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  1. Last week
  2. A few weeks ago I needed to get out and camp. I had spent a night in my backyard campsite but was itching for a little more. After consulting my maps, I chose a new spot in the Burt Hill State Forest. I parked on the roadside shoulder as is common for FLT access points. The trail began following the edge of a farmer's field and the entered the woods. Remnant snow in the field and a ice in the woods. The trail quickly descended into a ravine with a creek. I rock hopped the icy creek and ascended the other side of the ravine. The trail register and lean-to were both on the far side. A quarter mile hike to camp. I collected wood, set up camp, cooked lunch, read a book. It was a great day to be in the woods. Across the ravine I could see the blades of two wind turbines. During the quiet of the night, I could hear their dull roar. Coupled with the creek, this made sleep easy. Hiked out the next day. I probably hiked more collecting firewood than the hike in/out, but it was a great way to spend a weekend unplugged. Two weekends later I led a group of new backpackers into the Pharsalia Woods. We hiked in about 3 miles. The goal was to allow these experienced hikers a chance to test out gear and acclimate to backpacking. All have a desire to hike the NPT in the coming years. This was designed as a relaxing, experience, and knowledge gathering trip. I had Bill C., also from the NPT Chapter with me, as well as Dan. We all shared tips and tricks. I asked Dan to demo how to hang a bear bag. The post-trip survey indicated this was a highlight. We took the long way out to loop back to our cars. Everyone had a good time, and is excited to take the next steps to prepare for their adventure. My Backyard Campsite View the full article
  3. Earlier
  4. Date of Hike: 3/8/19 Nineteen-Mile Brook Trail: 1.8 miles / Carter Dome Trail: 1.8 miles Carter Moriah Trail: 5.1 miles / North Cater Trail: 1.2 miles / Imp Trail: 3.0 miles / Camp Dodge Cutoff & NH16: 0.8 miles Total Miles: 12.6 (5,062 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT Trip Report: - Friday I took a vacation day to join Larisa and Todd for a high snow pack hike of Mount Hight, Carter Dome, South & Middle Carter. Also joining us were our furry friends Sarge, Toby, and Dylan. - The weather was in the low thirties with no wind, we wore our snowshoes from start to finish which were needed as the snow was soft along the ridge with wind drifts between Zeta Pass to Middle Carter before running into another pair of hikers. - The two highlights of the day were the amazing views from Mount Hight and the high snow pack above the shrub hike up to Carter Dome revealing views that I have only seen once before almost ten winters ago when the mountains last got hammered all season long with several snow storms and consistent cold temps. - The high snow meant hiking/fighting through the tops of trees in spots along the ridge but I honestly didn't think it was too bad considering what I had been reading from trail condition reports. Maybe it's the bushwhacking adventures I have gone on that has muted my response to hiking through a low trail corridor in winter. - Dylan, Sarge, and Toby had a blast running up ahead of us and playing with each other along the way. On the way up Mount Hight, Dylan even bushwhacked for a little bit before showing back up behind us on our way up Carter Dome, we have no idea where he went but he seemed to have fun wherever it was! - This was one of my favorite hikes of the Carter Range to date. Usually, they are not too exciting but with the high snow levels and the winter wonderland scene it makes it a much more enjoyable hike. :) Toby and Larisa hike up to Mount Hight Sarge on Mount Hight Sarge close up! Larisa and Toby with Mount Washington looming large across the notch Ravine of the Raymond Cataract and Huntington Ravine Sarge taking in the views :) Sage and his permanent old man face! Leaving Hight and on the way to Carter Dome Usually we are in the trees here Awesome view-full hike along the ridge between Hight and Carter Dome Making our way along the A.T. Way a day! The gang heads north along the A.T. South Carter summit Summit treats! Sarge hikes through the alpine meadow between South and Middle Carter Chargin' Sarge :) Hi daddy, do you have any treats for me on Middle Carter??!! View the full article
