When Nature Sucks: Dealing with Mosquitoes and Ticks

It’s a jungle out there…

The outdoors are amazing – majestic views, beautiful flora and fauna, the chance to move your body and free your mind. The outdoors can also be a miserable experience – sudden blizzards, dried up creeks and streams, pack rash, and cranky porcupines. And then… there are the mosquitoes and ticks. You find out quickly the only thing you have control over is your attitude and your gear. Bug spray goes a long way to helping the first and is a must-have for the second.   Continue reading “When Nature Sucks: Dealing with Mosquitoes and Ticks”

Ziploc bags, or how not to run out of food

6 steps for hungry, hungry hikers

There were three different days on the Appalachian Trail when I ran out of food. After implementing my Ziploc system, it didn’t happen again.

When I started my trek, I had all my food crammed into my bear bag. It wasn’t sorted or organized in any way, but I knew the food I had: two boxes of poptarts, 12 packets of cheese crackers, five Knorr pasta sides, etc. I carefully wrote down the things I needed for resupply on a list, and purchased those items plus anything that caught my eye in the store (looking at you, gummy bears). I had enough food to get me to the next resupply, all nicely removed from the original box packaging and crammed into that 18L dry bag.

I still ran out of food.  Continue reading “Ziploc bags, or how not to run out of food”

The Feet Post

10 tips for 10 toes

There are certain proud accomplishments for most people in life: graduating high school or college, job promotions, having children, paying off their student loans or mortgage. One of my prouder moments was when I summited Katahdin with all 10 original toenails, and only four blisters during the entire 2,200-mile trek.   Continue reading “The Feet Post”

Entering the Mt. Whitney lottery

Permit applications – the struggle is real

When two friends (Critter and Garbelly – check out their awesome blog here!) mentioned hiking the John Muir Trail this September, I was instantly all for it. I have been itching for another long-distance hike since Camino last year, and taking a few weeks won’t interrupt life too much.

I heard rumors from pals that hiked the PCT and CDT that for trails out West, you usually have to apply for a permit. I figured I would hop online, fill out a form promising to not burn down forests or pet the bears, pay a few bucks, and then call it good.

I was so, so wrong.
Continue reading “Entering the Mt. Whitney lottery”

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”