engineeredforadventure

Trip Report — Kilimanjaro, Lemosho Route (May 2018)

“Pole Pole.” Slowly, slowly. Life moves with no rush, the sun rising and setting with a relaxing flow. The world’s largest free-standing mountain looming above. This adventure was different from all others. A foreign continent, red from its iron rich soil; a foreign language spoken, erecting a roadblock on communication; and a unique mountain, standing alone above savannah and lush jungle. || Day 0 – May 11, 2018||  Miami –> Istanbul –> Zanzibar –> Kilimanjaro Africa is different; that really…

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KAF Adventures – “Dream It. Do It”

“Dream It. Do It.” Well, I couldn’t say it much better than that. My mom has always said that I needed “exertion.” I got cabin fever really easily when I was young (hell, I still do. . .), and if I didn’t get my daily exercise in I’d be bouncing off the walls. As I grew older I spent more and more time in the gym to get my “exertion.” The most recent evolution of this “exertion” has been through…

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Trail Kitchen: Episode 1

What do you think of when I say “trail food?” For many people, the immediate thought is granola and Mountain House. But does it have to be this way? || The Realization: Food CAN be tasty on the trail || At the beginning of my backpacking adventures, I followed the conventional approach to “hiker food.” I brought a ton of snacks, a mix of granola bars and trail mix that kept my blood sugar stable enough until larger meals, that…

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A Yummy Surprise: Hunter’s Reserve Summer Sausages

I’m a foodie. Plain and simple. The most social space in our entire house is our kitchen, not the TV room or the living room. My family spends countless hours together cooking from scratch, mixing together real, whole ingredients. So in planning for my John Muir Trail hike, it was very difficult for me to find trail-friendly foods that matched my food-centered upbringing. I was not interested in living off of Snicker’s Bars on the trail, like many thru-hikers do…

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How a Pair of Crocs Legitimately Saved My Life

We made our way through an empty Tuolumne Meadows, putting in some miles on our way towards Donohue Pass. Following the banks of the overflowing Tuolumne River, we came across the first creek crossing on the trail for which we had to take off our boots if we wished to keep them dry. In no way was this a difficult crossing, as the small creek was hardly treacherous, yet the water was deep enough to warrant the use of my…

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Gear Explained: Sleeping Pads

I’ve seen people underestimate the importance of a sleeping pad. They never repeated that mistake. . . || So. . . what is a sleeping PAD? || The rarely mentioned sidekick of a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad is a crucial part of every backpacker’s gear list. Without it you will certainly have a cold bottom all night long. While a sleeping bag creates an insulating layer of air between you and the outside environment, a sleeping pad insulates your…

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Gear Explained: Sleeping Bags

With so many sleeping bags on the market, picking the “right one” can seem a daunting task. || Sleeping Bag: So What Really Is It. . .? || I like to describe a sleeping bag like a human thermos. It does not generate heat, but rather, traps heat that your body radiates to the surrounding environment. The various temperature ratings of sleeping bags, such as 30 F, 20 F, etc., measure how efficiently the bag is able to retain heat…

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Trail Review: Art Loeb Trail

With its panoramic bald knobs, the Art Loeb Trail is a great destination in the Southeast for a weekend trip. Located in Pisgah National Forest, the trailhead from Black Balsam Knob Road is just over an hour from Asheville and around 3.5 hours from Atlanta. || Location || The Art Loeb Trailhead on Black Balsam Knob Road is just over an hour from Asheville, and 3.5 hours from Atlanta. The trailhead is accessed via the Blue Ridge Parkway, which gives…

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Gear Review: Dragon Alliance MountaineerX Sunglasses

For my John Muir Trail expedition in the summer of 2017, a primary concern in my gear preparations was eye protection. The vicious glare of the sun reflected off the snow can cause severe snow blindness, if you are not careful. The trouble I faced, however, is that there are SO MANY options out on the market. How to choose? || My Researching Process: Understanding My Needs || Before I begin researching the market for a piece of gear, I…

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Trail Review: Grays Peak

For mountain enthusiasts, Colorado’s “14ers” are a must-do. Colorado has 58 peaks with summits above 14,000′, which are referred to as “14ers.” Many of these peaks are accessible as day hikes. || Grays Peak || Standing at 14,278′, Grays Peak is a great option for those looking for a non-technical 14er near the Denver / Boulder area. The trail leading up to Grays can be accessed from I-70, a few miles west of Idaho Springs, around an hour or so…

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Trail Diaries: Our Snowy Adventure

|| The True “Beginning” || It all started with ice cream. In the fall of 2016, a friend and I were chatting about our hiking dreams. I mentioned to him that I had hopes of hiking the PCT after college. He mentioned that I should look into the John Muir Trail, a smaller section of the PCT which was known as the “crowned jewel” of the long trek from Mexico to Canada. I was hooked. . . Whenever I had…

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