Simple pleasures feed the soul.

Tag: fitness

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 […]

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 locations of Arizona is the Grand Canyon. In early April 2017 we got the chance to explore the Havasu Canyon after strenuous attempts to get a permit.

The day before the big trip we packed our gear, double checked and checked again.  We left our house in the southeast valley of Phoenix, Thursday evening around 6pm. Once we turned onto Indian Road 18 (60 miles to trail-head) it seemed to go on forever, maybe it was the dodging of all the deer in the dark of the night. We arrived at the trail-head just before midnight, the parking lot was packed with cars and extremely windy. The crew all slept in the truck, if you would even call it sleeping. The time seemed to go by so slow, maybe it was the anticipation or the crick in my neck.

 

 

 

 

Finally it was the day we have all been waiting for. The parking lot came alive as the sun came up and the freezing winds died down. The trail starts out on a cliff overlooking the mile and a half of switchbacks that drop down into the canyon.

 

The trek down the switchbacks was a breeze, but in the back of my mind I was thinking about the big mountain I had to climb to get back to the truck. At the bottom of the hill the trail becomes a wash which descends into the canyon for the next 7 to 8 miles. The wash is filled with red rock walls that seem to get taller and taller the deeper we get into the canyon. This part offers little to no shade so pull out your sunglasses. Every now and then you start to hear a rumble from around the corner. A whole train of pack mules, wild dogs and a lone tribal wrangler come trampling by.

3 hours later…you come to a fork in the road with a sign pointing towards Supai. At that point you start to get excited, are the falls near? The trail turns into lush green trees and we get our first glimpse of the beauty of the crystal clear creek water. The trail opens up into a wide vast Supai village. At the village there is a convenience store and the tourist office for check-in. From the village to the campgrounds is another 2 miles of soft beach like sand with sites of blue-green falls and bridge crossings. If you’re lucky you can make some doggy friends on the way.

 

Suddenly you reach the jaw dropping Havasu Falls, making the 10 mile hike all worth it. After passing Havasu falls you enter the campgrounds and it’s time to find the ultimate spot to spend a couple days kicking back enjoying the beauty that surrounds us. The campgrounds spread from Havasu falls to the top of Mooney Falls with the creek weaving through. We found a spot right next to the water after crossing one of the many makeshift bridges. After plopping our bags onto the picnic table around 11:30am, we celebrated our arrival.

 

The first day was spent at Havasu Falls. The powerful, mist from the falls graced us and we enjoyed our day exploring around. I was amazed at the colors from the moss against the red rock above the teal clear water. I ate a lot that day and was ready for dinner quite early. That night in the tent seemed luxurious compared to the last night we spent in the truck.

 

 

The next day we got a early start and ventured off to Mooney Falls. I did not know what awaited me at the top of that hill. There’s only one way down to the falls, through a dark cave, leading to a steep drop off filled with chains, wooden ladders and slippery rock. To say the least I was terrified but I did it! After a quick stop, we decided to follow the creek down 3 miles to Beaver Falls. The hike there is beautiful, it is filled with creek crossings (water shoes would be ideal) and lush green trees. I would recommend bringing a day bag with snacks, sunscreen and water.

We returned to find that our food had been broken into by some no shame squirrels. Beware of those squirrels. The last night was spent around camp telling stories, watching stars and searching for creatures. We started our trip back home around sunrise and it was a tough one, especially the last mile and a half. Once we reached the top I had one destination, the port-o-potty! Our three day, two night stay at Havasupai was something to be remembered and a must on your bucket list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to bring

  • Backpack at least a 50 liter pack. I like Kelty but there are lots of brands out there.
  • Lightweight tent or some use a hammock
  • Hydration bladder (2 liters)
  • Sunscreen (sun bum smells great)
  • Lightweight sleeping bag (20 degree or less) it gets pretty chilly at night.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Hiking Shoes (I like Keens)
  • Lightweight backpacking stove w/ propane
  • Water shoes & Flip flops (Speedo are perfect to walk in)
  • Collapsible platypus bottle for camp water
  • Lightweight cookware
  • Bio-degradable soap
  • Flashlights
  • MRE’s (Jerk Chicken is my favorite) or good old Macaroni and Cheese
  • Bathing suit
  • Squirrel proof bag

 

Facts

  • Trailhead- Hualapai Hilltop (Only port-o-potty’s)
  • Trailhead to Supai Village 8 miles
  • Supai to Campgrounds 2 miles
  • Campgrounds to Mooney Falls 0.5 miles
  • Mooney Falls to Beaver Falls 3 miles
  • Campground amenities: bathrooms, picnic table, spring water and fry bread hut

 

 

 For more information visit Official Havasupai Website