Hike Highlight of the Week: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest- Inyo National Forest, CA
By: Lindy Doyle
This Forest is a little bit of a drive to get to from the main road but absolutely worth it. Located about 1-1 1/2 hours from the main road it is home to some of the oldest trees in the world. The drive isn’t too bad either. Gorgeous viewpoints and turn offs/ trails along the way. If you are visiting Mount Whitney, Kings Canyon/ Sequoia National Park or Bishop, CA, this is may be a great addition to your adventure.
When you get to the top, the forest is covered with beautiful and large twisted bristlecone pine trees known as ‘the Patriarch Tree’. The self guided trailheads are clearly labeled. If you are looking for a quick, yet breathtaking hike the ‘Discovery Trail’ is about an hour and very scenic. Surrounded by the beautiful trees and just as beautiful views of the surrounding land.
Along each of the self guided trails are plenty of informational signs, so you learn all about the history, trees and area.
-Check the weather prior to going up the mountain to get to this beautiful forest. The road is on an edge going up the mountain and could possibly have ice, snow and loose rocks on it depending the time of year. So make sure your car can make it up safely if you choose to go in the winter.
-Have some time to do more then one self guided tour. I only did 2 but they were completely different with very different scenery (besides the trees)
If you are in the Vegas area and want to do a fun little hike and see some slot canyons, White Owl Canyon is right around the corner. It is a 3.6 mile loop trail located in Lake Mead Recreational Area.
With some seriously beautiful scenery and metal tunnels along the way. the slot canyons themselves were formed from flowing water over the years and are about 1/2 mile long. Look out for the ‘white wash’ along the rocks! This canyon got its name for a reason, that ‘white wash’ is of course Barn Owl poop.
-This is a National Recreational Area so there is a $25 entrance fee, don’t forget your Annual National Park Pass!
-Download a hiking app with a map to follow. Not the best marked trail, having a location map will ensure you stay on track!
-There is a fork in the trail where you stay left, again the map will come in handy.
-Dogs are allowed on this trail, just remember the steep gravel here at the beginning and end. Make sure your pup is capable of climbing up a steep hill or light enough to carry before you head out.
-Watch your step, when you see the white wash, keep an eye out underneath for the owl pellets!
-And of course bring plenty of water! There are shaded areas but if you are going in the summer don’t forget to hydrate!
Running a marathon has a myriad of benefits. Physically, it helps you to stay fit and sleep better, as well as improves your overall health. When it comes to mental health, running aids in stress reduction as well as enhances one’s motivation and outlook in life. Socially, it facilitates the formation and maintenance of relationships with like-minded people. In other words, it fosters a sense of community among runners. Furthermore, engaging in the activity is one way to keep yourself busy, build confidence, or encourage yourself to accomplish something or to achieve a new goal.
Since a new year is not too distant, let us ask you a few questions. Is running a marathon for the first time or another in your 2021 bucket list? Or maybe, it is a lifetime goal you plan on achieving soon? Either way, you must be wondering about what it takes to finish or win a marathon. To give you a heads up, we listed the 5 key attributes that make marathon winners.
Firm in their decision to achieve their intentions, winners are extremely committed to their goals. Their aspirations are precise, practical, and feasible. Their target of winning a marathon is backed by short-term goals, which push them to always align their current abilities to what their goals demand.
However, what sets them apart from the rest is that they aim not only to improve their lives but to inspire others as well. Eliud Kipchoge, the man holding the current marathon world record, shared that he inspires others by travelling and speaking to younger the generation about his passion.
2. Hardworking and Self-Disciplined
Winners are hardworking and they make sure they apply self-discipline. They stay motivated, constantly push themselves to their limits, and beat their personal bests despite doubts and temptations to stop aiming for their goals. Always in control over themselves, winners make sure little habits such as getting up earlier than the rest of the world and following a strict diet make a difference.
Stepping away from distractions, winners keep their eyes on the prize. Whether their progress is big or small, acknowledged or not, they constantly track and reflect on this. In their minds, steady work paves the way to success.
Eliud Kipchoge also shared that journaling has been a big part of his success as an athlete. Indeed, recording one’s workouts helps in assessing one’s performance throughout training. Consequently, this may encourage one to develop ways on how to improve day by day.
Merely running is easy but running a marathon—so much so winning one—is another thing. Extensive training may offer some adversities such as physical and mental fatigue. Or worse, injuries. The best thing about winners is that they always rise despite being knocked down by life’s hurdles. They may stop for a bit for a quick break, but these overcomers face challenges head-on.
To prevent potential mental slowdowns, nourish your mind by maintaining a positive mental attitude. Also, utilize protective gear to free yourself from the possibility of getting injured during training!
The first four attributes are effective in success. However, three wheels cannot keep a car running. Hence, applying all these qualities with an unwavering effort at all times is crucial. Once momentum is built progress becomes almost second nature. Winning? Like a walk in the park!
Hike Highlight Of The Week: Gold Strike Hot Springs
By: Lindy Doyle
If you are a local or visiting from out of state, you have probably heard of the Gold Strike Hot Springs. It is one of the attractions on our Full Day Tour. From the river it is a very short walk to the Hot Springs themselves. You’ll be able to bathe in the springs without a strenuous hike but… the hike from the trailhead is a different story.
The trailhead located just past our office at the Hoover Dam Lodge, this hike is marked as hard on all other hiking websites/apps. It definitely lives up to that rating. It is a 6 mile out and back trail with ropes to climb, boulders to slide down and some serious scrambling. If you want an interactive and fun hike with great rewards at the end, this is it!! You are working so hard to get to some well deserved hot springs!! Multiple hot springs so social distancing can be practiced, if not too crowded. Or bring your lunch and sit at the beach and eat looking out at the river.
-Check to see if it is open. They do close this trail during some summer months.
-Make sure to bring A LOT of water!! Dehydration has been a big issue on this hike, as people don’t realize the activeness before they go.
-Dogs do this hike all the time. If you do want to bring your dog just make sure either your dog is athletic enough to be able to jump up and down some steep areas or that you have a partner or two to help you get your pup up and down some areas safely!
5 Fave Restaurants to Treat Yourself Before and After Your Tour in Boulder City, NV:
By: Lindy Doyle
1. Coffee Cup: Open since 1994, this breakfast/lunch stop has become quite the staple to all of the locals in Boulder City. They see their fair share of tourists too. Not hard to believe seeing they have been featured on the Food Network and have had an incredible reputation for decades. If you would like to have some classic, home-made diner food, check them out to see what all the hype is about!! You will not be disappointed!
