Aug 11

Trail Quote

Trails are for Relaxing

The trail is the thing. Not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all that you are traveling for.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/08/11/trail-quote/

Jul 24

Family Tent

Nothing Beats a Good Tent…

… after a hard day on the trail. But finding a good family tent is difficult. Most backpacking tents are too small &/or not very durable for family camping. Fortunately, TentLab has created a great tent for those family backpacking trips.. or canoe trips or even car-camping trips.

Strong Tent Holds up to High Winds

Nothing is worse than trying to get a good night’s sleep with a tent wall flapping in your face. Between the slap-slap sound of the tent snapping in the breeze, the feel of the tent fabric slapping you in the face and that sinking feeling that you’re going to wake up in another state, you can’t get a wink of sleep. And it’s even worse when you’ve got scared kids and a cranky spouse sharing the tent with you.

Mike Cecot, of Tentlab in Louisville, Colorado, has come up with a tent design that is great for family camping, and he’s hoping to fund its development in a Kickstarter campaign. Mike’s tent design has numerous features that will please you family campers:

  • The tent is extremely sturdy and especially durable in windy conditions.
  • The tent has lots of mesh windows for viewing starry skies & beautiful scenery.
  • The mesh also provides pretty decent ventilation on hot days.
  • The tent is bigger than your average backpacking tent yet is surprising compact & lightweight.
  • The tent is easy to assemble and has lots of little special amenities such as:
    • extra back-up zippers
    • extra grommets & carabiners for hanging items on the side of the tent
    • cool porthole windows in addition to the skylight roof windows
    • an extremely durable rainfly

So if you’d like to see a great tent for family outdoor adventures, visit Mike’s Kickstarter page and help him get this project off the ground so your family’s tent will stay on the ground.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/07/24/family-tent/

Jul 08

Colorado Trail: Section 1

Hiking the Colorado Trail

I completed most of section one of the Colorado Trail this summer. Due to some wilderness regulations and gnarly blisters, I’ll need to go back and tackle part of segment 4, but that’s already in the works. I highly recommend the Colorado Trail for you long-distance hikers out there. It’s absolutely gorgeous and provides an astonishing variety of scenery. For those of you who think it’s all alpine forests for over 450 miles, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. Keep in mind that the entire trail is open to hiking and most of it is also available for mountain biking. But be prepared for difficult biking and detours around wilderness areas. Whether you’re hiking or biking, do your homework. The Colorado Trail Foundation publishes a series of books and maps that are invaluable for day-hikers and through-hikers alike. Another option is to join Colorado Mountain Expeditions for a guided tour on the trail. They run tours throughout the summer and provide a great alternative for those who are not up for backpacking the entire trail.

hikers on trail

on the Colorado Trail

Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail

The first segment of the Colorado Trail begins near Denver in Waterton Canyon. It starts out as an easy hike for the first seven miles, then graduates to slopes that require a bit more energy. This segment is the longest one in section #1, but not very difficult to hike. Segment one is 16.8 miles long and is probably the most popular segment of the entire 485 mile Colorado Trail due to its proximity to Denver and the Front Range of Colorado. It gets a lot of use by hikers, trail-runners and mountain bikers.

Segment 2 of the Colorado Trail

Most of Colorado Trail segment #2 is characterized by the remnants of a large forest fire that blew through the area in 1996. For years, Colorado Trail travelers complained that this was the least attractive segment on the trail. Now, because of wide-open vistas and lots of wildflowers, segment two isn’t so bad any more. I’ve even heard some people call it their favorite segment of the entire Colorado Trail. It is approximately 11.5 miles long and does not have any reliable sources of water for thru-hikers, so make sure you fill up your water reservoirs before starting this segment of the trail.

Segment 3 of the Colorado Trail

yellow flowers on trail

wildflowers near trail

Colorado Trail segment 3 is 12.7 miles long and is located in the Pike National Forest at the Scraggy Creek Trailhead. This is one of the more popular trail segments for mountain bikers and is still close enough to the Colorado Front Range to allow for fairly easy access.

Segment 4 of the Colorado Trail

This 16.6 mile trail segment has two claims to fame. First, it is the first Colorado Trail segment that entails wilderness hiking. So those of you who are big wilderness fans will love hiking through the Lost Creek Wilderness Area. Secondly, bicycles are not allowed on a large chunk of this trail segment because of the wilderness area. The Colorado Trail Foundation maps and guide books show an alternative route for mountain bikes for this and other wilderness trail segments. BTW, for those of you joining Colorado Mountain Expeditions tours, segment 4 & 5 are combined into one day, but they are unable to guide the Lost Creek Wilderness sections at this point in time.

Segment 5 of the Colorado Trail

This is one of my favorite Colorado Trail segments because of the beautiful aspen groves. They are a gorgeous sight in both the summer and the fall. After 14.4 miles, this segment of trail ends at beautiful Kenosha Pass. Many hikers and bike riders choose to start this segment from Kenosha Pass and ride or walk it from west to east.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/07/08/colorado-trail-section-1/

Jun 06

Retirement Trail

Retirement is a Good Time to Explore Trails

I have often been perplexed by those folks who say, “I wouldn’t know what to do if I retired.” Having been retired for six years, I have the opposite problem. There are still too many things to do to fit in a 24 hour day. Finally, I found a quote that appropriately summarizes my feelings on the topic. John Burroughs once wrote, “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.

Life on the Trail

happy couple on bikes

Retire to a Trail

That is perfect. I have the exact seem perspective on retirement. Of course, I would also add, “all the trails I want to explore” into the list, but Mr. Burroughs covered that with “… all the walks I want to take…” When I was a working stiff, I always felt too busy. Now that I’m retired, I feel no less busy. The difference is, I do what I want to do, when I want to do it. I call it, “Life on my schedule.” And it suits me to a tee. I happen to enjoy all of the activities mentioned by John Burroughs: thinking (call it meditation or pondering, if you’d like), walking (hiking/bike riding), reading, socializing (morning coffee, afternoon lunch, evening beer). But even if I eliminated all of those activities, I could literally spend every waking moment riding bicycles (or any other Personal Transportation Vehicle/PTV) on trails throughout the world.

The Many Benefits of Trails

Give me a rail trail in Missouri, a canal trail in Maryland, a river trail in Europe, an island trail in Canada, and I’ll be a contented person. Of course it’s way more than just the bike riding. It’s the scenery, the history, the camaradarie, the exercise, the sunshine, the fresh air… Most of life’s greatest treasures and pleasures can be found on a trail. In fact, I’ve been known to ponder, walk, read and socialize with friends (old and new) while on trails. I guess you can say that trails are the ultimate retirement destination. Whether in another country or out your back door, trails provide sanity in a crazy world.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/06/06/retirement-trail/

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