Journal


Life is a journey. My journey involves an addiction to nature. Join me on this adventure we call life.

That RV life — some three-plus years later and the future


The post describes the author’s journey from living in a small converted cargo trailer with dogs to trading for a 1987 RV. The new RV required extensive cleaning and repairs due to prior pet stains and mechanical issues. The author also expresses disillusionment with social media and a desire to share outdoor experiences in the future.

My 1987 Pace Arrow in Rye, Arizona

Appalachian Trail gear list


Another one of the questions that I often get messages about is what gear do you use? Here’s my list. You can get much of this stuff on Amazon or you may have to visit company’s like Gander Mountain. When it comes to getting a backpack, I recommend getting fitted for the bag. A medium in one brand may not fit the same on you as a medium in another. I have much of this saved in an Amazon wish list for you to easily add stuff to your cart. Remember, your support supports this website along with Photographer’s Tips. After […]

My absence and Merry Christmas Afters


It has been a while and the website has been offline for quite some time. Fast forward to the now. I have been RVing full-time now for over three years. There’s much to say and much to show. In due time. Happy Christmas Afters.

A couple of bucks in the Shenandoah National Park

A review of A Walk for Sunshine: A 2,160 Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail


I must be honest: I am not an avid book reader. Even before and after taking my first steps on the Appalachian Trail 2014, it took three years for me to read A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. But, I dearly love the Appalachian Trail and hearing everyone’s story. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I became aware of yet another story in book form. I know that there are plenty but forgive me for not being an avid book reader. The publisher sent me a copy of A Walk for Sunshine: […]

Setting the mood — black and white photography


Black and white photography is simply my favorite, and it should be no surprise that the first real post here is about black and white photography. Simply put, black and white allows you to help set the mood or emotion for a photo. After all, photography is story-telling. For example, this lioness wasn’t very excited about my presence. Please excuse Instagram’s embedded distortions. “Not enthused.” #cats #lioness #animals #wildlife #nature #natureza #catsofinstagram #mixxify #nikon #nikonphotography A post shared by Michael Finkle (@mixxify) on Dec 6, 2015 at 1:38pm PST I was able to help express what I felt as her […]

Save money. Buy a better tripod the first time.


One of the most important parts of any photographer’s gear should be a tripod but not just any tripod. You need a good-quality tripod. Both amateurs and pros need a tripod. There will be instances such as shooting in low light that will require the use of a tripod to avoid those dreaded blurred images. If you are using a DSLR camera and a good-sized telephoto lens, you need a tripod that will be able to hold your camera steady under various conditions such as wind and water. Simply put, a $100 or even $200 tripod is not the answer […]

Nature’s toilet


“Nature’s toilet.” I assume this deformity grew as a result of physical damage, mold, or pests. Please don’t poop in it. Photo taken at the Swinging Bridge Nature Trail at Arkabutla Lake about 43 miles south of Memphis. Hiking trails at Arkabutla Lake The trails at Arkabulta Lake are mostly, flat and easy trails. You will find multiple names for each trail depending on which source you use. The trails below are listed based on the map provided. Coldwater River Nature Trail System — The Big Oak Trail is located toward the back of the North Outlet Channel Recreational Area. The five-mile […]

Backpacking with your dog


Backpacking or hiking with your dog A day hike or a weekend hike is nothing like backpacking with your dog for a couple of weeks or more. My dog is a labradoodle, half poodle and half lab. He enjoys nothing more than going off on the trails, but I did not take him on his first two week hike without experience. At the time, we lived near the mountains and either hiked or ran nearly every day. The first two weeks were harder for us than him. His energy seemed to never expend. However, you should take many things into factor […]

Properly sizing and fitting backpacks


Sizing and fitting backpacks Consumers often buy goods based on two things: brand and price. However, the backpack for your section hike or thru-hike should be based upon properly sizing and fitting your backpack. Backpacks typically come in small, medium, and large. The size is not related as much to height or build as it is to the length of your torso. The length of your torso is important in properly sizing and fitting backpacks because the hip pads need to hug the top of the hip bones aka the iliac crest, while the shoulder straps should wrap closely around […]

How to properly layer for your winter backpacking trip


Winter layering basics Shelter is not always available in the winter, and while some of us really love the wintertime, no one really likes to be miserably cold. Whether you are backpacking, camping, day hiking, skiing, working, or doing anything else in the cold, wearing the proper layers is key to relieving some of the most harsh temperatures that winter can throw at us. This guide will give you a brief idea of how to take on that winter cold. Layer your clothes as follows: ▪️Base layer: This layer touches your skin and is otherwise known as underwear. This could be […]

Cats like to camp as well (a short guide)


We often take our dogs camping but most do not think about the cat. My cat is no different from my dog. Neither of them like me to leave them. The cat and dog alike get that I can’t believe you’re leaving me again look. Can you take your cat camping? Sure, cats [some] like to camp as well. No one knows your pet better than you do. Remember just like with hiking, one way is not always the best way for everyone. Know your cat. Some cats get really stressed by new things; however, this does not mean that you cannot […]