Quachita National Recreation Trail
Short, But Challenging
When people think of hiking, they often think of lengthy hikes that involve lots of planning and even months of extreme survival in the wilderness without any connection to the outside world. Where these hikes do have their place, and are quite an experience to have in one’s background, they cannot always be simply jumped into by novice hikers. Experience is gained through the endurance of shorter hikes so hikers can take on the much larger excursions without anxiety. Quachita National Recreation Trail is just the hike to kick off your hiking lifestyle.
Where is This Hike?
Quachita National Recreation Trail can be found in North America, but more specifically in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The 223-mile-long trail will take you through some of the most breathtaking areas of the country with amazing views of the surrounding areas. The trail is ranked as intermediate to difficult, but not to worry for much of the difficulty as this trail is not as remote as many of the other trails within the country. It will however take anywhere from 9 to 11 hours to accomplish without any stops, so if you are among the slower hikers, you may want to plan for an overnight stay.
What to Bring for Camping?
Where the Quachita National Recreation Trail is not the longest among the trails available, you may have to take enough supplies for a few days of camping depending on how long you expect your journey to take. Even if you believe that you will only be camping for a set number of days, always pack for an additional day or two to ensure that you never run out of supplies.
Essential items include extra clothing including water proof clothing so you can change out in the event of a sudden rain shower, which is quite common throughout the year in this part of the country. Pack plenty of protein rich foods to keep your energy up between actual meals and bring along a camping stove since many of the national lands do not allow for fires to keep down the possibility of wild fires spreading during dry periods.
It is not likely that you will be able to construct a water tight shelter during your hike through Quachita National Recreation Trail each time you need to take a rest, but hikers today have all the shelter they need in many convenient and light tents that can be packed away in their packs. Some of these tents require that they are split in two pieces and carried by two hikers, so make sure that you have the right tent for whether you are traveling with a partner or on a solo excursion. Your shelter is important as well as the type of sleeping equipment you maintain. Check the rate of the sleeping back and it also does not hurt to have one that is waterproof.
Things to Know
Hiking is a fun experience and Quachita National Recreation Trail is certainly among the most enjoyable shorter trails to explore, but like all wilderness journeys, there are some things that you will want to keep in mind throughout your trip. The first and foremost thing you want to keep in mind is the need for water. Water will not always be available on your trip. The meandering path will take you through many streams and across rivers that may or may not contain water depending on when you travel through Quachita National Recreation Trail. The solution is to travel during rainy parts of the year. For this part of the country, the rainy season is during the fall and spring. This time of the year is also much cooler and less humid than in the summer. Water that is found may not always be of the quality that is good to drink, so the use of a water filter is essential and keeps you from having to pack as much water and increasing the weight of your pack.
Take breaks throughout the Quachita National Recreation Trail. There is no shame in taking a break for a bit and resting by a babbling stream. Everyone hikes at their own pace and therefore when you feel like taking a rest, take one. Should you decide to camp during your trip, and you probably will, Quachita National Recreation Trail regulations ask that you camp at least 100 feet away from the trail itself. This helps keep the trail maintained and gives you a bit of privacy as well. Pack in pack out is also one of the major policies of the trail. They want to make sure that the natural beauty of the trail is never compromised, so that require that you take out anything that you bring in so no manmade substances are left for the animals to eat and get hurt from.