circle pro pic.jpg

Hi, I’m Rachel.

I’m a freelance writer, advocate, and podcast host! I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018 and it changed my life. Check out my Podcast, hire me, or read about my adventures!

LOGO TR No Name.png

This is Trail Name Here.

This is a space where I share life stories, educate, and connect people. I’m glad you’re here to join me by listening to Podcast Here, reading my blog, or looking back at my journey on the AT.

Instagram: @TrailNameHere

Gear: REI Take Two!!

Gear: REI Take Two!!

Set the Scene:

It's 5:30am, the sun has yet to rise, 90% of Mainers are still asleep, and it is 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside. A sparkly frost covers the bare trees and turns the grass white. Planet Money (my favorite podcast) plays on the radio and scenic route 16 passes by. I'm on my way to my favorite place aside from the outdoors: REI. (See my previous post for reasons why)

Bonus: Sierra Trading Post

You're probably asking, "Who the heck does the bonus at the beginning?" I do! Mostly because I arrived in Framingham half an hour early. I went to my usual Starbucks in Shopper's World and happened to drive past the newly opened Sierra Trading Post! With my gear still needed list in hand, I went in. It's essentially TJMaxx or Marshalls for outdoor goods. It was amazing! Here's my haul:

The best part of my newly acquired items you ask? They were all at least 30% off!

My accidental STP trip turned out to be very fruitful! I also got a pair of insulated glove liners for $12!

The Main Attraction: REI!

I consulted a very nice guide at REI today about my pack troubles. We settled on the Gregory Maven 55:

Gregory Maven 55

Gregory Maven 55

I am so excited about this pack! Here are my favorite parts:

  • It is so comfortable! And far more adjustable than the Deuter I had.

  • The front mesh pocket provides a place for things to dry.

  • It comes with a rain cover and it has its own pocket!

  • The hip pockets are big and mesh!

  • It has a built in UL day pack for trips into town or slack packing.

  • It weighs an ENTIRE POUND less than the Deuter pack and was only $20 more.

You may say, "But Rachel it is smaller!" Don't worry, friends! 60 +10 L was far too big for me!

I even managed to squeeze in a training run on my way back into town! What a great day.

Keep Trekking,


A HUGE thank you to REI Framingham for making my gear choices so much easier and accepting my returns!

An even BIGGER thank you to Sarah for accompanying me on my run today in the snow!

How to get involved in my hike:

How to get involved in my hike:

Personal: Is anyone else freaking out?

Personal: Is anyone else freaking out?