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  1. Today
  2. Pay it forward. Be kind. A little help can brighten someone’s day. Long distance trails like the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and Appalachian Trail (AT) and the tradition of trail magic on them teach these virtues well. Anyone who has hiked a large portion of them will tell you that. When hikers receive trail magic (future section and thru-hikers –you will!), the desire to give back and pay it forward becomes an enduring lesson from the trail. ... The post Opportunity to Help Trail Angels Who Lost Everything in Paradise, CA Fire appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  3. Yesterday
  4. Date of Hike: 12/16/18 Avalon Trail: 1.3 miles / A-Z Trail: 1.0 miles / Mount Tom Spur: 1.2 miles / Willey Range Trail: 3.7 miles / Avalon Trail: 2.8 miles / Crawford Path: 4.3 miles / Mount Eisenhower Loop: 0.8 miles / Crawford Path: 1.2 miles / Webster Cliff Trail: 0.2 miles / Crawford Path: 3.1 miles Total Miles: 19.6 miles (7,892 feet elevation gained) Trip Report: - Sunday's plan was to head up Jefferson, Washington, and Monroe. However, as I was driving up Base Station Road I got the sense that the wind was whipping a little stronger than forecasted. With this in mind I decided to stay lower instead of battling the winds for an extended period of time above treeline. - I headed to Crawford Notch for an early hike of the Willey Range. I only saw two other hikers until almost back to the trailhead, The trails were well packed down and my snowshoes went for a free ride strapped to my backpack. - Views from the outlooks near the summits of Tom, Field, and Willey were great. The Presidential Range seemed so close and looked great covered in deep white snow. I was kind of regretting not heading up there but the wind was blowing pretty steady at 4,000 feet even as I was protected in the snow covered woods well below treeline. - As I made my way across the range and back down I realized that I was going to be done hiking around 10:45AM. My options were to head back to Gorham for some afternoon strength training at the gym, or walk across the street and head up Crawford Path. It was an easy decision to make as I ditched my snowshoes, changed into my winter trail runners, and motored up towards Mount Pierce with the option of heading to Eisenhower if the current conditions of partly sunny skies with high clouds held. - As I reached treeline I headed over to Eisenhower first, and other than seeing two older hikers who tried to scare me off about high winds, I had the ridge-line to myself. It was a fun hike up to Eisenhower, winds out of the southeast were burying most tracks within minutes. The final push to the summit was aided by this wind as it felt like I was drafting which made for an easy summit push. On the way down was a different story, the winds picked up tiny ice crystals and were blasting everywhere, if I had to guess the wind speed was above 40MPH, luckily temps were hovering around freezing so it felt refreshing to battle the wind back down below the summit cone. - Once reaching Crawford Path, I scooted back south and made the quick trip up to Mount Pierce while watching the clouds quickly move in high above in front of the sun making for an interesting shade/light scene. After snapping a few pics I quickly made my way back down below treeline and back to the trailhead, finishing at 1:30PM. - It was a nice way to spend the last weekend of the fall as winter officially starts next Friday afternoon! Presidential Range as seen from an outlook near Mount Tom's summit Looking over to West Field (I think) and Carrigain Notch Mount Field Tunnel of snow along the Willey Range Trail. I recommend hiking these peaks in snow, much more of a pleasant and beautiful experience Presidential Range from Mount Field's downlook Sun and clouds above the White Mountains Pano of the Presidential Range from the Willey outlook Crawford Notch Mount Carrigian Presidential Range as seen from Crawford Path at treeline View of Washington, Clay, and Jefferson from Mount Eisenhower's summit Heading back south along the ridge-line between Ike and Pierce Clouds starting to move in creating a really cool shady vibe along the Crawford Path This was really cool to hike as the clouds tried to block out the sun Looking back to Mount Eisenhower The snow drifts can be very deep through these pockets Making my way up towards the sun and the clouds Heading up to Mount Pierce One last look at Eisenhower, Franklin (tough to make out), Monroe, and Washington View the full article
  5. Stay warm and mobile with this comfy down hoody. "Puffy" and "stretchy" used to be mutually exclusive terms. Not anymore: The StretchDown DS Hooded Jacket pairs stretch polyester with a gridded baffle pattern for unmatched freedom of movement, and its 800-fill hydrophobic down kept our testers cozy on cold nights in camp. Testers also appreciated the just-right hood size and breathability. Get the StretchDown DS on sale from Moosejaw this week (starting at $221 for the women’s version and $272 for the men’s) and take it for a spin on one of our favorite backcountry ski tours. View the full article
