Over the last two years I have had the pleasure of hiking and hosting with Hudson Valley Hikers. Among my friends at HVH are some of the kindest, most helpful, ambitious, knowledgeable and exciting people I have ever met. Powered by HVH, I climbed dozens of the Northeasts toughest mountains, hiked more than 500 miles of the Appalachian trail, tubed down raging rivers, drank beer I’d never heard of, and been introduced to thoughts and ideas that are totally new to me. This is the story about how a group of hikers has changed my life and how it might change yours. Continue reading
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
Last week I shared a list of simple tips for keeping warm while camping. A friend of mine had a bunch of questions, which led to a conversation about how outdoor gear keeps you warm. In order to understand how to pick the best gear for staying warm, we have to answer a question: how do we get cold? This post discusses just that: The Science of Cold. Continue reading
My friends know that I’m not a fan of numbered lists. I don’t think simple lists of tricks are conducive to real learning. If you want to be comfortable and safe in the wilderness, you need to do two thing: READ and PRACTICE. Practicing is fun, but reading is a lost art. Most people these days don’t have the patience to read more than a simple bulleted list. Real knowledge comes from reading volumes of information and then applying that information to life. Alas, it’s Friday. Enjoy this list!
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