Think you don’t need trip insurance? Think again

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 …

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 …

Food Choices on the Tour of Mont Blanc

  • April 28, 2017
  • by Inga

I had a lot of questions about food choices on the Tour of Mont Blanc for our self-guided hike. It was a relief to not have to plan our usual backpacking menu since I had just done five backpacking trips in one summer, but I didn’t know what our food choices on the Tour of Mont …

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 This web-based system is relatively easy to use and has the …

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 …

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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