On the Buckeye Trail (again)

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S24O

An s24o is a sub 24-hour overnight backpacking trip. I have been doing s24o trips for decades, but never knew they needed a special name or, more surprisingly, that someone had already gone through the trouble of identifying and cataloging this kind of hike, developing a name, and even creating an acronym for said name.

But here it is. It exists and it is important, because I read it on the Internet. A while back I mentioned the s24o, but am too lazy to go back and check it. As far as the acronym, I like it, have consciously added it to my vocabulary, and will use it when deemed appropriate – assuming I remember it and do not misplace it in one of those little used crevices in my brain.

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Anniversary Camping Trip

Our wedding anniversary is September 7th and it was the 11th (out of 12) anniversary we spent camping. We would have been 12 out of 12, except last year we were sans camper after vandals destroyed it.

I am lucky (or I chose well) because Joyce loves to go camping. It doesn’t matter when or where we camp, camping almost always takes a priority. She doesn’t camp to make me happy, she does it for herself.

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This year we headed up to the mountains. After several trips the past couple months in the desert, the mountains would be a refreshing difference.

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The Music of Backpacking and other Musings

August 27, 2014

No, this isn’t about iPods on the trail. I never take music on a backpacking trip.

I am in an airplane traveling at hundreds of miles per hour at an altitude above 30,000 feet. Once I get home I will have a quick turnaround to head out for a Labor Day camping trip with Joyce, so I won’t post this until that trip is done.

As is my preference, I have a window seat where I can see the earth below. Too far up to see any details, and often hidden by clouds. But clouds are good. Like a snowflake each cloud formation is unique and pleasurable to watch. Time passes, and I think of many things between my observations beyond my little window.

I am returning from a trip to Durham, North Carolina. As I am oft to do, I was able to throw together a quick trip. Like I did in the Cedars of Lebanon trip, my hike was a figure 8. Perhaps this is a new motif in my hiking — figure 8′s.

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45 Gallon Fresh Water Transfer Setup

One of the more popular articles here is the Fresh Water Transfer Methods; I posted over a year ago. These worked fine for our Starcraft and Fleetwood tent trailers, which had 20 and 26 gallon capacities (including the water heater).

Our Milan is a different animal. It has 100 gallons of fresh water capacity, plus the water heater. Not having to replenish the water has been a camping pleasure. We have gone up to two weeks without the need to add water.

But eventually on one of our long trips, we are going to run out of water. The small capacity solutions we have used in the past aren’t going to be convenient. So I went searching for a new solution.

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60 Minutes, Work, and the Quality of Life

WORK, BACKPACK, OR CAMP?

balanceIt is not usual to hear people complain that they don’t have enough free time to go backpacking or camping as often as they would like. I read about it all the time, usually under the guise of work/life balance.

Along with this complaint some seem to hate their jobs, give the impression they resent their spouse or significant other when commitments conflict with outdoor pursuits. Others feel trapped by family. Many feel a need to keep socially active or network with acquaintances on a regular basis. All of this at the cost of less recreation time in the outdoors. They say these responsibilities prevent them from doing what they enjoy.

Something is out of whack. They know it and everyone around them knows it. But nothing happens. Nothing changes. Deep down these are unhappy people going through the motions of living, dreaming about getting out into the wilderness.

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Backpacking the Cedars of Lebanon

 Last week I backpacked the Cedars of Lebanon

I have read that the mountains of Lebanon were once heavily forested with cedar trees. Over the course of thousands of years, the harvesting of timber by several civilizations over the centuries has decreased these forests. It is said the even King Solomon used Lebanese Cedar to build his temple.

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After returning from our little trip to Lake Mead, the next morning I was on an airplane headed east. A last minute change in plans had me flying into Nashville for a meeting.

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What I Learned From Wee Willie Keeler

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Almost empty campground

HIT ‘EM WHERE THEY AIN’T

Keeler was a Major League Baseball player from 1892-1910. More than 100 years after he retired, his lifetime batting average of .341 is 14th of all time.

Keeler’s is known for his advice to batters, “Keep your eye clear, and hit ‘em where they ain’t.” “They” being the fielders for the opposing team.

Good advice for backpackers and campers. “They” being other hikers and campers, “where they ain’t” being trails and campsites — that is, go where there are no other backpackers, hikers, or campers (e.g., people). With this grand advice in mind, we headed out towards Lake Mead for a few days.

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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.

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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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