Podcast: Solo adventure tips and safety

Flowers at White Pine Lake, Utah

After a bit of a break, I’m back up and recording on the podcast. My break is not without cause. Let me share… For the last month, I’ve been eyeballs deep in building my business, Active Explorer Media. Actually, it’s more like formalizing something I’ve been doing for years. In addition to writing, I’m expanding […]






The MHM Fifty-Two 80 Backpack: Bells and whistles galore

MHM harness_adjustment

For this review, I sent the MHM Fifty-Two 80 Backpack out with a tester I knew would work the pack hard over two trips. By the end of the two trips, I had a good review in my inbox, but I couldn’t pry the pack out of his hands. He was determined to use it […]






Staying safe with the ten essentials of hiking

What's in your pack..

With hiking season in full swing, I keep finding myself referring to items you should pack for a hike or other backcountry adventure. The list has been around for a long time, and because my goal is to provide a handy resource for readers, I’m going to re-publish an excellent article by the Mountaineers. They […]






Adventure film review & giveaway: Tell it on the Mountain

PCT MAP

Sometimes the urge to take a long walk in nature is irresistible. For years, I have had a really long walk on my list of things I plan to do, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I’ve picked away at sections, and this was supposed to my summer to do the whole thing, but I embarked on […]






Photo escape: Appalachian Trail Hwy 64 to the NOC

AT at the Jump-up in NC

Whenever I’m going through a tough time, I run for the hills. Literally. Most every major life decision I’ve made happened over the course of a long walk. Nearly three years ago, going through a divorce, I headed off to the Appalachian Trail feeling the need to walk off some heartache. Spring hiking in the […]






Choosing the right size tent

MSR Hubba Hubba

I don’t like elbows in the ribs or being snuggled close by a tent-mate I don’t like that way…. Put simply, packing too many people into a tent is a good way to ruin a camping trip. Manufacturers label with the number of people they will fit – with no room to spare. Why? Tent […]






Five reasons to hike Utah’s Lake Blanche Trail

Taking in the view, all the way to Great Salt Lake

At over 8,800 feet, my lungs were objecting to the continued uphill trek toward Lake Blanche in Utah’s Wasatch Range. Okay, I’ll tell it like it was – I was huffing and puffing like a 3-pack-a-day-smoker. I’d been working out, and did some extensive hiking at altitude over the summer, but none of that helped. […]






Solo Backpacking the Hoover & Yosemite Wilderness

Photo by Laura Manina

This funny and inspiring post written by my adventurous sister is about her first solo backpacking trip through the Hoover and Yosemite wilderness. I loved reading it because I experienced many of the same things on my first solo trip, which you can read about here. Enjoy!     Day 1: Heading Out…Solo It’s the […]






Six fitness tips for adventurers

AT Hike

Are you fit for adventure? Notice I didn’t ask if you look good in a swimsuit. That’s because being fit for adventure isn’t about a perfectly trim figure. It’s about much more. Strength, nutrition and  cardiovascular endurance are all important facets of fitness. The good news, it’s not expensive, complicated or boring. However, it will […]






What’s in my pack: A pair of Holeys clogs

My Holeys hang out on the side of my pack. If I have a small load, I'll put them inside.

There’s a story behind my camp shoes. After backpacking for several days on the Appalachian Trail, my friend and I headed to Damascus, Virginia, also known as Trail Town USA, due to the convergence of four scenic trails: the Appalachian Trail, Trans-America National Bicycle Trail, The Iron Mountain Trail, and the Virginia Creeper Trail. Damascus […]