Malealea hike village

Lesotho – Hiking the African Kingdom in the Sky

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Some places just feel magical from the moment you arrive. Malealea in Lesotho is one of them. Lesotho is known as the Kingdom in the Sky. The country was born out of fierce defiance of European colonization. Two-thirds of this rugged country is mountains. You can even ski in Lesotho, something we don’t often associate with Africa. This rugged landscape allows for plenty of interesting hiking in Lesotho. I’ve always been intrigued by this tiny ‘island’ nation due to its […]

Drakensberg hiking view

Hiking with a Fear of Heights – South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains

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I crouched against the mountain nearly paralyzed with fear. My heart raced. As I looked over the ledge, my guide said, you can trust me.  But could I? When it comes to putting my life (as I saw it) in another’s hands, I’m more than reluctant. I don’t like being out of control and trust within the context of being in a foreign country with someone I don’t know comes hard. What do you do when fear overcomes reason? Hiking […]

Japan

Japan’s Long-Distance Trail – The Nakasendo

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Japan is a land of fire and rain. Active volcanoes continue to remake the landscape while underground steam vents fuel the countless onsen or hot spring baths that dot this country. These springs are fed by streams and rivers that, from time to time, overflow their boundaries. In the cities and towns of Japan, fire, landslides, and flooding are common dangers. Such a violent landscape breeds breathtaking scenery. From snowy Hokkaido in the far north to tropical Okinawa in the […]

Angkor Wat jungle trees hiking

Hiking Among the Temples of Angkor Wat

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A temple is not an obvious hiking destination. But when the temple is called Angkor Wat, you can rethink a lot of assumptions. For starters, Angkor Wat is only one of the many temples, pagodas, gates, necropolis, and stelae that comprise the Angkor complex. At 400 acres (160 hectares), this complex is the largest religious site in the world. The Angkor complex is still very much in use. Some of the temples are sacred to Hindus while others are used […]

taiwan hiking alishan forest sunrise expat hikers

Sunrise Trekking in Taiwan’s Alishan National Forest

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Trekking in Alishan National Forest The clouds enter Alishan National Forest at will. They slip through cedar groves or descend from the heights of 3,000 year old cypress trees. The near constant humidity feeds the trees — root, branch and leaf.  Old trees die but their root systems remain intact, serving as a barrier to soil erosion. New trees spring up yielding multiple generations of cypress trees on one site. Parasitic plants like the rhododendron coexist in this ecosystem. Alishan […]

Fjallraven Classic Sweden backpacking

Hiking the Fjallraven Classic – How I Learned to Love Backpacking.

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How I learned to love backpacking? Let me start by saying, I’m not a backpacker. I love to hike and car camp or even glamp. But backpacking? No. Emphatically NO. But then came the Fjallraven Classic Sweden. The tagline says, “Journey through one of Europe’s last wildernesses with everything you need on your back. Over 110km prepare to meet like-minded fellow trekkers, the occasional reindeer herd and mountains that roll into the horizon.” How could I resist? The Fjallraven Classic […]

essential exercises for hikers

The 5 Essential Exercises for Hikers

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What are the most essential exercises for hikers? Right now, approximately half the world is thinking of going into hibernation as winter approaches. The other half is just about to go into the hiking season. Some of you are always in the hiking season. Lucky you! Whatever your season or location there are five essential exercises for hikers that will keep your body hiking ready all year round. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a short hiking weekend, warrior style, […]

bristlecone pine forest hiking 10 essentials

Stay Safe on the Trail…Always Carry the “10 Essentials”

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How prepared are you each time you hike? If you’re like me you’ve gone hiking one too many times without carrying the “10 essentials.” Now I don’t mean you’re one of those people you see on the trail in flipflops…no, you would NEVER do that! But I’ll bet you’ve gone on a hike and said to yourself, I don’t need to bring water or food or that warm jacket in the car – I’ll be back in an hour. I […]

Finding hiking partners

Hiking Partners Wanted or How to Beat the Odds of a Bad Hiking Match

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I used to be fairly indiscriminate about my hiking partners (and sometimes still am). Long ago after a move to San Francisco where I didn’t know anyone, I wanted to hike so badly I would go with anyone. A “singles” backpacking trip into the wilderness with a well-known club (which shall remain unnamed) had me trapped with several strange bedfellows for 3 nights. Having declared myself single by joining the trip, I couldn’t very well tell interested fellow hikers I […]

What makes a hike great

What Makes A Great Hike?

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I recently watched the Netflix movie, The Ritual. Best mates go for a nice weekend in the woods and pretty soon someone breaks a leg – the mates can’t agree on the route so they get completely lost and then, bam! The friends end up in a forgotten village full of strange people wanting to sacrifice them to their ancient evil god. Now that’s definitely not a great hike! Why do horror films always have a scene where things go […]