Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hike Stronger

This year's Wilderness Volunteers projects have started, with one trip in the field this week, and three going out next week.

If you are preparing for your upcoming project, or for a backpack trip in the upcoming months, you are probably working on being in shape. These are some things you can do to help you hike stronger.

Increase your lung capacity by doing some interval training -- short bursts of aerobic work. One way to do this is to warm up for ten minutes by walking or jogging at your regular pace and then to alternate walking or jogging as fast as possible for three minutes with three minutes of slower walking or jogging. Repeat four times gradually building up to eight.

Prevent shin splints by walking on your heels with your toes pointed up for at least 90 seconds, and then stretch by pointing your toes for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.

Strengthen your lower back by practicing the Superman: lie face down the lift your lets, chest, and arms off the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat three to five times.

Strengthen your core by doing the plank: Get into pushup position on the floor. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then lower yourself to the floor. Repeat five to eight times and work up to three sets.
IT band stretch

Strengthen outer knees (IT band) by moving your right leg behind your left, then bending left at the waist and keeping both feet flat on the ground. Hold this stretch for 20 - 30 seconds. Repeat on the right by moving your left leg behind your right leg and bending to the right at the waist. Alternate sides three times each.

Build your legs and strengthen your core by doing squats. There are many different types of squats, but a simple bodyweight squat is a great exercise. Stand with heels shoulder width apart, arms at your side, and toes slightly turned outward. Thrust your hips back and arms up as you squat keeping weight on your heels. Watch this video for proper form.

These exercises, combined with actually getting out and doing some hiking on uneven terrain, will get you ready to have a safe and fun project.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Great Places to Give Something Back

Our 16th season of giving something back is now underway and there are still available spots on service projects in some seriously great wild places:

Alta Toquima Wilderness, June 23-29

This amazing central Nevada wilderness area lies in the middle of the Toquima Mountain range as part of the Humboldt-Toyaibe National Forest (largest NF in the lower 48). Offering excellent hiking and majestic sweeping views, the area offers amazing Great Basin recreation. Our service project will be general trail maintenance in lush Pine Creek Canyon and camping in an established campsite.  Learn more and join WV at Alta Toquima.

While the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer Area lacks formal wilderness designation, it does NOT lack for wild beauty.  The area's 30,00 acres are part of a larger section of 260,000 roadless acres in north central Idaho that features rugged landscape, many fantastic lakes and impressive biodiversity. The service project will focus on general trail maintenance from an established campsite that offers striking panoramic views. Join us in Mallard-Larkins.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Aug. 4-10 

Central Idaho's Sawtooth National Recreation Area and surrounding White Cloud Mountains have a breadth of terrific recreational opportunities, including top-notch hiking, biking and fishing. You'll fall in love with the area's natural beauty and the wide-range of flora and fauna that the area supports. Our service project is a backpacking trip in lush and narrow Little Casino Creek Canyon, where we'll be doing trail maintenance to keep this trail open and passable. Learn more about the WV project in the Sawtooth NRA

Backpacking in the Southwestern Colorado Rockies is a thrilling experience and the WV service project in the Weminuche Wilderness is no exception. With several peaks topping 14,000', this rugged wilderness lies across the San Juan National Forest on the west of the divide and the Rio Grande National Forest on the east. The WV trip will work on the CDT from a basecamp of 11,500 containing erosion on one of the continent's great trails. Learn more and join us in the majestic Weminuche Wilderness.

Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Aug. 25-31

Travelers comes from around the world to reach the storied and sometimes crowded parks of Yellowstone and Grand Tetons and experience the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. On the west side of the Teton range, stretching across the Wyoming and Idaho border lies the lush forests and gradual rise of the Jedediah Smith Wilderness, offering outstanding biodiversity without the crowds. We'll backpack in several miles and work on the Hominy Peak trail, rerouting and building erosion controls to keep it accessible. Join us in the spectacular Jedidiah Smith Wilderness.

While many deserts are lively ecosystems, few can match the wide range of flora and fauna of southern Arizona's Saguaro National Park.  Boasting more than 900 species of plants, over 200 species of birds and countless other biological fascinations, this globally unique ecosystem is an area not to be missed.  Our project is in the Rincon Mountain Wilderness, that rise high above the Sonoran desert and offer changing temperatures. We'll camp by our vehicles at the base of the mountains and hike up the Rincons working on trail maintenance of the Miller Creek trail. Learn more and join us in Saguaro National Park.

San Gabriel Mountains Proposed Wilderness, Sept. 29 - Oct. 5

The San Gabriel Mountains are more than a scenic backdrop for the bustling city life of LA and the inland empire. These mountains support an interesting array of wildlife, many native species of plants benefiting from the range of microclimate and elevation variation, and also provide a much needed watershed for Southern California. Our service project in this proposed wilderness  is the removal of invasive Spanish Broom, which thrived following 2009's wildfires. We'll work with the Angeles National Forest's biology team to eradicate these invasives and also collect native seed for replanting.  Join us on the first WV project in the San Gabriels.

Big Bend National Park is unique as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan desert in the United States with more than 120,000 species of plants within its boundary. Lying on the Mexico border, the area offers an exceptional range of biodiversity with elevations ranging from 1,800' to more than 7,800'. The area offers much in the way of human history with archaeologists uncovering items dating back more than 9,000 years! Our service project will focus on trail maintenance and erosion controls on several key passages throughout the Park.  We'll stay in an established Park Service campground in the center of the Park, offering a great base to explore.  Learn more and join us on the last WV project of 2013, in Big Bend.

Monday, April 08, 2013

WV's Dave Pacheco on KUED

If you were watching Utah public television station KUED during our online auction, chances are you saw our very own Dave Pacheco talking about WV's environmental do-goodery as well as the online auction that ultimately raised over $13,500 for our work!  Don't worry if you missed the video on TV, you can watch it below. And if you missed the auction, you can still pick up great items for a great cause by purchasing a WV hat, t-shirt, water bottle and more from our website (just click buy amazing merchandise to pull up the options).

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Our National Parks - An Infographic Story

Friends over at the MPA program at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill put together this neat infographic on Our National Parks:

Our National Parks: The Pride of America [Infographic]