Please remember this is a physical activity in the real wilderness with live wild animals and plan ahead. It is always better to be safe and prepared.
Congratulations on your great deal! The first thing we recommend you do is read the Hiking FAQ page (...congrats you found it) and the Guided Hikes/Mini-Retreats page.
Your GROUPON is good for any of the non-upgraded Relaxed & Intermediate Hikes. We have made this very easy for you and marked those hikes in RED. You are welcome to sign-up for any of our hikes and your GROUPON is worth $50 toward any of those purchases.
Then contact us (email is the easiest, but you are welcome to call) and let us know which hike you are interested in. We will reserve your spot via email so it is confirmed and you will follow the instructions on the email and arrive at your meeting spot on time & we take it from there. :)
The season only lasts while the warm weather is still around. So make sure you reserve your spot as soon as possible. The GROUPON is only good for the 2014 season.
-plenty of water, typically 2 liters or more is a good amount.
-a backpack or hydration backpack with space to carry the other items you need
-any allergy or personal medication
-a change of clothes and/or swimsuit in case we are stuck in the rain or you would like to swim in a lake, waterfall, or river
-food & snacks for at least a 12-24 hour period (choose high protein, low fat, healthy carbs)
-sunscreen, sun glasses, and possibly personal bug repellent
-bandaids, antiseptic, other first aid items
-toilet paper (the one bathroom at the beginning of each trail head (if there is one) will typically be out of paper by the end of the day)
**-** Plastic leak-proof bag(s) to bring your trash home with you. We leave nothing behind ...biodegradable or not.
Shoes: Wear only shoes that you could walk uphill on gravel for several hours comfortably. Hiking shoes/boots or tennis shoes usually work well.
Layering is always a good idea.
-On warm sunny days we typically begin layers with a swimsuit/bikini (or swim trunks for men), comfortable shorts or capris, a comfortable shirt, and bring a light jacket... possibly something waterproof in case it rains
-On cool days we typically do not hike during cooler weather, but at the beginning of the season (June) and toward the end (September... sometimes sooner) we begin with a microfiber or thermal shirt, two layers of pants, a t-shirt, a light long sleeve shirt, a thicker jacket, gloves, and a hat that keeps your head warm.
-On days it might or will rain we pack everything in our back packs in sealed plastic bags or sealed containers, bring clothes that are either waterproof or breathable bamboo or cotton, & slip resistant water shoes that are designed to walk, hike or run in (we love Vibram's Five Finger Shoes)... we typically do not cancel or end hikes early on rain days, there are few things more freeing than hiking in the rain, but you need to be prepared and understand that they include additional preparation, risk and caution.
Hiking outdoors is a physical and potentially dangerous activity, but these hikes are designed to ease you into this experience. You will typically begin walking with little or no incline and the first waterfall or lake you may see is within 1-3 miles from the trail head. Includes basic Yoga stretching and if desired a point in the hike to pause and meditate. These hikes are typically at lower altitudes, 1-8 miles long, in easy or easy-moderate terrain. You might see some wild animals, waterfalls, lakes and beautiful trails.
We assume on these hikes you are in fairly good physical condition and have been hiking in the wilderness before. You understand how your body handles altitude. You will see wild animals, beautiful terrain, lakes, waterfalls, sometimes changes in the weather, a few tourists, (but far less than on the relaxed hikes), a little guided yoga, guided meditation points if desired, and a fun experience exploring around various trails and terrains for 3-15 miles.
NOT SURE? Go to your local gym, set the treadmill at the highest incline and walk to fast walk 3-5 miles. How do you feel? Out of breath and not interested continuing on the treadmill? With the addition of the higher altitude and rock, dirt, or gravel ground could you continue on for longer?
We assume you have been hiking several times before and are in good-excellent physical condition. These hikes start early in the morning and can be anywhere from 3-20+ miles long. They typically involve higher altitude, steeper inclines, obstacles, bouldering, rock climbing without safety gear, maybe even crossing a log or two over rushing water below. The advanced hikes can include everything from basic-advanced yoga, guided meditation points, photo sessions, storms, flash floods, dangerous animals, increased injury risk, etc. They also have the most beautiful nature and wildlife, largest waterfalls, and lakes... and a lot less tourists and disturbances. With all of that said these hikes are INVITATION ONLY. You can request to be considered for an advanced hike, but if you aren't a student, friend, or haven't been on a hike with us before approval is unlikely.
