No, you do not need PaleoBareHands

Stuff You Don’t Need: PaleoBareHANDS

Yes, I turned a blind eye a year or so ago when I saw the PaeloBarefoot chainmaille running sandals. They’re supposedly great for hiking and running, even in mud and water (um, really?), but overall it’s a bit too obvious to most rational humans that no one needs these things.

Not great for hiking and running in mud and water.

But now the same company has created these things they call  PaleoBarehands for the premium price of €183 (not including shipping), so here we are.

Great for holding sticks.

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Panning for Gold, 1977

Colorado 1977

As we’re in the midst of our own family adventure traveling around the world , I can’t help but think of an family adventure I went on nearly four decades ago …

Family Trip to Colorado

In 1977 my dad piled a mess of gear into the family Buick Apollo and drove from Wisconsin to Colorado. We went through Minnesota, South Dakota, and a little corner of Nebraska, camping along the way. Continue reading

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Your Smartphone as a Backcountry Survival Tool

Leaning on Apps for a Little Support

If your life depends on it then why not seek a little advice?

Even the most experienced outdoor adventurers can use digital tools to help bridge the gap between potential catastrophe and survival. When I hiked the John Muir Trail, I carried my iPhone, using it mostly in conjunction with my Spot Connect GPS to record my position so my family would know I was safe — or if I wasn’t.

Obviously, there’s not always (seldom, in fact) reliable access to the Internet when you’re in the middle of nowhere, but that hasn’t stopped app developers from finding ways around such problems.

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S.H.O.V.E.L.

S.H.O.V.E.L — The Open-Source, All-Purpose Spork

Semi-Horned Oblong Versatile Eating Ladle

From the good folks at SparkFun, best known as an (excellent) online electronics shop, comes the S.H.O.V.E.L, a cool, slightly offbeat eating utensil.

The S.H.O.V.E.L is a sturdy, titanium fork/spoon combo, complete with a serrated cutting edge (that works really well) and bottle opener along with a good amount (six feet) of red paracord wrapped around the handle.

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John Muir Trail

Another Great John Muir Trail Report

On August 9, 2014 hiker Allison Nadler completed a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail.

It took her 15 days, and the trail conditions she encountered were pretty different from what I experienced when I hiked the JMT in 2012.

She’ll be posting her trail journal at Trail to Summit over the next few weeks. She just posted day one yesterday, and it’s a great read. I’m looking forward to the rest!

And while you’re there, check out the rest of her site. It’s full of great tips, recipes, and techniques for backcountry adventuring.

 

 

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The Exos 58 in Action

On Pack Weight: How to Lighten Your Pack

One of the most surreal moments I had while hiking the JMT came at the very end. As I descended the trail from Mt. Whitney, many hikers were ascending, and many of these wore big, gear-stuffed packs like the Osprey Aether 70. It wasn’t a pack I’d seen too many times on my hike, and these folks wearing it looked like they were really struggling under the weight of such a heavy pack.

Every so often one of these folks and I would start up a little trail chatter. I’d ask what they were doing, and nearly every one answered they were doing an overnight to Mt. Whitney. It seemed like a pretty big pack to carry for an overnight trip.

My pack, on the other hand, which I’d had on my back for upwards of 12 hours a day for the past 13 days, was an Osprey Exos 58. It weighed no more than 30 pounds but carried everything I needed for nearly two weeks of hiking.

The Aether on the right. The Exos on the left.
The Aether on the left. The Exos on the right. Photos via Osprey.

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Taking on the World

Taking on the World

The Next Adventure

As you likely know, I really enjoyed my solo hike of the John Muir Trail in 2012. But even though I enjoyed it, I really missed my family during my two weeks on the trail.

So when I started thinking about my next adventure, I wanted to do something that I could try with the entire family. None of the regular family trips seemed grand enough, though.

After some conversations with my wife, we decided to go big. Real big. Think global proportions big.

That’s right, starting August 19, our family of four will be departing the United States to begin our year-long trip around the world.

And you are hereby invited and encouraged to follow along with us at Taking on the World.

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Gibbon Slackline in action

Slacking Off: A Slacklining Story

Amateur Slacklining

On a recent family camping trip, I brought along a Gibbon Slackline I picked up from The Clymb. (Note: if you’re an adventurous type and like good deals on great gear, do yourself a favor and join The Clymb — it’s free).

I set it up between two trees, and over the course of the weekend almost everyone gave slacklining a try … kid and adult alike. Despite numerous strategies and techniques (fast, slow, sideways, tightrope-walker style), no one could really get the hang of it — except one of the kids who has mad skateboarding skills.

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