List: Overnight Backpacking Gear

There’s a first time for everything

I sometimes get asked to speak about backpacking at local outfitters. It’s great meeting beginners and seasoned backpackers alike, and there are always some great questions at the end. The downside is that there’s never enough time to answer all the questions, or give greater detail. This post is in response to a question I get asked nearly every time: “What should I take (specifically) on my first overnight trip?”

Continue reading “List: Overnight Backpacking Gear”

On the Road: Living in Adventuretruck

For those that want to jump in on the #vanlife bandwagon…

On my recent trip to Idaho, I lived in the back of my truck for more than two weeks. Here’s some information on truck living, from building a quick bed to what a camp kitchen looks like to where you can park. I’d love to hear any ideas and tips you have!  Continue reading “On the Road: Living in Adventuretruck”

List: Helpful Links


While I definitely have first-hand experience playing in the great outdoors, I also do a lot of research on trails, gear, and other topics before I set out. Here are some sites that have been very helpful in the past few years with my gear, the AT, el Camino, and general recklessness.

Feel free to comment with your own helpful links for others!

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Gear Review: Sawyer Squeeze

And my backup water filtration plan, Aquamira

Water is crucial to survival, and you never know where you may have to get it – like out of a mud puddle on the Appalachian Trail in New York because a drought has dried up all the streams. Clean water is critical, and here are the two ways I treat my water.

There are a lot of ways to filter water in the back country – pumps, tablets, drops, straws, UV lights, and other filters. My main choice is the Sawyer Squeeze water filtration system, and my backup is Aquamira dropsContinue reading “Gear Review: Sawyer Squeeze”

Trail Tip: Take pictures of people

You’ll be glad you did!

[I’ve been in Idaho for the past two weeks attending a NOLS Wilderness First Responder course, so I’ve been lax on the articles. I’ll be posting more this week!]

This is a small post with a big point: take pictures of people. Eventually, all the gorgeous summits look the same. Yes, flowers are pretty. And so is that deer. That old church looks a lot like all those other old churches (amirite, Camino folks?).

Trust me, when you get back home from your epic trip, it might be nice to share those vista and summit and adventure pictures with folks, but the ones you will revisit over and over, the ones you’ll show to complete strangers in bars, the ones you’ll have the best stories about… are the people. Take pictures of the people.

Pictured: Professor, Firestarter (me), and Backtrack in Damascus, Virginia. Yes, my tramily was full of very tall humans.