- Why make this site?
- Simply, I have a passion to get out and be outdoors and after searching long and hard to find a decent hiking website about hiking in Napa, I only found bits and pieces about the places to hike. So I built this website for myself, family, friends and you! So Enjoy & Keep your bodies moving!.
- Best Hiking? Everyone has their spot - My top two hiking spots are:
- Great Quick Local Hike "exercise"
- #1 Westwood Hills Park - It is Free, close, great trails and has great views
- #2 Alston Park - Also Free, close and easy trails
- #3 Skyline Wilderness Park - Nominal Fee, great trails, biking, horseback riding, freesbe disc golf, camping
- Q. Dog Friendly Park(s)?
A. I don't have a dog, so I may be missing a few spots, however this is the following locations that allow dog(s).
- Alston Park appears to be the most dog friendly park in Napa. There is a area allocated just for Dogs and there are specific trails for dogs.
- Zim Zim Falls (Lake Berryessa) - Dogs: Dogs Allowed – Leashed and Clean Up
- Bothe Napa Valley State Park - Dogs are restricted to the camp and picnic areas and must be leashed
- Q. How much water should I carry?
A. As much as you comfortably can. People often take too little water.
- Two liters per person per day is a good rule of thumb, depending on the length of the hike, the weather and your level of fitness.
- Take a lesson from athletes. Recent studies show that cyclists given an unlimited supply of water had over 50% more stamina than cyclists who were offered no water on training rides.
- You will feel much more energetic and can better tackle those mountain ridges when you are well hydrated. Many experienced hikers will pack a few gallons of water in the car before they leave home so they can drink some and/or top off their water bottles before they hit the trail. You will also have a fresh supply of water waiting for you when you return to the vehicle.
- Q. Best Snack to take on a Hiking Trip:
A. Delicious snacks that have carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy
fats. Candy and chocolate should be avoided because of the sugars that
will give you a quick energy, but will then shoot you straight back down
into a slump very quickly
- Trail mix is the perfect snack to take on a hiking trip. It is very lightweight and has a lot of nutritional value. In a trail mix you may find nuts, peanuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, granola, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, carob, banana chips, or coconut.
- Energy Bars are another great snack to take on a hiking trip. They are lightweight, which is perfect inside your day pack and there are many different brands on the market that you can choose from. The energy bar is made to keep your blood sugar steady.
- Beef Jerky always seem like a popular staple and a must have to take on a hiking trip. The beef jerky has protein that will help give you some
energy you need when hiking.
- Raisins are great to take on a hiking trip. You can purchase them in little individual boxes or pouches and they are lightweight for your day pack. Also other dried fruits such as mission figs, calimyrna figs, pitted dates, chopped dates, apples, cranberries, mixed fruits, and more.
- Cut up some carrots and celery and pack them in a Ziploc bag. These are great munching snacks to take on a hiking trip. If you have children with you, add a little peanut butter on a celery stick and top with some raisins. You will then be serving them "ants on a log" and you will see a smile on their face.
- Apples are a great sweet snack food to take on a hiking trip. Apples can easily be tossed into your day pack and they don't go bad quick and will give you the energy you need to keep on hiking. Remember the proverb, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? There is a lot of nutritional value in an apple and they are high in carbohydrates and has natural sugar which is great for the energy you will need on your hiking trip.
- Q. What's the best way to pack my backpack? - Pack Light & Right to save your back!
A. Each pack is different depending on its features and the load its designed to carry. Since we are all unique each person's center of gravity will reflect the end result as well. You want try to keep the heaviest part of your load centered close to your back and shoulder blades.
- Because a woman's center of gravity tends to be lower than a man's, some women find that putting heavier items at the bottom of the pack gives them a better sense of balance.
- Experiment with your backpack each time you load it to see what load shifts works best for you. Organization of your equipment within your pack is very important in achieving balance.
- Use different-colored stuff sacks for each portion of your gear such as food, clothing and personal items. That way, you don't have to rummage through everything to grab what you need.
- The things you use the most during your hike or backpacking adventure such as a jacket, camera, compass, or map should be tucked in a side pocket or on the top within easy reach.
- Q. What should I do if I get lost in the wilderness?
A. First, take every step to prevent becoming lost.
- Take a map and compass class at a local community center or outdoor store.
