Exploration Guides

We're all explorers. You just need the right guide.

The challenge of the new hiker

Hiking yesterday with Hiking Michigan, we were talking about many thing, including the challenges of new hikers (or even hikers new to the area), and the challenges of hiking as a woman, especially solo.  I’ve never been a woman hiking alone, so I can’t give speak from personal experience there (Hiking Michigan is spearheading an effort to identify those issues and possible solutions.  Whether you’re a man or woman, go to their hike in two weeks at Holly State Recreation Area and take part in a post-hike campfire discussion.)  I can speak to the issue of being a new hiker, however.

Look at any serious hiker and here’s what you’ll find.  $200 hiking boots, $300 GPS, $100 pack, $100 water filter… lots and lots of weird, expensive specialty gear.  Hikers, including myself, love the stuff.  We all love it, but we all know you don’t need any of it to get started, and all of us hiked without it for years.

When I started hiking, I hiked in the same running shoes I wore ever day.  My pack doubled as a book bag during the week.  My water bottle started life as a disposable pop bottle.  No special clothes, gear, nothing.  I hiked for years using whatever I had at home, and you can too, and you can go pretty far with that.

If you’re new to hiking, don’t be afraid to go out in the woods.  Rule #1, carry more water than you think you’ll want.  Beyond that, for shorter hikes, there’s not much.  A cell phone is a great emergency tool, one I didn’t have when I started hiking.  Visit your local park website, download and print a trail map, grab a friend, a bottle or two of water, and go explore!

June 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a Comment


We just hit 1000 downloads of our trail apps!

June 11, 2011 Posted by | apps | Leave a Comment

Tick… tick… tick… tick…

Yes, that was the count today.  I picked up four ticks while hiking the deceptively named “Inwood Trails” at Stony Creek Metropark.  Deceptively named because it’s not actually In Woods, as you would think from the name, but In OldGravelPit, instead.  No shade, 90 degrees, and ticks.  Definitely not an ideal summer hike, but I think it’d be a GREAT place for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Trail reports | Leave a Comment

All apps upgraded to v1.0.3

I just finished upgrading all apps to V1.0.3.  Aside from a minor bug fix, there’s two new features.  First, you can now move the program to SD card, if you have at least Android 2.2.  Also, you can load it to your Android, even if you’ve rooted the Android (Android Market had been blocking this).

Go to Android Market and get your upgrades (and download any apps you’ve missed).

June 5, 2011 Posted by | apps | Leave a Comment

Lower Huron, Willow, and Oakwoods Metroparks App Released

We’ve just released the free Android app for Lower Huron, Willow, and Oakwoods Metroparks.  Although they’re three, separate parks, they’re all interconnected with their trail networks, so you’re likely to wander from one to the next as you explore, so we built them into a single app.  Download it free from Android Market today!

June 4, 2011 Posted by | apps | Leave a Comment

Seven Lakes app & v1.0.3 now available!

The free Seven Lakes State Park app has just been released on Android Market.  That brings the total app count to nine.  Download them all, then go exploring!

The Seven Lakes State Park app is also the first published on the new v1.0.3 app engine.  In addition to minor bug fixes, this version allows Android 2.2 and above users to move the app to SD card, saving valuable memory on the phone.

June 1, 2011 Posted by | apps | Leave a Comment