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”

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”

Trail Tip: Use gear company support

Help them help you

There are hundreds of gear manufacturers out there, and all have different policies on the level of customer support, warranty, gear replacement, and other services the provide. In my experience, when you are in a pinch on trail, they are eager to help. After all, the best advertisement for gear isn’t on a website or in a catalog – it’s in the woods, being used by a hiker that, though they and their gear reek, know what it’s all about.  Continue reading “Trail Tip: Use gear company support”

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!

Continue reading “List: Helpful Links”