Monthly Archives: September 2013

Contemplating the Fastest Known Time

What’s Up With That?

Recently a woman hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail (over 2,600 miles) in 61 days. The average hiker who completes this trail usually takes 6 months to do it.

Recently a couple men completed the 211 mile John Muir Trail in something like 5 days. A hike most people do in a couple weeks.

These are just two examples of the quest for the Fastest Known Time.

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The Mountain Beckons

San Jac 2013-09-06-01381

This week I have been working in my home office. Outside my window, the mountains are calling to me, but I can’t go. There have been phone calls to make, reports to read, and emails to send. It is like a prison cell; only I can see the real world outside my prison window.

During the week the trails are empty, waiting for the onslaught of weekend hikers. They beckon me to come up and visit, but I can’t. A rational person would go up during the week and come back to work on the weekend, but I can’t. All I can do is go outside my door and take a picture.

So where shall I go this weekend to get my fix? Decisions, decisions.

Backpacking Gear Is Getting Boring

boredA couple days ago I was writing a post about the stoves I use on most trips. I guess the point was that people spend too much of their time talking, playing, and reviewing stoves. Just buy a freakin’ stove and be done with it.

Most of my posts are for my kids, and when it comes to things backpacking, the posts are for my son Joe who also backpacks.

I suppose I have done my share of gear talk, but I am really, really getting bored with backpacking gear.

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Where Has The Water Gone?

What’s Up With That?

lake mead smallerThere was a time when most people mostly drank water. Oh, such things as sodas, milkshakes, coffee, and tea were consumed; but they were special treats. This has changed.

All around me I see fat people. Obese kids. Obese adults. It is disgusting. It is so bad, Mayor Boomerang in New York City tried to regulate soft drinks. I don’t agree that the government should regulate our purchase decisions. People have quit drinking water and replaced it with soft drinks and the ilk. It is time to take care of ourselves and not rely on the Government to do it. It all starts with water!

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The Great Stove Debate

I bought my first real backpacking stove in early 1972, a Svea 123 that uses white gas. Before that I cooked on wood fires and a U.S. Military canteen stove. I used wood, solid fuel and alcohol in the canteen stove. Sometime in the 70’s I bought a butane canister stove.

Today, 40 years later, the same kinds of stoves are the options available to the backpacker. There have been some minor improvements in stove efficiency and weight reduction, but nothing revolutionary. Since there have been so few advances in stove design, I am often perplexed when I see backpackers constantly buying, testing, and spending so much time playing with stoves. Seems like they would be better served by buying a couple proven stoves, and with all the time saved by no longer playing with stoves, the time could be used to actually go backpacking.

So I thought I would save everyone some time by reviewing some stoves so we can end The Great Stove Debate and get out into the wilderness.

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