Top Nine Moments of 2018

Every year I enter in my Instagram information to get one of those Best Nine grids. While the engagement on those photos might be great, are they actually my best nine moments of the year? Usually not, and I am sure they aren’t the best moments for most of us.

Optimus Crux Backpacking Stove Gear Review

Before the Optimus Crux Stove my main backpacking stove was the Jetboil flash. I had no plans to buy another stove since it adequately covered my needs for boiling water for dehydrated backpacking meals. When Katadyn reached out and offered to send me one of their Optimus Crux stoves I was excited, but didn’t think it would sway my opinions on my Jetboil. I WAS WRONG.

Mount Dickerman Snow Camping

The window for snow camping on Mount Dickerman is pretty short as they close the Mountain Loop Highway during the winter. You have to hit it when there is enough snow at the summit to snow camp, but not too much snow on the highway so they close it down.

Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag Gear Review

I was in need of a lighter warmer sleeping bag for backpacking and I was looking at a few options in the $300 price range when a friend of mine sent me her Friends and Family discount code to Patagonia. I figured why not buy a $500 sleeping bag for the price of a $300 sleeping bag! It was a bit of a risk since I was unable to test the bag out beforehand and would be unable to return it, but all of my gear from Patagonia has been amazing so I decided to go for it.

How to Hike, Camp, and Backpack when you have IBS

For those who don’t know, IBS is short for Irritable bowel syndrome, super glamorous I know. It manifests in different ways, some people are more prone to constipation, others to diarrhea. IBS is something I have struggled with most of my life, and this may be TMI, but I fall into the diarrhea end of that spectrum so that’s what I will discuss here.

Pac Back Gear Trio 3-in-1 Sleeping Pad Review

I think all of us that backpack know the internal struggle that comes with bringing a backpacking chair along. It always leads to the same question, “Do I suffer on the trail carrying the extra weight to the top? Or do I suffer at camp when I have nothing comfortable to sit on?” The Trio aims to solve this by turning your sleeping pad into a chair.

Backpacking Thousand Island Lake near Mammoth, California.

Thousand Island Lake is in the Ansel Adams Wilderness outside of Mammoth, California. You need permits to camp overnight, and there are multiple trails to hike in on. You need to submit for a permit on the trail you plan to hike to reach the lake. You can find more information about the permitting process here. During peak Summer months you also need to take a shuttle to the trailhead. Since we went at the end of September we were able to park at the trailhead.

Backpacking Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge

If you are taking someone on their first backpacking trip and you aren’t sure how they will feel about it, I recommend Garibaldi Lake. The lake is beautiful and the campground has multiple outhouses and bear shelters for storing and cooking your food. No need to bury your poo in the woods or attempt a bear hang. As far as backpacking goes it doesn’t get much more glamorous than this! This place has been on my to-hike list for a while. After years of drooling over this view, I was able to convince Doris and our boyfriends to come along with me!

Backpacking the Chelan Lakeshore Trail

Have you ever hiked 22 miles for a famous cinnamon roll? This Memorial Day weekend I did exactly that!

Nestled on the northern shore of Lake Chelan lies the town Stehekin. Unreachable by car, the only way to reach it is either by a four hour ferry ride or float plane. A fun third option? Take the Lady of the Lake ferry to the Prince Creek stop and backpack 17 miles on the Chelan Lakeshore Trail into town!

Adventuring in California’s Alabama Hills

While you may not know about the Alabama Hills by name chances are you have seen it in a TV show or movie, it’s an extremely popular Hollywood filming location. The road your drive down to reach the campsites is even called, “Movie Road” Before white settlers and eventually Hollywood stumbled across this location the Paiute Tribe called this land home and you can even find pictographs in the rock formations. Now Alabama Hills is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which means there is free dispersed camping. There are some rules in place surrounding this so double check the BLM site before planning your trip!