time spent in the wilderness, carrying everything you need on your back, is more than just getting away from it all...
...it's an opportunity to learn about nature, and learn more about yourself than you may have thought possible
Blog: Hiking with Jerry
The Benefits of Backpacking
1. It's recreational exercise. Not only will you burn fat from hours of hiking with a pack, over time you will gain muscle strength and stamina.
2. Hiking in the wilderness is healthy for the mind and spirit. It is a time proven stress relief activity. Being a part of nature provides a temporary release from the daily stressors of life.
3. Spending time in nature is educational and provides perspective on our environment. You might even learn that many of your fears of wildlife are unfounded.
4. Hiking and camping will present challenges and take you out of your comfort zone. This leads to a feeling of accomplishment and a greater sense of self-worth.
A Note From Jerry
My first experience on the Appalachian Trail was 1985. On the way to spend the night in a shelter with friends we came across a thru-hiker, heading northbound. I've been addicted ever since.
I hike the AT more than ever now, logging my sections in the event I never get to thru-hike it from Georgia to Maine.
I receive nearly as much enjoyment teaching others, which led me to create Mountain Blazers. Feel free to browse and maybe learn about backpacking, sign up to receive emails for upcoming trips, follow my blog Hiking w/ Jerry, or even become an official member of the Mountain Blazers.
Want to join?
It's really easy! Simply go on a hiking trip with the Mountain Blazers. This is the best way to get to know us. Go to our page listing our upcoming trips and choose something appropriate to your level of experience with hiking and camping. You don't have to be a member to join us on a trip. Before joining us on a trip you may want to read through this section.
How to Learn Backpacking at MountainBlazers.com
Start by reading through our section Intro to Backpacking. Then read through the articles which most interests you in our section Hiking w/ Jerry. And third, get out there in the wilderness. Hike, camp, and come back with stories. You even have the option to join us on an adventure!
Trail hiking with backpacks over extended periods of time requires a high level of physical fitness. If it's your first hike, are you ready for that 2-day, 18-mile trip? It's great to be excited about backpacking, but you might want to consider an easy, short trail for your first adventure in the mountains. Learn more in our Introduction to Backpacking section.
What Jerry Carries
Hikers are individuals. Though the basics are similar (backpack, sleeping bag, food), the specifics of what we each carry can be very different. Are you sure you have all the correct gear for your first trip? Read the article, What's In My Pack, to learn what Jerry carries. And before your trip, we require you read this article.
What to Bring
You probably realize you need a pack, a sleeping bag, and something to sleep in like a tent or hammock. Have you considered the clothes you will wear while hiking verses the clothes you will wear at the campsite? There's an important difference. Learn about it in our Backpacking Gear section.
At some point in your hiking life you will encounter rain. The Mountain Blazers have been through some intense rain storms. Search articles in Hiking w/ Jerry to learn how he has dealt with the elements. Before joining us on a trip, ask yourself if you are truly ready for the elements.
What's for dinner?
Most hikers today eat freeze dried meals for dinner (just add hot water). Meal planning is an essential part of backpacking, especially if you plan to be out for multiple days. In our section, Planning Your Trip, you can learn how to plan for 3 meals a day. Especially dinner; the meal which can bring you happiness after a tough day hiking in the elements.
A warm cup of Jo
You can enjoy coffee on the trail without it holding you up in the morning. Learn how to enjoy a cup of Jo every morning with ease. Jerry uses a collapsable pour-over cone. Read Jerry's article Coffee in my Sleeping Bag to learn more.
Join us on an Adventure
We are not trail guides. Whether you are new to backpacking, or an experienced backpacker, or somewhere in between, we welcome you to join us on one of our trips. If new to backpacking we can meet with you before the trip to check your gear and make sure you posses the minimum required gear to join us. We have group leaders who can provide assistance out on the trail and at the campsite. Experienced or not, after your first trip you can become a member.
Questions or Comments?
Interested in becoming a Mountain Blazer? You can find more information here.