2. The Restaurant at the Boulder Dam Hotel: A lot of people may drive past this hotel without realizing that there is a phenomenal restaurant located inside. They offer home-style breakfast and lunch. Anything from your choices of a classic breakfast, chicken fried steak, to their ‘Big Dam’ breakfast, whatever you choose you will be happy. If you have some time you can also check out their free museum of Boulder City history located in the hotel.
3. Fox Smokehouse BBQ: If you have looked up restaurants in Boulder City you may have already heard of this ‘ Southern Nevada Premier Smokehouse’. After a complete remodel and change of locations, they have finally re-opened!! (closed Monday & Tuesday). The owners are a competition BBQ team and a member of the Kansas City Barbecue Society. They know a thing or two about BBQ, brought home many prizes and trophies…and it shows in their food!! We always send guests here. And time after time they reach out to us letting us know how much they loved it! If you are in the mood for some of the yummiest BBQ after your tour, don’t forget to stop here!
4. Chilly Jilly’z: If you are looking for something quick yet want tasty quality food, look no further. With fresh/ hearty sandwiches, friendly service and some self serve fro-yo this is your spot. They do have a full lunch menu; sandwiches, salads, chicken, smoothies, fro- yo etc. Cute little stop, if you don’t have time to sit down for a while but want something way better then fast food, we’d recommend this place! Two thumbs up. https://chillyjillyz.com
5. The Tap: If you’d like to grab a well deserved beer after your tour, we’d recommend checking out this edgy eatery. Wide selection of draft beers, a full bar/ cocktail menu and eclectic food menu. A couple of things on their menu range from: sweet & spicy Thai chili wings, miso truffle fries to poke bowls and yummy burgers. If you happen do go on Taco Tuesday don’t forget to try the California Coast Avocado Tacos.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have imagined that working from home and staying indoors with few obligations would be fairly relaxing, but after many months, you might be feeling exhausted! Try to focus on refueling, recharging, and finding opportunities to breathe deeply and enjoy “me” time throughout the day. These resources will help you choose pastimes that can provide some much-needed stress relief and find tools that will make it easier to get through a busy day.
Tools to Help Reduce Stress
The right tools can help you trim your budget, stay on top of your health, and create a calming oasis in your home.
Check on your vital signs with a fitness tracker to give yourself peace of mind.
Save time and money by cooking large batches of stews, soups, and other meals with a high-quality slow-cooker.
Choose a space in your home with a view of nature to transform into a meditation room.
Make time in your day to unwind and partake in activities that help boost your physical and mental health.
Blazin’ Paddles kayak tours offer safe adventure sport experiences for individuals and families.
Take a midday break to practice this basic yoga routine and get your blood flowing.
Complement your workout routine with a safe metabolism booster.
Need to get out of the house for a little while? These tips will help you stay safe while going for a walk outdoors.
Spending Time Alone
You need a little time to decompress on your own. If you’re wondering how to make the most of your solitude, try one of these suggestions.
Start your day by writing in a journal to take stock of how you’re feeling.
Enjoy some fun multiplayer video games (fiber optic internet will minimize lag times).
If you’ve been struggling with your mental health, consider reaching out to a counselor to see if they offer sessions virtually or over the phone.
If the stress you’ve experienced this year has you feeling down, it’s time to prioritize your mental and physical well-being. You’ve had to change your entire lifestyle to adjust to this “new normal,” and it’s okay if you need some space to truly relax and recharge. If you can grant yourself permission to focus on self-care, you’ll be feeling like yourself again in no time!
Call Blazin’ Paddles today at 702-428-0079 to book a kayak tour, check availability, or learn more!
Whether you’re planning on a simple day paddle, a fishing excursion or an aftenoon with friends and family. Kayaking can be an exciting and engaging activity that you can practice either alone or with a group of people. Since they’re smaller then other types of boats, kayaks can be difficult to get used to use the first few times.
Given the seemingly difficult process of first learning how to kayak, this complete guide can help you learn how to kayak like a pro. More specifically, you’ll find information about what you’ll need to get started, what type of kayak you should use for each type of different activity, and other information about how to move the kayak in general.
Before Getting Started
Since kayaking in general can be a difficult activity to get the hang of, regarding the different equipment that you need in addition to the knowledge of your surroundings and skill involved, you should make sure you understand a few factors before you plan on heading out for your first trip. More specifically, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right kind of kayak, you plan your route beforehand, and you spend the right amount of money depending on how often you want to use the kayak.
Decide What Kind Of Kayak You Want To Use
There are several different types of kayaks that you can choose from on the market, each of them having the ability to offer a wide variety of different benefits with their features. Because of that, you should make sure you’re choosing the right kind of kayak for your specific purposes.
Kayaks meant for recreational purposes areclassified as kayaks that have a closed cockpit and they have a larger opening than other types of kayaks. This allows you to have more room in the kayak for your personal belongings or to simply move around. They even have enough room for you to put another smaller child into the kayak with you.
These kayaks are shorter in length than other types of kayaks, since they’re usually less than 10 feet. By having a closed cockpit, you have the ability to either leave it closed or open it for your convenience. This is especially beneficial if you plan on kayaking all year-round in the different seasons. More specifically, you have the ability to close the cockpit during the winter months to prevent any cold water or wind from getting in, or you can leave it open during the warmer summer months to allow for a cool breeze to come through.
Not only that, but recreational kayaks tend to be cheaper than other types, since they’re shorter in length and they come with only the basic features needed in order for the kayak to function properly. You should keep in mind that recreational kayaks don’t have the ability to track well, since they’re shorter. So they can’t go as fast or as straight as other types of kayaks such as touring yaks..
Not only that, but SOT kayaks allow you to have more room to get comfortable on the boat, since they’re essentially flat on top and let you sit in whatever position you’re most comfortable with. You can even throw your legs over each side of the kayak in order to add for more stability while you’re utilizing the kayak. Some fishing individuals prefer to have sit-inside kayaks for fishing in waters that are more mobile, since this gives them a drier experience and they’re lighter in weight.
You should also consider a variety of other features in your specific kayaks when you’re searching for fishing purposes, like the length, width, weight, available storage, seating, and their ability to let you stand up when needed. Some advanced fishing kayaks even come with the ability to be powered by a propeller, so you don’t have to worry about using your hands in order to give the kayak energy.
Not only that, but touring kayaks also have thigh braces that can be used in order to help you turn the kayak back over if you ever tip it over. These thigh braces essentially give you more control over the boat while you’re using it, since you can ultimately control the boat with your legs and arms.
