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Scout leader,  Walter Underwood, goes lightweight with a Gossamer Gear pack

Shaving a Scoutmaster’s Pack Weight

When I started backpacking with my son and his Boy Scout troop, I packed a lot of “just in case” items. I knew that his pack was in pretty good shape, but I was worried about other Scouts being adequately prepared. I took an extra jacket, some energy bars, a spare groundcloth, a big flashlight, […]

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Caption: Side view with SmartWater bottle. Ambassador Trinity Ludwig near Caribou Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, CO. Photo credit: Jake Wells.

Blown Away by the New Murmur Hyperlight Pack

Over lunch with Glen Van Peski, he noticed my odd iPhone case with a half-inch long screw nut (7g or .25oz) glued onto the back. I explained it was for the Stick Pic camera mount, which he introduced to me on a backpack earlier that year. As he carefully inspected it he said, “That’s clever,” […]

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Ken and Lee talking with the backpacking group on the bald at Cole Mountain.

The Five Gallon Pack Challenge

As Scout Leaders for more than a decade, Lee Fields and I have made it our mission to encourage Scouts to participate in backpacking trips.  Over the years we have noticed a general reluctance from beginners (and their parents) to take the first “steps”, which unfortunately denies these young men the valuable lessons that the […]

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Baldy Mountain Single scout w flag

Lightweight Pack Weight at Philmont Scout Ranch

I was lucky enough to go on another Philmont trek this summer with 8 Boy Scouts and two other adults. This was very memorable in that out Scoutmaster Lance Kistler (65y/o) was able to go on a trek with his son, John, and grandson, Hayden. Once Hayden called Lance, “Grandpa”, you know what Lance’s nick […]

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Aaron and Mark at Dragon's Tooth-1

The Scoutmaster’s Invitational: Section Hike on the AT

Eight years ago I was looking for a way to motivate my older Scouts. They just seemed to need a little push to get involved with the younger boys. My solution is now referred to as “The Scoutmaster’s Invitational”. This is a special trip for older Scouts that have participated on most outings and had […]

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Philmont Scout Ranch

Prepare with Boy Scouts

Those of you familiar with the Boy Scouts will recognize “Be Prepared” as the Boy Scout Motto. It’s one thing to recite it as part of your Scout training, but very much another to learn its importance as part of real life experiences. I just returned from a 12-day trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in […]

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New Film: The Cairngorms in Winter

Chris Townsend is one of the greatest long distance hikers of our era. The author of 17 backpacking books, he’s also a gifted story teller and dedicated conservationist.  A resident of Scotland, Chris has literally written the book on Scottish hiking (Scottish Mountain Guide, Circone, 2010), which is easily one of the top 10 hiking destinations […]

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