<![CDATA[WILDFound - Camping and Hiking ]]>Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:51:45 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Goll Woods Hiking: Kid Friendly Hike]]>Tue, 22 Dec 2015 02:49:35 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/camping-and-hiking/goll-woods-hiking-kid-friendly-hikeThis post tags along with my last post "Taking Kids Hiking": 

I love being outside and lucky enough for me my kids are enjoying the same affinity for natural beauty. I chose to hit Goll Woods for a quick hike late in the fall on a warm November day. This a great time to beat the heat and the mosquitos and get a little more out of the little ones on the trail.
-Here's a quick video of the time we had. (for HD you'll have to watch on YT)
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Goll woods sits outside Archbold Ohio. The Goll family farm was conserved and sold to the State which created this nature preserve. The beautiful thing that makes this area special is the plantlife and unique vintage old growth/swamp forest that still exists here. It serves as maybe one of the last remnants of the Great Black Swamp of the area in the pioneering days. The area has several awesome trails many of which border the Tiffin River and run through old evergreen forests. Its a nice tucked away non-crowded preserve for folks in northwestern Ohio. 

Hope you enjoy the video and I know you'll be seeing more of Goll Woods and the beauty of Nature here on WF!

If you know Goll Woods share it down below!

<![CDATA[How-to tips: Introduce your children to hiking´╗┐]]>Tue, 08 Dec 2015 19:21:34 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/camping-and-hiking/how-to-tips-introduce-your-children-to-hikingPicture
I have two young sons (5 and 3) and they love the outdoors. They can be outside tearing each other to shreds in the backyard or scoping for antler sheds in the cold early spring and be perfectly content. There were a few learning bumps I had to endure along the way to transitioning my little ones to traversing the hike. 

Those bumps were well worth introducing my passion to my kids. 

Many kids don't get any real outdoor exposure at all. Taking the first steps to show them how wonderful the adventure of the hike is can be a critical learning point in their lives... and if you're at this page then you know you want to take the next steps with them. Here's what I've learned and what you may benefit from:

Age really isn't that big of a deal

Don't let the weather deter you from the outdoors, kids love snow hikes.
I really didn't take them on a "real" hike until they were about 3 or so. I wish I would have started them earlier. Little bodies and legs just don't have the stamina to last very long so choose accordingly. A slow walk through a 1/4 mile level trek might be all the toddler can really handle on their own. 

Instead of knowing their limits it might be best to start thinking of your own. How far can you carry your kid? I took them on the Abram's Falls hike in Cade's Cove TN and found this out. I had to carry my kids for miles. They were exhausted and obviously so was I. 

Age doesn't matter but be prepared to carry. Some make their kids hike through exhaustion I agree to a point. I make them hike until I know in that dad way that they really are tired. Take breaks and keep it fun don't drill sergeant you kids into equating hiking with misery. It will come; be patient.  

You can save the day with snacks. 

Bring plenty of water and snacks on your travels. Little kids seem to mow down granola bars like no other while on the trail. If you come up empty handed in the snack department they won't just drop it. Bring twice as much as you think you need. 

Look for the really scenic landscapes.

Kids like the best stuff. Most won't appreciate the finer details of the ecosystem, they want the water falls, mountains, animals, and all. Look for a trail that makes those big moments happen. For me this looks like creek crossings, evening times to increase the chance of seeing a grazing deer, or hiking along side rivers. Kids love the excitement of something other than just trees. 

Build the hike length in succession.

Don't let weather deter you from snow hikes, kids like them too.
Start with the shorter hikes and then add onto them. Start with the level hikes and then add the incline as you go. You'll find that with each successful trip a goal was met and the kids will naturally want to up their game as they go. You are going to start out with basically walks through the park and then graduate up to shorter paved trails, and then onto the bigger rougher trails of local state parks. It's fun to build the experience with your children as you go . 

Bribe them

Make them look forward to completing the hike by bribing them with a stop to that ice cream place on the way home. My kids get treated to a pop at the gas station or even a piece of candy they pick out. I know it's not good for them, but it's a sacrifice to make to avoid couch potato syndrome for my kids. 

Hike with friends.

