Friday, May 9, 2008

Day Hikes

I've added a new Mt. Rainier NP information Web page on day hikes in the NP along with a map interface to locate them. The hikes and background information on the hikes and trails described in the overview and used for the map were gleaned from the three currently available books on day hikes in the NP, see Web page for list and links, and my own experience.

I tended to weigh the rating by my own skills and ability, which is slower than normal for my age. I tend to carry more stuff on day hikes, not just camera gear, but the ten essentials plus a few more things for emergencies. I noticed the hikers who wrote the books are far fitter and better hikers than me, which is why I adjusted their ratings with my experience to get a general rating for each day hike.

I've hiked all the trails in the southwest quadrant, being the closest entrance to my home, and a few of them in each of the other quadrants. I plan to do more as the weather gets better, and can post photos, and I'll update the trail information when this happens and I download and process the images.

If you do plan some day hikes, I hope this Web page along with the books help decide which you want to try. You can read hiking tips along with the excellent advice in any of the three books. They're far more experienced hikers than me. I can only add a few general comments I always like to make.

First, don't overestimate your hiking ability. Don't wait until you're tired to turn around, or you'll be tired and sore long before you get back. Turn around when you're comfortable with your distance or time, so you can have energy when you get back to the tralihead.

Second, wear good hiking shoes or boots. The last thing you need is to develop foot problems miles from the trailhead.

Three, take the ten essentials. It's great if you don't need them, and better if you do.

Four, and I can't say this enough, do NOT bring dogs on the trails. Besides it's prohibited by the NPS. You risk losing your dog along with pissing off the rest of the hikers who you meet along the way.

And lastly, if you hike solo like I do all the time, leave a note somewhere obvious where you'll be and when you expect to return. It's just common sense should something happen to you or they need to find you for another emergency.

Well, that's it. You're welcome to send me your suggestions, questions or problems with the Web pages.

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