Roads Rivers and Trails

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Tag Archives: Camping


RRT Tent Series

Roads, Rivers and Trails is going to be putting together an extensive video library of the products in our stores. This is our tent series, which will be showcasing our tent selection for you! Our video library consists of specifications for each tent including various weights, space availability and how they look set up.

The video series will take the form of playlists on YouTube. So if you wish to view a specific tent, click the YouTube icon in the bottom right of the video screen and scroll through the videos on the playlist. Of course, if you’d like to watch the whole series at once, we certainly won’t hold that against you!

 

ENO DoubleNest and Atlas Straps Review

Eno Hammock Review

 

There is a very small market for very large individuals who love the outdoors. You’re going to be hard pressed to find anything technical in clothing if you’ re a big guy, and let’s all just agree that hip belts are not designed for the wide-inclined. All is not lost though! We have a product that does two of the most awesome things a backpacker can hope for at the same time: decrease pack weight and increase comfort. Ladies and gentlemen, I offer you the ENO DoubleNest and Atlas Straps.

 

Solitude

as seen in Meet Me Outdoors: The Outdoor Guide to the Tri-State; Fifth Edition

April 25th,  2014
Written by: Eric Hagen

Small nuances like the sound of running water from a stream a quarter-mile east of where I stand now. The songs of birds nestled in among the swaying branches of an old Carolina pine under which I had slept. I had made a nest of my own from their discarded needles the night before, and the smell of their sap still lingers on my now three-day unwashed skin.

I have heated some water in a small backpack stove, mixing in small amounts of pine needles from my temporary shelter and loose chai tea from a small ziploc bag I keep in my hip pocket. The feel of silky warm water does wonders to chase the cold of the night away. I had not built a fire last night, pine sap is notorious for quick combustion and the last thing I needed to do was repay the forest by burning it down.

I pulled my socks out from within my thermal pants where I had placed them the night prior in an attempt to dry them. The moisture doesn’t really dissipate as much as diffuse, but it is always better to have drier feet than thighs. My legs were sore, according to my map and measurement I had covered just shy of 14 miles yesterday before the sun began to dip below the horizon and I was forced to make camp. Smears and flecks of mud dotted my stained shirt everywhere except for where the straps of my pack had ridden across the shoulders and along my waist.

Time loses meaning in the woods. When the day is determined by the amount of sunlight left, ideas such as “two o’clock” are arbitrary. Do the trees care how many years they have been growing?

These are the things I think about as I sip my morning brew, contemplating the day as I will, planning distances, charting, feeling important.

My face itches from having not shaved, I swear the beard grows faster in the wild. Having left behind all of my comforts to come here now: razor, cell phone, indoor plumbing.

I see a doe grazing a few yards off with her two fawns. She is keenly aware of my position under the pine as no doubt the smell of my tea has betrayed my position. Were the time different I would have found this awe inspiring to be so close to Nature. Now, however, I feel simply at home; as if that doe has always been there and I have always been here, our neighborly bond no more than a quick hello while grabbing the newspaper. Wild Kingdom Suburbia.

I inhale the aroma of pine and chai, having thoroughly shaken the cold off with the help of the newly risen sun. I wonder how life could honestly be considered lived without knowing this type of freedom. No textbooks, no papers to grade, no conferences to attend or professional developmentto make me a better teacher. I find peace in the simplicity of knowing that social trappings are finite.

I spread my weathered map of the area out across the dew-ridden grass and mark where I am in regards to where I hope to be by nightfall. As my food supplies shrink I am able to move faster, so judging by the terrain, I should be able to cover 8 to 10 miles before breaking for lunch, there is a small river tributary I will need to cross there, a good place to cool down and refill my water bottles.

The logic behind packing food for a long duration is to keep your rations low, dry, and compact. Eat your heavier foods first thing in the morning, this will give your stomach more to work with through the day, and it will reduce weight on your shoulders early in the day, meaning you go further with a lighter load. Foods such as almonds, nuts, items with high fat content digest slower and leave the hiker feeling fuller for longer. Water is the main culprit of excessive weight, but it is also the universal agent in survival. Always plan water stops.

I eat a handful of raw almonds and pemmican while swallowing my remaining tea. As I clean the pot, I notice how blackened it has become over the years of use. Countless oatmeal packets, freeze-dried meals, bannock bread, all of which has left my little titanium vessel yellowed and blued. It never fails, every time I step out of society for a time, it is as if it is for the first time.

