Why I Will Never Be an Ultralight Hiker… and Why I’m OK with That.

There is a firm push in the hiking community to go ultra-light. Even people who don't use ultralight gear, feel or believe that's the ultimate "best" to which we should all aspire. Thru-hikers go on a constant quest to cut whatever else is left to cut, to go on a bare minimum (and sometimes even below that) to reach the UL Grail.

Obviously, there is a good reason behind it: shading some weight off our packs makes hiking easier and safer. It's less pressure on our knees and muscles don't need to work as hard to carry it all up to the hills.

Some reasons are budget-related: there is no way I can afford a Dyneema tent or backpack, for example. Other ideas are more... comfort-related. There are things I am willing to carry even though there are not necessary and even might seem silly to pack. And yet - I do.

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Urban Hiking in Bergen, Norway: Mt. Ulriken and Mt. Fløyen

Bergen, in addition to the historic heritage and adorable wooden houses, offers also hiking experience without leaving the town. Even the biggest Norwegian cities are very close to nature, and it often takes a long walk, a bus ride or a few stops by a train to arrive in a pure and stunning natural area.

Bergen, the second-biggest city of Norway, lies at the western coast of the country. Its houses were often built on rocks and steep slopes of the surrounding mountains. If you have a chance to fly into Bergen, you can see the jaw-dropping setting for this city, with the many mountain peaks, lakes, fjords, and islands.

As part of the Bergen experience, one must go up at least one of the famous Seven Mountains surrounding the city: Mt. Fløyen. Easily accessible by the cute Fløibanen funicular can be reached by everyone. Although it's far from very high: it's 400 m above the sea level, it provides incredible views to the whole area.

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Why I Do What I Do: On Hiking Solo & Taking Selfies

Why do I go alone into the Mountains? And what’s the deal with all these selfies?

I can’t help the smile. It doesn’t matter that I’m puffing, I am sweating, and there is some aching in my knees. The smile is there. It’s probably not even visible all that much to passing me hikers (although I always try to smile nicely to all hikers me on trails) but I feel it. I sense the smile.

And it’s a different kind of a smile than the one I give a colleague at work in the morning or after hearing a cute joke. This one is different, it radiates from a different place, somewhere deep inside. It’s a bit like when we fall in love, the smile we can’t stop after remembering the cute moment a day before.

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Read Before You Buy: Gregory Maven 45 Backpack for Women Gear Review

Are you on the market for a lightweight mid-size backpack? Take a look at the review of Gregory Maven 45 - it might be the backpack for you!

I got my Gregory Maven 45 L about a year ago. I was looking for a lighter and smaller backpack than my solid but heavy Deuter Aircontact 50+10.

I had a few backpacks on my radar based on online reviews, but it just happened that I found this pack on sale and decided to get it right away. I am delighted I did.

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Read Before You Buy: Tarptent Double Rainbow Backpacking Tent Gear Review

Tarptent Double Rainbow tent in-depth review. Is this the shelter for you?

Two summers ago, the Double Rainbow reached my hands. I had been planning on getting a lighter shelter for quite a while by then, and the choices were a bit overwhelming. I was going back and forth between various types of single and double-layered tents, trying to figure out what exact shape and size I can happily hike with.

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Outdoor Blog of the Year Award Nomination - or Why I'm Bursting with Pride!

Recognising those who inspire others! Each year GO Outdoors likes to recognise some great outdoor bloggers that take their own time to encourage and inspire others to head outdoors through tips, routes, kit lists and more. This year, the blog A Woman Afoot has been nominated for the award. Learn more about the award and the blog.

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25 Camping Mistakes that Could Get You Killed (or Really Hate Camping)

I don't want to scare you off camping, quite the opposite! But I want to make sure your camping experience is fun and safe so you may want to do it more often. I collected 25 most common mistakes that could make your camping trip into an unpleasant experience or even a severe endangering of human life.

You might wonder if I actually did any of them. Well, duh! I took the wrong gear (too thin sleeping big), too much gear or useless stuff “just in case” more than once.

Learn from mine and other campers’ mistakes and make sure you are not guilty of any of them!

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How to Plan a Hiking Trip. There is No Spontaneity in Hiking!

The moment you decide you would like to go for a hike, the planning begins. Hiking is the kind of activity in which spontaneity is not encouraged much. And by “much” I mean not at all. To have an excellent and safe trip a proper process of preparation is required.

In this post, I will help you to highlight the critical elements of the process you should go through before you hit the trail. When I write this article, I have mostly multiple days and long-term hiking in mind, but many of the key ideas are quite useful also when thinking of a short day hike.

But why can’t I be spontaneous and just go?

I know that some people find it romantic or exciting to just decide on a spot to go somewhere – buy a ticket, grab a bag, and fly for a weekend to a new destination. I can even see some appeal in that idea (if I squint hard and tilt my head a bit to the left) but what might work for a weekend urban escape can be a recipe for a disaster when it comes to nature escapes.

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Quitter and Proud. On the Life-Saving Skill of Knowing When to Quit

I believe knowing when to stop, turn around, give up - is the most important skill any hiker or mountaineering can have. Writing into the culture of wrongly understood "motivation" can be deadly.

There is no shame in quitting. Anyone who says so has blood on their hands. As I already stated a few times, I find the ubiquitous "fitspiration" of "never give up" disgusting and dangerous.

But we are surrounded by the macho culture of winning, being the first to reach a “never before” place, be better than the other one, risking life to achieve some Big Goal.

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Hiking & Camping Solo in Norway: Solrenningen - Ortnevik by Sognefjorden

Ahead of me was the last leg of this year’s Norwegian adventure. After a couple days of hiking on lower altitudes, through bushes, trees and general greenery, I was again to reach higher peaks and be surrounded by awe-inspiring grey views.

After a longer break at the Solrenningen mountain shelter, I finally got myself going. I had quite the height to cover and there was no sense to stay down any longer.

The path was mostly fine – very steep at some points but generally providing nice climbing experience. Very soon I had views to admire and could see the shelter getting smaller and smaller. The trail marking was fine in the beginning but then I got confused at one moment. There was a river with beautiful waterfall and a kind of flat area with multiple possible paths.

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