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TrailGroove Blog

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Contributors to this blog

  • Aaron Zagrodnick 138
  • Mark Wetherington 32
  • HikerBox 5
  • Susan Dragoo 5
  • JimR 3
  • michaelswanbeck 2
  • MattS 2
  • Jen 2
  • Isak Kvam 1
  • Tephanie H. 1
  • HappyHour 1
  • George Graybill 1
  • Barbara 1
  • Steve Ancik 1
  • SarahLynne 1
  • Doug Emory 1
  • Steven Genise 1
  • mgraw 1
  • Allison Johnson 1
  • jansenjournals 1

About this blog

Entries in this blog

New TrailGroove Sticker Stash

Our free TrailGroove sticker offer continues to be a big hit and has been so popular that our old sticker stash was quickly exhausted. A new load of freshly printed stickers have now arrived - These are high quality waterproof stickers with white lettering and a clear rectangular background for easy application. A single sticker is always free to a good home - Just fill out this form with your mailing address and we'll get one right out! Need more than 1? Check out the TrailGroove Sto

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Platypus Pre-Filter Cap for Sawyer 3 Way SP122 Water Filter

Back in Issue 3 we Reviewed the Sawyer SP122 3 Way Water Filter and since that time I’ve used the filter on several additional trips. It’s still working quite well provided that clean water sources are selected and the water is pre-filtered before using it inline or while in gravity mode. During the review, we tested the SP122 against 100 liters of average mountain stream water (With no pre-filtration) that dramatically reduced the flow rate of the filter. With Sawyer’s 1 Million Gall

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

REI e-Gift Card Holiday Giveaway

Note: Contest Ended 12/25/12. Results can be found Here. Happy Holidays from TrailGroove! To celebrate the holidays and the end of the year we're giving away 3 $50 REI e-Gift cards! We're mixing it up a bit this time with multiple ways to enter... Here's the scoop: 1. Respond to this blog post with a comment on your favorite piece of backpacking or hiking gear that you used in 2012 to enter, with a brief explanation as to why that piece of gear worked so well for you

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Marmot Precip Shell Gloves Review

With colder weather officially in place over the Rockies, I recently found myself plagued with chilly hands again as fall moved to late fall and on towards winter. Normally to combat the issue while backpacking, I’ll go to the waterproof eVent Rain Mitts from Mountain Laurel Designs that we reviewed in Issue #2, combined with a pair of DeFeet Duragloves for warmth as a liner. With the eVent mitts seam sealed and with the liner gloves thrown in, this combination comes in at 3.9oz altog

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Gear - The T.R.I.P. Process

The gear list. It might be written on a piece of paper, typed into a spreadsheet, read from a book, or all in your head. But most of us probably have one somewhere. In its simplest form, a gear list can really help with those “I can’t believe I forgot that” moments when you’ve just hiked 20 miles from the trailhead and are setting up camp in dwindling evening light. In other forms, a list can help you identify things you really don’t need, help you reduce your pack weight, and help yo

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

By Men or by the Earth - By Tyler Coulson

In the spring of 2011, and after leaving his life as a corporate lawyer, Tyler Coulson set off from the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware coastline to undertake a western journey across the United States with Mabel, his adopted dog and companion. Destination: Pacific Ocean. Method of travel: Foot. After 3500 miles and millions of footsteps, Tyler recounted the journey in By Men or By the Earth. Of course, there’s a deeper story to most long walks, and Tyler dives into not only the day t

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

TrailGroove Sticker - Free to a Good Home!

New goods have arrived! Interested in a free TrailGroove sticker? Just fill out this form and we'll get a sticker right out - Great for the car window or for sprucing up the gear closet! Need more than 1? Check out the TrailGroove Store, they're just 75 cents each!  