I run a quick check: Two water bottles, one filter, sleeping pad, rain jacket, etc. I place the frayed National Geographic topography map into the top hatch, zip it shut and hoist it all once again onto my back. My shoulders scream in dull ache as I pull the slack out from the waist belt, each day a little more, and I head west.

Southbound: episode 6

October 16th 2006
Written by: Bryan Wolf and Joe White

  It is amazing to think that it has been almost exactly two weeks since we crossed over into New Hampshire . Tonight, we sit in the Dartmouth College Library just a mile from the Vermont border. We will cross over late tonight after updating the journal and dinner in town. The NH – VT border marks a big milestone for us. Its marks our 2nd state completed (hardest 2), 20% finished, 440 miles, and 40 days of continuous backpacking. This is my longest consecutive backpacking trip ever, but lets not forget that it is Ice Man’s first backpacking trip. Both of us are still excited and feeling great.Falls on Moosilauke

After our night camping under the I-93 bridge outside of North Woodstock , we had a beautiful short hike back into the mountains. That night Ice Man built his first fire on his own with no fire starters or fuel from the stove. It was a nice size fire that kept us warm before dinner. That night, we had the heaviest rainfall of the whole trip. In the morning the stream beside the shelter had risen almost a foot higher than the day before. Ice Man was excited to summit Mt. Wolf , but disappointed that no one actually put a sign at the top. The sadness didn’t last long. We stopped later at a stream to filter some water and the water filter has been making strange noises. Well, as Ice Man was pumping water, a moose walked up behind him making a similar grunting noise as the water filter. It was the funniest thing. The moose stopped just 10 or 15 feet away and looked at us, and we just starred back. It didn’t take but a few seconds before it realized that we were not another moose, and took off running. There wasn’t enough time to even get the camera out.

We had hoped to climb up and over Mt. Moosilake , the last of the White Mountains, before the following day was over. The rain slowed us down, but not nearly as much as the beautiful mile climb up Moosilake. Almost the entire climb paralleled a brook with endless cascading waterfalls. We stopped at the shelter just below the peak instead of risking night hiking. As the night went on, the weather cleared, the mountains hidden in the clouds came out, and the night sky was perfectly clear. It was a great sign of what was to come, or so we thought.Mt. Moosilauke

In the morning, there was a 1/2 inch of snow on the ground, our boots were frozen, and the water filter was iced over. We boiled 4 quarts of water for the day and used the stove to de-ice our boots. We were not expecting this to happen anytime soon. It was a miserable start to a great day. The views from the top of Moosilake were clear. To the east, was the taller rugged White Mountains that we already conquered, and to the west, hahaha. We were a little bummed out to be standing on a mountain that was taller than anything to come in a long while. On the maps, we started to see not just mountains labeled, but also hills.

We knew we were leaving the hardest part of the trail behind as we came down the mountain. The trail almost instantly became smoother and more gradual than before. We ended up doing 16 miles that day even after taking a two hour snack break at the bottom of Moosilake. We wanted to make sure we could make it into Hanover by this morning, so the following day we pushed out a 20 miler over smaller mountains and fields. Yesterday, we made 18 miles to the edge of town. We were hoping to stay in town, but there was nothing cheaper than $80 a night. Luckily a wonderful man, named Dwight offered us a place to stay for the night.Osprey Pack

We were so excited. He had a wonderful family and he and his wife treated us very well. They treated us to hot showers, laundry, and a fabulous dinner. He mapped out the town and dropped us off to wonder around. We stopped by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Murphy’s Pub. It was nice to sit and relax for a while. We slept on a nice comfy bed with a down comforter and our own bathroom right next door. It was excellent. We came into town this morning to resupply and tie up loose ends.
We are going to experiment with our diet this week by doubling our calorie intake. According to backpacker magazine, winter hikers that hike for 8 hours need 5 to 6 thousand calories a day. I think we were somewhere in the ballpark of 2500 on a good day. Food is heavy, but we are loading up this time. The only thing harder to hike with other than an aching body is a hungry stomach. It is amazing the diet we can handle out here. It really is. The plan is to be in North Adams , Mass. in 9 days which is where we hope to update you once again, but it may come sooner. We have to resupply in a town again in a few days.

This exert was originally published on atwishhikers.com. It’s content has not been edited from the original post.

