Reviews

Discovery Along “The Way”

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 @ 2:26 pm in Film Reviews, Inspiration, Reviews | 0 comments

Discovery Along “The Way”

The Way of St. James, is commonly known by its name in Spanish: El Camino de Santiago. The name comes from any of the pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried in the cathedral. Many take up this route as a form of life pathway or retreat, for spiritual growth. The earliest records of visits to the shrine dedicated to St. James date from the 9th century, in the time of the Kingdom of...

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Wojo Wallet

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 @ 5:37 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Wojo Wallet

Disclosure: Wojo Wallet, LLC contacted me to try their Wojo Wallet at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an agreement to write this review. I was not pressured to make a positive endorsement. Their tag line pretty much describes it, “When all you need are your credit cards and cash, Wojo is the perfect solution. Cycling, hiking, boating, hunting, skiing, traveling, or a girl’s night out… Wojo is the wallet for you.” Most of us only use 4-6 cards regularly, so simplify your life and carry only what you need. Get rid of your...

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Roqbloq Rugged Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 @ 10:02 pm in Gear Reviews | 0 comments

Roqbloq Rugged Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

Disclosure: RuggedTec contacted me to try their Roqbloq Rugged Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an agreement to write this review. I was not pressured to make a positive endorsement. A love for the outdoors and electronic gadgets was the driving force behind the creation of the RuggedTec brand. RuggedTec is based out of southeast Idaho near world class fly fishing, hiking, skiing, and hunting. All of their products are dust, shock, and water resistant for those who love the outdoors. The RoqBloq outdoor...

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A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 @ 1:49 pm in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail   Back in the United States after 20 years in Great Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by hiking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes — and to a writer with the comic timing of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. For a start there’s the gloriously...

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WoolX Lightweight Merino Wool Boxer Briefs

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 @ 12:42 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

WoolX Lightweight Merino Wool Boxer Briefs

Disclosure: WoolX contacted me to try their Merino Wool Boxer Briefs at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an agreement to write this review. I was not pressured to make a positive endorsement. WoolX was created in 2013 by Hanks Clothing who has been in business for more than 60 years. Realizing there was a need in the clothing business for a 100% Merino Wool baselayer, their goal was to find 100% Australian Merino Wool with absolutely no itch, and turn it into garments that fit and have the functionality required by outdoor...

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Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 @ 11:45 am in Book Reviews, Reviews | 2 comments

Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Adventures on the Appalachian Trail   Before she hiked Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu and the Pacific Crest Trail, before she was the speed record holder on the Appalachian Trail (AT), Jennifer Pharr Davis was a young, just-out-of-college 21 year old with normal fears about her future and questions about who she really was. Then she thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail for the first time. In Becoming Odyssa — Adventures on the Appalachian Trail, Davis recounts that first 2,175-mile trip on the iconic AT, from Springer Mountain in...

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Purchase Knob: Essays from a Mountain Notebook by Kathryn K. McNeil

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 @ 3:18 pm in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Purchase Knob: Essays from a Mountain Notebook by Kathryn K. McNeil

There’s a summer place, a farm, forever imprinted on my memory, spacious in its views, lovely in its close-ups, on the gentle slopes of Purchase Mountain in the southern Appalachians. I built a house there at 5,000 feet. That’s high for these parts. Mt. Mitchell, not far from me, is 1,600 feet higher. It’s the highest point on the eastern seaboard between the Mississippi and the Atlantic Ocean. These Appalachians are ancient mountains, some of the oldest on earth. Worn down by the ages from water, frost and the work of the...

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Yaktrax Ice Traction Device

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 @ 9:49 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Yaktrax Ice Traction Device

When winter weather sets in, slick, icy conditions make it difficult and often dangerous to get around. Falls are the most common cause of injuries during this time of year. However, ice traction devices such as Yaktrax® provide the freedom to head outdoors and stay safe. Yaktrax fit over most shoes and hiking boots and can be worn in a variety of environments, from urban streets to back country. Once in place, a grid of steel coils provide traction needed on packed snow and ice. With each step you take, coils bite into the snow and ice,...

