Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Liebster Award

It’s another round of Blog Stickies with the Liebster Award!  I was given the award by Stick.  The Liebster Award is given to bloggers, by bloggers and how it works is I will answer the 11 questions that Chad came up with and then have to come up with 11 bloggers that I love to give the award to and 11 questions I want to see them answer.  The word liebe means love in German and that gives a pretty good idea of the main goal of the award as we are trying to spread the word about blogs we love and get them a bit of exposure as well as having a good time reading and writing all the answers!  I love the idea and the name as I’m madly in love with German, Germans, and Germany, but I digress.  It’s not going to be easy to come up with 11 blogs that have not been tagged already, but the questions are not only easy, but also really fun to answer as I love talking about my outdoor hobbies.  It’s actually one of the biggest reasons I started blogging.  I love talking about backpacking, but not everyone I know loves listening. 🙂  So without further ado, my 11 answers!

  • What made you get into backpacking?

I have always loved outdoor activities and spent my childhood camping, hunting and primitive camping throughout the entire Southwest USA.  The first inkling that I had that backpacking would be fun came from an unlikely place.  I was about 15 and was watching a movie on TV called White Wolves: A Cry in the Wild II.  An Oscar winner it was not, but it was the first time I remember seeing people put backpacks on and walk into the wilderness and they were going to places I’d only seen in National Geographic magazines.  I didn’t have a word for it then, but I knew I wanted to do it.  I was 23 before I finally learned the name and figured out that I could in fact have those kinds of adventures.  It was the day I walked into my very first REI and saw the wall of backpacks.  I looked at Richard and asked “can we do that?!”  A few questions to an REI employee later and I had learned a little about backpacking and had decided that it was definitely the hobby for me!  I had a bit more to learn before I could get started and even more before I found out about ultralight backpacking, but it was then that I was bit by the bug, before I ever stepped foot on a trail, and I’ve not stopped ever since.

  • What other outdoor activities do you participate in?

I started in archery when I was very little and I still love to shoot when I have the time and I surfed some in high school, but as an adult I’ve really gotten into kayaking and bushcraft.  While we were living on Catalina Island, I found I loved sea kayaking and kayak camping.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to finalize all my needs for backpacking this year so I can start saving up for my own boat, which has been a dream of mine for some time now.  It’s the next step I’d love to take in getting out more and trying new things over the next few years.

  • What is the longest distance you have backpacked?

The longest distance I have backpacked so far has been 20-30 miles at a time, but I’m looking forward to getting my first long(ish) trail under my belt this fall on the 211 miles of the JMT!

  • What is the longest amount of time you have spent outdoors?

A week has been my average so far and it’s not been while backpacking.  Work has always found a way to get between me and long trips.  Of course after September, I’ll have a very different answer! 😀

  • What is the most interesting backpacking trip you have been on?

The most drastically different backpacking trips we took have to be the weekenders we got in on Catalina Island.  You can go from sea level to 1,000 ft and back again in a day and there are no switchbacks.  It’s some of the craziest hiking I’ve ever done!

Though the craziest day hike I ever took was when we post-holed through 4ft snow in the San Bernadino Mountains last winter.

  • Where was your last backpacking trip?

This is also Catalina Island.

  • How much was your pack weight on that trip?

I can’t be 100% certain because we couldn’t weigh our packs.  Catalina is a near desert Island and so my pack weight was close to 20lbs with all the water we had to carry.  BPW was around 9.5lbs.

  • What is your favorite (alcoholic) beverage on the trail?

I’ve yet to take an alcoholic beverage on trail, but I am planning on adding a bit of my favorite spiced rum to my pack on the JMT, Sailor Jerry.

  • What is your favorite meal/snack on the trail?

That has to be beef jerky and fruit leathers!  It’s one of the few foods I could eat the rest of my life if I had to pick just one meal.

  • What is one piece of gear that you never leave without?

Right now I’d say my Mora Knife.  It’s the least UL thing I own but it is always on my hip belt.  I carry it because if my pack somehow gets lost, I have the skills to make do with a knife if I needed to.  In the desert, it can be the difference between finding the basics, like clean water.  I love using wood stoves and having fires where it’s allowed as well and my knife makes that so much easier.  If all that wasn’t enough it makes my mom feel better to know I have it with me, especially on trips I have to leave Richard at home.

I have a feeling that might change soon with all the new stuff I’ve gotten recently.  I just may find something new I can’t leave home without.

  • What was the worst piece of gear that you have ever used?

Hiking boots.  No particular brand, but I’ve had several pair and, compared to my trail runners, they were the biggest waste of money and the biggest hassle of anything I’ve ever used.


So there are the 11 questions Stick asked me.  Now I get to come up with 11 of my own!

  1. What is your favorite trail?
  2. What weather do you love hiking in?
  3. What gear item is first on your wish list right now?
  4. What is your favorite thing about backpacking?
  5. Where is your least favorite place to hike and why?
  6. What is your biggest backpacking success?
  7. What is your biggest backpacking failure?
  8. Favorite book that makes you want to get into the woods?
  9. What’s the one outdoor thing you’ve always wanted to try?
  10. What is the coolest piece of gear you own?
  11. What is one place you would hate to die without having visited?

And for my 11 Bloggers:

  1. Erin Hikes
  2. Banana Buzzbomb
  3. Jason’s Outdoor Blog
  4. Guthook Hikes
  5. 3Up Adventures
  6. Terry bnd
  7. Rambling Hemlock
  8. Lightweight Rob
  9. Our Favorite Adventure
  10. Trail to Summit
  11. Renegade Pilgrim
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