What’s in my wilderness backpack: Ten little things

  • July 07, 2015
  • by Inga

There are so many small, shiny objects that vie for my inclusion in my pack but each one weighs something. It’s easy to say, “It’s not very big and it weighs nothing.” I had a small stuff sack in my hand that felt like air but weighed in at one ounce. Put 16 of those …

Exploring the Eastern Sierra by horseback at Hunewill Ranch

  • June 08, 2015
  • by Inga

After watching the others saddle up at the Hunewill Ranch, it was my turn. It seemed so easy for others to mount their steed in one smooth motion. It was a big leap of faith for me. Nine hundred pounds of flesh stood before me, with her own cognitive system. I was well aware that …

Planning an independent backpacking trip on the Santa Cruz Trail, Peru: Part 2

  • May 30, 2015
  • by Inga

I had trouble finding detailed information about how to hike the 31 mile (50 km), four-day Santa Cruz Trail in Peru. For being such a popular trail, planning a backpacking trip on the Santa Cruz Trail was difficult. Most people do it as a guided hike, but the track is well signed, and backpackers with …

Planning an independent backpacking trip on the Santa Cruz Trail, Peru: Part 1

  • May 29, 2015
  • by Inga

I had trouble finding detailed information about how to hike the 31 mile (50 km), four-day Santa Cruz Trail in Peru. For being such a popular trail, planning a backpacking trip on the Santa Cruz Trail was difficult. Like most of the backcountry trails in the mountainous areas of this region, it’s an Inca trail, …

Preventing altitude sickness on the John Muir Trail

  • January 30, 2015
  • by Inga

I got interested in Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) because I always seem to suffer from mild symptoms above 11,000 feet no matter how much I acclimate, including difficulty sleeping, headache, low-grade nausea and fatigue. I also develop significant puffiness around my eyes, an indication of Altitude Induced Peripheral Edema. When I hiked the John Muir …

Meal Planning for the John Muir Trail

  • December 23, 2014
  • by Inga

I don’t think I cooked more than a handful of meals for immediate consumption during the six months prior to our hike on the John Muir Trail (JMT)—thank goodness my husband likes to cook, otherwise we would have starved while I prepped all the food for the hike. Whenever I’d think of an idea for …

John Muir Trail: Permits, Planning and Prep

  • December 05, 2014
  • by Inga

The John Muir Trail (JMT), which traces a 210.4 mile path along the jagged spine of the Sierra, is one of the premier trails in the U.S. It’s only a fraction of the length of the 2,663 foot Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), with which it shares much of its length, but is one of the …

Ralph Burgess sets SoBo John Muir Trail record

  • August 28, 2014
  • by Inga

In July 2014 Ralph Burgess (from New York; London originally) set the southbound (SoBo) unsupported record on the 211  mile John Muir Trail (JMT) without even trying hard. Carrying all his food and supplies by himself for his entire trip with no resupplies (unsupported) he started at Happy Isles in Yosemite National Park and ended on top …

Doing laundry on the backpacking trail

  • June 12, 2014
  • by Inga

A few drops of bleach and a zip-top bag full of water is all you need to keep your clothes clean while backpacking. I was skeptical when I first read about it. I tried it and found that my clothes smelled fresh and clean, more so than when I used biodegradable camp soap. Biodegradable soap …

Squaw Valley’s Top 10 Expert Ski Runs

  • January 19, 2014
  • by Inga

  Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Olympics and outdoor playground of the San Francisco Bay Area, hasn’t always had the reputation for being the most user friendly mountain. Poor to non-existent signage, cranky lifties, nude art in the cafeteria and a sense that you didn’t belong there unless you could ski didn’t create a …

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