Exploration Alison

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I'm a solo travel enthusiast who began traveling in my thirties. Now, not quite still in my thirties, my goal is to encourage other women to get out and explore. For the more adventurous, I'm also a backpacking and hiking guide helping adults learn to explore our backyard of NC, TN and VA. Although not quite there yet, my next goals are mountain biking and rock climbing.

I didn't see pictures of people that looked like me when I started traveling and backpacking. All I saw were beautiful twenty-somethings in exotic locations. There were no pictures of women in their thirties or forties, overweight but active, out there traveling. After a few trips, I realized the reality is that more actual travelers looked like me than the models. You can stay in hotels or go on tours solo, you're not destined to stay in hostels and journey on foot if you don't want to.

Life is full of adventure. No one "missed their opportunity". It's always a good time to start.

Location Durham, NC
Country United States of America
Member Since OCTOBER 25, 2019
Social Audience 123
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The Best 2 Person Backpacking Tents for 2021

We review the top 2-person Backpacking tents including the Copper Spur HV UL2, the MSR Hubba Hubba, the Nemo Hornet, and the REI Quarter Dome SL 2. I would recommend the Hubba Hubba to backpackers wanting a tent for year-round camping in the southeast mountains, that may occasionally have 2 people sharing the tent, or where durability and longevity matter more than weight. The tent has what’s called a Divvy, or 2 sacks allowing the weight to be split by 2 people. Here’s the thing, there is an ASTM International standard around the terms packed weight and minimum weight, but there’s still a lot of room for variation.

10 Strategies for Finding Discounted Backpacking Gear

If you are new to backpacking or other outdoor sports, friends and family may have some lower-end gear they don’t use anymore and are willing to let you borrow. As people upgrade equipment or try new things, they inevitably collect items they don’t use or want. It’s also possible to trade items that aren’t similar as long as the value is similar. Since most stores don’t open until 10 am, you likely won’t be able to secure the items the day of the trip, and you’ll need time to unpack and clean the gear before returning.

8 Towns Near the Blue Ridge Parkway

This cute little town is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway between Little Switzerland and Grandfather Mountain. Tucked in the trees of the Blue Ridge mountain range lies a small town called Blowing Rock. When exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the U. S.’s great treasures, make sure to budget some time for a stop in Boone– one of North Carolina’s quaintest college towns. It is also located just west of the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway making it the perfect place to stay as you either begin or end your drive on this stunning road.

Tips for a Successful Trip

So if you’re comfortable in a 20-degree sleeping bag in temperatures 20 to 30 degrees, then you’ll want a 10-degree bag if you’re heading into 10 to 20-degree overnights. While I normally carry my filter in the brain of my pack, in cold weather it goes in a Ziploc bag inside the pack for more insulation while I’m hiking. Honestly, you can bring it into the sleeping bag as long as it’s sealed and there’s no risk of getting water in the bag with you. Set up the tent, blow up the sleeping pad, blow up pillow, unpack the sleeping bag, pull out food and cooking, place water in a specific location, put clothing in its place in the tent, et cetera.

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