David Chersonsky is an active hiker who enjoys taking pictures of outdoor scenery, such as mountains, desert plants, native wildlife, lakes, rivers, etc. He enjoys visiting out of the way places, off the beaten path. He enjoys rock climbing in a nearby urban park, sightseeing, going on day trips out of the way parts of the desert. He enjoys taking short walks and mountain bike riding as well. His other interests include reading, especially non fiction historical books. He has read a variety of history books about the American Revolution, as well as numerous books relating to World War II. Some of his favorite books involve recent financial history, especially relating to the “great recession”. He likes to find patterns involving recent global financial history, and then develop insights as to what the next challenges and opportunities are available in the global economy, particularly global equities markets and commodities. David likes to check up on the abnormal psychology of crowds as it particularly pertains to equities markets and commodities, as well as currencies and cryptocurrencies. He finds insights from such sources as ” Mad Money”, as well as “Seeking Alpha”, and “Bitcoin.com”, to be of significant value. He enjoys the theater of discussion boards regarding investing posted on the internet, particularly Reddit’s investment discussion boards. David is a strong critic of income inequality, particularly inequality in wealthy nations that can afford to provide a social safety net for their citizens. Mr. Chersonsky was instrumental in helping to found a small family organic health care products business, developing a business plan and working on marketing strategies. David was actively involved with His church, especially prior to Covid. He likes to get involved with community outreach, helping the homeless, those who are struggling just to get by. His future dreams involve owning a coffee farm, producing organic coffee using sustainable practices, as well as traveling, particularly visiting South America with his girlfriend. David lives and works in Maricopa county, Arizona and much appreciates the weather and job opportunities of living in Maricopa county.
What is your hobby?
My primary favorite hobby is hiking outdoors. I enjoy the fresh air and scenic views, getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and finding some peace and quiet. I enjoy taking pictures of native desert plants and animals, as well as taking pictures of the beautiful desert sunsets. I try to get outside any chance that I can get, even in the heat of the summer. The further that I can get away from the city, and the longer the hike, the happier that I am. All I need is some comfortable hiking boots, and some Gatorade, and I am good to go. I try to go to a different park or hiking trail whenever I can, not always visit the same place. My favorite place to visit is usually the Tonto Wilderness National Forest, near Mesa Arizona, or the Native American reservations near Chandler AZ. There you can find some good peace and quiet and a break from the industrial busyness of the city. I also like to go rock climbing in the parks around Phoenix Arizona, particularly Papago park. I enjoy seeing the various rock formations that sprout up from the desert. It is interesting to see the contrast between the rocks and the desert sands, and the big saguaro cacti. I really have an affinity for the saguaro, many of whom seem to have died off due to wildfires and I guess draught. It is also a blessing to see the wild horses that populate the Tonto forest. It is interesting to see the different colors of the horses, and how they interact with one another. You have to be careful to watch out for the rattlesnakes though, I’ve had several close encounters with rattlers in the Tonto. All in all, I just find hiking is good for my health and my peace of mind. And it’s usually free.
How did you get started with this hobby?
I mostly just got started not having a car back east, and just having to walk everywhere. And then enjoying the outdoors, finding city parks to visit, getting a break from work. When I moved back west, out here to the desert, I started visiting Papago park, which I had remembered as an oasis in the city. Then I discovered the Tonto forest which was near where I was living, so that became a favorite place to visit. Then I would just Google nearby hiking trails wherever I would go if I had any free time. Even Phoenix, with about 1.7 million people, has plenty of hiking trails within its city limits, if you don’t mind that it’s more crowded in the trails in the city. From there, it was just about finding trails further out from the city, trying to extend a day trip into another county, other areas that I haven’t visited. It’s been mostly a cheap, enjoyable respite, that helps me to stay healthy and active.
Tell us what you love about your hobby.
I love the fresh air, feeling at home in the desert. Being able to just get in the car, and get out into a natural environment. Seeing the wild horses, taking pictures of the flora and fauna. Catching a beautiful desert sunset, the way the sun plays over the desert landscape. Being able to just get out, even for a couple of hours, and get some fresh air, especially if I’m up north. It’s amazing to me how the cacti manage to survive such a dry environment. Seeing the cacti in bloom in the spring is one of the better times of year to get out there, especially before it gets ridiculously hot. I also enjoy spying the smaller desert animals, like the ground squirrels and rabbits which proliferate in many of the parks out here. It’s amazing how much life is in the desert. Additionally, rock climbing is fun and good exercise too, you just have to watch out that your footing is good. Plus it’s relatively cheap, just have good shoes, some Gatorade and hop in the car and go. So, overall, I am just thankful for all the hiking and outdoor recreation opportunities out here in the Phoenix area.
What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?
There’s not too much to spend money on for hiking, one of the big reasons I love it. Main thing is comfortable hiking boots, preferably that protect your ankles on the rocky trails. I bought some Red Wing boots which are pretty comfortable, even if the laces do loosen up sometimes. on some trails you can just get away with wearing shoes though. Other than that, just wearing comfortable clothes, I usually wear long pants because you can get “attacked” by cactus thorns and such, easily scratched up. Also having good sunglasses. I have prescription glasses with transition lenses that are pretty good for vision protection. And then just having good reliable transportation to get to the trail. You can definitely put a lot of miles on your car just finding new places to visit. I would recommend getting an SUV if you really like to get off the beaten path. And then especially during the warm months, which is most months out here, bringing plenty of liquids, Gatorade is the best, but just cool water will do. Staying hydrated is obviously essential to staying safe. Can’t hurt to have a rain jacket too, in case the weather picks up. Also can’t forget my cell phone, for directions, to avoid getting lost, and to take pictures. Cell phones are an essential item for hiking, for me.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?
