When heading out into the wilderness, one must always plan ahead, study the route and weather predictions, carry the correct gear, and have a back-up plan. Perhaps these rules are never more true than when winter backpacking. Knowing your the route, the weather, the abilities of your crew, how to properly use your gear and having some survival skills make a fun time out of a potentially dangerous situation. Continue reading
I first became interested in backpacking in the early summer of 2012. Not really knowing where to begin, I subscribed to Backpacker Magazine on my iPad. I started reading through as many back issues as I could. I came across an article titled “America’s Best Campsites.” Each site came with a stunning photo and a glowing review. Most seemed pretty hard to get to, requiring a long or difficult hike. One in particular stuck out: Great Sand Dunes National Park. Continue reading
On Christmas Day, my friend called me and asked if I wanted to go camping. Of course I did! Christmas was on Thursday, so we planned on a quick one-night outing to Harriman State Park for Friday evening. I had recently been to the Fingerboard Shelter and thought it would be nice to head back. I packed up my gear that night, and we were on the road shortly after noon the next day. Continue reading
In the first installment of this series, I discussed the events that led me to ditch my tent in favor of sleeping under a backpacking tarp. In Part 2 I talked about buying that first tarp, what it was like to sleep under it, and some of the advantages it had over a tent. In the most recent chapter, I explained my rationale for making my own tarp, and some of the considerations that went into its design. Continue reading
If you go hiking or camping in Western New Jersey often enough, you’ll probably see a bear. New Jersey is home to approximately 3500 American Black Bears, mostly living in the Kittatinny region. This area provides bears with an abundance of convenient food, including unprotected dumpsters in camps and population centers. Continue reading
In the summer of 2013, three of my sisters and I spent a week hiking the New Jersey section of the Appalachian Trail. We took it slow, averaging just under 10 miles per day. Though the weather was hot and the bugs were biting, we had a great time. We decided that one of our goals over the next few years would be to hike the New York section, even if we had to do it weekend-by-weekend. My sister CampingMeg and I finally put ourselves to the task of some winter backpacking over Thanksgiving weekend in 2014. We planned for several weeks, and then it snowed. A lot.