We're almost ready. After numerous small trips (of escalating difficulty and complexity), skills work, planning sessions, gear shakedowns, shakedowns, and more shakedowns, we're on the homestretch. Within 72 hours, we'll all be headed for Colorado, and then New Mexico, for a two-week expedition. The training has paid off. We've managed to get a bunch of…Read more New Mexico or Bust
Teamwork on the Trail
The great thing about backpacking is that it's an individual sport. The only things to overcome are your own physical and mental limitations. The rewards include immersion in wilderness, a sense of accomplishment like no other, and satisfaction that comes from knowledge and confidence in one's self. Except... for all the focus on self-reliance and…Read more Teamwork on the Trail
To Build A Fire
One of the most often-repeated lessons I have with students learning how to build fire is: It takes patience. Too many times, we just want to pile up fuel and strike a match, and it never works that way. Fire is often compared to a living thing, and like so many things in life, it…Read more To Build A Fire
Sleeping Warm in Winter: Four Ways Nature is Out To Get You
Beating the cold is a lot easier if you understand the enemy...
In my efforts to test myself, I sometimes get a little overconfident. I like to think I'm fairly level-headed and consider risks enough that I'm not doing anything downright STUPID, but I have certainly messed up enough to make me wonder just what the heck I thought was going to happen. Such was the case…Read more Water-tight?
“Hatikva” Sails Again!
I've had a sailboat sitting, for a long while, in a place not very well suited for a boat of any kind, much less one with a 25' mast. It's been sitting on a trailer in my garage, and it's been sad. I bought her from a co-worker. Spent a few months fixing things -…Read more “Hatikva” Sails Again!
Soyuz and Risk Management
It's old news at this point, but several weeks ago (October 11, 2018), the launch of Soyuz MS-10 suffered a failure of the second-stage booster, causing an automatic abort of the launch, and ejection of the crew capsule. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague did NOT make it to their intended destination,…Read more Soyuz and Risk Management
Mountain Biking, Minus The Mountain
Several years ago, I made a questionable choice. My wife and I were both shopping for new bicycles, and I quickly set my sights on a (now classic) Specialized Rockhopper. I loved the stance of a mountain bike, the (relatively) compact size, the go-anywhere attitude - and though I didn't have any plans to go…Read more Mountain Biking, Minus The Mountain
Sailing Intro, Under Harsh Conditions
We had the opportunity this weekend to get some boys out on a Pearson 37 sailboat, the designation 37 referring to its overall length, in feet. Weather was not great - 20 knots sustained, heavy rain which came at you horizontally, and 3-foot swells. Despite that, we went sailing! Two reefs in the main, a…Read more Sailing Intro, Under Harsh Conditions
It's not a big cat, but it's the first cat this guy has ever caught!
This looks like a regular sunfish sailboat on a regular lake - but it's sailing on a cranberry bog, or at least the remnants of one. The lake is one of five, separated by small earthen dams, strung together in the Pine Barrens of eastern New Jersey. Cranberries are now long gone, and the lakes…Read more Cranberry Sunfish
Ah... the joys of fishing!
Six Easy Ways to “Get Out There” This Summer
We all suffer from a lack of time, and perhaps priorities, that keep us away from experiencing certain things in life. If enjoying the outdoors is one of those things that appeal to you (and I assume it is, since you're reading this), take heart! Outdoor adventure doesn't need to take time, money, or even…Read more Six Easy Ways to “Get Out There” This Summer
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”
To Clean, or Not To Clean – Water in the Backcountry
A few months ago, an article published by Slate started to get a lot of attention, for suggesting that the practice of treating backcountry water sources against possible pathogens was built on myth. No doubt it got the buzz Slate was looking for, but I pretty much ignored it at the time. Recently though, I was pointed…Read more To Clean, or Not To Clean – Water in the Backcountry