How to Choose Budget Gear that Doesn’t Give You Potty Mouth

There are so many people out there that are put off from the outdoors by the high cost of gear.  I myself have felt this way and have avoided certain things – even telling myself I am not interested, or that I would not be good at something to justify not spending money on it.  I am on a serious budget.  I make retail wages.  Much of my budget goes to housing, a car payment, food, and gas money.  So I pick out budget gear and hope I am not making a mistake.  There just isn’t the market for reviews…

Letting Go of Expectations

I am a planner by nature.  Lists make me happy, and crossing things off of them gives me a sense of accomplishment that is hard to compare to any others.  Often this is a good thing – when I go on a trip I know about everything in the area so I don’t miss a thing (unless I want to!)  In other case those same plans can cause a negative emotional toll. When I plan on a hike or a trip I incessantly google the shit out of it until the poor thing is dead.  I know every detail, every…

Sometimes Goals Can Hold You Back

You heard me!  Goals can hold you back.  But, but, but… goals are supposed to be what you work toward?! I know.  Sometimes the goal you pick just sucks.  Period.  Full stop. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Let me back up.  All of last year I saw post after post after post on social media documenting people’s 52 hikes in 52 weeks goals.  I thought this was great.  First of all, it is pretty damn epic to say you did something consistently every week for a whole year!  Second, it fit right into what I tried to start doing…

10 Things I Learned from a Hike I Bailed Out On

I gave up on my first solo backpacking trip.  It was an epic disaster, and I have no regrets that I stopped, except for the fact I still haven’t gotten back out there.  Still, I learned several things along the way that I am super grateful I learned only 12 miles in and less than an hour away from home instead of far out in the wilderness. Used Frogg Toggs may look like a good deal, until you hike 8 miles in pouring rain.  Frogg Toggs have great reviews online, and they are a great deal.  I’ve never worn new…

The Best Things Happen When You Get Out of Bed

I have a love-hate relationship with my bed.   Don’t we all? But seriously, while love to sleep I hate getting to sleep, and even more I hate to get out of bed.  I’ve fought it most of my adult life.  I’ll read until I’m so tired I’ve read the same page 16 times.  Games on my phone don’t even make sense anymore. Facebook and Reddit have run out of things for me to look at; I find myself watching oyster shucking videos with some twang-voiced woman with spider lashes exclaiming over the different pearls she reveals to what I imagine are froth-mouthed housewives…

I Was Not an Athlete, or, That Time I Took P.E. Online

I have never thought of myself as an athlete. Gangly, thin, and awkward as hell I never played sports as a kid.  The apple trees in our front pasture were the jungle gym I climbed on.  While hopscotch was unknown to me, I could hop from rock to rock in the creek by my house. I could snatch a crawdad from the water faster than it could swim away.  Even though we didn’t like them very much, my brother and I played with the only other kids on our rural gravel road.  In the summer I ran with the horses we boarded and walked for…

Hike: Lava Canyon

Warning: content ahead pasted from another source.  Update in progress to control formatting issues.  Thank you for your patience.         The sign at the beginning of the Lava Canyon trailhead.  Also – the bathroom just behind. On my second day in the blast zone I drove down the mountain from the Climber’s Bivouac to the Lava Canyon trailhead.  It was pretty misty when I got there.  At the trailhead you’ll find a vault toilet.  I did not go in – so I can’t vouch for the quality of the facilities, though they looked decent from the outside. Lava Canyon has three sections…

A Weekend in the Blast Zone

An early-morning view of Mt. St. Helens, fog, and a deer popping over the ridge

What does one do with a rare 4-day weekend away from retail?  If you’re me you check some stuff off of your bucket list.  Mt. St. Helens here I come! At the moment I am working two jobs – so Thursday after I left my regular job I kept working, and because I am a terrible procrastinator I had to pick up food to take with me and didn’t get home until 9:30 PM.  While I was packing the cooler, going over my packing list and making sure all my camera gear was ready I told Alexa (the Amazon Echo)…