Another sword cane.

What? This is a Sword Cane, Too?

TSA vs Sword Canes. Part II.

Another hapless traveler who unknowingly purchased a sword cane. Will this madness never end?

Corn. Don't go in here.

Help 911! I’m Lost in a Corn Maze

If you can’t handle the maze, stay out of the corn.

People call 911 for all sorts of silly reasons. The Consumerist has a whole bunch of them: Broken iPhone. Cable outages. Mixed-up fast food ordersHelp ordering Chinese food (we all know how confusing that can be).

But the Solano County Sheriff’s Department is being swamped by calls from people who pay $12 to wander around the 60-acre corn maze at Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, CA and can’t find their way out.

Here’s some advice. If you’re directionally challenged, and it’s getting late, just don’t enter the corn maze.

[via Modern Farmer.]

JMT Preparation Guide

The Ultimate John Muir Trail Preparation Guide

If you’ve always wanted to hike the JMT, do yourself a favor and bookmark this great John Muir Trail Preparation Guide from Trail to Summit.

Allison Nadler at Trail to Summit (I’ve mentioned her before) has put together a really comprehensive guide of what you need to do to fully prepare yourself for a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail.

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Ahu Akivi | Easter Island

Travelogue: Easter Island

Ever since I first saw “The Easter Island Massacre” (one of the episodes In Search Of) in 1977, I’ve been fascinated by Easter Island.

But the small island is so remote, I never seriously considered visiting the place and seeing the giant stone heads for myself. But when you and your family plan a trip around the world, suddenly a visit to a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a no longer a dream—it becomes a reality.

Me at Tongariki

Read my travelogue The Majesty of Easter Island on Boing Boing.



“Wait … this is a sword cane?”

TSA Sword Cane

The TSA wants to remind you to check that new cane you just bought—just in case you accidentally bought a sword cane.

“Most travelers are surprised when they realize they’ve been walking around with a sword cane.”

So embarrassing.


Andrew Skurka Profile

Skurka Talks Outdoor Essentials and Guided Hiking

I was pleased to see a brief profile of long-distance hiker Andrew Skurka by Chelsea Hohn over at ActionHub.

Andrew Skurka
Image: Andrew Skurka

Skurka’s excellent book, The Ultimate Hikers Gear Guide, was the inspiration for the gear choices that kept my pack weight at (or under) 30 pounds during my thru-hike of the John Muir Trail.

The book was also indispensable in helping me dial in what to eat for two weeks on the trail and how much food I needed to carry, which is the hardest part of the whole long-distance hiking equation.

Check out Skuka’s book, and many other adventure titles, on the Fordsbasement Adventure Library.


Digging a cathole.

How to Poop in the Woods: A Four-Step Process

At some point on your hike, you’re going to have to poop.

Every hiker has at least one poop story (I’ve got a few of my own), so knowing how to dispose of human waste properly (the third principle of the seven Leave No Trace principles) is a crucial piece of knowledge for all hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) recently posted a four-step guide on how to poop in the woods. It goes a little like this.

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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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