Trip Planning 101

I’m a researcher, and this past weekend I spent a lovely (yet rainy) weekend camping at Moreau lake.  I brought TONS of books with me!  As an aspiring 46er and soon to be backpacker (I hope), theres lots of information out there to help you as you plan your hiking adventures.  Here’s some things I learned from my weekend research.

lots of books!

Research your trip. There’s no better way to learn then from what other people have experienced.  Theres LOTS of books and blogs out there about peoples experiences becoming a 46er.  My favorites (these are just a few):


  • Exploring the 46 Adirondack High Peaks – James R. Burnside
  • High Peaks Trails – ADK Mountain Club


Make sure you have the right gear.  I recently did a post series about the 10 Essentials.  These are SO important to have with you.  Obviously everyone is different and different hikes and length require different things.  So do your own research and figure out what works best for you.

Know your limits (and the limits of those hiking with you).  From experience I know what its like to almost throw up on the trail from trying to hard.  SLOW DOWN.  Better to take it slow and make it to the top and back, than to over exert yourself and have to turn around, or worse need serious medical attention (hard to come by in the middle of the woods.) There’s no better way to describe some techniques to prevent this than as done in Allen & Mike’s Really Cool Backpackin’ Book (Allen O’Bannon/Mike Clelland) take a look:

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Esther & Whiteface (#3/4 of 46)

Date: August 23, 2014

Hiked with: Brittney

Location: Wilmington, NY (High Peaks Wilderness)

Route/Trails: Atmospheric Science Research Center, to Marble Mountain, Esther & Whiteface

Weather: foggy at the start, but cleared to partly cloudy by our summit of Whiteface


Trip stats

Gear/Food/Beverage: first trek for my Hydrapak Reyes (highly recommend), turkey sandwich, s’more trail mix

Just before we hit the trail at around 9am

Just before we hit the trail at around 9am

The first 0.9 miles of the trip is rocky and steep, but the ascent to the summit of marble only took us about an hour and a half.

View from Marble Mountain (about .9 miles from the start))

View from Marble Mountain (about .9 miles from the start))

Esther Mountain from Marble Mountain

Esther Mountain from Marble Mountain

The start to the real trail!

The start to the real trail!


Start to the un maintained trail to Esther

Though un maintained, the trail was very easy to follow

Though un maintained, the trail was very easy to follow

And Muddy!

And Muddy!

View from the summit of Esther

View from the summit of Esther

The Summit

The Summit

My pants were showing truly how muddy it was!

My pants were showing truly how muddy it was!

Whiteface from Esther

Whiteface from Esther

A selfie on Esther

A selfie on Esther

Back on the trail almost to the summit of Whiteface

Back on the trail almost to the summit of Whiteface

Still climbing!

Still climbing!

The summit of Whiteface, Lake Placid in the background

The summit of Whiteface, Lake Placid in the background

Proof I made it!

Proof I made it!

Such a beautiful view

Such a beautiful view

There were great views like this in all directions and the summit was crowded with people! After this it was all down hill… Took us about 2 hours on the return trip. We probably could have done that faster but in our excitement the night before neither of us slept well…so our return trip we (especially me) were fading fast.

The views were incredibly worth the 9.9 miles, 8 hours and 44 minutes, and rough .9 mile start to the trip!


Killington Mountain (6-11-14)

Date: June 11, 2014

Hiked With: Dad

Location: Killington Vermont

Route/Trails: Killington Mountain Via E/C trails

Weather/Elements: bright and sunny, a few clouds

Trip Duration: 5 miles, about 4 hours (3 hours 45 mins)

Altitudes, Elevations, Conditions, Etc: 4200ft at summit, steep at parts!

Settings/Terrain: frogs, bees (lots of bees), great views of the Green Mountains and even the ADK’s

Gear, Food & Beverage: After the Hadley Trip I realized I took too much stuff with me hiking, so I decided to use my LoPro camera bag, which is considerably smaller and would only fit the essentials. Bad idea as its a one shoulder strap.  Caused me some serious aching.  Looks like I’ll be purchasing a new bag soon!


