Paul and I went camping in Panthertown, NC last weekend and boy was it cold! Even the toad we found was hopping in slow motion in the 38 degree weather. We managed to stay pretty dry despite the sprinkling rain and mucky hiking trails. Fairing the elemental extremes was worth seeing the breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at their finest. We didn’t bring fresh water, only a filtration system and Iodine pills to kill the bacteria. Notoriously known for bear encounters, the campsite we stayed at offered wooded paths leading to some amazing waterfalls and unique landscapes. It didn’t however offer a bathroom facility, so it was all-natural caveman style when we felt the urge. This was perhaps the most intense camping/hiking trip I have been on yet. Each year we camp we choose a different destination and the intensity level seems to increase each time. Something about being in a place of complete isolation and knowing that you are on your own to survive really fuels me. With no distractions from the busyness of schedules, work, and technology you can really refocus your mind on the things that matter most. Coming back to Charleston after a weekend in the mountains I feel recharged and serene. It was an awesome experience, as always, and there was no one I would rather be on an adventure with than my partner in crime, Paul.