With longer days and sun­nier weath­er, the sum­mer is often the per­fect sea­son to make mem­o­ries that will last a life­time. Those gold­en days and nicer weath­er may seem far into the future still, but with spring­time among us, you can be sure that the sum­mer sea­son will reveal itself in no time. To start lay­ing the foun­da­tion for an epic sum­mer adven­ture, it’s worth plan­ning some trips now and request­ing the right days off work, and if you real­ly want a sum­mer to remem­ber, set your sights high and per­form the due dili­gence for these sev­en unique sum­mer adven­tures to start plan­ning for now.

Presidential-Traverse

The Pres­i­den­tial Traverse—New Hampshire
While you don’t need to have a pre-applied per­mit to tack­le the Pres­i­den­tial Tra­verse of New Hamp­shire, you do need the legs for get­ting the brag­ging rights of this ath­let­ic feat. Fea­tur­ing sev­en moun­tain ranges, all named after famous pres­i­den­tial fig­ures, and any­where from 20 to 24 miles of trav­el with near­ly 10,000 feet of ele­va­tion gain, get­ting an ear­ly start to this all-day adven­ture is your best bet to fin­ish. Dur­ing the sum­mer sea­sons, the trails are sus­cep­ti­ble to after­noon storms and unpar­al­leled North­east­ern land­scapes, and while your thighs and calves are scream­ing on your final ascents, you’ll be glad you took the time now to train for the Pres­i­den­tial Tra­verse and all that it entails. 

Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race—Tennessee
Fea­tur­ing three con­sec­u­tive big-mileage days tak­ing place in the month of July, the Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race doesn’t always reach capac­i­ty every year, but it would be well worth train­ing, for now, to com­plete each stage in the series. Each one of the three days of the Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race explores a dif­fer­ent scenic moun­tain, and aver­ages some­where around 20 miles a day. While that sounds fair­ly man­age­able now at the begin­ning of the warmer sea­son, wak­ing up for three con­sec­u­tive days to put down some big miles may take a lit­tle train­ing to get to.

Back­pack­ing the Supe­ri­or Hik­ing Trail—Minnesota
The Supe­ri­or Hik­ing Trail, which spans the west­ern shore­line of Lake Supe­ri­or in Min­neso­ta, doesn’t have a cap on the num­ber of hik­ers who can camp along its scenic cor­ri­dor, but to accom­plish the entire 260 miles that the tra­di­tion­al trail encom­pass­es, you prob­a­bly bet­ter start plan­ning your resup­ply strat­e­gy now, not too men­tion how to take a few weeks off work. But even if you have to quit your job, the many miles of amaz­ing rock out­crop­pings and cliffs, the abun­dance of lakes and rivers, and not too men­tion the con­tin­u­ous views of the daz­zling Lake Supe­ri­or shore­line, it will be well worth your time to explore this amaz­ing dis­play of North Woods wilder­ness in Minnesota. 

RAGBRAI—Iowa
While the state of Iowa might not be on the top of your adven­ture list, the state real­ly pulls itself togeth­er in the month of July for one of the biggest adven­tures in the Mid­west known as the Register’s Annu­al Great Race Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). This week-long, over a 400-mile event, makes it’s way east across the entire state, stop­ping at and cel­e­brat­ing the small towns of Iowa the entire way. More of a fes­ti­val than a race, RAGBRAI has been cruis­ing the rur­al roads of Iowa for 45 years now, and the good times and thou­sands of bicy­cles have nev­er stopped ped­al­ing since. To take part in this epic event, reg­is­tra­tion is required, and the dead­line for all online appli­cants ends on April 1st, mak­ing this for one sum­mer event to start recruit­ing friends for now opposed to later.

24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell—Arkansas
A good goal to build up to through a sum­mer filled with climb­ing is the 24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell at the Horse­shoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas. Tak­ing place on lit­er­al­ly the last week­end of the cal­en­dar sum­mer (Sep­tem­ber 20–24), this epic rock climb­ing event entices ath­letes to earn points and climb as many routes as pos­si­ble with­in a 12 or 24-hour time span. The climber who grabs the most vert claims 1st prize, but any­one who attends this week­end cel­e­bra­tion com­plete with live music, demos, and quite the col­lec­tion of fun peo­ple, is pret­ty much guar­an­teed to leave feel­ing like they didn’t lose out on any­thing dur­ing the 24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell. 

