Thursday, January 31, 2013

ALOHA, to our Family and Friends in Maui!

Terri and Dreamer here,

Last year, in Maui, on March 1st, Terri & I announced to the world our intentions of attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2013.  This decision had been the product of many years of thinking and dreaming about the possibility.  The dream began to really take shape when Terri gave me the freedom/present on our 30th Anniversary, committing to the trip in the year I would turn 60 years old.  This gift included not just the blessing to hike, but also a commitment to attempt this journey with me!  What a gift…

Of course, I digress.  Those of you that are family and friends know this story already.  Many of you think we are nuts, wondering what in the world are they thinking?  Asking, Terri, what about the: bears, snakes and spiders, sleeping on the ground, rain, cold and on & on?  Believe me, these will all be an issues to deal with; however, none of them big enough to stop us from the adventure of our lifetime.

We now have less than 30 days before we leave for Springer Mountain, Georgia to begin our journey.  Normally, this time of year, we are counting the days till the plane whisks us off to our winter home on the Valley Isle, Maui.  Even though the countdown could not be more different, the excitement and anticipation is the same!  The real bummer comes when we think about how much we are going to miss our family and friends this year in 'paradise on earth'.  That is a tough thought.  One that saddens us and is the reason we are writing now.

We have put together this montage of: video and pictures for your enjoyment.  We are going to miss you guys this year!  I am quite sure that Terri & I will spend many moments thinking, wishing and dreaming about Maui, knowing we could have been there in the sun with all of you instead of sitting in a tent: tired, stinky, sore, hungry, cold and wet…  

Please pray of us, as God would lead you!

Team TNT
Charlie, Terri & Dreamer

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All the Dirt on Food - Appalachian Trail Prep.

Terri & Dreamer here,

Ok, ok, finally, we have prepared a blog post and You Tube video about “Food”.  There is no question the number one comment is about food.  Well, we should say that is the number two comment after, “You guys are going to do what?  Oh my, are you guys crazy”!  I guess the answer to that is, yes we are…

The questions range from: how are you going to carry six months of food on your back, what kinds of food are you going to be eating, will you be eating out every day, what is Charlie going to eat, do you eat freeze-dried food every day and do you cook in the woods or just eat cold foods out of packages??  And on & on…  This video should answer most of the common questions.

More than likely this video will not answer all of your questions, so please feel free to add your comments and/or questions below.  We would love to hear from you.  Especially if you feel as though we are missing something!

~Terri & Dreamer

PS  31 More Days!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New You Tube Video - Appalachian Trail Musings

Dreamer here,

This is a test sending a Blog Post out using my cell phone. (There may be more grammar mistakes than normal.) Check out Team TNT's newest video on YouTube. This is a video of Terri & I interviewing each other on thoughts regarding our upcoming adventure.

Here is the link:



Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Well Apppointed Dog on the Appalachian Trail - Charlie

Dreamer here,

Taking Charlie our dog with us on our Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike attempt is non-negotiable.  So please, hold your “I told you so” until we return from the trail.  This may be the worst decision we make with regards to our hike.  Oh well, Charlie is going with us.  And yes, there will be a serious cost!

Having Charlie along will mean there will be many places we will be unable to stay because they are not pet friendly.  And those places that are pet friendly add a pet fee for up to $40 per night!  Charlie will potentially be a hassle in and around the shelters.  Some hikers do not appreciate mans best friend, so we will have to be careful when in those situations.  More than likely, this will mean we have to stay in our tent in inclement weather when it would be easier to simply roll out our bags inside the shelter.

There are two places on the trail that simply do not allow pets of any kind: Smokey Mountain National Park and Baxter State Park in Maine.  So, in those places we have to pay transportation and kennel fees while Terri & I are hiking through those places.  Not cheap!  About $400 each depending on exactly how many days it takes us hike-through those parks.

The U.S. Mail will also like us.  All of Charlie’s meals and treats will come to us prepackaged from home, but the shipping charges are not free.  And there will also be those occasions when Terri & I would like to sit down in a restaurant and dine in when able.  Guess what, those places do not allow Charlie.  If we can’t get a spot by the window so that we can watch him, we may have to eat separately.

