Trail Tips: 6 ways to stay warm in winter

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Excerpt from A.T. journal entry, May 6, 2016: “It was freezing cold, and as I ascended Whitetop Mountain there was snow already deep on the ground, hail, freezing rain that stung my face, wind gusts of 30-40 mph, icy rocks, deep cold mud, and most of the trail had become a freezing cold stream. I could barely see 50 feet in front of me.”

During my hike, I experienced a variety of weather and temperatures. You learn very quickly how to prepare for cold weather – either from others’ advice, or from personal mistakes. I’m about 50/50.  Continue reading “Trail Tips: 6 ways to stay warm in winter”

List: Books to feed your wanderlust

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Augustine of Hippo

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, and has been since I can remember. Even as a “busy adult” I still read a book each week. I love all genres, and often read a blend of things at once. [Right now it’s “The Happiness Project” (Rubin), “The Primal Connection” (Sission), and “This is How You Lose Her” (Díaz).]

There are thousands of good books out there on travel, adventure, the wilderness, and wandering. I wanted to share some of my favorite novels for stirring up wanderlust, books I love to read curled up in front of my wood-burning stove or cuddled in my sleeping bag in my tent.

I’d love to hear about some of your favorite books that inspire wanderlust. Leave a comment on this blog, or on this post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and I’d love to read and discuss with you! Continue reading “List: Books to feed your wanderlust”

List: 5 reckless mistakes to avoid

If you do these, you’re gonna have a bad time.

In honor of the Red Bull Flugtag in Nashville this weekend, I wanted to share five reckless mistakes that can be avoided while you’re having fun outdoors. While none of these are launching homemade, human-powered flying machines off a pier about 30 ft/9 m high into the Cumberland River, they are just as reckless.

[Side note: my boyfriend is the pilot for the Vanderbilt LifeFlight flugtag team, so cheer them on for the popular vote today by using the #votevandylifeflight and #redbullflugtag hashtags on all your social media. Each mention is one point to their overall goal of winning and supporting the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt!]  Continue reading “List: 5 reckless mistakes to avoid”

Gear Review: Selecting a new pack

Granite Gear Crown2 60 vs. Osprey Exos 48

There will never be a pack like my beloved Rosie, but the thru-hiker funk refuses to dissipate, no matter how many times I wash her and how strong the chemicals. She’s being retired, and for my upcoming birthday I am treating myself to a new pack.

I’m going to step you through my decision-making process. Remember, everyone has unique needs, body types, budgets, and tastes – this is just a glimpse into mine.  Continue reading “Gear Review: Selecting a new pack”

Trail Review: Volunteer Trail at Long Hunter State Park

Beautiful path tarnished by boater trash

I hiked the 5.5 mile in-and out (11 miles roundtrip) Volunteer Trail at Long Hunter State Park to scout it out as a location for one of my beginner backpacking groups since there are two backcountry campsites at the end. The trail is one of the easiest I’ve ever hiked: flat, totally shaded, by the water, well-blazed and signed, great places to take a break, and less than 30-minutes’ drive from my house.

It is also the most trash-covered trail I’ve ever hiked.  Continue reading “Trail Review: Volunteer Trail at Long Hunter State Park”