A note about difficulty

I have been having a tough time deciding on difficulty ratings for some of my trips.

When that happens I have been looking to other sources to see how they rate the trails. I'm beginning to think that using someone else's ratings isn't in the spirit of this blog. I have developed my own rating system:

  • Easy - I don't feel like I'm even exercising. I could walk here for hours without effort. Most flat trails will end up with an easy rating unless they are very long.
  • Moderate - Feels like a good work out. My heart rate is high for a significant portion of the trip and at the end of the day I feel tired and healthy. Most hikes will be in this category.
  • Difficult - A grueling work out. Feels like a trip to the gym with cardio and weights. I'll be sore tomorrow and will want a rest day before doing anything strenuous again.
  • Very Difficult - This rating will be reserved to the butt-kicking hikes that make you wonder why you're bothering to do this.
These ratings are highly subjective. I know this. They will be influenced by any number of factors including: weather, how much stuff I'm carrying, my fitness level (hopefully ever increasing), and my tiredness on any given day. These are all important factors to consider and I try to mention them in posts where they are relevant.

I always give as many details about a trip as possible to explain the experience of it. I think these subjective ratings, in conjunction with the other stats about each trip will give a well rounded idea of what to expect.

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