Food for the Sole Blog

Tips for Hikers on Preventing and Treating Blisters

Tips for Hikers on Preventing and Treating Blisters

What’s a hiker’s worst and most common enemy? Bears? Weather? No! It’s the common, but painful, blister. Even a short day hike can seem like a death march when you have blisters, but there are ways to prevent this suffering, or at least reduce the pain. The key is to know potential pressure points where a blister can form, and to know how to recognize when one might be forming. Plus, you can take certain precautions before hitting the trail. Now, that’s not to say that you can reliably prevent all blisters from forming. But, you can definitely minimize the...

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Leave No Trace: How to and why it matters

Leave No Trace: How to and why it matters

We love our favorite outdoor spaces. We love these places so much that some want to share them and others want to keep them secret. Above all else, we do not want to love our favorite places to death. These wild spaces are affected by every visitor, every footstep, and every crumb we leave behind. Each visitor may seem like a drop in the bucket, but how heavy does that bucket become once it is full?  Leave No Trace (LNT) principles are a series of best practices designed to maximize the enjoyment of every visitor to our precious wild places....

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Behind The Meal: Garlic Green Bean Cashew Stir Fry

Behind The Meal: Garlic Green Bean Cashew Stir Fry

I often get asked where I get my ideas for our meals, and my son Henry will tell you that I am CONSTANTLY thinking about food. I pester him with recipe ideas, scribble flavor profiles in notebooks, read cookbooks just for fun. Exploration of food is a long tradition in my family and it continues to this day. Occasionally my father and I will make a meal together then sit at the table eating and dissecting the result, discussing what we might do differently next time. For us this is a big part of the enjoyment of the meal, and...

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Hiking in the dark: Staying mindful when the sun goes down

Hiking in the dark: Staying mindful when the sun goes down

A couple years ago I was driving home to Bend Oregon after a fun day of waterfall exploration with my friend Erin.  As we headed through the Cascade mountain range, we passed a trailhead that would lead to an old volcano, Mt. Jefferson. This happened to be the same spot that I’ve been wanting to scout for a future trip where I would stay the night and shoot the Milky Way arcing over the mountain. I got it in my head that we should do one more adventure that day. I easily convinced Erin of the prospects of this last...

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Cold Soaking: Ditch the backpacking stove and your troubles with it

Cold Soaking: Ditch the backpacking stove and your troubles with it

There’s no question that when you’re doing any length of backpacking trip, and especially planning for a thru-hike, the two primary concerns of any object you place in your pack are: How much does this weigh, and how much space does this take up? Given the constant pursuit of the next lightest and best thing (looking at you gear junkies), what if you just removed the object entirely? The object in question is the stove. And before you say “I could never go without my morning coffee”, hear me out.   Cold Soaking Your Food Will: Save you money (both...

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Planning Your First Backpacking Trip

Planning Your First Backpacking Trip

In 2007 I prepared for one of my first overnight hikes: a 4-day backpacking trip in Olympic National Park. I was joining a group of climbers, most of whom had been there and done that but I decided to plan for this trip on my own. I heaved my backpack onto my body with pride. It was heavy, loaded with everything I’d possibly need and more. All the stuff I couldn’t cram into my pack I creatively attached to the outside. Bits and pieces of gear dangled from every hook, strap and carabiner on my pack. I was ready. Or...

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