Madre Chronicles

Adventure Down the Mighty Mississippi River - Nubé Hammock Shelter Gear Review

Last winter I was afforded the great fortune of embarking on an adventure down the mighty Mississippi River via a wooden, 30-foot cypress-built canoe.  This voyager journey, spanning 209 river miles, departed from Vicksburg, MS and was set to arrive in Baton Rouge, LA

Camping Gear Review - After 7 Weeks Hammock Camping Across Japan

Many people have opinions on hammock camping equipment by the way it looks, or by personal perception, or by a one time backyard set up, however, the following gear review is written by two adventurers who have really put their Navigator Package to the test! Find out what they have to say about their SMr hammock camping gear after spending 7 weeks in their Nubé home away from home! 

South Africa: A True Test of My Abilities

South Africa.She is beautiful and kind, yet she is robust and will snuff the life right out of you if you turn your back.I took off with my two climbing partners, crammed in our little silver Toyota Avanza, for the Cedarburg Mountains. A few hours later, we were about to begin our six-week South African adventure. When you chug up the snaking asphalt road towards the mountain peaks, nothing in this world can prepare you for what you will see: thousands, upon thousands of sandstone boulders. It’s sickening to look at all that rock. Your eyes just never find a moment to stop and focus. It’s honestly overwhelming to realize there is absolutely no possible way to even touch every boulder, let alone climb all of them.Climb we did.

Father - Daughter Kayak Trip Through the BWCA/Nubé Hammock Shelter Gear Review

 I absolutely love camping in the outdoors, but I also adore the camping gear I bring to enjoy the outdoors. Whether it's backpacking, climbing, kayaking, or base camping, I am always searching for the best gear. Gear must be reliable, long lasting, and it always helps when it looks cool as well. To put it bluntly, I have an addiction, an addiction to ...

Trip Summary - 7 Weeks Urban Camping Through Japan

Urban camping all around Japan still feels like a dream. Many people have asked us what our favorite experiences were, but in reality, it was not just one or even a few experiences; it was the overall atmosphere and the everyday happenings. The pictures at the top are most of the urban camp spots were we set up our camping hammocks and Nubé hammock tent along the way. Use the controls to look through them! 

Urban Camping - 7 Week Backpacking Trip Through Japan - Week 7

 We went from Akita to Wakkanai. Ever since I had seen a Japanese animation I had wanted to visit the most northern point of Japan. Wakkanai has an actual monument about an hour outside of the city that marks the most northern point. Ending our main travel by going from the south to the north was mind-boggling to say the least. 

Urban Camping - 7 Week Backpacking Trip Through Japan - Week 6

From Kanazawa, we headed to Senmaida also known as a thousand rice fields flowing into the Sea of Japan. We took a whole day traveling to Wajima, a large city located by Senmaida, so that we could take the earliest bus to the rice fields the next morning. We were very happy to have finally made it to the famed fields. They were miraculous and that they were by the Sea of Japan was fantastic, 

Urban Camping - 7 Week Backpacking Trip Through Japan - Week 5

Mom found the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage on the National Geographic website. After the Onaida Nature Trail I was a little hesitant to go on another Japanese hike, but since National Geographic recommended it, we thought it shouldn’t be too hard, so we camped out at the start of the trail to begin our pilgrimage the next morning. The beginning of our hike began in a slight sprinkle but it eventually dried out. The cloud formations and atmosphere during the whole hike was miraculous. With the mist rolling in through the woods, the bright orange crabs crawling by, dark red wood chips covering the walkway, and the bright green leaves, the pilgrimage was visually incredible, but not as easy of a hike as we had hoped.

Urban Camping - 7 Week Backpacking Trip Through Japan - Week 4

We went from an ancient rugged rain forest to an automobile factory in Toyota. It’s named after the Toyoda family which owns Toyota. Mom found a sign out by the water fountain that said “this is not a gargle station”. Our response was “What is a gargle station and why is there a sign against it?!”

Urban Camping - 7 Week Backpacking Trip Through Japan - Week 3

The portion of Onaida Nature Trail  we went on was under the forest canopy the entire way except at the very end where I was surrounded by misty clouds and amazing ancient trees! Although lonely planet and the Yakushima tourist center both quoted that the Onaida Nature Trail would only take 7-8 hours, it took us a total of two and a half days. It was ridiculous how CRAZY the trail was; 

Urban Camping - 7 Week Backpacking Trip Through Japan - Week 2

Nara, a little town outside of Kyoto, was one of the few places that we saw a lot of other international tourists. We were all there for the same reason, to feed the famous deer. I believe that the high volume of visitors resulted in a higher proportion of street markets peppering the town. We enjoyed visiting this city, it offered some decent food from the grocery store in the train station and the feisty, photogenic deer were fun too. 

Urban Camping - 7 Week Backpacking Trip Through Japan - Week 1

Traveling from Seattle, WA to Tokyo was strange enough all by itself, but then to make it all the way to Kyoto in the same week, going from one great experience to another, and another. I just can't find the words to adequately express how much loved and learned about Japan from the first day I arrived, through the first week, and the 6 weeks to follow. We took the time to explore Tokyo for two and half days to get a better bearing on where we were and how to travel in this amazing world on the other side of the Pacific.