So I haven't posted in a while... turns out, what I thought was just a slipped disc, was really some sort of degenerative spinal disorder called ankylosing spnodylitis. Which has meant months of debilitating pain and frustration. I haven't run since the beginning of October 2013. I still can't run. I am currently seeing specialists (3 so far). I have had MRIs and blood tests and physical therapy. I have tried an inversion table, yoga, changing my diet, medications, heat, ice, rest, moderate exercise. Nothing has worked. I recently started a new anti-inflammatory medication which has been promising. Because I can't run for the time being, I have decided to get back into something I have loved for a long time.
I have been backpacking since I was in the eighth grade. This new injury/disorder has basically forced me to strive for an ultralight backpacking system because I can't carry the loads that I once could. The affected areas of my back happen to be the vertical load carrying areas (spine and SI joint). This has meant some very fundamental changes to my backpacking gear.
Until I can start running regularly again, I will be focussing on backpacking, especially on achieving an ultralight system. I will be doing reviews on gear, food, techniques and different backpacking philosophies.