You should keep in mind that these kayaks are more difficult to transport on your cars or trucks, since they’re so long compared to other types. Not only that, but they’re also more expensive than other types of kayaks, so you shouldn’t purchase one if you’re only planning on using it once or twice a year and aren’t very experienced. Rather, they’re recommended for longer trips that are planned for crossing larger bodies of water.
Plan Your Route
If you’re planning on taking your kayak out for a ride and enjoying the experience, then you may not think any route-planning is important for your trip. But it’s better safe than sorry before you go out, since it ensures safety and confidence in your trip.
The type of water that you plan on kayaking on is an important consideration for route-planning, since the layout of the water will essentially tell you how important it is that you stick to the plan. With lakes, you should make sure you as well as your partners are aware of the route ahead of time, since there isn’t one universal route available.
On the other hand, if you’re kayaking with a group of people on a stream or other sort of river, then the route plan is clearer than other bodies of water, since the water only goes one way most of the time. But you should still make sure you and your group know where the arrival and ending location is, especially if the waters are moving more rapidly than other types of water. You really shouldn’t kayak on any body of water alone, since that can be dangerous if you encounter trouble of any kind.
Getting The Kayak
Renting a kayak is recommended for you if you’re planning on going with a smaller group of people, and it involves you paying a monetary fee in order to use the kayak for a certain amount of time. You can usually do so by either renting a certain kayak from a business that’s located close to the body of water that you’re planning to kayak from. You may also rent kayaks from certain stores or from businesses that you prefer the brands of.
You should keep in mind that you have to return all of their equipment, so you may not feel as comfortable in the rented kayak as ones that you would own.
You’re most recommended to purchase and own your kayak and equipment if you are known to go traveling in your kayak for either a long period of time or you go more often than not. This is essentially because renting or borrowing a kayak can be tedious, annoying, and pricey after a while. So if you’re a person that kayaks often and for long periods of time, then you should consider purchasing your kayak to own it for yourself.
This is the most expensive option, since you’ll have to pay the full price of the kayak. But you also have the option of making payments on the kayak in certain businesses if they offer.
Borrowing a kayak either from a family member or a friend is ideal if you have friends that go kayaking often. This is the cheapest option, since your friends and family most likely won’t require a monetary fee from you for simply using their kayak. But you also have to deal with the inconvenience of only using their kayak when they allow you to do so. Not only that, but your friends and family members may only have a certain type of kayak, so you don’t have the option of choosing one that will accommodate for certain types of activities that you’ll be engaging with while using the kayak.
PFDs, also known as Personal Flotation Devices, are essential for practically every kayaking trip that you go on, since they’ll be able to prevent you from drowning if your kayak rolls over. They’re especially beneficial if you’re kayaking in rapid moving waters, since these waters are those in which you’re most likely to flip over. Not only that, but PFDs are beneficial if you’re going on a recreational kayaking trip in cooler waters, since they help to provide extra insulation while you’re in the colder water.
It’s also recommended that you have flotation bags with you while you plan to go on every kayaking trip, since these bags are able to limit the amount of water that collects inside of your kayak if it tips over. These flotation bags are also able to keep your kayak high above the water while you’re boating in places that have a large amount of rocks, so they’re able to prevent swamping from occurring.
It’s important that you consider taking along an extra paddle with you on your trip, since there is always the chance that you may drop your main paddle into the water, resulting in you having no other way to transport yourself across the water. Having a high quality space paddle can help prevent any unwanted circumstances from occurring.
If you’re planning on fishing in your kayak, you should likely consider taking along an anchor with you. Anchors can help keep your kayak in place while you’re fishing in certain spots, so you can choose certain locations in a body of water that you may want to fish for longer periods of time.
If you’re fishing in your kayak or simply planning on staying in your kayak for longer periods of time, you may want to consider purchasing a VHF radio. These radios will help keep you in touch with the Coast Guards if any certain circumstances should occur. They also give you some information regarding the bar crossing that take place at ports or harbors that you may have in the particular bodies of water that you’re fishing at.
It’s also important that you consider binging a first-aid kit with you on your fishing kayak trip, since you’re likely using fishing hooks and other types of sharp equipment. Not only that, but some fish even have sharper teeth that you may not be expecting, so you should make sure that you have a first aid kit handy just in case you encounter an injury.
Essential Touring Kayak Equipment
Spray skirts are classified as barriers that are composed with a waterproof material that are able to prevent any of the exterior water surrounding the boat from entering the kayak. These skirts are able to cover your waist area as well as the kayak’s cockpit and rim, so they’re beneficial for touring. It should be mentioned that you should only wear a spray skirt if you know how to do a wet exit. A wet exit is when your body is sumberged underneath the kayak. Below is a video on how this looks.
Spray skirts are usually removable from the kayak, so you have the option to remove them from your boat if they make you uncomfortable or if you’re boating in a place that has water conditions that are more calm. They come in a variety of different designs and styles.
You should always wear kayaking helmets when you’re planning on touring or white water kayaking, since both have the ability to travel at faster speeds throughout the water surrounded by rocks. They’re especially beneficial if you’re kayaking through bodies of water that have rocks and other debris sticking out from the water’s surface. You may even want to consider the specific type of kayaking helmets that are full faced (similar looking to motocross helmets).
You should also make sure that you have a bilge pump with you on your touring kayak trip, since they can help to clear any water from the cockpit of your kayak. If enough water accumulates inside of the kayak’s pit, then it can add extra unneeded weight that can make your kayak go slower than others around you.
Most kayaks don’t necessarily have a horn that you can honk on them to signal to other boaters, so having a whistle is highly recommended. It can act similarly to your car horn while you’re driving on the road, so they can prevent any accidents from occurring on the water. This is especially important for touring boats, since they’re able to travel at higher speeds and they also sit lower on the water than other boats, so they can be difficult to see in waters that have waves or where there are larger boats present .
Safety Precautions Before Heading Out
Make Sure You Learn Kayaking Techniques Before Going Out
You should try using the paddle in a pool or a smaller, more shallow pond before you go out onto a larger body of water with the kayak. This will help prevent you from encountering any hardships and not having the knowledge of what to do. You should allow yourself to gain some experience and practice before you go out onto larger bodies of water.
it should be noted that for more advanced kayaking like touring/ sea kayaking you should have a certified kayak instructor with you to teach you skills such as wet exits, advanced paddling strokes and of course in-water rescue techniques. There will probably be certified instructors somewhere close to your area to learn these techniques and further your kayak journey.
