Top Ten Things We Want to Remember (or Forget)

Ok, there’s more than 10. Too many memorable things happened on our short little trip (NOLS Lightweight Rocky Mountain Backpacking)
1. amoeba water/shrimp water
2. lake forging
3. animal sightings: grouse, chipmunks,nutcrackers, deer, pika, and marmot, osprey, red tail hawks, a seagull?!, meese (two moose)
4. rock fall and pock marks in the glacier
5. rock climbers climbing, yelling, carrying huge packs
6. search and rescue
7. battered and blistered feet
8. lightening storm overhead
9. always being on the move (never have I been in motion for that many hours over that many days)
10. student evac
11. running into other NOLS instructors on the trail
12. chatting with seasoned thru hikers
13. passing through sheep pastures and being herded by dogs
14. hummingbird escorts

Costume Ideas for Three People

It’s 5k season again! Lots of good causes to raise money for. This time we’re going to have three people run in a karaoke 5k. I don’t technically know what a karaoke 5k is although I’m sure it involves some running and lots of bad singing. Costumes are encouraged. There’s prizes for best costume and best group costume. Since we have three people, I’ve decided to come up with a list of possible ideas.

  1. Three little pigs
  2. Three blind mice
  3. Edward, Jacob and Bella (since we have two girls and one guy, we thought about doing it in drag)
  4. Paper, Rock, Scissors
  5. Three Muskteers
  6. Taco Bell Spice Packets (mild, medium & hot)
  7. Football player, cheerleader and referee
  8. Three Superheros
  9. Nemo, Dori and Sea Turtle
  10. Woody, Buzz, and Jesse or Mr. Potato Head or any other of the toys

P.S. I have to add this idea: The three guys from hangover! Three people with a face tattoo, a monkey and a baby in a carrier??

10 Great Places to Have a National Park Adventure

I found this article in USA Today (7/1/2011).

10 Great Places to Have a National Park Adventure

  1. Yosemite National Park, California-Hike Half Dome, 17-mile round-trip trail passes two waterfalls and includes a 60-degree ascent
  2. Acadia National Park, Maine-tour this popular oceanfront park by sea kayak
  3. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii-Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano
  4. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona-the best way to see it is not just from the edge but backpacking rim to rim
  5. Canyonlands National Park, Utah-raft Cataract Canyon
  6. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming and Montana-during early spring the park is closed to cars so it’s great for cyclists
  7. Joshua Tree National Park, California-one of the best places to rock climb
  8. Everglades National Park, Florida-canoe through the famous “River of Grass”
  9. Glacier National Park, Montana-700 miles of trail and 3 dozen glaciers
  10. Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, U.S. Virgin Island-225 yard snorkeling trail through a coral reef in Trunk Bay




Top Ten Fun Outdoor Games

With the weather getting nice I think it’s nice to be outside. It’s no longer chilly and the hot weather isn’t quite here yet. Here’s a list of fun outdoor games I have enjoyed in the past, present or hope to try soon:

  1. cornhole – super addictive. I first tried it on a cruise. for rules and supplies try cornhole or cornhole outlet
  2. hopscotch – I played a lot in grade school
  3. jump rope – like with a really long rope and people turning the rope for you, I loved playing “school”
  4. washers – loved by children and adults alike
  5. horseshoes – never tried it but its a classic
  6. bocce ball- i would like to own a nice set of bocce balls when I get a nice yard
  7. frisbee – I have a soft rubber frisbee that I like that doesn’t hurt when caught wrong
  8. catch – what’s easier than a ball and a glove
  9. badmington – easier than tennis, court or tent not required
  10. croquet – Alice in Wonderland makes this look fun

Top 10 Marathon Costumes

These marathon costumes are good for the single runner and pairs or groups of runners. Have some fun! Make a statement! It’s your day, do whatever you want!
  1. Banana(s) so people can yell GO BANANAs!
  2. Tutus-They’re easy to incorporate with your regular running clothes
  3. Angel and Devil/Demon – My sister and I ran together as angel and devil and we got a good response from the crowd which I definitely think helped motivate us.
  4. Reno 911 cop – a saw a man wearing an awesome Reno 911 cop costume in some really short shorts
  5. Nun and Preist – These costumes can get a bit hot so consider for cooler climes
  6. Santa Claus – I ran a race with Santa Claus on Thanksgiving. If you decide to go as Santa Claus be prepared to get your picture taken!
  7. Thing 1 and Thing 2 – This was a costume we had considered for our marathon but I didn’t know how to pull off the neon blue hair. It was too hot for a wig and I was concerned about dying my hair and then having it run from all the sweat.
  8. Preprinted t-shirts – I saw shirts saying “My sister made me do it” and a group of men with “dumb”, “dumber”, “dumbest”, and “dumber-er”
  9. tributes – it’s inspiring to see people running for a cause or paying tribute to someone in particular. It always brings a tear to my eye.
  10. men in pink – there’s definitely something interesting about grown men sporting pink boas

10 Fun Things To Do While Camping

This weekend I’m going camping! It’ll be car camping with a little scuba diving thrown in.  I have been thinking what I might want to do while we are out there. So I thought I’d share my list of top ten things I’m gonna do while camping.

