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Author - appalachiantrailgirl

Backpacking with Kids

A few weeks ago, my nephews and mom came to join me on the trail for a week of hiking. My mom already had a hundred or so miles of hiking experience, but this was the first time for the boys (ages 8 and 12). There were times where I could have never imagined a worse situation, like when...

Leave No Trace is Cool

Leave No Trace is a huge part of life in the backcountry. Following Leave No Trace (or LNT) principles is how we ensure that the wilderness stays wild, not only so the next hikers can enjoy it, but so we don’t negatively impact the flora and fauna of the region. It’s vital...

How to Prevent Hypothermia

This past week I was hiking in Connecticut, and it rained for three days straight. It wasn’t even heavy rain; it was the sort of light rain that keeps everything damp and doesn’t let the sun come out. On top of that, the temperatures were dropping into the 40s at night...

What is a Ridge Runner?

I just finished my ridge runner training week in Connecticut, and I will be spending the summer working along the Appalachian Trail. I’m excited for the opportunity to give back to the trail. The most asked question we get is… What is a ridge runner? The short answer is I am a...

Outdoor Retailers Lack of Plus-Size Options

I have heard a lot of talk recently about how the outdoor industry doesn’t do a good enough job producing women’s gear, such as in this Appalachian Trials article. Or more particularly, the women’s gear they do produce primarily comes in colors like pink, purple, and...

Packing Out Toilet Paper 101

Most beginner backpackers are grossed out by the idea of packing out their toilet paper, and that’s OK. But it’s an important thing to do in order to preserve our wilderness. Occasionally, you might see bits of toilet paper off to the side of the trail. How gross would it be if every...

What’s up with Sleeping Bag Liners?

This past fall, I was going into the Great Sand Dunes National Park to work for two months. Temperatures were expected to be very cold at night. My crew leaders recommended a 0 degree sleeping bag. The warmest bag I had was 20 degrees, and I wasn’t about to go buy a new one for a job that...

Buff Review

Occasionally, people ask me what one piece of gear I always take on my outdoor trips. We all have that one item we feel compelled to always have in our pack. My one item I can’t live without is my merino wool Buff. I bought a Buff last spring because I was going on a bike trip and I...

The Great Sand Dunes National Park: Go there for a day of playing on North America's tallest sand dunes or plan a multi-day backpacking adventure.

Backpacking in the Great Sand Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is one of my favorite places in Colorado. I spent two months living there and working on a conservation corp to maintain the trails. While Rocky Mountain National Park or the Colorado Trail might seem like the more obvious options for...