Quick Review

Not too much snow but enough to cause a wipe out or two!

Not too much snow but enough to cause a wipe out or two!

This week we got a tiny bit of snow out here, nowhere near enough for my snowshoes unfortunately, but I’d say the ideal amount for YakTrax! I purchased the Walk Model which cost $20.
When putting on YakTrax you simply slip your toe in as you can see, and then stretch around to the heal shown right.

When putting on YakTrax you simply slip your toe in as you can see, and then stretch around to the heel shown right.

The heel

The heel

These worked pretty well on the ascent of todays hike, not so well on the descent though, I think as the temperature rose from 20 degrees to 28 some of the snow melted making the ice more treacherous. I believe the  YakTrax certainly have a place in every cold weather hikers pack, but for more severe conditions you may want to look at a pair of crampons. One of the major advantages of the walk YakTrax is their weight, at just 2.0 – 4.0 ounces depending on your size, you’ll never even notice them, they fold down to the size of my hand which makes packing them easy, and for the wide variety of conditions you run into hiking in early or late winter, they’re well worth it. They’re available pretty much everywhere, I got mine at a local outdoors shop but you could also purchase them on the YakTrax Website. I suppose I should throw in the disclaimer: I do not have affiliation with YakTrax or any other company whose product I review on this site. I pay for all of the gear on my own and am in no way forced or suggested to say great things about these companies.



How do you keep your grip in winter?

White Mountains Overnight: Midtrip Thoughts

My First Real Backpacking Trip: Thoughts on Day 1:

So I decided to take a long 5 day weekend and go backpacking in the white mountains.
Last minute fly preparation: 20130813-142021.jpg

I left my house around 7am this morning and embarked on the 3-4 hour journey up to Franconia Notch State Park. I kept an eye out for a trail head parking lot on Route 3, parked the truck, and set off. On the drive up I contemplated turning around due to thunderstorm warnings, and to be honest, yeah I’m a little nervous. It’s really my first night backpacking for real. Still not sure that I’ll make it the entire 5 days but even if I’m only up here for one or two nights, it already seems worth it. I met a few cool people who are thru hiking, a few heading north, and a couple heading south. I got to a place I really wanted to camp, right on the the pond, and then found out its not allowed. So I tried to continue south on the A.T. however my plan was interrupted by a moose! Just feeding in the middle of the trail as myself and a day hiker tried to watch and not bother it. This moose was rather young but still a good size. I waited for at least an hour and the moose was still feeding, so I turned around and headed north to camp out along the stream. Not sure if this is a good idea or not yet, but I love the sound of the water so hopefully it works out. On one of the streams I ran across earlier today, I decided to throw a line in. I brought my 9′ Soyokaze with me, a few lines, and jam packed fly box. The stream is very narrow so I used a shorter line with a size 14 Utah Killer Bug. I also gave this terrestrial a try, only got one with it though.
20130813-142000.jpg

I caught a gorgeous 6″ wild Brookie first cast! Then I caught another one a few minutes later. I think the fish learned after that though because they weren’t even looking at it. I moved upstream a bit and caught the biggest of the day, 12″. Nothing huge but still a very nice fish. The colors were beautiful! I’ll try to get a few pictures of then tomorrow! That’s all for today, time to get some sleep, I’m exhausted!

Morning Day 2:


20130813-141940.jpg

It’s about 6:30 in the morning now and I’m still tired! I didn’t sleep very good due to the tarenchle down pours that started around 11 last night. When setting up my hammock I now know I didn’t pull the rain fly tight enough on one side. I slept almost the entire night without getting wet, but this morning rain started trickling in on one side. It wasn’t that big if a deal just a little bit of water. Plus the wool blanket took up some up the water and is now virtually dry. As far as the hammock itself goes though, I’m very happy with it. Very very comfortable, felt no need for a pillow of any kind, and it was super easy to set up. The thing may be a tad bit heavier than some UL tents, but with it I don’t have the need for a sleeping pad so I save some weight there and also save space in my pack. One thing I really like about this hammock is the organizer in the middle. It’s at the top so you know it’ll never get wet and it’s perfect size for things like a phone or notepad, headlamp, wallet, and I kept my sunglasses there too. Just a couple things I didn’t feel good about leaving on the ground and knew could be handy. And what a surprise, it’s pouring again! So happy I brought long johns, wool socks, and my north face jacket! May even have to wear the underarmer cold gear turtle neck too. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do today now. There’s a pretty big fly fishing shop I may go check out, and go find some more fishing spots, but who knows.

Some of what was in my pack:20130813-142048.jpg

After trip thoughts:

So this trip was a great time, I’m positive I want to get into backpacking more, and I’m not longer nervous about being out in the wilderness alone. Some huge victories there! Unfortunately I picked an awful weekend to go, after I packed up I went over to the lonesome lake hut to check out what the weather would be like. It was nothing but pouring rain and major thunderstorms for days so I decided to just head out. Definitely a disappointment, but was still worth it. That afternoon a friend and I decided to go surfing down in Rhode Island, it was my first time going so I wasn’t exactly that successful. I still had a blast though! I also got to go do some rock climbing at a different rock gym than I’m used to. It was the Central Rock Gym in Worcester, and I thought it was okay, pretty small and not too much variety on the bouldering wall.
So, how was everyone else’s weekend?