- Before you hike, study a map of the area to become familiar with the trails, nearby roads, streams, mountains and other features. Leave a trip plan with family or friends.
- As you hike, observe the topography around you (ridges, recognizable summits, rivers, etc.). They serve as good reference points, particularly when you are above treeline.
- Always hike with a map and compass. If you become disoriented, stop, pull out your map and calmly look at the countryside for familiar landmarks.Few people remain truly lost after consulting a map and calmly studying the terrain for five minutes.
- To help orient yourself, you may want to head to a ridge or high ground so you can identify hills or streams that are marked on your topographical map. But don't wander too far from your original route, especially if you don't have a map.
- If you have told family members or fellow hikers where you plan to hike, that area is where rescuers will start searching for you. Should you continue to be lost, S.T.O.P. (stop, think, observe and plan). Try to go back to your last known location if it is within a reasonable distance.
- Decide on a course of action and stick to it. Most important, don't panic. You will be using up energy that you may need later on. If you can find no familiar landmarks by backtracking, then stay put. If you carry a whistle, blow it at timed intervals to signal rescuers or other hikers who could lead you back to your campsite or trail.
- Q. Hiking Shoes - hiking boots or sneakers?
A. Many day hikers, especially novices, wonder if they really need anything fancier than a pair of sneakers on their feet when they hit the trail.
- But when you are hiking on the kinds of terrain found on even quite ordinary day hikes–muddy trails, crumbling surfaces, rocky scree, etc.–there is nothing like a good pair of hiking boots for added support, protection and safety.
- Unlike sneakers, hiking boots can withstand the wear and tear of walking on abrasive granite. Their grooved soles provide better traction on rough surfaces.
- High-cut boots (those that come up around your ankles) provide greater support than low-cut models and help protect you from protruding sticks and stones.
- If they are lined with Gore-Tex®, you will have the added benefit of waterproof performance. Over the years we have found that good hiking boots more than pay for themselves, and we recommend them highly.
- Q. Hiking Poles?
A. Poles, if used correctly will allow you to walk more forward with weight distributed to shoulders, arms (not hands), as well as legs, hips, and back. This is especially helpful going uphill. It is up hills that kill my lumbar and hips. With poles, I find it much easier and less painful.
- IT WILL HELP YOU KEEP YOUR BALANCE - Crossing Creeks, Streams, Rivers, Traversing Hillsides, Crossing Shale, Carrying Heavy Loads, Resting En Route
- IT WILL HELP YOU MANEUVER Crossing Downed Trees Over Trails To Break or Prevent a Fall
- IT WILL REDUCE STRESS ON BACK, KNEES, LEGS, & FEET- Provides Extra Power & Balance, Going Uphill Reduces Shock on Knees, Going Downhill Takes Pressure off Back & Hips
- OTHER USES - Center or Side Pole for a Tarp To Prop Up Your Pack, To Lean on When Resting, Pushing Aside Spider Webs & Brush Self Defense ?
- Q.How do I introduce my young children to hiking?
A. Gradually. Before you try a day-long hike, try an hour-long hike and be prepared to carry a straggler or two.
- Make it fun for them. Let them bring a friend. Point out the wildlife, and have them find special plants or trees so they learn more about the natural world around them.
- Be sensitive to children's energy levels and need for frequent breaks.
- Always bring a first-aid kit on your hikes with children (and all other hikes, too). Moleskin and adhesive bandages can be real lifesavers if you or your little ones get blisters
- Hiking Techniques that Take Pressure off the Backside
- The Mountaineers is called the "Rest Step" or "Lock Step".The Rest Step takes pressure and strain off muscles and transfers it to the bone structure. It is a mainly useful on uphill slopes--especially on snow--where endurance is important.
- Take a step. Straighten that leg and lock the knee. As you move to take the next step, place the weight of your entire body on the locked bone structure of your back leg. As you swing your leg forward to take the next step relax the muscles in that leg.
- Also, at the same time, stand more erect and relax your back and neck. You need to get into a steady rhythm of doing that for each step you take. You may feel like a robot walking slowly up the mountain, but you'll feel much better when you get there.
