Tag Archives: Blogging

It’s Been A Long Time

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Thinking about the upcoming hike.

It’s a great day!!! After 148 long days, many of them siting on my ass, along with hours upon hours of PT, I was actually able to head out into Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for a hike. True, it was only 2.6 miles, but it was a hike nonetheless and I didn’t have any ankle pain. Sure, my legs hurt like hell and I sure could tell I haven’t been hiking, but it felt good to be out in the woods.

I’ll keep the tale of woe short, but if you follow this blog, you know that on 6/28, I took a spill, fractured my ankle, was in renal failure, had surgery to repair the ankle, was confined to my house, had tons of PT and worked my ass off to get back hiking.

At 33 degrees with no wind or sun (tons of rain later), I knew the loop that I would be taking for my test run would be a good one. Most of the trail was flat with a couple of very short and easy hills put in just to irritate me and to test the ankle. Even as easy as it was, I was very careful to keep my eyes on the ground in front of me to look out for rocks rocks, roots and ice.

Having learned my lesson in June, I made sure that I had more than enough water with me and had consumed just about 64 ounces before leaving the house ensuring that I wouldn’t run into any dehydration issues. Yes, at this point I am that paranoid about having enough water with me even when it is a degree above freezing! I’ll have more on that in my next post.

So if I’m going to give this hike a rating, I’m going with a straight up A+.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

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The End Of Summer

The end of the summer, it’s just about here.

No more fun picnics or nights filled with beer.

The warmth of each day, green leaves on the trees,

The cooler nights coming, we’ll  certainly freeze.

But the worst thing we know, it happens each year,

The snow will be falling, it’s our biggest fear.

It will come from the sky, all fluffy and white,

All those great days, they went with a fight.

So we’ll sit in the house, still thinking of summer,

The snow, the snow, I say! It’s all such a bummer!

Piling so high, I hate each of those flakes,

Hexagonol structures, oddly shaped cakes.

So winter continues, we have no defense,

Before we all know it, a new day will commence. 

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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