What’s in my pack? A K-mart grease pot

K-mart Grease Pot

This is a new series where I will discuss one item I carry either in my backpack, day-pack or camera bag, as well as one I don’t. I came up with the idea after being asked repeatedly what I carry. What items are “must haves” is very individual, so these are just my preferences. Perhaps […]






Cold Spring Shelter on the Appalachian Trail

A misty day at Cold Spring Shelter

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is supported by a series of shelters which provide a convenient alternative to pitching a tent. Some are nicer than others. Cold Spring is best described as “historic” and it has a good dose of character. The walls are embellished with years of graffiti, the roof has a few drips, and […]






Book review: Becoming Odyssa, Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

Becoming Odyssa

  This is the first book review on The Active Explorer, and I couldn’t have had an easier one to write — I absolutely loved this book!  ~ Erika   I felt brave the first time I stepped onto the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) solo. Let’s face it — it’s different for a chick on the […]






Backpacking logistics part 2: Planning and resupply

AT Standing Indian to 64-2

Planning a backpacking trip can be confusing… How many miles should you plan to hike each day? How will you re-supply food and fuel? These questions are interrelated and can be tough to answer if you haven’t had much experience with backpacking or adventure travel. Daily mileage impacts food planning, but as a new backpacker […]






Backpacking and hiking logistics, part 1: Transportation

RoadRunner Driving Service

“You wanna go where lady?” Is what I expected on the other end of the phone-line when I started calling around for a ride to the trailhead while planning to backpack a section of the AT. Instead, the reply was, “Sure! I drive backpackers up there all the time.” My adventure planning was off to […]