How To: Go Hiking

Today’s blog is brought to you by Lonnie Smith, our hiking and backwoods expert.


In these days of pinching pennies and looking for bargains, a great way to take an inexpensive vacation or weekend getaway is to TAKE A HIKE.

Taking a hike or backpacking trip is not only inexpensive; it’s good for your health as well. There are many trails and trail systems across the country, and many different accommodations as well. Trails range from very easy to very difficult and any distance you care to venture. The following are three examples of Trail ratings depending on what part of the country you are in.

Some trails are rated grade A-F:  Level A – Very easy up to 3.5 miles thru Level F – Difficult, 15 miles +

Some are rated Easy – Good trail conditions. Typically minor elevation changes (less than 80 feet). Usually less than 4.5 miles in length, to Strenuous – Poor trail conditions. Major elevation changes (over 500 feet). Trail usually covers a very long distance.

Some systems contain classes ranging from 1(easy) thru 5 (difficult) with each class having difficulty ratings broken down by added decimal places, the letters A thru D, and Green (easy) Blue (moderate) Black (strenuous) color codes. For example 5.10c

Accommodations range from a flat spot on the ground for tents to cabins & lodges. My favorites are the Shelters on the (2,178 mile) Appalachian Trail system which stretches from Maine to Georgia.

It all depends on you and your need for adventure, as to how to approach a good hike or backpacking trip. You need to know your limit and have a good guide in some cases. You never know, you just may see something amazing that you would never see from the seat of your car. I have experienced things and sites on my backpacking trips, which I can only describe as WOW!!!

So get out there and TAKE A HIKE

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