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”

Backpacking in the Rain

Forecasts for the weekend varied from 40-60 percent chance of scattered showers, with a chance of isolated thunderstorms. Week three of my new school year was wrapping up, and a getaway seemed like the best thing ever, in spite of the dismal forecast. The hiking route that I had planned was not a great distance,Continue reading “Backpacking in the Rain”

Becoming a Backpacker, Chapter 5: Pictured Rocks

I was feeling practically like an expert as I prepared for a long weekend hike of Pictured Rocks in May. I expected that it could be at least as cold in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as it had been on my two previous backpacking trips in lower Michigan, even though it was later on in theContinue reading “Becoming a Backpacker, Chapter 5: Pictured Rocks”

Chapter 3: Trying Not to Freeze

My First Backpacking Trip: High Country Pathway As March approached, I signed up for a weekend backpacking trip listed on a Facebook page. It began at a state forest campground, with a day hike on Saturday, followed by a short hike to a backcountry campsite, and then a longer hike back to the car Sunday.Continue reading “Chapter 3: Trying Not to Freeze”

Becoming a backpacker, chapter 1

We were sitting on the beach at a campsite at Munising Tourist Park, eating s’mores, drinking beer and watching the sunset when we hatched the idea. We’d spent the day hiking at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and had returned to our car-camping site for a swim, campfire, some beer, and bed. Robin asked, “So what’sContinue reading “Becoming a backpacker, chapter 1”