Think you don’t need trip insurance? Think again

  • November 01, 2017
  • by Inga

Trip insurance was not something I ever thought about.  My husband and I weren’t old, didn’t have health problems and couldn’t see the need for the extra expense. We generally travel independently, eschewing tours, cruises and guides. Why would we need trip insurance? The First Time Somehow, as time passed, we weren’t so young anymore. …

Packing for a hut to hut Tour of Mont Blanc

  • October 07, 2017
  • by Inga

The Tour of Mont Blanc, a 110-mile hike through the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland, meanders through villages and is connected by an extensive system of refuges (huts), hostels and inns. Though some carry full backpacking gear for a mountain expedition, many carry daypacks and take advantage of the many shelters. Once the decision …

Powdered Cusa Tea is refreshing and easy to use on the trail

  • October 03, 2017
  • by Inga

  Cusa Tea is a premium instant tea that makes tea drinking as easy as those ubiquitous skinny packets that coffee drinkers use. Several tea flavors come in the same kind of stick packaging, making it easy to use and transport. The tea packets contain nothing but pure tea with no sweeteners, additives or preservatives. …

Backpacking to Morris Meadow on the Stuart Fork Trail in the Trinity Alps

  • August 20, 2017
  • by Inga

I’ve been curious about backpacking in the Trinity Alps of Northern California for a long time but trips to the Sierra kept taking precedent. This year, with the huge layer of snow that blanketed the Sierra, I decided it was high time I checked out Trinity. While Trinity gets a lot of snow as well, …

Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel is easily digestible and has a clean taste

  • August 20, 2017
  • by Inga

Hydration mixes such as Tailwind Nutrition drink powders are a lifesaver for me. I often lose my appetite when I’m at altitude and exerting myself strenuously. Early in my backpacking career, before I figured out what was happening, I’d frequently bonk in the afternoon. I’d often reach a state of exhaustion that was difficult to …

A Backpacking Meal Plan with 4000 Mostly Healthy Calories

  • July 25, 2017
  • by Inga

Many people have trouble coming up with a relatively healthy meal plan that has adequate calories and protein for backpacking. This can be a real challenge for those with a high metabolism who have significant calorie needs. How to determine calorie needs is a complex topic. There are formulas but they are, at best, only …

HydraPak SoftFlask Collapsible Bottles

  • June 30, 2017
  • by Inga

HydraPak SoftFlask bottles come in small sizes to accommodate energy gels or liquids. Made of soft thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the collapsible, flexible material is remarkably strong and resistant to abrasion, even when abused on the backpacking trail. The company states that if used for gels, the 150 ml flask can hold five servings and the …

An Introduction to Snow Backpacking in the Sierra

  • June 21, 2017
  • by Inga

On my recent snow backpacking trip to Lake of the Woods in Desolation Wilderness over Memorial Day, I found that it was impossible to be ultralight. I’m usually only in the “light” category anyway, with a base weight of 12-16 lbs depending on whether I have a bear canister and any luxury items. I have …

Pitching a Tent in Snow

  • June 15, 2017
  • by Inga

In this epic snow year of 2017, summer backpackers may find themselves pitching their tent in snow. If that happens, they will quickly discover that regular tent pegs will pop right out of the snow. I’m no snow expert (unless I’m on skis) but this year I’ve started to acquire some snow backpacking skills. First …

Oboz Sawtooth Low Women’s Hiking Boots are sturdy and waterproof

  • June 02, 2017
  • by Inga

The Oboz Sawtooth hiking boot is a beefy hiking boot in a compact package. I’ve been testing the boots all winter and there are a number of features that I like. They are rock solid on slippery, wet surfaces. They have a substantial rubber bumper around the heel and toe. They are waterproof, which came …

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