  5. Date of Hike: 3/2/19 Sawyer River Road: 2.0 miles / Signal Ridge Trail: 10.0 miles / Sawyer River Road: 2.0 miles Total Miles 14.0 (4,355 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT Trip Report: - Sarge loves hiking in the snowy White Mountains as he plucks away at his 48 - 4,000 footers of New Hampshire. Saturday was a puppy party on Mount Carrigain as Sarge got to hike with five other dogs! It was his biggest mile day yet and he loved every second of it while hanging out with other pups. All pics from everyone can be viewed by clicking here Sarge, Wish, Toby, Dylan, Piper, Bennett What do you have in there...treats??!! Piper, Toby, and Bennett leading the way! Sarge waits for daddy to catch up Come on daddy, catch up! Signal Ridge Sarge! Wish takes a selfie! Sometimes I lick the yummies off my nose Sarge with the Pemigewasset Wilderness behind him Piper, Bennett, and Toby play fighting Sarge always has "Old Man Face" when I ask him to sit for a pic Sarge playing with Dylan on Signal Ridge View the full article
  6. Date of Hike: 2/23/19 Jewell Trail & Snowfields: 3.4 Miles / Mount Clay Loop: 0.6 miles / Gulfside Trail: 0.7 miles / Mount Jefferson Loop: 0.8 miles / Gulfside Trail & Snowfields: 2.5 miles / Snowfields & Crawford Path & Mount Monroe Loop: 2.0 miles / Amoonoosuc Ravine Trail: 3.0 miles Total Miles: 13.0 (6,228 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT Trip Report: - The previous weekend I took advantage of the nice weather by heading up and down the Ammo to Monroe and Washington, this weekend I went up the Jewell Trail on my way to Jefferson then headed over to Washington and Monroe and down the Ammo. - The Jewell Trail does see some decent hiker traffic, but not nearly as much as the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail which also sees back-country ski traffic along with hoards of hikers looking to hike Monroe and Washington. - I got what I thought was a late start, 8AM, but after a half mile I caught up with two other hikers and then had the whole trail to myself while enjoying an easy to moderate trail breaking ascent to treeline. At treeline I stayed on the trail for a little bit, but I found snowfields off trail a better option and made a b-line up to Mount Clay for some nice views of the Great Gulf and Mount Washington. From Clay's summit I dropped back down to the A.T., ditched my snowshoes for light traction, and made the quick out and back over to Jefferson. I started bumping into a few hikers doing a Presi Traverse on my way to Jefferson and then on my way back along the A.T. around Mount Clay I started seeing hikers every few minutes. - I put my snowshoes on at this point and made my way up Washington bumping into my friends Todd, Larisa and her two dogs, and Sue & Chris. After catching up with them I jumped back off trail and used the snowfields to ascend to the summit of Washington. - On my descent from Washington I took a few shortcuts and stuck to the snowfields again. When I passed a few conga lines heading up, all in face protection, crampons, and some with ice axes they looked puzzled/concerned as to why I was off trail and only in snowshoes. It was a little funny as the snow conditions were sometimes much better off trail for safer travel! - After making it to Lakes of the Clouds and then the summit of Monroe I dropped off onto the eastern snowfields. There is a little chute about fifty yards north of the summit where you can drop in and easily make your way back to the Crawford Path if the snow conditions are right. For the second week in a row there was about a half foot to a foot of powder over crunchy snow, perfect for a fun controlled snow shoe ski descent. - After hiking back around the "Monroe Bend" along the Crawford Path (A.T.) I made a quick and quiet descent back to the trailhead before heading home, ending another perfect day in the White Mountains. :) Hiking up the Jewell Trail. In the winter/snow it is a much prettier trail below treeline The trail corridor is very well defined, although it gets a little narrow in spots Breaking above treeline and taking in the sun's rays :) I got to follow some footy tracks above treeline for a little bit! Just south of Mount Clay's summit, looking at another bump of Clay and Washington and Monroe Mount Adams as seen from Mount Jefferson The boulders are covered in rime ice and snow, making for a much softer look to the rock field of the northern presi's Monticello Lawn, Clay and Washington. The Great Gulf headwall in view Hiking south along the Gulfside Trail (A.T.) When the snow buries the rocks it makes for much easier footing along the trails Cog Railway and the Southern Presidential Range Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe zoom-in. If you look close enough you can see a few hikers ascending the Ammo, they look like little dots! Mount Clay Loop junction Clay, Jefferson, Adams, Madison Mount Washington Observatory Stage coach building Snow and ice blasted summit tower Heading down towards Lakes and Monroe Looking back up at the summit, I came straight down, the trail is off to the left and swings to the right higher up towards the tower Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Washington Southern Presidential Range Summit of Mount Monroe Early afternoon sun shining over Mount Monroe Pano of Lakes of the Clouds and Washington Zoom in of the summit cone, a few conga lines of hikers can be seen! Buried Lakes of the Clouds Hut. Looking back at the hut as I descend Sarge in charge! Sarge likes to hike too, here he is the day before venturing into Tuckerman Ravine! He has an Insta-face account, which can be followed here sgt._pepper_goldendoodle View the full article
