Tips For Choosing Trekking Poles

Trekking poles can be a hiker’s best friend out there in the wilderness. These are multi-purpose instruments that everyone should consider. They can reduce the stress on joints, help out when hiking up steep inclines, provide balance on gnarly terrain, prop up a tent, shoo dangerous animals, and many more. Here are some tips if you are buying poles for the first time:

Always Buy a Pair of Poles

They are usually sold individually so you can get a single piece to try out on a hike. However, it really is best to purchase a pair since you can never be sure when stocks will run out. It would be difficult to use non-matching poles in the future due to lack of foresight. The feel will be different and it would be hard to get a good balance. You will need to use two on longer hikes anyway so better get a pair while you can.

Mind the Weight for Long Hikes

The thing about poles is that although they make the journey easier on your legs, they transfer the load to your arms. You need to have a pretty solid upper body so that you will not ache after constantly carrying these pieces all day. They may seem light but the repetitive motion does take its toll. Find the lightest ones you can afford. Those made of carbon fiber and similar materials are worth their price.

Find Out the Range of Lengths

Most poles are height-adjustable. The majority of hikers will have no trouble setting things up to a comfortable length. Those who are on the opposite extremes when it comes to height might want to check out the specifications just to make sure that they are buying the right poles. This is even more critical when getting collapsible pole which are non-adjustable.

Get a Suitable Basket

The attachment near the end of the poles is there to keep them from submerging deep into mud and snow. Winter hiking will require a basket of larger diameter.

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The Beautiful Caves Of Arizona


Arizona is home to the most pristine caves in North America.  Extraordinary effort is required to maintain the pristine nature of the caverns and viewing them is an exciting, unique experience.

Kartchner Caverns is a living cave. Visitors will find delicate streams glistening inside the caverns. The cavern is still growing, with stalactites and stalagmites still forming within the caverns. The cavern itself is brilliantly colored and is home to the longest Soda Straw Stalactite formation in the world. It is considered one of the top 10 most beautiful caves in the world, and welcomes visitors to its delicate systems throughout the year. Along with the caverns the park also has a campground, museum, hiking trails, and more amenities.

The Grand Canyon Caverns are the largest dry caverns in the United States. An elevator is required to travel the approximately 300 feet down to the caverns. These caverns do not support a delicate ecosystem like the Kartchner Caverns, but still offer beauty with gorgeous rock formations. The Grand Canyon Caverns are close to any amenities that may be needed, and located just off Route 66. Guests have the opportunity to spend the night in the Cavern Suite, hotel suite complete with all amenities, located inside the cavern. They are just two and a half hours from Phoenix or Las Vegas, and only about an hour and a half from Laughlin, Lake Havasu, or Williams.

Colossal Cave is located in Colossal Cave Mountain Park, and may just be the world’s largest dry cavern. The caves have stopped growing since their original source of water has dried over several million years, which is what makes it now a “dry” cave. The Hohokam Indians lived in the valley below the caves, and used the caves for shelter and as a religious shrine. The caves were discovered by Solomon Lick in 1879, who was also the first tour guide for the Colossal Caves. During the 1890’s bank robbers often used the cases to hide out from the local sheriff. There are plenty of rumors about cash from bank robbers stored within the cave. To this date, no stash of cash has been located in the Colossal Cave.

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Vacationing in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains

You could be forgiven for half-expecting a dolphin to playfully jump out of the water and do a flip. The intense, electric blue of Ice Lake would seem out of place against the patches of snow and the alpine meadows if it weren’t so starkly beautiful. Tucked away in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains near the town of Silverton, Ice Lake is one of four incandescently-colored lakes in the Upper Ice Lake Basin — the other three being Island, Clear, and fuller lakes finishing out the list.

Perfect for a day trip, Ice Lake and its nearby sister lake, Island Lake, are just outside of Silverton and can be reached from the gravel parking area across from South Mineral Campground and is where you can park and begin your trek. The lakes are accessed via a remarkably scenic four-mile hike with an elevation climb of around three-thousand feet. The trails are well defined and easily done by most hikers. Winding through alpine meadows, conifer forests, waterfalls and creeks, the hike itself is a lot of fun, so make sure to bring a camera as you’ll want to capture the scenery on the way up to the lake!

If you’re not the type of person for whom a landscape can hold endless captivation, bring along a fishing pole and some bait and tackle; the lakes are full of cutthroat trout. During the warmer months, you can travel light and leave the ice auger at home for a carefree day of fishing in a serene location.

Since you’ve undoubtedly brought your hiking boots, you might as well climb up one of the surrounding 14,000+ foot peaks that surround the lakes. Fuller, Vermillion, V2 – all can be had from Ice Lake, and the surrounding lakes. Trails do go up to the summits of many of the surrounding mountains, and since you’re above the timberline, the views are unimpeded.