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I don’t generally write about gun violence or politics, but as an alum of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, it devastates me to hear about the two students whose lives were ripped away from them, in the mass shooting, on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Four additional students were injured in this senseless, monumental tragedy. As I type, I alternate between conflicting feelings of anger and sadness. None of it makes sense.

Then, questions begin to fill my head, yet all that comes out is, “Why?” Most importantly, why does this continue…

“A Higher Perspective” by Chris Muccio

Failure is something that everyone experiences in life. There are small failures like a bad review at work, or a bad grade at school. Some failures are much larger and more impactful, such as bankrupting a personal business or getting fired with nowhere to go. In the world of hiking and backpacking, failure comes in a variety of forms. As a hiker, it’s important to set goals for yourself. Sometimes you don’t reach those goals and that’s ok. It’s how you respond to that failure that shapes who you are as a person.


Trekking Poles: Are They For You?

“Trekking Cold Mountain” by Chris Muccio

So you’ve been out on a few hikes and you’ve noticed that some hikers are walking by using trekking poles. You stop and think to yourself, “What are these weird trekking pole things for, and should I be using them?” Well, the short answer to that question is that it all comes down to preference. They can be used for a variety of different reasons, but their function is all about stability.

If you are like me and enjoy hiking with dogs, then it’s easy to see that…

“Camp-side Sunset” by Chris Muccio

Camping is one of the most popular family activities in the country, and for good reason. Life outdoors is much more pleasant. Nature’s only deadlines are her rhythmic cycles. From dawn to dusk, from summer to winter, and from high tide to low. However, to an outdoor novice, taking the entire family on a camping trip can seem like an extremely daunting task.

By taking a logical approach, planning ahead, and following a few guidelines, camping can become an amazing pastime for you and your whole family, creating memories for years to come.

1. Location, Location, Location

Mother Nature, her beauty is only rivaled by her power. She creates the most majestic landscapes we’ve ever seen. She works in mysterious and incredible ways. Since the dawn of time, man has attempted to understand, and even control her, while falling short each time. The moon, the sun, the stars, the solar system, the planet, the mountains, the seas, the winds, and the rains all working to form the collective heartbeat that is our ecosystem. We are such a tiny part of that rhythm. Yet, we can impact so much.

An Introspective Guide to Getting Over Your Greatest Fears (on and off the trail)

“Sun Rays” by Chris Muccio

Do you want to enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer, but worry about not knowing what the heck you’re doing out there? Do you fear that being out of shape will cause trouble along the way? Do you worry about what other people are thinking as they hike by you at twice your pace? Do the unknown elements that may complicate your journey make you anxious? If any of these questions apply to you, then congratulations! You are, in fact, human.

Fear can be a good thing. It serves its purpose in our…

“Sunset Over the Art Loeb” by Chris Muccio

Everyone needs alone time.

Life is chaos. We spend all of our lives running, hustling, working. Go. Go! GO!!! Pick up the kids. Attend networking events. Put in overtime. Work on your side business. Get out just enough to pretend you have a social life. Workout at the gym. Check social media. Stare blankly at the television. Hit the bed. *BZZZ!* Do it all again.

Many of us are so busy, we don’t have time to think about our emotional health. My biggest internal struggle is anxiety. I spend all my time…

“Looking Glass Rock” by Chris Muccio

“Looking Glass Rock” by Chris Muccio

The Pisgah National Forest, established in 1916, is one of four National Forests in North Carolina, and is made up of over 500,000 protected acres within the western region of the state. It shares it’s Eastern border with the Great Smokey Mountain National Park (GSMNP), and Southern Border with the Nantahala National Forest. While the GSMNP is the most visited National Park in the country, the Pisgah National Forest is just as amazing and beautiful, with fewer crowds and more access for dogs, permitted on all trails. …

When people think of Cold Mountain, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely the Civil War drama starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman (Unless you’re from Asheville, and it’s time for Highland Brewing to drop their limited-release, delicious seasonal). This movie was an adaptation of Charles Frazier’s award winning novel of the same name. Frazier was born in Asheville, NC and has spent most of his life in the mountains nearby. While his writing is fiction, Cold Mountain is a real mountain in Western North Carolina, which he used as the backdrop for his infamous work.


Stella (Boxer) and Luna (Great Dane) hiking along the Linville Gorge

Man’s best friend, they’ve been beside us for over 14,000 years. Originally bred for working, dogs quickly developed into the perfect companion over time, and have even found themselves to be considered part of their human families, in many cases. They are lovable, silly, energetic, and loyal to a fault.

I have been around dogs my whole life. Growing up, we always had a family dog. …

Chris Muccio

@illbeinthemountains I am just an ordinary guy in my mid-thirties, looking to share my love of nature and the mountains with others.

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