Essential Information for Fall, Winter and Spring Field Outings with Keeping Track

Body: 

Introduction: Our tracking outings, both at Wolfrun, our field training site, and at your community's location as well are generally NOT highly aerobic excursions. While we may slowly huff and puff our way up (and down) some limited steep terrain our classes are not intended to physically challenge our clients. We believe that the setting of moderate distance goals, with minimal strenuous climbing achieved at a common sense pace helps us guarantee that you will learn the most out there, and that is our express purpose. A few of our clients have complained that we are moving too slowly, but most folks are keenly appreciative of the dozens of stops we make with ample time to cover a maximum of 3 to 4 miles while seeing much and discussing the wonders that are out there.

Be advised therefore that these classes are not like the Xcountry ski or snowshoe ‘workouts’ you may be used to, hence the clothing you wear must be considerably more layered and prepared for even the worst cold. Please read the following carefully, and come prepared accordingly. Invest in a good supportive and well fitting daypack if you don’t already have one. A good pack will enable you to carry your accessories and be more comfortable out there – so that you may more fully enjoy all the extraordinary beauty and learning we’ll share together!

Wolfrun specific information:

  • Arrive dressed and ready to be outside as there are no indoor changing facilities.  Warm boots and foot warmers may be put on just before our departure
  • Plan on meeting the group 30 minutes before the scheduled trip; in other words, arrive at 8:30 a.m. for a 9:00 a.m. trip.
  • Please do not plan on leaving the trip early. Emergencies are the only exception.
  • Carpool, Carpool, Carpool. Wolfrun has very limited parking (space for four cars); therefore we require carpools of at least 4 per vehicle. The Richmond Park and Ride public commuter lot is a great meeting spot and is just off I-89 Exit 11. It takes 15 minutes to get from this area to Wolfrun.

What to expect: You will be spending the entire day outside and away from indoor facilities. These days can be long and cold but amazingly rewarding if you are properly prepared. A warm, hearty lunch and sturdy, winter-worthy boots will be critical. Items such as a warm hat, gloves, and synthetic or wool garments will protect you from the elements while allowing you comfortably enjoy the trip. Cotton clothes, jeans, T-shirts, sweat shirts and pants, and other similar items are not recommended as they do not retain heat and are dangerous if they get damp or wet.

Snacks and hydration should be consumed throughout the day, as we burn more energy during the winter keeping our bodies warm.  Hot soup, cocoa or tea in a small thermos along with high-energy snacks is a must.

What to bring:

  • Ski / hiking poles are very useful and highly recommended.  Wolfrun has a stock of 24 wooden hiking staffs you may borrow for the day if you don’t already own one.
  • Snowshoes: Tubbs, Atlas, Red Feather, and Iverson are just a few of the many reputable snowshoe brands. The key is that they FIT and that you know they work with YOUR BOOTS. Wolfrun Enterprises does have a limited number of snowshoes for rent. The cost is $10.00 per outing and is not refundable, since we will hold them aside for your use. To reserve a pair, please contact your coordinator at least two weeks prior to the event. We expect that your coordinator will provide your names and the number of pairs needed two weeks before your outing. Please call 802-899-2023 to reserve them – not the Keeping Track office – thanks!
  • Insulated winter hiking boots: Pack Boots with wool or synthetic liners with enough room for two pairs of socks. Boots should be rated to -20 degrees. Leather hiking boots are not warm enough unless they are oversized, made for winter wear, and you KNOW they work.
  • Gaiters are nice for keeping snow out of your boots and add 10 – 15% warmth to your feet.
  • Socks (2 pair).Wool is best, NO Cotton.
  • Warm hat – even if you never wear one!
  • Scarf, neck warmer, or similar item is a must.
  • Warm mittens (mittens are warmer than gloves). Roomy wool or thick fleece with leather or Gore-Tex shells work best.
  • Extra lightweight gloves for eating lunch.
  • A weather resistant shell / jacket – roomy enough to put on OVER your clothes
  • Wool or synthetic bottoms (ski or hunting pants work)
  • Several layers of synthetic or wool shirts which can be put on or off according to your personal thermostat.
  • A dependable and warm pair of synthetic or wool long underwear.
  • Foot and hand warmers provide essential comfort and can be purchased at any sporting goods store – these are used by most of our clients. Please bring your own – even if you have never used them.