bird knob trail

I convinced my husband to go on another hike with me — this time, Bird Knob Trail

We didn’t take a map with us (my husband usually prints one off, but he couldn’t find one online), so we did a bit of round-abouting. Like, to start out, we missed the trailhead completely, went down one path and then backtracked to the beginning, and then struck off up the mountain on an unmarked path. The lack of blazes, as well a whole series of trees felled directly across the path, should’ve been a clue we were doing it wrong, but no.

wardrobe change

We soon found the main path, opted to go right (the correct decision), and then carried on for a few miles, not another soul in sight.

Halfway through we arrived at a large meadow and came upon two humans, the sight of which was so startling that we got confused and lost our bearings.


After a bit of to-and-froing, we found The Emerald Pond, which lived up to its name and made me think of Anne of Green Gables. It would’ve been perfect for a swim, but we hadn’t brought suits or towels and the place was a little too exposed for skinny dipping. . .

Maybe next time?

Then we happened on those two humans again and they kindly let us screenshot their directions.

And off we went again, this time in the right direction all the rest of the way back to the parking lot, including the correct trail back to the trailhead, which was considerably longer than our shortcut up the side of the mountain. But now at least we know where the trailhead is!

one part of the trail was lined with the enormous anthills which I refrained from poking —
be proud of me

The duration of the hike, we had a cheeky little breeze which made the trees swoosh deliciously. At one point the trail consisted of sand and pine needles, and what with the roar of the trees sounding like crashing waves and the sand underfoot, I almost felt like I was on a beach. 

It was a fun hike, but after the challenge and thrill of Old Rag, it felt like a bit of a let down. (Am I an adrenaline junky?)

And now, here’s my hot list of hiking tips:

  • Tip #1: Print (or screenhot) a map of the trail because you won’t have cell service and getting lost happens.
  • Tip #2: Use 1 liter seltzer bottles for water: they weigh almost nothing, and warm water prevents dehydration just as well as cold. 
  • Tip #3: Invest in a small backpack. This one costs only 30 bucks and has been worth every penny.
  • Tip #4: Leggings might be warmer than shorts, but they protect your legs from brambles and bugs and make you feel invincible, like you can climb mountains (which is what you are doing, after all). 
  • Tip #5: Carry Tylenol — for when the dehydration/exhaustion headache sets in. 
  • Tip #6: Women: wear a pantiliner to catch the drips after trailside squating-and-peeing.
  • Tip #7: Tuck an extra shirt in the car to change into for the ride home. A clean shirt will make you feel refreshed even if your body still stinks to high heaven.
  • Tip #8: Keep a cooler with iced coffee in the car for your end-of-the-day reward. Bonus points if you wait to eat the salted chocolate chunk cookies until then, too.


A note about Tip #6…

At a gathering this weekend, I proudly shared my brilliant discovery and immediately got major kickback: That’s a terrible idea! Boo, pantiliners! Just shake and go! 

And I was like, Are you kidding me? Pantiliners keep your undies from getting soggy. It’s so much more comfortable!

But the pantiliner gets soggy.

No, the pantiliner absorbs the soggy. That’s the point of the pantiliner.

Round and round we went, louder and louder. I had no idea wearing a pantiliner while hiking would be so controversial! 

So what do you think? Pantiliners while hiking: yea or nay?

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (6.20.22), family road trip, nova scotia oatcakes, one morning, the quotidian (6.20.16), in recovery, walking through water, three things, refried beans, orange cranberry scones.


  • Lucy

    I’ve been known to bring a bandana for wiping and to just let it hang on the outside of my pack… but that silver infused gismo mentioned above sounds like a nicer version of the same idea. Ladies, let your pee flag fly!

  • Mama Pea

    I always wear a panty liner for hikes and any necessary peeing in the woods. A liner is soooo much more comfortable than soggy undies and they don’t “chafe” at all. Don’t know about anyone else but I can’t “shake it off” like the opposite sex can. Hubby always has tp and a baggie or two in his pack so if I stick with him, I’ve got it covered.

  • Reagan

    I use TP and a bag. : ) also turn on All Trails before you start. You will always have a map and know where you are on the trail. One of my favorite hikes.

  • Marcella

    As we should all be a carry it in carry it out hiker, my pack always includes TP. Small bag for clean, small bag for used. Don’t like the idea of an additional chafing agent…. just sayin. lol

  • Sarah Geertsema

    Have you heard of silver infused pee cloths for hiking? Clip it to your backpack, use when needed, fold and snap for privacy and hygiene, wash when you get home. No drips/ no chafing from pantyliners. Game changer.

  • kelly

    100% agree with leggings while hiking. I also love REI’s REI Sahara Shade Hoodie. It’s super light weight, UPF 50, and comfortable.

    All your tips are great. Thanks for sharing!

    • MAC

      In the 90s, I had stretchy leggings that you could pull open at the crotch (you pull panties aside too) as you squatted. Made peeing so easy and discreet: didn’t even have to take my giant backpack off. Now Chickfly makes the same sort of thing and I just got a pair. Merino wool too (stink repellent, doesn’t get clammy), woo hoo. Switching over to merino panties, too. A paper towel folded into a packet makes a non-irritating panty liner, and it’s easy to replace..

  • katie

    The drip doesn’t bother me one bit. You know there’s a poem about this?

    Now you can shake
    and you can dance
    but the last drop always
    winds up in your pants!

    I have no idea what you currently use but I have weeded out almost all my cotton undies. Just like with your shirts, the synthetics wick and dry out a lot better than the cotton and I can’t say I ever notice that last wayward drop, and I pee in the woods a lot.

    That all said, if you choose to use ’em for whatever reason, if it works for you I support you!

  • Jeanine

    I usually bring some toilet paper and a small plastic baggie to dispose of said toilet paper. This can be thrown away once home.

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