Campfire Chat

New Trail Names at Hercules Glades

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.

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C’mon Baby Light My Fire (or, How Do You Light Your Campfire?)

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 […]

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Gear Review: Backpacking Cooking System: 2016 – To date

Photograph of a Trangia stove fitted into a lightweight aluminium pot stand

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 the cooking system we used when backpacking. We wanted something lighter, smaller and […]

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How did we get here, and where are we headed?

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 […]

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Trip Report: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Backpacking

Photograph of the 2017 total solar eclipse seen through the trees of the Mark Twain National Forest near the Berryman / Ozark trail in MIssouri

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 […]

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A short hike and some hammock gear testing

The weather this weekend has been wonderful (especially considering it is still February). However, we’ve not had a chance to get away backpacking as we had commitments in town on Saturday. Today we went on a short hike at Busiek, hiking a little over three miles with around 700ft of elevation climbed.  Remaining true to our recent experiences, […]

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Pinch Points – Reviewing our ‘Problem’ Backpacking & Camping Gear

When we stopped hiking / backpacking, we didn’t mean to. It started with a family wedding that coincided with our annual spring break trip, then work got busy, and all of a sudden years had passed. We tried to get out last year. We managed three short day hikes. In marketing you look to removing […]

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If wishes were ponies

I’d have a whole lot of pack horses by now. This time last year (2015) we thought we were getting back into our hiking / backpacking stride, and we lost it. After about three hikes we stopped. Lots of work came in and we both spent most of the year tied to our desks and […]

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Late Afternoon Paddle on the James River Above Lake Springfield

paddling on the James Rive in the late afternoon

I decided to ignore the temperatures in the high nineties and take the kayaks and our youngest daughter out for a short run on the James River. The plan was to put in at the Southwood Access point, go up river and drop back down-river and take-out at Lake Springfield.

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