Hiking the Santa Cruz Trail in Peru: Day 2

  • May 26, 2016
  • by Inga

We had completed our first day of backpacking the Santa Cruz Trail in the Cordillera Blanca, a mountain range in Peru, and were ready to tackle the second day. My husband and I were hiking independently but had camped in a designated campsite near a guided group. To see how we planned for our independent …

Deciphering the Inyo National Forest permit system for the JMT

  • February 09, 2016
  • by Inga

With the increasing popularity of the classic John Muir Trail (JMT), which goes from Happy Isles in Yosemite National Park to Mt. Whitney, more people are utilizing alternate routes. Many of these routes originate in Inyo National Forest and permits are obtained through Recreation.gov. This web-based system is relatively easy to use and has the …

Hiking the Santa Cruz Trail in Peru: Day 1

  • February 01, 2016
  • by Inga

Located in the Cordillera Blanca, the spine of the Peruvian Andes closest to the coast, the Santa Cruz trail cuts through the Quebrada Santa Cruz Valley in Huascaran National Park. Snow-covered peaks, hanging glaciers, gushing waterfalls, aquamarine lakes and fascinating sub-tropical flora all await discovery. After acclimating to the altitude in Huaraz, located at 10,000 feet, …

Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail-Book Excerpt

  • November 16, 2015
  • by Inga

My book about my journey on the John Muir Trail, Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail, is now available on Amazon. Currently it’s available in Kindle format, but early next year I’ll have print and audio versions available. If you want to check out a sample here’s the first chapter. Scroll down to view …

Top 10 maps, apps and guides for the John Muir Trail

  • October 16, 2015
  • by Inga

The John Muir Trail, which traces an undulating 211-mile path up and down the High Sierra while crossing numerous 10,000-14,000 foot passes, requires some logistical planning. The trip itself can be completed in roughly two to four weeks (or as little as a few days for elite athletes like Ralph Burgess) or much longer, depending …

What’s in my wilderness backpack: Clothing system

  • September 10, 2015
  • by Inga

After years of sorting through various articles clothing, I have my system down. I pretty much wear the same clothes in temperate climates and rotate a few other items in as needed. When I say “same clothes” I really mean it—I wore the exact same T-shirt and shorts for 23 days on the John Muir …

Planning your Yukon River canoe trip

  • September 03, 2015
  • by Inga

The far northern reaches of the continent have long been a draw for me and Steve. We’ve been to Alaska and the Yukon to hike, backpack, canoe and sightsee so many times that I’ve lost count. On our very first trip we took the Alaska Marine Highway System (state ferry) from Ketchikan. It was so …

Canoeing the Yukon River

  • August 18, 2015
  • by Inga

                              “Have a good time, see you at the other end,” said the outfitter cheerily with a wave after wheeling our well-stocked canoe to the riverbank on a dolly. I gazed at the swift current in the middle of the broad …

What’s in my wilderness backpack: The kitchen sink

  • July 19, 2015
  • by Inga

Our kitchen kit has evolved over the years as Steve and I have lightened up. Like most of the contents in our packs, the food prep equipment isn’t the latest in ultralight (UL) gear, but it’s pretty efficient and works for us. This is probably the one area that changes most frequently, as evidenced by …

What’s in my wilderness backpack: The big three

  • July 08, 2015
  • by Inga

The easiest way to lose pack weight is by getting the lightest equipment of the Big Three: the sleep system, pack and tent. It’s also the most expensive, since each of the big three can run into the hundreds of dollars. My approach is middle of the road, which is solidly in the “light” category …

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