A view of the grand canyon from the Isis-Shiva Saddle, looking at Isis Temple and Phantom Creek

The Arizona Trail

It’s an absolutely beautiful trail. A thru-hike can be completed in around a month, and it does not require permits.

The Continental Divide Trail

The Continental Divide Trail is rugged, intense, and real in ways you wouldn’t expect...

The Pacific Crest Trail

On the PCT, it’s perfectly normal to share a pint of ice cream or a hotel room with someone you met 45 seconds prior...

The Colorado Trail

It’s not every day that you have the privilege of being surrounded by sublime weather and magical experiences!

Selected Backpacking Content

Ultralight Backpacking

Welcome to yet another backpacking blog! This website was created by Peaches (Jeff Kessler), and is intended to help folks better learn about backpacking, and to aid them in planning their own trips. I enjoy thru-hiking and ultralight backpacking in the great outdoors. I also create fairly-technical tools (models) from time-to-time that can be used to better calculate thru-hiking costs, and can help tech-savvy backpackers plan trips.

The Arizona Trail is the most recent long-distance trail I’ve completed. I give it 4/5 stars! Mile-for-mile, it’s an amazing trail that is certainly worthy of the ‘National Scenic Trail’ title! I still think the Continental Divide Trail is the best long trail I’ve ever done.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I created a framework and model to help improve our understanding for how to backpack responsibly. This framework considers community and individual risks with spreading COVID. Since I developed the framework, society has gradually shifted toward a different apprehension about COVID. I no longer think my COVID framework applies. I genuinely believe that thru-hiking and backpacking is one of the safest activities to partake in.

This site will be used primarily to post general things about ultralight backpacking and updates associated with the thru-hiking trips I take. As I am a bit of a data geek, I’ll also post gear lists, trail commentary, reviews, and anything else relevant to the kinds of backpacking that I do. Updates will occur periodically.

When I’m not backpacking and hiking, I’m often thinking about climate change and energy policy. I co-produced a podcast called Watts Radio (this is currently on hiatus). I hope to produce some new content in the eventual future!

Curious About Thru-Hiking?

Are you curious about thru-hiking, or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)? Do you want to know more about ultralight backpacking? Are you considering going ultralight yourself? I encourage you to read my afterward to the PCT blog post as a great place to start. This is an email I sent out immediately after completing the PCT in August of 2018. Even after many more miles of hiking and backpacking, and far-too-many hours stuck in a cubicle, I still think it is a fair assessment of the PCT. If you’re thinking about the CDT, I strongly encourage you to read my afterward to the CDT post. Are you looking for a semi-technical route off of the Arizona Trail to make it through the Grand Canyon? Check-out my afterward to the Arizona Trail. Additional route information pertaining to the AZT can be found on my AZT page.

If you have questions, need an adventure buddy, or want to connect, then contact me through the usual means!

Keep on hiking! =)

<3 Peaches ()

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