Gear Review: Osprey Aura AG 65

One of the “Big 3”, choosing a backpack can be very time consuming and vital to your gear list. If the Aura 65 is in your top 5 choices, read to see about my experiences with it.

Hello, folks! Here’s my first post-AT hike gear review, and I’m starting it off with my Osprey Aura 65L AG backpack that I used on my journey north on the Appalachian Trail. I’m going to try to make all my reviews simple and organised for anyone who reads it; especially if you’re a future (thru)hiker looking at all those gear reviews before buying anything! Onto the review! Continue reading “Gear Review: Osprey Aura AG 65”

Instagram

Hello, folks! Welcome to my little corner blog here on WordPress. Had a bunch of new followers over the past few days, and wanted to say hi! Right now I’m revamping this whole blog, adding new pages, getting things organised, and writing up gear reviews as well as documenting my daily routine to get back in shape – not only for the AT  – but for me in general.

One of the social media platforms I’m most active on would definitely be Instagram. So far, I’ve documented the first 1/3rd of the AT on my iPhone 7+. I wish I was able to bring my Canon 7D, but that’d be a death sentence to my pack’s weight. I’m hoping in the future to own a Sony Alpha mirrorless system – kind of the UL version of professional camera gear – and be able to take better quality and detailed images.

For now, my iPhone 7+ is gonna be my workhorse as I make my way up the AT over the next year. Here’s some photos from 2017’s section of the trail.

Amber Redfield on Instagram

Overhaul

Hello, everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve updated anything on this blog. Life got in the way… well… injuring myself on the AT got in the way and I’ve been healing for a few months.

Getting off trail due to an injury bummed me out to the point I couldn’t update this blog without feeling so depressed. Instead, I’m going to start revamping this to share the 1/3rd of the trail I hiked and how I’ll be returning to the AT in 2018 to finish what I started!

Stay tuned, folks.

• Fury

Through The Thickets: The Life of a Thruhiker on the Appalachian Trail

It’s been a crazy few months on the trail. Here’s a montage of clips from my thruhike so far. I plan to write up a more in-depth post later this evening. Have a lot to chew on.

I mainly write about my AT hike on The Trek, which you can find my articles here. I plan to import them to this blog at one point.

Packing Your Fears

You’ve heard about it. You’ve seen it discussed in YouTube videos and blogs where people talk about this issue. You never think it’ll bite you in the ass.

I really thought I was doing well with my organisation and quantity of items. It’s been going well the past few months!
Then the day came where I was 6 hours from my train down to Georgia and everything just crumbled. Continue reading “Packing Your Fears”

Gearing Up

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, and wanted to give a quick update as to what’s going on with my prep.

Just less than two weeks now and I’ll be atop Springer Mountain to attempt my thruhike.


I cannot wait to have views like this during my hike. Every day I will see new things, sleep at different locations, and meet amazing new folks.

So far, here’s a few things I have for my hike. I’ll be posting an updated list with photos later, but today is yet another repacking event. Always trying to fit gear in better than the last time.

  • Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1 tent
  • Osprey Aura 65 AG backpack
  • Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Flame 22 sleeping bag
  • Therm-a-rest ProLite Plus or Z-Lite Sol sleeping pad
  • GoPro Hero 5 Black + pole & chest mounts
  • GSI Outdoors Dual Minimalist cook set
  • MSR Pocket Rocket & fuel
  • Black Diamond Storm headlamp & Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles
  • Sawyer products mini filter
  • Starbucks VIA packets

I still need to buy some dry sacks, sock liners, and little things to complete my gear list. It’ll be amazing to see what I still have once I get to Maine!

2017 AT Thruhike Training

No matter how many miles you do in a day for training, it’ll never prepare you 100% for the AT. I try to do 5-10 mile hikes after work during the week, but I still go home to my family, various food choices, shower, etc.

Though, I’ve been sleeping on my hardwood floor since November 2016; in my sleeping bag and on my sleeping pad.

So when it comes to sleeping anywhere, I am mega prepared. I’m one of those folks who can pass out on a couch with my head/limbs hanging off.

Mentally, I feel confident. I’m not nervous, but I know it’s because I’m not travelling to Georgia until next month.

The thing is, when I’m out in the nature, I am me. I don’t know how to describe it other than that I am fully in my element; I am myself. Even in bad weather, challenging terrain, little food… I feel fully alive and myself.

I’ve been mentally on the trail for the last few months. I just need to get going.

2017, Day 5

“Follow your heart, little child of the West Wind.
Follow the voice that’s calling you home.”

“Brothers Under The Sun” • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

For some it’s hard to drop everything and just go. Getting rid of items you don’t need, wasting money and time to travel to a job you hate, just to get by with paying the bills so you can continue a cycle that’s becoming an undiagnosed disease. Next thing you know, you’re wondering why you keep torturing yourself in this way.

I’ve been there – and frankly – almost everyone has at some point in their life. Whether it was a few weeks, months, or even years. Why waste your life in such a way? That’s what I always repeated in my head.

You’ve gotta get out of here, Amber. You need to leave. Go – get in the Jeep – it’ll all sort itself out.

The things I collected ten years ago do not necessarily mean as much to me as they did back then. Do I regret those purchases or items? No way, it was ten years ago! I still cherish what joy they’ve brought me over the years. Maybe some things were sold, some stayed.

