Due to our work schedules, neither of us spent as much time outdoors as we would have liked. Ginger managed four solo trips to Hercules Glades, and I managed a total of six backpacking trips, four of which were to Hercules Glades. The convenience of a one-ish hour drive and prior knowledge of excellent camping spots with water made the glades a good, easy to get to destination.
In all, I managed to hike just eighty-five miles and spend only fifteen nights in my hammock. All of my trips were to places I’ve hiked before, so, no new places to write about here.
Below are links to trip write up’s that have been published on my personal blog if you want to check any of the trips out.
There has been a distinct lack of water available on the trails this year, and the springs and creeks we rely on to top up our water have been drying up. On my last trip of the year, I carried four liters of water to have enough to last me through to a guaranteed water source, and that creek turned out to be just a trickle.
Our gear has remained remarkably stable, with hardly any changes this year. I’ve given up on the titanium wood stove I bought on a whim last year. It has not worked as well as my Firebox Nano stove. I did buy a new camp light, a Black Diamond REMOJI Lantern, which replaced the Nitecore lamp I bought the previous year, which stopped working after just six months of use. The REMOJI lantern has been working very well for me.
And that’s it gear-wise.
Plans for 2023
I’m going to keep the same backpacking goals I’ve had for the past two-three years. Twenty-four nights out and two-hundred and forty miles. To achieve that, I’m going to have to take a lot more of the comp time I end up being owed at work.
I plan on hiking the spur trail linking the North Fork Recreation Area to the Ridge Runner Trail, even if it means bushwhacking the entire way. I also plan on revisiting the Whites Creek Loop in Irish Wilderness. On my first visit in 2021, I cut my stay short by a day. I’d like to spend three nights on the trip and also hike the trail while there are no leaves on the trees so I can actually see some views of the Eleven Point River.
Beyond that, there are horse trails down in Piney Creek Wilderness I’d like to check out, and I’m sure we’ll be back at Hercules Glades several times.
I also fancy going a bit retro with some of my gear, giving my white gas and canister stoves a run-out, and switching back to my Deuter pack for a trip or two, just to see how it works out. We will see.