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The Tarahumara and Tepehuan people of Mexico’s Sierra Madre have been under seige for generations. Their lands and forests have been seized. Tens of thousands have retreated to remote and desolate areas, choosing a life of silent suffering over integration in Mexican society.

They are caught between two worlds: the old world – which is disappearing with the forests – and the new world where they find discrimination and poverty.

Many have been able to sustain a rich traditional life, but others find themselves caught between two worlds: the old world which is disappearing with the forests and the new world where they find discrimination, poverty, and depression.

Corruption, drug trafficking, and violence all contribute to the suffering of these indigenous peoples. Uncontrolled logging has taken ninety-nine percent of their forests, destroyed vital high-altitude watersheds, and threatened the forest plants they depend on for food, medicine, and ceremonies, as well as a number of endemic and endangered species.

The Sierra Madre Alliance and our Mexican partners have been working to improve the environmental and social conditions in the Sierra for more than ten years, with indigenous community participation. We focus on conservation-priority areas in the Sierra, where both endangered species and endangered communities struggle for survival.

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Preparing for The Sierra Madre

We are a family that loves to get out into the great outdoors. That is why we also make a trip to the Sierra Madre mountains every chance we get. The scenery is beautiful, the trip is exciting, and the adventure never ends. However, even though we love it, we do realize there are risks to it. Therefore, we spend a lot of time preparing for the Sierra Madre.

The Journey Ahead

SierraPackingWe start getting excited weeks before the trip is scheduled. It is exciting to think about the things we will see. Each time we go, even hiking the same trails, we always manage to see something new. It does not matter whether it is a tree that we never noticed before or a new flower that has bloomed. We may see different types of wildlife or meet new people along the way. It is all part of the thrill and getting prepared is also an adventure.

Our Preparations

survivalkitWe begin preparing the minute we come off the hike. Even though it is a trip that we do not take as often as we want to, we always walk away from our hike thinking of something that we wish we had had along the way. For instance, the time that we ended up meeting a couple who were unprepared for the true struggles of the hike. The wife had fallen and cut her leg pretty badly. They had no bandages or gauze large enough to cover it and we helped out. There was also a time when we were setting up camp and realized one of our tent rods was missing. We used our survival multi tool to cut a limb from a tree that was able to help us improvise and it worked until we got through with our hike.

Everything We Need

SkunkPicWe pride ourselves on being prepared, but we are not always ahead of the game. Last year, we encountered a pretty touchy situation. We had set up camp and we ended up with a with a late night visitor that seemed more interested in us than we really wanted it to be. It was a skunk who did not want to let us sleep much at all. We risked getting skunked by standing to the side and trying to find sticks to throw to make him run away. In the middle of the night, it was not much fun. Not only were we nearly sick because of the smell, but we couldn’t figure out how to make him leave.

After that adventure, we decided that on our next trip out, we would have a slapjack weapon on hand. We have no desire to hurt an animal and we would never do anything to harm them, but we really have no desire to have another close encounter. We have both considered what it could have been. A skunk is harmless, but if it had been something else, what would we have done? We choose not to put ourselves into that position again.

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Hiking The Sierra Madre

HikingHiking is a pastime that many people enjoy. It is a great way to get out and see parts of the world as it once was. You can view natural wonders that have not been touched by human hands and you can see more wildlife than ever before. It is also a great way to get a little exercise. The key is finding a place that is fascinating and enjoyable to hike through. One of the most popular places to go hiking is located in the United States. Have you ever considered hiking the Sierra Madre?

Why Hike the Sierra Madre?

One of the biggest reasons the Sierra Madre is special is because of the many ways that it has been used throughout history. During the “Great Hiking Era” which took place during the 1880s and lasted until roughly the Great Depression began, it was a popular route. Often people who wanted to travel from Sierra Madre to the San Gabriel Mountains would travel through the mountains. If you travel through the right areas, you will still find remnants of those early expeditions.

SierraMadrePeople also used these mountains to hide out from the law back in the old west and cattle farmers would use the mountains valleys to keep their cattle together. Times have changed, and so has the way that people use the mountains surrounding the Sierra Madre, by creating trails that people can hike through and enjoy.

What Can You View?

While hiking the Sierra Madre, you can see a large variety of trees. You can also see an amazing amount of wildlife. During certain times of the year, you will find waterfalls throughout the hiking trails. If you are lucky, you may also see the largest North American bird, the California Condor. It is a bird that in 1987, was extinct in the wild. Slowly and over time, these very large birds have been reintroduced into the wild and many of them call the Sierra Madre home.

Preparing for Your Hike

As you prepare for your hike into the Sierra Madre, there are a few items you may want to take along, depending on the trail that you hope to hike through. There are some very short 1 or 2-mile-long trails that offer a great view of a waterfall. They are great for picnics and short family outings. BlanketYou will want to take a blanket, a Yeti Hopper for your drinks, and perhaps a picnic basket of snacks. A cooler is also a great idea. There are also trails that you can hike on for days if you want to explore the Sierra Madre to the fullest. In this case, you will definitely need a cooler that can stay cool for multiple days. In fact, that is often the hardest part of hiking through. Most people want a cooler that is lightweight and offers good ice retention. They often have a hard time choosing the best between Grizzly Coolers Vs Yeti. The reason is, because when you are hiking the Sierra Madre, you will definitely want something cold to drink, especially considering the mild climate area you will be traveling through.

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