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Roaming the Rincons:  Turkey Creek to Deer Creek

Roaming the Rincons: Turkey Creek to Deer Creek

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Rincon’s lately wandering around the foothills and valleys of the Rincon Mountain Wilderness. The Wilderness surrounds Sahuaro on three sides. The terrain ranges from rolling scrub desert to shear walled riparian canyons, and despite its proximity to Tucson access to much of the Wilderness is limited. If you don’t want to compete with the crowds on Mount Lemmon, the Ricons are a great alternative.

Pocket Survival Kit

Pocket Survival Kit

Do you carry a pocket survival kit when you are in the field?  You probably should.  It’s all too easy to get lost, hurt, or separated from your gear, and to find yourself in a no kidding survival situation.  It happens all the time and a simple pocket kit can make the difference between life […]

What to Bring for your Dog on a Hike

What to Bring for your Dog on a Hike

Here is a quick rundown of gear to consider if you take your dog hiking.

Hiking Recipes

Hiking Recipes

I haven’t talked about food for a while so I thought I’d review a couple of meals from my latest hike.  Last summer I went on a drying and baking binge and I’ve had an assortment of foods hanging around in the freezer that hadn’t been sampled for quite a while.  As I was packing […]

Springtime in the High Desert

Springtime in the High Desert

Yes, I completely dropped off the face of the blogasphere for six months.  Work, family, chores, and all of life’s other little pleasures swamped me.  Every week without a post makes it just that much harder to go back and next thing you know you’re wondering why your readership is still growing when you haven’t […]

Montana Wilderness Training, Part 2

Montana Wilderness Training, Part 2

With our base camp established somewhere over 8,000′ and a well earned night’s sleep behind us, it was time to get down to the business of training. The next several days were spent on alpine travel and rescue, avalanche awareness, climbing, and some good old winter hiking.

Montana Wilderness Training, Part 1

Montana Wilderness Training, Part 1

In May 2007, my squadron sent a team to Montana for cold weather and high altitude training in preparation for an Afghanistan deployment. This was truly one of the highlights of my Air Force career.

Lost Hiker Does it Right

Lost Hiker Does it Right

Here is a link to the story of Ross Mason, a hiker that got “lost” in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico earlier this month.  Ross was a little unprepared for the trip, had a little bad luck, and took one wrong turn on the trail.  Like most hikers unfamiliar with the desert, he underestimated […]

Tanque Verde Wash

Tanque Verde Wash

One of the great things about Tucson is that there are some fantastic places to walk.  During the summer, the washes (dried stream beds for those of you from wet places) are pretty unbearable but now that the weather has cooled they are a great place to put in some miles.  They are easy walks […]

Seven Tips for Starting a Campfire

Seven Tips for Starting a Campfire

Fire making is an essential survival and backcountry skill, and like any skill, you need some basic knowledge and lots of practice! Here is video and a few tips to help you get that campfire going.

A Dog's Life

A Dog’s Life

I’ve been a bit busy lately, so here is a short video of Saja showing what is really important in life.

Wanderlust

The fall has always been a special time for me. A time to hit the road and travel. Here is a short post to try to capture my mood.

Reddington Pass by the Numbers (Miles 5-7):  Shooting Ranges

Reddington Pass by the Numbers (Miles 5-7): Shooting Ranges

Heading east on Reddington Road, you hit a series of tight switchbacks just past the Upper Tanque Verde Falls trail head.  There are no significant trails on this section of the road.  To the south the terrain drops off steeply as you climb to the first pass, while to the north a gentle valley flows […]

Tanque Verde Falls Water Level

Tanque Verde Falls Water Level

We’ve had a couple of good, strong rains over the past week in northeast Tucson and I’ve seen an increase in search hits for water levels in Reddington, so I thought I’d give a quick update on conditions in the Tanque Verde valley.

Packing for a Day Hike Revisited

Packing for a Day Hike Revisited

My recent day hike into Redfield Canyon Wilderness highlighted that not all day hikes are created equal and safety considerations dictate that the prudent hiker will pack accordingly.  A couple of months ago I posted Packing for a Desert Day Hike.  The article outlines the gear I carry for a typical out and back hike, […]

Redfield Canyon Wilderness

Redfield Canyon Wilderness

What a wonderful soreness a strenuous hike brings!  I love it but have a sneaking suspicion that Saja doesn’t share my feeling!  She’s exhausted after our weekend romp and slept most of the day today.  I can’t blame her.  Climbing out of the canyon was the toughest mile I’ve hiked in a long time.  But […]

Must Have Hiking Gear That Never Leaves the House

It sounds counterintuitive at first, but some of the best hiking gear I have never leaves the house.  No, I’m not talking about tents, packs, or boots.  I’m talking about those things that I use at home to make my field experience safer or more enjoyable.  Here is my Top 5 list of Must Have […]

Gear Review:  FoodSaver V3840 Vacuum Sealer

Gear Review: FoodSaver V3840 Vacuum Sealer

I’ve only been using my vacuum sealer for a couple of days and I’ve already decided that this is a “must have” item.  My wife picked up a FoodSaver V3840 Upright Vacuum at Costco last month and I unpacked it this week during my latest food drying marathon.  The sealer was selling for around $140 […]

Reddington Pass by the Numbers (Miles 0-5): Tanque Verde Falls

Reddington Pass by the Numbers (Miles 0-5): Tanque Verde Falls

Reddington Pass is one of Tucson’s most accessible recreation areas and provides for a wide range of activities from hiking to shooting to four-wheeling.  Most of the pass falls within Coronado National Forest’s jurisdiction but there is also a fair amount of private land.  As always respect the rights of the private land owners, leave […]

Gear Review: Nesco FD-35 Food Dehydrator

Gear Review: Nesco FD-35 Food Dehydrator

Let’s face it, store bought camping food is expensive and a bit dull, but weight is a constant factor on the trail. So what is the alternative? Dry your own food! Here is my review of my first dehydrator, the Nesco FD-35.