• Sort Blog:
  • All
  • All About Wool
  • Customer Submissions
  • hikeSafe
  • Merinoholics
  • News
  • Outdoors
  • Product Videos
  • Products
  • Testimonial
26645453056 e02ae2b17b o

Insider Tips for Your First Backpacking Trip

From the rocky outcrops of the Talladega National Forest to the waterfalls of the Sipsey Wilderness, Alabama is home to many excellent backpacking trails that practically beg for an overnight adventure.

If you’ve only done day hikes, however, a longer overnight trek through the backcountry can seem slightly intimidating. But with a little research and planning, your first backpacking trip can be an amazing experience that paves the way for future adventures.

The rewards are well worth the planning and effort. Deep in the woods, you’ll discover the kind of scenery, solitude, and natural wonders that many people never experience. At night, beneath the stars, far away from civilization and crowds, you’ll savor a sense of calm that’s hard to find in today’s fast-paced, tech-saturated world.

To help you launch your first outing, we’ve compiled 10 insider tips to help you plan your route, choose the right gear, and travel comfortably and safely in the backcountry. Follow these guidelines, and your first backpacking trip will likely be the first of many.

READ MORE

20180515_Meg Atteberry_IMG_2435

Pro Tips on How to Find Your Secret Wilderness Hideaway

There is a string of mountains in Colorado I hold near and dear to my heart, where green high-alpine valleys dotted with wildflowers like confetti meet dizzying rock spires, and steep, grassy hillsides tumble into the shimmering waters of untouched lakes. The effort to reach this pristine wilderness is not for the faint of heart: Getting there often involves steep elevation gains, poorly maintained trails, or sometimes, no trail at all. It took me four years to find these spots, and I could spend a lifetime discovering every valley, ridgeline, and high alpine creek among them.

This glorious sense of discovering something new is at the heart of exploring the wilderness, but it’s getting harder and harder to do these days. People are getting outdoors in record numbers, which is generally a positive, but one downside is the increasing difficulty of finding that “secret” spot that no one knows about. But it’s these very places that keep the adventure alive. Here, a few tricks to finding your secret wilderness spot.

READ MORE
20180918-BCBSAL-blister

Tips for Hikers on Preventing and Treating Blisters

What’s a hiker’s worst and most common enemy? Bears? Weather? No! It’s the common, but painful, blister.

Even a short day hike can seem like a death march when you have blisters, but there are ways to prevent this suffering, or at least reduce the pain. The key is to know potential pressure points where a blister can form, and to know how to recognize when one might be forming. Plus, you can take certain precautions before hitting the trail.

READ MORE
20180912-campfire

Pro Tips on Building the Perfect Campfire

Building the perfect campfire: an indispensable skill for any outdoors enthusiast, given the life-saving properties of an emergency blaze—not to mention the fundamental bragging rights. (Take that too far, though, and you’ve got one of those arenas prone to obnoxious contests and condescending tutorials by insecure campers compelled to demonstrate their outdoorsy and macho bona fides.) Really, there’s no one formula that translates to the “best” campfire: There are certainly various options for fuel arrangement and materials, as long as you understand the basic principles of combustion.

READ MORE
Trevor Bockstahler Merinoholics Adventures Great Himalayan Trail High Route

Merino Wool Doesn’t Smell!

So there is plenty to be said about the benefits of merino wool!  We can talk about it’s ‘fabled warm when wet’ properties.  We can talk about the ultra soft, non-itchy texture.  Or how about it’s durability and breathability.  Even its moisture wicking and temperature regulating properties.  All of which have been well documented, tested, and talked about.  All of which has made merino wool the most versatile and sought after outdoors fabric… But what about the smell?

READ MORE
20181004-BCBS-rookiebackpacking

4 Rookie Mistakes Made by First-Time Backpackers

“Where is it? It has to be here somewhere.”

I was standing in a parking lot in Yellowstone National Park staring at a mess of gear strewn across the pavement.

“Where’s the rainfly for the tent?”

READ MORE
Backcountry cooking with a view

How to Plan a Menu for a Long Distance Backpacking Trip

For many of us, menu planning for a backpacking trip is a last minute consideration. Stop off at a grocery on the way up to the mountains and grab the essentials: mac and cheese, ramen, oatmeal, and, of course, bars, bars, and more bars. But the longer your hike (around the third day of a backpacking trip is usually when it becomes tough to eat another energy bar), the more important it is to vary your diet, both to maintain a high interest in your food and to keep your energy levels up and active. If you’re planning your first long hike, whether it’s for six days or 60, you’ll want to spend some time considering what to eat, how much, and when.

