The following originally appeared August 15, 2018. We run it again because it’s a good reminder — to us especially — to always pay attention, to never get cocky out there, and that, nature is always in charge.
You learn a lot while backpacking, especially about yourself. I’m pretty sure the nine backpackers I spent this past weekend with in Linville Gorge know a lot more about themselves today than they did before our trip.read more
You like the idea of hiking solo, but the thought of being alone in woods makes you uneasy, at best.
Most of us hike in the protective bubble of a group, and that’s a good thing. You have people around should anything happen: a twisted ankle, overheating, you emerge from deep conversation to discover you have no idea where you are. Critters, including the few potentially harmful ones, are more likely to scatter when they hear a group approach. Strangers present less of a danger when you’re in a group. And there’s the social element.read more
We love spring. It’s a time of rebirth, of action after a winter, for many, of inactivity. Warming temperatures and a natural world come back to life put us in a mind to do the same.
One way to make that happen? Become a hiker.
OK, maybe you have hiked. Maybe a friend convinced you to go for a short hike last year. Maybe you even did a New Year’s Day hike. We’re not talking about sampling the product. We’re talking about becoming an avid, hiking-boot-owning, guide-book-wielding, join-the-American-Hiking-Society hiker. A bonafide hiker.read more
This morning I set out with a couple of buddies on one of their regular adventures and was reminded of a column I wrote a couple years back about free soloist Alex Honnold. Honnold is known as the climber who eschews ropes and other protection — “free soloing,” it’s called in climbing circles.read more
We had just crawled into our tents Friday night when the rain started: a gentle patter at first, the kind known for lulling you to sleep. Then it got down to business.
I drifted off to sleep realizing that the weekend of cavorting in the pools and cascades of Wilson Creek that we had planned might not come to pass. We’d been waiting weeks, in 90-degree-plus weather, for the chance to jump into these chill mountain pools, then sun off on the adjoining granite slabs, and repeat. Oh well, I thought, good thing we have a Plan B.read more