Day Hikes  
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"What do you get out of this website" - someone asked recently in 2016.

ANSWER: Financially obviously it's nothing. It has been 8 yrs and I have yet to receive my 1st Google Ads check (since it hasn't hit $100), and the original intention of this website was for family & friends to explore these places themselves, that's it! But the real reason to keep this website is because it reminds me of what to do when things get difficult, and it reminds me the beauty in this world. I was intensely happy when someone told me that they followed our footsteps & changed the way they live, the way they view the world. I smiled when I heard the cancer patient took a long drive from Texas to Canada Rockies after looking at my website & she still enjoys her life 8 yrs later, & I say hi to her from time to time. I smiled when I saw travel pictures from my uncle who is following our footsteps, even with a fused spine & constant pain, he raised 2 boys mostly by himself & finally he can climb a new mountain for himself after 21 yrs! I am glad I can lend a hand to make his dreams come true! Honestly, I've never thought about this question... I like things pure & simple. There need not to be a reason for everything we do, it just has to be good. My friend. ;)


"Is Climbing dangerous" - we hear that a lot!

ANSWER: True, the inherent risk of climbing is fairly high when compared to other popular sports. However, we practice climbing with extreme discipline & never push ourselves in an outdoor environment. When one of our friends told us her daughter is taking rappel lessons & they just got back from a cruise where they enjoyed zipline, I ask her if she sees anything wrong with the picture? Since we would steer away from these activities as much as possible. Bungy jumping? Heck no! See, once we get to the top, only if it's absolutely necessary we would rappel. That's right, we only use equipment as a backup. We climb with a mindset like Alex Hannold + extra safety of equipment. So for us, Climbing is NOT dangerous. Statistically speaking, most climbing accidents are related to improper use of gear or gear failure. When indoors, that's when you can have a bit of fun with solid anchors & cushions abound.


"I am starting out, what are the must haves with minimal investment?" - from Josh, WI (2002).

ANSWER: 1) A pair of good hiking boots with GOOD ankle support, 2) Waterproof Upper Shell, 3) Small First Aid (incl. Emergency Blanket & Firestarter Kit), 4) Flashlight, 5) Hat, and 6) A pair of Treking Poles, and 7) Notify someone your destination.


"Have your guys encountered situations where rope are required, or do you carry ropes on every hike? Also do you guys climb or backpack? I've seen a couple of pictures with you carrying ropes. Any quick advice for climbing or backpacking?" - from Stephan, Austria. (2000)

ANSWER: A section of 6-8mm rope is extremely handy in long hikes/back packing trips, even without harness, the rope can be used to facilitate snow crossing if you are doing non technical mountaineering. We always carry a coil of rope on longer hikes. We are amatures in climbing, backpacking; overall for climbing due to our low risk tolerence (in relative terms) we favor easy to moderate trad climbing routes only. Climbing is inherently dangerous & we are not qualified to give advice but let's throw in an important piece of info we learned from a guide- we keep a log of our climbing inventory, and record the log after EACH trip. After each hard fall, we also record the piece subjected to the force! Stay safe & see you on the trail. Oh don't forget to retire old equipment; don't sell them please throw them away/recycle for safety reasons.


Clothing for Day Hike

  1. Lightweight layers consist of wool/synthetic underwear, T-shirt, fleece then waterproof hard-shell (tops & bottoms); Down Jacket underneath hard-shell on occasional cold hikes. Wear cotton next to skin in summer is preferred but in cold weather wear polyester/wool instead.
  2. Lightweight waterproof boots with ankle support, wool socks (not cotton) and gaiters (if needed)
  3. Long sleeve shirts and wide brim hats to minimize sun exposure in any weather
  4. Appropriate gloves for the occasion – climbing, fleece or winter
  5. IMPORTANT: it's easier to prep to cold weather hikes since you can always put on more cloth when the temperature drops. In warm weather, it's important to carry enough water and enough electrolytes (i.e., potassium/salt, etc) - a salty snack will do the trick to prevent hyponatremia. Remember water alone IS NOT ENOUGH!

Equipment for Longer Day Hike

  1. Lightweight Trekking poles (must have)
  2. If needed, lightweight harness and carabineers. A section of static rope (8mm) and/or a coil of Glacier Travel Rope.
  3. Snow/Ice tracking device for icy and snowy conditions.
  4. Satellite personal locator on hikes longer than 4hrs/half a day.
  5. Lightweight high-power flashlight
  6. Digital Camera, batteries & memory chips
  7. First Aid kit, Fire Starter, Whistle, Compass, Emergency Blanket
  8. Please refer to the attached spreadsheet below (Sample Checklist) for longer backpacking trips

Overall Tips for Day Hikes (also refer to our articles with tips tailored to individual hikes)

  1. Acknowledge trail rating - easy/ moderate/strenuous. Elevation gain is more important than length – e.g, a 5 mile hike with 3500 feet of elevation gain is equivalent to 10 miles with no elevation gain. Hiking up can take twice as long.
  2. If hiking up to a mountain top in Summer, start early & plan on hitting the summit around noon before afternoon storm hits (LIGHTNING danger).  That’s why you see people leave the trailhead when it's still dark out. It's important to etablish a turnaround time & STICK TO IT!


