Notes on Going Light

Tarp Camping 101

Gearlist: Three Season

Gearlist: Winter

101+ Hiking Tips


Great Reading

Trail Food

Favorite Hikes

North Country Trail: Grand Traverse Hikiing Club Section



Welcome from the Traverse City area of northwestern lower Michigan. My name is Rick Halbert and I've enjoyed backpacking for many years as a way to connect with nature. Day hiking is another way to do this, but you just can't compare it to being out there the entire day and night. I've also discovered that, to enjoy the hiking part of the backpacking experience more, I needed to carry less weight. What follows is my attempt to show my progress in my quest to “go light”, to share some general hiking tips, and provide some information about the backpacking opportunities available in the Great Lakes region and especially northern lower Michigan where I live.

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I am a member of the Grand Traverse Hiking Club which is a chapter of the North Country Trail Association. The North Country Trail is a 4,500 +mile long partially completed National Scenic Trail that will extend from Crown Point, NY to Lake Sakakawea, ND. About 1,000 miles of the trail travels through Michigan, more than any other state. Michigan also has more completed trail than any other state, some 580 miles. I have included a description of the 40-50 mile section of the trail that is maintained by our club.

Here is a little summary of what you will find as you explore these pages. My ultra-light backpacking philosophy and some details about my choices of ultra-light gear are expressed in Notes on Going Light. This would be a good place to start and will provide a background for the two gearlists that follow, one for summer link, and one for winter snow camping link. The summer list is annotated so contains the most information. In Tarp Camping 101 I make my case for my favorite shelter and explain the how to set up a tarp as an A-frame. I once presented a program to our hiking club titled, 101+ Hiking Tips. These were gleaned from personal experience, other backpackers, and books that I have read. It is arranged by sub-topics and I add to it as I continue to learn new tips. It also contains some links where you can brush up on knots that are useful when backpacking. The Connections page contains links to other lightweight backpacking sites, gear sources, and links centered on hiking in the Great Lakes region. In Great Reading I get to share some of my favorite outdoor books, in Trail Food I describe my stove system and how I handle food on the trail. The Favorite Hikes page is focused on hikes in Great Lakes country.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Please feel free to e-mail your questions and comments.



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Last updated 10/12/07