Starting a fire in your fireplace or a backyard fire pit is a skill that many people feel confident in, but how about starting a fire in the backcountry, without a Duraflame fire starter and a foot-long fire stick lighter? When I first began backpacking, I hadn’t started a fire in years. I had aContinue reading “To build a fire”
“Do you still want the shuttle?” appeared in my Messenger alert. I watched the rain hitting the window pane, the tree limbs blowing in the early morning light, and wondered to myself if I did indeed want to be shuttled from this warm and dry place to the southern end of Shenandoah National Park atContinue reading “Two Flatlanders Attempt Mountains”
“Does anyone want to play ‘Mafia’?” Not something you typically hear on a backpacking trip, but this time, I was chaperoning a group of 13-15 year olds, so nothing I heard really surprised me. When I signed up to lead a couple of wilderness trips for a local summer camp, I felt like I wasContinue reading “Out of the classroom and into the woods”
A night in the rain provides an opportunity to discover just how well your gear works.
Tarps are a game-changer when rain is in the forecast for your outdoors weekend.
Growing up on the lakes, and in the woods.
My roots as a history nerd run deep, probably from the time my mom began reading me the Little House series, when I was a child. Because my parents’ idea of a vacation often involved sailing or cross-country skiing, we saw a lot of Michigan, and often our destinations had historical significance, such as theContinue reading “Hiking: A History Lesson”
Winter day-hikes using a Wilderness State Park bunkhouse as home base.
From the moment in 2016 that one of my adventure-prone friends suggested we do 100 miles on the Appalachian Trail the following summer, to the time of the hike in July of 2017, and to the present, my gear has undergone a transformation that I imagine many backpackers experience. I began with the mindset ofContinue reading “From Car Camper to Backpacker: A Cheapskate’s Evolution of Gear”
Rustic cabins at various state parks can be a great way to enjoy the great outdoors during the cold weather months without the expense of winter gear, or the challenge of staying warm in camp when daylight ends at 5:00 p.m. and temperatures plummet. While I do winter camp on occasion, I love staying inContinue reading “Michigan DNR Rustic Cabins: An alternative to cold weather camping”