  7. Earlier this month I had aborted the trail to Preston as the trail breaking with a full pulk was nearly impossible. This would be the next attempt with a crew and a strategy to ensure success. We would start Thurs morning, but I am getting ahead of myself. On Tuesday morning I picked up Dan at his place and we drove to the trailhead for Kibby Pond in the Wilcox Lake WF. The plan was just a day hike. Upon arrival we could see the parking was non-existent due to snow. After consulting the maps for plan B, we then drove to the trailhead in the Siamese Ponds WA for Second Pond. The parking area was plowed out, so we ate lunch and grabbed our day hike gear after donning our snowshoes. The temp was in the teens, and a bright sunny day. At the trail register I noted a friend had skied in the other day. The trail was generally uphill for the first mile and a quarter, gaining about 200 ft to a lower contour of Height of Land Mtn. The trail then undulated for a mile as we paralleled to the mountain north. The last mile would drop almost 250 ft to the pond, most in the final half mile. At the pond we explored for a bit, checking out the small island and some of the shoreline. We were tired. We had planned on a shorter day hike so we headed back. It was nice having the broken out trail and the final mile being downhill. The trail register does not indicate the trail gets all that much use though the ranger patrols it regularly. We then drove to Mark's cabin for dinner. Dan had made a lentil curry which was awesome. I slept well, and we awoke to outside temps in the single digits. We had breakfast and loaded the packs for an overnight in the woods. Drove to Stony Pond trailhead in the Vanderwhacker WF. Dan was part of the lean2rescue crew which moved this lean-to away from the water's edge. The trail was only 2 miles but we had our winter gear. We arrived to an empty lean-to, made camp and collected wood. The fire put out a noxious smoke all afternoon and evening. We used downed maple and beech like usual. Wondered if one of the logs had a strange fungus on it. After exploring Stony Pond, which had a very unique shoreline profile, we headed back to camp for dinner and bed. Slept great. I think it warmed up a little over night. We headed back to the car and drive to Upper Works to meet the crew headed to Preston Ponds. There were a total of seven of us. Pete and I would take the lead breaking trail since we had only backpacks (no pulks). He and the ithers were still packing up so Dan and I headed out first. The wind on Henderson was brutal. The snow was crusty and settled only a few inches. The wind came in sheets sometimes forming a vortex in the bays momentarily. At the Henderson lean-to we took a lunch break. When Pete arrived, he and I started down the trail. In 5 minutes we reached the first log bridge. Last time we crossed just downstream of it. But now it had open water. We hopped across just upstream and Pete began clearing the 5-feet of snow off the logs. I scouted further upstream and found a potential crossing. I dropped my pack and cleared a trail across for the pulks. Pete came over with his camera to get some photos when the pulks would cross, so I took the lead down the trail. Breaking trail is much easier without the pulk, but still difficult. Pete caught up to me at the next log bridge just after I cleared a safe crossing. He took the lead at this point. We would take turns all the way to Preston. On the big hill, we swapped a few times. At one point I paused after digging in my next step up when it ended up lower in the snow than the previous step. I joked that I was going downhill. It was tough going. No way would I have been able to do this with a pulk. At Preston, the winds were just as bad as Henderson. Some gusts were so strong they almost knocked us off our feet. They would explain the snake-like meander of our tracks across the lake. Once we arrived at the Preston cabin, Pete dug out the doorway, and I dug out the outhouse. By the time I finished Dan with the first pulk arrived. Hecand Pete started the woodstove. It was not long after the rest of the crew would arrive in waves. Good times, good food was soon had. Both dinner and breakfast. Dan and I headed out soon after breakfast while the rest of the crew was staying an additional night. The hike back to the parking area took about half the time. Another great trip, I visited 2 new locations, camped at a new lean-to and re-visited an favorite. I still need to visit Preston with a canoe one of these days. With all the snow and ice, it will be a while. View the full article