  1. Eat! BBQ is a must, gotta plan my menus now
  2. Smores! I’m bringing my special smores sticks
  3. Build a roaring campfire. Who doesn’t love to play with fire?
  4. Play cards. I love games.
  5. Chit chat. It’s nice to sit around a fire with a group of nice people isn’t it?
  6. Cornhole! It’s my new obsession. Check out these links Cornhole and Cornhole Outlet
  7. Swim! We’re gonna go tubing on the chilly river. Hopefully, the weather will be nice and hot.
  8. Listen to music. Gotta remember to bring the boombox
  9. Sleep under the stars. Can’t forget my ultralight air mattress.
  10. Play frisbee.

Did I leave anything out?

What I Can Live Without

After spending two weeks off the grid I have learned a little more about myself.

What I can actually live WITHOUT:
cellphones, texting
internet, facebook
electricity, lights, tv
showering and bathrooms
running water and plumbing
beds, pillows and blankets
chairs and tables
cars and gasoline

And I’m not necessarily saying that I want to live without these things anytime soon but it’s nice knowing that I could do it if I had to.

Top Ten Nalgene Water Bottle Tips

  1. small water bottle- I know most of us are used to the 1 liter Nalgene bottles but I recently found out how useful a 500 cc Nalgene can be. They can be easier to access when moving on a rope team.
  2. carabiner- A simple carabiner or even a piece of string can be a good way to secure a smaller water bottle to your chest strap or harness so you can take a quick sip of water any time you stop moving even if it’s only for a minute.
  3. small water bottle insulation- All our NOLS instructors carried 500cc water bottles. And they also had 2 main ways of insulating their water bottles. One was creating a duct tape “case”. The other ways I thought was quite genious. You take two of those cheap koozy things (for aluminum cans) and do a little alteration and stitch them together and you have a perfect little coat for your mini water bottle.
  4. duct tape water bottle- I learned this trick while climbing Mt. Rainier and it also helped me a lot in Alaska. Everybody knows duct tape is awesome and can be used in just about every kind of situation but most backpackers aren’t willing to tote around a heavy roll of duct tape. So instead all I do is wind some duct tape around my 1 liter Nalgene bottle to store for use. It is super handy because there was always so quick patch I had to do and my water bottle was always nearby and within my reach. It was really convenient. Plus, my Nalgene has been through countless cycles of the dishwasher with the duct tape on it and the duct tape was still useable. Talk about indestructible. Continue reading →

Top Ten Ways to Stay Warm (When Sleeping on a Glacier)

Here’s a list of all the things we did to stay warm while out on the glacier. It took me a while to find which combination helped me stay warm at night.

  1. wear many layers top and bottom- I also tried the just sleeping in my base layers method and that did not work for me.
  2. wear a fleece cap- I think this helped because my face was the only part exposed to the cold air and with my hat on and the sleeping bag cinched down mummy style the only thing that was frosty in the morning was my nose.
  3. exercise-We would jump around, do jumping jacks, pushups, basically anything to get warm before jumping in the sleeping bag. The theory being that if we started off warm we would stay warmer. We even did situps while in our sleeping bags.
  4. food-we were all told to eat before going to bed so that we would be warmer at night. Chocolate was a popular option.
  5. hot water bottles-Although the most tedious, I think this was my favorite method. Right before bed time, we would stay up to boil water and fill our nalgene bottles with boiling water. You have have have to make sure that they are sealed tight. If there’s any defect or doubt do not use that water bottle. Last thing you want is to have a wet sleeping bag when you’re trying to stay warm. Also, there’s the risk of burning yourself. That being said none of that happened to any of us and we thouroughly enjoyed the hot water bottles at night. You’ll soon discover where you like to put the hot water bottles.
  6. insulation from the cold ground-I used a thinsulate sleeping pad under my sleeping pad. And although I like my sleeping pad I was willing to try anything to stop from being cold at night. So it was suggested that I try my best to get myself farther from the ground. I did this by laying my rain jacket and pants under the thinsulate sleeping pad. This probably helped a little bit.
  7. a better sleeping bag-See my previous post about my lamina sleeping bag. This was suggested by my fellow camper Nate. He suggested that I stuff my sleeping bag with any clothes I wasn’t using . I think this method helped a lot. Not that I had many extra clothes but whatever I did have I stuffed down near my feet and consequently I finally had a night where I did not constantly wake up from being miserably cold.
  8. Snuggling-I definitely thought it helped that we all slept so close to each other in the tent. Not that we had much of a choice though.
  9. Dry socks-No matter what we would all put on dry socks at bed time.
  10. Go potty-The less heat your body has to generate the better.