Hike Canceled? 11 Ways to Prep for Your Next Trail Adventure

As outdoor enthusiasts, we recognize the mental and physical benefits of hiking. But it’s important to do so responsibly, especially in the coronavirus era of social distancing and such.

Here are 11 ways you can prepare for your postponed and/or canceled hikes:

1. Join the Washington Hikers and Climbers Page on Facebook.

This is a great resource page for Washington hikers, climbers, snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and other outdoor inclined residents of or visitors to the state. Post your photos, trip reports, questions or tips. It’s also a great way to find and make virtual connections with other hikers.

2. Review Hiking in the Time of Coronavirus by the Washington Trails Association.

3. Peruse Top 10 Best Hikes in California and/or 10 Best Days Hikes in California, North to South. Trails in Torrey Pines, San Diego and Anza-Borrego State Park to Santa Barbara, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Lassen, Joshua Tree, Inyo National Forest, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite.

4. Lace up with Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Brisk, engaging, and unexpectedly hilarious!

5. Dive into Floyd Schmoe’s A Year in Paradise.  An eloquent personal narrative brimming with information and reflections about Mount Rainier and the surrounding region. The author was the first naturalist for Mount Rainier National Park.

6. Read just about any hiking resource by Seabury Blair, Jr. His day hike guides are excellent and include detailed trail notes for hikes in Washington, the Olympic Peninsula, and Oregon. Tip: Creaky Knees Guide Washington: 100 Best Easy Hikes in the State.

7. Check out the Mount Rainier National Park channel on You Tube. Short videos on everything from park history to Sunrise wildflowers and Ohanapecosh archaeology. Also trips to specific sites in the park during all four seasons.

8. Unless you’re planning to hike to your hike, now would be a good time to get your vehicle tuned up. Check the oil, fluid levels, rotate the tires, check your spare, etc.

9. Take stock of your emergency stash. Are your batteries fresh? What about extra food and water? Blankets? An emergency shelter? Tire chains? (Required for all vehicles inside Mount Rainier National Park during the winter season, November 1 – May 1. 4WD and AWD not exempted.) What do you need to replace or update?

10. Check your hiking gear. Do your boots need new laces? Another coat of Max Shield? How are your trekking poles? Backpack? Is your, “in case of emergency, notify…” contact info. current? What needs weather proofing? Are your socks, Under Armor, gloves and gaiters in good shape? What about your water filter? If any of these or other items need repair or replacement, you can often scoop them up at bargain prices during the off-season.

11. You might also want to take a gander at 12 Top Trails at Mount Rainier. Or: Kindle edition. By Yours Truly.

We are in this together. Hike responsibly. Protect yourself and others. Above all, stay safe out there!

P.S.: This site has been down for awhile as I transferred it to another hosting company. What a nightmare! Good to be back. Thanks for your patience. Nice to see you again!