I got tagged by a fellow blogger the other day (Sarah at Lost Swiss Miss) as part of a blogstöckchen. I called my German-speaking friend and asked her what the English translation of blogstöckchen was. She said that stöcken means “stumped or tripped up” and that stöckchen could mean “little hiccup or foible”.

While I might be getting to translation wrong, it’s basically a little game between bloggers where a specific topic or question is posed and then the blogger passes the topic on to three other bloggers to carry out the exercise. Like a chain letter, but without curses, money, or quilt scraps. I think it’s meant to stay in the contextual blogosphere so that bloggers with similar interests can learn about other like-minded blogs.

I don’t know the origin of this international blogstöckchen, but I’m taking it on a ladies’ Pacific Northwest roadtrip with Ingunn (Trail Snail), Mary (Inside the Mountain’s Skin), and Amanda (My Roads Traveled) – all women-written blogs with great storytelling, fantastic photography, and inspiring adventures.

This blogstöckchen asks: “What three things do you always bring on a hike?

1. Petroleum jelly.

Not Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme

Maybe it’s just me, but I find that a small tin of petroleum jelly gives me the confidence to plunge fearlessly into the deep woods, paddle wild oceans and scale lofty mountains. I can tackle almost any adventure without the fear of chapped lips, cracked fingers and toes, dry hands, wind burn, and chaffing.

I don’t need much, so I hijacked a Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream tin and refill it periodically.

2. A very small headlamp.

the Black Diamond Ion headlamp

You never know when you’re going to need an adventure extender. This headlamp is small, inexpensive, and very, very light. It throws a powerful beam for its smallness and is perfect for making that unexpected dark walk back to the trailhead (or exploring that lava tube) a little safer and a little more comfortable.

3. Esbit tabs (2).

two Esbit tablets

I live in a very damp climate where hypothermia is always tugging at you. It’s nice to know that I have a fighting change of getting a fire going, if necessary. Esbit tabs last forever (almost literally) and burn in almost any condition. I’ve only had to use one in “emergency”: to make a pot of coffee on the last day of a backpacking trip after the fuel ran out.

What three things do you always take with you on a hike?

8 thoughts on “Blogstöckchen

  1. Intressting list, it’s always interessting what others take with them on a trip.
    For emergancy I have always have an emergency blanket with me. I never had to use it and I hope it stays that way.
    My Translation for Blogstöcken is as follow: “Stöckchen” is a form of the word “der Stock” and that meens “a stick”. In a “Blockstöckchen” you throw a virtual stick from one person to another. I found no tranlation for the variation of that word.
    Hope that helps?

  2. I haven’t heard of Esbit tabs. I need to look at that. Three things I always have:
    1) those foil blankets (living in Oregon the weather can be unpredictable and very cold and rainy!)
    2) Flashlight (although I need to check the batteries…….ooops!)
    3) A little ziplock full of matches, medicine, and warmers! (

  3. Sarah – perfect! Though I like “little hiccup” because it’s something unexpected and changes things up a bit. Thanks for throwing the stick! :)

    I guess the three things we always carry on a hike say a lot about us. Clearly, I like being prepared for things that can cripple me: chapped lips, darkness, and bone-chilling wet. I think when I’m prepared I can breathe into the trip and enjoy it more, even if it’s a tame stroll through the woods. I wonder if it’s different in Europe where there isn’t “wilderness”, like here?

  4. Lisa, Esbit tabs smell really, really horrible (which is why I double bag them). But they are a great thing to have in your pack for an emergency, as long as you have something to make fire with. They’re a great fire starter even in a non-emergency situation, too. A lot of thru hikers use them as their primary fuel source.

  5. This is fun- I love that chapped lips can cripple you. :)

    And after our soggy backpack, I too now carry Esbits with me. And you just explained why my gear box smells of nastiness every time I open it. Mystery solved.

  6. Hm, thanks for the head’s up about the Esbit tabs. I’d heard them mentioned in the past, but never put them into my emergency supplies. Makes sense in Oregon.

  7. Really enjoying this blogstöckchen, at least as it travels through the PNW hiker blogs! Fun post. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Pingback: Diese drei sind immer mit dabei | OUTDOORSEITE

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