We've put together a shortlist of our favorite sections to paddle on the Trinity River. Whether you prefer urban or remote, hemmed in or wide-open spaces, have your own kayak or need to rent one, there's a location on this list for everyone.
As our communities take dramatic steps to enforce social distancing, our collective anxiety and stress levels are going through the roof!. Hiking is a perfectly acceptable, socially responsible escape from the anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic gripping our country.
Research suggests, and common sense confirms, that spending time in the great outdoors is beneficial, if not crucial, for human health. Spending time outside can reduce stress, enhance your vision, and boost your immune system. Here are eight things you can do outside TODAY that will improve your health.
Choosing the right type of gear for a camping or hiking trip can be intimidating, especially with all of the options available to you. How do you choose the right gear? While brand and price may be your first strategy, it's more important to evaluate the features and function of your gear and match it to the type of hiking or camping you plan to do. Let's take a look at several different types of camping and hiking to help you get started.
Do you prefer comfortable camping? Any time you can park a short walk from your campsite, you can camp comfortably with minimal planning and more gear than you really need. You don't have to pack it in - just put it in the trunk! Make sure you get a good tent and sleeping bag that will protect you from overnight temperatures. Then stock up on camp furniture for ultimate comfort, like a sleeping cot, some good camping chairs, and a full camp kitchen setup for a great morning breakfast. Comfortable camping also means you can bring coolers and hammocks that you wouldn't ever bring on an extended hike.
Are you more of a Day Hiker? Most day hikes are only a few miles and never lead you a few miles away from civilization. Even so, a five-mile hike can be much easier with light, comfortable gear. Get a good hydration pack or day pack to store a small meal or snack and other items.
Maybe you're all-in - you like backcountry hiking & multi-night camping. Whether it's for a single night or multiple nights of backpacking and camping, "be prepared" is the best advice we can give. In addition to a good backpack that has plenty of space for all the gear you'll need, and a sleeping bag and tent that are rated for the conditions you'll be in. Then gear up with water & hydration to stay hydrated, a compass and a first aid kit, flashlight or headlamp, and finally camp kitchen gear and food for your meals.
Choose the right Backpack
What backpack should you buy? There's no definite right or wrong answer, and choosing a good backpack primarily depends on the type of backpacking you plan to do, when and where you are going, and how long you plan to be out. Each of these things helps you plan for how much gear you need to pack, and then how much room you need in a backpack. Once you determine the size of backpack you need, focus on the fit and suspension of your pack - you want to be comfortable regardless of the amount of weight you're packing.
Pack Sizing & Activity
For short hikes, excursions away from your main camp, or just a morning walk a day pack will hold all the gear that you should need. You may also look into a hydration pack that has both a water reservoir and pockets for a few necessities.
If you're an efficient packer, you can carry enough for up to 3 nights in a mis-sized backpack. Modern camping gear is often made with lighter materials in compact design, making it easier to take a lighter pack and still carry the gear you need.
Multi-day treks require a lot of extra gear and clothing. You'll need the extra space that a larger backpack will provide. Look for features like padded hipbelts or lumbar pads, good ventilation, extra pockets, or even a removable daypack.
Tents, Sleeping Bags & More
Whether it's for one night or multiple nights, you want to sleep safely and comfortably. Having the right sleeping gear will protect you from the elements and provide a dry, warm bed to lay your head on after a hard day on the trail. Here's the type of gear that will keep you protected at night.
Your tent is the first line of defense against the elements of warm, cool or bitter cold nights. Stay comfortable with our selection of tents. Backpacking tents are often lightweight and compact to minimize the room it takes in your pack. Single wall tents are often the lightest to carry, but a double wall tent will provide more flexibility depending on the weather conditions. You'll also want the right temperature rating. Get a 4-season tent for conditions below 20 degrees; a 3-season tent should suffice for most other conditions. You might also use a tarp or footprint above or below your tent to protect it from rain or rough ground.
For warmer or dryer climates, choose a down insulation sleeping bag. Down is lighter, is long-lasting and breathable, and is easy to compress. If down gets wet, however, it loses a lot of its insulation and takes a long time to dry. That's where synthetic sleeping bags perform. They are quick-drying and retain much of their insulating ability even when wet. Synthetic sleeping bags are also often friendlier on the wallet.
Sleeping pads, Cots, Pillows and Liners
Make your sleeping bag more comfortable with a cot or a sleeping pad. A cot is great for warm nights as the extra air circulation beneath you will keep you cooler. A sleeping pad will insulate you from the cold ground and provide some padding - perfect if your campsite is on rocky or hard terrain. If the weather is cold, a sleeping bag liner can make a big difference by retaining more heat than a sleeping bag alone. Finally, get a superlight pillow that packs compactly to elevate your head.
What Else Should You Bring Along?
Bring Water & Hydration Gear
Bring as much water as you can while camping. Even if fresh water is available at your campsite, it's a good idea for backup. But once you head out on the trail or you are on an extended backcountry hike, carrying a lot of water just isn't an option. Take a water treatment system if you plan to be in the wild for more than a day.
Flashlights, Headlamps & Power
It gets really dark in the wilderness. Take along a flashlight and a headlamp to light your trail or campground. We suggest a LED lamp like Nebo's Redline Blast Flashlight or the Cosmo Headlamp from Black Diamond.
Camp & Kitchen Amenities
You have to eat, and that means packing prepared camp food or taking your
camp kitchen along with you. Either way, Backwoods has a good selection of cookware, stoves and tableware to keep you eating good.