When it comes to hiking and backpacking, my most used and beloved (and iconic) piece of gear is my hiking staff.
Write in Front of Me
“You wouldn’t part an old man from his walking stick?” – Gandalf, “The Two Towers”
I’ve always been a “tripod” ever since I was a kid hiking the woods behind my suburban house. I would quickly pick up a downed length of basswood or cedar and adopt it as my hiking stick and off into the trees I’d go. It wasn’t long before I felt unable to venture into the woods for a hike without having one. That is still so today.
Hiking Stick Grips (Photo credit: Randy Cox)
Somewhere at a roadside stand along the Blue Ridge Parkway about 1978 I found a walnut hiking staff carved by a local man vending summer tomatoes, corn, and mountain sourwood honey. I think I paid ten dollars for it. That hiking stick kept me stable during my trips into Pisgah National Forest, Linville Gorge, Shining Rock Wilderness…
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Photo courtesy Thruhike98 at Flickr.
Dear Hiking Gear,
First off, I am sorry. Sorry that you’ve been stowed away in boxes on the upper shelf of my dark closet. I am sorry I separated you into “gear I normally use” and “spare gear” whose box lid I rarely open.
For instance. I love my Whisperlite white gas backpacking stove. But, I also like my Svea 123, the old brass workhorse whose coarse and noisy voice was a welcome wake-up on many memorable mornings.
Dear Whisperlite, I love you for your quiet voice. But, Svea, I respect you for your simplicity and reliability. Just because I boxed you doesn’t mean I don’t care. Don’t you remember when we walked down memory lane and I polished you with Brasso last summer? I know — I didn’t light you up, so the shine job doesn’t really count. But I still know you’re there; ready to rock should the Whisperlite fail…
Photo courtesy kc7fys at Flickr.
Yes, dear gear — I’ll still keep you. And if you doubt that, remember the old Kelty Tioga pack frame. You know the one. The pack bag is long gone, but I can’t part with the hardy aluminum skeleton. Sure, I’ll never find a replacement for the pack bag, but I’ve kept the frame safe and sound. Along with the Sierra tent, First Need water filter, and Svea stove.
Photo courtesy Simonov at Flickr.
Take heart, dear gear. Maybe we’ll all have a class reunion one day. And, yes, expect to see a Spork, some titanium cooking gear, and an ultralight backpack on the guest list.
Ever heard of Forest Therapy? Want to know more? Keep reading!
The Big Epic
Have you noticed how you feel better in your daily life after spending time outdoors? As we immerse ourselves in the natural world, we become more whole physically, mentally, and emotionally. Plus, the better we know the world around us, the more we enjoy spending time outside. Continue reading to learn about the three different levels of connecting with Nature…
A – Have an ADVENTURE in Nature
“Nature” refers to the outdoors, the natural world, the places not made by humans. Everyone has an emotional response when they hear that word. For some of us, it is a place of comfort or adventure or pleasure. For others, it is a place that is dangerous or boring, a place to avoid. At this level, Nature is something separate from the adventurers, something to be explored or enjoyed in and of itself.
We enjoy extended backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail
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As backpackers and hikers gear up for another season in the wild, it seemed appropriate to revisit this post.
Write in Front of Me
Photo courtesy Jim Dollar @ Flickr
Daniel Wood left journals from hikes he had taken. Among those pages I discovered this document. I testify it was written by him. He requested whoever discovered it would post it online for all Appalachian Trail hikers and backpackers.
A Backpacker’s Code
I realize that choosing to hike this trail is a fulfilling, but serious endeavor. In setting foot here, I choose to be responsible not just for myself, but for those I meet on the trail. While I may never find myself in such a situation, I owe it to myself and others to hike responsibly and stand ready to help another backpacker should the situation arise.
I realize that I am to be responsible to myself first, and self-reliant to the extent of my backpacking and camping skills. If I do not have the basic skills of the art I will seek out seminars…
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Stubbs offers some fascinating and worthwhile advice on how to increase your chances of enjoying a successful Appalachian Trail backpacking adventure!
Stubbs Rambles On
Hello readers! My apologies for my total lack of new content lately, especially on trail life. I’ve been tied up in the “real world” trying to get my life back on track after my injury, and I’ve also been in the process of getting back to work. It’s about that time of year when expectant thru hikers and section hikers are about to get the show on the road, and are wrapping up on that last minute planning and preparation. I aim to kick out some more hiking content in the coming weeks, but until then, I’ve put together a wrap up of some of my archived posts that I thought are worth a read if you’re still concerned or confused about things. All of these posts can also be found on “The Trek” blog, which I used to write for.
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Stubbs provides great insight and wisdom which is crucial to upping your odds for a successful Appalachian Trail hike.
Stubbs Rambles On
Originally posted on The Trek on January 17th, 2017
There are numerous reasons why people quit their thru-hike, and some of them are preventable. Here are several examples of reasons why people fail their thru hike attempt and how they can be avoided.
1) A Negative Mindset
I met a hiker in the beginning who was extremely negative about EVERYTHING under the sun (Including the sun, actually). You would try to help guide her into thinking about things on the bright side and she would find a way to turn it around in hopes of making you feel bad for her entirely hopeless situation.
Prevention: A bad mindset when you’re constantly in a funk about everything will force you off trail as early as day one (unless you’re as stubborn as the hiker I just described).
Think Positive – The key is to try to rewire yourself to become more positive…
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