  8. We thought we had seen every possible way to package down. This coat proved us wrong. The Marmot West Rib ParkaThick baffles, thin baffles, welded, woven, sewn through: We’ve seen apparel makers use all sorts of tricks to stuff their down coats. But at Outdoor Retailer, Marmot showed us a new one with their new WarmCube technology. Rather than compartmentalizing the down into long, parallel baffles, the utilizes cube-shaped compartments that Marmot says will keep the fill in place better than ever. The idea is to minimize the shifting of fill and trap heat within the grid-like channels between cubes. After trying on the West Rib Parka, the first model to use the tech, we can confirm that the cubes huggged our bodies better than most down jackets we’ve used, trapping warm air close to us even as we moved. To ward off wet weather, an additional synthetic insulating and water resistant layer on the outside. The West Rib will be available this August. View the full article
  9. Mid-week I was reading some old journal entries from Januaries past. I noted it was the ten-year anniversary of the trip Aaron, Rich and I did to High Falls in the 5 Ponds Wilderness. The 7 mile trail took us 7 hours to traverse as we were breaking trail. I suppose this could have been seen as foreshadowing for the coming weekend. My weekend plans were to meet Justin at the Upper Works trailhead and follow in the tracks from George, Tammy, et al to Preston Ponds. On Friday night I recieved a text from George that they were heading in Saturday and that Bob +1 had to bail. Bob had twisted his knee on the way in. The plan was now to catch up to G&T probably somewhere on the "big hill". At 8am, I was about an hour from the TH and recieved word G&T were running late, and they would catch up to us. At the trailhead, I loaded up my pulk with my gear and food plus the supplies left by Bob at the register. I waited for Justin. It isn't like him to be late; at least without warning. With no cell service here I was in the dark. At 9:30 Justin hadn't arrived so I figured his plans needed to change. I put his birthday present back into the car and headed up the trail. The trail was well broken here as many use this as an ingress to the high peaks. After about a quarter mile, the ,junction would appear and I took the trai to Henderson Lake. Bob's tracks from yesterday provided easy going. The snow was deep and the rut from snowshoes, skis, and pulks testified to the depth. Once on Henderson Lake it was even easier on the flat surface as long as my steps didn't venture off the tracks. Every once in a while I would step to the side and appreciate the snow depth even on the windswept lake. Views of the surrounding mountains make this a favorite of mine in the winter. I stopped for some water at the lean-to. Even just the small rise from the lake level was tpugh. I was not looking forward to the "big hill". Onward following the tracks. The first log bridge was piled high with 3-4ft of snow. Bob had crossed the creek just downstream so I followed. The second bridge was uneventful. The 3rd was higher up from the water which could be seen through the ice. The snow was packed down by snowshoes to a 3foot depth making the top quite high above the water. I unhooked my pulk and straightened her out. I would be side stepping and pulling the pulk by hand. At the far side, there were no tracks. This must have been where they turned around I thought to myself. I made my way across, taking small steps then pulling the sled towards me, and repeating the process. Just after I crossed I noticed the tracks on the other side. Apparently they had decided to cross the stream at a safer point downstream. At least I wouldn't have to start breaking trail yet. It was only about another hundred yards before Bob's tracks turned around. I stepped into the deep snow. This was going to be tough. Even with 30-in snowshoes I was pushing in 18-inches deep followed by my sled plowing through. Some parts were worse than others. Regularly I was knee deep. Quite often I would hit patches in which I was waist deep in the snow. The undulating terrain made some deep pockets in which I was basically swimming to get through. After another hour and only going a half mile, not even getting to the difficult section I turned around. It was already 1:30. At this rate there was no way to get to camp before it was late if at all. I headed back towards the Henderson lean-to. Even with my own tracks ahead of me I was still sinking in. Barely 5 minutes passed and I ran into G&T. I relayed my story comparing it to the Russian Lake trip a few years back... but worse. Back at Henderson we took a break and talked about our plans. With no cell service G&T would need to get back to Newcomb to find out what other projects were still going on or drive home. I was going to stay here as I had no interest in driving back another 5 hours. Just then Dan appeared. G&T headed out, Dan and I made camp. We cooked sausages from Swan's and their red cabbage. Tried their currywurst for the first time. Very good. Slept well, warm. Restarted the fire and had a knockwurst for breakfast with coffee. View the full article
