Hiking Season is Here! {Recent Recap and Giveaway!}

Well guys, it's officially hiking season here in the Smokies!  I've gone from hardly working to working HARD in only a few short weeks.  While spring break was busy for me as a guide, now that we're inching closer to summer (okay, well the temperatures make it feel summer already!) I'm getting busier and busier.  I "graduated" my training back in late March and have been out guiding hikes and trips on my own ever since.  I'm also getting back to the one thing I loved the most about working at the hostel in Maine - shuttle driving!  Driving people from point A to point B was one of my favorite things working in Maine.  It gave me some down time when I was on the trip without the clients and it gave me social time with other hikers when I was with them.  In the past two weeks I've spent countless hours in vehicles driving all over the Smokies and the southern Appalachians getting hikers to the Appalachian Trail in various locations.  It's been SO MUCH FUN!

My birthday came and went pretty fast this year.  Our friends from the AT, Steady and F-100, were driving through on their way to see their daughter graduate from college so we invited them to stay with us.  We spent the evening having dinner and birthday cheesecake with them and got to see them off the next morning.  It was so nice having hiker trash back in the house again!

F-100 and me! 

F-100 and me! 

Steady and me

Steady and me

F-100, NoKey, and Steady

F-100, NoKey, and Steady

With spring in full swing it also means it's time for spring cleaning and the annual purging of the backpacking gear.  I try to go through our gear a few times a year and make sure it's clean, dry, and in general good working order.  I was recently digging through our gear bin and found some stuff to toss and then some stuff that we forgot we even had!  Enter these Alite 3-in-1 utensils!  These were given to us after Trail Days a few years back and they made their way into our gear bin to be forgotten about.  Since then we have purchased our titanium sporks and we haven't looked back.  Since we have these hanging out here at the house and we don't need them, I figured I'd pass them on to you guys!  Check out my Rafflecopter giveaway below!

Tried it Tuesday - SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt (#Giveaway, Review, and Discount!)

Disclaimer: I was sent this belt for free in exchange for an HONEST review.  All opinions are my own, and y'all KNOW I wouldn't recommend any gear I wouldn't use myself! I did not receive any other compensation, nor will I if you use the link below to purchase the belt. 

Regardless of whether you're reading my blog  because you're a runner or a hiker, I know you like new gear.  All of us do.  When I was offered the opportunity to try this new SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt I jumped at the chance!  Not only would this come in handy for running, which I'm doing a LOT of these days, it would also be great for me on a day hike!  My day hiking pack doesn't offer a hip belt and I've been thinking of upgrading, but now I don't have to!  I am really excited to share my thoughts on this belt with you guys and also offer a giveaway at the end of the post!

This  run belt  can hold an iPhone 6 in a waterproof case on one side and then fuel and your car key in the other!  It's got a buckle and elastic waist band too!  SLS3  has thought of everything!

This run belt can hold an iPhone 6 in a waterproof case on one side and then fuel and your car key in the other!  It's got a buckle and elastic waist band too! SLS3 has thought of everything!

My old running belt is a Flip Belt.  While I do like the belt, lately I've been having issues with my phone falling out of it on runs, and usually it falls out, no joke, when I'm crossing an intersection. Seeing that this belt had a zipper, I knew that problem would no longer be in my future!  Another thing about the Flip Belt is that it's one continuous piece of fabric.  While it holds a lot, you have to slip it on over your head or put it on like a skirt.  Taking it off in public places sometimes gets you weird looks!  This SLS3 belt has a clip at the waist.  Not just a regular clip, but a heavy duty clip like you would see on a backpack.  This thing is going to snap in place and stay put. 

I snapped this belt on for a 7-mile run this week and decided to try it out in between layers.  I put it on over my merino undershirt, but underneath my long sleeved top.  You can hardly even tell I'm wearing it, which is another great feature.  It's awkward when you've got a belt that makes you look all lumpy underneath.  This one is sleek and fits well.  I especially appreciate the elastic in the waist band, as it stays snug and secure without riding up, which my Flip Belt also does after a few sweaty miles.  I ran the entire seven miles without this thing moving one time.  I took it out again the next day for 7 more miles and again it felt comfortable.  Today, however, I did have problems with the belt migrating.  It didn't ride up, but it did spin around a bit and ended up on me sideways for quite a bit of the run.  I didn't feel like fooling with it as my pace was great, so I left it alone.  It didn't bother me or feel weird, just having the weight of my phone on my side was a little strange. 

If I didn't have headphones on, you wouldn't even notice I'm wearing a  running belt !

If I didn't have headphones on, you wouldn't even notice I'm wearing a running belt!

After running twice with this belt, I decided to take it on trail with me for a few hikes!  My day pack doesn't have a hip belt, so I can wear the belt and a backpack while out just for a day.  I used the belt to carry my lip balm and car key in one pocket and my ID, debit card, and some cash in the other.  I honestly forgot I was even wearing the belt.  It sat comfortably and didn't rub my back, even where the belt and the pack were riding in the same place.  Again, I wore this belt over my merino undershirt but under a long-sleeved tech shirt.  

So this belt sounds pretty cool, right?  Well, thanks to SLS3 you have the chance to win one for yourself!  Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win!

Don't want to wait and see if you're a winner? You can buy this belt right now in the SLS3 Amazon store for 57% off at a special introductory price - only $12.90 instead of the usual $29.00.  Here's the link ----->

Do you own a belt for hiking or for running? Which color belt would you want if you won? Leave me a comment below!

Info about the giveaway: The giveaway will be running from Feb. 2, 2016 until Feb. 9th, 2016. Winner will be notified via email (if available) and/or blog post, and will have 24 hours to claim prize.  If original winner does not claim prize within 24 hours, an alternate winner(s) will be selected.  Contestants must enter on the Giveaway widget in order to win.  All winning entries will be verified. If a winning entry cannot be verified as completed, a new winner will be drawn.  Winner will be provided the prize directly from SLS3.  Substitutions unlikely but may apply.  Sprinkles Hikes is not responsible for failure of sponsor to deliver product.


I am linking up with Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds so others can enter to #WinAllThePrizes too!

Women's Running Community

Backcountry Ninjas Trucker Hat Giveaway

As many of you know from following our journey this summer, I was selected as a Backcountry Ninjas brand ambassador for the 2015 thru hiking season.  Backcountry Ninjas was started by 30 Pack and Rub a Dub after their 2013 PCT thru hike.  Making cool T-shirts and hats with their artist, Doodles, BN is all about giving back with 7% of their profits going to the ATC, PCTA, and For the Love of Children.  

And for you, my lucky blog readers, I am doing a Backcountry Ninjas Trucker Hat giveaway - the red/white/blue hat is the one you'll be getting.  Use the Rafflecopter link below and enter!  The contest for the hat begins 9-22 and ends 9-29 at midnight EST.  Good luck!