Archives for November 2008

Backpacking Knife?

Many people ask me what knife I carried when I hiked the Appalachian Trail. The answer is underwhelming. I carried the Swiss Army Classic. Yes that is right, the tiny one with the scissors. If you have read my posts you know I am all about lightweight packing. This knife is enough and not too much. It opens boxes and packages of food and cuts my toenails. It is also not so expensive that if it got lost I would cry over it. I will never forget the time I left my $400 Gore-Tex jacket at a shelter and had to hike 4 miles back to get it. Ouch!

Swiss Classic

The Ramblings of the CampingPro!

Here are some considerations to think about when you are going on a backpacking trip. Lighter is better so be sure you are packing only what is needed. The trick is, knowing what to leave at home. It is very easy to take the scout motto too far. “Be prepared” does not mean be prepared for every possible thing that could happen. We have to use some common sense and prepare for what is a very possible. Like needing extra pair of socks in case your first pair gets wet but we don’t bring an extra pair of boots incase of losing your boots.
It is also easy to get carried away with bringing luxury items like camp chairs, GPS devices, radios, Gameboy and even playing cards. These things are not bad and I am not saying don’t bring them on your hike but I would say don’t bring them all and take less than more. When you go on a hike it is often with friends or family and it is the whole point of the trip to go and do something you can’t do at home. Live in the moment and enjoy the environment and the company.
When planning a hike don’t plan to hike too far in a day (this is a common mistake). You want to be sure you can make you can arrive at your destination in plenty of time to set up your tent and cook dinner as well as taking time throughout the day for breaks and lunch. A good goal for pack weight is less than 35 lbs. before food. As you improve your backpacking skill you should try to get you pack weight with food to weigh less than 35 lbs. This is not easy my first try at backpacking my pack weighed in at 57lbs. and I was miserable. Well this is just something to think about. I would love to hear from you, please comment.

I am Back!

This post is to explain why there has been a break in posts. After a five-month battle with cancer my Mother-in-law passed away September 29th and

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