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Articles, Going Solo / 01.05.2017

When hiking solo, you don't have the option of leaving one car at the destination trailhead. The easiest solution is to choose a loop hike or at least a loop that leaves you minimizing the trail distance you have to retrace. Look for "near loops" where you might be able to add a short road walk to complete the loop. Even better, use a bicycle for the road portion of the trip. I've often used a bicycle to complete a loop.  I have ridden on paved and unpaved roads....

Articles, Going Solo / 01.05.2017

One of the most amusing activities of backpacking is watching while someone else tries to throw a bear bag line. This usually starts with finding a likely branch, then looking for a stick or rock to tie to the end of a rope. Given how many rocks you wear your feet out on while hiking, it's amazing how you can't find a rock when you really want one.   Easy Way to Hang a Bear Line The real fun starts as the hiker begins throwing. Over and over again. Typically the...

Articles / 22.02.2017

You wouldn't think someone could drive to these isolated high ridges. Here is a photo on a ridge in North Carolina that is over 4600 feet elevation. These 4-wheelers leave behind more than rutted washes. The drivers also haul up all manner of camp material, chairs, tarps, ropes, tables, and grills. This is mostly left permanently onsite. It builds and adds to the accumulation of garbage and left-behinds. For the few that drive into these remote areas, these left behind stashes allow the convenience of a lazy and...

Articles, Mindfulness / 01.02.2017

So often we just plod along the trail with our eyes on the trail ahead, staring at rocks and roots as we pick our way step by repetitive step. We might be listening to a recorded book or music or perhaps having a conversation with another hiker or even with ourselves. Take some time to turn off the music and look up into the trees (without tripping over a rock). Looking around will force you to slow down for a while. Take that opportunity to tune into the sounds...

Articles / 09.01.2017

With the exception of an occasional day-hike, water is the one item that you begin the day with the need to plan resupplies. Water is heavy so carrying more than a little excess water isn't the answer. For that reason water requires more planning and attention than probably any other item you will carry. Containers First, you need to ensure you have containers for your water. Seems obvious, but I'm serious. My brother and I usually tied empty gallon milk jugs to the back of our packs. These gallon jugs served...