Just a quick biography of myself and my experience hiking in Colorado.
I am a native of this Colorful State who has experienced a life time of the Colorado mountains, trails, historical sites and camping areas.
I also taught 4th grade Colorado History for a very long time for Denver Public Schools, so I do have a bit of knowledge of the wonderful state of Colorado.
The name Second Wind was the name given to the group by the former organizer who had to leave the group due to family illness so I adopted it without attending one hike or even meeting Penny.
I kept the name not only because out of respect to Penny who founded this group but I thought it was a cool name. I also read a book of short stories about people who have hiked in Colorado and their experiences.
One story grabbed me in particular. The story was about a gentleman who hiked with his wife all over the state of Colorado. She was later diagnosed with cancer and passed away. In the husband's diary he wrote he was having pain in letting go and decided he would walk from Limon, Colorado all the way to Golden, Colorado just to catch a SECOND WIND.
Don't let the name of the group fool you into believing this group is intended for those of certain ages. Not true. We have members of all ages, skill levels, pace, sexual preferences, political affiliation, behavior challenges, careers and nationalities.
We hike at our own pace without having to hurry to catch up with those ahead of us or slow down for those who are behind the group. I am always in the back with those who take their time and take photographs.
Our hike areas vary from the Front Range to deep,deep, deep into the mountains which will include an array of hikes, with various distances, degree of challenges and elevation gains.
Here is a list of items Diane made up for the group which you should always keep in your car, this way you'll never have to ask what you need to bring. Don't forget snowshoes, cleats and goggles during the winter season.
Water: Don't underestimate how much you will need. We will be at elevation which means thin air and drier climate, so plan on drinking half a liter per mile
Map and compass:
Hat, eye protection, sunscreen: Even during the winter, at the higher elevations UV light is stronger because there is less atmosphere to filter it so you can get sunburned more easily. Sunglasses in summer, ski goggles in winter will protect your eyes from wind, which can get pretty fierce in the higher elevations.
Food/Snacks: A snack will help if you are feeling the effects of the higher elevations, too.
For winter hikes, wear real ski pants over long johns, stretch pants, or regular pants. Ski pants are water resistant and made for the cold climate. Blue jeans are not really good for hiking, as they offer little wind protection and take forever to dry out if they get wet.
Layering is a good idea in case you get hot, wet, or it is very windy. Wind chill is not to be taken lightly. Winds of 10-20 MPH can make you feel up to 20 degrees colder, depending on how cold it is to begin with. Prepare for gusty wind always in the mountains. On a really cold day, bring a scarf, face protector , or balaclava (a ninja mask-looking headgear that covers your head, face, and neck).
Proper hiking shoes: Regular athletic shoes are not rugged enough for hiking in rough or steep terrain. You want hiking shoes or boots that will protect your feet from banging up against rocks and give plenty of traction on steep or slippery surfaces. Gloves: Preferably ski gloves, which are padded and water resistant, or mittens, which actually keep your hands warmer than gloves do.
During the winter hikes you should always have these items in your car: Hand and foot warmers, Snowshoes, traction devices, Snow goggles and water resistant gloves.
Optional items: bug repellent, small first aid kit, whistle (for bears) if you can't whistle without one, a hiking pole (reduces uphill and downhill effort), tissues, chapstick, and a camera.
When Meetup members sign up and accept the Meetup Terms of Service, they are agreeing to the Release found in Section 6.2: This Release basically states that members attend events at their own risk, and release The Organizers, the assistant organizers and Meetup from any claims that may result in injury or death.
Purchasing a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) Card. Why Buy a CORSAR Card? Colorado residents and visitors are well served by dedicated volunteer search and rescue teams, but mission costs are often in the thousands of dollars. By purchasing a CORSAR card you are contributing to the Search and Rescue Fund, which will reimburse these teams for costs incurred in your search and rescue. Funds remaining at the end of the year are used to help pay for training and equipment for these teams. Anyone with a current hunting/fishing license, or boat, snowmobile, ATV registration is already covered by the fund. The card is not insurance and does not reimburse individuals nor does it pay for medical transport
Medical transport includes helicopter flights or ground ambulance. If aircraft are used as a search vehicle, those costs are reimbursed by the fund. If the aircraft becomes a medical transport due to a medical emergency, the medical portion of the transport is not covered. The CORSAR cards are available for $3 for one year and $12 for five years, and can be purchased at over 300 retailers in the state. You may also purchase cards online. Please visit one of these links: Purchase Card Online With Credit Card. For the cost of the card, you have helped ensure that trained and well equipped search and rescue teams will respond should you become lost or in need of rescue. Furthermore, volunteers will not have to incur undue expense due to your emergency.
To add to the disclaimer the organizers of Second Wind Getaways are not reponsible for transportation to or from our destinations, reserving lodging including motels, hotels, campgrounds and resorts. Be sure to purchase a CORSAR Card.
I hope you will have not only a good time but an educational experience as well.