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A New Shoe for the Trail: the Astral Aquanaut

In September Sunshine and I took a week-long backpacking trip in Glacier National Park. She’d visited the Park numerous times when she lived in Missoula, Montana after her second thru-hike on the A.T.. This was my first time in Glacier (and in Montana for that matter), and I was excited to see a new part […]

My Kit

Thru-hikers are (generally speaking) fascinated by gear. Equipment is far from the most important element in helping you complete a thru-hike (tenacity, love of nature, patience and endurance all factor in far above that), but it can go a long ways towards making you safer, more comfortable, and healthier while backpacking. Gear and equipment might […]

My partners in the hike…

I have a few select partners who are supporting me on this journey. As opportunity presents itself, I will offer reviews and insight for the gear I’m using on the AT. I don’t pretend to impartiality–I’m just thankful to work with outdoor gear makers who I believe in and rely on. These articles are offered […]

Gear Spotlight: Choosing a Backpack

There are many, many varieties of backpack out there, all different types of sizes, styles, and yes, colors. This video is our attempt to break down three levels of backpack that would be appropriate to take on a thru-hike. We also highlight some of the features specific to the Osprey line of pack (our partner […]

The Astral Brewer

The Brewer is a shoe that was developed for kayaking and other water sports. It has a sticky rubber sole (5.10 Stealth Rubber, the best for traction on slick rock), and it’s built of lightweight, durable materials that drain water and dry quickly. For me, these shoes were a perfect solution to my search for […]

Tarp Tent Stratospire 1

In selecting a shelter to carry with me on the trail, here’s what I had on my mind: 1. Weight — It needed to be light to offset the extra load of camera gear I was carrying. 2. Roomy — I like to spread out, especially on long rainy days when I decide to sleep […]

Dirty Girl Gaiters

In mid-winter I wore thick, water-proof gaiters to keep out the snow and wet. When the weather warmed, however, I wanted a lightweight/breathable option to keep the twigs and rocks out of my shoes. An extensive search led me to Dirty Girl Gaiters, a cottage industry run out of Arizona by long distance runner Xy […]

The Vasque Snow Junkie

This is the boot I used during the worst of the winter weather. The waterproof liner was really put to the test in the Smokies as we hiked through one day of knee-deep snow drifts followed by a day of cold rain that turned the trail into a creek bed. At the end of day […]