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frankpalazzi

Checking in from the AT in Virginia

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Outstanding, Frank!

 

When you get a moment, and if you are so inclined, I'd be interested to hear/read your thoughts on the trail, gear, tips, etc.

Edited by desertrat77
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Please hold the iPad to your shoulders and feel my back pats....   Are you hiking with anyone else?   Are you headed into Maryland?  

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Please hold the iPad to your shoulders and feel my back pats....   Are you hiking with anyone else?   Are you headed into Maryland?  

Hahaha thank you! I'm hiking with a 74-year old co-worker who is a former CC of another troop and can outhike me big time! (I'm 55!)

This is our 4th year doing sections of the AT.  Our first summer was in PA, and the last 3 working our way through Virginia--so we're going South (SOBO).  Co-worker Paul's goal is to do the entire AT, one piece at a time. My goal is to climb those mountains "because they're there"!  We pick a week in July and hike for 7-10 days.

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So jealous. My oldest hoodlum  will be getting off a section of the AT today. AND I found out one of my Eagles from my old troop back home in in the neck of the woods. So wish work would have let me off.

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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""We pick a week in July and hike for 7-10 days.""   umm- mmm-mmm.       Yep, that's the way to do it.  Go south.    Work with the rotation of the earth to help push you along.  And, just look at the globe, heading north is always uphill...  

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hey good job Frank!!!

 

I'm currently dreaming...and gearing up to do something like that next summer hopefully.  Slowly getting some more lightweight gear to replace the heavy stuff I have, and thinking through different plans. Maybe AT, maybe BMT ???

I keep coming back to starting the AT at Springer approach....maybe to Neels, or maybe a bit further.  I'd only be able to pull off a week.

I just keep coming back to that, I suppose with the idea that I could always start a tradition of coming back periodically and picking up where I jumped off last time...

 

So far my son hasn't expressed interest in joining me, but I'm hoping.  Maybe my 9 year old daughter too.... But no doubt that will alter what I do a bit.  Part of me would like to see my son invite his patrol along, get SM's blessing, round up another Scouter or two to make it work.... do it as an option to traditional summer camp perhaps.. or as a patrol trip...That would be great since the older scouts in his troop next year are doing Sea Base but my son will miss the age/grade thing by a hair so he's out of that fun...

 

.....but then part of me just wants to keep it simpler and hike my own hike.

 

I haven't backpacked really in many years.  Only day hikes....but I've been dreaming lately.

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I haven't backpacked really in many years.  Only day hikes....but I've been dreaming lately.

 

Blw2, I completely understand...work, family matters, responsibilities, I hadn't put a pack on my back in years.  Almost two decades.  Then our council offered a 50 miler during spring break this year and I went.

 

It was fantastic!   It really put the hook me, and I'm finally making some adjustments to life to backpack more often.

 

Got to admit, I was a little hesitant. I've stayed in shape.  Most of my gear now falls into the category of "antique."   But it all worked out...even with weather and schedule challenges, we got it done.

 

The only hiccup:  my sleeping bag.  Top of the line...circa '87.  It didn't keep me warm at all in March of 2017  :)    First thing I did when I got home was by a new one!

Edited by desertrat77
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Antique gear....

 

This was my Scout packframe, lashed a Yucca pack to it.... http://www.ebay.com/itm/WWII-US-Army-Marines-Packboard-American-Sea-March-1944-/232173807534 

 

It's up in my attic.   I am surprised, that when I took it to a Troop meeting for a "show and tell", none of the Scouts had any interest in it, but the Dad's mmmm'ed and nodded....  Back in 1959- 60, it was all the rage at Philmont.

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Antique gear....

 

This was my Scout packframe, lashed a Yucca pack to it.... http://www.ebay.com/itm/WWII-US-Army-Marines-Packboard-American-Sea-March-1944-/232173807534 

 

It's up in my attic.   I am surprised, that when I took it to a Troop meeting for a "show and tell", none of the Scouts had any interest in it, but the Dad's mmmm'ed and nodded....  Back in 1959- 60, it was all the rage at Philmont.

That definitely trumps my pack!

 

I had a yucca pack as a scout, but only used it for day hikes.

 

Backpacking...started with a Sears pack that was an ill-designed torture device, '76.  Suffered through the Grand Canyon with it.    Saved my lawn mowing money and bought a blue Camp Trails external frame pack...went to Philmont the next year.  Awesome pack...used it for years.  Long gone but not forgotten.

 

Skipping ahead a bit...used another Camp Trails external frame for the aforementioned spring 50 miler this year.  Circa '80 model.  It really stood out amongst all of the modern internal frames that were on the trail, but it suits me and doesn't show any signs of falling apart.

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As I have really been getting into this, it's really striking how much lighter and streamlined things are today.  Hiking in trailrunners.  Folks entire pack base weight today is approx what my old hiking boots would have weighed!

 

At my age and condition I'm all for it too.  I'll throw some money at that lighter gear.  I can almost imagine myself lugging maybe a 7 to 10 pound base weight up a mountain trail.... 20-30 pound...not so much.

 

I can't say I go all the way back to the yucca pack, but it was similar.  Basically a nylon version as I recall....  I do have an internal frame pack now, that I bought a bunch of years ago now, thinking I didn't want to put a bunch of money into something I likely  wouldn't use much.  Well, that's a self-defeating philosophy right there!!!  It's a cheap Teton sports pack, and it's heavy on its own.  The only thing I've used it for is "luggage" to hike my gear from the parking lot to the camp site at the local scout camp.

The last time I packed a trail overnight, was with some buddies in college with a borrowed external frame pack that didn't have a waist belt.  I hooked the tail end of the frame into my pants belt.  Nearly froze in that borrowed sleeping bag with no pad.  Boy that was a fun trip though....wish I could remember where that trail was we hiked!  I think maybe someplace around Linville Falls maybe... or Grandfather Mountain

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@@blw2, I too recall the heavy boot era.  For my first few trips, I had a pair of Kmart waffle stompers that were like cinder blocks.  Strange as it sounds, I wore standard issue GI combat boots at Philmont, a vast improvement over the waffle boots.  Not a single blister.  Well broken in before the trek.

 

I recall leaders and scouts buying expensive leather boots, thick and heavy, and it taking forever to break them in.

Edited by desertrat77

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I still use an old Camp Trails Horizon pack on an external frame. Cooler that way. Summer is good. You can pack really light when you don't have to worry about freezing.

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I have 3 Yucca Packs and a Haversack that I still use today.  My big "Philmont" pack is too bulky and awkward for a weekend outing.  If it's too heavy/bulky to take in a Yucca, it's too heavy/bulky to take along.

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Going down to the Smoky's today with some buddies of mine. Will hike a few miles on the AT. Will upload some pictures in a new thread if they are anything decent. Forecast calls for lots of rain, so it will at least be a memorable trip.... 

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