Epilogue:
by: Bryan Wolf

My first memory of Hanover is that of randomly hiking up on Dwight and his son. It was a great display of faith and trust on his part to extend his hand and his home.  There couldn’t of been five minutes in conversation before he offered showers and home cooking.  This was an amazing surprise after what was one of the very hardest nights and mornings on the trail.  What we came to find out at dinner, is that Dwight was one of the original founders of Jetboil.  We will always have a wonderful story and proudly sell Jetboil because of the good nature we received that day, besides they are great stoves too!

Depite the top of Mt. Mooilake being one of the more difficult mornings, it was also one of the more thrilling. I remember and often revisit that adrenaline rush that comes with harsh weather and long exposure to the elements of our raw world.  My boots had frozen and took the first two miles to thaw, even after which my feet remained frozen for several more. The first time you face these challenges, and the first time you realize the severity of your choice to do a winter thru-hike is scary.  At the same time it is exhilarating and makes you feel very alive.  It is these experiences that build your confidence and knowledge in these trips.

Southbound: episode 5

October 10th 2006
Written by: Bryan Wolf and Joe White

   It has been a while since you last heard from us in Andover , Maine . I’ll start from the beginning I guess. The first few days out were also our last in Maine . The first day, the weather was incredible and we tackled two 4,000 ft + peaks in 15 miles. We were so excited to have done so much over that terrain, but the following day put us in our place. The Mahoosuc Notch, the hardest mile on the whole trail, took us 3 hours to do a mile. It was nothing but climbing over, in between and under boulders, of course it was wet too. We had a few close calls, but only a bumped head and some scratches. That day we only went 5 miles before we called it a day.the Mahoosuc Notch

The following day was soiled with bad weather, yet crossing into New Hampshire and finishing our first state kept us in good spirits until Ice Man fell into the mud. His right leg missed a board and sunk into the mud up to his thigh. Luckily, his left leg was still on the board, otherwise, I don’t know how he would have gotten out. We called it an early day and stayed dry at the next shelter. We stopped in Gorham , NH for a dollar menu feast at Mcdonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts in the morning.White Mountains

We had 2 and a half days until Pinkham Notch, which is the gateway to the Presidential Mountains. They were spectacular mountains to say the least. They are called the “wildcats” and the views the gave of Mt. Washington were incredible. Our second day in the wildcats, there was ice covering the whole north side of the mountains(the pics turned out great). We have had nothing but the best weather since we left Pinkham Notch. Locals say that the weather we had going over the Presidential Mountains and Mt. Washington , was by far the best all year. This was the place we expected to be having the worst weather. We had warm days, clear skies, 120 mile + visibility, and winds of less than 10 mph for days. Not even the Columbus Day weekend crowds and tourists on the mountain could make us wish for better. We were down right spoiled. We hiked 2 and a half days above treeline in the White Mountains with unimaginable weather. Mt. Washington put us over 6,000 feet at exactly one month since we had made the summit of Katahdin, a nice coincidence.Zeacliffs

A couple nights ago, we camped right on some cliffs, watched the sunset after dinner, and relaxed under the stars with hot apple cider. We stayed up swapping trail stories with a going to be “3 time” thru-hiker named Doc Knarley. Oh, he had some crazy stories. Last night, we spent a few hours relaxing on top of Mt. Garfield . We are going to miss these mountains. We rolled into North Woodstock today to refuel, and send you guys an update. We hope you enjoy these pictures. We love you all and wish you could be here. We have to catch a ride back to the trail soon. We figured we would “troll camp” tonight under the I-93 bridge. We hope to update you again in Hanover in less than a week.Troll Camping

This exert was originally published on atwishhikers.com. It’s content has not been edited from the original post.

Epilogue:
by: Bryan Wolf

This is a big section to stop and reflect on and I feel like there are many untold stories. For starters; Mt. Success.  I am over 6 feet tall and almost all legs, when we reached the top of cloudy Mt. Success the last thing I thought I’d encounter was a endless pit of doom trying to swallow me in the mist.  The mountain even at the very top had wood planks to walk on to avoid the swampy mess but even those boards were covered by mud. I found myself poking the ground in front to find the boards before taking each step, to no avail.  I fell (in a very flexible moment) over waist deep in mud while keeping my left foot still on the board ahead.  Joe was up in front and after a try or two I had to shout ahead for help getting out.  The mud and cold water was sinking into my boot making it feel like concrete holding me down.

After getting pried from the depths and retiring to the following shelter, I was quickly warmed up from some trail magic: tequila! This whole section had chance encounters of booze carrying trail angels. Passing a flask of vodka back and forth with “Doc” on top of Zeacliffs near the hut made for one heck of a night! That had to have been the single most entertaining hiker we stayed with on the trail. As far as Washington, I’m not sure I could ever go back. If you ever are lucky enough to have that “perfect moment” than you don’t dare chance ruining it by going back.

