Still on the Loose

Words by Brad Meiklejohn

A recent news story described me as “an aging adventurer.” After my initial indignation, I checked the mirror, and seeing age 58 reflected, I had to agree.  Better distinguished than extinguished, I suppose. We are all getting older.

I never thought that I would live this long.  I’ve been a skier, climber, packrafter and explorer since I could walk.  I’ve lost 32 friends and family members to avalanches, rock falls, crevasse falls, just plain falls and drownings.  They say my friends died doing what they loved.  I doubt any of them loved having their necks and backs broken, having their lungs filled with snow and water or having their heads smashed in by rocks. No powder, peak or pour-over is ever worth dying for.

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“This Should Be Good. Unless…?” – Accepting the Never “Final Pack List” on a Thru Hike

As thru hikers start to share their excitement about their chosen trails for 2019, so too are they sharing their gear lists. The result provides all the evidence anyone needs to show how addictive the pursuit of the ready-for-anything “final pack list” is for trip planners. (Spolier alert: It’s never over). Pacific Crest Trail Alumnus Samuel Martin came to the Hyperlite Mountain Gear office to visit recently, and this very subject came up. Here he shares how a willingness to deviate from preconceived perfection, no matter how hard you planned every detail beforehand, can go a long way towards your overall enjoyment on trail.

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If you pine for some wild adventure with a hearty side of inspiration, and you’re unfamiliar with Kyle Dempster, do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself.

Each year, the Kyle Dempster Solo Adventure Award is bestowed upon “an American solo adventurer embarking on a journey that embodies Kyle’s passionate spirit and love of exploration, with an emphasis on storytelling and leave no trace ethics.”

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The Mechanics and Advantage of a Long Walk – IBTAT Heads to the Pacific Crest Trail

A thru hike can be like a lever. A lever that pulls back a curtain on your worldview. A lever that when thrown forward, gets your engine running at full speed. Or maybe it’s a tool that helps you lift and move something heavy up and out of the way so you can travel freely. No matter how you work it, (or it works you), the result is guaranteed to lead to a different outcome after you use it.

No question our friend Jeff "IBTAT" Oliver discovered this in 2018 on his Appalachian Trail thru hike. He finished lighter, clearer, and more motivated than ever. And once anyone gets a taste of that, it’s pert near impossible to sit still for long, not wanting more. So, this year, he’s going to keep the momentum going on the Pacific Crest Trail.

With all the time in the world to think about how he moved along while on the AT, and how his gear helped or hindered him, coupled with the time to reflect on it all between the AT finish and the PCT start that can’t come soon enough, Jeff’s gear and approach plan is taking shape. Walk with him a spell as he gets into the nitty-gritty as few others can.

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From every angle, this 28 oz, three-season, two-person backpacking tent features evidence of our ten years of experience with these revolutionary materials, and design functionality that can only come from knowledge earned in the wild. Built to eliminate any concerns about fickle forecasts and pitch quickly with unbeatable stability, the Dirigo 2 is ready for you to add volumes to your stories of adventure.

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Getting the Green Light in Maine

Late summer of 2018, Master Grand Canyon Explorer Rich Rudow came to Maine and got his first taste of the “Green Tunnel” ­ – a common term of endearment Thru Hikers use to describe the Appalachian Trail. Along with Hyperlite Mountain Gear Founder Mike St. Pierre and his girlfriend Helene Dicesare, Rudow got a solid sampling of the lush forests, panoramic views above tree line, roots, rocks, and moisture in every form.

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Backpacking Sacred Valley and Choquequirao, Peru

Words & Photos by Bethany "Fidgit" Hughes // Her Odyssey

Distance: 132.23 Miles (212.8 km)
Duration: 8 - 14 days
Level: Moderate
Season: May-November
Access: Pisac, Peru - Cachora, Peru

While Machu Picchu is the focal point of almost all tourism in Peru, there are thousands of sites and interest points which are missed. If you have designs on visiting this area but want to do it with fewer groups, rushing, and hubbub, I suggest taking your time and walking the Sacred Valley. Salt pans, Inca fortresses, and the Choqueqirao ruins are right there at your feet. Another advantage of this journey is it can be done with very little pack weight.

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