Tag Archives: Recreation

Casualties of the Trail

Whether it’s a deer mouse in the shelter, a result of disorganization or a questionable can of meat left by another hiker, there are plenty of opportunities for trail mishaps. Here is what we’ve experienced:

  1. My hydration bladder had a hole in it before we even hit the trail.
  2. I lost my scarf at the visitor’s center. (It was later found and mailed to me!)
  3. Springer Mountain Shelter mouse ate one of Shotgun’s earpieces on his headphones.
  4. Springer Mountain Shelter mouse then pooped in Shotgun’s pack.
  5. We couldn’t make the water filter function properly and had to boil our water.
  6. Shotgun’s stomach became a casualty of vienna sausages.
  7. We lost our knife in a Taco Bell trash can.
  8. I lost my towel in Fontana Dam.
  9. Shotgun lost his towel at Ice Water Spring Shelter.
  10. We began drying off with our dirty clothes.
  11. My leg looked like a drumstick to Douglas, the unleashed Dobermann/Rottweiler beast.
  12. We met Sparky in Fontana Dam and never wanted to hike again.
  13. I became ceraunophobic on Kelly Knob.
  14. Shotgun rolled out of a hammock and got wrapped up in the mosquito net on his way down to the ground.
  15. Our neighbor is a felon.

Don’t worry, Mom & Dad.  We’ll be just fine! Happy hiking, y’all!


Posted by on June 27, 2011 in The Hike


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Justus Creek to Helen, Georgia

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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in The Hike


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The Get Out More Tour

The Get Out More Tour

Brent and I ran across this ad in Backpacker Magazine and decided to take a road trip to Nashville to attend the session at Bass Pro. This 75-minute seminar held by Sheri and Randy Propster included information on a local hike, trip planning advice, safety tips, and gear reviews. Their display included many gear items that have yet to hit the shelves! As we perused the display table, we found several items that we had not seen before. The most appealing aspects of these items were their efficiency, light weight, and compactness. We purchased our gear around March of 2010, and already we have witnessed the rapid innovation in backpacking equipment. For example, we saw a water bladder with an in-line filter. By combining a filter with the bladder, one more item is eliminated from your pack. In addition, the in-line filter is about half the size of the Katadyn Hiker Pro that we purchased last year. Another product that caught our attention was the Sea-to-Summit ten liter (2.6 gallon) Pocket Shower, which holds enough water for eight and a half minutes of rub-a-dub greatness. During our rim-to-rim hike in the Grand Canyon, we carried Stearns Sun Shower, a 2.5 gallon luxury weighing 12.8 ounces. Although it is more of a base camp shower with its reinforced plastic handle and shower hose, which makes for awkward packing, we appreciated the morale boost of slipping into our sleeping bags without the grit and grime of every mile we hiked. We even deemed it worthy of worship by naming it “Golden Buddha.”However, when Brent decided to include it on his packing list for the Appalachian Trail thru-hike, I thought him crazy. The Sea-to-Summit Pocket Shower offers the same comfort, compacted into a small carrying pouch and weighing only 4.25 ounces. The Soto Pocket Torch is a 1.8 ounce fire starter that converts a disposable lighter, excluding Bics, into a wind-resistant burner. If I had one of these on the oh-so-many, windy camping nights I spent trying to light a fire or grill, I would have avoided the frustration that resulted in fist fights with the air and dust kicking. We have ordered the torch and shower from Top Spot, our local outdoors store, and will be including them on our gear list. An item I will not include in my pack but would love to have for future backpacking trips on the Colorado Plateau is the Celestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium, which was also displayed at The Get Out More Tour session. This 2.4 lb. gadget uses GPS technology to locate and identify over 6,000 stars, planets, and constellations with the click of a button. If I am ever able to afford this (it’s listed for $299 on Amazon), I will be sure to write a review for my fellow star-gazers. For those who enjoy taking photos but fear destructing their camera on rainy days and rocky climbs, the Pentax Optio W90 seems a nice option.  Sheri and Randy completely submerged it in water and then passed it around for the group to take test shots.  The photo quality wasn’t much different from my personal digital camera, which cost more than the $280 Pentax. According to a review in the April 2011 issue of Backpacker Magazine, this 6 oz. camera is “waterproof up to twenty feet, shockproof to four feet, and freeze proof to 14°F.” Pretty impressive!  And if you’re interested in a trekking pole that doubles as a camera mount, the Pentax fits on the Leki Sierra SAS Trekking Pole. The last item I will mention is the emergency kit that the couple assembled. I found its organization fascinating. The kit included items such as tinder, a mini compass, matches, duct tape, safety pins, paper and a pencil. I will post an entry on the contents of an emergency kit in the future. This session was informative and allowed us to see what outdoors companies are creating to accommodate backpackers. If Sheri and Randy are heading in your direction, I recommend attending the session. They will be sure to share information on a beloved trail in your area and, best of all, they will be giving away backpacking gear! Happy hiking!


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Gear Gallery

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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Gear List


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