  6. It’s been a week and a half since I summited Springer, so I figured it was about damn time I wrote a blog post about it. I climbed Katahdin on July 7, 2018, and Springer on Dec. 7, 2018. My thru-hike took me five months to the day. After Thanksgiving, I had two weeks to go. Here’s how it went. From Thanksgiving to Georgia When I started up the Friday after Thanksgiving, I started from Davenport Gap, ... The post Finishing My Southbound Thru-Hike appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  7. Mont-bell Superior Down Trail Skirt I love hiking in skirts, but before now it’s always been a warm weather endeavor for me. With its serious warmth, the Mont-bell Superior Down Trail Skirt is a perfect skirt for hiking in cold winter weather. For a slightly less toasty insulated skirt on those chilly-but-not-freezing hikes, check out my review of the Thermawrap Trail Skirt. Mont-bell Superior Down Trail Skirt Basic Specs Weight: 4.2 oz (119 g) MSRP: $79Fill Weight: 0.9 oz (25 g) Insulation: 800 Fill Power EX Down with sewn-through construction Fabric: 20D Ballistic Airlight rip-stop Nylon, ... The post Gear Review: Mont-bell Superior Down Trail Skirt appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  8. On July 26, 2018, Alyssa Godesky set out on Vermont’s Long Trail with the intention of setting the new women’s supported record on a trail that seems to love laughing in the faces of those that would attempt to run the entirety of it. Five days, two hours and 37 minutes later she held the new women’s supported fastest known time, finishing over five hours faster than Nikki Kimball’s women’s FKT immortalized in the documentary Finding Traction. ... The post The Toughest FKT: Meet Alyssa Godesky, the Women’s Supported Long Trail Record Holder appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  9. The big questions… My last semester as a student at Washington State University, I get asked constantly “What are you going to do after graduation?” My response, “Well, after I walk at graduation, I will drive down to the boarder of Mexico in Campo, California and hike my way back home, being Washington.” Everyone that may not know me personally, is usually shocked by my answer and then bombards me with the toughest question to answer: “Why?” Who am I? ... The post “What’s after graduation?”: Life-changing journey on the PCT appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  10. Trek

    Great South West Walk

    Wallabies, whale bones and wildlife, this vacation-sized and accessible Australian long trail is big on variety. The post Great South West Walk appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  11. Last week
  12. AppMan

    affordable headlamp

    Advise on a headlamp on Amazon under $25 have a gift card... if a good one a couple dollars over may work... that is usb rechargeable bright enough (a lot of led lights will blind you but are barely bright enough to see) have red light to preserve night vision maybe have a green light (forget what it is for) light weight but doesn't have to be ultra light water proof https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_st_p...price-asc-rank Anybody have one that they rely on to be durable enough etc... Also a cheap lightweight solar charger Thanks View the full article
  13. f you were to get your education on thru-hiking from Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, you might come away thinking that it was a half-year vacation. This is not the case. The following video includes footage from Zach “Badger” Davis‘s 2017 SOBO PCT thru-hike. While PCT hikers are granted breathtaking views throughout their journey, there are many days where unspectacular scenery are the norm—and pain, gear failure, and repetition are the standout features of a hiker’s day. ... The post Watch This Before You Decide to Thru-Hike appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  14. We surveyed 310 section and thru-hikers who were on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2018. They shared about the sleeping bags they used, hammock quilts/underquilts, and sleeping pads. We also looked at our data over time and noticed a trend that’s becoming more popular each year, and looked at some differences in sleeping gear based on hammock use. For the details, keep reading—otherwise skip to the TL;DR at the end. Sleeping Bags and Backpacking Quilts When looking at the preferred type of sleeping bag, ... The post Top Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads on the Appalachian Trail: 2018 Thru-Hiker Survey appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  15. It has been almost two years since I decided to plan a thru-hike of the Long Trail. In April 2017, I submitted my application to blog for The Trek in the hopes that I would be chosen to write for the website that sparked the flame, that ignited the fire for hiking within me. Then June came, and plans changed. I would like to say that I didn’t set off on my thru-hike because of injury, ... The post A Day Hiker Turned Thru-Hiker appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  