www.alterauslander.com - A Paleo Nerd and Outdoor Enthusiast Website

Mount Rogers NRA

on Sunday, 06 January 2013. Posted in My Journeys, Motion

I lived in Virginia most of my life but somehow I always managed to NOT go to Mount Rogers. I hiked almost the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in VA except for the southern and northern portions. My old High School friend and I reconnected and he mentioned doing the trail and I agreed that I had to do it. I am glad that I made the journey. It was only about 2 hours driving for me to the Grayson Highlands, where a lot of my family originated so it seemed ideal. This would also be my first outing with the ENO Hammock and no bivy.

We met up at the Grindstone Camping area and paid about 3 dollars a night to park the vehicles. It was late July but around 7:30 we were going to be running out of daylight soon so we geared up and hit the trail. As soon as we got to the connector trail we were confronted with a Trail Closed sign. I wouldn't recommend what we did for most people but two former Eagle Scouts could not be deterred and we bypassed the signage and made our way in. Unsure of why the trail was closed we soon found out. A large section of the forest was down and the trail soon disappeared under fallen tree limbs. It wasn't just two or three tree, it was a very large section of the canopy on the ground like a tornado had hit the area. There was a massive derecho in SW VA prior and I can only imagine this was partially the result. Consulting the map we realized the switchbacks extended widely and if we launched straight up we would surely hit the trail. Sure enough, past all the brush we eventually hit the trail as dusk descended.

It Starts With Food

on Sunday, 06 January 2013. Posted in Books, Reviews

It Starts With Food

This is another book that I have gifted quite a bit to get some friends and family started on a better diet. It Starts with Food is based on the Whole30 protocol from the Whole9 website. The guidelines are very strict if following the Whole30 program but it is useful in given you a good basis for how to eat more so than exactly what to eat. It's also less of a recipe book although there are some base recipes in the back to help things along but they're fairly free form cooking in that you're given base ingredients and it's up to you to spice as needed.

ENO Double Nest Hammock

on Sunday, 06 January 2013. Posted in Outdoor Gear, Reviews

Eagles Nest Outfitters

ENO Double Nest Hammock

There's not a whole lot to say about a hammock per se but if you're into swinging from the trees, not having to worry about a flat spot to sleep on the trail, and looking for a fairly cheap solution then this might be something for you.

ENO's Double Nest Hammock was my selection to get into hammock camping. I've always enjoyed heading to the beach and relaxing in a hammock so I thought it would be a fun idea to try it on the trail. I could leave the bivy sack at home and enjoy a relaxing swing to put me to sleep at night. The idea was to continue with a lightweight solution that added comfort to end a long day of hiking. There were pros and cons to this though.

Practical Paleo

on Sunday, 06 January 2013. Posted in Books, Reviews

Practical Paleo

This book is highly recommended when approaching the Paleo diet. It's less of a recipe book and more of a dynamic instruction manual for eating and maintaining a Paleo lifestyle. The first half is loaded with information regarding how to get started with things and some of the reasoning behind Paleo. It goes over what you should eat, what you should avoid, and why. This is an all encompassing book/manual/guide and well worth the money even if you're not pursuing the Paleo diet.

Osprey Atmos 50

on Sunday, 06 January 2013. Posted in Outdoor Gear, Reviews

Osprey Atmos 50

I've been backpacking for most of my life. I took about 10 years off trying to reinvent myself and figuring out what I wanted to do in life before I finally got back into hiking. For the majority of my backpacking trips, prior to my hiatus, I had always used an external frame pack. I got along quite well with my Peak 1 frame pack through New Mexico, New Hampshire, and a good portion of the AT in Virginia. Two years ago I decided to try out something new as I was tired of the big boxy external and I picked up the Osprey Atmos 50 after considerable time researching products. Plus I couldn't pass up on a massive deal I found online.

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