Going Trecking – Here’s what to take

There is nothing like going for a long walk through a national park, whether it be for an hour or for days at a time. It really brings you back to nature. The great thing is that it can be enjoyed all around the world, whether you are in Yellowstone National Park, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park or anywhere (yeah, yeah, I know I’m promoting my last two posts!). I thought I would pass on a few of my tips on what to take with you on your adventure. What you exactly take will depend greatly on how long you go and where you are, but this advice should still help.

 

mobile phone

A Phone with a GPS

This is the most important item in your bag. Most National Parks get some sort of phone reception and this is your best form of communication with the outside world in case there is an emergency. Even if you have in and out reception, knowing your location via the GPS is invaluable.

map

A Map

And make sure it is a good one! Even if you have walked the path several times, you should always take a map. With phones and their wonderful apps this is made a lot easier as it lets you know exactly where you are. However, even if you have a map on your phone I suggest you still take a hard copy for back-up. Phones can get wet, damaged, run out of batteries or just plain lost. You will feel safer with a hard copy as backup. Too many people die every year due to getting lost in while hiking (example).

 

nuts

Food and Water

You need to take enough to last your walk and then some in case you get lost or it takes longer than expected. Remember when walking your intake of both food and water will be higher, so make allowances (here’s a good post on it). If you are relying on getting water from a stream/creek, make sure you have very recent knowledge that the water is flowing. However even if you know there is a stream, still take extra water. I know it’s heavy, but it’s not worth the risk. For food, berries and nuts are great snacks.

tent

Tent

Remember you are carrying it on your back, so you want something lightweight. Having said that you need something sturdy enough to stand up to a little wind. I’m not going to make any recommendations here, but I suggest making it under 5 pounds if you are by yourself.

first aid kit

First Aid Kit

Even for short walks this is very important. I always take with me some basic bandages/band-aids etc for the half day walks. Don’t worry about splints. Nature is there for that. For long term hiking I’ll add headache tablets, a multipurpose knife, plastic bags, and swabs at a minimum. Here’s a good website with other suggestions. I also ensure that I’m carrying my Venapro as this is an ongoing treatment I am using.

I’ll add this in here even if it is not directly first aid – Sunscreen – Even if it isn’t hot out, put it on. The last thing you want when you return home is a bad sunburn.

hat

Clothes

Always take proper walking shoes/sneakers. If you are going off-track, or on a less walked track, make sure you wear proper hiking boots. Always take a sweater of some type. You may not feel like wearing it while walking, but at night it gets cold and you will thank me. Last but not least always wear a hat.

 

My final piece of advice is to always let someone know where you are going, even if you are only going for a short hike.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

Two years ago I was lucky enough to visit the wonderful country of Japan. Now Japan is not known for its National Parks. In fact if you are strictly after nature there are better countries to visit throughout Asia. Having said that, there is plenty of great National Parks to see in this wonderful country. My favorite is Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

Mt Fuji

Firstly Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is the closest park to Tokyo. In fact, from some locations within Tokyo you can actually see the parks main attraction Mt Fuji on a clear day. This makes it the countries most accessible.  There are plenty of tours available either from the surrounding towns, or on day trips from Tokyo. My suggestion is to spend at least two or three days there. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from ranging from roughing it to 5 stars. I also suggest trying to go during the week, as a lot of locals use this place as a weekend getaway.

At the heart of the park is the beautiful heritage listed Mt Fuji. Mt Fuji is actually an active volcano that last erupted in 1708. It is one of Japan’s Three Holy Mountains alongside Mount Tate and Mount Haku. The mountain is snow capped for the majority of the year, but if you want that great photo, it will definitely be better in the colder months.

While Mt Fuji is the main highlight, there is plenty of other things to see. Lake Ashi is one of of those. The lake is a crater that last erupted less than 1,000 years ago. On a fine day it will also give you one of your best photos – Mount Fuji against a blue sky with a water reflection (see photo above).

While visiting the park we had a tour guide who was speaking in Japanese. I love the Japanese Language and while I’m not fluent in it, I’m also not completely lost when people are speaking it. Hearing about the park in their native language was a wonderful experience.

Around the park you will also find what seem like endless hot springs. Hot springs are caused by the warming of spring water by the volcanic activity under the ground surface. Enjoy the hot bath!

I also suggest taking the cable car up the mountain for magical views with Hakone Ropeway. You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s a video on this wonderful National Park. Please enjoy…

 

If Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, a couple of the other National Parks I liked were Ise-Shima National Park and Daisetsuzan National Park.

Yellowstone National Park

In my opening post I told you that one of my favorite National Parks in the world is Yellowstone National Park, so I thought I would start there.

There is a reason that Yellowstone National Park is one of America’s favorite National Park. First a little history…

Sign

History

Yellowstone is known for being named the first National Park in the United States of America back in 1872. Yellowstone NP can be found in the North West corner of the state of Wyoming and spans an area of 3,468 square miles. It has many different features (including lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges) which makes it a popular destination to visit. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest super-volcano in North America.

Now that the history lesson is over, let’s get into why you want to visit. To put it simply, it has everything you could possibly want in a park. Let’s run through the list…

Bison

Wildlife

Where do I start… Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles can be found in Yellowstone National Park.  Grizzly bears, wolves, and bison and elk live in the park and are often spotted.

Natural Wonder

Natural Wonders

The most famous of all the wonders in the park is the Old Faithful Geyser. Old Faithful is a geyser that shoots hot water into the air. Amazingly they are able to predict exactly when it is going to go off, down to the second. While Old Faithful is the most popular, there are plenty of other places within the National Park to see. I loved the color of some of the other hydrothermal system scattered around the park.

Yellowstone Map

Perfect Setup

Above is a map I’ve ‘borrowed’ off the nps.gov website. As you can see the park is in a wonderful figure 8 shape. This means you can spend the day exploring without any back tracking. You can either complete the full figure 8 in a day, or if you want to take your time, just complete the top or bottom loop. There are so many wonderful things to see, all just a short walk from car parks located close to the road.

Park

Camping Grounds

It’s definitely on the easier side when it comes to camping (you won’t be roughing it here).  The campsites are set up really well, with all the amenities you could ask for. There are plenty of other campers around, so you will make friends in no time. There are no motels/hotels within the park itself, so if you want to stay in the confines of a building, you will need to leave the park.  But don’t worry there are plenty just outside of the park. There are also areas within the park if you have a camper-van.

Let me introduce myself and this website

Check out my “About” page to get some background.

My name is Ranger Davie and I like to educate people. Generally I like educating people about conservation, but that is not the limit of my expertise. I have had formal teaching training and taught for several years, so I love standing in front of an eager crowd waiting to here what I have to say. Because I’m a bit older now I don’t teach as much, so I thought I would try and spread my knowledge with this website.

In the posts that will follow I will talk about my favorite conservation methods I have seen and been involved in. I will also take you on a journey to some of my favorite places in the world. Some parts of the world you may not know much about, but have amazing wildlife to see and experience.

I will also look into some of my favorite teaching methods (both effective for conservation and teaching in general).

I try to make my lessons (and hence this website) fun and I find that to be a great way to get a message across to the class (or in this case the world!).

I’m not sure how often I will be able to update this, but am hoping for once a week.

Today I thought I would leave you with an old educational clip of one my favorite parks in the United States of America (and the world) Yellowstone National Park.  Enjoy…