Author: mountainmanpioneer

Ray-Way Tarp Kit Review

The Ray-Way Tarp Kit is an excellent introduction to MYOG (make-your-own-gear) and for a reasonable price, makes a lightweight and highly-packable shelter which is flexible for many situations. I have used a Ray-Way Tarp as my primary solo and 2-person shelter since 2011. Specs at a Glance Type: DIY kit to make a 2-person A-frame …

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Fresh Ground and the Leapfrog Cafe

If, while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, you are ever approached by a stout man in his early 50s—and if this man has a neatly trimmed salt-and-pepper beard—and if he asks you in a lively Southern twang, “Y’all want some hot breakfast? All you can eat, all free”—then take ease, friend.
This man is no hallucination. Nor is he some pithy day hiker cracking a cruel joke.
No, this man’s appearance is to be celebrated. His name is Fresh Ground, ...

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A Day in the PCT Life

A Southern California desert sunrise is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. On this particular morning I’m in a valley, and as I begin packing up my tent, the sun is getting brighter, making the mountains to the east a dark silhouette. The mountains to my west are warming up, dusky blues turning to purple and pinks- the reverse of the sunset the night before. As the sun grows higher, more and more ripples in the valley below became bathed in gold. ...

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Dosu Kinuta’s Tribe and Tribulations

If you’re one of the few people who follow along in my not trail famous ass you know my life is one big dirtbag, hiker trash shit show. I read on reddit a few weeks ago someone call me “an asshole, but the funny kind of asshole.” I thought to myself when I read that, “you get me bro.” One of my best friends Pop A Jr I have heard describe me as “the kinda person whom you either love or hate, ...

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Shakedown on the Skyway Loop to Prep for the PCT

After doing a couple of shakedown hikes (the most helpful being the Skyway Loop in Alabama), I’ve realized why they are so important as prep for a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike.

Some of you more seasoned backpackers might read this post and immediately think “well, duh,” but this blog isn’t for you. I’m writing this for all of my fellow newbies out there who are just getting into backpacking. Like me, you might initially have thought watching a lot of YouTube videos would be a suitable way to get your backpacking knowledge up to par for a thru-hike. ...

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From the AT to the MST: Pre-Trek Musings

I’ve slept in my bed for the last time, I’ve finished the goodbye parade, the seams of my pack are bursting, and my drop boxes are ready to be shipped, but I can’t keep from wondering if my mind and body are ready for another long thru-hike. Although this year’s trek along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) is half as long and sure to be loads different than last year’s AT pilgrimage, I’m feeling anxious to know what’s to come. ...

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Trail Correspondents Episode #5 | Night Before the Trail + First Day on Trail (Group 1)

he shows leading up to today’s served a necessary role. They introduced us to our 2019 hikers. We got to meet the vast array of personalities trekking across the country, and learned a good deal about the motives behind these epic journeys.
But, I like to think that these entries were just this season’s hors d’oeuvres.
Today’s show begins our main entree. Today’s show features our first updates from the trail.
In this episode, you’ll receive a pair of entries from our Correspondents. ...

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Training Hikes, the Police, and a Surprise Thru-Hiker

I was minding my own business, busting my tail up a giant hill in my parents’ neighborhood outside of Asheville, NC. I had just moved back from living and working on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, for the past 13 months, and I was spending time visiting them while getting ready for my PCT hike. So here I was with my new Gossamer Gear Mariposa pack loaded to 30 pounds, slogging up a steep climb, just for kicks. ...

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