Backpacking Alaska’s Chugach State Park

Like most plans, this year’s backpacking trip didn’t quite come to fruition as anticipated. This trip was motivated by a combo of wanting to visit our friend, Claire, in Anchorage and see some glaciers before they melt. I scoured a map of Chugach State Park, the fourth largest in the United States, and found aContinue reading “Backpacking Alaska’s Chugach State Park”

Paddling Minnesota’s Snake River: In Four Parts

Located in eastern central Minnesota, the Snake River flows largely south from McGrath to Mora before turning east and winding its way to the Saint Croix River. The watershed to the north flows into Lake Superior, but the water on the Snake will eventually make its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Spanning nine years,Continue reading “Paddling Minnesota’s Snake River: In Four Parts”

Canoeing the Big Fork Plus a Little

In pursuit of the Minnesota Water Trails, initially Erik and I planned to canoe the Red Lake River to the Red River to the Canadian Border with my mom providing a shuttle. Mother Nature had other plans with the flooded Red River creating what looked like a giant lake between Grand Forks north to theContinue reading “Canoeing the Big Fork Plus a Little”

The Nevada High Point and Backpacking Southern Yosemite

My motivation for this trip was to bag the Nevada high point, Boundary Peak. As with Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, I combined this with a medical conference just south of Yosemite. After our Wind River Range trip this summer, I realized our itinerary, including a four-day-65-mile-16,000-foot elevation change backpacking loop based out of Luken’sContinue reading “The Nevada High Point and Backpacking Southern Yosemite”

The Great North Wind River Range Backpacking Loop + Tourist Creek

Wherever we go backpacking, we always try to do loop routes. Apparently, as was true on our Beartooths trip in 2017, and now on our North Wind River Range trip, the trails don’t always connect into a circle and often skirt the most majestic mountains and instead stick to lower passes and valleys. Enter off-trailContinue reading “The Great North Wind River Range Backpacking Loop + Tourist Creek”

A Pandemic-Inspired Central Minnesota Canoe Adventure

As we paddle all the designated Minnesota water trails, Erik is often intrigued by the non-designated waterways and in particular, loop connections. He found such a one, the Rabbit River, that almost forms a connection with the Mississippi between highway 6 and Riverton. And so an adventure was born. In addition, we’d take almost aContinue reading “A Pandemic-Inspired Central Minnesota Canoe Adventure”

Ultra-light Backcountry Camping Gear: The Small Stuff

In this final of four gear posts, I’ll discuss all the small stuff. Although the list is long, we bring small quantities and so all these things don’t take up much space. Camping Essentials Extra Supplies (weight w/ First Aid Kit) map in waterproof container 108 g rope (thin spectra or dyneema) compass/GPS/phone/camera 179 gContinue reading “Ultra-light Backcountry Camping Gear: The Small Stuff”

Ultra-light Backcountry Camping Gear: Food

This post is all about geeking out on calorie to weight ratios. The goal is to pack as many calories into as light and dense an area as possible. I’ll start with food accessories and then go to the actual food we bring backpacking- both intended for two people out for seven days without re-supply.Continue reading “Ultra-light Backcountry Camping Gear: Food”

Ultra-light Backcountry Gear: Clothing

Unlike my first gear post, this one will follow a different format. Given we practice ultra-light backpacking, this requires justification for every clothing item because every ounce counts. Also, unlike a tent and sleeping pad, most of my backpacking clothes include race swag and even school clothes! Keep in mind the goal of ultra-light backpackingContinue reading “Ultra-light Backcountry Gear: Clothing”

Ultra-light Backcountry Gear: The Basics

My next four posts are going to focus on the backcountry gear we use for our adventures. “The Basics” include tent, sleeping pad, sleeping quilt, and backpack. In general, I’m of the belief that ultra-light backcountry gear shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. “The Basics” gear is the one caveat to this. So ifContinue reading “Ultra-light Backcountry Gear: The Basics”