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Silver Duck

20 year hiatus

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  After Eagle I went on to college .. and stayed. I recently graduated after a long and winding path with my PhD and took up a professorship at a university in my home town. Now that I wasn't slaving over a hot computer 15 hours a day squeezing a disseration out from behind my eyeballs, I was left with a lot of free time and not too much to fill it - that's when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go on an overnight hike with some of his other friends. For the first time in 20 years, I could say yes, and for the first time in 20 years I lugged 50 pounds of pack over a dozen miles of rough trails in the August sun, slept on the ground, ate reconstituted food, and loved every minute. What surprised me was how it all came back. It was never really gone, but I just never really used it. All the skills I had learned as a Scout were just ready to go. I even demonstrated to a skeptical audience how a fire could be started without matches. Well, it was all over then.  I looked up my old Troop, and they were still active, with the same Scoutmaster I had had (over 30 years of service - and counting). I dropped in on a meeting and he, of course, was there - along with a good 8 or so ASMs and committee members. Despite the years recognized me in an instant. So as not to let me even dream that I'd get away he had me on a board of review that night. In my academic career I've taught quite a bit as a grad student at the college level, as well as in a local high school for a time. I was also a teaching assistant for more courses than I'd care to admit. So, I've had to deal with lots of young men and women around the same age as the Scout I was grilling. He passed with flying colors, and the only thing I could think was, 'what a great kid - I wish even 10% of my students could be like this guy'. I told my old Scoutmaster I'd like to get involved with the Troop. Well, he locked me in a bear-grip Scout handshake, pulled me in and said not to worry, that this Troop was like a family and I'd always have a place in it. Scouting is a great program that helps kids grow to be capable, responsible people with a sense of personal dignity and social responsibility. I'm proud to have been involved with it, and that (after a bit more training) I will be once again.

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Silver Duck, welcome to the forums.  Just remember that without a compass, a person will always circle back around to where they started.  In your situation that was a good thing.  :)

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You are most welcome to our little group, some ( ok most ) of us have a few pet peeves, and a quirk or two, but that what makes it interesting.

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For the first time in 20 years, I could say yes, and for the first time in 20 years I lugged 50 pounds of pack over a dozen miles of rough trails in the August sun, slept on the ground, ate reconstituted food, and loved every minute. What surprised me was how it all came back.

 

 

Welcome.  Do some research on lightweight / ultralight backpacking.  Your base weight (without food and water) should be between 20 to 25 pounds.  For a weekend, my pack is around 30 pounds with food and 2 litres of water.  For a six day, 50 miler, it was 45 (and should have been 5 pounds lighter) with food and water.  

 

My pack tends to be a bit heavier because I would cary a heavier load so my son would have a lighter load.  Now that he is almost 14, he's carrying his half.  Another two years and he can carry some of my gear.

 

I have a couple of page article I wrote on lightweight gear that I'd be glad to send to you.  I'm also in the process of updating the sample gear list which has links to what I think is the lightest equipement for a reasonable cost and would be glad to share that with you also.

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Yes, welcome!

It will be great to have you join us around the virtual campfire.  Nice to have additional viewpoints and experiences in the mix.  Hopefully, you'll find some value as I have here, in discussions with others that have a very similar interest!

Oh, and congrats on getting through your studies and phd!

 

What is your field of study?

 

Welcome.  Do some research on lightweight / ultralight backpacking.  Your base weight (without food and water) should be between 20 to 25 pounds.  For a weekend, my pack is around 30 pounds with food and 2 litres of water.  For a six day, 50 miler, it was 45 (and should have been 5 pounds lighter) with food and water.  

 

My pack tends to be a bit heavier because I would cary a heavier load so my son would have a lighter load.  Now that he is almost 14, he's carrying his half.  Another two years and he can carry some of my gear.

 

I have a couple of page article I wrote on lightweight gear that I'd be glad to send to you.  I'm also in the process of updating the sample gear list which has links to what I think is the lightest equipement for a reasonable cost and would be glad to share that with you also.

 

I'm certainly no expert in that, but fairly recently read this book

http://andrewskurka.com/product/ultimate-hikers-gear-guide/

I fond it very interesting.  I recommend it.  I hope to be able to put some of his tips and experience to good use.

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I'm certainly no expert in that, but fairly recently read this book

http://andrewskurka.com/product/ultimate-hikers-gear-guide/

I fond it very interesting.  I recommend it.  I hope to be able to put some of his tips and experience to good use.

 

 

Surka's book is good.  I begin my lecture with a quote from him, "“Every backpacker should have gear, supplies, and skills that are appropriate for their objectives, as well as for the conditions they will likely encounter.† Two other great books are:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Lighten-Up-Complete-Ultralight-Backpacking/dp/0762737344

 

http://www.amazon.com/Ultralight-Backpackin-Tips-Inexpensive-Lightweight/dp/076276384

 

The illustrations are worth the price of the book.

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ah, your second link is broken

but I have the 1st one in my cart!  thanks for the tip!

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From a fellow academic (albeit one who is currently in the process of dissertating), welcome aboard!

 

He passed with flying colors, and the only thing I could think was, 'what a great kid - I wish even 10% of my students could be like this guy'.

 

Yes, I had the same thought after adjuncting last semester. It's part of what caused me to take a respite from academia for awhile. We desperately need more Scouts among our young people.

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