Their friends. Kids can push a lot further when it comes to hiking with others their age. Cousins, friends kids, kids from church, etc. Allow them all to hike together and associate fun with friends and hiking. My kids fight a lot less with each other and love to lead the pack on the hikes with buddies along. 

Keep the natural artifacts.

Every kid love to find treasures along the path. Usually my oldest son finds a stick that he must have. I have his favorite in the garage right now. Kids like to take things home with them when they go. Let them grab that pretty colored rock or weird looking leaf and bring it home with them. They love this stuff and it just piles onto the fun of hiking. 

Give them their own gear.

Not the expensive boots they'll outgrow in a year or the 150 dollar breathable jacket... the cheaper stuff they can use along the way. I have an old monocular my kids love to look through and check things out. My youngest son carries a spiderman butterfly net around that he attempts to catch every flying insect on the path with. The point is make a little special trip next time you're at the store and let them grab one or two pieces of cheap gear they can call their own. 

Take pictures to show off.

Kids love pictures of themselves. It helps them remember the trip in a good way. Them and you as well. I keep some of those hiking pictures as my background on my macbook to remind me of what it's all about. hang them up in the house and show them off a little. Build up their hikes to others to make their efforts feel appreciated, because they are. 

Did WF get this one right?

Let us know in the comment section below or like the page of FB!
<![CDATA[The Quick Trip Tip List: No plans camping]]>Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:32:27 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/camping-and-hiking/the-quick-trip-tip-list-no-plans-campingPicture
Sometimes money is tight, sometimes time is short, sometimes you need to step out a minute and grab some time back from the world. You can do this at a moment’s notice, though it’s not as easy; it’s definitely still worth the effort. When Friday rolls around and you can’t think of anything to do, don’t be afraid to spontaneously pack and scramble out into the wilderness for a short camping trip. Just one day and night with friends, kids, and family can mend a heart that’s been beaten down by the work week.

One of the great “gifts” I have that my wife doesn’t consider a gift at all, is the ability to change plans at a moment’s notice (Basically I don’t organize or lock myself into plans and kind of just go with the flow/laid back my way into my weekend events).... but, I see it as more of a “taking advantage of short-term opportunities.” My wife plans the vacations, dental appointments, etc. I come up with spur-of-the-moment things to do when everyone is bored, we compliment each other like that. For those who need a little more routine and planning to feel safe enough to take a quick plunge into a weekend camping trip here’s my (say this fast) quick trip tip list:

Don't Over Pack

  • You waste time packing too many things before you go on a one-nighter, only things you absolutely need should be packed up for this quick-hitter. The time it takes to think about everything, grab it, organize it, pack it, and then reverse this process upon return home will waste the little time you have and make it feel a shade under-value. Trust yourself to grab what you need and get by for ONE night with what you grabbed. You’ll feel much more accomplished and self sufficient.
Of course the best case scenario is to have a dedicated camping bug out bag that’s ready to roll at a moment’s notice. (We actually do this for the boys since they’re cool with what ever color combo’s dad’s color/style-blind eyes pick)

Eat Before You Go

You let the fam slam a big meal before the adventure begins; and really, what beats good hot Hit up quick decent size meal to take the pressure off of dinner. Mom doesn’t need to waste the only evening on the trip worrying about getting the food absolutely gourmet perfect. Hot dogs and smores can cut it if dogs on an open fire?

Go With Public State Owned Ground

  • This is just my opinion and in no way does this fit every privately run campground that exists.
    In my neck of the woods the publicly funded state grounds receive more care and are generally built near highlights like lakes, rivers, valleys, or some sort of beautiful landscape. State grounds tend to be cleaner, and alcohol is prohibited. It may not sound like me (I enjoy a good cold one every now and again between fish) but I enjoy the quiet and nature and my family; the rude drunken teenagers next door can totally ruin a one night trip in a privately owned park. I like the peace and quiet of rangers issuing citations to those ruining it for others.

Put Nature at the Center

I love taking a quick fishing trip. If I’m with my family I make it basically a day on the river filled with floating, learning, catching fish with the kids, splashing around and enjoying the beauty. You first notion may be the that young kids won’t be into identifying birds, fish, and critters in the water but you may be surprised. My 4 year old son can identify more fish than the average 15 year old males that I teach. (pro for being a Bio teacher’s/Fly fishing addict’s son) Teach your kids, teach yourself and above all allow nature to bring you closer to your kids. 

