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Gifting The Outdoors This 2015 Holiday Season

Posted on October 27, 2015 at 11:45 PM

Gifting The Outdoors This 2015 Holiday Season

As the holidays approach many of us {Outdoor Digital Journalists} are going to be putting out articles with the latest list of best or must have items for gift giving to those in your life that are bias about the outdoors, but I thought for us, this year, we’re going to do a little something different.

Inspired by REI’s latest campaign #OptOutside, we decided we would give the gift of the outdoors, too.

I was struck with thought about how inexperienced I was to the outdoors and how I was never sure where I could go to “safely” hike. Safely meaning, I wouldn’t get lost because I was completely new to navigating and I wouldn’t be left for dead if I were to get injured or encounter a snake bite. You can clearly understand the fears I had and to be honest those are legit fears still to this day, but with countless miles under my feet I can get you hiking in Central Arizona, navigating the trails and finding yourself further and further outdoors before you know it, realizing that fears are good, but knowledge and action are so much better.

We’re going to start from the very beginning and give a couple options for Central Arizona with supervising Rangers onsite. We feel these are really great options for those completely new to hiking or those visiting Arizona. These trails are not only going to get you comfortable with understanding marked trail navigation, but they’re going to get you comfortable with understanding yourself.

First things first: Bring Essentials {do not cut corners}. Grab an inexpensive backpack to carry these items- Water, Map, Compass, First Aid Kit, Cell Phone, Hat, Snacks, Sunscreen and Proper Footwear.

Lost Dutchman State Park (Apache Junction, AZ)

Treasure Loop Trail {2.4Mile Loop}

Usery Mountain Regional Park (Mesa, AZ)

Wind Cave Trail {3Miles}

McDowell Sonoran Preserve (Scottsdale, AZ)

Toms Thumb Trail {4.5Miles}

San Tan Mountain Regional Park (Queen Creek, AZ)

Goldmine Trail {5Miles}

Talk with the Rangers, ask questions and let them know where you plan to hike. They often know the best trails for those new to hiking, but they’ll also offer great routes for a personally ideal visit. You will need to check each location for fees, hours and parking regulations.

We didn’t rate these trails in difficulty for a reason. Our number one goal is to get you ON the trails. I want to get you comfortable reading a map, finding trail posts/signs and navigating a rangered region. I want you to visit these locations time after time and slowly start new routes within the park. Once you’re comfortable navigating a map of clearly marked trails and understanding your physical limits we know you’ll get others to join. Don’t be afraid to ask others that are new to hiking to join you on these trails. I assure you that although the difficulty will range per individual, the trail will be there for you to follow. Do NOT hike off trail and listen to your body. Hiking can be a strenuous activity and you need to take caution to your limits. The mountain will be there another day.

Are you new to hiking? Have you been hiking for years? What are your favorite trails? What trail in your area do you feel would be best for those still learning the basics?

We will often #OptOutside this holiday season, and we want to encourage you to do the same. Stay safe, travel often and eat well.


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Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Categories: Articles Of Aspiration, Hiking, Travel

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