Ultralight Backpacking Gear

Eric the Black's Backpacking BlogAlthough I do a lot of hiking and backpacking myself, sometimes it’s nice to hear what other experience hikers have to say about their favorite gear. My husband and I went to the Gardenschwartz Extravaganza here in Durango today to pick up a new tent and sleeping back for him, as well as a new backpacking pack. They have big sales 2 or 3 times a year, so we wait for one to come around to update our gear. [Read more…]

6 Tips for Safer Hiking – Part 2

Part 2 of “6 tips for Safer Hiking” continued here:

4. Pack Food to Sustain Energy

AlmondsEven for a short hike, pack snacks. If you’re anything like me, you never know when your curiosity will get the best of you and send you further and further down the trail, wondering “what’s around the next bend?” or “what’s over that hill?” Nothing is more miserable than knowing you’re an hour or two away from the trailhead and you’re super hungry! Well, except being out of water, but being hungry and far away from food is almost as miserable! I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry I get short-tempered, grumpy, and don’t think very clearly. [Read more…]

6 Tips For Safer Hiking – Part 1

There have been several reports in the news lately of hikers getting lost while exploring a new trail or new area. In each instance, if the hikers had exercised these 6 basic safety tips for hiking, they would have either not gotten lost, or at least been more comfortable while waiting for rescue. These are 6 principles I exercise on EVERY hike, no matter how short, familiar, or close to home. You never know when you’ll roll your ankle, trip over a tree root and break your leg, or take a wrong turn and not know your way back. Follow these 6 tips for a safer hiking experience: [Read more…]

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States, formed 7,000 years ago by the eruption of a volcano. The explosions from the eruption were of such magnitude that the volcano, Mount Mazama, collapsed in on itself leaving behind the massive caldera that now forms Crater Lake. At it’s deepest point the lake is 1,943 feet, and on average is 1,148 feet deep. The caldera that forms the lake and surrounding mountain walls is nearly perfectly symmetrical and over 4,000 feet deep. Craterlake-panorama [Read more…]

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – Minnesota


Boundary Waters Rainy RiverPack your tent and your canoe and head to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota for a long weekend of fishing and exploration. With over 1 million acres of land, more than 1,500 miles of canoe routes mapped, and no roads to cross, it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Outdoorsmen come from all over to fish, hike, and canoe, drawn to the crystalline waters and abundant wildlife. [Read more…]

The Iditarod Race

The Iditarod Race is an annual dog sled competition through Alaska’s last frontier that begins in Anchorage and ends in Nome on the coast of the Bering Sea. Founded in 1973 by Joe Redington, the first Iditarod race took place in 1973 to commemorate and celebrate the legacy of dog sledding in America’s history. We have all heard the story of Balto, the legendary husky who led a sled team across the dangerous and frozen landscape in 1925 to bring medicine to Nome to fight a diptheria outbreak. This is one of the events in our history honored by the Iditarod Race. [Read more…]

Hiking the John Muir Trail

John Muir WildernessThe John Muir Trail is a 221 mile trail through the high Sierra Nevada’s in California, starting in Yosemite National Park in Yosemite Valley and  ending on top of Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet. Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the United States, and throughout the 221 mile trail you will summit and descend several 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks in preparation for this final climb. The trail follows along with the Pacific Crest Trail most of it’s length, and travels through some of the most scenic untainted land in the United States: Yosemite, the John Muir Wilderness, the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Kings Canyon National Park, and finally the Sequoia National Park. [Read more…]

Emerald Lake Hike – Colorado

Emerald LakeThe Emerald Lake hike starts at the Pine River trailhead in Vallecito, Colorado. Stop in to The General Store on your way for locally made beef jerky and last minute supplies. There is a campground at the trailhead if you want to stay the night and get an early start. Emerald Lake is about 13 miles into the Weminuche Wilderness from the trailhead, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea. The first several miles are relatively flat over a well traveled trail. Be aware that hikers must yield to horses (donkeys and alpacas too), of which there are many in the summer and early fall. The grassy pastures through which the Pine River flows and a couple of private ranches will be your view for only the first couple of miles until you reach the wilderness area. The trail here starts to climb slowly. By the time you [Read more…]

Hartman Rocks – Gunnison Colorado – Rocks and Trails

Hartman Rocks in Gunnison, Colorado offer the sagebrush biker a huge variety of trails and vistas.

The vistas here won’t compare to the contrasting red rocks and blue sky in Moab, but the rolling mountains, sagebrush meadows and valley views are beautiful in their own right.

[Read more…]

Moab Utah Mountain Biking – 40 Trails to Choose

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, near Moab Utah - image by Thomas Schoch.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Moab, Utah. Image by Thomas Schoch

Known as the mountain biking capital of the world, Moab, Utah has some of the best mountain bike trails you can find.
[Read more…]