NOT SURE? Go to your local gym, set the treadmill at the highest incline and fast walk-jog at least three miles if you are out of breath this hike is most likely not for you. (Remember the higher altitudes make even basic walking more difficult and these hikes are not for the average person.)
Absolutely! :) Our hikes are more about hiking and the yoga and meditation are always optional portions that are explained by a certified instructor so if you've never done yoga or meditation before this is a great opportunity to receive private/semi-private instruction and if you just want to relax during these moments you can do that too. The important thing is you have fun and enjoy yourself. :)
We would definitely prefer to skip all the rules, and just say have fun :) ...but we want everyone to return to their homes in the same, if not better, condition than they left. So...
Do not bring weapons, alcohol, drugs, etc.
Do not wear sandals or flip-flops.
Do not forget white anything will get dirty.
Do not touch or approach animals (some bite and others eat people).
Do not underestimate the amount of water or food you may need.
Do not leave trash or any item you brought with you up in nature.
There are few things as freeing as hiking in the rain so these hikes are rarely cancelled by us, but you are always welcome to change your scheduled hike in advance to a different available date with no penalty if hiking in the rain does not appeal to you.
For those of you interested in hiking during a storm or rain there are many things to consider/be aware of:
-Sometimes we will change the location of a rainy day hike to a safer area. Some areas are very dangerous or present slipping, flash flood, lightening, or additional risks if a storm comes in.
-Read the answer to "What should I wear" under the "-On Days it might or will rain"
-Hiking in the rain is an advanced hike, no matter what the terrain & you should be confident and understand the many risks involve BEFORE you go on the hike. Please read the information under "What can I expect on an advanced hike" & google the risks on your own. This is something that requires previous knowledge and your own research
-The mountains and wilderness are beautiful places with unpredictable weather and nature... part of what makes the experience so enjoyable, so use your common sense and enjoy the moment. :)
Sorry, but not on most of these hikes. Water in the wilderness can contain diseases and other issues that might not be filtered by the typical water filter. There are some things that can not be filtered at all. So sorry, but please don't drink the water and bring enough for you (see what should I bring).
There is typically no cell reception during the majority of our hikes... if you bring your phone to use the camera option or in case of emergency we ask that you turn it on airplane mode... sorry, but for those in your group that are trying to enjoy the natural experience your desire to check your cell phone disrupts that so we ask you to respect everyone... if you don't feel you can prevent from checking your messages then leave it in the car & enjoy being able to detach for the day. We'll have ours for emergencies and the peacefulness away from your daily stresses is a blessing... we will even write you a permission slip to get away from it all & turn it off. :)
Some of our hikes are in Massachusetts, but most of our hikes are in New Hampshire. The rules/ laws for the two states are VERY different. If you are not sure what laws might apply to you google the information... it is unfortunately to vast for us to cover here.
You are always welcome to bring your camera and take photographs, but keep in mind that cameras break easily and the terrain can sometimes be unpredictable. We pack our cameras in bubble wrap inside waterproof plastic bags (incase of unexpected rain) and place them in the center of large backpacks. No need to worry, just be prepared and keep in mind breaking your camera is always a possibility.
On these hikes bringing your dog is typically not permitted. You can ask for special permission on a specific hike, but unless your dog is really well trained, relaxed in manner, and used to these kind of hikes it's a danger and sometimes uncomfortable to group members (especially ones with allergies) to have dogs around so our answer is almost always no, but we have made exceptions and our little calm 14 pound poodle Chanceux and 20 pound poodle Argos loves some of the relaxed hikes, but we don't bring them on most of the other hikes.
We don't mind if Yoga or Meditation are not your thing. At those moments you are welcome to sit next to the waterfall or lake and just relax, listen to your iPod, etc. You do not have to participate in anything you don't want to. This is a relaxed get away from all of the "have to's". So enjoy the time. We do ask you stay near the group so we can walk back together.
Contact us and let us know where you live & we'll discuss whether the location of the trail head or the meeting place will be more convenient for you. We will make what ever reasonable accommodations to meet you at the trail head before the hike begins.
We don't provide ANY transportation with these guided mini retreats. We do however, help you arrange a ride with other people (if available) and we have marked the meeting places with T access on our calendar.
