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”

Backpacking Basics – Course Complete!

How to keep those fun tokens!

I had the pleasure of teaching a four-week backpacking basics series throughout March for Nashville Community Education. The combined eight hours of lectures were a lot of work to put together (thus so few website articles last month!) but the effort paid off – we’ve got a great group of 20 folks ready to go explore the great outdoors. While I won’t be posting all the messy notes/outlines I used or the presentation decks, I’ll definitely be using them as the basis of future posts.

Thanks for your patience as I devoted my time and energy to this course; more gear reviews, trail tips, and articles coming soon!

Photo credit: Laura Forester

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”