Monthly Archives: June 2011

We made it to Florida!

Well, we’ve made it to Florida! We survived the [dreadfully long] road trip, the construction, the drama, the weather and are now making our new life on the gulf. Here are some pictures from our trip!

Our car was stuffed to the top! If it didn't fit, it didn't make the trip.

Bunny was tucked in between our seats. It was a LONG trip for her but she was a trooper!

Crossing the border from Michigan into Ohio....

A HUGE airplane flying over us!

Crossing the border from Ohio into Kentucky!

Only in the south...

Crossing the border from Kentucky into Tennessee!

Tennessee street names amused us.

The best picture we could get of Georgia as we crossed the border.


Categories: Adventure, Explore, Family, Florida, Top Knotch Gear | Leave a comment


So tomorrow (Friday) we’re leaving at sunrise to begin our adventure down to Florida! For those of you who haven’t read or heard, September’s family bought a beachside business in Treasure Island, Florida (on the Gulf side of the state – about 15 minutes away from St. Petersburg) and we’re moving down to go run it! [See the post about ‘Relocating to Florida’ for more info.]

We’ve packed up our apartment. We’ve stuffed the car. We’re trying to get our bunny in her pet carrier for the ride (she’s very stubborn and doesn’t like to be contained) and we’re shutting the door (for now) to our life in Michigan. We’ll drive all day down to Conyers, Georgia (about 13 hours) where we’ll spend the night with September’s sister and her family. Then, we’ll be back up Saturday morning to make the rest of the drive to St. Petersburg, Florida where we’ll be living! The trip is a little over 1,234 miles (crazy – 1,234…)

We start at point A - our apartment in Michigan. We'll drive to Georgia (Point B) and then end up in our new home in Florida - Point C!

We sure will  miss Michigan, especially the Michigan summer. But we have a fantastic adventure ahead of us! We’ll try to update the blog while we trek down south, so check back again! And we’ll definitely put up new pictures once we get settled and situated in Florida.

Sunset on Lake Michigan in Grand Haven.

Thanks everyone for your support and safe travels!

~September & Morgan




Categories: Adventure, Business, Explore, Family, Florida, Landscape Photograph, Michigan, Nature, Outdoors, Packing, Photography, Random, Stumble Upon, Summer, Top Knotch Gear, Transportation, Travel, Travel Photography, Trip planning, Uncategorized, United States, Water | 1 Comment

Packing & Getting Ready to Move!

For the past 3 weeks, we’ve gone through our belongings and started to pack up our life here in Michigan. It has been lots of work but we’re very excited for this new adventure!

The beginning of our pile of stuff to load into the car....

The pile has since grown and includes fun stuff like September's guitar, my Michigan beer bucket, a big boxTop Knotch stuff and.....

.... a mini keg of Oberon!

Bell’s Oberon is one of the best beers you can find here in Michigan. It’s brewed in Kalamazoo (the west side of the state) and is one of our absolute favorite beers. One of the most difficult things about saying bye to Michigan (there are quite a lot of things we’ll miss) is saying bye to a delicious brew like this one. Lucky for us, this mini keg will help us break in our new home in Florida and will be a little [and very good] taste of Michigan!

Check out the Bell’s Brewery website here!:

Categories: 4th of July, Adventure, Alcohol, Backpacking, Beer, Drink, Explore, Family, Florida, Food, Globetrotting, Love, Michigan, Packing, Summer, Top Knotch Gear, Travel, Trip planning, Uncategorized, United States | Leave a comment

Stopping in every state… to play HOCKEY!

Attention hockey fans and adventurers! A fellow adventurer, Jeff, is about to embark on an awesome adventure of a lifetime. Starting June 20th, he will be driving his trusty Subaru, Sam, around the United States and Canada to visit every U.S. state and Canadian province to explore and play hockey! Jeff’s trip will last roughly from June 20 – December 15, 2011. In the 6 months he’ll be traveling, Jeff will drive over 27,000 miles! He made a fantastic bucket list of things to do while he’s on his trip that includes things like, “See Alaska in the winter” and “See Spiderman, the musical, in New York”!

You’ll definitely want to check out his website and follow his trek! We can’t wait to read his updates! See his website here:


Jeff is a hockey goalie - photo courtesy of Jeff and his website, Stopping in Every State. Click the picture to be taken directly to his site!

Categories: Adventure, Backpacking, Camping, Canada, Explore, Gear, Hiking, Hockey, Mountains, Nature, Outdoors, Packing, Photography, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Travel Photography, Travel Tips, Trip planning, United States, Water | Leave a comment

Insight to Hiking Naked: An Article Written by a Nude Hiker Himself

We’ve seen a ton of hits over the past couple of days from our post about nude hiking in Germany and the Supreme Court debate about nude hiking in Switzerland. (We had no idea the Time Magazine article would be so popular among some our viewers!). For those of you interested in hiking naked in the United States, here is a link to an article written by a man in the Yukon who hikes nude (warning, there are some photos but no “inappropriate” body parts can be seen.) It’s an interesting perspective if you have an open mind.

Read the article here: 

Also, if you’re looking for a survival bracelet to match the color of your birthday suit, we have some colors of paracord that may blend in quite nicely with flesh tones! Stop by our online store to see the survival bracelets and get yours today!

Categories: Adventure, Backpacking, Debate, Europe, Explore, Family, Germany, Globetrotting, Hiking, Mountains, Naked Hiking, Naturalist, Nude Hiking, Outdoors, Photography, Plants and Flowers, Random, Stumble Upon, Summer, Supreme Court, Switzerland, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Travel, Trip planning, United States | 2 Comments

Road Trip Snacks – What do you Eat?

