Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kauai hiking tips

If you're heading our way, here are some important words of advice taken from the pages of the 2010 Kauai Trailblazer guidebook:

"People have been walking here for centuries: If there is no trail already, you can’t get there … That nice green embankment may be tangled grass and air: stay back from drop-offs … Carry an equipped day pack on hikes more than a mile or two … Drink plenty of water … Don’t trust rocks with footing: they break free … Use a hiking stick … Never walk downhill with your hands in your pockets … Boink! Be aware of falling coconuts … At hike-to beaches, make sure to memorize where you enter the sand: finding the trail on the return trip can be difficult …

Use hunting trails on weekdays and wear bright colored clothes … If you see hunters, don’t hide behind bushes and snort or squeal … Even bloodhounds get lost on Kaua‘i: follow the trail, not your nose … Backtrack the moment you get lost or lose the trail … Don’t hike alone … Give right-of-way to a 400-pound pig … If the sun rises on a clear Waialeale, head for Waimea Canyon … Bring something warm when hiking Koke‘e … Go south and west to look for sun in the winter … You’re in the tropics: protect your skin … Drink more water …

Loose rocks fall with waterfalls; don’t dawdle beneath one … On black rock beach trails: follow the mud and sand left by the flip-flops of your predecessors … Flash floods happen on sunny days too, when it’s raining inland: stay alert in stream beds … A high stream will subside, so wait a couple hours rather than make a dangerous crossing … Know the halfway point of your hike, and plan for enough time to get back … Heed No Trespassing signs … Public right of way on the coast is all land and rocks below the vegetation line, as a rule of thumb … Let someone know if you’re taking a long hike … You need a permit to camp anywhere or to sleep on any beach … Hikes on Kaua‘i take longer than you expect, due to tough conditions and astounding scenery; add an hour for every four hours you think it will take."

Wishing you a safe and happy Hawaiian Island journey!