In 2016, the two things that people want for their outdoor adventures are the ability to explore farther, while remaining comfortable. This perspective has been brought about by two things as well: the increased number of people that are interested and have access to the wilderness spaces of the world, and decades of innovation in outdoor products. Today, the days of wearing wool socks with a liner are long gone, along with heavy backpacks, heavy sleeping bags and heavy tents. The modern day outdoors-person, whether they are a novice or an expert now expects, and is accustomed to lightweight durable products that fit multiple roles.
Outside of the big three hikes in San Diego – “Potato Chip Rock”, Cowles Mountain, and Iron Mountain - the Cedar Creek Falls hike is one of the top five most popular hikes in the entirety of San Diego County. And, unlike many claims made about hiking in San Diego, this is not blogger hyperbole, this is a verified fact. The Forest Service website for the area even states that this trail is “...possibly the most traveled trail in the Palomar District”. As Cedar Creek Falls is so popular, no description of the hike would be complete without getting into why the trail and the waterfall is and has been so popular.
San Diego is a destination that is well-known for its fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, Comic-Con, and for being the home of Ron Burgundy in Anchorman. In addition to all of these things, San Diego is America’s Finest City and is the host city of the 2016 Major League Baseball All Star game. While Petco Park, the Convention Center, and the Gaslamp District are great spots in the city core of San Diego, the city, and the county as a whole have innumerable spots for visitors who have the time to explore, or who want to get away from the downtown crowds. Whether you are a first time visitor to San Diego, or a long-time fan of the city, check out the below destinations this weekend that prove that the city’s nickname is more than hype.
Los Angeles is a city known world-wide for movies, music, culture and its vibrant history. It is also known world-wide as a tourist destination, with iconic locations such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Getty Museum, Griffith Park, the Hollywood Sign, Venice Beach, Universal Studios, Disneyland, along with a plethora of other spots too numerous to mention. And, as of June 2016, Los Angeles has a new and “extreme” tourist attraction located in the heart of the city in the U.S. Bank Tower, the OUE Skyspace and OUE Skyslide. Since 1989, the U.S. Bank Tower has been one of the signature skyscrapers of the Los Angeles skyline, and at 1,018 feet in height, has been the tallest building in California – and West of the Mississippi since its completion. Movie buffs will also remember that the building was the main target of the aliens in Independence Day on the west coast.
In 2016, getting outside and experiencing the outdoors is more popular than ever, and along these lines, microadventures are more popular than ever. In case you’ve been living on the moon, a “microadventure” is an adventure that doesn’t require a large amount of time or specialized gear, and is something that in theory, is accessible to everyone, and yet somewhat secret at the same time. In short, a microadventure is whatever one wants it to be. As a long-time San Diego resident, it’s been my position for years that San Diego County is one of the best spots in the country to have microadventures, mainly because of the huge variety in types of terrain located in a two hour radius (beach, mountain foothills, alpine, and desert) and because of the many wilderness pockets that honeycomb the area, even in the urban corridors of the City of San Diego.
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the National Park Service Organic Act, which established the National Park Service, a federal bureau that would be responsible for preserving and protecting the existing thirty-five national parks and monuments at the time, and would also bear the same responsibility for those areas yet to be designated. Over the last hundred years, the National Park System has grown to encompass fifty-nine national parks, and over one hundred and twenty one national monuments. More importantly, over the last one hundred years, the United States National Park system has served as an inspiration to the creation of similar preserves around the world.
Other than the ten essentials, one of the most important – and overlooked items that people need for any adventure is a quality night’s sleep. From helping experienced mountaineers to acclimatize or novice hikers to simply rest, a good night’s sleep provides a plethora of benefits, irrespective of whether one is in the front or backcountry. While many factors go into obtaining a good night’s sleep, the main factor is appropriate overnight gear, which in most outdoor adventures means a good sleeping bag. While over the last thirty years sleeping bag technology has advanced with new materials, synthetic materials, and better construction, even in 2016, not all sleeping bags are created equal.