Simple pleasures feed the soul.

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Upper body workout!

Upper body workout!

Toned, sexy arms never go out of style and are perfect to bare in the summer with that flattering tank top. My favorite part about any upper body workout is shoulders. Shoulders are what define the whole arm and add a sense of sexiness! Upper […]

Spin it out!

Spin it out!

There is just something about hopping on a bike and getting lost for 30 to 60 minutes a day that brings pure joy to my life. I like nothing more than to turn on some killer beats that motivate me and burn those calories. Cycling […]

Backpacking gear guide

Backpacking gear guide

What better way to experience nature than strapping all your gear on your back and hiking out into the abyss.  Backpacking is the best way to combine adventure, fitness and solitude in one trip. Hiking into the wilderness equipped with only what you can carry can be intimidating at first, but with some basic gear and a sense of wonder you can be on your way!

 

The gear required for your trip will depend on the climate, location, length and the resources along the way. I live in the hot, dry state of Arizona. My hikes range from beautiful desert scenery in the winter to higher elevation forest hikes in the summer time.

 

This is the gear that my husband and I use on our adventures for about two to three nights.

Backpack

Kelty Coyote 75

»Internal frame.

This bag caught my eye by the vibrant, rich  purple color but what really sold me was the compartments. The endless zips and clips will provide your trip with enough room to bring just about anything. I especially like the pockets on the belt strap to hold snacks or anything that you might need easy access to.The fabric is easy to clean and looks brand new each trip I take. The frame is easily adjustable for any load size, with great padding on the straps. I fell in love with this pack and I would recommend it to anyone!

Shelter (Tent/Hammock)

Kelty Grand Mesa 2 (3 seasons)

»4 lbs, 2 person tent, easily to move around the campsite if need be.

»Aluminum poles for durability

»Good ventilation with rear vent

»Set up is a breeze, I would highly recommend this tent

 

Sleeping Bag/Pad

REI Joule – Women’

»Lightweight, Duck Down

This is a 20 degree bag, it seems like it would be a little toasty for the desert but I’ve used the wrong bag once and shivered all through the night. Lets just say I was not a happy camper. This bag is breathable, water resistant and easy to clean after the trip.

Kelty Light Year Down- Unisex

»0 degree/-18 degree Celsius

»Down bag, lightweight

Therma-Rest Pad

»Compact

I brought this pad on my recent trip to Havasupai and had a weekend of wonderful sleep. It is lightweight and was easily strapped onto the bottom of my pack. After our trip I just wiped it down with a wet cloth and it was good as new.

Water

Platypus

»2L Bag (2 to 3 playtpus bags would be ideal on a 2 to 3 day trip)

»They are used to filter a ton of water to bring back to camp for cleaning and cooking

»Collapsible and lightweight to bring in pack and fill up during trip or at camp

Camelbak (Hydration bladder)

»2L at least depending on the journey. For Havasupai it was 10 miles and I brought 2L camelbak along with a 1L smart water water bottle.

Katadyne Hyper Pro Microfilter

»Filters any type of water

»Fills 1L per minute

*Water purification tablets will also do the trick.

Cookware

»Lightweight

»Easy cleaning (Bio degradable soap-Phosphate free and pH neutral *Gentle enough to use as body wash)

It is nice to have a cup if you plan on making a coffee or tea. I prefer a nice, hot cup of coffee in the morning to wake me up. A bowl comes in handy as well but not necessary. A pot with lid to boil water for freeze dried food or if you are like us some good old macaroni and cheese. A few other utensils to bring are a spoon, fork….or a spork and a knife.

Stove

MSR Superfly– MSR fuel (2 cans of fuel should be enough for a 2 to 3 day trip)

»Wide flame distribution

»Small enough that it fits in pot with lid when closed

Food

»Freeze Dried backpack meals (Mountain House or backpackers pantry)

»Peanut Butter and Jelly

»Macaroni (Chickpea pasta *25 grams of PROTEIN and 13g of fiber* and Cheese (Velveeta cheese packets)

»Peanuts

»Trail Mix

»Jerky

»Electrolyte tablets

Headlamps/ Flashlight

Headlamps work great for night trekking or going to the bathroom at night.