Hut to Hut Moun­tain Bik­ing Trip through the 10th Moun­tain Division—Colorado
Not only does the high moun­tain atmos­phere of the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion Hut Sys­tem require a lit­tle cross-train­ing before plan­ning a trip, but with the well-deserved pop­u­lar­i­ty of these well-main­tained huts is only grow­ing, and you need to book your stay well before your vis­it. With over 13 huts avail­able to rent through the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion, there is a lot of space to share for sum­mer activ­i­ties, but come late win­ter and spring­time weath­er, the reser­va­tion cal­en­dar for the sum­mer is already well-vis­it­ed. Train your legs for the moun­tains, how­ev­er, and reserve your stay in the huts well ahead of time, and you can treat your­self to an unfor­get­table Rocky Moun­tain expe­ri­ence that will give you a well earned and com­fort­able night’s sleep. 

Rainier

Climb to the Top of Mount Rainier—Washington
To climb to the top of per­haps the most icon­ic peak in Wash­ing­ton, the Nation­al Park Ser­vice requires you to not only pay a climb­ing cost recov­ery fee, but once you’ve paid ($47 for adults), you are also required to obtain a climb­ing per­mit. While reser­va­tions for your per­mit are not required and you can gain one of these the day of your trip, the NPS does rec­om­mend mak­ing a reser­va­tion after the March 15th reser­va­tion win­dow opens up (espe­cial­ly for peak sea­son climbs). More impor­tant­ly, how­ev­er, to get to the top of this rugged, glaciat­ed peak you need to have the right toolsets to be work­ing with. Moun­taineer­ing expe­ri­ence, route nav­i­ga­tion, weath­er plan­ning, phys­i­cal sta­mi­na and even know­ing how to prop­er­ly dis­pose of your waste, these are just some of the ham­mers and nails that will lend to your suc­cess­ful sum­mit of Mt. Rainier and are things worth sharp­en­ing up now before you make the big push to the top. 

It’s a great big world out there and there’s no end to the num­ber of adven­tures to be had. While some exploits def­i­nite­ly require a group (white-water raft­ing, any­one?) oth­ers can be had all by your lone­some. And it can be hard to tell which adven­tures are best tack­led alone. There’s def­i­nite­ly no rea­son you can’t wan­der the PCT all on your own, but these are the ques­tions you should ask your­self before solo adven­ture traveling.

solo adventure traveling hiker

Are you equipped?
No mat­ter want kind of escapade you’re about to embark on, this is a cru­cial one. From hik­ing to moun­tain climb­ing to kayak­ing the Ama­zon, you need to seri­ous­ly con­sid­er your own out­door capa­bil­i­ties. How adept are you in the wild? Are you able to han­dle any prob­lems that arrive with aplomb, expe­ri­ence, and knowledge?

Sure, throw­ing a pack togeth­er and head­ing off into the wilder­ness sounds like a lot of fun. And a 3‑month trek with­out any pre­vi­ous out­door expe­ri­ence sounds great on paper. But in real­i­ty, it’s most­ly a great way to wind up dead. If you’re about to head out on your first extend­ed trip, have a friend or two in place who actu­al­ly know what they’re doing to help keep you on track. Once they’ve shown the ropes the first time around you can con­sid­er tack­ling the world alone on your own after that.

Are you an introvert? 
One of the biggest ques­tions you need to ask your­self is how com­fort­able you are with only your­self as com­pa­ny. Intro­verts often leap at the chance to spend a few days, weeks or even months to them­selves. Extro­verts, on the oth­er hand, tend to go stir-crazy with no one around to bounce their thoughts around.

If you’re the type who enjoys hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions, the lone­li­ness you’ll encounter on the trail could be crip­pling if you choose to go it alone. On the oth­er hand, even intro­verts need human com­pan­ion­ship every once in a while. Know your thresh­old for how long you can spend on your own.

How awe­some are your friends?
Addi­tion­al­ly, we all have those friends that, while we love them uncon­di­tion­al­ly, we can real­ly only stand to be in their pres­ence for a few hours before we want to run away scream­ing. Don’t take that friend with you on a group adventure.

