Journal


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

Drinking clean in the winter backpacking season


While backpacking on the Appalachian Trail or any trail for that matter, water can be an issue all year round. It does not have to be during the dry heat of summer that water comes in sparing supply. However, winter adds its own problem. When the temperature drops below freezing, it should be obvious that water freezes. However, some will see running streams and ground temperatures above freezing but forget that the water in your filter, bottles, and hydration bladders can still freeze. For example, take the MSR SweetWater Microfilter. It is a great water filter that withstands cold temperatures, […]

Is life smothering you? Come up, get some fresh air in nature


Do you ever feel as if you are smothering? Are you suffering from anxiety or depression? You’re not alone. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that anxiety disorders affect some 40 million adults in the United States. The World Health Organization says that some 350 million people worldwide have depression. You are not alone. What can you do? First, if you are overwhelmed by feelings of depression and want to bring harm to yourself or someone else, you should seek professional help. There are people available 24/7 to support you confidentially and free. Everyone hurts. Everyone gets down […]

UNBOUNDED: Patagonia Documentary — conservation and exploration


Join filmmaker, Garrett Martin and fellow trekkers — Aljoscha, Robert, and Robyn — on their journey across over 1500 km (932+ miles) of the Patagonian Region of South America. The adventure-based film, UNBOUNDED: Patagonia Documentary, will focus on the need for conservation of the largely un-preserved area. The four will leave this December and travel through mid-April of 2017 documenting the cultures, extreme and unique conditions, and scenery as well as the conservation efforts taking place in Patagonia. The trip will largely follow the Greater Patagonian Trail and end at the Patagonia National Park. Issues that are particularly concerning in Patagonia right […]

Some basic backpacking tips for a short trip or thru-hike


One of the many questions that I get asked on Twitter is, “Do you have any tips for hiking the Appalachian Trail?” To answer this question, I give you a disclaimer: Not all backpacking or hiking styles are the same. What works for some will not necessarily work for others or be preferred by others. Find your style but do avoid serious pitfalls. #at #AppalachianTrail #hiking #hikingadventures #backpacking #mountains #mountain #nature #natureza #naturelovers #natureaddict #outdoors #nature_perfection #naturecrank #naturehippys A photo posted by Michael (@naturecrank) on Apr 30, 2016 at 8:08am PDT Backpacking tips 1. Research Do your research. This is […]

Experience nature but stay off my ‘peeve list’


Earlier this month, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial. While August 25th marked the official celebration date, the NPS has been celebrating all year long. I’ve seen numerous articles celebrating and encouraging others to get out and #FindYourPark. The one thing that kept playing in my mind was all the things that get under my skin: the peeve list. Of thousands of miles and endless hours spent in parks and on the trails from the Appalachian Trail to the local mountain trails I once enjoyed near daily in Virginia, there are those things that just get under your skin. Most […]

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 […]

A week for ‘purdy’ little pests


First, it was the cicadas everywhere. These guys are one species of over 3,000. Dependent on the species, they come out every year up to every 17 years. Which species are these? I am not 100% certain. Maybe you can tell me. This morning, I woke up to a tobacco hornworm infestation. These little guys ate around 75% of my leaves overnight and left dung pellets everywhere. The hornworm turns from larvae into a worm and then will hibernate in a cocoon over the winter and emerge as a moth (Manduca sexta aka Carolina sphinx moth) in the following Spring. […]

The Arkansas Elk Herd


When one thinks of Arkansas, nature does not typically come to mind. However, have your camera gear ready when passing through Arkansas. While elk can be seen in a few other places in Arkansas, you can basically guarantee the best sighting of part of the near 450 elk herd is in the Boxley Valley. The added plus is that elk sightings are available all year. Simply grab an Arkansas map and hit the road toward the intersection of Arkansas highways 21 and 43 (GPS 35.978423, -93.401984) and arrive from sunrise to around 8 a.m. or in the evening from 5-6 until […]

A different type of nature


The Memphis Tennessee area is not well known for nature. There’s a lot of flat land and pretty much nothing to see except the cityscapes. However, I do often find peace in old graveyards. As morbid and taboo as that sounds for many, the dead are dead and there’s plenty of artistic value to see. Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis on a rainy boring day.     Equipment used: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED Zoom Lens Nikon D810 camera Adobe Lightroom CC