A backpacker since her age was measured in single digits, her wilderness ethos was instilled early on. Wide open spaces call to her, and nothing speaks louder than the self-sufficiency of walking through remote high country with only the pack on her back. Give her a little mountain sky, a few big rocks, some ancient trees, and a bit of delicious food to enjoy in the process and she's perfectly satisfied. Solitude is great, but she's even happier to have found a lifelong adventure partner. Somehow she's managed to be the official carrier of the bear canister, which magically becomes lighter each day on the trail.
Always intrigued by the great outdoors, but he didn't have ready access until college. He then wasted no time becoming a serious backcountry aficionado and champion of leave-no-trace principles. He always has his eye out for the smallest detail in the natural world as he walks, and his pictures share this perspective. He's often up early to catch the best light, and not afraid of the dark if it means the best stargazing. Give him a flat sunny wilderness spot to 'lizard' in the late afternoon and he's in heaven. His role somehow became carrying the shared gear that never gets lighter on the trail, a small price to pay for having a perfect adventure partner.
Kings Canyon NP high country
Tasmania's Overland Track holds a special place in our hearts
2004 marked our first extended backpacking trip together, with a hike of the hut-to-hut Overland Track in Tasmania, Australia. We have spent many a night in sleeping bags since then, in mountain ranges around the world but most often in our own Range of Light (the Sierra Nevada). Through peak backpacking season stretching from summer into fall, you will find us off in the mountains at every opportunity. Back home in the SF bay area we are trail runners, dog lovers (& cat softies), gardeners, foodies, and homebodies who feel lucky to live in a most beautiful place with a great community of friends who love to be outside as much as we do.
These are some of our mountain adventures. We'll share recipes for favorite trail meals, stories and pictures from notable trips, beta on gear and routes, and images of trees and wildflowers with some identification hints. Thanks for stopping by - please drop us a line to say hi.
Why "Reason Number Seven"? It's an inside joke, based on an internet/clickbait piece that listed top reasons to find a life partner who also enjoys the outdoors.
The final, #7, was "to save money". What better reason to stay together ?! Cheri tagged Andrew in the comments, and it's been a term of endearment between us ever since.
The great thing about hiking is that anybody can do it - the only thing needed is the ability to put one foot in front of the other. If backpacking feels daunting, start with some day hikes. Make those gradually longer in time and distance, and carry a bit more food and gear with each outing. When you're ready to go a step further stay out for a single night, and be sure to bring good food. From there you'll be hooked. Our own hiking adventures range from day hikes to car camping to long weekend trips with limited mileage (but a bottle of wine and fresh food) to multi-day and multi-week journeys limited only by the maps we carry and how many calories will fit into a bear canister. Some days are guided by the inspiration of seeing a distant mountain pass and deciding to check it out. Other times we make a detailed plan before leaving home (and stick to it). We've often benefited from trip reports posted by others and are happy to share some of our more memorable trips here.
Click a picture to see if we've added trip report details yet - this is a work in progress. And let us know if you go!
For years we were dependent on commercially available freeze-dried dinners for longer backpacking trips. They require only boiling water to reconstitute, are low in weight, and conserve valuable space in a bear canister. But as near-vegetarians (we eat seafood and thus are officially "pescetarian") we found our options limited to a few basic pastas and several chilis. Add that to the relatively low caloric count per meal and the generally high cost, and we decided to purchase a dehydrator. Backcountry dinners are now something we look forward to all day while hiking. Nearly anything we cook at home can be modified for dehydration, and we've found that the food tastes nearly the same months later out on the trail. We've been inspired by many others, and are happy to share some favorites below.
Hints for using your own recipes (or, check out this great summary by Tatiana K):
Dehydrate dinners at 155 degrees F, for 8-12 hours - there is no such thing as "too dry" for a full meal (in contrast to fruits, etc)
Freeze the dehydrated meals in ziplock bags until use, for maximum shelf life
To rehydrate any meal we put the food in a pot and cover with water while setting up our camp (this equates to a 15-30 minute soak). Add water if needed depending on absorption. Bring to a boil on a backpacking stove, with frequent stirring to prevent burning. Cover, let sit, and wait 12-15 minutes. Timing depends on altitude, size of food chunks, and level of hunger. Stir, eat, and be happy!