- Continuous movement is a great strain on your muscles. Each rest step gives a fraction of a second of rest to your leg, hip, and back muscles as weight and stress is transferred to the locked bone structure of the rear leg. I have found this to be very effective for relieving pain in my lumbar and hip area (as well as adding endurance to my legs).
- Miscellaneous Tips for Bad Back Improvement
1. Begin an exercise program as soon as possible after your injury, for several reasons:
2. When exercising:
- Muscles get weak quickly, if not used, especially so, if you're middle aged or older.
- Weakened muscles make bad backs worse
- Over time, most bad backs will get better, thru proper nutritional habits, rest when under stress, and plenty of exercises.
3. If your pain is intense:
- Avoid drugs, if at all possible. Drugs mask symptoms and encourage you to do further damage by exercising when you shouldn't.
- Exercise during the time of day that is most convenient for you, when you can concentrate, enjoy it, and relax afterwards. Exercising in the latter part of the day gives your muscles a chance to stretch out naturally during the day. Although you will still need to do some stretching before your more aggressive exercise routines, the muscles will not be as taut as they would be if you exercised first thing in the morning. If you exercise in the morning, start out gently with 5 or 10 minutes, at least, of moderate stretching. This is a big help and goes a long way towards avoidance of "pulled" muscles.
- During the day, whenever you think of it, STRETCH IT OUT.
- Torso stretch -- slowly, from side to side, with your hands over your head.
- Lower back -- slowly, bend & touch your toes.
- Neck stretch -- slowly, turn head as far as you can to one side, look behind you and hold it for a few seconds. Do the same the other direction.
- Stop the exercise when you feel pain. Don't do anything while you're in pain. It only complicates the situation and makes it worse.
4. Avoid sitting for long periods, plays havoc on a bad back. Get plenty of rest, lay on your back as much as possible on floor or bed, with rolled-up towel under small of back.
- USE ICE ! Ice takes down inflammation and allows for a more accurate and natural feel for how your back is doing - drugs mask symptoms, ice does not.
5. Avoid picking up heavy objects, especially from the floor. If you must pick up a heavy object:
6. Get plenty of rest. Avoid stressful situations. Stress goes straight to the weakest link. In this case, it would be your back. A brief nap at home or work will help. Sometimes, at work, I'll walk out to my truck, put the seat back, and take a 10-15 minute nap. I also take short walks about the company compound - relieves stress from my back.
- Ask for help - that's what other people are for.
- Move closer to the object.
- Remember to squat and use your legs NOT YOUR BACK !
- Keep your back straight and vertical.
- Move slowly - NO JERKING !
- Divide large loads into smaller loads.
- Use a device like a hand truck or luggage carrier.
7. Don't sit for prolonged periods of time - sitting is hard on the back. Get up occasionally, especially at work, roam around, get a drink of water. Look out the window. Especially if you sit all day at work or at home (in front of the computer ?) get a chair with excellent back support !
8. Nutrition and habits. Smoking, drinking alcohol, inadequate and improper nutrition, general physical condition all play a key role in the future of your back - whether it heals or not. If you smoke, drink alcohol, are overweight, don't eat balanced, nutritional foods on a daily basis, and don't exercise - don't complain, you've chosen to probably have a bad back for a long time.
9. There's nothing magic about healing your back. Chiropractors and Holestic type Practioners can help.
- No matter where you turn, no matter how much you spend, most of the time, the finger will be pointing at you. Only you can help you. We typically shy away from healing ourselves because it requires changing habits - we don't like that. In the corporate world, dramatic change of cultural habits, almost always, does not happen until a company exceeds their economic pain threshold. Likewise, with us, especially the older we get, habits don't change easily. How great is your PAIN ?
- Take Care of Yourself
- Finally, don't forget about your own health and comfort. When lifting a child to place him or her into a trailer or jogger, exercise caution. Don't bend from the waist, but begin in a 3-point squat and implement a two-stage lift that consists of a) pulling the child up to your chest and then b) lifting straight up with your leg muscles. Stay as close to the car seat or trailer as possible and place the child into it without reaching, stretching or twisting. The further the child is from your body, the more strain you will place on your spine and musculoskeletal system.
- Chiropractic Care Can HelpIf you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from these or other outdoor activities, call your doctor of chiropractic. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages, and can provide health tips for you and your children that will make enjoying outdoor activities safer and more enjoyable.