We get asked this question a lot. Please remember if you are not used to any of this equipment or food your first hike with us is not usually a good time to experiment. There is no way to change your mind or make adjustments until it is too late. With that said Samantha usually brings:
WATER 2-3 liters of water depending on the length and intensity of the hike
FOOD Fresh Fruit & Vegetables, a gluten-free raw almond butter & date sandwich, GoRaw Flax Seed bars, GoRaw Lemon/Chi Masala Super Cookies, GoRaw Pizza Flax snacks, Trader Joes no sugar added dried fruit bars, Greens all Natural Bars, Greens all natural Chia Bars, Larabar Apple/Cherry Pie Bars
SUMMER CLOTHES Green Apple 3/4 bamboo yoga pants, Bikini top, 1-2 spaghetti strap tank tops, stored in pack: bikini bottoms & light-weight jacket
SHOES Vibram Five-Finger Bikila
-on Relaxed hike or an Advanced hike that requires bouldering or rock climbing typically just a small 2 liter hydration pack
-on Intermediate hikes Osprey Kestrel 38 with 3 liter camelback hydration insert and built-in rain cover
SUPPLIES Weekend/Overnight REI First Aid kit, Benedryl, Epi-pen, & Rx steroids (for her bee allergy), 1-2 five mile range hand radios (to contact ranger station if needed), Spray Sunscreen 15 spf (she doesn't burn and tans very easily), Lotion Sunscreen for face 30 spf (avoiding wrinkles), bug spray, toilet paper, a small shovel, ziplock bags... and a 1.5 liter bottle of water that stays in the car for her drive to and from the hike.
LATE -If you are more than a couple of minutes late we will assume you are a no show and we will leave the meeting place without you. Please understand there are people who will no call/no show for various reasons so we can't sit around and wait for everyone scheduled to arrive. We suggest you plan for extreme traffic, transportation issues, and arrive super early. Relax, have some coffee or tea and begin your relaxing day doing just that, relax.
NOT PREPARED /NOT LIVING IN REALITY -If you show up wearing sandals or flip-flops, without water, without at least a few things for you to eat, etc. you will be asked to stay behind or hike on your own. It is our job to provide a fun relaxing experience for everyone who comes prepared. We do not want the responsibility of protecting someone from themselves. So please dress appropriately and come prepared. Your health and safety is very important.
We limit the number of people that can go on each hike to ensure a personalised and relaxing experience for everyone. When you make your reservation your GROUPON Voucher or cash/check/PayPal payment are required as full payment up front to reserve your space. This is a non-refundable payment to secure you will have a space on the hike you choose.
We do appreciate your business and understand that things come up & if you give us enough advance notice and we can fill your spot then we will be more than glad to place you on the wait list of a future hike, but due to the popularity of our hikes, weather conditions controlling the length of our season, and keeping the groups small and personalised we can not guarantee you will have a space on a future hike... if there are spaces open the evening before a hike you are welcome to them. :)
If you do not show up prepared or we have to ask you to leave you will not receive a refund and placing you in another hike is typically not an option.
LNT - Leave No Trace -means everything we take into nature we bring back out. LNT.org
Allergies - Please let us know when you book the hike if you have severe allergies (bees, food (especially peanuts... this is a very common hiking snack), or common first aid supplies (like latex gloves)) and bring the medication you may need
Car Pooling - We do not provide group transportation from the meeting site to the trail head so if someone volunteers to let you ride with them think about saying thank you with a nice gesture (gas money, offer them a snack, buy them a drink or dinner, etc.)
Altitude - The majority of our hikes are in high altitudes which means:
-Dehydration: Is more common at higher altitudes. You expel more moisture sometimes twice as much than at sea level. So bring plenty of water.
-Weather: changes unpredictably and often. It will typically be at least 10 degrees colder in the mountains and near lakes than in the city & weather can change fast.
-Sunscreen: is a must, even if you don't typically need it. There are less filters from the sun at higher altitudes and sunburns are common for people who never-rarely burn
-Air: Higher altitudes means there is less air to breathe. So please keep this in mind if you have breathing or other health issues. Be prepared and take it easy.
Release of Liability - We love to have fun, but legal blah, blah is a must these days so all hikers will be asked to sign this agreement at the meeting point before they can participate on one of our hikes. (We bring the copy. It's posted here so you have plenty of time to review what you will be signing in advance.)
RETREATS & MORE
Accredited REIKI Practitioner training courses available
Featured on May 2011 & 2014