John Muir Trail in 15 days

Jeffrey Hunter, Southeast Trail Programs Director of the American Hiking Society, did the JMT August 11 – 25 this past summer.

He recommends August as biting insects are in decline, “water is still plentiful, and the days are long”.

I can do long days, myself. Having never thru-hiked it, I would try for a fast trip like this. For one thing, it reduces the amount of food I would have to carry on the challenging second half.

Thanks for the advice.

Check Jeffrey’s blog: Southern Appalachians Initiative

Kings Canyon National Park – Jeffrey Hunter

This is just one of his 2006 – The Hiking Year in Pictures series.

John Muir Trail – more information

nude hiking is for real

I apologize for being flippant in the past.

I spent time, back in the day, on nude beaches, after all.

Rick, the Nudehiker, contacted me. He’s a Vietnam Vet, IT guy since the ’70s, and a specialist on Information Security.

He edits an excellent blog dedicated to nude hiking and soaking in the Pacific Northwest. (The soaking part sounds great.)

I linked and subscribed immediately.

Rick has links too to key organizations like the Naturists Society and the American Association for Nude Recreation. He has a lot of good content on advocacy, etiquette, nude resorts, hikes, etc.

I learned that the nude outdoor recreation movement is under represented on the internet. Nudists are a tad skittish in a culture that feels traumatized after a brief glimpse of Brittany or Janet.

If we really want to get more profile for nude hiking, Rick, there’s a simple solution. Female hikers.

Check it out for yourself: Nudehiker


build a quinzee (snow shelter)

The quickest way to get shelter in the snow is to build a snow cave or quinzee. (quinzhee)

Once built, the door loosely covered (to allow in some air), temperature stabilizes at about 0C (32F). You can wear a t-shirt while sitting inside your sleeping bag quite comfortably as there is no wind.

One candle will provide enough brightness.

Jason Klass has a new gear blog, one post showing a huge quinzee.


The roof looks too heavy to me. We keep ours no thicker than 12in as people have suffocated after collapses.


Check out Jason’s blog, Homemade Backpacking Gear.

By the way, I notice he is using software. Looks good. I have another friend very happy with that free site hosting software. (I cannot seem to find an RSS feed from the blog, however.)

National Parks – how much $ is too much?

Just as I am complaining to Parks Canada about their too high fees, the Americans are looking at a big jump in annual pass prices.

Last week I told you about the new, $80 America the Beautiful pass the federal government will be selling beginning New Year’s Day. It will gain you access to national parks, U.S. Forest Service lands, the vast Bureau of Land Management empire, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuges, and, phew, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation properties.

What I haven’t been able to decipher just yet is, in response to this pass, whether we’ll see some hike in daily, weekly or annual entrance fees to parks around the nation.

But would that really be surprising? I mean, this new pass effectively raises the ceiling for national park entrance fees, since the outgoing National Parks Pass cost $50 and the new ATB pass represents a whopping 60 percent increase.

The ATB pass also represents a 25 percent increase from the currently available $65 Golden Eagle Pass that gets you into all the same lands as the newly minted ATB pass.

… more

National Parks Traveler: Fee Creep In the Parks

UPDATE: A Rant Against the Public Lands Pass – Park Remark

Taking Sides on America the Beautiful Pass – Wild Wilderness

Tom Chandler not “just a fisherman”

Every day I check Trout Underground, Tom Chandler’s comic fishing and outdoors blog.

I met Tom at the Blogger’s Meetup hosted near his home town, Shasta, California.

But what’s this ….

Tom Chandler is not just a fisherman. Another of his sites has just been lauded one of the Top 10 Writer’s Blogs on the www. Congratulations! (Though I have no idea what good writing has to do with blogging.)

In typical Chandler fashion, he accuses his awarders of being drug-crazed.

Lost Coast Trail, California

Just a shout out to Bruce Lewis, editor of, his personal hiking site.

Love the look of the blog (called PRESSROW). Very clean.

I’ve subscribed to the site RSS feed and will be a regular reader.

For a sample, check Bruce’s trip report on the Lost Coast Trail in Northern California. That’s on our list of best hikes in the world and it’s one that I personally want to get to … soon.

collapsing shack

photo – Maq McMackin’s

more Lost Coast Trail photos on flickr

Wildebeat – recommended audiocast for hikers

steve.jpgSteve Sergeant is producer, host and is the voice of Wildebeat, a most professional audio podcast.

He combines a wealth of experience as a backpacker, backcountry skier, rock climber, and mountaineer with experience in the professional audio and broadcast industry.

Their mission:

The WildeBeat is an audio journal — like a radio news magazine — presenting news and features to help you explore the Earth’s remaining wild places. Each week, we publish a 10 minute documentary piece catered to the needs of people who enjoy wilderness recreation.

A typical outdoor recreation publication focuses on extraordinarily fit and highly-skilled people taking spectacular risks in distant or exotic places. Or they focus on the latest high-priced gear proffered by their supporting advertisers. Perhaps they sensationalize the brutality of wildlife and nature. Or they preach about environmental politics, and forget the enjoyment of natural settings in the process.

We show you that you don’t need to do extreme sports to enjoy nature and being outdoors; anyone can enjoy backcountry activities, such as camping, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, climbing, skiing, or snowshoeing. Listen to The WildeBeat to get enthused about exploring new places, learn safe and responsible skills, and get ready to get into the wilderness!

I subscribe to Wildebeat via iTunes, but check it out first on


%d bloggers like this: