Category Archives: Backpacking

2015 Goals

I’m a couple of days late for a New Years post but since I’m not one to make new years resolutions I think I’m fine. This post is all about trips that I would like to complete this year. Some are simply experiencing a new bike trail while others are more involved such as a week-long kayaking trip. This is a list of what I would like to do and if this year is like past years then the list will be longer than what I have the time or funds to complete, I’ll therefore try to keep it short.


  • Complete the Georgia section of the AT by hiking from Neal’s Gap to Amicalola Falls State Park.
  • Backpack the Allegheny Front Trail.
  • Do more short weekend trips including one winter trip.


  • Ride the bike path at Oil Creek State Park.
  • Bike all or a portion of the Western Reserve Greenway.


  • A friend and I are informally discussing a trip on the Muskingum River from the Tuscarora River to the Ohio River.
  • Complete the Grand River from the headwaters to Lake Erie.
  • If the Muskingum River trip falls through them something on the Allegheny River.


Overall I would like to get out more this year and I’m setting a goal of 52 hikes or activities of one hour or more per year, similar to the few I have posted here.  A three-day trip will count as one activity, not three.  I’ve never tracked or counted my activities in the past so I’m not sure if 52 is more or less than typical. I know that some portions of the year I get multiple in a week but others times no activities. I will track these somehow on the blog.

Speaking of the blog, my intent is to continue posting information and addition useful how-to posts. I enjoy it and I’m starting to see an increase in legitimate visitors but most page views are still spam.

– Jeff

The Allegheny Reservoir near Pollys Run.
The Allegheny Reservoir near Pollys Run.

Backpacking in Barefoot Shoes

I could regurgitate all the benefits of barefoot shoes that you can find in hundreds of locations around the web but there’s little information about hiking and backpacking in barefoot shoes. Barefoot shoe wearers are a small group and therefore those that backpack in that group would be a very tiny group. I will include a couple of links to other like-minded individuals at the bottom of this article.

What are Barefoot Shoes

As I mentioned in my Cypher Glove review, I have been wearing barefoot shoes for just about two years and that includes when backpacking and Continue reading Backpacking in Barefoot Shoes

My Experience with Stoveless Backpacking

I wrote in this article about my desire to try stoveless backpacking on my Appalachian Trail section hike.  Now that the hike has completed I thought I would capture a few additional thoughts.

Why did I want to try going without a stove on this backpacking trip?

When looking at traditional freeze dried foods Continue reading My Experience with Stoveless Backpacking

Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Deep Gap, NC to Neels Gap, GA

Distance: 57.3 miles
Route: Appalachian Trail Southbound
Scenery: Average to exceptional at vistas
Water: Plentiful but a few spots were just a small trickle
Campsites: Numerous plus shelters every 8 to 10 miles
Navigation: Well defined tread, white blazes

At 6:50 AM as we arrived at Deep Gap NC.  It was still dark and according to the car’s thermometer the temperature was 28 degrees.  We donned our packs and headlamps heading south down the Appalachian trail towards Springer Mountain and Amicalola Falls State Park 90 some miles away.  This was my original destination that would allow me to complete the entire Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail in 8 days, unfortunately hikes do not always go as planned. Continue reading Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Deep Gap, NC to Neels Gap, GA

Probars and Stoveless Backpacking

I have tried going without a stove on a few backpacking trips and except for a quick overnight trip I have not been happy with the results.  Longer trips usually involve some sort of protein or meal replacement bar.  For those who have never eaten one they are usually Continue reading Probars and Stoveless Backpacking

Backpacking Otter Creek Wilderness

Distance: Day 1: 6.4 miles,  Day 2: 6.8 miles
Route: Day 1: Forest Road, Big Springs Gap, Otter Creek, Day 2: Moore Run, Turkey Run
Scenery: Average to exceptional, depending on trail
Water: Everywhere on Otter Creek and at Moore Run crossing Day 2
Campsites: At all trail junctions
Navigation: Well defined tread, not blazed, cairns at most trail intersections and fords

This July 4th weekend my oldest daughter and I backpacked the Otter Creek Wilderness located in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.  We chose a modest loop taking the Big Springs Gap trail to the Otter Creek Trail to the Moore Run trail and finally the Turkey Run Trail.  This loop clocks on my GPS at Continue reading Backpacking Otter Creek Wilderness