October 19, 2012

How to remain involved with hiking when the rains start falling

It was such a nice fall through September and early October. Then, like the leaves, it all started to turn. The first rains in many weeks finally hit Oregon and you know, if you've lived in the state for any length of time, the rains will fall for a while - until June.

So now, unless you're a hardcore hiker and don't mind hiking in blustery weather, you're forced to keep an eye on the weather and sneak in a hike whenever the sky isn't falling.

When moisture is in the air and you don't want to get wet, but you want to stay somewhat in contact with the outdoors, grab a map and plot out where your next hike will be. I often find that planning a backpacking trip or scouting out a hike by simply looking at maps is a lot of fun. But then again, I have this thing about maps and charts and graphs and such.

Something else I'll do is simply get on the internet and look at outdoor pictures. On a day when the rain is coming down sideways, there's not a lot of things better than looking at sunny, Cascade Mountain scenes.

Another way to pass the time is to go on You Tube and find some of the newest ideas in hiking and backpacking. Here, you can find ultralight backpacking tips (if you're into such a thing), learn how to make a backpack stove out of a beer can and find out how to catch a squirrel if you run out of stuff to eat in the wild.

Another option is to head to the nearest outdoor store and spend some time looking at all the goodies. I'm like my daughter at the mall when I'm in one of these places. In Portland, one of the best outdoor stores in the city is next to a bicycle shop which is next to a army surplus store. Now that is my idea of mall shopping.