Snow & Woodsmoke

By |January 7th, 2015|2015 posts, Current|Comments Off on Snow & Woodsmoke

Snow & Woodsmoke

2015 started off so normal I didn’t even notice the new year had crept in. Waking on January 1st, 2015 Adam and I had big ambitions… to get the heck out of town & properly ring in the new year on a ski trip. Instead a whole day whizzed by in the chaos of small errands and the tying of lose ends. We decided to step away from the endless home life business and re-start 2015 in the backcountry. It was time to head out into the Cascades on our skis & breath in a bit of woodsmoke tinged mountain air.

After a nice Friday night of car camping in a parking lot, we stuffed our sleeping bags, packed our packs, stuck skins on our skis, & struck out onto a snow covered trail. Our plan was to ski to the furthest of two shelters for Saturday night & loop in to the closer shelter for Sunday night. The route can be found on the Oakridge Oregon TrailMap by Adventure Maps.

We found ourselves on the frozen shores of Waldo Lake after hours of skiing through snow coated forest.

Settling in to the South Waldo Shelter for the night we fired up the wood stove, cooked some dinner, & snacked on christmas cookies, hot cocoa, and bourbon.

I had forgotten how refreshing it can be to spend 12 hours in a sleeping bag, & how challenging it is to get out of that bag in the chill of the morning. We woke to a gray sleety drizzle, & were thankful to be in a wooden shelter rather than our little tent. The three sided shelter with it’s sleeping platform and hooks for hanging packs reminded me […]

12 Gifts for Hikers, Day 12

By |December 25th, 2014|Current|Comments Off on 12 Gifts for Hikers, Day 12

12 Trail Gifts for under $50, Day 12
Gift 12: Trail Mix Cookies

Make your hiker some delicious trail mix cookies that will fuel them through winter adventures.
My grandpa was tired of fruit cake. He decided that making fruit cake cookies might be a much better take on the classic lead brick of candied fruit & nuts in a bread pan. My mom added the “fruit balls” to her amazing Christmas cookie repertoire, but put her Northern California twist on the recipe. She decided to use dried fruit and raw nuts in her fruit balls, but would add in the bright red candied cherries as festive color pop that my grandparents could recognize.
I have taken the fruit ball recipe a step further, saying goodbye to the candied cherries & adding in trail mix. Each December I dig through my hiking food box and pull out all my remnant trail mix, buy any extra fruit & nuts I need, and whip up a batch of fruit balls. This recipe is a great way to make sure you keep your trail mix stock pile fresh. The fruit balls themselves have a long shelf life. I usually toss a bag in the freezer and pull them out for summer adventures months later.

2 lbs nuts (pecans & cashews are my favorite, but almonds, hazel nuts, and anything else will do too)
3 lbs dried fruit, chopped into bite sized bits. I usually use a mix of dried cranberries, cherries, pineapple, figs, apricots, and peaches. The smaller berries are the perfect size, but chopping the bigger fruits makes the cookies easier to eat.
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar

Step 1:

Chop fruit, blend nuts and fruit in a […]

12 Gifts For Hikers, Day 6

By |December 17th, 2014|12 Gifts, 2014 posts, Bigfoot Trail, Current, Japhy Ryder|Comments Off on 12 Gifts For Hikers, Day 6

12 Days of Trail Gifts For Under $50
Gift 6: Snack Attack
Good trail snacks never stick around long enough to reach their expiration dates, and most hikers would rather eat a delicious bar than some granola thingy they can find in the store down the street. I have a secret bar stash that I draw from to keep me fueled on weekend trips, and I love finding tasty bars in my christmas stocking to replenish the cache. Below you will find a list of some of my favorite bars, and a little movie of Adam having a snack attack during a hot day on our Japhy Ryder Route hike in 2011.

1) Huppy Bars are yummy and nutritious bars created by my friend Lyndsay Hupp in Flagstaff. These bars have mostly organic ingredients & spirulina to get your greens in the backcountry. There are 5 excellent flavors, Coconut Date Ginger and Chocolate Berry Love are two favorites. Huppy Bar has a Bundle Of Yum holiday pack that I hope finds it’s way into my stocking this season.
2) Nut butter single serve packets. Not much beats the protein punch you can get from nut butters, and there are some absolutely delicious options in little packets these days. One of my favorite nut butters is Wild Friends Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter.
3)Picky Bars make delicious bars here in Bend, OR. The texture & flavor of these bars are great, and they are really good for you.

4)Honey Stinger makes all kinds of honey based treats, but their protein bars are really something special. There is not much better than sinking my teeth into a 20g Mint Chocolate Honey Stinger when I get the 10am snack attack. The chocolate coating can get a bit […]

12 Gifts For Hikers, Day 5

By |December 16th, 2014|12 Gifts, 2014 posts, Current|Comments Off on 12 Gifts For Hikers, Day 5

12 Days of Trail Gifts For Under $50
Gift 5: Stay Alive & Thrive
Hiking Advice Books

Learning from experience can be great, and so can learning from a book.  Information carried in the hiker mind weighs nothing, but can keep your hiker safe and happy on their adventure. These three books are full of useful knowledge to help your hiker lighten their pack weight, predict weather, navigate, plan food, keep clean, and deal with every eventuality of the trail.
1) Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips by Mike Clelland. This book is endlessly entertaining and informative. Mr. Clelland’s cartoons and well organized lessons will have your hiker laughing and soaking up all types of awesome bits of information. This book is like taking a course on backpacking with an excellent teacher who can dress up the most basic topic (like filling a water bottle) and make it exciting and new.
2)Justin “Trauma” Lichter’s Ultralight Survival Kit. Pocket sized and packed full of practical advice, this book is one your hiker can bring on the trail with them. Trauma shares some of the wisdom he has gained over his years of phenomenal and creative hikes in a humble and accessible way. He touches on how to deal with running out of food, being stalked by lions, bears, and mice, crossing rivers and snow fields, and many more of those challenges we hikers and our families worry about. This little book contains all kinds of confidence building tidbits, and helps foster an inventive, self reliant trail ethic.
3) Beyond Backpacking by Ray Jardine. This is the original handbook of the lightweight thru-hiking universe. First published in 1992, this tome is still relevant today. Some best practices have evolved since the last revision of this book, but the basics are mostly still […]