Swan Valley Residents Explore Adventure Hiking

Submitted by:
Barry Waito |

The Boots in the Backcountry Introductory session on Monday Feb 13th at 7:00 pm attracted 34 registrants. Of these, 27 were able to make the meeting with the balance requesting to be kept up to date with further sessions.

The meeting started with Barry Waito introducing himself, talking about the purpose of this and future sessions, an overview of some recent hikes and outings and some points on the various benefits of hiking. This was followed by each person introducing themselves, indicating their interest and experience levels.

After this, Barry talked about what Adventure Hiking means to him as well as identified the main differences in day hikes, weekend hikes and week long hikes. A discussion was also undertaken around seasons for hiking (all year round) as well as First Aid, weather and wildlife awareness.

The session then started with Day Hiking, and included detailed examples (with gear on hand) about the size of pack to use, what the essential things are necessary to carry, what gear would be useful to bring along, and the suitable clothing, footwear and food that day hikes require. Some of this gear could be substituted with what they already have, and over time they could add other gear as needed.

We took a short break with coffee, tea, juice and homemade jerky and trail mix.

We then discussed weekend hikes as well as longer hikes, and what you would need to add to the gear list for these types of hikes (tent, stove, sleeping bag etc).

As we came to the end of the session, we talked about the interest in more detailed sessions to follow, which would have a cost of $10 / person per session to cover costs. These sessions would be done throughout the winter and would also include some indoor as well as outdoor sessions.

A snowshoe hike is being planned for the next couple of weeks, once we determine who is available when, and future sessions are also being decided at this time. It is expected that 5 more sessions would be needed with the first one covering in detail clothing, footwear and packs, the 2nd covering gear (stoves, cooking, tools), maps and compass. The 3rd would cover Food and Safety, with a 4th being a 1st Aid course (possibly a wilderness first aid course). The last session would cover the details of planning a hike, whether it be a day hike, weekend hike or longer. Plans will be also completed for those interested in a weekend hike or longer this summer. Shorter day hikes will be planned through emails and will be for whoever can attend.

If anyone would like to be included in future sessions or outdoor hikes please contact me at at 525-2421 or 525-3222. Further information on hiking can be found on my blog at www.trailsandtrips.wordpress.com