Bear Bag Hanging

Some tips for hanging a bear bag:

What I found for myself is that a rope over about 40 feet is more than I need on the AT and the extra just gets tangled up!! Nothing worse than a tangled bear rope.

Reflective is a good idea.

One thing I discovered that is very helpful is “tying” it in a daisy chain for storage. Otherwise, it just gets tangled!

Not only that, I also learned to not tie a rock to the end of the rope when tossing over a branch. Why? Because eventually, the tied rock is going to spin around the branch and be impossible to get down. I have seen many partial ropes dangling from trees. Just wrap the rope around the rock a few times. Yes, it falls off sometimes, so I gather two or three rocks. Maybe there’s a better way, but this works for me. read more

What is a Reframe, Anyway?

July 28, 2020

I have a client who is diligently doing Radical Forgiveness Worksheets and experiencing surprising shifts in her relationships! She came to me to work on her relationship with her husband and is discovering new openings in several other relationships as well – mostly with herself! During our third call, she said, “My mom called me! She never calls me! And, she was supportive of me too! She has rarely been supportive of me!”

How does this work, anyway? How is it that filling in the blanks in the Making Room for the Miracle Worksheet results in shifts in our situation that could sometimes be described as miracles?!! read more

Night Fear

“How do I overcome my fear of sleeping out at night?”

Practice. Learn what the sounds are. Practice. Love yourself being afraid. Practice. Sit up all night and watch the night and learn it. Practice. Listen and learn the night’s rhythms and sounds. Practice. Love yourself just as you are.

Practice.

How to Start Your Appalachian Trail Walk

I’ve walked the AT twice, plus another 2,000 miles working as an ATC ridgerunner for seven seasons.. How did I start all this? By locating the nearest trailhead to my home and setting foot on the trail. that one hour let me hear my call to the trail “If I just keep walking, I can get all the way to Maine!”

Next step: a half day walk with my husband, exchanging the car key in the middle. Over the next four years, we built up to a full month on the trail, two trips per year, from over night to three nights, a week, two weeks. There are landmark steps, I think: read more

How Much Food for Vegan Hiking?

In response to the question “I’m vegan. What food do I take hiking?”

I sprout mung beans and lentils on trail. Hummus, olive oil, sweet potatoes, corn mush, maple syrup. Did I mention olive oil – most calorie dense food? I was soooo afraid of being hungry and not getting enough calories when I started my thru! My first week southbound from Katahdin, I carried 13 lbs of vegan food for my 10 days to Monson. I had several pounds left!!! What I’ve discovered in my 15 yrs and 10,000+miles of walking is that food can be lightweight, easy, tasty and nutritious. When I count the calories of my day, feeling energetic and satisfied, its more like 2,000 calories. I haven’t consumed 5,000 calories ever! Maybe I don’t hike as hard? Dont know, but the advice that I’ll need 5,000 calories a day (hmm. used to be 3,000) doesnt seem to be real for me. I enjoy fresh foods and have my favorite dehydrated staples to build meals around. I eat pretty much the same foods on trail as I do off trail. Happy to explore this with you! read more

There Are Bears on the AT!

My 10,000 miles of walking after the age of 52 have helped me see is that detractors are reflecting in me something that I have not yet fully processed myself because I truly lack an answer from experience. Their questions and doubts invite me to do my research, look at what I really am unsure about, and yes, how the questions reveal that they care about me. What ARE the realities about bears? (they do live in the AT corridor and have been disturbingly impacted by hikers’ ineptness at food storage). What ARE the risks and dangers we take when walking solo and what precautions ARE we taking? I now know that those can be known, articulated, and practiced. As a ridgerunner in VA for seven seasons, I would have loved to have seen more of the thousands of hikers I met be more concerned about respecting the needs of bears and be more knowledgable about the unique challenges of trail life and willing to choose behaviors that support community and stewardship of the resource. read more

Getting Started on the Appalachian Trail

“I think I want to do a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. How should I prepare for that?”

Here’s my answer:

Go out for a day, then a night, then three or four nights. Go out for short walks in all four seasons to test your gear. One landmark in preparation is to go out long enough to have a resupply or maildrop, say 8-10 days. With the experience of finishing a 3-5 day section, taking a townstop, then going back out, you’ll have the basic idea of a long distance walk, which is really a long string of 4-day walks without going home in between! That’s the best part of long distance journeys. Resupply, rest, cleaning up and going back out!! read more

Love Your Gear: Toiletries

Here is my backpacking toiletries list:

Hotel bar soap, tiny sponge, lidded bowl for taking wash water to my tent; lip balm; .5oz teatree oil (or eucalyptus or peppermint); tiny tube of general salve; travel toothbrush; sometimes a tablespoon of baking soda for tooth powder + deoderant; large bandaids that can be cut to size; roll of stretchy gauze; dental floss for teeth and thread; comb.

This is one category where the moniker, “If I don’t have it, I don’t need it” is useful. Going without something for a few days helps me clarify what I want vs what I need. read more