In some respects, switching to a backpacking hammock over a traditional ground tent is a no-brainer for northeast hikers. With a hammock you don’t have to worry about playing tent-platform Tetris, or asking for the “overflow spot” (aka the drainage area), at busy campsites. And yet, if you’re considering a hammock, something is probably giving you pause.
This is a story of what not to do on the Appalachian Trail. It has taken me two years to write this, which I’d like to conveniently pass off to life’s many priorities, but if I’m being completely honest, there’s a good deal of embarrassment here too. There’s also a responsibility to share, because this is something all hikers should read.
Meal planning is arguably the most difficult aspect of backpacking preparation. It’s tough creating a balanced diet out of easily packable foods, a problem Greenbelly has set out to solve, delivering 33 percent of daily nutrition in each package. That’s all well and good, but how do they taste?
I’ve always wanted to make an igloo and camp out. Inspired by an article in my son’s Boy’s Life magazine, I figured it was time to check-off this winter bucket list item. So for this adventure my eldest son and I travelled to the deepest, darkest, New Hampshire forest—okay, alright, it was our backyard.
“Good communication is essential,” Dave, our Eastern Mountain Sports guide, said. “Because gravity doesn’t care.” It was the first day of the Appalachian Mountain Club and Eastern Mountain Sports Schools’ winter mountaineering program, and we were staring up a 200-foot ice cliff near Cathedral Ledges in North Conway, New Hampshire.
Hiking with kids is always an adventure. There’s a slippery slope between family fun and total meltdown (see Exhibit A), and believe me, when your child has a conniption in the forest, other hikers are around to hear it. The following tips are a recipe for happy trails on your next family hike, allowing you and yours to build lasting outdoor memories everyone will be excited to do again.