I'm a web developer/sysadmin/host (NERD TRIPLE THREAT!) and this is my attempt to write about...leaving the house. Sometimes. Like, to go backpacking. And take some pictures. And justify spending the money on all the gear WHY SO MUCH?!?

So check back weekly for all the smrt missives! And the dumb tweets!

Also hiking things!

Feel free to write and complain.

black friday
29 November 2017

I know, I know, I need to mix it up I THINK I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS RUT

Date: 11/24/2017

Location: Laurel Highlands, north trailhead parking lot to decker shelter

Trail Distance: 11.5 (61.6 miles ytd)

So, I figured since it's been several months since I hiked -- thanks a lot, climate change -- I thought a nice, easy, familiar hike would get me going for more ambitious trips this winter. The plan was perfect, except I left one important thing at home: ALL MY CARDIOS. I've done this hike a half-dozen times and this one seemed to be the hardest yet. The climb out of mile 70 isn't even that strenuous, but I was gulping like a fish out of....fish swimming fluidWATER FISH OUT OF WATER.

On the plus side (beside my waistline AMIRITE), altra lone peak 3.0s are pretty decent to walk in. Feet hurt way less than normal after all the rocks and roots. Oooh, and down booties are delightful.


it counts
26 July 2017

Pittsburgh trail magic!

probably named eddie
28 June 2017


Date: 06/21/2017

Location: Laurel Highlands, north trailhead parking lot to decker shelter

Trail Distance: 11.5 (50.1 miles ytd)

My thermometer said it was 65 degrees, but my shirt said WHY ARE WE IN AFRICA?!? I'm used to hiking in the cooler weather -- this was pretty brutal. I drank more water than usual, but not nearly enough to avoid the dehydration headache. Or lack of coffee headache. Who's to say?

I got better...

The takeaway from this trip -- besides MOAR WATERZ -- is that those rehydratable paper towel thingins are super handy. Many thumbs up, will soak again.

Oh and hey guys I got my base weight under 10lbs so I am extra-special elite now, right?

I think his name is Sherlock

short and stout
21 June 2017

Didn't drop the poopsack!

I can hike a dozen miles with a 20lb pack through rain, roots and rocks but one uneven stretch of sidewalk and ASS OVER TEAKETTLE

hammock tv
24 May 2017

That really is the worst phone to do this with so slippery

If you're like me, going out into the woods is pretty much all about not being bored. Since I don't make forts DO BUSHCRAFT, I kinda need...something. So I load up the phone with books and shows and hope for the best. But the weight of all this media really makes the phone a pain to hold for longer than a few seconds (THIS IS JUST SCIENCE, PEOPLE).

Shock cord to the rescue.

Just tie two knots -- doesn't really matter what kind, just make them smaller loops than the size of your device (I wouldn't recommend doing this with a tablet, but you do you) so it will fit properly. Then I just hook the cord to my ridgelight like so:


It tends to want to twist horizontally, so I put my electronics pouch behind it and it keeps it in a good viewing position. You can adjust the verical orientation by positioning the knots -- just experiment (like in college)

That phone was so light!


nerve damage
17 May 2017

That wasn't there a minute ago.

Date: 05/06/2017

Location: Laurel Highlands, rt 271 parking lot to rt 30 shelter

Trail Distance: NO MILES FOR YOU COUNTING IS FOR CAMPERS (39.6 miles ytd)

Rain? -- no problem. Wet shoes? -- big deal. Cold? -- BRING IT.

Breezy tree blowing and train sounds? -- OH IT'S BEEN BROUGHTEN.

Man, I gotta get over being freaked out by the wind. Other than that, had a good pace and pretty easy terrain (despite the mud and wet).

Guess I'll go back to trying to grow a pair.

one day at a time
19 April 2017

Yup, down thattaway. Sure it's fine.

Date: 04/01/2017

Location: Oil Creek State Park, park office to Wolfkiel shelter

Trail Distance: 18.1 miles (39.6 miles ytd)

That was pretty but boy-howdy I am glad I waited a day to not do this trail in the pouring rain FOR IT WAS A MUDDY BOG SCAPE ANYWHO. Saw lots of trail runners who were out doing their running thing. I enjoyed the refreshing breeze as they flew by.

What I learned this time is that you shouldn't hang the tarp too close to the hammock or it'll get dewy soaked.

Dewy Soaked is a great band name

Oh yeah -- untangle the underquilt shock cord before hanging it. You will thank me.

more stroud
12 April 2017

Bushcraft is mostly  building forts and making spoons.