• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources

Maple Leaves


Stretching Before a Hike

"Hi, today I'm going to show you a few basic stretches. Stretching is really important because if you get all stretched out you'll be way more happy when you're hiking because you're going to feel a lot looser, a lot better. So, I'm going to show you a few basic stretches. Before you stretch you should warm up a little bit. Walk around the parking lot, your yard, whatever. If you've been driving for a couple of hours you're pretty tense from driving down the highway or whatever.

So, let's just start with a few basic stretches. You're warmed up, now let's stretch. A good stretch to do is stretch to each leg like so, try to pull your head in towards your knee like that. Go to each leg, and you can go to both, stretching. While you're still standing, find something, a partner or a tree in my case to keep you upright, but nice and sturdy. Keep your back straight, pull your leg back, what this is doing is it's going to stretch the top of your leg which is really important when you're going down hill as well. So, stretch both legs and after you're done with that have a seat because you're gonna do some hamstring stretches. Just pull one leg in so it's parallel with your knee and stretch, try to push your head toward your knee. Get the other leg, stretch, oh yeah, put your head to your knee again. Those are just a few basic stretches. You can also do some other stretches, you can pull your arms across, it's not as necessary because you don't use your arms as much when you're hiking, but you know, you can pull your arms across like this, pull them up like this. You can stretch any muscles you want but I really recommend stretching your legs out, it'll make you a lot more comfortable while you're hiking throughout your day."

How to Pack a Bag for a Hike

"Hi, I'm gonna talk to you today about how to pack your bag. It's really important that you pack everything all together the way you need it so that way you don't have to unpack your bag later on in the day. So let's have a look at how to pack. Got my empty back pack here. Now, I'm gonna start by thinking, what do I need? Okay, well I don't anticipate it raining today so I'll probably put my rain jacket at the bottom, so that's down there. Since again it's not raining and it's not very cold, I put my pants down there as well. I'm already layered correctly, so, I'll just put my shirt in just in case I need it later. Again, it's not cold so I probably won't need my gloves. I have a bandanna, which I like to use for wiping the sweat off of me, it's a little bit nasty but, so I'll just put that on the side for whenever I need it right there, as well as my hat. I got a little bit of food here but I don't want to have it crushed in the bottom of my back pack or slide down so I'll put it in my front pocket.

I also have more layers here, which I don't anticipate using but I'll put them up here just in case I need them. Now, for this stuff, I've got my water which I'm gonna need all day, so I'll just put it on the side over here where I can easily grab it. I want to have my survival kit where I know I can get to it easily, in case I ever needed to pull it out quick to help myself or someone else. Same goes for the medical kit here. I'll put that in up top so I can easily get it in case I need something. I've got my radio in case I get lost, maybe someone will pick up. If I turn it on perhaps I can use it. They're small, you should carry one. So, I'll just put that in with the rest of it. Now, one of the most important things is having a good map. So, I've got my maps here and I want to have them up to so I can easily reference them if I need to know where I am so I'll put them in my top pocket up here. Now, I don't anticipate using the guide, but they're a good thing to have on hand so I'll keep them up top with the medical kit. That's about everything I'm gonna need, so, just strap up your bag, know where you're going and you'll be good to go."

Cold Weather Hiking Techniques

"Pants are going to be a must if it's cold outside. If you don't have pants you're going to get freezing cold. So, make sure you bring a good pair of polyester pants, don't wear anything cotton, make sure they're a synthetic material. You're definitely going to need a thick warm layer, because just shells aren't going to keep you warm. So I've got this polar fleece here that'll work real well for keeping me warm if I get too cold. Still got my bandanna for wiping sweat off my forehead to keep me from getting chilled. Gloves, these seem like a really odd thing to bring but believe me these have, these gloves have saved my butt so many times. I have worn them even if it's just fall it gets really cold up on top of some mountains and these will keep your hands nice and toasty. Just a lightweight pair will work fine. So make sure you bring a pair of gloves. Lastly, and probably most importantly, a good rain jacket. It doesn't have to be insulated, this one isn't, it's slightly insulated but not a lot. The reason this is important is it'll keep you dry and the best part is it keeps the wind out. Make sure you get one with a hood. A hood will keep your head a lot warmer, if it's really windy you just put this up. Believe me, you'll be way more comfortable. Also, don't even go anywhere without your survival kit and your medical kit. If something can happen, if you're out on a one and a half hour or a four day hike you need to have these two things. So make sure you're always prepared, bring your medical kit, bring your survival kit. Know the area, make sure that you have the proper equipment and you're going to have a really nice time out even if it's cold."

MEC Best Hiking and Camping Videos

Finally, If you've had enough of the guy above in the three videos, here's a great video from Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) that I'm sure you will enjoy. It features a collection of short clips of hiking in all kinds of locales that will make you wish you were there.

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