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Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Home > Author Archives: Ashli Baldwin

Author Archives: Ashli Baldwin

My name is Ashli aka "Katniss Neverclean" and in 2014 I completed a NOBO thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. I love being outside and going on adventures!

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Gear Review: Arc’teryx Zeta LT

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Worn occasionally, generally into the bottom of a pack, rain jackets are very often mistreated and over-looked. After destroying my less expensive rain jacket, I was delighted to test out a more steadfast alternative. Arc’teryx Zeta LT Part of the Arc’teryx Traverse collection, which is created for lightweight backpacking and hiking, the Zeta LT rain jacket foregoes extra doodads for simplicity and comfort. Coming in at 10.6 ounces it’s a great addition to a cool weather setup. The Zeta LT is not to be confused with the Zeta LT Hybrid, which has the ability to zip the hood into the collar. Size TheArc’teryx website labels this jacket as “trim fit” so I ordered a size larger just to be safe. I’m happy with the fit for the most part, but it seems unnecessarily baggy around the waist.  The jacket still looks good without additional layers despite feeling baggy. Since I plan to wear this jacket ... Read More »

Book Review: “Lost on the Appalachian Trail”

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“Lost on the Appalachian Trail” is a self-published book by author Kyle Rohrig, a 2014 Northbound thru-hiker. Written closely after finishing the trail, Kyle’s thoughts and feelings about his journey were fresh in his mind as he wrote. Trail named “The Mayor,” Kyle sets out on a pilgrimage to challenge his limits by thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. After exiting the Great Smoky Mountains, Kyle unexpectedly receives word that his dog Katana, or “CatFox” can no longer be looked after. Not wanting to end his hike, the decision to bring Katana along alters his adventure in ways he never could have imagined. Each chapter details a state, as readers follow Kyle step-by-step from Georgia to Maine. Kyle accurately describes the beauty, aches, pains, ups, downs and little (yet astounding) synchronicities that make thru-hiking such a unique experience. An honest and intimate account of personal discovery, “Lost on the Appalachian Trail” gives readers an in-depth look at the mental and physical challenges faced on ... Read More »

How the ATC Plans to Sustain the Appalachian Trail

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Foot traffic on the Appalachian Trail is growing—Since the 1930s when only 5 people reported walking over 2,000 miles, the number of thru-hikers continues to increase steadily. When “A Walk in the Woods” was released in 1998, estimated northbound thru-hiker starts rose by 60% over the next 2 years, and is increasing by 10% each year since. The Trail has seen an approximate 10% increase in thru-hikers every year since 2010. Use by day-hikers, overnight, and section-hikers have all been increasing. An estimated 3 million people now hike some portion of the Trail each year.” –Appalachian Trail Conservancy This year has seen yet another flourish of publicity for the Appalachian Trail with the release of the movies “A Walk in the Woods” and “Wild,” as well as two record setting thru-hikes. In July, Scott Jurek set a new supported record while Heather “Anish” Anderson set the new unsupported record in ... Read More »

Gear Review: Pearl Izumi M2 V2 Women’s Trail Running Shoes

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New from Pearl Izumi’s E:Motion line, The M2 V2 is lightweight and built for speed and control. I hit the trail in Killington, Vermont and Pine Grove Furnace State Park in PA to see how the M2 stands up against the most rocky terrain. New Pearl Izumi M2 V2 Women’s Trail Running Shoes MSRP: $125.00 Weight: 9.1 oz (for a size 8) Best Use: Trail Running/Hiking Cushioning: Mid-foot Stability, Medium Cushion Design The M2 v2 has a seamless upper for a supportive fit with the added benefit of reducing rubbing and hot spots. The upper also features thin and breathable mesh to keep your feet dry and blister-free. M2 stands for mid-foot stability, meaning that this shoe provides extra support for people whose feet tend to pronate or “roll-in.” The dynamic offset is 4 mm at initial contact to 7.5 mm at mid-stance. The sole is thicker under the arch to promote a healthy mid-foot strike while running and ensure a ... Read More »

Gear Review: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Lightweight Backpack

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Gossamer Gear, founded in 1998, is a company that creates lightweight and versatile equipment with a goal of improving the backpacking experience. As friends of Appalachian Trials, they were kind enough to help me out in my search to find the latest and greatest in lightweight packs by letting me test out the Mariposa. Click here to see my review of the Type 2 Utility Pack from Gossamer Gear. The Gossamer Gear Mariposa Overview Cutting pack weight has become quite the hobby of mine. After the dust settled from my thru-hike, I began a search for a new lightweight do-everything pack.  The Gossamer Gear Mariposa was one of the first packs suggested to me by none other than the infamous Zach Davis himself. With lightweight construction and easy customization, the Mariposa sounded like the right pack for me. Weight Let’s get the important stuff out of the way. All of the weight specs listed ... Read More »

Gear Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1

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I’ve slept in hammocks, tents, and shelters. I’ve shared a REI Quarter Dome 2, and been flooded out of the poorly designed REI Dash 2.  I’ve caught some z’s in the Hennessy Ultralight Hammock and hauled my 6-pound Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3 up to 10,000 feet. When I decided to purchase a lightweight 1-person tent, there were a lot of options, but many were either insanely expensive or lacking in so many features that I was guaranteed to be miserable in bad weather. I wanted lightweight, but I didn’t want to give up any comfort. After I tried Big Agnes’ Copper Spur UL1, I knew that I had found my home away from home. Copper Spur UL1 Review The Copper Spur series by Big Agnes are ultralight and ultra-livable 3-season backpacking tents that range in size from 1 to 4 person. They are designed to be comfortable and spacious while shaving off as much additional weight as ... Read More »

Appalachian Trail Bloggers Highlights from the Trail: 4/6-4/12

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This week our Appalachian Trials Bloggers have been posting like mad as most people are on the trail at this point. We are also starting to get a lot of introductory posts from SOBOs so head on over to the Appalachian Trials Bloggers page and check em out. Several of our hikers are on an emotional roller coaster this week as they adjust to the rigors of the trail like Michelle Revoir who is just north of Winding Stair Gap. Stephanie Jones posted from Neels Gap with some super swollen feet. Laurel and Eric posted from Top of Georgia Hostel in Hiawassee. In their update, Eric rates his ever-changing mood in smiley faces. Tee Corley posted from Helen and after going over Tray Mountain and reflects on her time spent on the AT in 2011. Of this years hike she has to say: “I have described this year’s hike to my fellow hikers as a mission, a vendetta – hell – it’s a ... Read More »