From Car Camper to Backpacker: A Cheapskate’s Evolution of Gear

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”

Michigan DNR Rustic Cabins: An alternative to cold weather camping

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”

Backpacking Anxiety: Addressing Fear

I’m afraid of: Getting hurt. Animals. My gear not working properly. Discovering that I don’t know how to work my gear properly. Forgetting something. Getting lost. Creepy people. Being cold. And the list goes on–people’s fears of what might happen on a backpacking trip are numerous and varied, especially when you’re new to this hobby. Continue reading “Backpacking Anxiety: Addressing Fear”

Hiker Heaven in Ohio

I’ve been hearing about, and seeing gorgeous pictures from Hocking Hills, Ohio on Facebook and Instagram for the last few years, and over this year’s spring break, finally got to see what all the fuss was about.  I talked my husband into a hiking vacation, and reserved an Airbnb in Athens, Ohio for a fewContinue reading “Hiker Heaven in Ohio”

The Joys and Challenges of Winter Hiking and Camping

There is a certain magic to hearing the absolute stillness of a snowy forest, seeing the snow-draped boughs of the evergreen trees, and finding tracks from deer, bobcat, bear, turkeys, and other creatures in the snowy path. Lying in my hammock at night, listening to the hoot of owls, yips of coyotes, and gentle fallingContinue reading “The Joys and Challenges of Winter Hiking and Camping”

What to wear when you’re winter hiking?

I’ve been seeing this question coming up a lot in the various Michigan hiking Facebook groups that I follow. Dressing for cardio when you’re out in the cold is a lot different from bundling up for just sitting around, but you might end up needing to plan for both when hiking. A lot of the thingsContinue reading “What to wear when you’re winter hiking?”

Dioramas and Rhododendrons: Gettysburg

Chapter 10: Becoming a Backpacker After spending several days in Shenandoah National Park, and nearing our 100 mile goal, my hiking buddy, Robin, and I decided to indulge our inner history nerds and get in our last 10 miles of Appalachian Trail near Gettysburg, so that we could spend some time exploring the national historicContinue reading “Dioramas and Rhododendrons: Gettysburg”