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Kent Brook Trail, Gifford Woods SP Vermont – (6-10-14)

Date: June 10, 2014

Hiked With: Dad, Mom & Jacob

Location: Gifford Woods State Park, Vermont

Route/Trails: Kent Brook Trail

Weather/Elements: blue skies, partly humid

Trip Duration: 1.4 miles

Altitudes, Elevations, Conditions, Etc: barely any elevation gain, basically a walk through the woods on a trail

Settings/Terrain: birds and squirrels

Gear, Food & Beverage: just my garmin and camera

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I was stepping foot on the AT!

Hadley Mountain – Fire Tower Challenge #1 (5-25-14)

Date: May 25, 2014

Hiked With: Dad

Location: Hadley Mountain

Route/Trails: Hadley Mountain

Weather/Elements: partly cloudy

Trip Duration: 3.6 miles, took about 1.5 hours to summit, an hour or so back down.

Altitudes, Elevations, Conditions, Etc: ascent 1500ft gain in elevation, windy at summit.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 8.33.24 PM

Settings/Terrain: steep, rocky, wet & slippery!

Gear, Food & Beverage: water and granola bars, realized I pack far too much and should revisit my “essential” lists and not carry so much weight.


Hiking Essential – Repair/Survival Kit

I have both a “repair kit” and a survival kit. The repair kit I made on my own, and the items I generally just have them loosely in my bags mini pockets, or in my stuff sacs. Some of these items I was even able to pick up from the local dollar store.


The survival kit I purchased is made by Gerber. It’s actually from their Bear Grylls line. Now I’ve seen his show…and I never plan to do what he does, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. I got the ultimate kit which has probably more than I’ll ever need but I work at a company that sells hiking equipment so I’m able to purchase at a discount.


So She Got a Tattoo…

Spoiler alert – it’s actually my second …

This one I put a lot of thought into, and designed my self (with the help of 1001 free fonts). I know some will wonder why and maybe even be disappointed that I did it.

So Here’s the story:

I’ve been struggling with anxiety for my whole life. I’m not ashamed of it, but I don’t talk about it a lot either. I often have anxiety attacks where my mind takes over and I begin to shake uncontrollably. It’s scary, and not fun. Since the start of 2014 I’ve had more attacks than I’ve had probably in the last 5 years. There’s no explanation, they come when I least expect it, and I never really know what causes it because there’s a multitude of things and situations that I think about. Though I’ve had more so far this year than ever before, none have begun to compare to the worst ones I’ve had. That’s because I’ve started something new. I recite verses OUT LOUD that remind me that God is in control and I need to let Him take control in that moment.

My favorites to recite:
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your cares upon him for he cares for you.
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in The Lord with all your heart.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

My tattoo is on my arm when I can easily see it and says “Be Still.”

Psalm 46:10 – “Be Still and know that I Am God.”

Psalm 46:10 reminds me (literally) to BE STILL. To mentally tell my body to stop. To surrender whatever thoughts are running through my mind to Him because HE IS GOD! And nothing I am worried or anxious about can change that!


Hiking Essentials – Fire

I won’t lie, I’m a little scared of fire, it’s hot and burns. I hate those lighters you have to use your thumb for and I really hate matches. But in the wilderness a fire, or the means to make one can be very essential. I have 3 means.

One came in my survival kit (which you’ll hear about in the next Hiking Essentials post) a torch and waterproof matches.

Pocket Torch


UCO Match Kit


Carrie Diaries Inspired

I have a slight obsession with the show Carrie Diaries. And I’m even more obsessed with her purse in season one. So obsessed that there were several nights when I’m pretty sure there were some intense dreams about it. So I decided to take the inspiration and some nail polish and have a little fun of my own.

I really like the neons from Five Below.



After practicing with a piece of scrap paper, I chose my “surface” covered surrounding areas with newspaper and drizzled away.

So far I’ve done an ipad case, iphone case and a notebook cover.