About this blog
A lot of ultralight backpacking blogs out there seemed to be written from the perspective of long distance hikers and thru-hikers. As a Weekend Warrior, I sometimes find it difficult to sift through them and find the information that actually pertains to me. I hike and pack decidedly differently on a 3-day trip than these guys do on month-long trips. Don’t get me wrong, I’d do a thru-hike in a heartbeat, but, alas, my family and job don’t allow me that amount of time away.
This blog is going to be written for those who are in my boat: Weekend Warriors with jobs/families/time constraints. You also might not have the money to dedicate towards a lot of fancy gear, so items reviewed here will be limited to high-quality items at middle-of-the road prices. I will also post occasional hike logs, helpful hints, fitness ideas, and more! As time goes on, I will accept reader questions and answer them as posts on the blog. If one person has a question, the odds are that a lot of you do.
I’m Dan Bortz. I’m 30 years old, have a great girlfriend, a toddler son, an infant daughter, and two clinically insane dogs (one of whom joins me on the trail quite a bit). I work full time and my schedule is nuts, to say the least. I work the normal 40-50hours a week, but I usually only have one weekend per month off, which means my hiking trips are usually limited to 3-5 days (sometimes only 2).
I’m relatively new to the backpacking scene. I grew up tromping through the woods and spent almost every weekend RVing or car camping with my family, but for some reason I didn’t consider backpacking until 3 or 4 years ago. One day I woke up and said, “That’s what I want to do!” I never looked back.
In 2011, I broke 4 bones in my foot, which required surgery and a lot of healing/therapy time. I now have arthritis, slight balance problems, and a few toe joints that don’t work anymore. This injury is what turned me to ultralight backpacking. UL allowed me to get some weight off of my bad foot, so I could hike longer before it started to hurt. I’m still a newbie, but I think you’ll find me well informed. When I decide to do something, I go all out.
Most of my hiking experience is in Pennsylvania. I hike my local section of the AT a lot, and I also enjoy many of PA’s other footpaths, such as the West Rim Trail, the Loyalsock Trail, and the Alleghey Front Trail. I have also dayhiked extensively in Shenandoah and Acadia National Parks, World’s End State Park (PA), Ricketts Glen State Park(PA), Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area(PA/NJ) and others. I’m also getting myself organized to section hike the AT over the next decade or so
Clubs, Memberships and Programs
- TurboPUP Brand Ambassador
- Berks-Lehigh Hiking and Backpacking (Founder, Organizer)
- Delaware County Hikers (Event Organizer)
- Keystone Trails Association (Member)
- Appalachian Mountain Club (Member)
- Hawk Mountain Bird Sanctuary (Kestrel Club)