Always Wear Your Life Jacket
It’s usually the rules of most water locations that you wear your life jacket at all times, since it can prevent any dangerous and deadly circumstances from occurring. You may want to try your life jacket on before heading out onto the water, since you’ll want to make sure that it fits comfortably. You’ll be wearing it for long periods of time, so you should make sure that it’s comfortable enough that you can wear it for the entirety of the kayaking trip without wanting to take it off.
Keep In Mind The Temperatures Of The Water
Since there’s always a chance that you may be submerged into the water, you should make sure that you know what the temperatures of the water are. Make sure that you kayak carefully if you’re boating on a day that has colder temperature-water, since you may risk hypothermia if you fall in and can’t regain balance for longer periods of time.
In order to paddle correctly, you should make sure that you use the correct kayak paddle for the different types of paddling techniques that you want to enact. To hold the kayak paddle correctly, hold the paddle above your head with your elbows at 90-degree angles. This technique will help to make sure that your hands are in the correct positions.
To paddle correctly, you should understand that there are various different types of strokes, including the forward stroke, sweep stroke, and backward stroke. To perform a forward stroke, place the paddle blade into the water near the front tip of the kayak and then glide it through the water until it reaches your hips, which you should then remove it by then. You can then repeat this process on the other side of the kayak.
To perform a sweep stroke in order to turn your kayak a certain way, you can put your blade into the water at your toes and then sweep it through the water in a “C” pattern. Make sure that you draw a full “C” pattern so that your kayak starts turning instead of going straight. You should keep your arm on the stroke side of the kayak as straight as possible to promote the kayak to turn completely.
Lastly, to perform a backward stroke, you should essentially perform the same but opposite action as the forward stroke. You should put the tip of the paddle blade into the water located at your hips and then glide it through the water towards the front portion of the kayak.
Getting Out Of The Kayak
In order to properly get out of the kayak, you should paddle up to the shoreline or the dock and make sure that your kayak is steady. For a dock, you should put one end of the paddle on the dock and the other end on your kayak. Turn your body towards the dock and place both hands on it, and then lift your weight out of the kayak but you should make sure that your kayak doesn’t float away so keep the paddle in contact with it.
For the shoreline, you should simply paddle your kayak up to the shoreline and then stable your kayak with the paddle by keeping the paddle in the sand. Once you’re steady, you can get out of the kayak by placing both hands on each side of the cockpit and step your legs out one by one.
What’s The Difference Between A Canoe And A Kayak?
A canoe is classified as a boat that only has a single paddle and has various benches for multiple people to sit on. There’s also more storage room in a canoe, since it presents an open cockpit design. Contrastingly, a kayak have a two-paddle handle that give you the ability to move faster through the water, and they have a smaller cockpit.
How Do I Avoid Capsizing?
Experienced kayakers can vouche for the fact that it’s not impossible for the kayak to flip over, and it actually happens quite frequently. They typically flip over because of an uneven distribution of weight, so you should make sure that your weight is spread evenly throughout the kayak to avoid capsizing.
Overall, kayaking can offer you a diverse array of benefits, including the ability to interact with nature one-on-one. Not only that, but it’s a fun activity that you can do with your friends and family, and it costs you nothing if you’re simply borrowing a kayak from someone else.
Since it can take some practice to become a pro at kayaking, you should engage in the activity as much as you can. Not only that, but reviewing this guide on how to kayak can help you make sure that you have the right equipment as well as the techniques and knowledge required to kayak properly. Have fun with the activity overall, since it’s great exercise and allows you to engage with nature.
Kayaking is one of the most enjoyable hobbies that allows you to explore your surroundings and take in the moment. Perhaps you have rented a kayak and thoroughly enjoyed the experience so much that you are thinking of Purchasing one. Maybe you have owned one before but, because of moving restrictions you had to part with it? Or perhaps you have never tried one but want to get into the water as soon as possible! Regardless of your situation kayaking has a wide array of positive effects on both your mind and your body!
Before we start listing off the different types of kayaks that are available it is best that you ask yourself what the purpose of your kayaking trips will be. In order to do that I want you to answer these 5 questions for yourself.
Kayak Buying Guide Questions You Must Ask Yourself.
What is your Aim of Getting a Kayak?
What goals are you hoping to accomplish while kayaking? We can usually apply this criteria to all sorts of different aspects to our lives, well this is no different. Typically when you think about purchasing a kayak you have a certain criteria or destination in mind. A thought like that would be along the lines of “I want to live a more active life outdoors” or “ I want to become a better fisherman by paddling to different locations in the lake”. Perhaps you want to spend more time outdoors on the lake with the kids.
What Purpose will you be using the kayak for?
This criteria is the extension of your aim but with a more detailed view. What are you specifically using your kayak for? A simple float at the family cabin? A Day trip around that lake that you have always wanted to explore? Perhaps you are looking to upgrade to a more serious kayak that glides through the water with less effort.
Most likely if you live near a body of water and you landed on this article. So now you have to ask yourself where will you kayak? I am lucky enough to live in Beautiful British Columbia and am spoiled for choice when it comes to bodies of water to paddle in. I can choose to go inland for a casual paddle at Cultus lake or paddle in the somewhat secluded bay of Deep Cove North Vancouver. So what kind of kayak should I choose? Well that depends. If I am looking to do day to multi day trips I would use a touring Kayak to glide through the water quicker. However if I am just going for a causal paddle in Cultus it seems a bit over redundant to bring such a kayak to a smaller lake, especially if I am wanting to take a break and take a quick dip in the water.
Your Life Style
This criteria is the first three criteria bundled into one. So you have established what your aim, purpose and area looks like, so how are you going to fit that into your life? Will this be a once a month occurrence? Every Weekend ? Or maybe you have a cabin that you go to a few times each summer and you want a way to explore the lake? Another question is who are you paddling with? While going solo is an extremely peaceful way to be one with the water and nature, it is always nice to go with someone else both for enjoyment and safety reasons. Another factor is how much space have you got? Many people think kayak ownership is not for them because they do not have enough available space. There are ways around this as we will explain in the next section.
One of the biggest factors you must consider is of course your budget. Not everyone has the space nor budget to house many different types of kayaks so a lot of the time you have to choose the correct kayak that can best fit your situation. Thankfully there really has not been a better time to be looking for a kayak. The industry has taken big strides over the last 15 years with both innovation and competition which allows you to find a kayak that fits your lifestyle without breaking the bank!
Now that you have imagined in your head what you are looking for or what you want to use the kayak for I will now list your options and criteria to think about.