16. More than meets the eye West Virginia-Wild, wonderful. That’s their slogan. Now, I lived in West Virginia for a short time waaay back when I was 21…in 2000, and to be perfectly honest I saw a lot of what some of us think of when we think about West Virginia. I saw old, run-down mining towns where the whole town itself resembled a dilapidated house, crooked and seeming ready to crumble if just one more nail was removed. ... The post Squishy, soggy, mossy-green goodness: A hike through The Cranberry Wilderness appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  17. Birthing an Appalachian Trail thru hike? In my lifetime, I discovered the act of fulfilling a dream was fraught with painful sacrifices and difficult choices. To pick one dream to fulfill is like placing a foot upon a personally chosen path; forsaking, sacrificing, and leaving behind other ambitions, people, environments, experiences, and relationships. Today I sobbingly paused in my driveway and examined my own the painful sacrifices being made to enable my encroaching thru-hike attempt. Shedding pounds from a pack is not the only “shedding” aspirant thru-hikers experience. ... The post Birthing an Appalachian Trail thru-hike dream appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  18. A federal court has rejected permits for a natural gas pipeline that would cross two national forests and the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, saying that the US Forest Service bowed to private industry in approving the project. The decision issued Thursday by three judges from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, VA, is the latest setback for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) that would be built at a cost of $7 billion by a group of companies led by Dominion Energy, ... The post Court Quotes Lorax in Rejecting Pipeline that Would Cross AT in Virginia appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  19. Skip the video games and give them something they can use on the trail, or just in the park. Shopping for kids can mean exorbitant amounts of money spent on "stuff"—toys and gadgets that lose their luster after a few days, if not hours, and keep kids inside to boot. We pulled together goodies to inspire kids to get out and explore the natural world. From fishing to hiking, camping to rock climbing, look here for gifts that will keep them playing outdoors for years to come. Get more tips, trips, and stories about family outdoor adventures on BACKPACKER’s Families Gone Wild. View the full article
  20. Date of Hike: 12/14/18 Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail: 3.1 miles / Mount Monroe Loop: 0.7 Miles / Crawford Path: 2.2 miles / Mount Eisenhower Loop: 0.8 miles / Crawford Path/Webster Cliff Trail: 4.5 miles Total Miles: 11.3 miles (3,816 feet elevation gained) Trip Report: - I used a vacation day on Friday to met up with Todd and Rich to do a Southern Presi Traverse. We were racing the weather of sorts as thick clouds were going to engulf the higher elevations making visibility less than desirable. - We started at 7am and made our way up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, enjoying the easy first two mile stroll to the gem pool. From here we got our steep elevation fix in, gaining 1,550 feet in one mile until topping out at Lakes of the Clouds Hut. - The hut was frosted over and the front was mostly buried in snow, it looked like mid February with the snow depths around Lakes of the Clouds. - The clouds covered the alpine zone so we decided to head south over Monroe and then onto Eisenhower and Pierce, instead of trying to add Washington into the mix. As we climbed up Monroe the clouds cleared off four about five minutes and we caught phenomenal views of Mount Washington's summit cone. - As fast as the clouds cleared off the came storming back, thicker than they were before. Visibility was low but we were unphased and continued on. Rich took out his GPS and put us back on course the two times we meandered off trail, once just south of Franklin, this spot I've actually lost in winter before in clear skies, small cairns and the trail slightly curves to the left, we went straight, immediately new we were off trail, and easily made our way back to the trail. The second time was a little more trivial as to how we missed a turn. Coming off Eisenhower there is a swithcback which is very obvious, well we just missed it, once again we immediately new we were off trail and cut over to our right and spotted cairns. - Once back on Crawford Path we motored over to Pierce and finally started seeing other hikers as we headed down to Crawford Notch, making it back to the car just before noon. Click here for collaborative album Rich and Todd cross over the top of the frozen falls Looking up above the highest water crossing Breaking out above treeline Making our way to towards the hut with Monroe slowly coming into view Rimed over Lakes of the Clouds Hut Sun trying to burn through above Lakes of the Clouds Rich and Todd make their way up the Mount Monroe Loop Skies quickly clearing off to the north Todd takes in the view A frozen and buried Lakes of the Clouds The tower on top of Washington starts to pop out above the clouds More clearing off the "Snow Pile" Mount Washington looking great under the sun Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Washington The clouds start rushing in so we start climbing Todd makes his way to Monroe We leave Monroe and enter low visibility In front of me is close to no visibility! Todd and Rich make their way up the Mount Eisenhower Loop Todd and I on Eisenhower Leaving Pierce and leaving the white abyss behind View the full article
