Post Hike Gear Talk: January 2015 – Hot Springs to Max Patch

Last weekend I met up with a few friends and continued my hike a few miles farther north along the Appalachian Trail. On day 1 we began our hike from the parking lot below Max Patch, and hiked ~7 miles to Walnut Mtn Shelter, in which we spent the coldest night I have ever spent on the trail, 6 F (inside the shelter, and minus wind chill). On the morning of day 2, we continued to follow the snow-covered trail for 9.9 miles, where we set up our tents near the blue-blazed trail leading to Deer Park Mtn Shelter. The highs for the day were maybe mid 30’s, however, that night, the temps only dropped to 22 F. On the last day, we continued dropping elevation for the last 3.2 miles of the hike, before being dumped right into the middle of Hot Springs, NC. Continue reading

Posted in Arc Blast, Backpacking, Backpacks, Base Layers, Clothes, Cook Kits, Foot Wear, Gear, Gear List, Gear Reviews, Gear Talk, Hats/Beanies, Headlamps, Hexamid, Hexanet, Jackets, Lights, NeoAir, Pillows, Rain Mitts, Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pads, Socks, Stoves, Tarp, The Trail, Thermarest, Thoughts, Trail Runners, Trekking Poles, Water Stuff, Wind Shirt, XLite, ZPacks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

AT Section Hike: Max Patch to Hot Springs

IMG_0714Last Thursday morning a buddy that I have been talking to for the last several months about backpacking made his way to my house around 8 am. He was finally getting out for his first hike, and it looked like things were going to be memorable! The weather was looking great, albeit a bit nippy, and since the leaves have all fallen from the trees, there would be views along the entire trail. As well, we were starting out on top of Max Patch, one of the most beautiful area’s that I have been to on the AT so far, and we were finishing up in Hot Springs, a great little trail town where we were guaranteed a warm, delicious, celebratory breakfast at the famous Smoky Mountain Diner!

For me, this is a continuation of my AT section hike… slowly ticking off another small piece of the trail here and there… After completing this hike, I have now completed the AT all the way from Amicalola Falls to Hot Springs, or 274.4 miles! And yeah, it is only a small portion of the entire length of the trail (~12.5%), but I’ll get there… :) Continue reading

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2014 in Review

Thanks to everyone who has visited my blog. I appreciate everyones support, and enjoy reading through the comments. I am looking forward to the new year, and excited about what it holds!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 390,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 17 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Gear | 4 Comments

Post Hike Gear Talk: BIAS Weight Weenie Micro Hammock

P1050255Last weekend I decided to take the kids with me on an overnight hike on the AT. To be clear, this hike wasn’t really about miles, or even gear really, it was about getting the kids outdoors, and spending some time with them. However, I had recently received a Butt in a Sling Weight Weenie Micro Hammock, and I figured this would be as good a time as any to give it a try… So, for this post hike gear talk, I decided to focus on some of my thoughts after using this hammock… and I had a few! Continue reading

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Thanksgiving 2014 AT Hike with the Kiddos!


This past weekend I decided that the kids and I would sneak away for a quick overnight hike on the AT. So, I grabbed a few packs out of the gear closet and started filling them with gear (good thing I got a lot of it!) As well, I even called one of my old-time school buddies and asked if it would be ok if I were to take his son (which happens to be my son’s best friend…) along with us. He said sure! Continue reading

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Butt In A Sling (BIAS) Weight Weenie Micro Hammock w/ Knotty Mod

P1050204I was recently talking with Shane from Butt In A Sling Hammock Gear, and he offered to send me one of their hammocks to give a try. When looking through the BIAS site,the Weight Weenie Micro jumped out at me simply because of the weight. Listed at only 6 oz (for the tarp, channel loops, & stuff sack only), this seemed likely to be one of the lightest weight hammocks on the market. However, just to be clear, this is not the bottom line… Of course, the suspension to actually hang the hammock will add some additional weight too. However, it seemed like a great starting place, so this is the one that I requested. Continue reading

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