Posts

Winter Hiking in the North Carolina Mountains

A brisk trek with friends is one of our favorite activities during the season of staying inside. When a sunny day shines down between bouts of frosty mornings and blustery afternoons, it’s a great time to explore new trails that are harder to access during the warmer months. It’s the perfect prescription to warm you up on those chilly, gloomy days!

As a kid, winter is the season of finding the best spot for sledding, snowball throwing, and snow fort building quicker than anyone else. As an adult, it can be making fresh tracks in the snow or avoiding mud puddles as you check out a view usually obscured by leaves during the spring and summer. There are also few sights that compare to a frozen mountain waterfall and one of the coolest sights to be seen in WNC: needle ice.

There are plenty of rewards to a winter hike including refreshing temperatures, fewer fellow hikers, and endless views of deep blue skies. While higher elevations typically see snow, the valleys around Asheville are usually clear and great on mild days. The North Carolina Arboretum is a great place to explore during these months as sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are often inaccessible since it’s never treated or plowed.

As with any season, it’s best to be prepared when heading out for a hike of any length. Trail-tested essentials to keep in your daypack year round are water bottles, trekking poles, snacks, first aid kit, and whistle. A headlamp and a rain jacket are also imperative if you like to enjoy too-beautiful-to-miss sunsets or make a wrong turn. This is one season you can leave the insect repellant at home.

With heavier used trails, winter hiking can present packed snow turned slick or slushy mud. Consult with a footwear expert at Frugal Backpacker to choose footwear based on expected trail conditions. Winter hikers usually have better grip and sturdy ankle support. A good pair of hiking boots – no matter the season – provide great piece of mind.

Even though the days seem shorter, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy an afternoon or weekend hike and come back home for a warm bowl of chili or cup of tea. Layer up and get outdoors!

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Win a Pair of KEEN Shoes, Sandals, or Boots

We hear people like free stuff so we’re giving away more of it this year! Make sure you’re signed up for our super duper fly emails to make sure you don’t miss any contests.

KEEN is one of our favorite outdoor brands. Not only do they make pioneering, quality footwear, they also believe we should all live and work monumental every day. Like other Going Further brands, KEEN strives to reduce the company’s impact on the environment, protect the places where we play, and give back to communities in need.

We’ve partnered with KEEN to give away a pair of shoes in August. You can choose from any pair in stock at Frugal Backpacker orDiamond Brand Outdoors. You can also chat with one of their experts at the Asheville Outdoor Show on September 17 to learn their evolving story, from the iconic Newport sandal to the Terradora hiker.

Introducing KEEN Terradora

From off-the-grid trails to urban hiking on city streets, women on a journey know that the right shoe makes all the difference. That’s why our Terradora shoe has an uncompromising focus on fit. It’s about biomechanics, and an evolution in women-specific performance footwear. And with the streamlined design, progressive style and color palette, it pairs as well with jeans as it does with technical outerwear.

  • WOMEN’S-SPECIFIC FIT

    Designed for a woman’s foot, with a glove-like fit and a cushioned panel to take pressure off the Achilles.

  • HILL PERFORMANCE

    Get the best of both worlds: efficiency and speed on uphill climbs, cushion and protection on the way back down.

  • IMMEDIATE COMFORT

    Lightweight, flexible construction and a lower collar height encourage freedom of movement without sacrificing support.

Nearly 50% Off Kelty Tents

FLASH SALE: Save big on the Kelty Gunnison family of tents on Friday, May 5!

For a limited time, score the Kelty Gunnison 1.3, 2.3, 3.3, or 4.3 for nearly 50% off MSRP. The Kelty Gunnison family of tents offer ample space and great design that perform like a champ in the backcountry or while car camping. Ready to take on three seasons, these tents offer the convenience of compact folding poles along with a footprint that prevents wear. Featuring two D-style doors with vestibules for easy entry, innovative hug clips for simple setup, and door storage pockets to hold the gear you need fast, sleeping out with a friend will be twice the good times. (The first number following the tent refers to the number of people it can fit, hiwle the second indicates it’s a three season tent.)

  • Kelty Gunnison 1.3 NOW $89 (was $169.95)
  • Kelty Gunnison 3.3 NOW $129 (was $249.95)
  • Kelty Gunnison 4.3 NOW $150 (was $289.95)

Features:

  • Backpack friendly compact folding poles
  • Roll top cube carry bag
  • Easy set up
  • Free standing
  • Kelty hug clip
  • Easy entry D door
  • Color coded clip and fly attachment
  • Fully seam taped construction
  • Internal storage pockets
  • Gearloft loops
  • Awning vestibule
  • Door storage pockets
  • Footprint included

backpacking_highalpine_fmarmsaterphoto_ex9_17-0623

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

 

Crew Essentials: Top Outdoor Gifts for Campers

camden

Camden’s a crew member here at Frugal Backpacker. He shares his top gift ideas for your favorite outdoor enthusiasts.

My favorite hike is Alum Cave in the Smokies. I love it because I helped build that trail and that view is my favorite ever.

