Backcountry Gear

Backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, warm clothes, food, rope, crampons, harness, helmet,  chimney brush – there’s a whole list of items commonly carried into the backcountry, but who carries a chimney brush? I was lucky enough to sign on for a couple of volunteer days to join my trail crew girl for a trip […]

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Backpacking Dinner Ideas

We’re prepping for the next little summer adventure – a four-day backpacking trip. From shoes to shelter to stove, we’ll follow the packing checklist. Unfortunately for me, I’m in charge of the menu and it never seems to follow a set list. The ease of pre-packaged, dehydrated meals holds some appeal, but I’m opting to try […]

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Backpacking with Babies

“You take the high road and I’ll take the low road…” We sang a lot of different tunes heading down the trail. It helped take our minds off the weight of our backpacks. Other hikers never thought we were strange.  We came with a license to sing – our daughter.  Her inaugural backpacking trip was […]

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Hiking Season

April showers bring May flowers – not this year. True, I saw crocus in full bloom, but this June for crying out loud. There were others signs that Ma Nature hasn’t been keeping up with the calendar. The leaves on the trees are the brilliant green, the kind of color you only see during the […]

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Backpacking Camp Shoes

At the end of a long day on the trail, there is nothing better than shucking the heavy boots and rewarding your tender tootsies with the comfort of a camp shoe. Hiking boots are important for providing support when carrying a heavy backpack, but they’re not necessary at the end of the day. Sandals, or […]

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Backpacking Checklist

There’s nothing worse than getting ready to set up camp and realising that you’ve forgotten the tent pole bag or the fuel canister or your sleeping pad or the camera (when wildlife walks through your campsite). Keep life simple with a checklist and you’ll never have to spend a night huddled under a tarp, eating […]

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Tips for new hikers and old pros

“What is a fleece?”  The question caught me off-guard for a moment.  We’d been discussing what clothes to pack for an afternoon scramble up to a mountain pass.  My daughter’s friend wasn’t familiar with the term we used to refer to the fleece pile jackets we always pack as a warm layer along with our […]

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Planning an Overseas Hiking Trip

In less than two months we’ll be taking to the trails in Tuscany, strolling the Sentiero Azzurro along the Italian Mediterranean, and cruising with the crowds up to the rim of Vesuvius. Exploring any new outdoor landscape means research and planning. We started by choosing the right time of the year – avoiding winter when […]

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Personal First Aid Kits

Nobody plans to have an accident, but everyone should plan to carry a personal first aid kit when hiking, backpacking or backcountry skiing– because you just never know what might happen. We were hiking in a remote canyon in Utah one spring and decided to explore a ruin set up on a narrow, 5-6 foot […]

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Mid-winter Outdoor Getaway

I love winter – I really do. But I also love taking a week or so off in February to refresh my passion for the season; knowing without a doubt that all of the winter outdoor activities – from skiing to ice climbing  to snowshoeing – will still be there when I get back. One […]

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