Backpacking is escapism. This is one of my favorite things about it. Letting go of everything shit in the world, letting the sun dictate the timing of your day, settling into a primitive routine, and getting lost in the simple but magnificent beauty around you.
In this video I compare the Sawyer Squeeze, Katadyn Befree, and Aquamira methords of purifying water while backpacking.
In this video I go over the specs on my Enlightened Equipment 20°F down backpacking quilt, show how to set it up with the pad straps, and give some thoughts on the temperature rating and how it stacks up to the current competition 2 years after I bought it.
After 6 months of experience with this stove I feel comfortable enough with putting out a review.
Some friends and I put together a series of videos showing what we're carrying in our ditty bags while backpacking. Basically everything that could get lost in the expanse of a large backpack, so it's kept in a small little bag.
Here is my favorite backpacking breakfast shake AKA Mittenshake™
Saw beautiful weather coming so I headed out for a quick overnighter on SE Michigan's only backpacking trail.11.5 miles out and back. Daytime temps around 70F, night time dipped to 36F and in the open fields some frost formed.
Spent the weekend in Manistee National Forest with a couple new friends. The idea was to enjoy the last beautiful weekend of the summer carrying as little as possible.
Took out my new Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet backpack and wanted to talk about it and give my first impressions of what it is like hiking with it.
This map shows the Collegiate East and West trails. Each route ends in approximately the areas we camped in. I did not use this map on trail, but it is helpful regardless.
When we arrived at the trailhead for this trip I made the last minute decision to film this trip rather than write about it. At 13 days I don't think I could do the experience justice with words. The landscapes and terrain need to be seen as they are. Enjoy!
In all of Michigan there is only one place to really stretch your legs and get some miles under your feet, and that place is the North Country Trail. The NCT, like the much more popular Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail, is a National Scenic Trail. It runs for 4,600 miles from eastern New York to central North Dakota.
I've never done a gear list here before, but I think it would be helpful for some people to know what I am carrying every year on the trip reports that I am posting. As of this writing I have made a couple changes to what I carry in 2017.
Red River Gorge in Kentucky is known for day hiking for the views and natural rock arches and for rock climbing. If you get creative though, you can put together some pretty nice backpacking routes!
I created this map for a 3 day/2 night hike. It includes almost all of the rough trail, which is challenging, but really gets smoothed out on Pinch 'em Tight, Buck Trail, Koomer Ridge, Sheltowee Trace, and Osborne Bend.
When shopping for a pack 2 years ago I was looking for something lightweight, durable and suitable for both overnighters and trips lasting up to a week without resupply. Like many people my first stop on this search was REI and that's where I stumbled upon the Osprey Exos 58. It seemed to fit the bill and to this day I am still very happy with my purchase.