Last but not least, every hikers enemy, weight!  Charlie will carry his own food, treats and one jacket; but guess who will have to carry the other 3 – 4 pounds?  You got it, Dreamer!  For those of you that know Charlie, you know he is well trained (not perfect) and acts more like a human than a dog.  He is a “Feist”, a breed from the South, Mississippi or Alabama and bread to hunt varmints.  And he does it well.  However, his Achilles Heel is cold.  Being from the South, he does not tolerate the cold very well.  That explains all the insulated jackets you will see below in his equipment and clothing list.

All that being said, we cannot leave him home!  Charlie is a hiking fool and loves being in the woods.  For those of you that know us, Charlie is more than a dog to us.  He is like having another child.   In our opinion the love that he gives us will more than compensate for all the obvious issues.  We’ll see…  Like I said before, this may be one of those decisions we regret, but for now, we go with our hearts.

Charlie’s Clothing and Gear List
5.1oz - Thermo rest Z-Lite Pad
6.0oz – Boots by Ruff Wear
25oz - Back Pack (Palisades) by Ruff Wear
9.9oz – Outer Insulated Jacket by Sooters Friends
7.5oz – 3-Layer Rain Jacket by Hurta
6.1oz – Insulated Jacket (Cloud Chaser) by Ruff Wear
8.1oz – Fleece Jacket by Apache River
3.5oz – Pack Cover
3.3oz – 6’ Retractable Leash
0.7oz – Collapsible Dog Bowl
0.2oz – 12’ of Tie Out Cord
4.4oz – Trekker (Stuffed Animal)
64oz – Dog Food (4-2cup Bags) “4 Days”
0.3oz – Plastic Poop Bags
12oz – Treats “4 Days”

At this point, Charlie will carry his own: food, treats, poop bags, tie out cord, collapsible bowl, pack cover, shoes and backpack.  I will carry the rest.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback and comments,


PS In our Bounce Box, we will carry Charlie’s extra items like: toothbrush and toothpaste nail clippers and Heartworm pills.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Electronics and Accessories on the Trail - Appalachian Trail Prep

Dreamer here,

In the past few days, Terri & I have been asked over and over again two questions about out Appalachian Trail (thru-hike attempt) backpacking adventure: What are you doing about food on the trail (can you really carry six months worth of food ;-) and are you taking your phone, camera, Kindle etc.  In this post, I will attempt the take on the question about electronics and accessories on the trail.  Terri & I together will work on the food question for our next entry.

First of all, here is a list of all the electronics and accessories I will be carrying:
·      Sony HDR-CX580 Video camera  (12.2)
·      Video Camera Case (7.4oz)
·      Sennheiser Boom Microphone MKE-400 (4.5oz)
·      Two Extra Batteries for Video Camera (3.1oz)
·      Video Camera Battery Charger (3.1oz)
·      Two extra SD Cards SDHC1 32 Gig (0.1oz)
·      Iphone (4.8oz)
·      Charging Cable for iphone (1.4oz)
·      Energizer (AA battery) charger for iphone (2.6oz w batteries)
·      Mophie External Battery for iphone (2.9oz)
·      Mophie External Battery Charging Cable (0.8oz)
·      Ear Phones (0.7oz)
·      Kindle “Paperwhite” with Case (7.2oz)
·      Kindle “Paperwhite” Charging Cable (1.1oz)
·      Sony Audio Recorder with AAA Battery (1.9oz)
·      Shuffle ipod (0.5oz)
·      Shuffle ipod Charging Cable (1.2oz)
·      Suunto “Observer” Watch (3.0oz)
·      Multi-Use AC Adapter (1.0oz)

Check out the You Tube Video on Electronics and Accessories on the Trail:

The total load is a touch under 3.5 pounds.  I can hear it now, some of you will be thinking, “WOW, not too bad for all that stuff!”  While others will be writing to tell me what an idiot I am for taking all that crap!  More than likely, as our journey progresses, this list will change and we will downsize a bit.  Believe me, I have put a lot of time into researching this list of items, and every one of them have a purpose.