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Murder at the Jumpoff by Jenny Bennett

Posted by on Dec 26, 2013 @ 1:25 pm in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Murder at the Jumpoff by Jenny Bennett

Jenny Bennett first crossed my radar when I happened upon her website Endless Streams and Forests. She writes about many things, but among them are trail and hiking reports for areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park that were very familiar to me. What intrigued me about Jenny’s reports was the type of hiking she does. Jenny is what is known as an off-trail hiker or bushwhacker. She hikes the less-traveled manways and unofficial trails to the Smokies famous landmarks. Off-trail hiking isn’t for everyone. It requires precision...

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How Far to Fun and Inspiration? Mile…Mile and a Half

Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 @ 1:42 pm in Film Reviews, Inspiration, Reviews | 0 comments

How Far to Fun and Inspiration?  Mile…Mile and a Half

Disclosure: The DVD distributor for the Muir Project produced documentary “Mile…Mile and a Half” contacted me to watch this film at no cost to myself. My only responsibility was an agreement to complete a review. I was not pressured in any way to make a positive endorsement. A group of artists leave their daily lives behind to hike the John Muir Trail and bring back their experiences and inspiration. From Yosemite Valley to the highest point in the contiguous US – Mt. Whitney. 219 miles in 25 days. In an epic snow year in...

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StrongVolt 7W Portable Solar Charger and PowerBank Mini Portable Battery Pack

Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 @ 3:35 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

StrongVolt 7W Portable Solar Charger and PowerBank Mini Portable Battery Pack

StongVolt Solar Chargers work with your phones, tablets, GPS or any USB chargeable devices wherever you go. You can keep your phone or USB device fully charged anywhere there is sun. StrongVolt Solar Chargers are a must for emergencies, natural disasters, or on any outdoor adventure. For hikers like us, keeping your phone charged in case of emergencies is essential to survival these days. Disclosure: The StrongVolt Social Media Manager contacted me to try their portable solar charger products at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an...

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12 Reasons to Watch Tell It on the Mountain

Posted by on Aug 17, 2013 @ 3:30 pm in Film Reviews, Inspiration, Reviews | 0 comments

12 Reasons to Watch Tell It on the Mountain

Disclosure: The producer of Tell It on the Mountain — Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail contacted me to watch his film at no cost to myself. My only responsibility was an agreement to complete a review. I was not pressured in any way to make a positive endorsement. It takes a special kind of person to drop everything and walk through the woods for five months. But in a way, these hikers are just like you and me. They have jobs and families, they love their creature comforts. Yet something pulls them to be in nature, to leave everything...

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Recommended Outdoor Documentary Films

Posted by on Jun 29, 2013 @ 9:43 pm in Film Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

  Mile…Mile and a Half   MILE… MILE & A HALF (trailer 1) from The Muir Project. There’s a reason that “Backpacker Magazine” ranked California’s John Muir Trail as the best Hike in the World in it’s November 2010 issue. Stretching 211 miles from Yosemite Valley to the summit of the contiguous United States’ highest peak, Mount Whitney, it rambles through some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery that the heart and mind could conceive. Most of your days are spent above 10,000 feet, where you’ll experience the...

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Hiking the Beautiful USA

Posted by on Mar 8, 2013 @ 8:20 pm in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Hiking the Beautiful USA

Plan a fun and safe hiking trip with a little help from this REI infographic. The illustrated map gives you a bird’s-eye view of the United States’ 11 National Scenic Trails which measure more than 18,753 miles combined. You’ll also find tips on what to bring with you hiking, as well as trail trivia.   Item of interest: Only 3 of the 11 NSTs (Appalachian, Potomac Heritage and Natchez Trace) are considered one of the 397 official “units” of the National Park Service. Why? Because the NPS was directly involved...