*Bring extra batteries

GPS

Plug in the trail on your GPS before the trip.

*A map will do the trick as well.

Tools

»Rope

»Knife

»Fire starters

»Multi-tool

»Microfiber towel I was pleasantly supervised by the size of both towels this package has.  I took both to Havasupai  and after a dip in the falls I was dried off in no time. The towel dried super fast and I was able to place it back in the bag the towels came in. Plus, it was purple… it matched my pack.

Clothing

It is impossible to predict mother nature but being prepared will help.  It’s best to bring multiple layers to adapt to the different elements on your adventure. A wind breaker that is waterproof will keep you dry and save you from being miserable if it rains.The fabric needs to be lightweight and breathable. Socks are just as important as boots, they need to be thick to prevent blisters from occurring. Other trekking clothing that can be considered are beanies/hats, scarfs and gloves.

 

 

Boots     

Merrell

»Durable

»Breathable, keeps feet dry

Hiking boots are probably the single most important thing while backpacking.  I made the mistake once of skimping out on nice boots and lets just say a couple blisters and a few missing toenails later I went and got me some nice ones. The boot needs to support the arch of your foot, there will be lots of uneven terrain to trek over and the support on the arch will help. When trying on boots the fit needs to be perfect, if they are either too big or too small it will be a problem. After you have found the perfect match, break those bad boys in, at least a couple weeks before the trip.

First-Aid

»Sunscreen

»Band-Aids

»Gauze

»Lip balm

Be prepared and Happy adventuring!

 

 

Arizona’s Top Hikes

Arizona’s Top Hikes

1.Flatiron aka Siphon Draw: This is my all time favorite hike, I’ve probably hiked it over 15 times. The trail is 6 miles round trip but don’t let the miles fool you, the 2,900 plus elevation gain will be challenging. 2.Four peaks aka Brown’s peak: […]

Top 10 Butt-Kicking Exercises

Top 10 Butt-Kicking Exercises

One of my favorite body parts to train is the booty…buttocks…derrière..fanny. OK that’s enough let’s get started. My top 10: 1. Spin bike. If you have access to one use it! It’s especially good for that booty, some other benefits are it improves circulation, strengthens […]

Hiking Battleship Mountain

Hiking Battleship Mountain

Oh, Battleship Mountain where do I begin. Let me start off by saying if you are not comfortable with heights, this will be a real life nightmare. Now that that’s taken care of, this hike is definitely one worth remembering.

Battleship mountain is nestled just behind the Superstitions in good old Arizona. We did this hike in early January and the weather was a bit chilly to start off but by the end of the 11.8 miles it was hot! The trail starts out at First Water trail-head which is your typical desert trail and that connects to Second Water trail, then Boulder Canyon Trail.  

From there we started upstream with Battleship in the distance. The wash was mostly dry but had a few spots with a decent amount of water. The cairns weaved us through and we came to a moss covered boulder to start the climb.


I was not prepared for the next part. The climb up to the top was intermediate rock climbing with no real trail but after positive reinforcement from the husband I was able to make it to the top.

Once we reached the top of the mesa, we just had to find our way across. We had to back track a couple of times but eventually made it across.  I was in awe of that view. At the top you can see Weavers needle , Geronimo Head, Canyon Lake and Flatiron. Going down is not half as bad as going up. On our way back we did run out of water, since the hike took us longer than expected. All and all the 11.8 mile hike took us about 7 and 1/2 hours. With breathtaking views and an eventful journey, it’s a must on anyone’s bucket list!

 

Things to bring:

  • GPS
  • Food
  • Water…lots of water
  • Adventure spirit, of course

 

Havasupai in all its beauty.

Havasupai in all its beauty.

When most people think about Arizona, they think of a hot, dry deserted desert at the bottom of the United States. What people don’t realize is that Arizona is filled with forests, lakes, canyons, mountain ranges and beautiful deserts. One of the most popular scenic […]