There are a wide variety of different types of Kayaks available. They are all designed for different purposes in mind and handle differently in the water. From the above criteria you will get a better picture of what your next kayak will look like. If you are looking for a more specific list of what kayaks are great buys check out my Best Kayaks and Best Cheap Kayaks section. They will give you a better idea of what brands and types of kayaks are great buys.
Purpose: Best for spending the day on the water in calmer water conditions
Best For: Paddlers who are learning the ropes of kayaking to people who want to explore their waters for the day at a friendly cost effective price.
Not the Best For: More difficult conditions such as larger waves. These are also not the best kayaks for long expeditions because of the kayaks poorer tracking ability and a lot of the times the quality of the seat is compromised. If you want a kayak to travel longer distances and can handle rougher water look to Touring Kayaks.
Recommended Bodies of Water: These kayaks are best suited for calm lakes but can handle smaller waves and can be used in coastal waters (Be Wary of the Tide).
Materials: Usually made of Polyethylene but there are also Thermoformed ABS, inflatable, folding and modular kayaks that fit in this category that are made from a wide array of different materials.
Light Recreational Kayaks such as the Sun Dolphin Aruba are the most common kayaks you will see in almost any given area that features calmer waters. They are a great kayak to start with for beginners because they offer great initial stability. These kayaks don’t just appeal to beginners though, many photographers, casual paddlers and anglers like the feel of these kayaks. This stability comes from the kayaks flat to multi chined hull. When it comes to Hull design Recreational Kayaks can be all over the map but the design is usually geared towards initial stability.
Common characteristics of Recreational Kayaks include a wide open cockpit, wider width, and a relatively short length. These characteristics make these kayaks easy to maneuver which is great if you are in tighter waterways such as rivers and creeks. This however does compensate the kayaks tracking ability as the kayaks nose tends to wobble from side to side with each stroke you take making you have to work harder to keep the kayak in a straighter line.
Recreational Kayaks (Or All Around kayaks) usually feature some sort of cushioned seat, storage hatch and bungee storage that goes at the front or back of the kayak. An important thing to note: If you have back problems you may want to either seek out a more comfortable add on seat or look for a kayak that features one already.
Purpose: Travel long distances with solid tracking ability all while being able to withstand tougher conditions.
Best for: Paddlers who want to move up in the kayaking ranks. These kayaks are made for day to multi day travelling in more difficult conditions. Budget is not an issue for this paddler.
Not the Best for: Beginner paddlers and those on a budget. Not to say it is impossible but these kayaks take more skill and understanding to manoeuvre and the materials that go into them are higher.
Recommended Bodies of Water: Best for wide open water such as coastal conditions. Can be used for large lakes as well.
Materials: The most common materials that go into these kayaks are the more expensive composite and higher quality polyethylene. More Inflatable and Foldable Kayaks are coming into this market though.
Chances are if you are looking into getting a touring (or ocean ) kayak you are looking to create a lifestyle. Touring Kayaks or multi day camping kayaks are designed to be sleek and narrow in that the kayak behaves like a bullet in the water. Paddling strokes are smooth which allows you to travel longer distances in a much quicker period of time. These kayaks tend to be more expensive than your average kayak because of the materials put into them. A lot of them are also a lot less durable than recreational brands because the hull material is more geared towards lightweight materials that heightens the on water performance.
Another reason why I say Touring Kayaks are a lifestyle is because the price can be steep. Depending on the materials Touring Kayaks can range anywhere in the ballpark of $1,200 to $3,000 and up! People who buy these kayaks are looking to designate more of their time outdoors by exploring a wide area of water and land. A popular activity among Touring Kayakers is going on multi day trips and setting up camp in different locations. Before jumping head over heels into this activity I highly recommend you take a multi- day touring guide to get the hang of the kayaks characteristics and learn tips and going for long excursions.
As pointed out previously Touring Kayaks are long in length and feature a shorter width. From that point there are a lot of different designs and features that are prevalent to different brands and types. Some Touring kayaks feature more “rocker” than others which allows the nose to keep from going under water. Touring Kayaks also feature a rudder or Skeg system that allows you to to steer with your feet or keep a straight line. Some brands even feature both!
Other Prominent features that that are featured on touring kayaks are their pointed V Hull, Multiple sealed storage hatches, a tighter cockpit as well as bulkheads and bungee deck rigging. Touring Kayaks can be anywhere in the range of 12 to 18 feet.
Purpose: Designed with features that make fishing on the water as easy as possible
Best for: I’ll give you a second… Fisherman! These kayaks offer supreme stability, storage space and options to mount a whole range of different accessories.
Not the Best for: Speed although “Pedal Kayaks” defy this logic. While these kayaks do offer ample storage and good stability I do not recommend you use them for multi day trips.
Recommended Bodies of Water: Calmer waters in lakes, rivers and coastlines although some can hold their own further away from shore.
Materials: Most Fishing Kayaks are made of lower to high quality Polyethylene although there are a growing number of inflatable kayaks that are rigged for fishing out there.
One of the fastest growing sectors of the kayaking industry fishing kayaks have taken off and in many cases have converted traditional canoe paddlers into kayakers. Some reasons why Fishing Kayaks are becoming so popular is because of the innovation that is being spread in this sector of kayaks. Many brands such as Hobie and Jackson kayaks are making a name for themselves in the fishing industry because they supply accessories that every fisherman could only dream about having on a kayak. Some innovations include “Pedal Powered” kayaks, additional rail mountings, fish finder mounts, fishing rod holders, as well as lots of storage to put tackle, live bait and even fishing crates that fit on top of the cargo well.
Fishing Kayaks can come in a wide range of prices. As you go up in price you get a higher quality kayak with more potential add ons that you can use. Prices can range anywhere from $350- $3,500 and up. Common characteristics of Fishing Kayaks is that they are very stable. In fact some of them you can even sight fish by standing on the kayaks steady base. Fishing Kayaks usually feature at least two flush mount rod holders, a relatively short length and a wide base. They also have the most room out of most categories of kayaks in terms of on deck and hatch storage. They also by far the most customisable of any of the kayaks we have mentioned so far.
Fishing kayaks don’t have to be expensive though, there are plenty of budget fishing kayaks that can fit most budgets as well.
Sit On Top Kayaks
Purpose: Usually great for day time paddling. Many of them are grouped in Fishing and Recreational categories. These kayaks main theme is stability.
Best For: Recreational paddling and fishing purposes. What a lot of recreational users like about these kayaks is that fact that you can jump off of them and take a dip at any point without worrying about the kayak capsizing.
