Links to Guides of US NPS:
Covid 19 Awareness:
One of the safest places now to hide from crowds and diminish the Covid virus infested air is the open spaces - and the largest open spaces are the US NPS.
Yosemite - California - an example on how to raise a kid!
BE SURE TO READ WELL THE NPS WEBSITE OF THE PARK YOU ARE GOING TO BEFORE YOU GO - THIS IS THE CURRENT STATUS.
At least review well the local weather, forecast and radar, road conditions etc.
KNOW THE 4 MAIN NEEDS WELL:
IF Any of these 4 are absent - you may die or be injured. To die is not abnormal - in nature death is a perfectly normal event.
In a California desert, 4 people died of thirst. Their bodies were about 20 feet from a water hole! In Mona island hunters have died of dehydration - influenced by drinking and poor decision making.
Plan to be near or around or cross water sources for safety - because water is too heavy to carry and you may need to reload on the way. Bring filters to purify any water you find.
Carelessness is your WORST ENEMY.
If you are careless and allow any accident - it can not be reversed. You just do not allow accidents to happen.
Do no assume you can call 911 and 'they' will come and rescue you. In reality, often, it is not like that.
Go slow and be safe.
If you have never experienced THIRST it's one of the worst experiences...it can even lead to hallucinations, hunger comes next and is debilitating. Eating dry food makes you more thirsty. Too much sun exposure is to be avoided too. Cooking etc needs lots of water too.
Then too much cold or heat can kill too. In hot places or seasons your need for water is FAR more.
Also - you do not need a world tour either - walk around the city, nearest parks, beaches, explore very well all you have near. Use public transit, bus and trains, or bikes (if safe). Any Museums? Or just get out of the house!
Raul in rio sabana trail with honey-water drink, timed photo
Also your INTENTION (when going alone or a couple mostly) will determine a lot of what you experience. Alone you are very free, else it may become a social adventure - talking is the best way to disconnect from Nature - sorry to say that but true. How many talking trees or mountains have you found? But they do have a secret message...
Human arrogance is our worst illness...The idea, and it is just an idea or belief, that WE are superior to other beings, even humans based on skin color or wealth or skill or more common that we are superior to cows, dogs or trees is FALSE.
All past sages have experienced this truth based on Love - all are equal in the eyes of God.
Labels in ANY language only place a cover over the reality of your actual sense impressions.
Any good hiker and camper must be a lover of maps.
YOUR last STEPS?
It all starts and ends with a single step.
Be aware at each step, very aware. Your life depends on it.
A 1000 mile trip starts with a single step - Tao, Lao tzu
Learn about mindful walking - go to the source - the Buddha:
Be sure to have the best SHOES and clothing per the environment and length of hike!
I advice not to rely much on technology. There may be no phone reception. Battery may be out... etc. But always carry a cell phone and save battery.
A few short examples of bad trips...
I know by hard and painful experience that going outdoors to long hikes and camping unprepared and with little planning is not effective. Weather matters a lot, the capabilities and expectations of the participants etc.
Miguel and Jose in a failed exploration - we actually got lost - but found incredible places in the very birth of rio sabana. Most images got lost - sorry! This was a complex event since Miguel did not like the muddiness and was in shock. It is now a pending adventure to return here...behind Tradewinds trail 3rd shelter.
Once on El Yunque rio sabana trail (over 12km) i was so hungry in the middle of it (and had no proper food with me) that I could not proceed any more and eventually had to return.
FLOODED RIO SABANA FROM THE ROAD
Recently coming back in the same trail, the trail was covered with flooded small streams in 2 places. I had to cross them risking my life... not the best decision but i knew the area very well and it worked ok. Still it was kind of stupid.
In a long hike after Maria i was cut in all my body by a plant that grew crazy after the hurricane. Their leaf's were like blades.
Once i was deep inside the forest with my smallest son for a week - Jose, and a hurricane came nearby PR (it was clear when we started)... it was awesome that night - the rain and the forest shaking up - the next day Miguel came up - he ran the entire park (El Yunque, which was closed) to rescue us. We had to walk out - rocks were coming down waterfalls!
Sometimes it goes bad but still the experience is worth it, but this is true more when you are alone, with the family it may lead to future lack of interest due to bad impressions. I humbly accept when my family laughs at me for these failures...
If I write all bad trips it would be a long list... part of life - and we all need suffering and the unexpected to grow...
But for us - my family can NOT deny that the many adventures we had together and thousands of short trips to the beaches nearby and hundreds of park explorations while in San Juan are what has made our family an harmonious unit. We are all still together even after over 20 years. And they have supported and rescued me in all my crazy lonely explorations of El Yunque - since i do not drive a car. And I keep going at it...
-- Raul, rainforest explorer
But now many people can freely share their experience in the web and can guide us and here they are a few selected ones.
Thanks to Brian for his works here:
Yosemite (California) - guides:
My 2 cents - I visited Tuolumne Meadows and climbed Mt Dana - recommended in summer. Read also John Muir writings - many are about his love of this wonderland. It has the highest road in California - over 10K feet.
Acadia (Maine) National Park:
Bears in Yellowstone
Appalachian Trail (14 states):
The greatest - needs help and plannng:
Air views are NOT what you will see on the ground!
I have been here - but with the wrong person...be aware of the heat here will affect you and the need for water...
Arches National Park (Utah):
Their main guide:
Other links from them:
Index to Guides:
Please send me any links to guides of NPS places you know of to firstname.lastname@example.org, heading NPS or so.
rain forest explorer