We’re getting ready for our big cross-country road trip down south to our new home in Florida but we’re looking for good ideas for snacks. What do you pack when you’re going on a road trip or plane ride? Any suggestions for must-haves in our cooler? We’re both vegetarian (so no beef jerky, unfortunately) but we’re pretty low maintenance! If you have any ideas, we’d love to hear them!

We’d prefer not to stop at fast food joints in an effort to save money and time. So far, our list of good east consists of:

  • Healthy wraps (hummus, spinach, lettuce, sliced cheese, shredded carrots, baked tofu and possibly a lite dressing)
  • Trail mix (thanks to my awesome mother who sent a road trip package to us yesterday. Thanks, mom!
  • Coke and Mountain Dew (we need caffeine somehow!)
  • Sliced apples
  • Small container of cheese spread (Morgan eats cheese religiously!)
  • Pretzels and crackers to go with the Morgan’s cheese spread (Thanks again, mom!)
  • Candy (Jr. Mints for September and Reese’s for me… because a sugar buzz is a good thing.)

We figure this list should cover us for the all-day trip down to Atlanta, Georgia on Friday (13 hours) and the rest of our drive from Atlanta to St. Pete, Florida on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

Categories: Adventure, Backpacking, Beach, Camping, Circumnavigation, Drink, Explore, Family, Florida, Food, Hiking, Outdoors, Packing, Planning vacation, Random, Summer, Summer Recipes, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Travel help, Travel Tips, Trip planning, Uncategorized, United States | 5 Comments

Get Your Last-Minute Orders by TONIGHT!

Top Knotch Gear will be on a brief “vacation” while we pack up, move down to Florida and get situated in our new sunny home. Please make any last-minute gear purchases by tonight (Wednesday) at 10:00PM EST. At 10, the store will not be available and we will be unavailable to check messages on Etsy. If you have inquiries, please email us at and we’ll do our best to respond to emails as quickly as we can.

Our Etsy store will re-open Monday, June 27 at which point business will continue as usual.

Thanks everyone! And safe travels,

September & Morgan – Top Knotch Gear

Categories: 4th of July, Accessories, Adventure, Backpacking, Beach, Bracelet, Business, Chain Knot, Circumnavigation, Communication, Etsy, Explore, Family, Gear, Globetrotting, Hemp, Hiking, Jewelry, Knots, Mountains, Naturalist, Nature, Outdoors, Packing, Parachute Cord, Paracord, Paracord Dog Collar, Paracord Pet Gear, Paracord Pet Supplies, Paracord Watch, Pets, Photography, Rock Climbing, Stumble Upon, Summer, Survival gear, Top Knotch Gear, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Travel Photography, Travel Tips, Trip planning, Uncategorized, United States | Leave a comment

VERY COOL Map Pillows from MyBeardedPigeon

A fellow crafter on Etsy called MyBeardedPigeon(from Australia), makes these awesome world map pillows! She has maps of nearly every continent and many of the 50 U.S. states, so if there’s a country or part of the world you want to feel close to, check out her store at! These snuggly pillows are just too cool, we had to share them with you all!

Photo courtesy of mybeardedpigeon

Photo courtesy of mybeardedpigeon

Categories: Accessories, Adventure, Africa, Asia, Australia, Backpacking, Bright colors, Business, Circumnavigation, Etsy, Europe, Explore, Family, Gear, Globetrotting, Home or Houses, Photography, Random, Sleep, South America, Stumble Upon, Summer, Top Knotch Gear, Travel, Travel Tips, Trip planning | Leave a comment

Travel Tip Tuesday!

Travel tip #15: When traveling long distance in countries that offer trains or high speed rail systems, consider traveling at NIGHT. This way, you do not lose a day of sight-seeing AND you save on the cost of a hotel/hostel for that night. The same tip can be applied to flights, too. When we fly long distance, we try to book red eye flights so we’re able to maximize our time at our destination.

Train ride at night - photo from Pixdaus

Categories: Adventure, Africa, Airplanes, Asia, Australia, Backpacking, China, Circumnavigation, Europe, Explore, Globetrotting, Hiking, Japan, Mountains, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Planning vacation, Random, Stumble Upon, Summer, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Transportation, Travel, Travel help, Travel Tips, Trip planning, United Kingdom, United States | Leave a comment

Naked Hiking in Germany

For most Americans, the thought of hiking in your birthday suit or catching a glimpse of a fellow hiker nude in nature would be alarming – given our prudent, rather body-conscious beliefs about the natural human form. Nude hiking is not all that uncommon in Europe, though. Switzerand allows hiking in the nude but is currently debating the ammenity with its Supreme Court. Last year, Germany opened its first nude hiking trail near the town of Dankerode (about 3 hours outside of Berlin, for those unfamiliar with German geography). Apparently, there were signs at the trailhead that read, “If you don’t want to run into any naked people, stop right here!” Seen as a “paradise for nude hikers” the naked trail is causing some scuffles between German naturalists (the nature-lovers, etc.) and traditionalists (everyone else). As you can imagine, there’s plenty to debate over the issue of “bodily freedom”. The trail is right by a family campsite and the owner of the campsite, who originally welcomed the idea of a luxury trail as added revenue, has since changed his mind when it comes to family camping in the nude. Hot words are exchanged, labels are given but what are your thoughts on nude hiking – in Germany or other parts of the world?

Read the original article from Time here:,8599,2076783,00.html?artId=2076783?contType=article?chn=world

Hiking in the nude in Germany. Photo courtesy of Matthias Bein.




Categories: Adventure, Backpacking, Camping, Debate, Europe, Explore, Family, Germany, Hiking, Naked Hiking, Naturalist, Nature, Nude Hiking, Outdoors, Photography, Random, Stumble Upon, Summer, Supreme Court, Switzerland, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Trip planning, United States | 1 Comment

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