Not the Best For: Long distance journeys in rougher water conditions. Sitting higher up also created more drag when paddling in windy conditions as well.
Recommended Bodies of Water: Calmer waters such as lakes and coastal bays. Warmer water is preferred.
Materials: Polyethylene plastic usually, sometimes Thermoformed ABS.
Sit On Top Kayaks are kayaks that feature a lot of deck storage room and have an upright seating position. Some preferred uses for them are fishing, diving as well as recreational play. They are the easiest kayaks to load as well as boarding on and off. Many divers have turned to these types of kayaks to go into the coastal oceans to catch or photograph fish. These kayaks are also the preferred kind of kayak for fisherman as it gives them a lot of room and offers a good amount of storage space. You also get to see more as you have a higher vantage point on these kayaks.
These kayaks won’t win you any races but they are designed for holding gear and keeping steady for initial stability. Sit On Tops are best for warmer climates or summer time so that you can simply catch some sun while floating. The on water performance of these kayaks ranges from each kayak but in general they are heavier and slower than sit in kayaks .They do however have the ability to pack more gear. Stability for fishing, getting in and out and diving is the name of the game for these kayaks.
Some features that are exclusive to many sit on top kayaks are scupper holes, up righted seats and cargo wells. Scupper holes are self draining holes that are located along the kayak floor. There are usually a range of 4 to 8 scupper holes that are in many sit on top kayaks. Cargo Well’s is meant for storage behind the paddler where you can store gear like waterproof backpacks, crates and coolers.
Purpose: A kayak that can be inflated and deflated usually in a span of 10 minutes each. These kayaks are portable enough to fit inside the back of any sized car.
Best For: People who want to get out to the water and not lug around a giant kayak with them. People who lack space and storage room for a big hardshell kayak.
Not the Best For: People who want the best tracking, quickest kayaks.
Recommended Bodies of Water: There are now so many different types of inflatable kayaksthat you can go pretty much anywhere with them as long as you have to right kind of kayak for the right setting.
Materials: Synthetic Rubber as well as Drop Stitch Material. The exact materials differ from each kayak manufacturer.
Inflatable kayaks like the Explorer K2, are getting wildly popular over the last 15 years due to a lot of downsizing that is happening with folks. Many people have had to get rid of their kayaks because of the lack or storage space, but now there is a solution! Inflatable kayaks have come a long way in the past 15 or so years but have actually been around since the 1960’s! Inflatable kayaks used to be glorified blow up dinghies but now many of them possess high quality materials that insure that they track well and are durable. If there is a type of hard shelled kayak you can think of chances are there is an inflatable kayak that does the job almost as well.
The category of inflatable kayak has the most wide ranging makes, shapes and sizes that you can imagine. Some are made for multi day expeditions and have been tried in glacial coastal waters of the arctic! Others are ultra stable and can even have different attachments put on such as pedals, rod holders ect. A good majority of these kayaks however, are made for recreational usage and are lacking in tracking ability and speed. They do however possess great manoeuvrability . It has now become a standard practive to have inflatable kayaks that can withstand whatever the bottom of the shore can bring.
Inflatable Kayaks range in price. The recreational “fun” models can be anywhere from $50- $400 while more serious inflatable expedition kayaks can range from $500 all the way to $2,000. Many of these inflatable kayak models come with a good range of customisation. Some features can range anywhere from being a 2 in 1 single/ doubles kayak, having a sailing kit to including a backbone to strengthen on water tracking performance. Inflatable kayaks are taking over the market and are often times some of the best selling kayaks online and in retail stores.
Purpose: To hold two or more people in one kayak
Best for: A couple who want to stay in the same kayak, families as well as fisherman.
Not the Best for: People who are not in sync with their paddling or are arguing over where to go.
Recommended Bodies of Water: Pretty much anywhere as long as the kayak suits the environment.
Materials: Anything from Polyethylene, Composite, Wood, Synthetic Rubber.
Tandem Kayaks are usually the go to kayaks for families and couples. They have no real signature design as they come in a lot of different shapes and sizes and can be used for many different purposes. As a matter of fact there are tandem kayaks in all of the previous 5 categories I have mentioned. It is recommended that you get a tandem kayak after a bit of kayak experience for a few reasons.
Tandem kayaks are heavy. A lot of the times they usually range anywhere from 60- 100 lbs unless you have an inflatable kayak. When a tandem kayak is this heavy, depending on your strength it may be to much to lift it onto the hood you your truck so you may end up having to buy a trailer for it.
Tandems are sometime referred to affectionately as “divorce boats” by kayak instructors. Especially if both parties are learning to paddle. Another limiting factor is the fact that if you are more enthusiastic about paddling than your partner, chances are the kayak will just be sitting in the garage all alone collecting dust. If you are looking to purchase a tandem kayak be sure that you have both tried it a few times and are in sync with each other.
Tandems can actually be more expensive than two solo kayaks. So if you do go through the tandem route make sure that you are both on the same page when it comes to paddling.
Solution? If you want a kayak where you can fit more than two people but also want to make trips yourself I would recommend an inflatable two in one kayak for a few reasons. One they are very cost effective and can be in the range of anywhere between $100-$800. Two The seats can be rearranged to paddle a tandem or simply throw one of the seats out and put the single seat in the middle to make a solo kayak!
Having said all this tandem kayaks are great if you have a bit of paddling experience, are understanding of one another and are both enthusiastic about paddling! Remember the main goal is to have fun!
Other Types Of Kayaks
These kayaks were a bit of a relatively unknown commodity until Oru came around and revolutionized the way people think about folding kayaks. If you are a fan of Shark Tank you may remember this kayak. We have a full detailed review on the Oru Bay ST.
These are cool kayaks that snap together and have interchangeable parts. You can switch from a single kayak to a tandem in just a few snaps!
White Water Kayaks
The shortest kayaks around white water kayaks are usually reserved for paddlers who have a good amount of experience with white water rivers. This is the most adrenaline filled kayak experience that you can have. The name of the game with these kayaks is manoeuvrability which is why they are very short and bulky compared to most kayaks. Before trying these kayaks I highly recommend that you take some lessons first!
If you are a traditionalist there are crafters out there that have and produce wooden kayaks. These types of kayaks span back many years ago and were used for transportation and hunting purposes by the Inuit peoples.
Now that we have narrowed your search from questions you ask yourself to Type of Kayak and Kayak Materials used now we are down to design. Even after you have answered the three above preferences the design aspects of each company in each category differ from one another! To narrow your search even more keep these design aspects in mind so that you can correctly choose a brand that is most important for your criteria.
