Take on the Trails with a Lens

(Photo by: Madison Lotierzo)

Photography often goes hand in hand with hiking. Many trails lead to scenic views that have most hikers grabbing for a camera, but photographing is not just simply taking a shot . So for hikers without professional camera skills, here are a few tips to capture  moments on the trails.

Before snapping away, hikers should be aware of the rules for photographing national parks. Most hikers taking landscapes, still-life’s, or even selfies will not need to worry about requiring a permit, but one is needed for instance, when using props or a model.

While photographing in a natural environment, wildlife is expected to be encountered. BackPacker suggests tips for wildlife snapshots such as, adjustments for zoom and focus.

Shooting in natural environments requires a great deal of flexibility since the lighting cannot be controlled, yet that allows for photographers to get creative, but keep in mind these tips for shooting in natural light; which include the usage of a lens hood, and the filtration of back lighting.

The Photography Express highlights some techniques for shooting sunsets. The trick is to reduce the camera’s exposure  to produce an even coloring of both the subject and vibrant background.

A tripod is a great tool to consider when photographing outdoors. It enables stable shots that produce focused and well lit images, but stray away from these eight common tripod mistakes.

Tripods do come with a price, so for those hikers who want to save a little and get creative, make your own tripod out of bamboo.

Before snapping away, here are some inspirational landscape shots that display various usages of light.

Happy Trailing!

Peace,

Madison

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Keep on Trailing Not Wailing

(Photo by: Madison Lotierzo)
(Photo by: Madison Lotierzo)

The saying, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones’ is a term taken literally when hiking. Climbing on rocks, walking on uneven ground, or trails laced with leaves, sticks, and rocks can be the cause of various injuries. With proper care and prevention, hikers can stay on the  trails and out of the doctors office.

First aid kits alter deepening on the level of the hike.

For day hikes, first aid kits include basic essentials like sunblock and bandages.

More complex and lengthy hikes, that exceed one day, require more materials as shown by Back Packer’s extended kit.

The most common injury seen on the trails is the small, yet mighty painful blister. The best cure for blisters is prevention says, Sports Injury Clinic.

Back Packer prevents these painful pockets of fluid by applying duct-tape to prominent blister zones such as, the back of the heel. Also, circling the area with permanent marker  can help to keep track and mark the size of the blister.

Too many experience hydration when hiking. The LifeSaver bottle provides hikers with clean water even when in the dirtiest of situations. The non-chemical filtration system can cut back time and materials needed for water purification methods.

Though wounds are under wraps, it is something that needs to be spoken about. Applying bandages is a crucial element of wound care. Wrapping up an injured area can mean less risk of infection and of pain.  The proper application and wrap methods are shown in this simple guide.

 Those pesky myths about injury care, passed down from generations, may actually be true and quite helpful. 15 First Aid Myths  reveals the truths to what were thought, by some, to be fallacies like preserving a broken tooth in milk until reaching professional care, leaning forward for a nosebleed, and refraining from popping blister

Stay safe on the trails!

Peace,

Madison

Trail Eats

(Photo by: Tumblr
(Photo Source: Tumblr)

Packing food for the trail can be tricky. For lighter packs and fuller stomachs, preparation is key. The Yummy Life shares whole days worth of lightweight prepared meal plans.  A days food plan looks like, Breakfast: Oatmeal with dry fruit and instant coffee. Lunch: Individually wrapped cheese and sausage with seed crackers. Snack: Granola bar, trail mix, and peanut butter. Dinner: Instant meals (just add water) like Creamy Alfredo Noodles.

If hikers are feeling more advantageous, use the campfire to cook meals. Old WoodFire Grill’s recipe for biscuits is easy and versatile. Just wrap dough (pre-made or store bought) around a large stick, securing one end, and toast in the fire. When the dough is baked, remove the stick, and insert any desired stuffings such as eggs, cheese, butter, or even chocolate. 

Quesadillas are another easy campfire meal. After topping of the tortilla with your favorites, wrap the quesadilla in tin foil, and stick it over the fire.

After a long hike, some treats are well deserved. Roasting popcorn over the fire is a campfire classic. This recipe by Real Simple is low in calories, and includes two things most hikers always have packed; string and aluminum foil.

Banana Boats are also a healthy campfire treat.  Slit the peel of a banana and stuff chocolate chips or nuts inside, then plop it on a grill rack over the fire, and voila.

Donuts are usually an uncommon camping food, but not for Thoreau’s Daughter who shares an easy campfire delight.

Hope these recipes take your taste buds on a hike!

Happy Trailing!

Peace,

Madison

Creative Hiking

(Photo Source: Janemba/Tumblr)
(Photo Source: Janemba/Tumblr)

Derived from creativity, preparation and resourcefulness are essential in the wilderness. Less focus on daily tasks allows the mind to open up to thought as suggested by, Life Hacker who says, “The stereotype of the tortured worker who needs to “go for a walk” to get through his writer’s block or come up with a new idea may be more than a stereotype. At least one new study suggests that hiking—specifically a good long walk outdoors—can do wonders for your creativity…”.

BackPacker lists many tips that hikers have discovered and found handy in the outdoors such as, a patch pocket; which is a patch sewn, from the bottom and sides, onto any item such as shirts, hats, jeans, or even backpacks. A patch pocket is economical for many have old patches at home or can find one at an arts and crafts store as opposed to buying new hiking appeal.

BackPacker also sections off tips specific to women for instance, using an orange peel as a face wipe, using a coffee bag to hold trash and odor producing items, and using a plastic fork as a brush. Creek, of Willow Haven Outdoor, goes through 12 Survival Hacks Using Just Leaves; some of which include bandages, shelter, shoe insoles, and rope.

Many hikes exceed one day. In these cases, camping is inevitable.  Camping Hacks, featuring Perry Keydel, shares various camping tips through video editorials. Most of Keydel’s tips have multi-purposes for instance, after drinking the contents of a milk jug, he cuts the jug to create a scooper for campfire ash. Also, Keydel shows a convenient carrying method of melting the tips of straws to store spices.

All of these tips can help get those creative juices flowing, and make survival tasks easier with a lighter pack and a straighter back.

Happy Trailing!

Peace,

Madison

A Hike into History

(Photo Source: American Hiking Society)
(Photo Source: American Hiking Society)

Many have ventured out into the wild to extrapolate the meaning of life and oneself for centuries. Some religious figures are believed to interact with nature to gain higher connection or understanding. The Hindus believe their god Shiva meditates atop the Kailash mountain. It is understood by Buddhists that Buddha meditated under a fig tree to find enlightenment. The past is filled with the importance of connecting to nature. Another example, the Native American ritual of the vision quest.

The purpose of the vision quest is to find ones way in life and in ones community. One enters nature alone without tools or materialistic objects, and fasts for a duration of 3 days (give or take). Usually vision quests are completed to gain insight and clarity; especially when going thorough life transformations such as, entering adulthood, marriage, and mourning. This allows a person to be vulnerable and connect with the world around them.

Today many hike for the same reason; as a way to relate to our outside environment. The Huffington Post stresses the advantages of taking a step out of our ever-so-connected society and interacting with the natural world such as, stress relief, inner trust, and selflessness.  As seen in BackPaker, Mark Jenkins favors solitude hiking due to the many benefits such as, growth of appreciation and self-reliance. So which trail will you take? Where will it lead you?

Comment below, I’d love to hear about your past and future adventures!

Peace,

Madison