Kim Harms

Life Reconstructed

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The Backpacking Story that was Years in the Making


Four years after sending a query to Creation Illustrated hoping to write about my first backpacking trip, I received an invitation to write the story.

Four. Years. (I’ve had to wait quite a while for responses to queries in the past, but four years is crazytown. )

It was worth the wait, however, because that query turned into an 8-page spread in the magazine. I love writing for online publications, but there is something extra sweet about pulling a magazine out of the mailbox and finding your byline in print. The fact that it was backgrounded by a giant photo of Palisade Head on the North Shore of Lake Superior and the article was sprinkled throughout with photos of Corey and me made it even more awesome.


I’m thankful I married a guy who pushes me out of my comfort zone. If it hadn’t been for his insistence, I never would have taken that first backpacking trip or the half-dozen more we’ve taken since.

I wouldn’t have stood on top of Mount Trudee. I wouldn’t have traversed the infamous “Crawler’s Ledge” on the Kalalau Trail in Kauai. I wouldn’t have showered in a waterfall or bathed in a river. I wouldn’t have eaten guava straight off the tree or had the sound of ocean waves lull me to sleep in my tiny little tent on a beach in Hawaii. I wouldn’t have watched my boys skip rocks across a lake high on a mountain in Colorado and I don’t think I would understand the draw of a trip to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (Corey’s next adventure).

I’m also thankful I get to be a writer. I don’t think I will ever tire of arranging words on a page. Even though sometimes it takes four years to get the go ahead to write 🙂





Hatchet and the Superior Hiking Trail


Our family had our first “wilderness” adventure together this summer. With all of our necessities on our backs, we packed in to a primitive campsite on the Superior Hiking Trail and spent the night away from all modern conveniences.  And we all came out alive.

The boys filtered water from the Split Rock River, gathered firewood off the trail and set up their own tent. They inhaled their mountain meal like it was the most delicious food they had tasted in their lives, and Owen said he liked river water better than regular water.

Aside from one child falling in the river, an almost bad log on a leg accident, the ongoing fight with killer mosquitoes and this mama losing her voice, the trip went pretty much without a hitch.


It was during this vacation that I started reading Hatchet aloud to the boys. They loved it. It may have had something to do with the fact that they felt they could relate in a tiny way to the protagonist, Brian, who was on his own far from civilization. In fact, when Brian started a fire with the paper-like bark from a birch tree, the boys were like, “Hey, that’s what we used.” Brian was roughing it a bit more than we were, but I think it made them feel like bonafide outdoorsmen.

Basic premise of Hatchet: After a crash landing in a small plane somewhere in the Canadian wilderness, Brian Robeson is left alone to survive with nothing but the clothes on his back and the hatchet attached to his belt.

Here’s a list of what the boys thought were the best parts of the book (spoiler alert)

* Brian crash-landing the plane in a lake after the pilot died of a heart attack

* Seeing how Brian figured out how to catch fish and hunt birds

* When Brian figured out how to get the survival pack out of the plane 

I thought it was fun to “watch” Brian’s mental processes and to see how creative he was with what little he had. Kind of like a kid version of Castaway.

Overall, it’s an excellent story. And kudos to Gary Paulsen for writing a page-turner of a middle-years novel with basically one character. This one is highly recommended by the Harms boys and the Harms mama.

We’re looking forward to starting Brian’s Winter next.

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Humor on the Superior Hiking Trail


My friend Tori recently went backpacking with her family…and their overweight dog. I’m sharing her post because

1) It’s funny.

2) My brain is still fried making it virtually impossible for me to write anything intelligible.

2) Corey and I are backpacking the same trail later this week.  Outdoor toilets and meals in a bag here I come 🙂

3) It will serve as a reminder to me that I don’t want to be a dog owner. Ever.

Enjoy Tori’s Superior Hiking Trail post. You will laugh. I promise.


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A Devotion: Nature Proclaims the Creator

This is one of my devos that was published in The Secret Place last year. It seems fitting to post it as I’m getting ready to go back to the place that inspired it.

I was 31 the first time I visited Lake Superior. On that first visit I kept thinking, “I can’t believe I have lived six hours from such a beautiful place my whole life and have never been here before.” So I guess what I’m saying is, if you haven’t road-tripped to the North Shore, you should add it to your bucket list.


Nature Proclaims the Creator

Psalm 19:1-4

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

My husband loves nature. Give him a mountain to climb or a river to canoe down, and he is in his element. His need to be immersed in the wilderness left me perplexed for years. I prefer the comforts of home.

But a few years ago, Corey convinced me to don a backpack and trek through the woods with him. Much to my surprise, I not only found delight in the great outdoors, but my love was renewed for the One who created it. When we were walking through a secluded valley among colossal evergreens, I was overwhelmed that God could create such awesomeness and still desire a relationship with me. And as we gazed at the night sky in the stillness of the Superior Hiking Trail, the stars seemed to shout out his majesty and his love.

God communicates with us through nature. Scripture says the heavens declare the glory of God. If we are unable to see it, it may just be that we are too engrossed in our comforts of home. So go ahead, take a walk through the wilderness and see what God reveals about Himself to you. He is always making Himself known.


Chicken Soup for the Soul & Backpacking

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My first anthology 🙂

I was excited to find out last week that I will be a part of the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotionals for Wives. They are publishing a devo I wrote based on my first backpacking trip with Corey several years ago. It was an adventure (as are most activities that include Corey Harms). Feel free to scroll down and take a walk down memory lane with me.

Here We Go

Here we are at the trail head. It was rainy. And cold. And I was wondering why in the world I had agreed to such a trip.

hike blog

Here’s our en-suite bathroom. Complete with it’s own lush greenery and mosquitoes to bite your bum as you do your business.


Despite the rustic setting, I ended up having a fantastic time with my hubby. (The photo above is us on top of Mt. Trudee.) Sometimes Corey has to drag me out of my comfort zone kicking and screaming, but I have found that once he gets me there, the boundaries of that comfort zone sometimes get chipped away a little bit.

That chipping away of the comfort zone has led to TWO backpacking trips planned for the summer of 2013. One romantic (?) trip to Lake Superior with just me and my man, and our first ever overnight-pack-all-your-stuff-on-your-back-pee-in-the-trees-sleep-in-a-tent-harms-family-backpacking-trip also to Lake Superior. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up being part of a bonafide backpacking family like my friend  Tori. Maybe…