10 Best Hikes In The World

mt whitneyTrimming the world’s best hikes down to 10 is incredibly difficult, just ask the folks at Gadling.com. Conceding that it’s almost impossible to account for everyone’s style or favorite type of hike, I think they did a pretty nice job of cobbling together a diverse list of must-hikes across the globe.

Follow this link to learn more about the list-maker’s thought process, as well as to learn a little more about each trek.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the 10 lucky winners:

  • Mt. Whitney, California
  • Salkantay Trek, Peru
  • Timberline Trail, Oregon
  • Everest Base Camp, Nepal
  • Appalachian Trail, North Carolina
  • Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  • Zion Narrows, Utah
  • Haute Route, France/Switzerland
  • John Muir Trail, California
  • Cinque Terre, Italy

Backcountry Bartender: 5 Camping Cocktails That Will Blow Your Boots Off

hiking flaskI used to bar tend for extra cash, now it’s to stay afloat. Since I love making drinks so much — and since sending out resumes on a Sunday should be illegal — I’ve decided to take a few minutes and share some cocktails perfect for hiking or backpacking. Now go get Trail Sauced!

Do you have a favorite back country drink? Please share it with the rest of us!

Peppermint Patty
  • 1.5 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1 packet hot chocolate mix

Heat some water, mix in hot chocolate powder, add the schnapps and sip away.

Grandpa’s Ol’ Sleep Medicine
  • 2 oz scotch or whiskey
  • 2 bags Kava tea (VERY mellowing herb)

Steep tea bags in hot water for 10 minutes, then add whiskey. Try not to fall asleep before getting to your tent.

Mountain Margarita
  • 1.5 oz tequila
  • .5 oz triple sec
  • 1 packet Gatorade Lemon-Lime drink mix

Fill cup with water, add drink mix and stir. Add liquor, stir or shake until mixed thoroughly.

Camper’s Kamikaze
  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • .5 oz triple sec
  • 1 packet Lime Kool-Aid

Fill cup with water, add drink mix and stir. Add liquor, stir or shake until mixed thoroughly.

Back country Bourbon Smoothie
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • dehydrated milk powder

Mix powdered milk in 4-8 oz of water, add bourbon,  shake or stir vigorously, thank me in the morning.

Tip: Pour over a cup of snow if you can. YUM.

5 Easy Ways to Remove That Campfire Smell

campfireThe smell of last weekend’s campfire still clings to your clothes. You try a standard wash and spray it with Febreeze but nothing seems to get rid of it. What’s a hiker to do? Here’s 5 proven ways to get rid of that campfire smell in no time:

1. Have a Coke. Add one can of Coca Cola to your wash along with your normal detergent. A professional cleaner swears this works, so why not give it a spin?

2. Just add vinegar. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to your wash load and let soak for 30-60 min. Also works well for lots of other lingering odors.

3. Pack your threads in potpourri.

To remove the campfire scent and add a fresh, natural scent to your clothes, you need the following:

– Zip-lock bags or plastic bags
– Dried flowers, or other fresh-scented items (do not use fresh flowers because they will get crushed and stain your clothes)
– Baby powder

Follow these steps to get rid of the campfire scent:

– Place some potpourri in the plastic bag, and add a few shakes of baby powder.
– Place the smelly clothes inside the bag.
– Shake the bag thoroughly, like you’re dredging a piece of chicken in flour. Make sure that the baby powder reaches into the folds of your clothes.
– When you’re ready to wear the articles of clothing again, shake off the flowers and the baby powder. You’d be surprised at how clean and fresh-scented your clothes are.

4. Baking soda to the rescue. Baking soda is like the duct tape of…well…ingredients (?). Use #1,452 is adding a tablespoon or two to the washing machine along with fabric softener. No more smokey clothes!

5. Take the lazy way out. Buy some MiraZyme.


Desert Does Not Always Mean Hot

I’ll be posting a series of entries about my recent hiking/bouldering excursion to Joshua Tree National Park sometime this week, but a story today on MyDesert.com details the rescue of two groups of hikers, one in near Mecca, CA, and another on Mount San Jacinto, which hovers above Palm Springs.

The two Washington State-based hikers on San Jacinto were reportedly hypothermic due to lack of warm clothing and failing to realize that winter temps are often below freezing in the high desert, and especially on surrounding peaks.

hiking mt san jacintoI’ll admit that I once held the same misconception of the California desert, but luckily we had done some research prior to heading to Joshua Tree a couple weeks ago, and subsequently brought a few warm layers, a 20-degree bag, a parka and some gloves. My friend and I, who were seeking a nice respite from the frigid Northeast, were greeted by rain, fog and 40-degree temps in the Morongo Basin, and spent a few extremely chilly nights exposed in the Hidden Valley area of Joshua Tree. Needless to say, we would be the ones being rescued had we not prepared accordingly.

The moral of the story is perhaps obvious: Research, prepare for the unforeseen, and don’t get cocky.