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Wake up with the sun. Go to sleep when it gets dark. Walk, listen and observe in between. The Hiking Life.

Bandana close up Multi-purpose Backpacking Gear Thursday, January 29th, 2015 - “If you can’t ride two horses at once you shouldn’t be in the circus.” - James Maxton (1885-1946) Items that can fulfill more than one purpose are a great way of decreasing your base weight, as well as simplifying your packing list.  … Continue reading
img_5570 Hiking solo or in a group? Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 - “Never walk alone” is a common refrain heard from Park Rangers, Liverpool football (soccer) fans and Rodgers and Hammerstein aficionados the world over.  In so much as it relates to hiking, it can be considered sound advice for beginners and/or experienced … Continue reading
Sunrise over Annapurna Sanctuary Why I Rarely Miss a Sunrise Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 - Missing a sunrise whilst out in the wilderness, is the backcountry equivalent of listening to Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water without catching the introductory guitar riff. Here are five reasons why I’m always up before the sun: 1.  I’ve never … Continue reading
2010exodus1 How to Load a Backpack Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 - A well loaded pack can mean the difference between being comfortable and uncomfortable out on the trail. It is one of the simpler backpacking skills to learn, yet it seems to be a process that many hikers overlook. There is such … Continue reading
MLD Burn Larrapinta Why Choose a Frameless Backpack? Monday, January 12th, 2015 - When it comes to backpacks, since 2007 my preference has been for frameless models. The reasons are as follows: 1.  SIMPLICITY:  Frameless packs generally have simpler designs. Less zippers, less compartments, less straps, less that can break, rip or go wrong. 2. … Continue reading
Macchu Piccu My “Wild” Gear List: What I carried in 1996 Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 - With all the hullabaloo in the hiking community about Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, I couldn’t resist sneaking in at least one post with “Wild” in the title. Truth be told, this list is just a fun exercise to see how much my … Continue reading
Best of Facey Huayhuash The Best of 2014 – A Photographic Retrospective Monday, January 5th, 2015 - Another great year on the hiking front has come and gone. Enjoyable shorter trips with friends, mixed together with memorable solo journeys. A fusion of coastal, desert and alpine environments. Below are twenty photos from my five favourite trips of … Continue reading
IMG_1954 A Peruvian Shepherd in Montana Monday, December 29th, 2014 - The following meeting took place during my Continental Divide Trail hike of 2012: As I descended towards Morrison Lake, I was approached by a latino man on horseback. He greeted me with an enthusiastic, “Hola Amigo!” Much to his surprise, I responded in Spanish. … Continue reading
P1010705 Cordillera Blanca Traverse – Stage 4 – The End? Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 - Distance: 48 miles (77km) Time: 3 days (September 4 – 6) Start: Lake Queracocha Finish: Pastoruri Glacier Maps: I used two mapsets during the Cordillera Blanca Traverse (CBT): Alpenvereinskarte (German Alpine Club): Consists of two 1:100,000 maps that cover the … Continue reading
Jackie+Matt+2 Yogi’s Books Monday, December 22nd, 2014 - For folks thinking about hiking the Pacific Crest and/or Continental Divide Trail, Yogi’s Books represent an excellent all-around source of information. Jackie McDonnell (Yogi) and Matt Signore (Worldwide) have put together comprehensive planning guides that include gear suggestions, desert & snow … Continue reading
Gobi Desert 2, Mongolia, 2009 What should I do when water sources are dry? Thursday, December 18th, 2014 - Last week I received an email from a young couple who are hoping to do the Arizona Trail next year. Hailing from the UK, where dry water sources are about as common as ice cream trucks in the Gobi desert, … Continue reading
P1010560 Cordillera Blanca Traverse – Stage 3 – Pitec to Chavin Thursday, December 18th, 2014 -  Distance: 46 miles (74 km) Time: 3 days Start:  Pitec Finish: Chavin Maps: I used two mapsets during the Cordillera Blanca Traverse (CBT): Alpenvereinskarte (German Alpine Club): Consists of two 1:100,000 maps that cover the entire range - 0/3a Cordillera … Continue reading
Katabatic Palisade copy Sleeping Bags Vs Quilts Monday, December 15th, 2014 - “I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know.” - Ernest Hemingway Perhaps the most beloved item in a backpacker’s kit. After a long day on the trail, there aren’t too many things … Continue reading
mags_aboutme Quick & Dirty Guides to the Triple Crown Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 - With the popularity of the Triple Crown increasing, the amount of information on the internet regarding the three long distance trails is staggering. Some of it is good; some of it not so much. That being the case, how does one separate … Continue reading
20120715-052131 PCT & CDT Gear List Monday, December 8th, 2014 - Here is the gear list from my 2012 thru hikes of the PCT and CDT. I carried the same gear for both hikes. I began the Pacific Crest Trail northbound on May 6 and finished the Continental Divide Trail southbound … Continue reading
img_0538 10 Tips for Hiking Downhill Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - Hiking downhill is often taken for granted. In the minds of some it represents the equivalent of “backcountry gravy“; the reward that follows the exertion of a long, challenging ascent. Yet hiking downhill takes its toll. Twists, slips and tumbles … Continue reading
p1200188 Backpacking Gear Philosophy Thursday, November 20th, 2014 - I view backpacking equipment as a means to an end. And that end is to have the safest, most enjoyable experience I possibly can whilst out in the wilderness. With that philosophy in mind, I look for five basic attributes in … Continue reading
P1010684 DriDucks Rain Jacket Review Monday, November 17th, 2014 - The perfect rain jacket is waterproof, breathable, lightweight, durable and affordable. Unfortunately it doesn’t exist. Sorry. Choosing a rain jacket basically comes down to two main criteria: Suitability for the conditions into which you are venturing. Something that is in … Continue reading
Going Light in peru Cordillera Blanca Traverse (CBT) Gear List | Peru, 2014 Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 - I hiked the CBT in August/September, which is “dry” season in the Central Andes of South America. It is also winter, however, due to the fact that the Cordillera Blanca is situated so close to the equator, temperature fluctuations are relatively … Continue reading
P1010250 Cordillera Blanca Traverse – Stage 2 – The Polish Ghost Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 - Distance: 65 miles (105 km) Time: 5 days (including a rest day in Huaraz) Start: Pompey Returned to the CBT via a colectivo minibus from the town of Chacas. Finish: Pitec. From Pitec, I got a 1 hr ride down the … Continue reading