Beating the cold is a lot easier if you understand the enemy...
The first clear view on Virginia's Wild Oak Trail comes after about 8 miles and 4,000 feet of climbing. The trailhead is in the notch left of center, directly under the sun, and the trail wraps around these mountains from left to right, climbing up and over three mountains in the process. Get Out There!…Read more Wild Oak from Little Bald Knob, VA
It had been a long time since I'd climbed a hill this steep, this high, for this long. My legs reminded me of this inescapable fact with every step I took. As long as I kept my head up and focused on the yellow and red trees, it didn't matter. My outdoor adventures had been…Read more Backpacking the Wild Oak Trail, VA
Times are strange. Even though a lot of what I like to do is, by its nature, remote - backpacking, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, etc - all these activities became extremely popular as soon as we started getting guidance not to congregate. The bars closed down and the trailheads clogged up. Add to that the challenges of…Read more COVID Camp
Every year as March rolls around, thousands of people set out to fulfill a bucket-list item and complete the Appalachian Trail. Best wishes to those who are setting out now, and in the next couple weeks, as the Class of 2020! Thru-hikers admonish each other to "hike your own hike" - a reminder that there…Read more Outdoor Ethics on the Appalachian Trail
After dense fog and rain for most of the trip, our final morning at Gettysburg dawned clear, cold, and beautiful. Get Out There http://www.flying-squirrel.org
Not a wilderness shot - but the site of my most recent campsite. On the grounds of a US Civil War, Confederate field hospital in Gettysburg, PA. (We camped to the right of the barn, just out of frame). Confederate doctors treated officers in the house, enlisted in the barn, completing about 1,500 amputations and…Read more Gettysburg Camp
We had a pretty dreary weekend. Fortunately, we made the right call, with young, poorly equipped boys, to skip Friday night - that would have meant setting up and camping in a Nor'Easter. An inch and a half of rain, 30 mph wind, and 40 deg. Not a good first experience. Even with the decision to…Read more Campfires Make Everything Better
You can't have a true adventure without a little bit of risk. It's the exploration of something new and getting out of your comfort zone that builds memories! Don't turn back because something is a challenge - just understand and make sure you can accept the consequences of failure (like getting everything wet during a…Read more Boundaries
It started off a little ominously. The morning was dreary, with a foggy overcast that threatened rain. We had assembled a team of 6 new backpackers, one with a few trips under his belt, and three experienced leaders, including myself. One of the crew lost a split ring off a cotter pin on his older…Read more Pond Run (or… What Happened to Those New Backpackers)
The best views are those where you can see for miles, and it's ALL nature! Looking west from Mill Mountain, off the Tuscarora Trail in West Virginia.
We have just entered the fourth season of the year, and it's one of my favorites! This is based on the 8-season model I wrote about earlier in the year, where we consider both temperature AND sunlight. In "Bright Spring", we enjoy some of the longest days of the year - at my latitude we…Read more “Bright Spring”
April 7. I know the view of the river, the marsh and the forest beyond is remarkable. I could see it a few hours ago. Geese maneuvered through the remnants of last fall's cattails, and the air was filled with calls from a pair of recently returned ospreys getting reacquainted. Now, I can't see more…Read more Pif… Pif…
One of my favorite places in the world is the one I carry with me. My tent, and the rest of my backpacking setup, allow me to escape to almost anywhere. This particular spot was a great one - 20 miles from the nearest pavement, high in the Colorado Rockies, easily one of the quietest…Read more My Favorite Place