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?”

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”

Testament of a hiker, and a thank you to Robert Traver

I fish because I love to; Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; -Robert Traver   Thus begins one of my favorite poems, “The Testament of a Fisherman,” in which the poet, Robert Traver, (penContinue reading “Testament of a hiker, and a thank you to Robert Traver”

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”

Becoming a Backpacker, Chapter 4: A Forced March on the MRT

A month after my first backpacking trip, I was signed up for another group hike–this time, a different group. We would be hiking the Manistee River Trail, and a section of the North Country Trail which covered the opposite side of the Manistee River. Right from the start, this was another good learning experience, asContinue reading “Becoming a Backpacker, Chapter 4: A Forced March on the MRT”