SAN DIEGO HIKING GROUP & HIKING CLUB
Welcome to the premier San Diego hiking club experience
The amazing beauty of nature!
When I'm not busy selling real estate, one of my favorite activities is exploring the beautiful beaches, inland valleys, mountains and deserts of San Diego County. It's a lot more fun to hike in groups with other people and over the years, I've belonged to a couple of San Diego hiking clubs. But, they had meetings to attend, their hikes were planned months ahead of time, their hikes often filled up and they were usually on Saturdays - important business days for me.
The Seaside Hiking Club:So, in April 2010 the Seaside Hiking Club was organized with the goal of creating safe, casual and regular San Diego County hiking group experiences. Click here to review the Purpose, Guidelines and Release of Liability.
- To provide San Diego hikers and their friends with regular San Diego hiking experiences throughout the beaches, inland valleys, mountains and deserts of San Diego County.
- To provide a positive hiking club setting for exercise and the exchange of outdoor information, education and knowledge.
- To educate and create an awareness, interest and understanding of the importance of preserving our natural environment.
- To share the essential emotional, spiritual and physical health benefits that hiking in nature provides.
- To provide a friendly hiking club for San Diego hikers and their friends to meet and connect.
- To perform occasional cleanup and maintenance projects of San Diego County hiking trails.
Club organizer and leader:
Neal Hribar has spent his entire life exploring the natural beauty of the outdoors. He discovered the attraction of nature as a child who played outside in the fields and woods of the east coast every free moment.
As an adult, Neal has explored the natural beauty of Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Arizona, Wyoming, Nevada and Southern California. Besides hiking, he has accomplished sailing, skiing, tennis, running, golf, racketball, bicycling, camping and ballroom dancing. He is currently studying Meditation, Feldenkris, Yoga and spends time each week working out at the Tri-city Wellness Center in Carlsbad.
Neal has been exploring San Diego County hiking trails for 30 years. He finds peace and harmony in nature and loves sharing the outdoor experience with others. He knows that our bodies were designed to move and be active. He also understands that today's' stressful, sedentary lifestyle keeps many people from enjoying the health, vitality and well-being that hiking in nature provides. Neal strives to maintain that physical conditioning and close connection with nature for himself and for others who join him on San Diego hiking trails.
Seaside Hiking Club membership:
- Open to experienced and responsible hikers and their friends and family.
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Able to comfortably hike a minimum of five miles of varied terrain.
- Have certain minimum equipment as determined by the leader.
- Be willing to share in the cost of shared transportation.
- Review and sign the Purpose, Guidelines and Release of Liability.
What kind of hikes are offered?
The Seaside Hiking Club has a hike every one or two weeks - on Sunday. Our San Diego hikes range between 5 and 10 miles in length and the club explores the best inland, mountain and desert hiking areas in the county. Hikes are also planned on most weekday holidays except Christmas and Thanksgiving.
During the summer, there are occasional last minute hikes during the week. These evening hikes are shorter and take place in the north San Diego County coastal areas.
Are reservations required?
Reservations are usually required because we limit our hiking groups to 10 - 14 San Diego hikers. One other thing - we always leave on time! So, please arrive at the trailhead early. Also, remember that the Purpose, Guidelines and Release of Liability must be completed, signed and returned 48 hours prior to joining us for the first time.
How does it work?
The Seaside Hiking Club communicates with members of the hiking group via e-mail - there are no meetings to attend. Details on San Diego hikes are e-mailed to members a week or two in advance with a description, trail map, driving directions, weather forecast and car pool information. Click here to see a typical hiking club announcement e-mail .
How much does it cost?There is no charge to join the Seaside Hiking Club. Members are expected to share in the cost of group transportation when car pooling based on the latest AAA estimate of 0.70 per mile as the current total cost of operating a vehicle.
A word on hiking equipment:
The Seaside Hiking Club explores all the San Diego microclimates and we run into a variety of weather conditions. Since the San Diego weather can be so variable, it's a good idea to wear comfort-able, layered clothing that will keep you warm or cool.
Most people are low on Vitamin D and they can benefit from regular sun exposure. But, on really hot days, you may want to wear a wide brim hat and long sleeves for sun protection while hiking in San Diego. The newer hiking shirts by Columbia, REI and others offer built-in UV protection.
Unless it's very hot, many experienced hikers wear long pants to reduce scratches from vegetation and to protect themselves from accidental contact with Poison Oak.
Jeans are too tight and heavy for San Diego hiking. Instead, consider a pair of light-weight nylon hiking pants. They're loose-fitting for free movement and have lots of pockets with Velcro flaps to carry your small essentials.
Some people in our San Diego hiking club like convertible hiking pants with legs that can be zipped-off in hot weather. For others, the zipper feels uncomfortable on the leg. The North Face and REI both make great pants for San Diego hiking.
Well-prepared hikers always carry a light-weight wind-breaker/rain shell.jacket in their day pack. Our San Diego weather can change quickly and having this extra layer of protection has proved valuable time-after-time. If someone is sick or injured and has to stay behind for a few hours, multiple jackets from the group will provide them with much needed protection. Or, if we get lost or delayed in the mountains at the end of a winter day, you will have one more layer of warmth in the chilly evening. Backcountry.com has a great line of rain shell jackets as doe REI, or my favorite outdoor store, Adventure 16.
Good hiking shoes or boots are a must for San Diego Hiking - I like to see something with a Vibram sole for good traction. Tennis/running shoes are not recommended except for our urban hikes. Many hiking club members swear by Merrell boots. New Balance is my favorite brand of hiking shoes because they're modestly priced and come in a variety of widths for comfort. Hiking Sandals and the Vibram Fivefingers footwear are becoming more popular, particularly with younger hikers. Teva is big into sandals. Going barefoot whenever possible is a healthy habit - hiking sandals and Fivefingers are a step in that direction.
A small back pack or waist pack will keep your hands free and your gait balanced. Here's an excellent line of Mountainsmith packs. Back packs with shoulder straps may disrupt the energy flow in the upper body. So, find one that's lightweight and comfortable. My favorite is one made by The North Face that folds up into a small pouch. I found it at Adventure 16 in Solana Beach.
A few of our hiking club members use a hiking stick or hiking poles - it seems to be a very personal thing. The new poles are ultra light weight and collapsible which make them easy to carry while hiking in San Diego. They are very helpful for balance when crossing streams. However, sticks and branches can usually be found along the trail that don't have to be carried the whole day.
40 ounces of water are suggested on every San Diego hike. Plastic water bottles are bad for our planet, the water doesn't taste good and the plastic residue is toxic for your body. 67 million water bottles are thrown away each day. That's a staggering amount of waste considering that only 10 percent are ever recycled.
Despite how good you feel about recycling, it's not always best for the ecosystem because it's highly labor-intensive, costly and consumes natural resources. And, just because you throw your used water bottles into the recycling bin, doesn't mean they are always able to be recycled. Another problem with bottled water is the huge amount of fossil fuel needed to transport the loads of plastic bottles to your local supermarket and then haul the empties away for recycling.
So, treat yourself and the planet well - buy a couple of 20-ounce stainless stainless steel bottles today! Here is the best buy in stainless steel bottles. Two of these filled with water will be enough for our outings.
Some of our past hikes:
The Seaside Hiking Club is now accepting a few new members.
The best way to find out if you would like to join the Seaside Hiking Club is to fill out this form to be added to our e-mail list as a guest for 60 days. This will give you the opportunity to receive our San Diego hiking club announcements and learn more about our activities. Then, if you wish to join us, simply let me know via phone or e-mail. Click here to review the Purpose, Guidelines and Release of Liability
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