In fact, you should prob­a­bly do a men­tal run­down on your entire cir­cle of friends and esti­mate how long you could spend with them before it comes to blows. If your friends are all intro­verts you’ll prob­a­bly be ready to dis­pense of each other’s com­pa­ny after a day or two on the trail. Do you have a friend whose mouth doesn’t seem to have an off but­ton? You prob­a­bly don’t want to take him/her either.

Do you need a safe­ty net?
The best part of tak­ing a group trip is the built-in safe­ty net your friends pro­vide. If some­thing hor­ri­ble goes down, heav­en for­bid, hope­ful­ly, one of your bud­dies will have enough wits about him to ensure you stay safe and get the help you need. When alpine climb­ing, for instance, if an avalanche occurs and you get buried you’ll feel a lit­tle bet­ter know­ing your friend might be able to get help while you wait.

Do you want to test yourself?
Solo adven­ture trav­el­ing is a fan­tas­tic way to test what you’re real­ly made of.

There’s always dan­ger when you head out from the com­forts of your home. But there’s no sense in hold­ing back entire­ly. If you tru­ly want to know what you’re able to accom­plish, maybe you need to head out solo and see what kind of trou­ble you can han­dle. It’s quite a thrill to han­dle things on your own if all goes south. How­ev­er, we’ll say again, always research and pre­pare as best you can ahead of time.

Above all, solo­ing it or going with friends is a per­son­al and often sit­u­a­tion­al choice; there’s no sol­id right answer here. Con­sid­er your lim­its, your desires, and your abil­i­ties. After that, decide on the right course of action for each trip you take. Even­tu­al­ly, you’re prob­a­bly going to want both expe­ri­ences under your belt.

200453491-001

Whether you’re a trail-run­ner, cycler, hik­er, or just out for a week­end camp­ing trip in the back­coun­try, sur­vival sit­u­a­tions can strike at any­time and if you don’t have at least a basic knowl­edge of how not to die, your ass is grass. Take Aron Ral­ston for exam­ple. This avid out­door enthu­si­ast became the stuff of leg­ends when a quick bik­ing adven­ture in the canyons of Utah land­ed him between a boul­der and a canyon wall. Though James Fran­co made Ralston’s ordeal some­what sexy in 127 Hours, in the end, there was noth­ing sexy about Ral­ston hav­ing to ampu­tate his own arm with a dull mul­ti­tool, hike out of the canyons and rap­pel down cliffs to reach help and safe­ty. If you fol­low these few sim­ple safe­ty tips, you may come out of your sur­vival sit­u­a­tion with limbs intact.

1. For the Love of God, Leave a Note
If you’re off play­ing Daniel Boone by your­self or in a small group, it takes no time at all to leave a note detail­ing the fol­low­ing information:

-  Where you’re going.
-  When you plan to return.
-  Who you’re with.
-  When to call for help if you haven’t returned.
-  You vehi­cle infor­ma­tion: Make, mod­el, col­or, license plate number.

If you think you can sur­vive saw­ing off one of your limbs, then by all means don’t leave a note. If you’re slight­ly squea­mish and like your extrem­i­ties, put pen­cil to paper.

2. H20 and Fire

200453491-001

Guess what!? You need water to live and you can’t always stroll up to a faucet in the wilder­ness. One of the lead­ing caus­es of death in the out­doors is over­heat­ing and dehy­dra­tion. If you’re play­ing in the out­doors, always bring enough water to keep you well hydrat­ed. The stan­dard is typ­i­cal­ly 32 ounces a day for mod­er­ate to rig­or­ous activ­i­ty. Invest in a Camel­Bak. Buy a col­or­ful Nal­gene and put some obnox­ious stick­ers on it.

Anoth­er inter­est­ing fact: You need to stay warm to sur­vive. Keep­ing your core body tem­per­a­ture above 95 degrees in the out­doors insures that you are cog­nizant enough and have ade­quate motor func­tion­ing to make it out of your sur­vival sit­u­a­tion alive.

200453491-001How do I stay warm, you might ask?

-  Learn to build a fire.
-  Pack extra lay­ers of insu­lat­ed cloth­ing. Wool (you know, from sheep)…is awesome.
-  Stay dry. A wet body is cold­er than a dry one.
-  Find shelter…fast.
-  Get naked with a hot­tie in a sleep­ing bag.