Unplug

Unplug
Written by: Eric Hagen

We’re all guilty of it. Part of the comfort of the civilized world is our adherence to routines. I wake up when the alarm goes off, hit snooze, lay there waiting for the alarm again, hit snooze again, spend a few minutes thinking about what I need to do that day, finally getting out of bed before it goes off a third time. I’d hate to be accused of being lazy, after all. Shave, shower, dress, breakfast, wake the kids up for school, brush my teeth, wake them up two more times because they’ve learned my routine.

When I leave for work, it is clockwork. There is the line of drivers twenty minutes late from wherever they’re going, weaving like NASCAR through our two-lane highway. There is the guy falling asleep at the wheel because two hours of sleep sounded like a good idea the night before. The woman yelling at her kids to stop fighting in the back seat, the young twenty-somethings prepping makeup in their mirrors, the texters.

We come home eight to ten hours later, drained and disheveled, waiting for the time we must repeat our cycles. Family dinner, for those who still have it, is spent processing and decompressing. Our brief moments of reprieve inching closer one day at a time as Monday turns to Tuesday and so on. We pay a cost for our civilized lives, but rarely ever do we know how much. Not until we become so spread thin, so openly hostile to our own routines that we begin to find means to escape them.

I will be the first to admit I love central air. I love the fact that I can turn my office into the Arctic Circle in mid-July. Indoor plumbing, hot showers on a whim, cold water filtered from the fridge, my $2,500 memory foam mattress with the cooling gel and the Gore-tex liner. I worked for it, saved up and bought them for no other reason than I love being comfortable. Still, I often trade it all for cold ground and hard nights in places far removed from anything remotely automated or electric. Why?

We are creatures of Nature. No matter how many times we may forget it, our bodies never do. You can feel it in the release of tension when you roll the windows down and take the long way home over rolling hills and green fields and forests. The smell of decaying leaves in Autumn and the warmth of bonfires, the soft prickling of Spruce trees at Christmas. Something inside of us in indelibly drawn toward the natural world. Even the most routine-driven among us feels release in sitting around a backyard fire with friends.

To unplug from the emails, cell phone and comforts of “Civilized” is something we all need, whether we accept it or not. When I am miles away from  my car, somewhere distant in the tree-line where no sound of traffic can reach, there is peace. When all the bars have vanished from my kids’ I-products, and it wouldn’t matter anyway because they are so transfixed on the swaying canopy or the random critter on the path ahead, there is peace. Nature gives us back our wonder, it makes us young again. The loss of comfort gives us back our understanding that our responsibility to ourselves precedes our responsibilities to the world. It makes us whole again.

We owe it to ourselves to unplug so that we can really connect.

Fall Campout Festival

Fall Campout Festival
Mischievous Adventures at Lake Loramie State Park
Written by: Robby Hansen

Whether you’re at the foot of a mountain, your favorite trailhead, or in your backyard. Camping is camping, and any chance to lay under the stars, unplugged from the world, sounds good to me!

The best thing about camping is that anyone can do it. I’m reminded of this idea every year when I make my journey up to Lake Loramie State Park in Minster Ohio. Lake Loramie is absolutely beautiful! From hiking to camping, and canoeing to fishing, this park has it all. On one side of the lake there are campgrounds that you will find occupied year round, and on the other side you’ll find beautiful woods accompanied with hiking trails. The campgrounds are easily accessible, and you’ll find many RV’s accompanied with boats and kayaks. I’ve visited many campgrounds, and I have to admit that Lake Loramie beats out the rest.

Loramie-1

Every fall they have a Fall Campout Festival, and I cannot image a better way to enjoy the great outdoors with family, friends, and a bunch of crazy country folk. With traditional festival foods, tractor pulls, and chainsaw art, the festival is guaranteed to entertain. Sure, you will find that most people are RV camping that weekend, but if you’re daring enough like me then a tent is all you need! The fall festival is what tops off this hidden treasure each year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the mountains and I love the wilderness. But, taking the effort out of (What some people describe as “real”) camping, and waking up to bacon and eggs over the fire is my idea of a great weekend. Not to mention the craft show on Saturday and Sunday, where you will find some of the coolest trinkets and treasures around! If you have the chance to camp with some family and friends in September, remember Lake Loramie. The deep fried oreos combined with hiking trails will not disappoint.

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