Backpacking is a true test of our essential need to stay properly insulated. If we’re living in the great outdoors, then we’re going to be exposed to everything that Mother Nature wants to throw our way. Since we don’t get a thermostat to regulate the conditions Mother Nature throws at us, it’s critical that we proactively regulate our own thermostat.
Regulating our body’s temperature will not only allow us to stay more comfortable throughout our backpacking experience, regulating our temperature can also help us avoid dangers like hypothermia, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dehydration, and hyponatremia.
This series of Gear blogs will attempt to highlight the gear we utilize as ambassadors for Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Tour, but our attempt to explain why we choose to travel with a particular piece of equipment is by no means an attempt to tell you that there is one right way to backpack, or that you must be carrying any one right piece of gear to achieve backpacking success.
Backpacking success comes in a variety of forms. It would be impossible to define backpacking success with a single definition because one person’s idea of backpacking success can be dramatically different from another’s. Hiking your own hike undoubtedly means different things to different people. Read the rest of this entry »
This time of the year the wild seems wilder. If you take a long walk on a remote footpath you may feel as though you are actually watching as the trail battles the landscape in an attempt to avoid being suffocated by the rapid growth. Sit quietly enough and you may hear the trail sigh as it gasps for air beneath the relentlessly choking vegetation.
We have always imagined the trail to be a living and breathing thing, an ever evolving piece of the wild places that they meander though, but the past few weeks on the Get Out More Tour have reinforced more so than ever just how alive our nation’s trails are, and just how special the people are who bring them to life. Read the rest of this entry »
Living in wild environments for days at a time provides us the unique opportunity to enjoy an intimate connection with nature, a connection that includes witnessing wildlife in their own environment. We’ve enjoyed numerous bear sightings throughout our backpacking lifetime. The majority of our bear sightings have been Black Bear. We’ve seen a few Grizzly Bear. During our annual visits to Yellowstone and Glacier we’ve had the opportunity to witness grizzly bear, but it’s always been from a safe distance. Most of our Black Bear sightings have been from a distance too, but every now and then we experience closer encounters of the bruin kind. As a matter of fact, it would be tough to get much closer than an encounter we experienced this week on the Mid State Trail. Read the rest of this entry »
We love the idea that groundbreaking research in the field of environmental neuroscience is being conducted to determine the impact that backpacking, and the connection with nature that it provides, has on the human brain. As a matter of fact, after reading Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan’s article in the current issue of Backpacker Magazine (May 2012) highlighting David Strayer’s (Ph.D.) research, we like to think we felt a little smarter. Not just because we knew that the appropriate word association of barrel, root and belly was beer, but because the article reinforced the years of lifestyle decisions we’ve been making that have allowed us to place our search for a disconnected solitude, remote trails, and wilderness environments as priorities in our lives. Read the rest of this entry »
“Was that thunder?” Sheri asked as she surveyed the blue skies above Aasgard Pass. One of Randy’s biggest backcountry fears is lightning, so standing on a boulder near the top of an alpine Pass is not exactly the place Randy wants to be when an echoing rumble comes rolling across the mountainside. The ascent to Aasgard Pass (7841 ft.) from the edge of Colchuck Lake (5570 ft.) offers tons of open granite exposure, so if it was thunder we were hearing we would have needed to search out lower ground.
Aasgard pass was our gateway to the Enchantment Lakes Basin. The route we were following was voted one of America’s Best Hikes in Backpacker Magazine’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Issue. The diverse combination of steep granite peaks, deep forested valleys, and basins running with crystal clear waters flowing from intense blue to emerald green alpine lakes, makes this destination a magical place truly worthy of the title Enchantments. See our exact route in our SPOT Adventure. Read the rest of this entry »
We’re not saying we don’t enjoy and appreciate hikes that are over the hills and through the woods. We’re just saying the Devil’s Path is not that kind of hike. The Devil’s Path wouldn’t have earned the name “Devil’s Path” if it simply involved hills and woods. This route is demanding. Read the rest of this entry »