Sample Checklist (for trip planning)

Shelter & Bedding (Bag)


__Tent, FloorPrint&Tarp, Stakes, Chairs

__Sleeping bag, mattress, pillow case

Cooking & Cleaning

__Large water jug, bottled waters,

__Burner Kit/Utensils/Fuel/Matches

__Baby wipes, Paper Towels, Toilet Paper

__ Soap, Hand Sanitizer, Ziploc Bags (s/l)

__Salt/Pepper/Oil (if applicable)

__ Freeze Dried Food (just add water)

__ Breakfast Bars/Trail Mix/Energy Drinks




__Sandals, Flip-flops (for hotel), 2 pair of shoes

__Towels, Shampoo, Toothburth&Paste

__Waterproof and/or Sun block Clothing

__Toilet Paper, Medicines, Eye Care

__Hats, Sunglasses

__Small sewing kit, Nail Clippers

__Sleep Cloth, Hiking Socks (thin & thick)

__Food care/Blister Bandage

__Extra Warm Cloth for layering

__Laundry (mesh) bag, Dry bag


__Satellite Personal Locator

__Sunscreen/Chapsticks,  Hiking Poles


__Notepad/Pen, Hand Sanitizer

__Pocket knife (x2)

__Bear Spray, Fog Horn

__Plastic grocery bags, Garbage Bags

__Compass & Whistle

__Binoculars (optional)

__Bug repellant/candles

__Rope/Carabineers & climbing gear/shoes

__Water filters/purification/treatment

__Watch (with Temperature indicator)

__Camera/Memory Sticks

__GPS & Extra Batteries

__Small Umbrellas

__Yaktrack/Lightweight Crampons & Gaiters

__Maps/directions/Trail Maps

__Duct Tape wrapped on a pen, Rubber Gloves (optional)

__Nat’l Park Pass & Nat’l Forest Pass

__Reservations info./confirmation

__Fishing gear/license

__Cell phone/charger


__Beestings/Snake Kit (if needed)

__First aid kit

    • Advil/Tylenol
    • Itch/Allergy medicine
    • Diarrhea medicine
    • Antacid medicine
    • Bandage/Cotton Swabs
    • Second Skin/Moleskin
    • Neosporin/Antiseptics
    • Emergency Blanket

 __ Oxygen Monitor (for high elevation treks; best to keep O2 saturation 80%+)

 Last Minute Tasks

    • Cancel newspaper/Post Office Notification
    • Cut toenails
    • Turn off alarm clock

 Shopping List:

      • Water (Jug & Bottle)
      • Energy Bar (Clif, Kashi, Kind, ProBar, Snickers)
      • Banana & Apple
      • Orange Juice, Milk
      • Crackers and Trailmix
      • Instant Noodle/Freeze Dry foods
      • Potato Chips


         ___  Tell Someone Your Plan!

Modified Via-Ferreta Setup

(Note; a majority of the equipment used by us for hiking/backpacking trips are extreme lightweight climbing aids for alpine climbing use, not for regular rock climbing) Please refer to the Disclaimers before trying out our methods.

Use#1: connect 2 carabineers with a ~5 feet section of 6MM Rope (or double rope, double carabineers on both end points). Clip into anchors (chain links/anchors) as an extra precaution when traveling, helping others, or taking photos while climbing.  This is useful on hikes such as Half Dome (Yosemite) or Precipice Trail (Acadia).

Use#2: use a section of 8mm Rope (~15 feet) and use it to connect 2 people when traveling the most dangerous sections (e.g,, crossing a glacier stream). Hiker #1 will anchor him/herself and keep the rope tight, the 2nd person will cross the section. The 2nd person will now anchor him/herself... repeat. Basically, you and your partner are traveling section by section but are always anchored to a point. Keep the rope taut to minimize the need for a energy absorption devices such as Shorty Screamer.

Note: IMPORTANT – this setup cannot be used if no reliable anchors are found. Without proper anchors (chains, climbing bolts, iron lugs, dead trees, rocks), a sudden fall/jerk can cause severe injury/death and/or bring both people tumbling down the mountain. We both carry dedicated Via Ferreta sets for real via ferreta routes. What's explained above is only for emergency use because it weights next to nothing.

For climbing equipment, and any safety equipment in general, NEVER BUY USED, even if they look brand new!

If you have any question regarding the specific brand of product we use, please email us.  


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