. And lastly, the southern section extends from the New River to Maine.
▶ Some of the most prominent geological features of the Appalachian range include the White Mountains, Black Mountains, Green Mountains, Allegheny Plateau, Mount Mitchell, Great Smoky Mountains, Cumberland Plateau, Blue Ridge, etc. Mount Mitchell, with a height of 6,684 ft., is the tallest mountain of the Appalachian mountain range.
▶ While the climate in the Appalachians varies throughout the year, it can be typically defined as cool and wet for the most of the part. With elevation coming into play, one can observe sharp contrast in the weather at higher and lower altitudes. Leaving aside occasionally excessive snowfall and cloud cover, the weather in these mountains is quite pleasant and attracts hordes of tourists here every year.
▶ The primary habitat of this region is mainly made up of temperate forests. The secondary habitat, on the other hand, is made up of mixed-deciduous and boreal forests. The list of tree species found in the Appalachians include trees like mountain ash, red spruce, black spruce, white pine, eastern hemlock, Balsam fir, Fraser fir, etc.
▶ Spread over thousands of miles, the Appalachian range is also rich in terms of biodiversity. The wildlife of Appalachian mountains consist of several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Some of the most popular animals found in this region are the white-tailed deer, black bear, moose, hawks, woodpeckers, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, bats, thrushes, grouses, frogs, salamanders, and rattlesnakes.
A signboard showing Appalachian Hiking Trail
▶ An important feature of this mountain range is the Appalachian Trail or Appalachian National Scenic Trail — the 2,175 mile long hiking trail, extending from Mount Katahdin, in Maine, to Springer Mountain, in Georgia. A small part of the trail, which extends into the Canadian territory, is referred to as the International Appalachian Trail. Along with the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail, the Appalachian Trail forms the famed Triple Crown of Hiking.
▶ In the United States, the trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. At 6,643 ft., the Clingmans Dome in Tennessee and North Carolina happens to be the highest point of the Appalachian Trail.
▶ There is no dearth of observational towers in the Appalachian mountains, all of which give a panoramic view of this region. Of these towers, the Mount Mitchell Lookout Tower in the Mount Mitchell State Park, Clingmans Dome Observation Tower in the Great Smoky Mountains, Wesser Bald Lookout Tower in the Nantahala National Forest, etc., are very popular among hiking enthusiasts.
▶ Other than designating these areas as national forests, parks, and state protected areas, all attempts are made to avoid causing any damage to these mountains. In 1980s, when the authorities realized that the traditional method of constructing road by cutting the Grandfather Mountain would damage it, they decided to construct a concrete bridge around the slopes, and thus came into existence the Linn Cove Viaduct.
All these facts make the Appalachians a delight for individuals who are into hard-core hiking, as well as those who are looking for weekend getaways. Appalachian Trail camping — one of the major attractions on this trail — is a once in a lifetime experiences that one should not miss. Pleasant climate, rich flora and fauna, adventurous hiking trail … you name it and it’s there in the Appalachians.
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