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Winners: Camp Kitchen Contest: Titanium Gear from Evernew, Snow Peak, Vargo Outdoors

Congratulations to the winners of our Camp Kitchen contest! Using a random number generator, the winners were picked at 8 P.M. Mountain Time. Winners: Grand Prize: Stick Runner Up: ADKinLA Second Runner Up: TollerMom Special thanks to everyone that entered the contest, there have definitely been some very interesting and highly entertaining entries / comments on the original blog post that announced the contest Here. I know that I have a few more destinations to pu

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Camp Kitchen Contest: Titanium Gear from Evernew, Snow Peak, & Vargo Outdoors!

Note: Contest Ended 9/20/12. Results can be found Here. Missed out but still need the gear? You can check it out here: Evernew at Amazon Snow Peak 450 Single Wall Mug at Campsaver Vargo Titanium Long Handle Spoon If your camp kitchen is in need of an upgrade, you'll want to check this one out! 3 Winners! Grand Prize: Ultralight Evernew Titanium Pot (Choose From 3 Models) Snow Peak 450ML Titanium Single-Wall Mug in Blue Vargo Long-Handled Titaniu

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Jembe Seat Kit Review

A camp chair is definitely an item not often seen on most lightweight or ultralight backpacking gear lists, and is indeed something I gave up on long ago. These days it doesn’t seem that Jen and I spend too much time lounging around camp anyway - If we’re not working to cook a meal and setup the shelter, we’re probably already asleep. For those times when we do have a bit of spare time, a log, rock, or simply the ground itself usually serves the purpose - Situations where a foam sleep

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

ZebraLight H31w Headlamp Review

For the past year or so I’ve been testing out the H31w headlamp from ZebraLight, a company that makes a wide selection of higher-end LED flashlights and headlamps. Prior to picking up this light, I had always been a dedicated follower of a few of the more mainstream headlamps that are out there, and even though I had heard a lot of great things about ZebraLight, I had my doubts that it would end up making it to the #1 spot on my gear list for backpacking trips. But with all the good f

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Stough Creek Lakes Trail Overnighter - Wind River Range, Wyoming

With limited time and a good forecast, Jen & I decided on a quick overnighter a couple weeks ago close by in the Winds. It would need to be a quick trip - Obligations (A bit more on that later) would have to keep us close to civilization, and on top of that we would have to work with a later start on Saturday. Our plan was to take the Stough Creek Lakes Trail into the Popo Agie Wilderness up to Roaring Fork Pass / Stough Creek Saddle, then retreat part of the way back to make camp

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Winners: Harmony House Backpacking Kit, I Hike, & Trail Tested Giveaway

Congratulations to the two winners of our Harmony House Backpacking Kit, I Hike, and Trail Tested giveaway! The winners have been contacted via email, please check your inbox and let us know where to ship the loot! Using a random number generator, the following winners have been selected: Grand Prize Winner: EX121 Runner up: Stick Grand Prize: 1 Harmony House Backpacking Kit + Signed copies of I Hike & Trail Tested. Runner up: 1 signed copy each of I Hike &

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Maps

One thing that I seem to love are maps. When I’m not on the trail backpacking or hiking I’m most likely planning my next adventure, or when I head home from a trip I always seem to find myself staring at sets of maps to find out what the name of that peak that I saw in the distance was, or just where that other trail lead from a fork when I went right and the other trail went left. Usually, this results in maps spread out across the house for days - Once I find out just what the name

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Trail Tested by Justin Lichter

Earlier this month, Justin Lichter (Also known by his trail name Trauma) released a collection of insights, tips, and stories detailed across more than 200 pages in his new book Trail Tested. If you haven’t heard of Justin yet, he’s quite famous in the long distance backpacking and hiking community - Having hiked over 35,000 miles in his career. Not only has he completed the Triple Crown of the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails - He’s done it twice. Throughout

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Harmony House Backpacking Kit, I Hike, & Trail Tested Giveaway

