Hiking numerous differentlocations is an exciting and fun way to explore the beautiful aspects of the outdoors. However, as any avid hiker knows, it’s important to have everything they need, as you may not be close to hospitals or stores. Depending on which season you will be hiking, there are different necessities needed. For a summer hiking trip, pack an emergency bag full of gloves, non-perishable food, bottled water, extra socks, matches, a hat, and an extra change of clothes. […]
Josh Fink: Sharing a Love of the Outdoors
When you go to visit Josh Fink at his home, you’ll notice walls upon walls of pictures that look like they could have appeared in the pages of National Geographic magazine. They feature Josh and his brother, Matt, smiling on top of some of the most famous mountains in the world. From the Matterhorn to Kilimanjaro and even Mount Everest, the Fink brothers were there, and they have the pictures to prove it. These experiences are, as Josh notes, were some of the most important ones of his life.
However, as breathtaking and exhilarating as Josh’s mountain climbing career was, starting a family is by far his proudest accomplishment. Scaling these peaks was a lifelong goal of the two Fink brothers. Even as young boys they would look in awe at pictures from the world’s most impressive mountains. They made a vow to each other that one day they, too, would summit these spots. As soon as they were old enough to make the trek, they began their quest to make good on their promise.
Though Josh spent years flying around the world, climbing death-defying peaks, the birth of his children, Mike and Carrie, changed all of that. Suddenly he no longer had the thirst to scale mountains; he was just as content fishing, hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing. Though Mike is no longer an active mountain climber, he is still fully invested in the sport. He constantly reads books and watches TV shows about the topic, and always has an opinion about whether the climbs were portrayed accurately.
Josh Fink instilled his love of everything outdoors in his children. Even as young kids, Mike and Carrie would beg Josh to take them fishing or canoeing. They loved spending hours exploring sporting good stores, and were always ready to go on a hiking trip. Even now that the two kids have children of their own and are balancing careers, they still make regular trips back home to spend time in nature with their dad. Josh hopes to instill this love of the outdoors in his young grandchildren.
Josh credits his passion for nature to his own father, who was also an avid outdoorsmen. Together with his brother, Josh and his dad would spend all weekend camping, climbing around in the woods, and canoeing. While these trips were an important bonding experience for the three male members of the Fink family, they were also educational. During their excursions, Josh’s dad took care to educate them about proper hiking techniques, fishing skills, and safety protocol. Their trips into the woods were so frequent that Josh’s mom used to joke that she never expected to see her three boys home before dark on a weekend.
Josh Fink on Becoming a Better Hiker
Josh Fink strives to constantly improve as a hiker, and values teaching others what he’s learned about the sport over his many decades of participation. For those looking to get better at hiking, Josh offers these tips:
Know how to read a topographic map
Understanding how to read a topographic map without the aid of a compass helps you to easily figure out where you are. This makes your expeditions safer.
Get comfortable with a compass
Teach yourself how to work this device, or take a class where you receive proper instruction. Knowing how to operate this important tool will help to prevent you from getting lost as you’re hiking. While it may seem acceptable to rely on an app to give you your bearings during your trip, sometimes it’s best to rely on old-fashioned instruments in case technology fails.
Josh Fink notes that the fastest way to improve is to go on hiking trips several times per week. During these outings, you’ll build up your strength and find that you have better endurance. You’ll also learn basic footwork, and will begin to understand how to stay properly hydrated as you go.
Participate in a hiking club
Hiking clubs are becoming increasingly popular, and many cities now offer them. Join one of these groups so you can go on frequent outings with more experienced climbers. As you go, you’ll pick up a vast amount of information just by observing these more knowledgeable hikers at work. You’ll learn about the best types of gear, how to pace yourself, how to navigate terrain, what types of trails to choose, and how to manage other members of a hiking party. It’s also fun to spend time with people who have shared interests.
Go on overnight trips
Though they may seem intimidating, overnight trips teach you more about hiking and nature. When you’re spending time in the woods overnight, you learn about keeping bears away, as well as about how to stay warm overnight. If you’re uncertain about the idea, go with members of a backpacking club so that you have more experienced campers with you.
Hike in the rain
Though it may sound strange, hiking in the rain quickly teaches you about how to hike with wet feet, how to navigate through changing trail conditions, how to stay warm when you’re soaked, and how to accept what the trail presents to you. These are all valuable skills to obtain. Hiking in the rain makes you more ready to adapt, and it boosts your self-confidence.
Take a wilderness first aid class
This type of program will educate you about important survival skills; it will also allow you to help others in need, which makes you a valuable asset to your hiking party.
Join a rock gym
If you want to get more confident in your skills, you should practice them in a controlled setting. Joining a rock gym allows you to practice the techniques that you’ll need on the trail, without having to deal with outside factors such as inclement weather.
Get the right gear
Your hike is going to feel much more difficult if you’re trying to climb with a pack that’s too big for you or boots that are ill fitting. Before you set out on failed excursions, make sure you seek the help of a professional when it’s time to choose your gear. You’ll feel more comfortable as you go, and you’ll choose high quality items that won’t fail you when you need them most.
Josh Fink is an outdoor enthusiast who spends his free time hiking, fishing, canoeing, and snowshoeing. Josh Fink is also an accomplished mountain climber, who has scaled some of the most impressive peaks in the world.
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