Looking for some ideas on ways to enjoy the first few weeks of fall? Our friends at the Washington Trails Association created this great article with ideas on what to do with your kids in our Washington. This blog post was originally published on WTA’s Signpost blog, which is a fantastic resource for hikers and families looking to plan their next trip.
Every Kid in a Park is a national initiative started last spring that connects fourth graders and their families with the trails, wildlife, resources, and history on federal public lands for free in 2016.
Many fourth graders have already received their passes, and there is still plenty of time left for your next big outing. Your pass is good in all six of Washington’s National Forests, as well as the National Parks. Not all trailheads on National Forests require a pass, but if you’re not sure, it’s always good to have it displayed just in case.
All of these places have fantastic family adventure options. Take a look at our suggestions below, or search our hiking guide to make your own adventure.
Part two is a smorgasbord of advice from the Feathered Friends staff on simple ways to maximize the fun while on a backpacking (or camping) adventure.
1. Bring “Sacred Socks”
Our feet take a beating on hikes (especially backpacking trips) when we wear the same pairs of socks for hours or days on end. While some feet (and noses) don’t mind, others do not take kindly to the abuse and complain. Our solution; bring a pair of clean “sacred socks” that are only worn in the tent. Not only does this keep your bag clean and fresh, but it also gives you the opportunity to rinse the salt and dirt from your hiking pair to prevent salt rash and unhappy feet.
2. Don’t skimp on your sleeping pad
Campsite comfort matters. After a long day of hiking there is nothing better than sitting down for a good meal and then crawling into a cozy tent and sleeping bag. Sadly, too often people forget about their sleeping pad and end up tossing and turning all night trying to find a comfortable position.
For some people the simple foam layer will work well, but we are big fans of inflatable sleeping pads like those made by Therm-a-Rest, Exped, and Sea-to-Summit. While a little more expensive to get a high quality one, when taken good care of these pads can last a long time. They are also not only more comfortable, but also quite a bit warmer in cold conditions.
It’s backpacking season in Washington, and the Feathered Friends staff is getting out there on adventures big and small. Here is a collection of some of our favorite backpacking tips. Part 1 focuses on food!
1. Fun food = happy hikers
You may have been told that it doesn’t matter what food you bring, because you will be so hungry and eat it anyway… no matter how bad it tastes. While we have all choked down our fair share of freeze dried cardboard packs, taking the time and energy to bring exciting food elevates our backpacking experience like little else out there.
From lugging cold pizza to base camp to carrying in a bag of candy, we each have a favorite food that we bring along. If weight is a concern, however, we suggest bringing something simple but fun like Expedition hot sauce or sausages to add to a lightweight freeze dried meal.
Planning for Mount Rainier isn’t just about gear, food, people, and conditions; we also have to think about permits.
Summertime within Mt. Rainier National Park is truly stunning – from lowland forested trails to the massively glaciated alpine – it offers exceptional recreational opportunities. Being so close to Seattle, however, things get a little complicated if you are looking to experience the beauty by exploring the high mountain or staying overnight.
Thinking about climbing Mount Rainier this summer season? Here are a few lessons learned the hard way. Text and images by Claire Giordano.
Every summit bid is different, even on the same route. Each time we venture into the mountains we move out of our safe, comfortable, and controlled environments into a setting where we are surrounded by factors out of our control. From weather to snowpack to our fellow team members, the mountains strip away the conveniences and routines of everyday life and test our knowledge, resilience, and judgement. With so many unknowns, we have a much higher chance of success if we prepare for the factors that we can control.
1. Prepare your mind as well as your body.
Mount Rainier is one of the most stunning mountains in the country, rising from conifer foothills to its white snowy peak at 14,416 feet above sea level. It also has a reputation for being a bit of a sufferfest. In order to find the fun in this kind of ascent, our bodies and minds have to be up for the challenge.