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5 day backpack

Backpacking in France Gear List

This 3 season gear list setup is for small to longer hikes anywhere in France in moderate altitude mountains and backcountry. It works well for daytime temperatures ranging from 40 to 80 degrees. Overnight temperatures can be between 30 and 45 degrees. I’ve been using it comfortably for about three years in various conditions and […]

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Arizona Trail Day

Arizona Trail Day Events

Along the Arizona Trail are 33 Gateway Communities, each with their own unique character and charm. Towns that welcome Arizona Trail users and offer a place for rest, food and resupply. The Arizona Trail Association currently holds six Trail Day events a year throughout the state. This year we started with the Legends of Superior […]

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Trans Adirondack Route

Hiking the Trans Adirondack Route

Long-distance hikers are seeking tierra nueva: something beyond the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, Long Trail, and other long-distance venues that may have had their wilderness experiences degraded.  The “new land” these hikers seek can be found in Upstate New York, a place where long-distance hiking is not even a blip on the radar.  Less […]

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backpack for kids

Backpacking the Trail with Kids

Our youth live in a world of digital distraction. When they are not busy completing increasing amounts of homework and being shuttled to and fro from various extracurricular activities, they are watching television, texting friends, gaming, or updating their social media accounts. Gone are the days when kids went outside after school and didn’t come […]

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mt whitney

Hiking is Mental: Things Learned

You will get wet. You will get hangry. You will wonder why you are trudging uphill when everyone else is at brunch. You will trip, sometimes rather dramatically. You will pick yourself up. You will see things that few others will. You will stand on top of mountains, in the middle of deep valleys, in […]

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gossamer gear kumo

Thru Hiker Review: The Kumo Backpack

I remember the first time I met Dirtmonger last summer, 2014.  I was roughly half way through my hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, in Northern California.  He was sporting a Kumo Superlight, and it looked as if it were just a day pack on him.  I was with my good friend, Not-a-Chance, and she […]

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Contingency Planning for Long Distance Hikes

Spend any significant time backpacking, and you’re going to have something go wrong. Usually they are pretty small things that are more an annoyance than a major problem – the air mattress springs a slow leak, the headlamp gets turned on in the pack and runs the batteries down, or you forgot your spoon. As […]

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3 Thru-hikes You Don’t Have to Quit Your Job For

In my twenties and thirties, I was single and unencumbered. My life consisted of working, saving money, and taking a long hike. I walked the length of the long green tunnel, traversed the crest and followed the great divide. My life consisted of wonderful memories, experiences and moments made over the years. Then my priorities […]

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