Distracted Driving is NEVER Cool

This post is sponsored by AT&T. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

A couple years ago we were sitting in the car in a middle turn lane on a busy street, waiting to turn left. Out of nowhere we were hit from behind by a 3500 truck going full speed. The driver was distracted with her cell phone. We are so grateful that we both only suffered whiplash and massive shock, but the car was completely totaled. The worst of all this? Some people aren't as lucky as we were.

This is why we are excited to be working with AT&T to bring awareness to their It Can Wait campaign! Today we are going to give some tips and tricks on how to not be a distracted driver yourself and why you should speak up if you see someone driving distracted.


1. Take the pledge. We both took the pledge at ItCanWait.com and you should too! According to AT&T, over 38 million people have made the pledge to not drive distracted. To celebrate, AT&T's annual It Can Wait Pledge Day will be on September 19! 83% of drivers admit that they drive distracted and 96% of them are aware of the dangers of smartphone use while driving. Taking the pledge is your first step in helping change this.

75% of drivers who have pledged are keeping their commitment to not use their smartphones behind the wheel. This doesn't mean you won't have to do any work after pledging, it's just a step to actually doing something about it!

2. Turn on drive mode. You can either use the Do Not Disturb that is built into your phone or download the AT&T DriveMode app available on Android devices. Either way, there are options to make sure you don't receive texts or calls while driving. This takes away any temptation you may have to answer a text or phone call while operating a vehicle- which is great! You can even set up a message to send automatically when some does try to contact you.

3. Speak Up. If you see someone using their phone while driving, do NOT be afraid to say something. It could save your life and other people's lives around you. 51% of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if a friend or passenger pressures them to. It may feel awkward, but that's a temporary feeling. We need to start making it cool to be undistracted drivers! Sometimes it won't go over well, but explain why what you are saying is coming from a caring place.

One thing I offer to do in someone else's car is answer a text for them, if they feel like it's a pressing matter. Otherwise, it can wait! It's always better to play it safe and talk your friends into silencing their phones while driving. (And obviously doing the same for yourself.)

In 2019, minutes on mobile phones are expected to exceed minutes spent watching TV! Doesn't that blow your mind? I mean it makes sense, you can get everything you need or want right on your phone. It's our job to make sure that time isn't overlapping when we are driving.

The bottom line? Distracted driving is NOT cool. Speak up. It Can Wait.

To learn more, visit www.ItCanWait.com and follow @ItCanWait on Twitter.

2019 John Muir Trail Gear List



Holy moly batman... we leave to hike the John Muir Trail today. We have been planning for this trip for 6 long months. Honestly, when we decided to do this trip I had no idea how much planning and research was going to be involved. I will confess thought that I'm an over-researcher. I spend entirely too much time reading about items I want to purchase. However, what you can know is that all of this gear listed here is was heavily researched. When our trip is over, I will report back with how we felt about it all after we used it for a month.

When I was doing research I was looking for gear that was lightweight and comfortable. We are definitely not doing this thru-hike as ultralight backpackers. In the backpacking community there is a lot of debate about the weight of your pack because there is a balance between comfort and weight. Some people feel like having the lightest pack is the best way to comfort but others will carry more weight in order to have things with them that help them to be more comfortable. Another factor is the cost of ultralight gear. The lighter the gear is the more expensive it is. So we did our very best to choose gear that we could afford and that was lightweight and comfortable.

I want to take this time to give a big shout out to our local retailer Cumberland Transit. Those guys there have been a HUGE help in helping us pick out gear and making sure we had everything we needed. They were also kind enough to make us Cumberland Transit ambassadors which allowed us to get some free gear and discounts. I can say that without their help we would not have been able to take this trip.

For those of you who don't have access to local retailers like Cumberland Transit, we have linked all of our gear below. These are affiliate links and when you make a purchase through one of these links, we receive a teeny tiny portion. Your use of affiliate links helps keeps this blog alive. With that said, again, we highly encourage you to try out your local outfitter and test out gear, ask questions, and figure out what is best for you. And if you are in Nashville, definitely check out Cumberland Transit.
Packs
Osprey Aura 65

Sleep
20 degree sleeping bag
Sleeping Mat
Pillow
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3

Eat
Bear Canister
Cook Pot
Long Spoon
Camp mug
Stove

Wear
Puffy Down Jacket
Hiking Shorts
Hiking Pants
Short Sleeve Tee
Long Sleeve Tee
Altra Lone Peak 4 trail runners
Topo Ultraventure Trail Running Shoe
Camp Shoes
Rain Jacket
Rain Pants
Underwear

Electronics
Solar charger
Power Bank
Canon G7xiii
Tripod
Garmin inReach Explorer
Microphone

Misc
Homemade First Aid Kit (more info to come)
Gloves
Female Urinal
Pee rag
Towel
Trekking poles
Carhartt Beanie
Stuff Sacks
Wallet
Chair
Collapsible Bucket
Headlamp

We can't wait to come back and tell you all about how our gear worked out. Of course, we will have so many pictures and videos!! See you later!