  10. We put eight pint-size snowshoes on our testers. Here's how they measured up. Snowshoeing makes winter fun for kids and parents alike.Snowshoes open up a winter wonderland. Thanks to the flotation and traction they provide, you can walk on anything from packed tracks, to dedicated snowshoe trails at ski resorts, to untracked powder. Generally speaking, snowshoes are easy to put on and use. The longer and larger the snowshoe, the more flotation they provide. But, that’s not to say that a five-year-old should be put in a standard 8-inch wide by 19-inch-long snowshoe; they’d be too cumbersome for a five-year-old to walk comfortably. Finding the length that’s appropriate for the size of your child, plus the best binding, traction, and intended usage for your needs is the key to happy snowshoeing. I had eight kids, ages 7 to 10, test different snowshoes on a winter hut trip and various other outings to see just how easy each pair was to put on, keep on, and enable fun. (While snowshoes for toddlers and smaller kids do exist, we limited this test to snowshoes for elementary school-aged children.) One caveat: A couple of the kid testers wore snowboarding boots in the snowshoes, while others wore winter boots or weather-treated hiking shoes of some sort. We recommend high-top boots and thick, wool socks to keep feet warm, and waterproof pants, like ski pants, to help keep kids dry as their 'shoes will flick up snow agains their behinds. Get more tips, trips, and stories about family outdoor adventures on BACKPACKER’s Families Gone Wild. View the full article
  11. An ultra-low price for an ultralight tent. At just over 1.5 pounds, this shelter is light enough to use as a solo-hiking palace but roomy enough to fit two sleepers comfortably. The trekking-pole pitch is simple, and we like that it provides an awning for gear storage, too. Bonus: The Flylite's generous door increases the potential for a spectacular view in the morning. Get this tent for $104.73 (70 percent off) at REI. View the full article
  12. There are a lot of scenarios when it comes to resupply on a long trail, but it’s not just about food and gear. Create a Vision Resupply boxes are a little gift to yourself after days or even weeks on the trail. It doesn’t matter what’s in the box, as long as you appreciate getting a little morale booster from yourself. It’s also a physical manifestation of a vision that you have for yourself. Some people create vision boards, ... The post Why You Should Send Resupply Boxes on a Long Hike appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  13. Due to the storm last weekend which cancelled my trip, I was able to sneak away for a quick overnight. I opted for Big Island lean-to on Raquette Lake. This was the lean-to I helped move slightly inland not long ago. This would also ,make the 70th lean-to I have slept in. When I arrived at the boat launch there were dozens of snowmobiles. Not much of a surprise. What I did not expect was the community ice-cutting and fishing derby. The entire complex was over-run by all these different groups. Coupled with the giant snow piles, parking was at a premium. Solely by luck, a lady pulled away from her spot just as I rounded the corner. This section was marked no parking but I was next to the fire chief. I hoped for more good luck. With my pulk loaded with firewood (knowing the island would be picked clean) I headed out onto the ice. To my right was the ice cutting operation. They were sawing and removing blocks at least 2ft in all dimensions. Ahead of me was the island and a few ice-shanties. The bulk of the snow-mobilers were to the left, following the western shore. As I approached the island I could see a series of tip-ups and 2 fisherman tending to them. I said hi, and we talked briefly. They were in the lean-to and told me about the derby. I asked if would be ok if I crashed in the lean-to. They were very obliging, even offered me a beer. I added my pile of wood to their diminishing store. Tom, Dave and I chatted for a few hours. I cooked up some dogs. The temp was in the teens with an ever so slight breeze. Tom and Dave said the wind made the lean-to cold last night. I imagine it would have been worse in its previous location. The guys would check on their lines every once in a while with no luck. One flag had its line cut/broken. The assumtion was a pike. That was the closest these two had for a fish. We joked that is why it's called fishing not catching. As the time approached 5, and no fish Tom and Dave