The Design Aspects Of The Kayak Hull
Probably the most important aspect that dictates the kayaks use and purpose is it’s Hull. The Hull of the kayak helps dictate the following.
The Speed of the Kayak
The Initial and Secondary Stability of the Kayak
How Maneuverable the Kayak is
How the Kayak handles a wide variety of different water conditions
A shorter more wider kayak lacks in speed and tracking ability but offers much more stability and maneuverability. See the Table above for some examples.
Simply put Rocker refers to how much the kayak’s bow and stern sticks out of the water. You can see this by looking at the side of the kayak and you will notice that different brands tend to favour more or less rocker in their boats. In case you were wondering the name “Rocker” Refers to how much the bow and stern rock back and forward in the water. A rule of thumb is that the more rocker a kayak features the more manoeuvrability it will have and the better it is for climbing over waves. Hulls that feature less rocker are better at tracking but tend to cut through waves a lot more. Less rocker is generally preferred on flat water while more rocker handles better in choppy conditions.
Kayak Materials Explained
In the Materials section of each of the kayak types I have reviewed you may have noticed a brief mention on the materials that go into each type. Below we will briefly explain the difference between some of the materials which is ultimately a major consideration when it comes to the kayaks price.
Rotomolded Polyethylene Kayaks
Many kayaks that you see in many of the above categories are made of Rotomolded Polyethylene. It is a relatively inexpensive material that is formed by heating or molding. This is done by heating up plastic pellets to melting point, rotated and then cooled. A note of caution, do not leave your kayak in the sun for too long or else it will deteriorate the material and be more susceptible to punctures. Keep the Polyethylene kayaks indoors or under a cover so insure that they are protected. Not all Polyethylene is created equal as there are a couple of types of Polyethylene. These two are the most common.
Linear: The most common of the Polyethylene it is made to be inexpensive but will provide good durability when taken care for properly. Many brands that you find in Department stores use this material.
Super Linear: While this kind of Polyethylene is more expensive it will last longer in the long run of things because it is made of material that is lighter, more durable to the elements and is UV resistant.
Typically beginners start with these kinds of kayaks because of their impact durability. Even if there is damage it is easier to repair Polyethylene than say Composite.
These materials are most common in Touring (Sea) Kayaks. Composite material costs significantly more but is much lighter and performance driven in terms of gliding in the water. The material is more expensive for a few reasons.
Each layer of composite material is made by hand from scratch to insure its quality.
The Lighter Material can be formed into shapes that would be impossible for Polyethylene and ABS materials which allows you to have a more “aerodynamic” kayak that glides through the water with less effort per stroke on your part.
Composite Kayaks can take on more weight than other materials which makes it the most flexible material under heavy loads.
I would not recommend that a beginner start off with this kayak because of it’s more expensive price, less impact to strength ratio and it is a more costly material to repair. In a way it is like owning a high performance Porsche.
Made with the combination of a vacuum and heated plastic sheets over a mold ,Thermoformed ABS is made by a few well known kayak manufacturers such as Sun Dolphin. You can tell the difference between ABS and Polyethylene based on looks. Polyethylene is usually a matt texture while Thermoformed ABS is Glossy. This material is more tough and durable than Polyethylene in terms of gauging and is a lighter material as well.
While Thermoformed ABS is lighter than Polyethylene it is still significantly heavier and less performance driven than Composite Materials.
Some budget kayaks come with a paddle while the vast majority of other kayaks don’t. If you are new to kayaking then having a spare kayak paddle is a great thing but if you have a few paddling trips under your belt they can be a bit of a pain as they are usually made cheap and can break relatively easily. The kind of paddle you get depends on what your experience level as and what kind of kayaking you will be doing.
For any water sportLife Jackets (or PFD’s) are important. Yes they look kind of silly but they are important for your safety and well being! There are many different makes and brands out there but you just need one that can properly fit you and hold your weight in the water.
Kayak Throw Bag
These should be in an accessible area of your kayak that you should have in case anything goes wrong. These Throw Bags can be your best friend if anything goes wrong and you capsize.
Kayak Repair Kit
You never know what you may bump into in the water or on shore so it is best to be better safe than sorry by providing the applicable repair kit for the kind of kayak that you are using.
Whistle And Or Flare Kit
A whistle and flare are ususally the last calls of action but they are imperitive to have, especially if you are paddling solo.
Kayak Accessories That Are Optional But Recommended
These accessories will only help better your experience both in and out of the water.
Usually this is an item that is necessary if you are paddling in rougher waters with a Sit Inside Kayak. Spray Skirts go around your waist and cover the cockpit rim of your kayak. Spray Skirts are most prevalent in Touring (Sea) Kayaks, Whitewater kayaks and some Recreational models of kayaks.
These are important if you are going on a day trip and want to bring valuables such as a phone, wallet or even food with you. Dry bags come in a wide range of different sizes and most good quality ones are fully waterproof when used correctly
Rudders And Skegs
Rudders are the add on mechanism that you would use to steer the kayak with. You typically use the foot pedals to steer the rudder in the back of the kayak that allows you to turn easier than you would if you were trying to use your paddle. Many touring kayaks already have rudders mounted on them.
Skegs are tracking mechanisms that usually integrated within the hull of the kayak. They look a little similar to rudders but their use is very different. Skegs are used to help the kayak track better which allows you to paddle in a straighter line.
If you have a few kayaks and loads of accessories, kayak trailers like this are a great options to get, especially on longer journeys.
These help keep your kayak from being flooded with too much water. These are usually best suited for sit inside kayaks as sit on top kayaks usually have self draining scupper holes.
Knives And Survival Kit
If you are going for a quick paddle in the lake next to your cottage you probably will not need these but if you are going on day or multi day trips I would say that these are essential. Knives are more handy than you may think as they can be used to do anything from cutting line, ropes bait to something as simple as cutting a sandwich.
Some Sort Of Navigation
Whether this be your phone, maps of the area or even a compass navigation is a must have for multi day trips and even day trips in the kayak.
Cool Things That You Can Add To Your Kayak
Now that we have all the serious stuff out of the way, we can now talk about some cool doodads that you can add to your kayak to better your paddling experience!
These are most common with fishing kayaks,Trolling Kayak motors are becoming more popular as the fishing kayak industry is growing. Get to Point A to B while you worry about the important stuff which is fishing! Most of the big fishing kayak companies allow you to mount trolling motors on them.