READ MORE
20180920-100 mile wilderness

How to Tackle a Long-Distance Hike in Winter

Hiking the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, which begins on Georgia’s Springer Mountain and runs all the way north to Mount Katahdin in Maine, is certainly a hardcore adventure. But making it through the 100-Mile Wilderness in Maine—generally considered the wildest, most remote section—earns another level of bragging rights. Signs posted by the Maine Appalachian Trail Coalition at either end of the trail sum it up nicely:

READ MORE
tommy-lisbin-224276

Winter Camping: Pro Tips on Staying Warm and Savoring the Solitude

Winter doesn’t mean the camping season is over. With proper gear and planning, savvy outdoor lovers can immerse themselves in nature year-round—and savor the solitude and serenity of a winter landscape almost all to themselves. Cold weather camping is quiet and peaceful, and comes at slow, even introspective pace, since most other campers are long gone, but the sunsets are every bit as beautiful, and the campfires are even more comforting. Here’s how to do it, without dropping a bundle on gear.

READ MORE
Good gear can save your ass Merinoholics Adventures Will Carter Imp Campsite Backpacking Trip

Good Gear Can Save Your A**

Check, re-check, then check it again. That’s how I plan and pack. Whether it’s for travel or hiking. I try to go as lite as I can but carry what is necessary.

This trip was no different. I was antsy and excited. I had another knee surgery two months prior and this was to be my first hike. As John Muir put it – the mountains are calling, and I must go. Cabin fever had more than set in, and it was the summer.READ MORE

Peakbagging Martin Merinoholics Adventures Hiking Backpacking Mountaineering

Peakbagging in Alaska

Peakbagging – “An activity in which hikers, climbers and mountaineers attempt to reach a collection of summits, published in the form of a list.”

I got into peakbagging almost 3 years ago. At first I would just hike up mountains to enjoy the views. I would only stay on trails and after a while, my trips became fairly limited. That is when I decided to literally go off the beaten paths in search of new adventures.READ MORE

Training for the Trail - BenOnAdventures Merinoholics Stories

Training for the Trail with BenOnAdventures

When you think about going on an adventure, you may not think about how important training off the trails is. Or you may think “all I have to do is hike” to have a successful adventure. Sure, this may be applicable for some smaller treks, but larger, more ambitious ones require additional exercise.READ MORE

Lark Mountain Merinoholics Adventures Martin The Ideal Adventure Partner

The Ideal Adventure Partner

It might sound silly to someone who spends most of their time on well-beaten paths, but for some of us, coming across the right adventure partner can be as difficult as finding the right life partner.

There are a lot of things to take into account in order to create the right chemistry and make sure that everybody comes home safe and sound.

READ MORE

Trevor Bockstahler Merinoholics Adventures Great Himalayan Trail High Route

Great Himalayan Trail – High Route

The Great Himalayan Trail… I heard that it hadn’t been done solo before (later to find I was the 5th), so I derailed my plans to go scuba diving for a Himalayan adventure.   The trail traverses the country of Nepal and I was awestruck by the extreme ruggedness, and the unbelievably intense and beautiful scenery.   Equally as amazing, were the unbelievably kind and hospitable locals, surviving in the harsh landscape, yet always happy and welcoming.  During my traverse I traveled through lowland jungles, across high alpine glaciers, stayed in a couple of local’s homes, had a near death experience, and a nighttime run in with a snow leopard.  Everything you could ask for to make a wonderful adventure.

READ MORE

Trevor Bockstahler Colorado to Alaska 2016 Merinoholics Adventures

Colorado to Alaska 2016

As my first real backpacking experience the 4700 mile journey from Steamboat Springs, CO to Prudhoe Bay, AK was a trial by fire.  Starting in the middle of May on 8 feet of snow, I began the trip that would have me finish in snow on October 1st at Alaska’s Arctic coastline.  From the high ridgelines and rugged peaks of the U.S. and Canadian Rockies, to the strong currents and unpredictable weather on the mighty Yukon River, and North through the Brooks Range of Alaska.  The trip was a fabulous expression of not only the grand beauty of the wilderness, but what we can all be capable of.

READ MORE

minus 33 merino wool clothing, Alaskan Adventures

Tough on Nature, Soft on Skin

Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a sensitive skin.

 

I couldn’t go to the swimming pool without developing a rash from the chlorinated water. I went through spouts of eczema and allergic reactions most of my life. I cannot wear any synthetic fabric for too long and I can definitely not have polyester on my skin when involved in intense physical activity. As I’ve learned to avoid those situations altogether, it has never been a major problem for me. But it eventually changed, when I moved to Alaska and felt compelled to take on the outdoors through various sports.READ MORE

Minus 33 Merino wool clothing, Why go light?

Why Go Light?

Over the years, backpacking has evolved on so many levels.

Everything from the type of gear you carry, the food you bring, and the trips you take are becoming more demanding and extreme. Over the past fifteen or so years, backpacking has really seen a new trend: going lighter.

 READ MORE
↓