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...]

Episode 27: Superwoman

 In Episode 27 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Niki Rellon.  You think you're tough?  Well she just might have you beat!  Niki's sports pursuits include professional kickboxing, ski instructing, cross-country cycling, thru-hiking, and currently a six month journey on the Appalachian Trail.  Did I mention that she is doing it on one leg?  Well now you know.In the podcast, Niki talks about her first ventures in to the outdoors, her hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the event that changed her life - a 60' fall that nearly ended her life (and made her an amputee).  Niki is now a week in to her A.T. thru-hike and took time from a rest area in North Georgia to speak with us. … [Read more...]

REI Alpharetta – Over 800 people waiting in line at 10am

REI opened their 5th store in the Atlanta metro area today in Alpharetta, GA and clearly their marketing folks have figured it out.  There were over 800 people waiting in line at 10am when the doors opened.  Yeah .... people love free stuff, and REI delivered.  The first 200 in the door received a water bottle with a $25-100 gift card inside.   I opted to head back to work rather than line up as shopper #804.  How in the world did so many people get off work mid-morning on a Friday anyway?      … [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...]

Thru-Hiking Tips From Legendary A.T. Hiker – Warren Doyle

Just found some vintage footy from this legend in the A.T. Thru-Hiking community.  I saw him speak at Trail Days many years ago and actually purchased this 1993 Lynne Whelden "How-To"  video right before I hit the Trail.   … [Read more...]

Even Hollywood Stars “Rock” Each Other's Backpacks

It seems that even Hollywood movie stars get their backpacks "rocked" by mischevious friends.  During the filming of Monuments Men which also stars John Goodman and Bill Murray, Actor George Clooney tricked his 'Monuments Men' co-star Matt Damon in to carrying a backpack that was filled with rocks during a gruelling hiking scene.  Realbollywood.com reports that per Clooney's request the props guys filled Matt's backpack with solid metal bricks, which weighed about 50 pounds:"The other people's packs had lightweight padding but Clooney told them to act as if they felt super heavy.By the end of the day Damon was sweating profusely and after the scenes were canned, he dropped his pack, opened it and … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Summer Roadtrip – Part Two (Coming Soon)

Had a chance to record a podcast with Mackie recently for "The Ultimate Summer Roadtrip - Part Two".  It's in the editing room right now and should be ready for release by the end of this week. In the meantime, check out "The Ultimate Summer Roadtrip - Part One" if you haven't already.  It will get you primed for Part Two and recaps a cross-country hiking/backpacking trip I did with Snyder (aka The Ox) two years after my 1996 trip with Mackie (who is shown above at our interview in Richmond, VA). … [Read more...]