Return Of The Dana!

In the mid-90', Dana Design was the backpack for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.  I liked mine so much that I bought a second one two years after my thru-hike despite the steep price of $400+And Dana Gleason, founder of his namesake Dana Designs, has returned to the market!  After selling his company and watching a series of outdoor companies fumble with a once dominant brand - Dana is back (and so is the Terraplane).The U.S. Military and U.S. Forest Service "hot shot" fire-fighting crews have been the beneficiary of Dana's skills over the last few years - but the packs are once again available to the public.  There is a great article about this at GearJunkie.com, and hopefully I can land a … [Read more...]

Preparing for your next hike? Don’t forget these apps!

Hiking is a great physical and leisure activity that can be enjoyed by people of varying fitness levels. Statista documented there is currently 34.38 million active hikers in the U.S. alone, demonstrating the popularity of this outdoor activity as a pastime. But whether you are an experienced hiker that has an impeccable sense of direction and dependable instincts, there are still several mobile apps that you should consider downloading before your next adventure. Smartphones are the compasses of the 21st century. Owners and operators of mobile casino brand PocketFruity revealed that there were one billion smartphone users by the end of 2012, a number that’s said to surpass the two billion mark in 2016. The explosion in smartphone … [Read more...]

A Thru-Hiker Looks At 20

It’s been 20 years since I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.  There’s no doubt, it was a different Trail back then – fewer thru-hikers, no cell phones, and no websites to research the A.T. prior to heading out.  Thru-hikers today are better informed, better connected, and significantly better prepared than when I hiked in 1994.  That said, here are some tips for the Class of 2015 as you start the A.T. this Spring:     Create, then ditch your itinerary. It’s fun to plan an itinerary and anticipate where you will be during your thru-hike. You should do it - but don’t live by it.  Schedules are for the workingman.  I had the most fun on the Trail when I ditched my itinerary and rolled with the Trail … [Read more...]

Walk In The Woods premieres to mixed reviews

Walk In The Woods premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week to mixed reviews.  Here's a sampling...The Guardian"Plenty of silly little incidents ensue along the way, with lots of jokes about advancing years. Most of these episodes are far too low-stakes to carry a movie and the bigger picture, about two men past their prime trying to figure out what to do in their dotage, is handled far too simply to have real impact. The result is something that is just fine. It’s pleasant enough to watch, but by no means riveting or revolutionary."Hollywood Reporter"A delightful journey with fine star turns by Redford and Nolte that should prove a good draw for finicky older audiences." New  York Post"Tame … [Read more...]

#7 Listen to music

Just read an article at Appalachian Trials on "9 Things A Former Thru-Hiker Wishes She Had Known Before Hitting The Trail".  And what was on the list?   My personal favorite.... #7 Listen to music: " It will help keep you positive in the present as you hike and afterwards the music you listened to will become a time machine back to exact moments on the trail. You may not know the place or even the state but the song will bring back a perfectly rendered memory. " Many go in to the woods to leave technology behind.  Yet I work in technology, and I promise you that when I go in to the woods there's nothing more that I want to do than leave technology behind. But when you are hiking ~ 2200 miles to Maine - it's a long, … [Read more...]

Relying Too Much On Technology On The Trail

Here's an interesting article about over reliance on technology on the Trail.  From Glacier National Park and reported by the Magic City Morning Star:    "I don't know what to do," she said several times. And that, of course, was the problem. They were strangers in this strange land of "no cell service." No texts. No calls. No contact. And while the manager offered her options, the girl's reaction got me thinking. This almost teenager wasn't prepared to handle even a slight deviation from the easy contact comfort of technology. What would she have done in a real crisis?   … [Read more...]

41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius

Some of these "Camping Hacks" are pretty good.  I'm definitely going to try #9 "Make crescent rolls over the campfire" on our next trip... The complete list of camping hacks are at this link.... http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/camping-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius   … [Read more...]

Geographic North Pole, Magnetic North Pole, or Geomagnetic North Pole?

Is it the Geographic North Pole, the Magnetic North Pole, or Geomagnetic North Pole? They are all very different. Watch this video and find out why: … [Read more...]

THE END OF AN ERA: SHAW’S BOARDING HOUSE “FOR SALE”

Nearly 20 years ago, I saw this sign while hiking northbound on the Appalachian Trail that directed me (via a blue-blazed Trail) in to the town of Monson, Maine. Here's how it looked back then with the fall foilage near peak and my hiking companion Harry (Delta Force) contemplating the two mile side hike to town. I spent two nights in Monson at Shaw's Boarding House before hiking the 100 Mile Wilderness, and another night here after I summited Katahdin.   Mr. and Mrs. Shaw ran the hostel and were incredibly kind.  Each day they served up generous helpings of food at breakfast ($5) and dinner ($8). When Mr. Shaw found out that I hadn't photographed a moose on the hike, he immediately loaded me in … [Read more...]