Friday Fave: Franconia Ridge, White Mountains, NH

This was day two of a five-day trip along the Appalachian Trail through the White Mountains, from Franconia Notch to Crawford Notch.

Apparently the rumors of White Mountain ruggedness and ability to challenge even the most seasoned hikers start way down in Georgia. 

But I learned a few years ago that TIARAS give you secret hiking super powers.

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Gear Review: Lightheart Solo Tent

I finally had a chance to try out my new tent, the Lightheart Gear Solo, this past week on an overnight trek along the Art Loeb Trail.  (Two words:  ball buster.  The hike, not the tent.)

Here's what I thought about it--the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Friday Fave: Overnighter on the Art Loeb

Every day you get to spend walking and dreaming and celebrating your badassery is a good day.

This training hike was a good two days in spite of the challenge.

Or maybe because of it.

This is a GREAT hike for training for an Appalachian Trail thru-hike because it is EXACTLY like a typical day on the trail would be....HARD.

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Foot Balm Recipe to Refresh Trail-Weary Feet

So when the day is done, and many miles have been hiked in unforgiving footwear, I like to give my little piggies a special treat.  

I like to massage them with my special Thru-Hiker Foot Balm.

I wanted to share my special Foot Balm recipe with you because I want your feet to be pampered and appreciated, too.

Your feet are going to LOVE this!

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Gear Review: Klymit Static V Insulated Ultra Light Pad

And Ruby’s hips gonna hafta be happy when she's sleeping out in the woods.

So when I bought a sleeping pad sight unseen off the interwebs, I didn't hold my breath.

But I'm really pleased with my new Klymit pad.  Keep reading to find out why and to see how it compares to the most popular ultralight sleeping pad on the market.

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What's in My Backpacking Kitchen

My motto is "Hike Strong.  Hike Long.  Hike Happy."  

And to achieve it, you have to navigate the delicate balancing act of paring down what's in your pack but still saving room for little luxuries that will satisfy the happy part of this equation. 

On the one hand, lightening your load will help you hike long.

On the other hand, eating well on the trail is, for me, near the pinnacle of hiking happy. 

I've pared my trail kitchen down to a tiny, cozied package, so read on to see what's inside.

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