Nature says thou shalt keep the air, skate, swim, walk, ride, run. When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the sole leather has passed into the fibre of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out. He is the richest man who pays the largest debt to his shoemaker. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1851
To begin, I live near Chicago. So, to disabuse you of what likely popped into your head, “Ha! Hiking in the Midwest.. it’s all flat there!” I give you, the 80 foot high waterfall in St. Louis Canyon at Starved Rock State Park… in Illinois:
Alas, I realize much of the Midwest is flat. But I live near Chicago, and can’t go running off into the Appalachian or Rocky Mountains on a moment’s notice. So I make do with what I can.
Therefore, this blog is about the hiking, camping, and backpacking adventures of me, David Fuller. Since I am also an avid amateur astronomy who regularly attends star parties, there is a fair amount of overlap between camping and astronomy’s cold-weather preparedness and sleeping outside (well, mostly anyway – I do use tents). Also, one day I hope to use my backpacking skills to hike into areas where the sky is darker, and even bring along some astronomy equipment to better see the wondrous night sky overhead, because there is nothing quite like a truly dark sky.
You can find more about my astronomy outreach and education efforts here at my other website, Eyes on the Sky. I help people learn “what’s up” in the night sky (and 10,000+ subscribers on YouTube with 1,000,000+ views ain’t half bad either).
Though I have plenty of knowledge of camping and day hiking, backpack hiking is new to me. So as a “newbie” in that realm, I thought I would share what I learn along the way so that others can avoid a few mistakes of their own, and get better equipped earlier to enjoy more of what the great outdoors has to offer. I’ll also share about my day hikes.
I’m also pretty frugal about this; I don’t have a huge amount of extra money to spend on these things. But I also believe one can buy many things inexpensively, and still have them last a long time. That doesn’t mean buying cheap, necessarily – just frugally. So I’ll post about what I get and learn along those lines too.
My greatest hope is that I make this blog interesting and visually appealing for you, so you’ll keep coming back to read more.
May your paths always be rugged and awe-inspiring, and may you wear out your shoes along the way.