Episode 39: Hiking News Review (Grand Canyon Show)

In Episode 39, Therm Rider and I do a live winter show from the Yavapai Lodge at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  After a day hiking on the Arizona and Rim Trails, we kick back a cold one and discuss some of the major hiking news events of 2016. In the show, Therm Rider and I recap and debate some of the U.S. news events that were heavily publicized in the outdoor community last year - including epic fails with drones, lost lives from selfies, and wildlife issues and encounters.  We are … [Read more...]

Return Of The Dana!

In the mid-90', Dana Design was the backpack for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.  I liked mine so much that I bought a second one two years after my thru-hike despite the steep price of $400+ And Dana Gleason, founder of his namesake Dana Designs, has returned to the market!  After selling his company and watching a series of outdoor companies fumble with a once dominant brand - Dana is back (and so is the Terraplane). The U.S. Military and U.S. Forest Service "hot shot" … [Read more...]

A Thru-Hiker Looks At 20

It’s been 20 years since I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.  There’s no doubt, it was a different Trail back then – fewer thru-hikers, no cell phones, and no websites to research the A.T. prior to heading out.  Thru-hikers today are better informed, better connected, and significantly better prepared than when I hiked in 1994.  That said, here are some tips for the Class of 2015 as you start the A.T. this Spring:     Create, then ditch your itinerary. It’s … [Read more...]

Leaving Las Vegas ….

There is nothing better than escaping a trade show in Las Vegas for the backcountry and fresh air of Zion National Park. After a 3 hour drive Fuller and I arrive in Springdale, UT and stay a short distance from the park. Our first mission is to hike the Hidden Canyon Trail. We climb 850 feet and link up with a steel chain that guides us around a cliff with an insanely sharp drop off.  It is at this point that I remember that I might have a slight fear of heights. And to make … [Read more...]

Red Rock Casino Brings Together Quality Casino Gaming and Excellent Outdoor Adventures

Red Rock Casino Brings Together Quality Casino Gaming and Excellent Outdoor Adventures The next great adventure might be in Vegas! For many backpackers, the perfect vacation involves a long weekend (or even just one overnight trip) spent traipsing through the woods or on some dirt trail, walking past mountains and enjoying the view of nature all around them. For their families, it might not be so similar, as many still crave the luxurious vacations that don’t see them going on adventures, … [Read more...]

Baxter State Park Needs Federal Funding, And Soon!

There are four times the number of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers hiking and camping in Baxter State Park than there were 20 years ago - when I did my hike.  According to Jensen Bissell, Director of Baxter State Park, this is straining resources. "From the perspective of Baxter Park, we are concerned that the use of Baxter Park is nearing or has surpassed an acceptable limit for the facilities and effort available from the Park to accomodate A.T. hikers"  A letter to ATC Executive … [Read more...]

100% Chance Of Rain? Backpacking To Plum Orchard Shelter

The weatherman said there was a 100% chance of rain today, and he was 100% right!  It rained all morning, and all afternoon.  I confess that  I'm still not sure how I was talked in to this trip, or how we got away with it at all.  Despite the gloomy weather (and our ventures in to Panthertown Valley just last weekend), the wives reluctantly gave the OK - and here we are climbing "As Knob" on the Appalachian Trail about an hour before dark. Our destination is Plum Orchard Shelter. … [Read more...]

Working Off Thanksgiving Dinner – An Overnight In Panthertown Valley

After fattening up on Thanksgiving dinner, The Camel meets us in North Carolina for a hike in to Panthertown Valley.  No one is more excited than the Boone Dawg who is craving some time in the backcountry.  And we are blessed with sunshine as you can see from the the shadows in this photo. The weather has been cool this week so snow showers and ice still lingering in the valley.  Here is a giant piece floating near Schoohouse Falls. Our preferred campsite is taken.  So we … [Read more...]

#7 Listen to music

 Just read an article at Appalachian Trials on "9 Things A Former Thru-Hiker Wishes She Had Known Before Hitting The Trail".  And what was on the list?   My personal favorite....#7 Listen to music:" It will help keep you positive in the present as you hike and afterwards the music you listened to will become a time machine back to exact moments on the trail. You may not know the place or even the state but the song will bring back a perfectly rendered memory. "Many go in to the woods to … [Read more...]

Relying Too Much On Technology On The Trail

Here's an interesting article about over reliance on technology on the Trail.  From Glacier National Park and reported by the Magic City Morning Star:  "I don't know what to do," she said several times. And that, of course, was the problem. They were strangers in this strange land of "no cell service." No texts. No calls. No contact. And while the manager offered her options, the girl's reaction got me thinking. This almost teenager wasn't prepared to handle … [Read more...]