Jim Rahtz

My name is Jim, though on the trail I'm occasionally known as Simba. When I retired a few years ago I returned to backpacking and found, for me, the sweet spot is long trails, but not that long. In the past few years I've thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, Long Trail, JMT, Tahoe Rim Trail and Sheltowee Trace. To me, these 200-500 mile trails can be life changing, without taking so long that I have to change my life to accomplish them. I think they're a great alternative for those that don't have the time, ability, circumstances, or need to hike one of the Triple Crown. I hope to share that point of view on these pages. I'm a member of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and through the years have written other articles and a few books about backpacking. Much of my hiking is covered at oldmanoutdoors.net.

Posts

Three Favorite Day Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Three Favorite Day Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Many readers of this website are intimately aware of the 70 miles of the AT that travel through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but there are

Oct 4, 2018 : Jim Rahtz
Gear Review: Sierra Designs’ High Side Solo Tent

Gear Review: Sierra Designs’ High Side Solo Tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur 1) was showing its age after around 2,000 miles of use. On the other hand, the timing wasn’t so great in that it was late fall

Sep 6, 2018 : Jim Rahtz
The Best Hikes in the Midwest

The Best Hikes in the Midwest

The Midwest is certainly not famous for long trails or epic mountain hikes. For example, in my home state of Ohio, the highest point is 1,550-foot

Aug 25, 2018 : Jim Rahtz
Six Reasons to Visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Six Reasons to Visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

In very northern Minnesota, there are over a million acres of preserved wilderness just waiting for you. Sitting on the thick bedrock of the Canadian

Jun 27, 2018 : Jim Rahtz
The John Muir Trail: 211 Miles of Bucket-List Hiking

The John Muir Trail: 211 Miles of Bucket-List Hiking

Length: 211 miles, plus ten more to get off Mt. Whitney. Location: The trail runs from Yosemite National Park to the peak of Mt. Whitney. Trail

Jun 15, 2018 : Jim Rahtz
The Colorado Trail: Epic Big-Mountain Hiking at its Finest

The Colorado Trail: Epic Big-Mountain Hiking at its Finest

Length: 485 miles Location: The trail runs from near Denver to Durango, Colorado Trail Type: Out and back or shuttle Scenery: Classic Rocky

Mar 23, 2018 : Jim Rahtz
Vermont’s Long Trail: The First US Long-Distance Hiking Trail

Vermont’s Long Trail: The First US Long-Distance Hiking Trail

Length: 273 miles Location: The trail runs along the spine of the Green Mountains for the length of the state of Vermont Trail Type:

Mar 9, 2018 : Jim Rahtz
Gear Review: Osprey’s Updated Exos 58 Backpack

Gear Review: Osprey’s Updated Exos 58 Backpack

The Trek’s 2017 AT thru-hiker survey listed it as the most popular pack. Last week, I presented a program at the Adventure Summit in Dayton. The

Feb 22, 2018 : Jim Rahtz
Review: Brynje Wool Thermo Base Layer

Review: Brynje Wool Thermo Base Layer

I enjoy it when my activities have a historical connection. Part of my enjoyment when paddling the Little Miami River in Ohio comes from the fact

Dec 14, 2017 : Jim Rahtz
A Thru-Hike for Everyone (Part II): 5 Trails Over 200 Miles

A Thru-Hike for Everyone (Part II): 5 Trails Over 200 Miles

For those who don't have the time or interest in undertaking one of the Triple Crown Hikes, plenty of other options for thru-hiking exist. There are

Oct 3, 2017 : Jim Rahtz