Kelty Bestie Blanket
Very light weight, very warm, and easy to clean, this makes a perfect throw blanket. It’s perfectly sized for lounging around the campfire or for warming up with a good book.
$22.95

bestie
ENO has the best design of any straps for any hammock that uses carabiner connectors. Agile but enduring, the ENO Atlas Strap weighs a scant eleven ounces, yet boasts a whopping thirty combined adjustment points.
$29.95
atlas
ENO DoubleNest Hammock
The ENO DoubleNest Hammock makes you want to snuggle. With two-feet of extra width than the SingleNest, the DoubleNest allows room for one, two, three, or however you decide to pack 400lbs. It packs down to the size of a grapefruit and is also machine washable.
$69.95
double
Stanley Adventure Cooler
Stanley is great because the company blends classic style with the lastest technology. This is a great small cooler for bringing your lunch to work or any day adventure.
$40
stanley-adventure
Mountain Hardwear Micro Thermostatic Puff Jacket
Affordable, light weight, and just plain awesome! This  very warm down jacket is perfect for layering. It’s also compactable so it fits easily into a pack.
$105
jacket
Deuter Act Lite 50+10 Pack
A great choice for anyone who is new to backpacking, the adjustable back is great for any trip in the wilderness or travel abroad. Lightweight with a purist yet technical look, this versatile expanding pack lets you comfortably tackle everything.
$189
deuter-act-lite

A $10 Bonus with Gift Card Purchases This Year

We want you to have a great time during the holiday season and welcome you back in 2017. That’s why we’ll be giving you a bonus $10 gear card for every $50 of gift cards you purchase between November 25-December 24, 2016. Your bonus gear cards can be used just like cash on anything in the store from January 1-31, 2017.

Gift cards are a great gift for your favorite adventure partners. They never expire and can be used at Frugal Backpacker or either Diamond Brand Outdoors location. A Frugal Backpacker gift card is the thoughtful gift of new adventures, shared experiences, and outdoor exploration — and they come in a gift envelope with embedded seeds that grow into wildflowers when you plant it. (How cool is that?)

If you have any questions, just ask one of our expert team members. Happy Holidays!

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Events

Asheville Outdoor Show 2018

Stay tuned for BIG changes to this one-of-a-kind community driven event celebrating all things outdoors! There will still be plenty of local gear makers and national innovators showcasing the latest trends in outdoor recreation, but you’ll find far more diverse offerings of interactive demos, educational workshops, and informative speakers.

Check out pictures from last year!

RSVP ON FACEBOOK

Kids are welcome at this free public event. There’s even an awesome Family Adventure Zone!

Women Outdoors in the Mountains

Mountain women love to explore wherever the adventure takes them. If you’re equally at home on the trail or on the town, join other women to share adventures, learn new skills, and gain insights and experience at this free inaugural event.

Frugal Backpacker gets women. And we get them geared up, excited, and ready for the outdoors with expert advice, clothing, and top outdoor products for less.

FREE CLINICS + WORKSHOPS

  • 12:00 – Eating Healthy in the Outdoors
  • 1:00 – Choosing the Right Hiking Boots
  • 2:00 – How to Fit (and Pack) a Backpack
  • 3:00 – Leave No Trace Principles
  • 4:00 – Layering for Adventure
  • 4:30 – Dressing for the Outdoors
  • 5:00 – Hiking Clothing + Outdoor Outfits Fashion Show
  • 5:30 – Glamping and Incredible Asheville Adventures

RSVP ON FACEBOOK

Kids and well-behaved pets on leash are welcome at this community event.

The Ten Essentials

The Ten Essentials date back to the 1930s, when the Seattle-based organization The Mountaineers assembled the first list to help people be prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors. Though they’ve been revised over time, the lit remains dedicated to answering two basic questions:

  • Can you respond positively to an accident or emergency?
  • Can you safely spend a night (or more) outside?

Julie S. will run through the current list, Ten Essentials: A Systems Approach, and expand on what you can do to ensure a safe day hike, backpacking trip, or other outdoor activity. Come with questions!

RSVP ON FACEBOOK

Kids and well-behaved pets are welcome at this free interactive presentation.

Backcountry Camping in the Pisgah Ranger District

One of the most popular areas for hiking in Western North Carolina is the Pisgah Ranger District, located southwest of Asheville. Filled with scenic roads, backcountry and wilderness areas, geologic points of interests, and more, there’s no reason to limit your time spent in PRD to day hikes.

Join Graham Coffey, co-author of Backcountry Camping in the Pisgah Ranger District with Brooke Harrison, the first all-inclusive guide to this area. Drawing on knowledge from years as a wilderness guide working in Pisgah National Forest and experiences backpacking with others, this interactive presentation will help you find the passion, peace, and joy these woods have given the authors.

There will be plenty of time for Q&A, as well as a chance to purchase signed copies of Graham’s book.

RSVP ON FACEBOOK

Kids and well-behaved pets are welcome at this free presentation.