Just to manage expectations – if you want detailed instructions on how to make and light a campfire mosey on over to YouTube – there are hundreds of videos that’ll give you ideas. Here I’m just going to chat about fire lighters, share some fire making tips, and mention the tools we use when car […]
My new everyday carry knife / multi tool. It weighs less than my Milwaukee Fastback or Swiss Navy knife. It has a carabiner and pocket clip – which was a must have for me. The tools include pliers, side cutters, screwdriver (Phillips and flat bits) and, of course, a bottle opener. The only tools I […]
In 2016 we took a serious look at why we weren’t getting out backpacking as much as we’d like. Work was one of the major obstacles, but we also identified several gear issues that caused problems. One of those ‘pinch points’ was our cooking system. We wanted something lighter, smaller and simpler. I love both […]
Back in 2010 our outdoor recreation goals very quickly evolved. Within three months of our first weekend camping trip we’d bought kayaks to get out on the lakes, and in less than six months we went from car camping to backpacking and hiking. From the start we had difficulty finding campgrounds and sites as they […]
We went eclipse backpacking on the Ozark Trail. The eclipse was more popular than I anticipated. My plan had been to wait until seven days before the event and pick a destination. I picked seven days because the weather forecast would be more reliable. Unfortunately, waiting that late meant that everything was already booked (and […]
The next couple of months are going to be very busy for us, and opportunities for getting out hiking or backpacking will be limited. The prospect of a spell of warm Ozarks winter weather gave us a chance to squeeze in a midweek backpacking trip. We rearranged our work schedules and took off to Hercules […]
We love campsites with spectacular views, who doesn’t? We hoped we’d managed to find a fantastic camping spot on top of a set of 260 ft. high bluffs overlooking Beaver Creek, in Hercules Glades Wilderness, we just needed to get there and check it out.
The trails of the Ozarks are very rugged, fairly remote and access for any rescue party will be difficult. Our worst case scenario is that one of us will suffer a fall and become incapacitated.
If the worst happens we assume that there will be no cell phone service, and that any rescue attempt will likely take a day or more. So even on a short day hike our emergency kit is designed to enable us to survive overnight in the wilderness.
Located in Barry County Missouri, the Pineview (Tower) Trailhead is 5.5 miles west of Cape Fair on Highway 76 off Farm road 2150, and around 4.5 miles on Highway 76 from Highway 39. See Getting To Piney Creek.
Bell Mountain Wilderness is in Iron County Missouri, around 30 miles south of Potosi. Bell mountain is an 11 or so mile loop depending on the trail head you start from. Bell Mountain is 1702 ft. and offers superb views to the east and of the 600 ft. drop into the very steep valley of Shut-in Creek.
Eager to find a new sort of ground to cover, we turned our attention to the St. Francois Mountain area for our Spring Break trip. The St. Francois Mountains are an ancient granite mountain range that stands, literally, as an island in the limestone and dolomite former sea beds that are the Ozarks Plateau.
Taking advantage of a long weekend, we took Lanie with us on a three day backpacking trip to Hercules Glades. Our plan was to map some of the western trails with the GPS, try to find the Spring we think Rock Spring Trail is named after, and show Lanie the falls.
Not one of our usual hiking destinations. In the summer of 2011 we took a trip to the UK to see relatives. A visit to Gary’s uncle living near Glasgow gave us an opportunity for some hiking, backpacking and car camping in Scotland. Very different from the Ozarks…
If one thing is likely to start a passionate gear discussion, it’s hiking and backpacking footwear. I’m in a minority on this subject and I know it. Why? If you look closely at any of our backpacking or hiking pictures, you’ll see I’m almost always apparently barefoot…
With a couple of spare days I decided to fit in a quick solo backpacking trip. To save on gas I stayed close to Springfield, backpacking around Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area. I found a second cemetery and an abandoned vehicle I didn’t know were there.
School’s out for the summer, so there’s no school run to worry about. Lanie’s staying with her grandparents for a few days. The big kids are old enough to be left home alone. What better opportunity to get in a few days backpacking?