Hazards of the Ohio Outdoors: Part 2

The Ohio outdoors is relatively tame, but there are still hazards that pose a danger to hikers and others who enjoy the outdoors. This is a continuation of my prior article; Hazards of the Ohio Outdoors: Part 1. I'll discuss additional hazards and how to avoid them. Weather Weather can pose a hazard to hikers. The most severe weather you're likely to find in Ohio is a tornado. Fortunately, tornadoes effect a relatively small area, so your chances of encountering one during a hike Read more ➜

Hazards of the Ohio Outdoors: Part 1

The Ohio outdoors is relatively tame compared to other parts of the country. We have no mountains, no swamps with large carnivorous reptiles, no blistering hot deserts, and no oceans. Still there are dangers facing the unwary and people do get killed and injured in the Ohio outdoors. The purpose of this article is to discuss some of those dangers as well as ways to mitigate them. Dangerous Cliffs Ohio does not have mountains, but we do have sandstone and dolomite cliffs. A fall Read more ➜

Hiking with a Smartphone

Does this seems familiar: Her: Wow, I can see for miles. What a great view! Him: beep-ding ... Hang on, got to check this e-mail, and Twitter, and look at Facebook and ... A hike is an opportunity to get some exercise, unwind from daily stress, and enjoy nature. One argument for not bringing a smartphone on hikes is that it can destroy the natural experience for you and those traveling with you. So, should you bring your smartphone with you on hikes? Yes, definitely! A smartphone Read more ➜

Acquiring Ohio Topographic Maps

Topographic maps provide information on the geographic features and terrain contours of a given area. You can see where the lakes, streams, fields and forests are located. Brown lines depict changes in elevation and let you know where the ridges and hollows are located. As with a street map, roads, highways, towns, and villages, and political boundaries are also depicted. With a compass and a good topographic map, you can travel cross-country through areas without trails and reach Read more ➜

Ten Great Hikes in Ohio

It's almost summer, the weather is warm and sunny, it's a great time to enjoy the outdoors. The following is a list of classic hikes we've always enjoyed and some new ones we've recently discovered. Central Ohio Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserves There are numerous trails at Blackhand Gorge. Our favorite is the Marie Hickey Trail and the Oak Knob Trail - a 2.5 mile loop. The trail features varied terrain, including a picturesque hemlock grove with a small stone gorge and waterfall. Read more ➜

Camping Checklist

We've done our share of car camping over the years. Bringing too much stuff is a hassle, while too little could be a disaster. Using a checklist helps avoid these situations. I also keep track of what we don't use so I can gradually eliminate items from the list. With that said, here's my minimum list of equipment for car camping (parking at or near the camp site and setting up a tent). Shelter Dome tent with poles, rope, and stakes in case Extra stakes and rope Ground Read more ➜

Car Navigation – Getting to the Trail-head

We've been using Global Positioning System (GPS) units for several years to get us to the trail-head for a day hike. A GPS system can be a real boon to finding your way to a new park or preserve, but it's important to understand its limitations. It's like having a friend in the car who's very knowledgeable about the local area, but who sometimes give you directions while he's drunk. For instance, once we were headed to a hotel that was about a half hour away in Marietta, Ohio. We plugged the hotel's Read more ➜

Gearing Up For Ohio Winter Hiking Season

Four years ago we participated in our first winter hike - 6 miles from Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave with a small group of approximately 5,500 people. There was snow and ice on the ground and the temperature was just below freezing. It was awesome! We've been hooked on winter hiking ever since. Why go on a winter hike? Isn't it cold and nasty? What about slipping on the snow and ice? Before I started winter hiking, I had all of those concerns. In fact, I thought the idea sounded a little Read more ➜

Ohio Archery Ranges

Interest in archery has soared since with the release of the movie The Hunger Games with its bow wielding heroine Katniss Everdeen. The archery competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics has also highlighted the sport. If you'd like to hone your bow and arrow skills without paying fees to use an archery range, consider making use one of the state's many public ranges. Photo courtesy of Jerry Feist, license: CC BY 2.0 We recently visited a public archery range at the Delaware State Wildlife Read more ➜


It was a hot, humid day with the temperature in the mid 90's. We'd been hiking for over an hour. The hill that we were climbing was steep. I was in the lead with Deb about 20 yards behind. I'd been out in hotter weather, but it was getting to me. I was feeling really hot and weak. I had eaten a very light breakfast, but was feeling slightly nauseous. I tried to focus and get to the top of the hill. Just a few more steps. Feeling dizzy ... I think I'll just sit on this rock for a minute ... I Read more ➜