Here are my thoughts on the items specifically:
·      Terri & I hope to use the video camera to document our journey with as much quality video as possible for all the reasons stated many times in previous Blog posts.
·      The video camera case stores the camera in such a way (On the chest strap of my backpack.) that I can easily pull it out whenever I need to.  And it is a hard case in order to protect it when I am falling multiple times on the trail.
·      The Sennheiser microphone has the best audio possible.  I experimented with many other options and this I believe is the best overall.  I have used lapel microphones and the wires are either an issue or the weight and complexity of wireless microphones make them prohibitive.  I do know, it is just as important to have good audio as it is good video.  I have watched many You Tube videos as well as DVD movies, and when the audio is not right, it is simply not right.
·      I have extra SD Cards, because as a part of my strategy to back up my video, I plan on rotating these periodically through the mail with my son-in-law who will load them on an external drive at home for safekeeping.  (In the mean time, each time we meet up with our Bounce Box, I will load all my video on my computer as well as an external hard drive.)
·      I will rotate three video camera batteries. (NP FV-50)
·      My iphone is one key piece of gear.  Mentioning only a few of its anticipated functions: phone, text, photos, chess with a friend, internet, maps, GPS (For marking our position for our Blog occasionally.) updating our Blog, Twitter, Facebook, music, talking books, E-Mail, weather, radio, etc.  My phone is a few years old, so I recently had a new battery installed.
·      External “Mophie Juice Pack” Battery for my iphone.  The iphone smartly slides right into the external charger and acts like a phone cover/protector.  This adds 1500mAh, or about a full charge and a half to the internal battery in the phone.
·      Energizer Battery Charger for the iphone.  In an emergency this unit with two AA lithium batteries will charge the iphone 1 ½ times.
·      The Kindle speaks for itself.  For less than a half of a pound, I can have all the books I want!  And if I turn off the wireless feature, the internal battery will easily last between town visits.  Plus, because it is the “Paper White” version, I need no other light source in order to read in low light conditions.
·      The Sony Audio Recorder is one thing that is unused and untested on the trail for Terri & I.  We hope to journal of course and this may be a way to ensure we get as much as possible collected.  We’ll see…
·      The ipod shuffle…  This may be redundant.  We’ll see…  The iphone works just fine for music and talking books, so, this may be one thing we return rather quickly.
·      My Suunto “Observer” Watch.  I cannot imagine hiking with no timepiece.  Besides, this watch has the ability to provide me with: elevation, barometer, temperature, compass, timer and alarm clock.  I have had it for many years and it works nicely.
·      Lastly, the AC multi-use adapter is another ounce that may be sent home rather quickly.  All this is designed to do is allow us to charge three devices at once, from one outlet.  In other words, if we pull off the trail and stop into a gas station / convenience store and ask if we can charge our phones, we will actually be able to charge several things at the same time.

We welcome your comments and suggestions!  We have a lot to learn!!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

We're now sharing more information on The Appalachian Trail!

We are moving into the 21st century and the Pinterest craze! TNTontheTrail is now on Pinterest and we're sharing even more information than we can share here in our backpacking blog. Hiking tips, links to all of our videos on YouTube, equipment and gear links, as well as links to many of our food sources and even some backpacking friends. We are posting all the links and gear for our upcoming hike on The Appalachian Trail, so if you'd like to read and see more of what we're using, maybe to purchase for yourself, see our new Pinterest page.

So, click on the follow us on Pinterest link or click HERE.

We look forward to seeing some of you there and perhaps even sharing some of your stuff with us!

Happy Pinning!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Jazzing up a staple.... Ramen redone!

Terri here,

In an effort to prepare meals that are: lite, good tasting, filling and easy, I have taken a backpacking staple and jazzed it up a bit!  Most everyone on the trail has eaten Ramen Noodles at one time or another.  Some hikers eat it almost every day, while others can only stomach it when it is the last option in the food bag.  Dreamer and I enjoy Ramen occasionally right out of the bag; however, I think you will find that this recipe will bring your noodles a bit higher in the food bag options.

Check out the video at:


1 – Ramen Noodle package, including the seasoning
1/2 cup – Dried ground beef
Hand full of dried mushrooms
Pinch of ground red pepper
Tablespoon of chicken gravy mix

Other options:
Dried vegetables
Dried Zucchini
Dried Onions
Dried Red Peppers
Dried jalapenos
Any dried vegetables you might have (Just Veggies have many freeze dried options) 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Dreamer here,

The long awaited, greatly anticipated, highly acclaimed nominee for this years best all around movie review has been released!!  Dreamer and Terri have spent hundreds of hours and months in the making of this video.  For a short period of time, (very short) we are offering FREE screenings of this mega-hit!

