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  2. 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
  3. DuctTape

    Big #70 @Big Island #1

    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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Backpacker

    The Best Bargain Backpacking Gear

    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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. The major four categories of backpacking gear (aka the Big Three) are your sleep system, shelter, and backpack. These items often take up 65-80% of the weight in a traditional pack. You should aim to have each of these items weigh less than two pounds per item (other hikers may set their limit anywhere from one to three pounds). That means that if each item weighs two pounds, the heaviest items in my pack together will weigh eight pounds total, ... The post Pacific Crest Trail Sleep System appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  19. If you're getting a hitch, someone is picking you up for free. All you can offer is a thank you, a story, and a smile. Smile damn it. Tell a good story from the trail and don't forget your "Thank you". The post The Subtle Art of Hitchhiking appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  20. I glanced down at my watch to check my mileage, seven miles. The snowy footpath in front of me was only visible for a few yards before it wrapped up and around a patch of small evergreens. I took a deep breath, in and out. I felt the cold whip my face while my sweat soaked clothes absorbed more of my body heat. I looked down at the clumps of ice that had formed where my gaiters attach to my boots, ... The post A Low Point – Feeling Comfort in Discomfort appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  21. It’s been weeks since I told myself I’d start writing for this blog. It’s always been a little dream of mine to create one and share stories with others about the adventures that I hoped to go on in the future. I was thrilled when I was accepted to be a blogger for The Trek! But every time I sit down and try to put some thoughts and words together, I freeze. Then I realized something I was told once, ... The post Making My Plans for an Adventure appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  22. Postponing my masters degree for a thru-hike is the hardest decision I’ve had to make in two years. You might say thats an oddly specific timeframe to know its been exactly two years, but that decision was the one that brought me where I am now. Let’s Take a Step Back Two years ago I was a construction safety professional working on a tunnel project under Washington DC. It was a great job. I got paid well, ... The post Why I’m Leaving Grad School for an AT Thru-Hike appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  23. There are two types of reactions that you receive when you tell someone that you are “following your dream.” Or perhaps, there are three- but the third type of reaction is really so rare and so fleeting that I struggle to include it as if it is some sort of majority or even a small accumulation. The first type of reaction is one that is well intended. It comes from the people who really want to be happy for you, ... The post “How Long Have You Been Dreaming About This?” appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  24. Trek

    New Scenery

    A New Chapter I have relocated to Emory, Virginia for about half a semester until I start my thru hike. It has been a totally change in scenery to me. If you are wondering why I am here see my last blog. The skyscrapers of Philadelphia have been replaced with the mountains of the Cherokee National Forest and the city noise has dwindled to just a cargo train that passes my building every few hours. There are not many familiar faces, ... The post New Scenery appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  25. Salt Lake City, January 21, 2019 – What does it take to successfully thru-hike? The recipe of a successful thru-hike From my perspective, there are three key factors that contribute to the completion of a thru-hike. The piechart visualizes the percentage of each contributing factor. 1. Mental strength (60%) You may be surprised, but being mentally strong is the most important factor that will lead to completing a thru-hike. Similarly to being in your “normal” life, ... The post What Does It Take To Successfully Thru-hike? appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
  26. Salt Lake City, January 21, 2019: The countdown has started: At the end of April – roughly 3 months from now – I will get dropped off at the Mexican border … again! The Thruhike Addiction When I crossed the Canadian border in 2016, I did not think I would attempt to hike from Mexico to Canada again sometime. I also thought I am done with hiking for a while. But just one week after finishing the PCT, ... The post The Addiction of Thruhiking appeared first on The Trek. View the full article
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