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In general, such boots will serve you well pack, should have a built-in load-bearing
for about five years or until they start to belt. This will allow the majority of the
feel inadequate or the sole is worn out. At weight to sit on the hips. For heavy overnight
Wilcox Pass and
that point the boots can be re-soled. One backpacks, the rule of thumb is 90% of the
the columbia
has to consider such expense vs. buying a weight on the hips. There are many light day
new boot, as the internal structure of the old packs that have weight-bearing belts. For
boot is probably worn out and tired. backpacking trips there is another element,
SOCKS the length of the torso. In some quality
Grab the kids and
There is an ongoing battle of thick vs. packs the torso length is adjustable. There
thin, wool vs. synthetic fibers. In general is a huge difference between just a pack and
head out to this 3-day
your foot will tend to heat up and swell in a well-fitted, quality pack. unfortunately,
adventure you'll love
the warm conditions of the summer and there are too many packs sold and too few
therefore swell out a bit. Take this into specialists selling them. Beware, it is not the
consideration when choosing the sock. brand but the knowledge of the salesperson
Thinner socks will provide more space for who sells the pack to you that is important. THERE’s A REAsON why the Columbia
a swelled foot. Also, wool or wool blends TREKKInG POLES Icefield attracts so many tourists – it’s
will provide better temperature regulation. some swear by them, some do not use beautiful, historical and critical to our
If you are sensitive to wool, any synthetics them. If you need support, for balance or for survival. situated at the hydrographic apex
with wicking capability will do. Do not use taking the load off your hips, there are many of North America, the Columbia Icefield is
cotton or cotton blends because they tend poles on the market – some as expensive the most significant source of freshwater for
to hold rather than wick away moisture and as $200, some at a quarter of that price. North Americans – feeding six major valley
lose insulation ability. However, do not use your old ski poles as glaciers with its meltwaters eventually
SOLE InSERTS they are not designed for it. Their tips will flowing into three oceans: the Arctic, the
While most boots have inserts, they slip on the rocky surface and their grips will Pacific and the Atlantic. The Icefield is also
are no match for well-designed inserts chafe your hands. Invest in yourself and buy home to 11 of the 22 highest peaks in the
available on the market. You will feel a great the proper trekking poles. Canadian Rockies, attracting experienced
difference in your feet, after a long hike, if aCCESSORIES and CLOTHInG mountaineers from around the world.
you wear inserts that are designed for hiking, In general you should use the same Further to its geological and glaciological
i.e. stiffer than your standard sock insert. clothing that you might use for other wonders, the Columbia Icefield and its
Avoid gel-based inserts as they are not outdoor activities, such as cross-country surrounding landscape are a source of
meant for hiking. skiing, biking and so on. The base layer and inspiration and delight for everyone. several
PaCKS outer shell should be light, breathable and trails leading to higher elevation provide
Here we come to the second most preferably warm when you need it. Do not spectacular views of this highly accessible
important hiking equipment. Day use cotton, except for thin fabrics for hot and most unique setting.
hikers carry water, some food and a days. For anti-bear paraphernalia, please
change of clothes. These may not weigh do not use the annoying bells, which are Day 1: PaRkER RiDgE
very much, but if we add a camera and a meant to psychologically calm the wearer, (FiVE kilOMETREs RETuRn)
thermos, the weight of the pack may exceed but are useless against bears and very, very Leave Calgary no later than 8 a.m. so
10 pounds. A well-designed pack, even a day annoying to other users of the trails.
as to arrive in the early afternoon to set
up camp (there’s a first-come policy for
Many new hikers have not had the opportunity to learn basic hiking
ethics. Here are some basic points on civil behaviour on hiking trails.
• Hikers ascending a trail have priority. This is because it is harder going, and an uninterrupted
breathing rhythm is needed when ascending more than descending the trail. step to the side
and let the hiker pass, rather than walk along the trail on the grass or moss. This, especially in
sub-alpine areas, will prevent the destruction of slow-growth plants and creation of ugly threaded
• When in groups avoid loud talk. Remember that bears have a very acute sense of hearing. Speak
normally, do not shout. Be one with nature; do not pollute it with too much noise.
• Speaking of which, if nature calls, relieve yourself far from water sources. If it is a major
production, bury it in the soil.
• Take back with you all your waste, such as feminine hygiene products and packaging materials
and so on and dispose of them at home or the trailhead if there are garbage cans.
• Do not wash clothes or dishes in lakes and/or streams. You can wash your dishes by taking the
water out of the stream; wash the dishes a few metres away from the body of water and dispose
of the wash water on the ground, away from the shore.
• Say hello to other hikers on the trail and smile. You share one of the best shows on earth.
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