Climbing And Hiking: How To Get Ready For An Exciting Vacation

Jason Lewis is passionate about helping seniors stay healthy and injury-free. He created StrongWell to share his tips on senior fitness.

Going on a major hiking or mountain climbing expedition takes quite a bit of planning, whether youíre going alone or with a group. Thereís so much to think about, including what to pack--and how to pack--as well as how to be prepared for just about anything Mother Nature can throw at you. The Internet is your friend, pre-trip; do some research on the area youíll be traveling to so that youíll have all the information possible.

These kinds of trips can be a lot of fun, but they can be dangerous if you donít take the right precautions. Be smart about packing and find a way to communicate with the outside world, even if itís just with emergency flares. Your safety--and the safety of your group--should always be a priority.

Here are some of the best ways to get started when preparing for a big trip.

 Find a friend

 Some people enjoy getting out in nature by themselves, away from the hustle and bustle of the world. It can give you time to think and find some peace and quiet. However, on a big expedition, itís a good idea to have someone with you. Having a hiking buddy means having someone there to help should you get injured, and it also means someone having your back when the weather or circumstances become too much to handle. Ask a friend who is experienced with the outdoors to accompany you on the trip, and plan it out together. Talk about what each of you will bring, and divide up the gear if necessary, that way you wonít end up with too much of one thing and not enough of another. Cooking utensils, a first-aid kit, sunblock, bug spray, and canteens are must-haves for such a trip.

 Do some research

 Look online to find out all you can about the area youíll be visiting. Even if youíve been there before, there may be weather alerts or tips about avoiding certain animals at the present time. Look up the forecast for the entire time youíll be there, including the daytime temperatures versus the nighttime ones, as these may differ greatly. Find out what sort of terrain youíll be covering and what types of animals call it home. Being knowledgeable about the area youíre going to be spending time in will help you stay safe and keep the anxiety at bay.

 Prepare your home

 Going away for a few days or a week means youíll need to make some preparations at home, including making sure itís well protected against would-be thieves. An easy, inexpensive way to get started is by placing motion-sensor lights around the perimeter of your home. Make sure all windows are locked tight and that the doors are deadbolted. You might also consider investing in a security surveillance system that will allow you to watch whatís going on at your house from a smartphone or tablet. Even if you know you wonít have cell service where you are, you can ask a friend to keep an eye on things from a device for you while youíre gone. Ensuring that your home is well taken care of means one less thing you have to worry about during your trip.

 For more info on how to protect your home while youíre away, read this helpful guide.

 Get your body in shape

 Even if youíre a seasoned hiker, it takes a lot to get your body into shape for a serious climb. Several weeks prior to your vacation, start doing daily workouts that focus on your ankles, calves, hips, and joints. You might also wear a backpack while you walk, adding more and more weight to it so that your shoulders and back can get used to carrying a heavy pack. Getting your body ready for walking long distances and climbing will help you combat fatigue and keep you safe.


A long-time friend of our shop recently made the big book of bike racing. Lil Pfluke smashed the Masters World Record for Best Performance in an Hour (Bicycling) at the Manchester Velodrome in Manchester, England on 10 September 2006.  She rode 41.2397 kilometers.  The old record for women 30+ years old was 40.7556 kms and for 40+ years old was 40.7110 kms.  Lil, who  lives in Paris, rides for the team sponsored by the Paris Metro.  The record comes three years after completion of her treatments for breast cancer.
While on a short visit to the States many years ago, Lil and the kids stopped in to find their long-awaited triplet sold out from under them. Instead of smiling, they frowned in unison. Santana and Mt Airy Bicycle scrambled the engineers and builders and came up with a brand new S and S Cabriolet in record time for Lil to take back across the pond. Two years ago, Lil was one of only 20 people chosen out of nearly a thousand applicants to ride in the LA-to-DC Tour of Hope organized by Bristol Myers and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Larry happened to be in LA to see Lil, meet her folks, and help send her off. The following week, having just returned to DC the easier way (via Jet Blue) he rode down to the Ellipse to see her arrive.
We are all very proud to have Lil as a customer and are among her most devoted fans.
We hope Lil can be our guest stoker (or Captain?!) next year at the Tandem Masters Nationals in PA.
I will be first in line for the mixed 90 plus!

Congratulations Lil.

Larry black


Another National Medal for Mt Airy Bicycles and Calfee Tandems!
This time it's gold and came with a pair of Stars n' Stripes jerseys
Pictured here is Ron Sutherland with proud tandem sponsor Larry Black of Mt Airy Bicycles. Along with NCVC
teammate Bernie Sanders  he captured the Gold at the USCF National Championships on July 16 in Seven springs, the 110 year combined event.
Black is former NCVC president, director sportif, Sponsor, and is one of a handful of life members in the club that is the oldest and largest in the National Capitol region
Since they built up and loaned out their first Calfee 'Tetra Tetra 26lb carbon tandem in 1999, they've had over 5 medals come back, with black having captured one himself in 2000 in Linton, Indiana
Black  is planning to sneak away from the shop long enough to make a comeback in the events in the near future." A little training, a reliable lightweight tandem, and oh, yes - a very strong stoker is all it takes" advises Black, who has been one of the world's leading tandem retailers for over 20 years.