Tag Archives: Blogging

The Sawyer Squeeze

“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.”
-Kevin R. Stone

With the many developments that have occurred with water filtration over the last several years, I decided it would probably be a good idea to do some research before I decided on what kind of water filtration system to buy. If you have read my last few posts, you know that I recently had some serious health issues due to being dehydrated. Now I will preach the importance of drinking water every chance you get!

Although it is probably very unusual, I am now planning on carrying my water filtration system with me even on day hikes. We are lucky enough in this part of NY to have many, many hikes that are near decent untreated water sources such as lakes and streams. Am I now going to be paranoid about the amount of water I am carrying even on short hikes? You better believe it!

Soooo….after some serious consideration I decided on the:

Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System

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For $40 on Amazon, I think that the sawyer has to be one of the better water filtration products out there. On the first day of my backpacking trip last week I put the Sawyer to the test and it performed incredibly well. I would say that I filtered between 18 and 20 liters of water quickly and efficiently. Even though the directions on its use are clearly written on the box, I went to You Tube and watched some videos to make sure I was doing it right. The best thing about this system? It’s very easy to use.

I got this information off of Amazon:

  • Made in USA
  • Lightweight, easily portable 0.1 absolute micron hollow fiber membrane inline water filter
  • Highest level of filtration on market — removes greater than 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa
  • Built-in and removable push/pull cap; spray water straight into mouth or bottle from included pouch; attach to standard threaded water bottles
  • Comes with three BPA-free collapsible pouches (16-, 32-, and 64-ounce) that roll up tightly for easy packing; can be resued hundreds of times
  • Backed by manufacturer’s lifetime limited warranty (Independent Testing Laboratory Hydreion, LLC.; Microbiological Report S05-03)

If anyone out there has any experience with other systems, please leave me that information in the comments section.

Happy Hiking!!!

Thinking About Thru Hiking? Here Is A Book You Must Read

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“Obstacles are put in your way to see if what you want is really worth fighting for.”

-Anonymous

“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

-Frank A. Clark

When people start thinking about thru hiking the Appalachian Trail, it is mostly a romantic notion. As you sit on your couch reading book after book and watching the vlogs of thru hikers on YouTube, it doesn’t look that bad. You’re on your own. No work and no job. It’s just you and the trail hiking every day. Right? Not so fast.

I just finished reading Appalachian Trials: The Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking The Appalachian Trail by Zach Davis. A hiker and backpacker himself, the author thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2011, finishing in five months.

I learned very quickly in Marine Corps basic training that the physical part of the training was going to be the easy part. At 18 years old, I had thought that would be the case. It was the mental aspect of what I was doing that, at times, almost spelled doom for me. But I toughed it out.

Zach Davis pretty much makes the same claim. Getting your “trail legs” and being able to hike 15-20 miles becomes manageable as you make your way to Mt. Katahdin. Unfortunately, the stress of the trail, home, and life in general present obstacles that sometimes become too much for people and they get off of the trail.

Zach identfies these issues and addresses them head on. There is no mamby pampy nonsense here. He tells it like it is and by doing this he hopefully will prevent thru hikers from falling prey to quitting because they listen to much to the negative thoughts flowing through their mind.

I took the following from Amazon:

In Appalachian Trials readers will learn:
• Effective goal setting techniques that will assure you reach Mt. Katahdin
• The common early stage pitfalls and how to avoid them
• How to beat “the Virginia Blues”
• The importance of and meaning behind “hiking your own hike”
• 5 strategies for unwavering mental endurance
• The most common mistake made in the final stretch of the trail
• The top method for staving off stress 
• Tips for enjoying rather than enduring each of the five million steps along the journey

Anyone even remotely thinking about thru hiking the AT should read this book at least once. I know that if I find myself ever getting complacent in my thoughts about the AT, I will re-read this book to get myself grounded and back to reality.

Happy Hiking!!!

Another Sunrise…

“Every day is a new day. Don’t live in the past. Enjoy the now and make it count!”

-Unknown

“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.”

-Unknown

I happened to look in the rear view mirror on my way to work this morning and I saw these clouds being bisected by the condensation trail of a jetliner. So of course I had to pull over and take a picture. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me and I had to use my inferior cell phone camera. With that said, the two together with the sun slowly rising made for a beautiful sunrise.

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Rodgers Book Barn in B & W

“Old books exert a strange fascination for me — their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.” 

-Lauren Willig

At least a couple of times a year we head up to Hillsdale, NY to pay a visit to our favorite used bookstore, Rodgers Book Barn. Even though we have been heading north to look for books old and new for over two decades, searching for something to read in this unique little bookstore never gets old!

Over the years I have taken many picture of the Book Barn, but I can’t remember presenting them in B & W. Here are some of the Book Barn itself with a few of the surrounding property.

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Rodgers Book Barn

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The top half of Rodgers Book Barn.

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The Cold After The Storm

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That’s right folks…On Saturday 1/6/18 at just after 7 am, the temperature in Mahopac, NY was -12.  Not believing the car thermostat, I checked two different weather sites and it was confirmed. I don’t think that I need to dwell on just how cold it was with the wind chill! By the way, a week after the snow and cold, it is going to be 50 degrees and raining.

DSTSS

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”

-Arnold Bennett

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” 

-Gail Sheehy

Well folks, another year has come and gone. A new year has just started and that means that it’s another year of trying to achieve balance in our lives. As we all know, things change on a daily basis, every minute of every day. Life literally forces change upon us. When we are confronted with change, at home or at work, a decision has to be made in regards to whether you will accept and embrace (to the best of your ability) what is happening or will you fight it?

I have spent most of my adult life hating change. I would do every thing that I could to fight it. No matter how big or small, if it went against what I was used to doing, I was against it. It didn’t matter whether I had any control over the situation, it just seemed like the thing to do.

As I look back on it now, I have truly wasted a great deal of mental energy immediately adopting a negative and non productive attitude towards events in my life. As a matter of fact, some of the fights I have put up thinking I was making a point or sending a message were just plain stupid. What did I accomplish by just throwing up roadblocks that not only got in my way, but others as well?

The past several years have taught me that fighting the inevitable is almost harmful to your health. It is useless to sweat the small stuff (or shit if you are so inclined) every day. In order to stay balanced, you need to give some thought as to how you are going to react when you are confronted with change that may make you feel uncomfortable. Do you really have any control over the situation? How will it affect you? Is it worth your valuable time and energy (physical and mental) to fight against it?

What is my point? It’s simple. Spend more time worrying about the things that you have some control over. Take a “big picture” look at the situation and then think about how you want to respond, if at all. I guarantee that you will be experience less stress in your life as you choose not to burden yourself with fighting everything that comes your way.

My motto is, and will continue to be, DSTSS!