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HIGHEST PEAK EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI – MT. MITCHELL – BLACK MOUNTAINS 2/19/16 To 2/21/16

One of my goals is to summit the tallest peaks East of the Mississippi and possibly before it’s over just maybe all of the peaks East of the Mississippi that are 6,000 feet or higher.  I’ve made it to the top of several of them but there were plenty more that were higher and up until this trip I was barely in the top 5. No doubt the most famous mountain that I’ve summited has to be Mt. LeConte […]

Conquering the Tallest Peaks in the East

  Even though the tallest peaks in the East are a fraction (in height) of the peaks out West that doesn’t mean they lack the excitement and foul weather that one experiences while summiting them.  I’ve been at the base of Mt. Mitchell and Mt. LeConte where it’s sunny and beautiful only to get to the top and find 40-50 degree temps accompanied by cold rain.  At this point, I’ve hiked up and over several of these peaks and I know firsthand they […]

ULA Circuit Backpack

          The maiden voyage for my ULA Circuit backpack involved hiking the Colbert Ridge to MT. Mitchell.  I bagged several of the Easts highest peaks during this hike with my main focus being Mt. Mitchell.  The pack carried very well with 34 pounds in it and it felt like it could easily handle more. Everything about this pack was outstanding!  I don’t know where to start in describing what all I […]

Enlightened Equipment Hoodlum

    At this point I own two Enlightened Equipment Revelation quilts that I love so it makes sense to purchase a Hoodlum to go with them.  It goes especially well for my 20 degree revelation because chances are if I’m using this quilt it’s probably cold and I’ll need head insulation.  It comes in two different temperature ranges, 20-40F and 0-20F so I chose the 0-20F because for me, anything more than a small skullcap in warmer temperatures is way too much. Previous to the Hoodlum I […]

Leatherwood Ford to Honey Creek Loop – Out and Back Big South Fork

      Back in the Big South Fork once again!  This time we were there to explore the new John Muir Trail that links Leatherwood Ford to the Honey Creek Loop.  We ended up with outstanding weather the entire weekend – daytime temps ranged around 70F and nighttime temps around 42F.  Not a bit of rain in sight.  And even a quick dip on the BSF of the Cumberland! This was my first time […]

ZELPH’S STOVEWORKS Starlyte Burner w/Lid

    My Zelph’s Stoveworks Starlyte burner is probably my favorite alcohol burner and I have quite the selection of stoves at this point.  I guess I’m just a gear freak and if I see a stove I don’t have I want to add it to my arsenal.  I first heard of this from Andrew Skurka as part of his Cadillac Backpacking Stove System.  I knew that if he recommended it as part of his Cadillac system […]

Mount LeConte Lodge Two Night 3/31/16 To 4/2/16

    I’ve stayed up at Mt. LeConte Lodge a few times now but this was the first time I was able to obtain two nights up there so I was really excited.  A friend of mine suggested that it could be boring being stuck up there for a few nights so I was a little concerned that my nephew and I would run out of things to do but I was more than willing to give it […]

Men’s IgniteLite Reversible Pullover

  Shop Mountain Gear for the best selection of outdoor gear and clothing I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is my new favorite pullover jacket. It replaced my Marmot Calen 1/2 Zip Pullover that accompanied me on many backpacking trips.  Now in this case I didn’t exactly trim weight but instead gained a few ounces which is easy to accept when you compare the warmth factor.  And in my opinion that warmth factor is a […]

Eddie Bauer First Ascent Men’s Cloud Layer® Pro Fleece 1/4-Zip Pullover

  Shop Eastern Mountain Sports for the Best Outdoor Gear and Apparel This pullover has been one of my favorite pieces of gear/clothing ever since I first tried it on.  It’s absolutely amazing!  I currently own two of them, one is gray and the other is hazelnut.  The gray is size XL regular and it’s just a hair too small for me.  Fortunately the other one is XL Tall which gives plenty of sleeve length and […]

Toaks Light 550ML Titanium Pot

I have so many titanium pots and cups that I wonder why I need more but I always come up with a reason.  This purchase was fueled by the want to both lighten my pack weight and condense gear size in the never ending battle that all backpackers partake.  Must go lighter!  Must go smaller!  These lightweight items are all geared primarily toward tougher hikes and thru-hikes where I want to be as light, simple and compact as possible […]

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