Hiking and Backpacking It’s Essential to Have the Right Equipment

Planning is important

by Cynthia Taylor

Hiking and Backpacking Its Essential to Have the Right Equipment

Hiking and Backpacking Its Essential to Have the Right Equipment

If you plan to do some backpacking or hiking its essential you plan ahead, backpacking requires more meticulous planning then for a camping trip where you have a vehicle to stow your needs.  When backpacking, you will be required to pack everything on your back in a backpack.  One rule of thumb is to not exceed one third of a person’s body weight.
To do a hiking tour you need to be fit and healthy, so some sensible exercising prior to your planed hike is essential. A healthy diet and a fitness routine will help a lot to prepare for the rigors of a daily hike.
Two essentials before you add anything else are comfortable walking boots/shoes and a comfortable backpack. Added to this and first priority of requirement is a good water bottle. The rest of the items you need to carry should be as light weight as possible so check out and test the weight of items bought for your trip.  You don’t want to have to leave anything that is essential due to weight restrictions.

How you pack your backpack is essential to ensure your hike is a comfortable as possible, two things to consider are weight distribution and be able to reach items you need most often easily.
The choice of backpack is also a personal preference and it’s a good idea to take advice from experienced backpackers, not just the stores representative’s recommendations. It needs to be balanced, comfortable on the shoulders and suited to the type of hike you intend doing. Length of hike and requirements needed for the length of time you will be away.  A Short on day hike it won’t be necessary to take a lot of stuff but a 5 day hike you requirements are much different. Your backpack must be suited to the type of hiking trip you intend to take.

Hiking and Backpacking Its Essential to Have the Right Equipment

Hiking and Backpacking Its Essential to Have the Right Equipment

An incorrectly packed backpack can cause undue stress and possible injury to your body you might think that placing the heaviest items at the bottom is the best idea, but that not a good idea, you need to centre the weight over the hip area, to do that you should place the heavier items next to your back and approximately above 1/3 of the pack. Many backpacks have a separate compartment at the bottom of the bag to accommodate your sleeping back and possibly a pillow.

Men and women have different need in regards to weight distribution and backpacks are designed with this aspect in mind. So your choice of backpack is crucial to your well being on your hiking trip.


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The Golden Gate National Park offers Golden Memories

A Vacation of to Stir The Soul

by Cynthia Taylor

Golden Gate National Park

Golden Gate National Park – getaway.co.za

The Golden Gate National Park is a beautiful place to visit; it is situated at the foot hills of the Maluti Mountains. The park itself is to be found in the Northern Free State, it has 11,600 hectares of a very unique environment.  It has some of the most beautiful sandstone cliffs, and when the sun shines on them it gives a golden glow, hence why it was named Golden Gate. The timeless beauty of these sandstone cliffs will leave you in awe as you watch them majestically keep a visual watch over the parks rest camp.

The Ribbikkop is the highest peak in the park and you really need to see it at its best when it presents a beautiful tapestry of a variety of colours towards the evening hours.  It’s quite an amazing sight to see the colours change from reds to golds and purples, the sight will leave a lasting memory long after you have left the park. There are many unusual rock formations in different colours some russet, purple and ochre.  Wind and rain have sculptured them over thousands of years.

Below the cliffs and rock formations are some lovely indigenous trees, with green vegetation and wild flowers to add to the contrast of the background. There are some wonderful hiking trails for the backpacker. Be sure to go in twos or a group for safety.

On my visit to the park a few years ago I was blessed to have seen a variety of wild animals, it a beautiful sight to see a group of Springbok springing into the air and down again, these graceful creatures always make you smile. Zebra, Eland, Blesbok, wildebeest and Oribi, the ugly yet loveable to look at warthog, are some of the other interesting inhabitants of the vast acreage.  There are a variety of birds for the bird watcher, look out for the rare bearded Vulture, and you might be lucky to spot a rare bald Ibis, Ostriches, Black Eagles, waterbirds and Jackal Buzzards will delight you on your visit.

The park offers some wonderful game viewing, you can use your own vehicle or go on guided excursions, there are some wonderful night drives, the park also offers video shows and lectures during the school holiday periods. If you are interested in the environment then there are Environmental courses that vary from one to five days, you have such a wonderful opportunity with the perfect environment to learn so much more.

For the more active Tennis and Table Tennis will keep those muscles flexed.  Snooker for the less active but equally enjoyable, there is an excellent bowling green for the bowler. Horse Riding is another way to see much of the park’s beauty.

The park offers many interesting viewing points such as Generaalskop viewpoint, the Zuluhoek lookout point, the Drakensburg view point and the Oribi basin.  Each have their own perspective and will enthrall you with their natural beauty.

A guided walk through the Cathedral Cave is another attraction not to be missed, then complete your visit to the Vulture Restaurant while you reminisce about your interesting day.

The Golden National Park is well worth the journey to visit. I have some truly wonderful memories of my visit there.

Golden Gate National Park

Golden Gate National Park


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