That Time Your Through Hike Turned Into An Epic Fail…

Taking A Hike Down The Trail

The best laid plans of mice and men! Those would be the words I use to describe our last hike.

We had a group of six on a through hike of the Buffalo River Trail. The first evening the hike started out splendidly. But by the end of the second day, a friend and I had to come off the trail. Frustrated is the mildest term I could use to describe our feelings.

On the drive home we spent most of our time talking about what went wrong. I am writing this somewhat humbling post in hopes that it may help you prevent your own epic fail hike…

[bctt tweet=”A bad day hiking is better than a good day at work!” username=”michaelkduff”]

Here is our evaluation.

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Summer’s Over But A Late Fall Hike May Be The Ticket

Lunch On The Porch

Being the guy that likes to hike when it is 94 degrees and 80% humidity, I was hesitant when my friend asked me to go hiking on the 18th of November. The forecast was for a normally bizarre Missouri / Arkansas day. The temperature at 6:00 AM was 71 degrees, by noon it was to drop into the lower 40’s with a 20-40 mile an hour north wind.

Our trek on the Centerpoint Trail near Ponca AR began at a comfortable 65 degrees. By the time we stopped at the Henderson Cabin two hours later the temperature had dropped almost 25 degrees with a wind-chill in the upper 20’s.

While I still consider myself a warm weather hiker, I did enjoy the hike, but only because I was prepared. Here are a few things I learned on this hike.

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Are You Prepared When Your Next Hike Takes An Unexpected Turn?

Steep Hiking Trail

As my friend and I made our way down the 1,528 foot descent of Hemmed In Hallow Trail, we commented that it was going to be a tough hike out. Fortunately we were prepared when circumstances made it more difficult than we anticipated.

By mid afternoon the temperature was 10 degrees higher than forecasted. With little breeze in the valley the heat became an issue and the steep trail made the two-hour ascent even more difficult than expected.

Many of us have experienced a hike that took more effort than we originally planned. Are you prepared when your next hike takes an unexpected turn?

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