Blog

Read all about my hikes, my plans and my gear on the trail in Europe and the USA.

Solar Charger review: the Flybox

Solar Charger review: the Flybox

Like most hikers, I want to be able to charge my smartphone, wether on a thru-hike or a multi day section hike. I have compared different options and finally chose the Flybox Solar power bank to carry on my SEKI Loop thru hike in the summer of 2018. 

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Cathedral Lakes trail, Yosemite

Cathedral Lakes trail, Yosemite

After my eight-day SEKI Loop trail, I headed north to Yosemite National Park for one last day hike. I chose the Cathedral Lakes trail – part of the John Muir Trail – because it combines alpine lakes, a magnificent peak and relative solitude.

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Five Things I Learned on the Trail

Five Things I Learned on the Trail

In the late summer of 2018 I hiked the SEKI loop (in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park), a combination of the John Muir Trail, the High Sierra Trail and some other connecting trails. Here are five things I learned hiking the SEKI loop.

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SEKI Loop Day 7: Elizabeth Pass

SEKI Loop Day 7: Elizabeth Pass

SEKI Loop day 7: going up Elizabeth pass I conquered the steepest stretch of trail so far. With the spectacular views soon obscured by clouds, I hurried down Deadman Canyon. Then I hiked in the rain for a few hours until I found shelter at the Roaring River rangers station

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SEKI Loop Day 5: to Hamilton Lake

SEKI Loop Day 5: to Hamilton Lake

Day five of my SEKI Loop was the most impressive part of the trail so far. From the tranquil Moraine Lake through the valley of the Big Arroyo, and crossing the Kaweah Gap at more than 10.000 feet to the stunning Precipice Lake. Then descending all the way down to Hamilton Lake with a view of the vertical wall of Valhalla.

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SEKI Loop Day 2: Forester Pass and beyond

SEKI Loop Day 2: Forester Pass and beyond

The second day of my SEKI Loop took me to the really High Sierra. Despite four days of acclimatization, the altitude still slowed me down to half my normal hiking speed. But I did climb Forester Pass: the highest point on the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail and the border of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. 

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SEKI Loop Day 1: to Upper Vidette Meadow

SEKI Loop Day 1: to Upper Vidette Meadow

The Sequoia Kings / SEKI Loop is a less crowded alternative for the John Muir Trail, without the difficulty to get a permit. I had been planning my SEKI-Loop trail thoroughly last year. But of course, everything went completely different. Because not a million spreadsheets, vlogs or gearlists can prepare you for the devastating beauty and power of the High Sierra. 

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Short hikes on the Isle of Sark

Short hikes on the Isle of Sark

The Isle of Sark is so small, that it would take no more than half an hour to walk straight from the eastern to the western shore. But because of the jagged coastline there is a lot more hiking to do, with great views every time you turn a corner.

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The Colors of Kodachrome Basin

The Colors of Kodachrome Basin

Kodachrome Basin State Park is neighbour to Bryce Canyon National Park. Both parks share the rich red colors and strange rock formations, but Kodachrome offers more solitude. It’s quiet here, and empty. Full of amazing views, nice hiking trails and a main campground that offers a shady, green oasis in the barren desert landscape.

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My High Sierra Gear List

My High Sierra Gear List

Preparing my thru-hike in California’s High Sierra, I have read and viewed many gear lists that have inspired me to compile my own. Except for my hiking pants and shirt, my boots and my iPhone, everything I will carry in the High Sierra this summer is on the above photograph. Read on for the complete list.

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The Other Zion: Kolob Canyon

The Other Zion: Kolob Canyon

Zion National Park being such a busy tourist hotspot, we took a hike at the north-western part of the park: the relatively unknown but beautiful Kolob Canyons. Here we found no crowds, a refreshing creek, Navajo Sandstone walls in the most impressive red colors and a beautiful natural feature at the end of the trail.

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10.000 ft High at Cedar Breaks

10.000 ft High at Cedar Breaks

Cedar Breaks National Monument may be relatively unknown, but it is a major natural wonder in itself. It features dramatic red rock formations and 1,600 years old Bristlecone Pine trees. Thunder and lightning made us shorten our hike to just three miles. But what awesome three miles they were.

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Planning the Big SEKI Loop

Planning the Big SEKI Loop

With less crowds and no permit stress, The Big SEKI Loop is a great alternative to the John Muir Trail (JMT). And because it’s a loop, you don’t need additional transport back to your car. That makes planning much easier. For better resupply options I planned a route different than usual, making it a Big SEKI Flip.

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A Big Knife & 4 Other Things I Don’t Need on the Trail

A Big Knife & 4 Other Things I Don’t Need on the Trail

Preparing a 162,4 mile (261 km) hike I am critical about what to carry on the trail. I am not an ultra light hiker, but I do keep a spreadsheet with the weight of all my gear. Trying to keep my base weight (full backpack without food & water) below 18 pounds (9 kg), I still bring stuff that I do not really need on the trail.

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A Window with a View: Fenêtre de Ferret

A Window with a View: Fenêtre de Ferret

A perfect dayhike in the Swiss Alps with spectacular views of snowy mountain tops, green valleys and lakes of the deepest blue. A steep climb is rewarded with the unforgettable view from the Fenêtre de Ferret overlooking the Italian valley and Alps near the Grand St. Bernard pass.

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The Big Bad Bear canister

The Big Bad Bear canister

The Sierra Nevada is bear country. Bears are usually found between 3000 to 7000 feet, where they can find their natural foods. But black bears like human food as well: anything from a Snickers bar to toothpaste.

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