Quick Fixes/Low-Prep food

  • As mentioned above, keep the food healthy, packable, and low-prep. You want the one day trip to feel like it lasted for two. Basically you’re getting more bang for your buck by experiencing more with less in limited time.

Don't Rush It

Cramming your mind with logic problems of how you’re going to fit everything you do on a normal week-long trip into just one day will be a nightmare, just let go of the reigns a bit and allow nature to win out. A game of tag with the kids, renting a SUP board, skipping rocks, just kicking back and being silent, all winners in my book.

Find Wild!

<![CDATA[Abram's Falls Hike]]>Sun, 12 Jul 2015 14:01:00 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/camping-and-hiking/abrams-falls-hikeWater is an element that is marveled at and for good reason, even beyond it's tie to the necessity of life people are still drawn to it. That's exactly why any hike goes from good to great when you get to cross streams or view a landscape carved by water. Abrams Falls trail is a trailhead opening up from Cade's Cove, you pull in on the right hand side once on the big scenic loop. 

Trail Difficulty

In order to get to the falls you have to earn it. Many people don't actually make the whole hike. I suppose easy is a pretty relative term. The trail has many rocks and roots that stick up nearly the entire length, it's not paved or manicured at all which slows your time down pretty good. I love to hike so I didn't mind it as much but my hike novice wife wasn't so hardcore about it. The trail is a two and one half mile hike which doesn't sound bad but there are some moderate changes in elevation. I didn't see any children as young as mine on the trail and for good reason. I had to carry my 4 year old the last mile and then alternated kids with tired legs the entire hike back, daddy was tired.  
The trail maintains a close proximity to the river really 85-90% of the way which is great. When we wanted to stop and give the kids a rest it was fun and I got to witness some rising trout (Which daddy will be packing his 5 wt for on the next trip) it created a beautiful hike. There are 3 or 4 smaller wood "bridges" these are a little tricky because as seen in the picture they'er basically logs cut horizontally with one hand rail fixed to provide stability. But hey my 3 and 4 year old got over fine and it was fun for them. 

The Falls

The falls are honestly in my opinion the best in the park. They'er probably around 40 feet in height but the volume of water powering over the falls and plunging into the cool cove below is postcard. If you ask me it was very much worth the trip, if you were to ask my wife... not so much. She joked about calling in a helicopter to pick us up (I took it as a joke, she was serious...) expect to earn this view. Here's what we forgot:
  • Water
  • Food/Snacks
  • Dry socks for wading into the cove
  • Bug spray (I like the good old high DEET stuff, it just works)
These are probably the most important items but we just sort of picked a trail and started going at it not thinking about how long two miles would actually be. Don't be like us, bring all the essentials.

Side story: I saw the sign of 2.5 miles and told my wife that the kids could only go about a mile and a half and not 5, she said I was being soft, 3 hours later I couldn't have been more right but of course it was still my fault.
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The falls are absolutely beautiful and you really need to try out the hike. It's definitely for those who like to hike but if you appreciate the scenery that the trail offers with the finale being awesome falls then you'll battle through the moderate hike to get the prize.
<![CDATA[DIY GoPro Spike - Easy/Cheap/Durable]]>Sat, 11 Jul 2015 02:53:03 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/camping-and-hiking/diy-gopro-spike-easycheapdurablePicture
The best way to make a video stand out is by creating a unique experience for the viewer. The video needs to feel new and adventurous and even tell a story. The action in the video is very important but if presented in an "un-appatizing" way it becomes somewhat hard to watch. Like most I have only one GoPro and a cheap digital camera, I have to use my GoPro to make something somewhat ordinary look really cool or at least different. In order to do this I like to incorporate various perspectives and angles and try to time it out just right so one clip doesn't drag on and start to feel boring. I mean out of our whole recent U.P. fishing trip I pulled like 1:30 of video from hours of recording...

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One of the perspectives I've always wanted was a good third person view even if I'm shooting alone. I needed something to withstand the current and give that cool action/landscape shot to bring the viewer into the video. (My videos are o.k. so far but I think I'm improving) 

So... Like any redneck I scoured my garage and pieced together the perfect GoPro mount from stuff I already had laying around.