It’s funny how I look at my11745300414_f20680d1e6_b Lord of the Rings sword that’s worth $1,000 and think about all the backpacking gear I could buy, the new DSLR I could purchase, the adventure mobile I could build, the countries I could travel to… I doubt I’ll ever sell it though. It’s the sword of the freakin’ Witch King.Very rare and absolutely kick ass! My film memorabilia collection is quite nice, but takes up so much space and most ends up in storage on a rotational display schedule.

In the end, I can’t fit all those in an Airstream, Tiny House, or military truck. B o l l o c k s .

Most of the time I just want to get rid of everything I own and only have the essentials in life. I love that idea, that lifestyle, and it is something I am striving for everyday. I look at old possessions and say to myself, “It’s been sitting in this box since I moved back from travelling. Time to go.”

The things you own end up owning you” — Tyler Durden, Fight Club

For some of my nicer items, my parents are amazing enough to store them when I am away at their house. They don’t want me to regret selling that sword or Titanic poster Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet stood in front of at the Las Vegas premiere. I just wish they’d all fit into my future home.

For the not-so-important, I’ve been giving myself a timeline just like I do with clothing. If it stays on the rack for more than three months/that specific season, it goes. I have a lot of items stored at my Grandmother’s that are in the process of finding new homes. They should be used instead of sitting collecting dust.

Not only does this allow you more physical space, but mental space. You’re decluttering your mind of unnecessaries. That’s one way, at least for me, to keep trekking along to my goal of living small. I want a mobile unit I travel the world in.

I don’t want a steady job, a stationary house, kids, marriage; none of that interests me.

I see my friends beginning those lives, and I am so happy for them! My lifestyle and desires are very unconventional, even in 2017. I’m that crazy kid in a group of friends who seems to be about ten years behind with life. It’s not that I am behind; I’m just parallel on a very rocky path zigzagging up Everest.

Start to let go of things, even if it’s just a few small items. Then it’ll be large items, multiple times, bags of things, people, places, towns…

Whatever it is that gives you happiness, keep it. If it’s only weighing you down, it needs to be kicked to the curb. Once you begin to let go more and more, the world will open itself up with opportunities and signs that you are on the right path.

I’ve had moments within the past few months that have given me signs I’m going the right direction. One, recently, involved my AT trail partner and I during one of our meetings where we catch up on what gear we have, what permits we need, drop boxes…Processed with VSCO with lv01 preset

Will was at the store getting food to eat and pulled some change out of his pocket. One of the shiny quarters stuck out to him being so fresh and clean, so he held onto it.

As he told me the story, he explained that – internally – he joked with himself that wherever the location on that quarter was, he would visit it after the Appalachian Trail.

Turns out the location on the back of this quarter is Harper’s Ferry, a major trail stop on the AT for thruhikers.

He ended up having two of these quarters, and gave one to me. It will be going along on my journey as a reminder that I am on the right path for who I am and who I am becoming; not for other’s versions of who they think I should be in society.

Nothing ever stops evolving. We are not the same people we were ten years ago or even one year ago. We do not live in the same world it was ten years ago or even a few months ago. Nothing will stop evolving, and you must be fluid to survive this life. I’m learning every day about how to go about this life, what and how I want to achieve my goals.

I’ve always been set on what I wanted: it always ended with world travel. I’ve done many countries in the past, but this year begins an entirely new way of experiencing this Earth.

2017, Day 1

It’s finally here; January 1st, 2017. A year many have wanted to arrive as soon as possible.

2016 had its moments of highs and lows in the public eye. Much sadness that hit so many, so close.

But how long can we dwell on sadness? Negativity is a black hole, poisoning your psyche as you go about your daily life.

I know it all too well. Depression and Anxiety love to become that friend you cannot rid yourself of.

But who am I to talk? Most either understand the struggle or say to “toughen up, it can’t be that bad”. Some don’t recognise the true seriousness of mental illnesses, but with each year our society strives to support and inform.

So why open this new journal and have my first post focus on Depression and Anxiety Disorder? Well, because it’s what has brought me to this very moment in time – where you realise that major life changes must be achieved to further better yourself. Major changes you’ve only dreamt of, but now will act upon.

I am not my Anxiety. I am not my Depression. It is just a chemical imbalance I inherited from my family’s genetics. Scientifically, it is a part of my biological makeup. Multiple medications over the years have helped me wake up from a life I was not living just a few years back._mg_9872

Medication only does so much for individuals; we all react differently. My true medication though, where I find the most peace and open mindedness, is in Mother Nature.

Hiking fights the dark vibes that creep into perfect and happy days. No one wants to feel an emptiness and sadness for an unknown reason. It’s terribly frustrating! So you must find, for whatever you love to do, that catalyst that changes your mind’s process.

That’s what this journal is all about. Facing what has kept me falling behind, accepting what I must deal with, how to better myself, and finding serenity on the Appalachian Trail.

A goal of mine for 2017 is to open up. Open up so much I’ve kept inside from the sheer thought of it being considered a weakness rather than a strength. I feel this journal will do some good, especially as it will compliment my thruhike this year.

Yes, this 2017 season I am thruhiking the Appalachian Trail. 2200 miles, beginning at Springer Mountain, Georgia all the way up to Mount Katahdin, Maine. This journey will take around 4-6 months, pushing myself to the extreme because adventure is what is in my blood.

I am Adventure.

I am Nature.

I am prepared to Evolve.