decided to pull out and head in to the "party" at weigh in. We shook hands and they departed. The sun was getting lower, but I still had some good light. I set up my sleeping gear in the lean-to and enjoyed the waning daylight. I stoked the fire periodically and watched the sun drop below the horizon. I stood on the ice and watched the snowmobilers race back and forth. By now their headlamps and taillights were all I could see. As usual, I would be in bed shortly. Tom and Dave said the riders were out past 11pm friday night. They went quiet much earlier tonight. I was quite warm in my bag and slept soundly until the winds in the morning awoke me. Something shifted as the winds were blowing hard from the SouthEast. Not a good direction; often a storm system. Looking out over the lake there was zero visibility and with the wind I would want to keep my head down. After packing up I took a bearing and would navigate across the frozen lake by compass only. This is the backcountry version of the "bird box challenge". The wind was fierce. I kept my hood clutched over my face with one hand and my compass in the other. It was a short crossing and soon the launch came into view as did my snow covered car. The driving conditions were almost as bad as the hiking. I was traveling 20mph in the 55 zone with my flashers. I saw 5 other vehicles between Raquette and Old Forge... which took an hour to drive. Roads were mostly clear when I left O.F. after a bite at Walts Diner. View the full article
  14. Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks—key waypoints on the Appalachian Trail—fully reopened Saturday, Jan. 26, as the partial federal government shutdown ended. Great Smoky Mountains park visitor centers are now accessible seven days a week and reservation services for the frontcountry and backcountry are fully operational, according to the Smokies Facebook page. Backcountry permits are required for AT thru-hikers traversing the Smokies. Some basic services continued to be available in the Smokies during the shutdown through a combination of donated money and revenue generated by recreation fees. ... The post Smokies, Shenandoah Reopen as Government Shutdown Ends appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  15. I’ve been called many things, but not cheap! Ok, I will admit I am very frugal, but I appreciate quality gear and never go cheap on gear I need to rely on! We all know outfitting a hike can be a huge expense. I personally saved some serious coin and I hope I can help you too! This is how I did it… I was working part time at Bass Proshop and learned about a computer training program that let’s you gain product knowledge through training videos and once you certify by testing your knowledge, ... The post Budgeting for Gear ~ The Frugal Hiker appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  16. Your ten pound base gear is packed, abs are ripped, and your bank account balance is your best friend. Even if the stars aligned and all these fantasies were reality, the truth is; you will never be ready for your thru-hike. You can read all the books you want, but no amount of pages can prepare you physically, mentally, and emotionally for the journey you’re about to embark on. Sure, it’s important to have a general understanding of what you’re getting yourself into, ... The post The Impractical Practical Guide to Prepare for Your Thru-Hike appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  17. Keep warm and dry in harsh winter conditions with this stretchy windbreaker. Dynafit ChugachIcy daggers of wind won’t penetrate the Dynafit Chugach Windstopper Jacket, nor will snow seep through this comfy, stretchy garment. Stretch-woven nylon softshell fabric in the midsection and water-resistant Gore Windstopper fabric covering the chest and above helps the jacket breathe well and keeps sweat from building up, while protecting wearers from the elements and providing excellent freedom of movement on epic winter backcountry adventures. Once the weather has subsided, the Chugach packs up small for easy transport. Get it now at Moosejaw for $166, or 58% off its $400 list price. View the full article
  18. It’s a mess of my own making I’m sitting on a beach chair in the guest room of my parents’ house, surrounded by a trash heap of cardboard boxes and instant ramen. I refer to this room as HQ. I do all my PCT prep here. It’s really quite an embarrassment. Beer bottles are strewn about, a pile of glitter covers the throw rug, and there are so many dishes stacked on the desk I now do my computing from the floor. ... The post Waiting Anxiously on Permit Day appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  19. Get maximum value for minimum cash with these 13 standout products. Let's face it: Backpacking gear can be expensive. Just ask reader Keith Hepworth, who wrote in to tell us that the prices in our Fall Gear Guide left him feeling cold. "Based on your reviews, one could be led to think backpacking is only for the wealthy," he said. "The $101 average price for the gloves in your review is out of reach for the vast majority [of people]." We feel your pain, Keith, Most of our coverage focuses on new gear, and the latest and greatest isn't always cheap. But that doesn't mean you need a trust fund to upgrade your kit. Read on for 13 of our favorite bargain tents, packs, sleeping bags, and more, all for $160 or less. Want to save even more? Learn to keep your equipment in top condition with AIM Adventure U's Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair course. View the full article
