Musings on the Edge of Hurricane Sandy

As I sit here in Rockville, Maryland looking out the window at what has to this point been a minor storm, I am given cause for thought.  What would it be like to be on the Appalachian Trail right now?  Last year we weathered Hurricane Irene in exactly the same position.  For us Irene was little more than a windy night.  For those in New York it was much different.  In the days following saw images of highways in New York flooded, we saw video of Prattsville, NY disappearing under water. The same forces that slowly cut away the Grand Canyon over millions of years can cut away a town in a few hours.  It’s awesome in the intended form of the word.

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Father-Son Overnight Hike Day 2

Up to this point my dad and I hand enjoyed many of the best parts of backpacking that exist at the very core of what draws people to love it so much– overcoming challenge, meeting new people, and being in a surrounding that in no way resembles your daily life.  Day 2 would prove just as appealing but for a very different reason.

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Gear Review- GSI Halulite Minimalist

GSI Halulite Minimalist with Neoprene Insulating Sleeve, Plastic Sippy Lid, Silicone Pot Holder, and Collapsible Spork.

This is it, my first official gear review.  You will forgive the lack of polish on this one.  I’m also test driving the camera capabilities of my new Samsung Galaxy S3.  We’ll see how this goes.  Hopefully it will be kind of akin to teenage Spielberg shooting 8mm movies on an airfield in Arizona (shout out to Arcadia High School!) though the trajectory of my development will likely lend itself more to that of Senor Spielbergo.

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Father-Son Overnight Hike Day 1

Let me start off by saying… I’M BACK BABY!!! Wedding…done.  Honeymoon…done.
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Best Daypack for Travel…?

We’ll call this Part 1 or The Question Version

Given the fact that I don’t have any hiking news to share I figured instead I could share my latest attack on the outdoor equipment learning curve.  For the past year I have saturated myself with backpacking information in the hope of learning enough to feel competent to make decisions in advance of our 2013 thru-hike.  At this point I feel like I know enough to differentiate among some of the cottage manufactured products and kind-of-sort-of predict if something will work for us.  Not master, not expert, but maybe a late blue-early purple bet/Hogwarts 3rd year/padawan.

Well this was all fine and good until a different task fell at my feet– buy luggage for our 2 weeks honeymoon to Germany and Italy.  Continue reading

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I’m still here!!!

Well life has been absolutely bananas lately. Continue reading

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Backpacking Through Europe aka Thru-Hiking: The College Years

Hiking the AT will certainly be my first thru-hike, but it won’t be my first time I’ve carried my life on my back for an extended period of time. Continue reading

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How the Good Badger Made Us Hike the Appalachian Trail

Up to this point we had confirmed one thing– we loved being outdoors.

A simple weekend in one of the best “designed” national parks in the country (?)  had hooked us.  We loved being outdoors, we loved that it meant a weekend being active instead of sitting on the couch watching the Phillies/Eagles/Union.  It was one of those things we could do all our lives, with our future children.  It was a key to a future that involved physical health and appreciation of what is truly great about our nation.  We had started thinking about the next step- pop-up trailers, 5th-wheels, KOA’s, fishing from canoes in lakes named after Native American tribes that had once inhabited these lands.  Then I received this email: Continue reading

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Knowing When to Turn Back or When Backpacking Makes You Cry


It’s crazy how timing works out in life sometimes.  We recently had our first unsuccessful hike and it was very hard to handle.  When you are planning to hike for 6 months the idea of not being able to achieve any goal makes you wonder if you should reconsider your strategy.  If we can’t make it 4 miles in soupy, Maryland summer heat how the hell are we going to do it Maine in July?  I will get to the details shortly but it was about the time I was pondering these questions that three blogs posts popped up. Continue reading

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Car Camping Shenandoah National Park- How We Became Campers

My fiancee and I have been doing outdoorsy stuff since the beginning of our relationship.  Her family has a large plot of land in the Catskills that they used to go to for weekend escapes from the Hudson Valley.  This was legit camping as well- no bathroom, just a privy and LOTS of bugs.  So it came naturally for both of us to use our free time together outside.  In fact the first time I met her father was on a trip to his property. Continue reading

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