adventure Archives

  1. 2017 Jeep Wrangler Pickup →

    Rumored in 2015, it now looks like the Jeep Wrangler pickup truck is really happening. I am looking forward to this one, and can’t wait to see what kind of tops they will offer for it. I am hoping for an option to access the bed from the cab.

  2. Pan-American Adventures →

    The Pan-American Adventures website is documenting a trip where some adventurers are using a four-door Jeep Wrangler to travel from Wisconsin, to Alaska, to the tip of South America, and back home.

    I was intrigued to see how they were using the space inside the Jeep in conjunction with the awesome tent pop-top from Ursa Minor Vehicles. To my surprise there are three people camping on the Jeep on the trip! Their logistics post explains it all.

  3. Jeep Wrangler–Based Pickup Is Happening! →

    I would love to see this happen. But, I am still struggling with what would be my “perfect Jeep”.

    I really like my Patriot because it gives me the ability to fold the passenger sleep down and sleep on a sleeping pad using the full length of the vehicle. The only other way I can see this happening in another Jeep is using a convertible tent-top on a Wrangler, like the ones from Ursa Minor Vehicles.

    The pro of the Patriot is that you are getting a Jeep that you can sleep in for half the cost, but without the rugged aspect of a Wrangler. Adding the sleep conversation to the Wrangler gives you the best of both worlds but at a considerably higher total price.

    What would be interesting is to see how much flexibility Jeep will give to the back end of a new pick-up Wrangler design. Would the back end be compatible with a soft top? Will the front passenger seat be removable to permit sleeping lengthwise in the vehicle, protected from the weather?

    Regardless, I’m excited to see this thing.

  4. It’s Time to End Cairn Building →

    This is a thought-provoking opinion piece that made me realize I have also asked “Why the need for this here?” Whether or not you sit on one side of the argument, if you spend time in the woods you have undoubtedly encountered a stack of rocks, or a cairn.

    The first cairn I can remember encountering was in the 1990’s along an unmaintained logging road which intersected the Appalachian Trail in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. It noted an almost invisible side trail off the road, as if a hiker or hunter wanted to remember where they planned to enter the woods when returning to the location. Like this hunter’s footpath indicator, I highly doubt that any of the stacks of rocks I’ve encountered were built to have spiritual meaning, but for the purpose of the conversation, I’ll join the author and refer to these as “cairns”.

    While I have seen some cairns in arguably navigable terrain, making them seem completely unnecessary, others have been clearly built to assist with navigation. Take for example the cairn built to indicate an unmarked trail’s abrupt turn. Without the cairn, an unmarked (or unclearly marked) trail may appear to maintain a direction, allowing the hiker to unknowingly pass the desired turning point. This could especially be true in the summer months, where brush in a low traffic area can get quite out of hand. (At least in Pennsylvania…)

    I encountered a few of these “navigation cairns” last weekend during a hike with my Dad in Colorado’s Uncompahgre National Forest. A couple times the trail would fizzle out in a pasture where hikers and horses alike had chosen the least path of resistance to avoid muddy sections of trail, resulting in multiple paths around the mud. On the other side of the muddy section, the trail would disappear, but a small stack of rocks in the distance would assist in relocating the hiker to the trail.

    While the author raises some good points, the comments are also worth reading. Specifically, “James” reminds us that cairns which are used to point out an unintended trail are indeed a problem, as they encourage traffic to an area where it may not be wanted in the first place:

    What about situations where people use cairns to mark “social trails”? Just for clarification, when I use the term social trail I am referring to an unofficial trail that has been created by visitors without permission from the organization or people that are responsible for managing a piece of land. Social trails are problematic because they are nearly always created with little to no consideration given to the long term sustainability of the trail or the impact that have on the surrounding environment.

    Signs which read “Stay on the trail!” are always there for a reason, whether it be to prevent unwanted erosion, preservation of animal habitat or fragile alpine plants. The commenter continues:

    Professional trail builders are responsible for avoiding impacts to natural and cultural resources and there is supervision that take place to ensure that the trails they build are properly constructed. When a individual takes it upon themselves to create a new trail without adequate knowledge of the resources they may be impacting and insufficient knowledge of how to build a sustainable and durable trail there will certainly create a trail that is going to have an unnecessarily large impact on the land and the resources. As someone who restores poorly designed trails for the National Park Service, my primary request is that people not construct cairns to mark unofficial trails.

    And so, while the article itself is an opinion piece, I side with the “leave no trace” approach to cairns — if they aren’t there, don’t build them.

  5. Colvin, Blake, Nippletop, and Dial

    Over the weekend I made my fourth trip to Upstate New York to bang out another handful of peaks in the Adirondacks. In about 12 hours and 18.6 miles, I summited four peaks, bringing my total to 13:

    • Mount Colvin, 4057 ft (10/46)
    • Blake Peak, 3960 ft (11/46)
    • Nippletop, 4620 ft (12/46)
    • Dial Mountain, 4020 ft (13/46)

    Unlike my last Adirondacks hike which took me to the top five peaks in the Dix Range, the challenge with this group was that Colvin and Blake sat on a different range than Nippletop and Dial. This meant hiking up the first range to summit two peaks, descending, hiking up the second range for the other two, and descending again — a challenging day no matter how I would slice it.

    And so, no matter which two mountains I hiked first, I knew I would be getting tired during the second range. I settled on starting with Colvin and Blake, as the hike back to the parking lot from Nippletop and Dial would be — for the most part — a slow descend with no backtracking, unlike the trek from Colvin to Blake and back.

    Some of my favorite views during this hike weren’t on the peaks at all, but on a side trail that took me to Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs, which presented a gorgeous view looking down and South at Lower Ausable Lake, tucked between Mount Colvin to the East, and the Great Range to the West.

    At 3960 feet, Blake was my first false 46er. Although its top was covered in trees, its ascent still proved to be a challenge.