Hey everyone! I'm Linda, a 65-year old research ecologist who had a plan to retire and trade field work for hiking. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans.... So instead, I'll be starting a flip flop the first week in April, and then will take a little time off after Maine to collect baseline data on fire-affected wetlands in Montana. I know, it's a tough life. I'm looking forward to the Trail, but sometimes I wonder exactly why I need to spend so much of my life sleeping on the ground.
Let's just lay it out right up front. Everything you ever heard about the AT in Pennsylvania is true: 1) The rocks are ankle-twisting, knee-blowing, jagged, and apparently spaced in exactly the configuration required to trip hikers, pitching them face-forward onto spots where no safe landing is possible. 2) The rocks aren't so bad. They slow you down a little.
Day One: Earth, Wind, and No Fires We took an easy day out of our first town stop in Boiling springs, 6 miles to the Darlington Shelter,
The April Fools (me, Gail Barrett and John Barrett) set out from the Maryland Pennsylvania line early the morning of April 1, finally done with all
So Ramen and Knorr sides were never your thing, but Mountain House dinners, at $8 a pop, are just too expensive for what, in the end, is unimaginative food (Chili Mac and Cheese, blah). What are the options for eating well on the trail?
If you’ve already decided to go stoveless, or if you’ve taken out a loan to buy six months’ worth of Mountain House, this blog isn’t
My work tent has suffered through thirteen years of environmental abuse, from the UV rays of the high Sierras to rain, snow, varmints and cattle in Montana. But it's retiring this year in good condition, because I've followed some best practices for tent maintenance. Here are some tips for keeping your own tents in good shape.
Sometimes, when I start fussing about a trail being too steep, or the day too cold, or my feet too sore, or not having had enough food, I mutter to myself “Remember Shackleton.”
Let’s get this clear right now. I could get an invitation to leave tomorrow on the AT, or the PCT, or just about any trail not on the polar ice caps or in the Saharan desert, and I’d be able to outfit myself appropriately from my own gear stash. I do not need any more gear. That has probably been true for years, but it has not stopped me from acquiring gear. So I’ve worked out some guidelines for myself. I thought I’d share them with you all, in case they can help you with your own choices.
I started on the AT the spring after I finished college, mostly because I had no idea what else to do. Maybe go to law school. Maybe grad school in philosophy. My hiking partner and I were a little unclear what a hike of this scale might involve, or how long it would take, and were both a little anxious about what we would do when we got back, probably penniless.