Essential for floating with a drink or for the local fisherman many sit on top kayaks feature ample amount of room to mount a kayak cooler in the Cargo Well of the boat.
Have a long way to go to the water and tired of lifting your kayak? Use a kayak cart to help you along the terrain. Simply place the kayak on with the mounting system and you are ready to go! Some companies even go so far as to offer different types of wheels for the different types of terrain you will pass through.
Tired of Paddling? Many brands of inflatable and recreational kayaks allow you to have the capability of attaching a sail to your kayak so that you can let the wind do the work for you. Sail designs differ from each manufacturer.
Some more expensive models of kayaks such as the Hobie Brand allows you to run on foot power so that you can keep your arms free to fish and steer. Pedal kayaks are roaring in popularity because they allow you to get to your location quicker than if you paddled. It makes sense because your leg muscles are much stronger than the muscles in your arms!
Flush Mounted can be found on almost all Fishing Kayaks or can be installed on to most sit on top or Recreational kinds. There is also the more convenient swivel mount rod holder that is included on a few kinds of fishing kayaks or can easily be installed.
With the right kinds of mounting accessories you can install fish finders onto you kayak to best locate where the fish are hiding! I wrote a detailed review on theBest Kayak Fish Finders right here.
Kayak Mounting Solutions
Various different Fishing Kayak companies such as Hobie offer a wide variety of mounting solutions. Some of these include, rod holders, gun mounts, drink holders, fish finder mounts, deck rigging and many more!
Finding the perfect kayak to fit your life takes some perseverance and a good few hours of research. A great way I do my research on narrowing down what type of kayak I want is by looking at a broad range of Customer reviews and seeing what they say. If you are looking for individual kayak reviews feel free to check out some of my Buyer Guides and Individual Review Guides!
Here at Blazin’ Paddles, we are fervent observers of changes in flora and fauna across the desert landscape and in the Black Canyon. Springtime yields the bloom of various wildflowers and a burst of color that we all look forward to. For this reason, springtime is a great time to book a tour with us, and there are many flowers that can be observed from your kayak as we paddle and hike the banks of the Colorado River. Because of our dry climate and sparse rainfall, desert wildflowers aren’t around for long, so if you want a chance to observe for yourself, book a tour today!
Most of the flowers that you’ll find on our tour bloom within the ecological community referred to as the Creosote-Bush Community. Creosote bushes are the most conspicuous plants found in this region and this time of year rainfall gives them a vibrant, almost neon green appearance, and after rain creosote gives off the signature smell of “desert rain” that people often refer to. This community ranges in elevation from 500-3000 feet. Rainfall is low here, about 3-4 inches per year. Here are a few blooming species you can expect to see from your kayak:
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is a medium-sized rounded shrub. It has long, oval, silver-gray leaves that are somewhat fuzzy. The branches are brittle and woody, and contain a fragrant resin. In the late winter and early spring small yellow flowers form on long stalks well above the leafy stems.
Caution: In the spring an insect called the Blister Beetle feeds on the pedals of the Brittlebush. They release a toxin that causes painful blisters to humans, so watch where you stick your nose!
Purple Sage (Salvia dorrii) is a woody subshrub reaching 4–28 inches in height and width. Their grey-green leaves are narrow, are tapered at the base and rounded at the tip. Purple sage has a pleasant, mildly intoxicating minty aroma, with the scent released when the foliage is crushed. It is often mistaken for Desert Lavender.
Beavertail cactus (Opuntia Basilaris) low, spreading cactus with short bristles grows 6 to 12 inches high and up to 6 feet wide. The gray-green, jointed stems are wide and flat resembling the tail of a beaver. The stems grow in clumps with vibrant pink flowers from the top edge of the joints. Flowers are followed by a brownish-gray, oval fruit that desert tortoise, ground squirrels, and other wildlife will eat the fruits for a sugary treat.
The common rubber rabbitbrush (Ericameria Nauseosa) is typically distinguished by having whitish to green flexible stems, felt-like matted hairs and alternating grey-is leaves. Shrubs are rounded and generally two to five feet tall, and when in bloom their flower heads are made up of 5 small, yellow, tubular flowers.
There are many more wildflowers that can be observed in our neck of the woods. Book a tour today for information from our exceptional guides! You can also stop by our office at the Hoover Dam Lodge to pick up a copy of our plant species pocket guide to take on your own wildflower hunting adventures!
Written by: MaKenna Magdos (Blazin’ Paddles Guide)
The Sierra Nevada mountain range located in Inyo National Forest is a 4-hour drive from the Las Vegas Valley making the perfect spot for a weekend or week-long getaway.
Here are 5 things to consider:
1. Permit- You can’t get very far without this and, trust me, they will check. Permit costs are our way of contributing to the wear and tear our hiking may do to the land in this area. Most permits to hike in the Sierra Nevadas can purchased by going to recreation.gov and searching for Inyo National Forest. Many of the permits are available 168 days before your intended start date meaning you’d need to buy permits in February 2020 for a July 2020 start date. My advice— start planning your summertime Sierra trips in January if not December, seek out lesser used trailheads and try facebook groups to buy permits for sold out dates. If you’re thinking of hiking the Nüümü Poyo (or John Muir) Trail, try starting from Kearsarge Pass to strengthen your chances of getting a permit.
2. Food Storage- you’re required to carry a bear can as a form of food storage while hiking in the Sierras, but not all food storage strategies are created equal. Bears are smart and at this point most bears surrounding popular trails in the Sierras and Yosemite are accustomed to trying to break into your bear canister and although it will keep them out, it won’t keep them from trying. This involves anything from repeatedly throwing it on the ground to just deciding to take it and run—sometimes up to a mile away. Help yourself to stay fed and the bears to stay alive attempting to hide the bear can with either rocks or downed trees.
3. Acclimation- When driving to Inyo National Forest avoid, AT ALL COSTS, any route that takes you through Death Valley.
4. Tent Footprint- I’ve seen with my own two eyes High Sierra ants chew through the bottom of someones tent, need I say more? If that isn’t enough to convince you, you can use a polypro ground cloth for pretty much any backpacking sized tent and they’re $9.00 for a 2-pack. You can see a little bit of it underneath my tent here, it’s basically just a big sheet of plastic—
5.Extra Sun Protection- Sometimes smearing your 100th layer of sunscreen onto dirt covered skin just doesn’t cut it. Gossamer Gear’s LiteFlex hiking umbrella weighs 8oz. and, in my opinion, it’s worth the public humiliation to avoid an alpine sunburn.