Do what is takes, but warm your core.

3. Knives Are Real­ly Cool:

200453491-001Chicks dig ‘em. They’re pret­ty handy and they can do a ton of cool tricks. Like cut through human flesh, bone, and ten­don in a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion. Just one exam­ple. Knives can help you repair gear, leave mark­ings so that search and res­cue teams can find you if you’re on the move, cut twigs to build a fire, and slit your own throat when you real­ize you for­got to leave a detailed note and left your water at home.

 

What’s even bet­ter than exclu­sive sav­ings on an award-win­ning hydra­tion pack? Get­ting that hydra­tion pack for free. That’s right. Free.

GEIGERRIG is up on The Clymb today and each pack pur­chase comes with a 2012–2013 High Adven­ture Pass­port filled with free and dis­count pass­es to some of the finest resorts in North Amer­i­ca. Use one or two pass­es and your GEIGERRIG pack has paid for itself. Use more, and you can actu­al­ly make mon­ey. That’s even bet­ter than free!

With dis­counts on lodg­ing, zip-line tours, all day lift tick­ets, kayak­ing and fish­ing expe­di­tions, and even free oil changes for your adven­ture mobile, this pass­port is tru­ly your tick­et to high adven­ture. Click through for an inter­ac­tive pass­port tour.

Once your new GEIGERRIG pack and pass­port arrive, the first thing you’ll want to do is reg­is­ter your pass­port here. Reg­is­tra­tion ensures you’ll be able to vis­it the fine par­tic­i­pat­ing resorts and makes you eli­gi­ble to win awe­some prizes includ­ing an adven­ture vaca­tion pack­age val­ued at more than $3,000.

Whether you pre­fer snow, mud, water, path, or pave­ment, the High Adven­ture Pass­port is your tick­et to ride.

 

This Fri­day, we’re fea­tur­ing trav­el guides from Lone­ly Plan­et exclu­sive­ly to our mem­bers. Their guides are rich with infor­ma­tion on all aspects for your future adven­tures. Whether you’re inter­est­ed in learn­ing the topog­ra­phy of your next win­ter des­ti­na­tion or the cul­tur­al cui­sine of your next sum­mer vaca­tion spot, Lone­ly Plant guides will help you make informed deci­sions for your trip-plan­ning needs. Trav­el prepa­ra­tion goes beyond (and is much more fun than just) deter­min­ing the weath­er and the best places to sleep.

Pho­to: Chrissy575/Cre­ative Commons

Some oth­er inter­est­ing bits of infor­ma­tion of note:

And much, much more. Just as the world is vast and full of places to explore, the pos­si­bil­i­ties when plan­ning unfor­get­table adven­tures are end­less. Join us on Fri­day in wel­com­ing Lone­ly Plan­et and let them accom­pa­ny you on your next travels.


As you can imag­ine, adven­ture is kind of a big deal around here. Not just the pur­suit of it, but the spir­it of it. That per­sis­tent push and pull that pro­pels us to new places and faces. The wan­der­lust that leads to explor­ing waves and caves. An adven­tur­ous spir­it fuels the abil­i­ty to invig­o­rate and inspire others.

We were drawn to NEMO’s mis­sion to pro­vide reli­able, beau­ti­ful, well-designed equip­ment that make your adven­tures more enjoy­able and safer. Tues­day, we’ll fea­ture a selec­tion of their mul­ti­ple award-win­ning camp­ing gear. Seri­ous­ly, they’re like the Titan­ic of out­door gear, win­ning all the awards.

Take their Losi 3P tent for instance: Named Gear of the Year, Out­side, Sum­mer 2009 Buy­er’s Guide; Vot­ed Best All-Around 3 Per­son Tent, Back­pack­er, 2009 Gear Guide; Named Gear of the Year, Men’s Jour­nal, Dec/Jan 2009. Check out this instruc­tion­al video on how to set up a Losi series tent and then come back on Tues­day for our NEMO event. We’ll fea­ture some of the avail­able selec­tion on Face­book next week. And speak­ing of Face­book, head on over and give the NEMO page a like, let them know you’re look­ing for­ward to hav­ing them on The Clymb as much as we are.