Watch it now, because you don’t want to be the last one on your block to say you have seen this.  This video will change lives and propel average people towards greatness.  It may even have supernatural capacities to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

Wake up Dreamer, wake up, you are dreaming again…  Oh, what I meant to say, was Terri & I have just released our newest video reviewing about 12 videos on the Appalachian Trail, as well as a couple others on the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail.  Enjoy!  For those of you not interested in videos about the backpacking, you can stop here and anticipate the next awesome Blog Post by tntonthetrail.

For those interested, follow this link:
Grab a box of popcorn,


Thursday, January 3, 2013

RECIPE: Turkey Chicken Au Gratin for Freezer Bag Cooking

The long awaited recipe we've had so many requests for! It was an experiment from a recipe originally from Hungry Hammock Hanger, who made beef stroganoff. I tried using turkey and chicken and it turned out exceptionally well, delicious in fact! He does some creative things with Freezer Bag Cooking, which we almost strictly adhere to for our cooking. We've thus far prepped almost 80 meals similar to this style, with various ingredients... it's lightweight, easy to prepare and only requires boiling water. I like to get creative with meals as we hate eating the same thing over and over, ie: Ramen Noodles. We just listened to a podcast about a guy who ate ramen noodles for 6 months straight!!! I'd run screaming out of the woods!!!

Turkey Chicken Au Gratin

4# ground turkey
2 large cans chicken (13 oz)
8 cloves garlic (minced)
4 medium onions roughly chopped
2 medium red peppers chopped
5 ribs celery chopped
2 c. frozen peas
2 pkgs chicken gravy mix
1 pkg mushroom gravy mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4-6 c. chicken broth
20 oz. (approx) uncooked egg noodles
Salt, Pepper and Hot Pepper

Brown turkey and chicken together; drain and rinse well with very hot water.

Return to pan and add garlic and brown further, then add onions, celery, peas and peppers.
Saute all till tender and season to taste with above seasonings.

Add broth and chicken/or chicken bullion.

Simmer 10 minutes and re-season to taste.

Add gravy mixes and chicken soup to mixture and simmer 5 or so minutes.

Add dry noodles and simmer 10 more minutes.

When it appears as though noodles are still a BIT chewy, remove from heat. (when not quite done, as they will cook further during the rehydration process)

Dry in dehydrator at 165 degrees for 10-12 hours.

It's amazing what it looks like when it comes out of the dehydrator! Shriveled and dry, nothing like what it was when it went in... BUT, weighing less than a quarter what it did when it went in!

We bag most things in about 6 ounce portions of dried food, which will rehydrate into about 2 cups of food.

Rehydrate by just covering with boiling water in zip-lock bag. Place in cozy [we just put inside one of our down jackets] for 15 minutes or until done.

You can watch the video of us eating this particular meal HERE on You Tube:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Backpacking in a volcano - Priceless

As many of you know already, Tom and I have been backpacking for a number of years, him much longer than I... and it's really his passion- the hiking at least. I'm all about the destination. I don't see much sense in hiking without a's like going round and round in circles, unless you have somewhere as a GOAL. He, on the other hand, is all about the 'journey'... the hike, the oogling the scenery and watching for wildlife and 'being in touch with nature.' Me. Just tell me how many miles I have to hike and I'll get there, just to enjoy 'being' there and relaxing. You can see, we might have some issues to deal with on this hike.

Anyway, I digress... we had the opportunity a few years ago to hike one of the most exotic trails on earth....inside the volcano of Haleakala, on Maui. We've recently been asked about that hike and the logistics, so we thought we would share it with you now....
This link will take you to the actual magazine article that was published about it, in a Michigan based women's magazine. Click HERE to read the article and see more images.
This journey we're about to undertake will be every bit of exotic... just in a different way. We have been blessed beyond measure at the opportunities that have been provided to us to enjoy so much of God's creation. I hope you enjoy this snapshot into the most gorgeous hike yet.