On this Week's Destination Adventure, the Highest State Capital - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

On this Week's Destination Adventure, the Highest State Capital in the USA

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Santa Fe, New Mexico Santa Fe, New Mexico

SANTA FE, NM (WOWK) - This week on destination adventure, I'm here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At over 7000 feet above sea level, it's the highest state capital in the United States. But we're not here to talk politics, we're here to go hiking. So grab your pack, and let's hit the trail. 

My guide, Manny, has been hiking and biking the trails around Santa Fe for decades.

“The weather here in Santa Fe is really good all year long for this kind of hiking,” stated Manny Maes, local hiking and biking enthusiast. “There are some times when there would be a lot of snow and it wouldn't be the greatest place to hike, but almost 365 days a year, you get this sunshine and its perfect weather."

“I always say a bad day outside is still better than a good day at the office,” exclaimed Clay. “Just getting outside thats one of the benefits of hiking. Anybody, any age, get kids started early kids, they love it.” 

We are hiking at over 2,000 feet above the highest point in West Virginia. And it’s a dry, arid environment. So here, it’s important to drink before you get thirsty.

“At the highest priority is making sure you have plenty of water with you,” said Manny. “Whether that's a couple of bottle waters in your pockets or a camelback which works great for hiking.”

And, don’t forget proper footwear.

“Any kind of boot that covers your ankle is the perfect thing to have out here and the reason for that is just if you should slide,” Manny said. “Soft shoes just aren't as stable when you're hiking.”

Depending on the trail, also be aware of what type of traffic it allows.

“We have about 26 miles of great trail for mountain biking or hiking,” exclaimed Manny. “There are no horses allowed on these trails here.”

“Watch out, biker!,” yelled Clay. 

And, also watch out for the four-legged trail companions.

“And, these are the berries the bears like to eat,” Manny said. “And, they smell good.” 

Remember, you are in their environment.. 

“Here in the foothills, you'll see primarily bear and coyote,” added Manny. “You’ll see deer, lots of rabbits, there are lots of lizards and horny toads and hikers.”

Whether you are in New Mexico or West Virginia, I'm Clay Abney, remember to get outside and make adventure part of your next destination. 

Hike Smart: Tips for enjoying a lifetime of hiking

Hiking is a low-impact workout that is great for people of all ages. Aside from the physical benefits of hiking, there are mental and psychological benefits as well. When we disconnect and immerse ourselves into nature and get off the beaten path, we can combat the effects of stress, anxiety, reduce our risk of heart disease, improve blood pressure, increase bone density, build strength and improve balance.

However, before you hit the trail, consider making some preparations to insure a successful outing each and every time.

Here are a few tips to consider before heading to the trailhead:

1.  Start Small

If you are new to hiking, plan accordingly and choose a trail that suits your current level of fitness. Many trails will specify the fitness level of the trail. If in doubt, ask a local hiking group for recommendations. Or, consider joining a local hiking group and you will always have other hiking enthusiasts to help with advice and planning.

2.  Prepare for the unexpected

Weather is subject to change and can leave you cold and wet if you didn’t pack a lightweight rain jacket. Another good reason for carrying a small pack as it will allow you to carry an extra layer (or store that extra layer), carrying nutrition, and water. See our list at the bottom for must-have items for every hike.

3.  Dress in layers

Every person is different and each person will dress differently for most situations. If you are more cold natured, dress in multiple thin layers that will allow you to regulate your body temperature with overheating. Again, the pack will allow you to carry those extra layers.

4.  Hydrate Properly

One of the biggest mistake people make that are new to hiking is underestimating the amount of water that they will consume on the trail. Hydration packs are the easiest way to carry and access your hydration on the trail. The tube will allow you constant access while hiking and will prompt you to drink more often than if you have to remove your pack to access your water bottles. Plan to carry ample fluids and plan on the season, temperature and environment.

5.  Wear the right footwear

Trail shoes and boots are ideal for hiking off road. The substrate is not always conducive for the shoes you might walk around your neighborhood. When possible, boots provide the best ankle support and provide sure footing on uneven terrain. Look for footwear that doesn’t require a long break in period and choose socks that are synthetic, wool or a combination. Avoid cotton.

6.  Find a hiking partner

When possible, always go with someone when hiking. If you stumble and fall, you have someone that can go after help, or stay with you until help arrives. 

7.  Tell someone where you are going

Always leave a location of the trailhead, anticipated destination and planned return time with a family member or friend. In the event that you don’t return at the anticipated time.

8.  Check the weather

Weather is subject to change so check the local forecast and plan accordingly. This doesn’t mean that you have to cancel your planned outing, just prepare for the impending forecast.

9.  Things to carry on ever trip

•  Small pack 

•  Nutrition (extra bars, nuts, dried fruit, sandwich, etc..) 

•  Extra layers or rain protection

•  Sun protection - sunscreen, sunglasses and a cap

•  Hydration and a First Aid Kit

Links to hiking trail resources:

https://www.alltrails.com/us/west-virginia

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