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Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides

Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 @ 8:39 pm in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides

No Food. No Map. No Cell Phone. No Problem. Imagine you found yourself alone in the desert, miles from anywhere, with no food, water, shelter or cell phone reception. Could you save your own life? Most likely, the answer is no. Left to our own devices and without supplies, the majority of us lack the necessary skills to survive. Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn. Outdoor guide publisher Waterford Press introduces the Pathfinder Outdoor Survival Guides™, designed to help you take control in a dangerous environment by teaching you how...

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Cobrabraid 550 Paracord Bracelet

Posted by on May 9, 2012 @ 7:44 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Cobrabraid 550 Paracord Bracelet

Disclosure: Cobrabraid contacted me to try their paracord bracelet at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an agreement to write this review. I was not pressured to make a positive endorsement. On April 25, 2012 the Cobrabraid marketing team emailed the following: Our products are definitely geared towards your readers. You never know when you could use a few feet of paracord on the trail if you’re in some sort of trouble. We could send you a few bracelets to review. So, I took them up on their offer. On April 30, 2012 I received...

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PurifiCup™ Portable Water Purifier (Natural Water Series)

Posted by on Feb 26, 2012 @ 4:57 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 1 comment

PurifiCup™ Portable Water Purifier (Natural Water Series)

For those who are passionate day-hikers like me, you are always looking to lighten your pack and heighten your emergency preparedness. I’ve had my eyes peeled for a portable, packable water filter that is very lightweight with a small footprint. Pump water filters work great but are somewhat bulky, taking quite a bit of valuable pack space. Enter the PurifiCup™ Portable Water Purifier — just slightly larger than a soda can and weighing less than 11 ounces (305 grams) — an ideal addition to any hiker’s tool belt....

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Patagonia Capilene 1 SW Stretch T-Shirt

Posted by on Sep 6, 2011 @ 5:11 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Patagonia Capilene 1 SW Stretch T-Shirt

As the hot season arrived, I thought I’d try some of the extremely lightweight hiking apparel available now. I’ve had a Patagonia sweater for 30 years that works and fits as good as new, so I thought I’d look at their offerings. Patagonia marked down a lot of their summer stuff for end-of-season, so I purchased their Capilene 1 SW Stretch T-Shirt. It’s fair to say I loved it the first time I put it on, and using it has done nothing to change my mind. I’m a little guy. I am 5’9″ and weigh about 138...

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Montrail Mountain Masochist GTX

Posted by on Jun 10, 2011 @ 4:33 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 4 comments

Montrail Mountain Masochist GTX

I’ve been wearing Asics, Saucony, and Mizuno running shoes to exercise walk for nearly a decade now. So I have become familiar with the comfort, support, cushioning and durability a quality shoe can add to my exercise routine. The last thing I want to think about when I’m exercising is my shoes. During hot summer hiking I would definitely tire of my hiking boots. They are great boots for cooler weather, or for rough rocky terrain, but for summer hiking I was looking for something lightweight, low top, trail durable, and water...

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High Sierra Express Lumbar Pack

Posted by on May 11, 2011 @ 5:21 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 8 comments

High Sierra Express Lumbar Pack

Sometimes a day pack is just too much. Maybe it’s a short hike, or a flat hike. Perhaps you don’t need as much water or food or backup clothing. I’ve found myself in that situation before and decided it was time for a “fanny” pack or lumbar pack. The final instigation was when I went to The Masters last month. I knew I wanted to have a rain jacket and sunscreen, and Augusta National has regulations about the size of bags you can bring on the grounds. Cargo shorts are great for carrying small items, but I really...

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Smartwool NTS Midweight Crew and Bottom

Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 @ 4:39 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Smartwool NTS Midweight Crew and Bottom

I’ve been hiking off and on for more than 30 years, but I never have had an interest in winter hiking, until now. Not a big fan of the cold and snow, but I gave it a try this year, and I’m glad I did. The key difference maker, for me, was layering. Starting with a good comfortable wicking base layer, and then covering my core area for warmth, then topping it with a shell layer helped me stay warm and dry, and able to enjoy the great outdoors even when it was cold. Natural fibers like cotton, and the wool your mother made you wear...

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