Keeping clean while hiking or backpacking is an oxymoron in my book. Nature is all about dirt, and working up a sweat comes with the first steep hill you have to climb. The squeamish and easily frightened should probably stop reading at this point. Backpacking is perhaps not for you. Six-minute read
My trip had been dogged by a series of stupid mistakes. My last mistake could easily have been fatal, but as is usually the case when I do something stupid, I was lucky and got away with it. Until possibly one day I won’t. Five-minute read, 3 pictures
On this trip I was trying out my new backpacking clothing options, and while I was checking how well my choices were working, I was slow to make changes when things weren’t. And that was a problem. Three-minute read
No, I’m not referring to COVID-19, though that has thrown a monkey wrench into my backpacking and hiking plans. I’m going to briefly talk about what I’ve been doing on the trails, plus some life and gear changes.
Two nights and a superb sunrise on the Bell Mountain Trail – Many years ago I read about hammock camping on Bell Mountain and the beautiful dawn vistas to be had looking out over Shut-in Creek. Ever since I read that article I’ve wanted to camp there and watch the dawn. Trip write-up: 12-minute read. 38 pictures.
February 2020, Big Piney Trail, Paddy Creek Wilderness – It was time for me to get out and clock up a few more miles. We first planned to visit Paddy Creek Wilderness in late December 2011, but with high winds in the forecast, we decided to go to Piney Creek instead. Somehow Paddy Creek Wilderness never featured in our plans after then. Now was a good time to put that right. Trip write-up: 24-minute read. 69 pictures
After a seven-month break, I’m finally back on the trail with my last hike of 2019. This is going to be a shake-down hike, with lots of new gear to check and test, plus I need to get back into the swing of hiking and camping.
Despite my best intentions, I’ve been too busy to get out on the trails since my last trip in March. This weekend I decided to fix that with three days hiking at Hercules Glades. My plan was to catch a sunset from the bluffs and do some exploring down Long Creek. Things didn’t quite end up how I’d planned though.
After many years of backpacking I’ve finally come up with a water filtering solution that I like. It’s only taken me eight years! We started off with the MRI Sweet Water. Oh how I hated pumping it. Then we had the Sawyer Mini, which was so frustratingly slow.
My GPS broke when I was backpacking recently, and then I had a disastrous trip where at one point I lamented not having a decent compass. It was time to engage in one of my favorite non-hiking pastimes. Research and shopping.
After my earlier ill-fated trip to Devil’s Backbone Wilderness I was eager to go back and complete the hike. I also wanted to get out and try to meet my goal of two nights and 20 miles backpacking per month. To do this my “Four days, three nights, and two wildernesses” trip was conceived.
There is no one quite as lost as the person who is mistakenly convinced that they know exactly where they are. There was a predicted break in the weather before this year’s polar vortex was due to descend again upon the Ozarks. The temps were going to be reasonable, and there would be sunshine. I decided to venture a bit further afield for three days solo backpacking at the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness, near Dora, Missouri. It ended up in a bit of a mess.
Three Days Solo Backpacking in Late January – The weather had turned warm, and the recent snow had disappeared, so I headed off to Hercules Glades with the intention of spending some more time contemplating Life, The Universe, and Everything.
Back at the beginning of 2018 the majority of the trails at Hercules Glades were renamed. The more I think about it, the more I am coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t a good idea. There are lots of maps, videos, and references online that use the original names. Sooner or later some confusion is bound to arise.