I usually don’t need to get too much for supplies. Usually just get some Gatorade, maybe some trail mix at Walmart or Fry’s around here locally, make sure that I have good insoles for the hiking boots. Make sure the car is gassed up, in case the trail is further than I anticipate. Always make sure the cell phone is charged up, in case I need to make an emergency call. Don’t want to be lost in case of an emergency. Other than that, there isn’t too much you need to buy. It’s a simple, inexpensive hobby that helps to keep me healthy to build up my cardiovascular strength. Especially with the covid virus being so prevalent, a good, regular cardio workout is super important these days. It’s also helpful to have a hobby that doesn’t involve going to the store all the time these days, as that is a dangerous activity nowadays with Covid everywhere. Having a safe, enjoyable workout without spending a lot of money is a real benefit to hiking, or walking or jogging for that matter. Not like being a car hobbyist where you have to spend thousands of bucks just to have the car look in good condition. With hiking, the main deal is just to have good shoes and then you are good to go.
How much money have you invested into this? How much would a beginner have to invest to get started?
I haven’t had to invest that much. Mostly just getting a $150 or so pair of hiking boots which I also use for work. The other thing is wear and tear on my car, it probably has caused my tires to go balder, faster. Had one flat so far while out in the wilderness. So that could easily go for around 400 bucks for new tires. But obviously most of that is caused by my commute while going back and forth to work. Other than that, just getting good socks that are comfortable, comfortable pants to wear outdoors. The great advantage to hiking is not having to shell out much money, it’s very much cheaper than golfing or other more expensive sports. So I would highly recommend it to individuals or families on a budget. Now, if you really want to go in hard to access locations, an SUV would be recommended, to get to hard or difficult trails. But that’s for hard core outdoors like hunting and fishing or camping enthusiasts. Even if you have to rely on public transportation, you can usually find some urban trails in the city that are pretty close by, that don’t require a car to get to. Me personally, I could use an SUV, and that could cost like an extra 25, 30,000 bucks easily, obviously that would be quite the expense for someone on a limited budget. Also it would be really helpful to have a professional camera to take wildlife pictures with, if I really wanted to try and sell the pictures. So that could easily run another $1000 bucks or so. But basically, it’s a cheap hobby.
Are there any good books for beginners?
I haven’t really relied on any books, so much as local pamphlets which might show local hiking trails. Locally, there was a pamphlet which showed all the Sonoran Desert Preserve hiking trails in Phoenix, I believe put out by the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Alltrails is a really good resource on line, at least from what I can tell, to find the best hiking trails in any given area. Just using Google to find local trails is basically what I do, and it seems to work out, gives me good suggestions as to different trails wherever I might be at. It’s not too complex. The best thing is to just get out on a local trail and have fun, enjoy the fresh air and scenery. Also asking local folks in any locale is a good idea, people might know of hidden trails or places not on the beaten path that might be interesting. Can’t hurt to ask.
Are there any online videos you recommend to help beginners?
Well, I usually don’t really watch videos of hiking, per se. There is an award winning documentary called ” why do I hike”, that’s on YouTube, that seems like it would be motivational. There’s someone named “Jerry Arizona” who has videos of hiking in the Grand Canyon that may be useful as an introduction to that particular area. I saw that one on YouTube as well. Otherwise, for me, it’s like breathing or eating, you just go out and do it, have fun outdoors and stay safe. If you’re in an area with dangerous animals locally, or unpredictable weather, definitely do your research on that, make sure where you are going is safe. But that is location by location. It’s always wise to check your weather forecast before you go out as well. That can be the most dangerous, is getting caught out in a flash flood or some such thing. But otherwise the main thing is just to get out there and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, enjoy walking in a natural environment, enjoy breathing freely. “Just do it”, as Nike says.
How has your hobby changed your life?
I would say hiking has changed my life by making me more fit, keeping me in better health. It also helps with relieving stress, anxiety and other such things that come with city life in the U.S. Hiking has given me a renewed appreciation for the environment, the local desert ecosystems in particular. It’s sad to see how the desert has been overrun with subdivisions and commercial plazas and such, the urban sprawl just keeps growing and growing out here in Maricopa county. So, the remaining desert is like a bit of a treasure now, even just some bare land, I don’t like to see it all developed. We need those wild, natural places just to enjoy nature that hasn’t been completely paved over and corrupted. So it has given me a different perspective on the environment, how unchecked growth can be very damaging in the long run. For me, hiking is just a natural activity that just gets me out of the apartment, out of the stifling air and into a more positive and pleasant space. Where I can say hello to the Cacti and the rabbits, see the desert in bloom and the wild horses. I can breathe, walk about and go back home more relaxed and rejuvenated. And that is really important, when you are just a regular working class Joe, working and getting by day to day. Just like no one wants to give up breathing, I don’t want to give up hiking either. There’s too many positive benefits for me to walk away from it.
What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?
I would just say, take it easy at first, Don’t overdo it. At first, do shorter, easier hikes, build up your stamina, and your cardio power. Then as you feel good about it, get more adventurous, look for out of the way locations and longer hikes in new environments. The main things are to have comfortable hiking boots that are durable, always bring plenty of water or Gatorade, and a watch or cellphone, to keep track of time. Always have a cell on hand in case of emergency, although in a remote area, it’s possible you want to have cell coverage. Start early and watch out for hazards, you don’t want to be stumbling around in the dark. Wear sunscreen in summer of course. I usually wear pants and not shorts here, because of all the Cacti and briers, etc. Let people know where you are going, especially if it is an unfamiliar area. Watch the terrain as well, sometimes you can end up in a ravine or ditch or whatever, in some areas, by not paying attention. Just have fun and stay safe. And enjoy the natural beauty around you!
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