Is Backpacking Dying?

Got back from a trip yesterday and checked a couple blogs. There’s a buzz in the online backpacking community about this article, The Death of Backpacking, in something called the High Country News.


It seems that most people who come up with statistical shit generally agree that visitation to our national parks and backcountry use is in decline, and has been for several decades. Many backpackers see this as a disturbing trend and think encouraging more and more people to backpack is a grand idea. The Gen Y’s and Gen Z’s are the targeted recipients of disdain as the root cause of this decline, and because of their lack of enthusiasm for all things outdoors in the wilderness, the wilderness will be looted and destroyed by corporate America because they can’t or won’t be in the wilderness to become the next generations to defend and advocate for wilderness and the 1964 Wilderness Act, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

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Colorado River Camp

Yeah, I know. Another camping trip. Ho hum.

Well, not for us. We enjoy everyone of them. After our Eastern Sierra vacation, we decided we need to start using our boat more often. The problem with a boat, especially if you live in southern California and the boat has a motor, is the fact you aren’t going to find many remote, quiet, and uninhabited places close by to camp and boat.

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Eastern Sierra Vacation


Back from our Sierra Nevada vacation. Most years we go camping in the Southern Sierra. We know about some special camping areas where few people venture. Those places have great views and solitude. These camping trips usually find us hiking everyday and dabble in a little trout fishing. No planned activities, no agendas, no places to see. Perfect.

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Cuben Tech Clothing: Unintended Consequences

It seems that many folks are playing around with different kinds of Cuben Tech variants to make waterproof and breathable clothing. I guess they missed my Search for the Holy Grail article on this fallacy.

Aside from this fruitless search, many people feel that Cuben Tech clothing is not visually appealing — I think the term is aesthetically.

zPacks poncho groundsheet

I think folks are missing the positive unintended consequences of my Cuben Tech poncho.

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The Liebster Award

What’s Up With That?

Okay, I haven’t posted much during the past couple of months. I have been busy using up my inventory of recreational time by hiking and camping.

I saw a post over on that I had been “tagged” for the Liebster Award. Of course that is the only way I could find out because this website doesn’t allow comments or emails to me. I value my privacy too much to have to deal with other people who might want to communicate their thoughts here.

The fellow who “tagged” me is a nice guy who happens to live in Sweden. So I thought I would discuss this Liebster thing.

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Buckeye Trail Section Hike

Buckeye Trail Blue Blaze

My last post was a review of the book Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. Toward the end of the article I mentioned that she was a founding member of Ohio’s Buckeye Trail Organization. One of Emma’s favorite hiking places was a section of the Buckeye trail in Hocking Hills, Ohio near a place named Old Man’s Cave.

So not much more than a week after I read about Emma Gatewood, I decided to head to Ohio and do some Buckeye Trail backpacking. This, like many of my trips, was a last minute spur of the moment decision.

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Book Review: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk

A Good Read

grandma gatewood's walkIn 1955, at the age of 67, Emma Gatewood walked the entire 2,000+ mile Appalachian Trail (AT). This is a quick review of the book, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman who Saved the Appalachian Trail, by Ben Montgomery.

What makes this book a good read isn’t necessarily Mr. Montgomery’s writing ability, but that Emma Gatewood was such an incredible person. Before her through-hike of the AT, not many people had heard of the trail that runs from Georgia north to Maine, and only a handful had hiked it in its entirety. Emma would become the first woman to complete it. No one before or after her did more to popularize the trail.

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backpacking trip cancelled. went camping instead.


Over the past several years I have made a Memorial Day Weekend tradition of hiking what I call the San Jacinto Loop. One would be hard pressed to find a more varied and diverse 60 mile route in just about any place in North America; maybe anywhere in the planet. Due to a route that passes through 5 climatic zones, Memorial Day timing is about perfect. Not too hot in the desert and not too cold in the alpine zone. You can read about the 2009 and 2010 trips.

But this year I had to cancel.

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