Thursday, March 31, 2011

Equipment Review: CamelBak Octane 18X Hydration Pack

I needed a new hiking pack, especially for my day hikes I would be venturing on this spring and summer.  My old pack, a Trager, was old, falling apart, and it just wasn't meeting my needs any more. 

So I started looking online for a pack that would meet some specific guidelines.  I wanted a pack with a water bladder, needed to be expandable, lightweight, sturdy, with hip and chest straps, just large enough for day hikes and affordable.  I found a few online that caught my interest but I wanted to try them on before purchasing.  So I spent some time in the local stores searching, but I didn't find anything that met my requirements.

My family went to Charlotte, NC for a getaway and while visiting we visited the REI store.  Walking into REI is like being a kid in a candy shop.  I can't wait to be done with school, and to be working as a I can go back to REI and invest in some more gear!  REI has a mean selection of packs, and I was eager to start looking them over and try some on.  I came across a pack that I had seen on REI's website.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

10 Must Have Items for your Day Hike

When going for a hike, there are some essentials that you must have.  You can scale back, or add more of any one item depending on the length of your hike.  So here is my top 10 items to take on a day hike:

1.) Water - Bring at least 2 quarts, but for a warm weather hike, 3 quarts or more would be better!  I suggest getting a pack that has a hydration pack.  It makes it easier to pack, you won't have the weight of the plastic bottles, and access to the water is near immediate through the attached tube/bite valve.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Feet on the Table

Table Rock
Yesterday I headed out for a day hike with Juneau, my awesome dog.  Our destination was Table Rock State Park where our entire family had been to earlier this year.  During that outing we hiked the Carrick Creek Trail and after looking into to the other trails offered in the area, I was determined to hike Table Rock Trail up to the Table Rock summit.  While researching the trail, I decided to make this trip an all or nothing trip, and hit two summits on the same day.  First, we would summit Pinnacle Mountain and then we would cross Ridge Trail to Table Rock and summit there as well.  I knew it would be a hard hike, yet it would be a great adventure with Juneau, get me into the woods, and provided an opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery of God's handiwork!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My 5K all the way!

A couple of runners I trailed for the
first mile and passed during the second!
This weekend I embarked on a new personal quest.  Now, I've always been envious of runners.  Their endurance has always baffled me, how they kept on going when I was sure to throw up within the first 100 feet.  Well, since October of this past year our family has taken on the challenge of becoming healthier.  I have lost 42 lbs and Robin has lost 15, and Jenna has fallen in love with soccer and hiking!  As I have been doing cardio exercise, weight training and have adopted a healthier diet I have been looking for new outdoor adventures to pursue.  One of my Facebook friends had posted a picture of her having finished a 5K race.  I had been thinking of jogging for exercise, since the elliptical can get old at times.  Then I began to question if I too could actually finish a 5K race.  I haven't run a single mile since I was a freshman in high school.  Even then I threw up.  I am in good shape, but would I have the endurance to run the race without stopping out of exhaustion?  I became determined to find out...and to find out how many miles were in 5K!  Ha! (3.1 miles incidentally)