Note: Contest ended 6/13/12. Results can be found Here. Missed out? You can Pick up the Harmony House Kit from REI. The books can be found over at Amazon: Buy I Hike at Amazon Buy Trail Tested at Amazon New TrailGroove contest! Please read below for all the details on how to enter. Grand Prize Winner: 1 Harmony House Backpacking Kit 1 Signed Copy of I Hike by Lawton Grinter 1 Signed Copy of Trail Tested by Justin Lichter Second Place Winner: 1 S

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Book Review: I Hike by Lawton Grinter

A couple years ago I came across The Walkumentary, a film produced by Lawton Grinter (Trail name Disco) detailing the southbound CDT thru-hike that he completed in 2006 along with his partner P.O.D. and a loose group of other hikers. The film really shows the viewer not only what it’s like to hike and to do so every day, but also what it’s like to do so along the CDT, where a thru-hike frequently involves longer, more remote stretches between resupply stops and staying “Found” can at

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Tax Day Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Stick, winner of a brand new Trail Designs Ti-Tri Sidewinder Stove System and an Evernew 1.3L titanium ultralight pot! Check out our original Sidewinder Ti-Tri Giveaway Blog Entry for the full details of the contest. Using a random number generator, a post from the Forum was chosen at 8 P.M. Mountain Time and the 8th post in our PowerPot Thread was the winner. Thanks to all who have contributed to the Forum and keep your eye on the site for additional contests that

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Table Mountain - 2.0

In our First Blog Entry we talked about Table Mountain, an interesting feature that both offered a lower elevation summit (About 7200 feet) and was close to town. This combination made for a great cabin fever expedition prior to spring, following a mostly off-trail route that required tricky navigation to keep from crossing private land. We made good progress on our first attempt, but then ran into deeper snow around 6500 feet and were forced to turn back with fading daylight. A month

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Wind River Trails by Finis Mitchell

I’ve dreamed about flyfishing for golden trout in the Wind River Range ever since I picked up a flyfishing magazine when I was about 13 years old that had a short article detailing a backcountry trip in pursuit of the elusive golden trout. Even at the time I was an avid fisherman, but what I read about in that article was the polar opposite of the type of fishing and the type of outdoor experience I was familiar with. While the magazine has long been misplaced, and internet searches t

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Tax Day Giveaway - Trail Designs Ti-Tri Sidewinder Stove System Bundle

Note: Contest Ended 4/17/12. The results can be found Here. Missed out? Check out Evernew at Amazon Enter to win a brand new Sidewinder Ti-Tri stove system bundle from Trail Designs - Pot included! This is the exact combo we just reviewed in our current issue. Check out our testing results and see the system in action by reading Issue 1. Win this package and you'll receive: Evernew ECA253 Titanium Ultralight 1.3L Pot (more details here - perfect for two or large meals for on

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

REI Flash 18 Winner - HikingTheTrail!

Congratulations HikingTheTrail, your name was randomly drawn from our member list and we've reached out to you for your mailing address. Please respond within 72 hours to claim the prize and we'll get this in the mail ASAP - Enjoy the pack! Thanks to all that joined us here at TrailGroove and participated in the contest! Missed out? You can Pick Up the Flash 18 at REI.

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

REI Flash 18 Backpack Giveaway

Note: Contest Ended 3/18/12. The results can be found Here. Missed out? You can Pick Up the Flash 18 at REI.   Please Register to subscribe to this blog or post comments. Here is your chance to win a brand new REI Flash 18 pack just like the one we reviewed in our current issue. (Except in an eye catching Titanium Citron color scheme) You can find the review by reading Issue #1 or by going directly to the Flash Review if you prefer. All that you have to do to enter is registe

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick

Table Mountain

We’ve been working day and night, falling asleep at computer screens, and hitting the trail as much as we can to get TrailGroove up and running. Everything that we thought would take a week when we first began scratching out our idea on paper took a month and everything that we expected to take a month took…Well, you get the idea. Starting something like this is always a risky endeavor - It can be a challenge to prevent turning your favorite pastime into something you just have to do

Aaron Zagrodnick

Aaron Zagrodnick




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