  21. Most people head SOBO on the AT only when thier schedule mandates it. That’s the reason why I started SOBO. Since completing my trek I’ve realized there are so many other benefits besides the super cool badass hiker rep you get. (Fun fact: More people have successfully summited Mount Everest than have southbound thru-hiked the AT. Can’t say that if you’re a NOBO 😉 ) Free Ice Crean Amicalola Falls Visitor Center gives SOBO hikers a free ice cream or soda pop upon completion of hiking. ... The post Leave No Trace – Trek the AT Southbound and Reap These Benefits appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  22. Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody At-a-Glance MSRP: $299 Weight: 9.3 ounces Size: Large Materials: Ultralight nylon ripstop with Pertex Quantum shell and PlumaFill synthetic insulation. Color: Balkan blue Women’s here Overview Patagonia markets the Micro Puff as a competitor to down for weight and insulation, while providing water resistance. The company calls the PlumaFill synthetic insulation a revolutionary down alternative with the best warmth for weight of any jacket it offers. The shell is Pertex Quantum® ultralight nylon ripstop treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. ... The post Gear Review: Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  23. What started out as an ardurous slog through several inches of fresh snow has become something else. I’m practically sprinting now. Powder is flying in every direction, my feet relentlessly plowing through it. I imagine that I’m literally burying the last few months of my life under every inch of displaced snow. It’s a good feeling, a reminder that I’m once again holding the keys to my own well-being. The ferocity of this current pace is causing me to sweat despite steadily falling snow and temperatures in the low-20s. ... The post A Really Big Sky: Thru-Hike Prep in the Northern Rockies appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  24. The title is (with a name change), a line from the movie Heathers, and there is a good chance some of you dear readers are too young to have heard it or know about it. But that is ok! I will not yell at you to get off my lawn just yet…. Nice to meet me? So, to kick things off, I’m Dave! I will be attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2019, NOBO. I’m Virginia born and bred, ... The post What’s your damage, Dave? appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  25. “Girl, have you lost your mind?!” is the exact response I’ve been met with not once, but twice, when relaying the news about my upcoming AT thru-hike. Some days, honestly, I don’t even know what to say. “No!” “Maybe?” “I don’t know yet.” What’s with the Third Degree? Many people have many questions about what I’m doing and how, exactly, I’ll be doing it for six months while I’m out on the trail. So, for fun, ... The post “Girl, Have You Lost Your Mind?!” And Other Questions appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  26. Backpacker

    Deal of the Week: Mammut Spindrift 26

    Save big on this backcountry skiing backpack. If you’ve been dreaming of upgrading your backcountry skiing kit but don’t want to drop tons of cash, we have good news: The Mammut Spindrift 26 is on sale this week. Enormous hipbelt pockets make grabbing gear and snacks mid-tour easy, and the pack has a dedicated pocket for avy gear and straps for skis, poles, and ice tools. Snag the Spindrift 26 for $128 (25 percent off) on backcountry.com this week, and study up for your next alpine outing. View the full article
  27. These are the gear items that thru-hikers couldn’t live without this year, along with top picks from our thru-hiker survey. We’ve included everything from classics that don’t need an update, to longtime favorites that keep getting better, to brand new goods. Here are our top picks for 2018, tailored specifically for long-distance hikers. Backpacking Gear of the Year 2018 Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 (and 3-person!) MSRP: $399.95 (2-person), $449.95 (3-person) This tent is lightweight, spacious, ... The post The Best Backpacking Gear of 2018 appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  28. For years this humble servant has been going up and down the trail, serving hot meals and good hospitality to ever hiker he meets. It's time you get to know Fresh Ground The post Trail Angel Spotlight: Fresh Ground and his Leapfrog Cafe appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
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