Backpacking 101: Six Essential Tips for your Inaugural Thru-Hike

first_imgBen King grew up exploring the wilds that surround Bryson City, North Carolina. He turned this passion into a career when he opened Bryson City Outfitters last April. His quaint, downtown shop houses gear, offers advice, and upholds a community-minded ethos.“Community over commerce,” says King. “Local independent shops have a lot of experience and knowledge to impart. I think that has a lot more value than amazon.com.”King is a specialist at dialing in beginning backpackers. Here are a few of his tips.1. NavigationPlan a modest route. Do not overestimate yourself. Make sure you find the right map. “I use National Geographic maps,” King says. Eventually learning to use a compass will provide added security. King sends a lot of hikers to Nantahala National Forest. Smoky Mountain National Park, it should be remembered, requires reservations, a camping fee, and does not allow dogs. His regional favorites include Wesser Bald, Deep Creek, and Panther Town. Wherever you choose, make sure to plan a manageable journey and bring a good map.fullsizerender-22. Pick the Right Pack “For a short trip a 32-liter pack should do it,” says Kings. “You don’t want just any pack. If your pack doesn’t fit properly, you’ll be sore and have a horrible trip.” According to King, good suspension and proper fitting are key. You want the weight on your hips. “As an independent, small retailer this is where our knowledge comes into effect,” explains King. He recommends two of the oldest companies in the industry, Gregory and Kelty. “They invest a lot of time into systems to fit torsos,” he says. “Gregory comes with a rain fly. Going backpacking without a rain fly is a nightmare. That rain fly can be lifesaver.”    fullsizerender-3 3. Sleep Tight“I try to introduce beginners to the mummy style bag. A good synthetic 32-degree bag will meet their needs. At any outdoor gear shop you’ve got 500 different options. Packability size is a big thing – how small can you get it. You don’t want to be lugging around a huge bag.” As for brands King says Kelty and Sea to Summit sleeping bags are the way to go.4. Tent Over Hammock “Going out into the backcountry for the first time you are going to be more comfortable in a tent than a hammock. You want to be looking at a three-season tent. I try to find a tent that has a footprint – a piece that goes down first before you set it up to give you a little extra insulation from the ground. I would stick to a two pole system with a rain fly. They’re not going to be super light weight without paying big bucks, but you can split up weight with two people.” fullsizerender5. Calories Count  A butane single burner stove and 100 gram canister mean hot meals, however there are countless strategies to getting vital calories. Instead of expensive dried meals, King gathers grocery store basics. “I take Ramen and packaged salmon or tuna. Take those dried starches to save a lot of weight. Summer sausage. Cheese. It takes a long time for cheese to get moldy.” King advises backpackers to not worry about anything more than calories. “You want to replace those calories that you’re losing. Poptarts are not necessarily good for you, but there are a lot of calories and they go down easy. Also, trail mix. It’s worth the reward, but make sure you pour into your partner’s hand. Don’t let them reach in the bag.” 6. Clean Water “Water filtration is a big thing,” says King. “I am comfortable identifying a spring or a clean water source, but having something to filter water is source of mental stability.” For a two-day hike, most people can carry enough water, but the extra weight is burdensome. King uses a sawyer mini water filtration system. “It’s a filter about four inches long. You can screw it on a bottle or use like a life straw straight from the source. My backup is always to have your iodine tablets.”last_img read more

Armenian Community of Greater Binghamton holds peace rally to help spread awareness

first_img“It’s happening now and there’s not a lot of recognition for it,” Melikian said. “What we’ve seen in the media, not a lot of people know about it. And we need to bring attention to it sooner than later because later it might be too late.” The rally members began at the Armenian Genocide Memorial on Conklin Avenue and ended on State Street. The community also mentioned for more information about what is going on at the Armenian borders and how you can help, visit armeniafund.org. The community is also asking for the United States government’s help to stop the attacks on the country. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Armenian Community of Greater Binghamton held a peace rally today to bring awareness to the attacks happening at the Armenian borders.center_img Alex Melikian, rally leader and Binghamton University student, says it was important to hold the rally in Binghamton to bring awareness to what is happening. The local Armenian community invited Binghamton residents to join their prayers for peace and help spread awareness of the attacks happening against the country. On September 27, the Armenian borders were attacked by Azerbaijan in the Artsakh Region. The war has been going on for the past three weeks. last_img read more

