David and I did our annual hiking trip back in September. It was absolutely the hardest terrain we’ve ever covered. We were hard pressed to do seven miles a day. I can only imagine what it would have been like if I hadn’t made significant strides in reducing my pack weight.
In a previous post I wrote about my plans to reduce pack weight. I bought the do-it-yourself G4 pattern from Quest Outfitters. I think a sensible person would have just bought the pre-made pack from Gossamer Gear. The guys in the how-to lightweight backpack books talk about how great it is to make your own equipment, and I guess I drank the Kool-Aid. The problem was I had never sewn anything with a machine; for that matter I didn’t even own … Read More »
Another year, another fall, and as September was passing us by I was beginning to think our fourth annual hiking trip wasn’t going to happen. Eventually David was able to tear himself away from the ‘computer to plate’ implementation at the paper. After driving all day he rolled into my driveway at 10pm on 9/19.
On Thursday we drove to Middletown to get provisions and to go to Alto Music. We ate at Johnny Rocket’s in the mall, and then headed over to Gander Mountain. It’s not the best place to get hiking gear, but they do have freeze-dried food and some other essentials.
Next stop, Alto Music — this is a very cool music store. It is very big; they have a lot of good brands; and in general there is a lot to look at. … Read More »
The real title of this entry should be Grayson Highlands. Since there were actually wild ponies where we were hiking the other title just felt more fitting.
Grayson Highlands is the site of the trek David and I undertook in early June. We had the privilege of hiking with Brant, a friend of David’s who lives in Abingdon, VA.
Brant is quite an experienced hiker. He understands about ultra-light hiking, and I feel like he advanced our knowledge by many, many years.
David and I have talked about how to get our packs lighter, much lighter off and on. Every time we take a look at it we seemed to walk away with the feeling that it just can’t be done. Brant let us borrow a book Beyond Backpacking which has a lot of good information about how … Read More »
Backpacking Catskills Style
Another year, another backpacking trip; sans Will, David and I started at the Middle Mountain trail head on the Western side of the Catskills. In the past when picking trips we have purely looked at distance and time as the active variables. We learned this year that we should add a third variable — difficulty. This year’s trek was by far the most challenging we have undertaken. We did almost 30 miles with 6600 feet of ascents spread across 4 days (2 full and 2 partial).
The first day on the trail we discovered a plant known as the stinging nettle. These are quite distracting when doing a technically challenging ascent and the trail is littered with the things. Of course, we had no idea what this wicked plant was until we ran into a … Read More »
David, Polly Pocket, and I had a great time on the hiking trip. We went to Pisgah National Forest, and started on the far side, from the Daniel Boone Boyscout camp. Of course, we got a late start; wouldn’t be being with David if we hadn’t, and as usual there was no real cause for it. After packing our packs, eating lunch, finding a place that sold maps, and driving to the start point it was getting close to 5pm. We hiked for a couple of hours and just as I was sure we were going to get caught doing everything in the dark we came around the side of the mountain to a part that was still being bathed in sunshine; shortly there after we found a place to setup camp. We got most … Read More »