For my birthday last year, my very thoughtful mom hooked me up with four months of Cairn, which I have been meaning to talk about. Have you tried it? My short review is that it’s awesome.
One of my favorite things came in the first box: a collapsible Hydaway bottle.
It’s the perfect collapsible bottle, in my opinion. When I climbed Mt. Whitney in 2015, I loaded up on these plastic bottles, all of which eventually sprung a leak after just a few uses. The Hydaway is made of silicone and feels much sturdier than those flimsy things.
If you wan to hook it to your pack, it has a handle on the lid. If you have any water left when you’re done, the 21 oz. size (the largest one, which is what Cairn sent) will fit neatly into your cup holder.
The wide mouth makes it easy to clean, and it’s dishwasher safe if you put it on the top rack. When you’re done using it, it collapses completely flat.
It also comes in handy at the airport, where you’re forced to lug around an empty bottle that does nothing but take up space until you get through security and can fill it up. Now to can drop the Hydaway into your bag and not worry about it until you need it.
The bottle can be found on the Hydaway website and Amazon.
In September, my cousin, her boyfriend and I made our second attempt on Mt. Whitney. It was such a fantastic, rewarding experience in 2015 that as soon as we got back to the trail head, we started talking about doing it again the next year.
Unfortunately, the 2016 attempt didn’t go as smoothly.
My cousin had been taking Diamox (an altitude sickness medication) that she didn’t realize had expired, so the altitude hit her fast and hard. But my cousin is also such a badass that she made it all the way to Trail Meadow despite vomiting for miles.
She worried that turning back would make her seem weak. Au contraire, cuz…I would have turned back at the second upchuck!
Why you shouldn’t separate from your party
Many people have asked me why I didn’t just continue on and send her back to the trail head. (Note to self: don’t hike with those people!)
There are several reasons:
- That’s how the vast majority of search and rescue calls start: the group breaks up and later, someone doesn’t return to camp as planned.
- It’s just not a nice thing to do. My cousin was sick, vomiting and weak. You shouldn’t send someone in that condition off by themselves. You have a responsibility to your party to ensure that everyone is safe. No summit is worth ditching people so you can personally make it. Could you even enjoy it if you did that? I wouldn’t.
- It can discourage being honest about your condition if you think your party will leave you when you say you’re not going to be able to go further. If everyone knows that the group is going to stay together no matter what, you feel much more safe in saying that you need a long break or that you can’t continue.
Hiking solo is one thing; it’s all your call whether you keep going, quit, take a long break, whatever.
When you hike in a group, you’re a team and you stick together. You’re all in it, for better or for worse.
Please, never ditch anyone who isn’t feeling well.
It’s mean at best and could be fatal at worst.
Just because hiking is so much fun doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly hard at times. In fact, I’d say that most of the time, it’s pretty hard. It’s hard to get up at 3:30 on a Saturday morning instead of staying in bed and reading while you sip coffee. It’s hard getting to the trail head in the dark and it’s cold and windy and you’d rather just stay inside your car and stay warm. Steep uphills are hard, downhills are hard, choking down those dry Clif bars is hard.
That’s personally what I love about hiking. The harder the hike, the more adversity there is to overcome, the sweeter the reward. Little moments on the trail propel me forward: A great view that might be even better in a half mile. There’s a promise of seeing wildlife, like bighorn sheep, deer or bobcats. Those little things are enough for me when I want to give up and go home. They tell me to keep going, there’s more up ahead.
But still, it’s hard.
Over the years, I’ve come up with a few ways to mentally survive hikes that are tough for various reasons, whether it’s length, steepness, elevation gain or all of the above.
Way back before it was even officially summer this year, I finally went and climbed the tallest peak in Southern California: Mt. San Gorgonio, or Old Greyback as she’s known to locals.
What a fun, cool hike! It has it all: Stream crossings, multiple zones, amazing views and a triumphant photo opportunity on the summit to celebrate your accomplishment.
By Heather & Darren
Welcome to our new home!
As you may know, we started as a more profanely named site several years ago. It was along the lines of “Fudge Yeah Camping.” Only we didn’t use “Fudge.” We used the word. The big one. The queen-mother of dirty words. The “F-dash-dash-dash” word!
While it was a funny name, and even more fun to randomly yell out while camping, we wanted something slightly less alienating and more encompassing of all the outdoor things we enjoy.
After much debating about URLs and feeling like all the good ones were taken, we accidentally landed on theoutdoortypes.com and boom: A new website was born.
I’ll be sitting out this year’s hiking season, and I resent that. I’m definitely not the hiking enthusiast that Heather is; I could take it or leave it, more or less. But I nonetheless want the option of backing out of a hike instead of having that decision made for me on account of injury.
In 2015, I walked 5.14 million steps. In all of those steps, I never got a single blister. Every hike I took, from Half Dome to Mt. Baden Powell to Mt. Whitney, ended with nothing more than some sore feet.
Here’s how you can do that too:
Another camping season, another tent…
Heather and I have been camping now just shy of five years, and in that time, we’ve owned four tents.
Confession: Not every hike is awesome. So far, I’ve been fortunate that most hikes are very awesome, but every so often there’s a dud in there.
It’s my own fault that I didn’t enjoy the hike to Lost Horse Mine more than I should have: I misunderstood the mileage given. Continue reading