How To Plan For A John Muir Trail Thru-Hike

This post is sponsored by Sahale Snacks but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Guys, our John Muir Trail trip is coming up so soon! It's one of those things that you plan for so long, that it feels like it's always going to be so far away. BUT, we are less than a month away. Needless to say, we are in crunch mode which means we are in full on planning mode. We have partnered with Sahale Snacks to share with you 5 ways we are getting prepared for living on the trail!

In case you didn't already know, we've been planning to hike the John Muir Trail in California for about 6 months now. The JMT is one of the most beautiful trails in the world which is named after the John Muir who is consider to be the Father of National Parks. Have you ever heard the saying, "The mountains are calling and I must go"? That is a John Muir quote.

The JMT starts at the summit of Mt. Whitney and ends in Yosemite Valley, but we will be hiking it in reverse/Southbound- so starting in Yosemite National Park and ending at Mt. Whitney. The trail is 211 miles long, and we will be hiking about 10 miles per day. This means we will be hiking for about 3 weeks! We will be in the wilderness with few options to get supplies which means preparation is very important for this journey. So let's get to talking about what we've been doing and are working on to be prepared to hike the JMT.

1. Stocking up on delicious snacks. When you are thru-hiking, you have to eat a lot of ordinary freeze dried and dehydrated meals. You do what you gotta do on trail, but it's important to have something more elevated to snack on. You want something to excite your tastebuds and help keep the morale up. Sahale Snacks make these tasty glaze mixes and snack mixes that are thoughtfully sourced and carefully crafted combination of nuts, dried fruits, and exotic spices. I seriously can't wait to try more flavors and take these on our trip! So far we have loved the Sahale Snacks Honey Almond Glazed Mix, the Maple Pecan Glazed Mix, and the Pomegranate Vanilla Glazed Mix. The glazed mixes are this sweet and salty goodness with the perfect crunch- I'm confident that it's going to be a favorite snack on trail.

2. Mailing our food to ourselves. Once we've gathered all of our meals and delicious snacks, we have to mail them to ourselves! Most of the JMT is very remote and we won't be passing any towns or stores along the way. Everything has to be planned out way in advance and shipped to different locations that we will be at along the trail. Some of the locations we will have to hike off trail (sometimes even 15 miles round trip) to get to. Seems a little exhausting, but when you are hiking 211 miles, what are 15 more miles? But really, it is just part of the deal. You hike in the wilderness and have to go a little out of your way to make sure you can eat.

3. Training with our packs on. And hiking. And strength training. We've upped our hiking game since getting our JMT permit, but honestly we could've done more. I hear that people are never really ready- I've even heard this from athletes. But we started hiking with our weighted packs and even completed a 16 mile hike in the Smokies with 25 lbs in our packs. It was pretty hard, but we did it!

4. Planning our route. Okay so yes, the John Muir Trail route is already set. But we have to plan exactly how many miles we will do each day and where we will camp. Those things are not set. We will have to schedule when we pick up our packages and when we will stay in a hotel, and what transportation we will be taking. There are a lot of logistics to figure out about each day. Thank goodness this can actually be one of the last things we do before we leave because there are a lot of things we still have to consider.

5. Finalizing our gear. You'd think by now we would have everything we need, but you'd be wrong. We have most of our main things, but we have a bunch of little things to get and organize. We have to weigh every single thing we are taking with us and make sure that our pack doesn't weigh too much. We are trying to keep our base weight (base weight is how much your pack weighs without the ever changing weight of food and water) low to help keep the hike easier on our bodies.

As you can see there is a lot to do to prepare for a thru hike! We are excited to tackle this challenge and spend so much time in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Thank you to Sahale Snacks for sponsoring this post. And for real, their snack mixes are delicious so definitely give them a try!