  20. As of today, I am one month out from beginning my AT thru hike. In less than a month, my husband and I will be driving to Georgia to spend a few days at Amicalola Falls State Park and then he will be driving home alone while I start the adventure of a lifetime. Since this is probably the last time I will post before I leave, here is an update on the madness that is my brain right now. ... The post Here’s My Status Report, 30 Days Out appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  21. About this time last year, I had just committed to my AT thru-hike, which meant that I was in the early research stages. Having never backpacked with less than 30-40 pounds on my back before, the idea of going ultralight was extremely enticing, but it would mean updating almost all of my old heavy gear. I was digging through this very website reading up on gear lists in attempts to know every possible piece of equipment out there for my consideration. ... The post The Nitty Gritty of Gear Evolution on a Thru-Hike appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  22. Reaching a goal is an amazing feeling. Whether it’s the completion of a thru-hike or graduating college, the accomplishment makes the toil and sweat worth the effort. It can also leave you with a sense of confusion at what to do next. When I completed the 67 4,000-footers of New England, I was happy but I also felt lost. Who was I, now that I was no longer “Socked In Hiking The 67?” What was I going to do now that I was done? ... The post Variations of the New Hampshire 48 4,000-Footer List appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  23. Confession: I am pretty gross. I often eat food off the floor, washing my hair is a chore I try to do as infrequently as possible and most of my clothes normally have food spilt on them. But I do like being clean. I find baths kind of pointless but I love showering. I didn’t realise until I went to uni that it’s unusual to shower more than once a day (once when you wake up, ... The post The Bits the Guidebooks Don’t Tell You appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  24. My plan - Go slow. Figure out what gear I am carrying but don't need and send it home. Enjoy every minute I'm on the trail! The post I’m over 50, overweight, and overloaded… Appalachian Trail, here I come. appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  25. I read somewhere that you’re either a camper or a backpacker, but never both. Each have a very different idea of luxury. Sure, it would be great to hit my camp spot, settle in and blow up a thick four-inch air mattress and inflatable pillow. Then slip into super comfy camp shoes and make some hot chocolate or crack open a beer and bury into a good book. Maybe play some cards or, if I still have the energy and the camp spot allows it, ... The post A Life of Luxury: Luxury Items on the Trail appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  26. Unless you are a marathon runner, the concept of hiking 30 miles in a day sounds insane. That is, until you do it and realize that it is still insane, but a realistic goal even for hikers who aren’t speed demons on the trail. That’s not to say 30-mile days are easy by any means. It’s still an enormous feat and often times can be looked at a Type 2 fun. But setting and achieving goals is what thru hiking is all about. ... The post How to Conquer 30-Mile Days Regardless of Hiking Speed appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  27. Blackalachian on The Underground Railroad Trail Most notable for calling attention to the absence of color on the Appalachian Trail, Daniel White (aka “The Blackalachian”) followed up by cycling the Underground Railroad Trail in 2018. Stories From The Trail was lucky enough to catch up with him just after his finish. Blackalachian joined us via Discord for one of our weekly hiker hangouts, and we had a fun and informative time. We discussed what’s so special about the Appalachian Trail, ... The post Stories From The Trail Two-fer: Blackalachian and Physical Training appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
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