The Survey Results are in! Favored Sleeping Bags and Pads for an AT thru-hike

2018 Hiking Gear Survey

The folks at TheTrek have just published their annual Thru-Hiker Survey of Sleeping Bags and Pads (a.k.a best gear to take on an Appalachian Trail thru-hike). Whether you’re gearing up for a long-distance hike, a section hike or just want to upgrade your worn out gear, this is a great place to start. Like the majority […]

Five Great Gifts for Hikers Under $40

If you have outdoor adventurers on your shopping list, I have a few suggestions to share. I hope you find these five gifts for hikers and backpackers serve double-duty as problem solvers (for the givers) and happy surprise (for the recipients). Hydrapak Stash 1L Bottle.  I love this bottle (I bought two). Here’s why — it collapses down […]

Hiking Poles and the Fountain of Youth

Jeff Ryan on the summit of Blood Mountain, Georgia

“You have the knee cartilage of a 24-year old” That’s what my doctor announced after reviewing x-rays taken when I was age 58.  After hiking over 8,000 miles in three decades — most with a pack weighing 40 pounds or more — the news didn’t surprise me much. Over the years, my knees only bothered […]

How to Buy Hiking Boots

Photo of Preacher Rock, Georgia. ©2017 www.jeffryanauthor.com

Hiking boots are the most important piece of equipment you have on the trail. They may seem like a fairly simple bit of outdoor gear, but there’s actually a lot more that goes into a pair of hiking boots than meets the eye. And although you don’t need to know every intricacy of how your […]

Revisiting the Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher

I was in my early 20s, preparing for a six-month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail when I picked up a hardcover version of one of the most influential books of my life, The New Complete Walker, by Colin Fletcher. I had already read his books The Thousand Mile Summer and The Man Who Walked […]