Dream Castle ready to bid for Bahrain Trophy glory | Racing News

first_imgLoxley will be representing Godolphin, as will Dream Castle – a winner at the highest level in Dubai in 2019.“Dream Castle is a nice horse who always tries his best,” said Bin Suroor.“The surface will suit him, so we’re looking for a good run from him.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “So far he’s in good form. He won well the race before his last one, and he ran well last time out, so we’re looking forward to seeing him race again.“He’s won a Group One in Meydan. He’s very good there – I think he enjoys being out there and he likes the track, (so) that’s why I think Bahrain might suit him.“The horse is tough. He’s doing well, and this looks a good race for him over a mile and a quarter – he’s fine over anything from a mile to 10 furlongs.”- Advertisement – Dream Castle is all set to bid for glory in the Bahrain International Trophy.Saeed bin Suroor’s six-year-old is due to come up against Aidan O’Brien’s 2019 Irish Derby winner Sovereign, last year’s Queen Anne Stakes hero Lord Glitters and Charlie Appleby’s Loxley on Friday.- Advertisement – Andrew Balding’s Bangkok and John Gosden’s Global Giant are other notable runners, along with the Hollie Doyle-ridden Deirdre.last_img read more

NFL, NFLPA agree to daily COVID-19 testing; league reportedly offers to cut all preseason games

first_imgThe agreement for daily testing also came one day after several NFL players took to social media to voice their concerns over a lack of a player safety plan for scheduled training camps. Prominent players such as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry all commented on social media on Sunday under the hashtag WeWantToPlay. “We know that we can’t eliminate risk, but we’re trying to mitigate it as much as possible for everyone,” Sills said. “We know that this is going to be a shared responsibility.” NFL offered the NFLPA today to play zero preseason games this summer, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 20, 2020The number of preseason games has been a point of contention leading up to the start of training camp, with the players not wanting to play any preseason games this year.The frequency of tests had also been one of the biggest issues between the two sides, with the NFLPA pushing for daily tests as opposed to the league’s position of every other day. After two weeks of daily testing, the timeliness of the tests will be switched to every other day if the positivity rate falls below five percent among players and Tier I and Tier II individuals. The daily tests will continue past the two-week mark if the positivity rate does not drop. MORE: Training camp dates, preseason games, COVID-19 protocols”There’s no finish line with health and safety and I think these protocols are very much living and breathing documents, which means they will change as we gain new knowledge about this virus, as we gain new knowledge about transmission, as we gain new knowledge about testing and there are new tests and new techniques that come online,” Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL chief medical officer, said during a conference call. “We very much anticipate that these protocols will change.”The decision to test every day came as rookies for the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans were set to report to camp, and under the league’s protocols, a player must produce one negative test before he is allowed to enter his team’s facility. “These are complicated issues which involve a lot of factors,” Sills said. “But suffice it to say we very much look at it from a medical and public health standpoint, and we want to make sure that first and foremost we’re creating the safest possible environment for our players, for our coaches and our staff, but that we’re also operating within the safest environment for each one of our clubs’ locations, which means ongoing and regular communication with the public health authorities in those areas.” The NFL and NFL Players Association reached an agreement Monday over the issue of coronavirus testing, with tests to be administered daily for at least the first two weeks of training camp. In addition, the league has reportedly offered to cut all preseason games, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.last_img read more

Balfour, Granite host tournament week

first_imgIt’s tournament week at the Granite Pointe at Nelson and Balfour Golf Courses.Balfour tees off on the week by hosting the annual Senior Men’s Open Wednesday at the Les Furber designed course.The 18-hole tournament attracts players from throughout the Kootenays.The scene remains in Balfour for Ladies Open Thursday.Once again players from around the regions will be in Balfour for the 18-hole tourney.The scene shifts to Granite Pointe for the 2011 Selkirk Paving Labour Day Open.This event is broken into three separate tournaments — men’s, seniors and ladies — all played at the same time.The men’s tournament, beginning Saturday, is a 36-hole event while the seniors and ladies play 18 [email protected]last_img