Learning the light way

April 19, 2006
Philmont badge

When I was 15 years old I traveled with my Boy Scout troop on the Denver Zephyr (for all you youngsters, that's a passenger train) from Chicago. Upon arrival in Denver we boarded a bus and headed to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

That was the beginning of 10 days that made a big impact on me, shaping my life in countless ways.

But I'm not going to wax on about that here.

I only bring it up because I came across today a new article at BackpackingLight.com. It provides a lightweight gear list for backpacking at Philmont. I'm sure, though, the information is useful for anyone planning a multi-day trip, particularly in the West.

Oh, how I wish we had such a gear list back in 1971. Most of the gear we use today didn't exist then.

The sleeping bag and canvas tent alone weighed much more than what my entire pack will weigh on my trip this summer to the Chicago Basin in Colorado.


An opportunity to help complete a big project

April 19, 2006

I received the following message this morning and thought it was worth sharing:

To all CTC volunteers,

On April 26-May 2, 2006, the Cumberland Trail Conference is having a spring trail building program. This program will take place at Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee and will be a back-country outing. We will be back-packing from Frozen Head State Park up to Ross Gap and setting up a base-camp in the area and working out of the base camp. The hike will be approximately 3 miles with a significant elevation change, so this would be considered a strenuous hike. The program will mainly be new trail building. All participants will need the necessary back-country camping gear (pack, tent, rain gear, etc…). The Cumberland Trail Conference will provide the water and food for three meals a day and the necessary tools. Due to the remote location and the hike necessary to get to the work-site, this program is not suited for one day participation. Interested volunteers should consider working for at least 2 days. This is a great opportunity to camp and work in a very scenic area of the Cumberland Plateau, make new friends, and complete another section of the Cumberland Trail. For further information or to sign-up, I can be contacted at tony.hook@frontiernet.net or at 931-456-6259. I want to thank each of you for your past volunteer support and to please visit the CTC web site, www.cumberlandtrail.org for information on Big Dig 2006 and future volunteer opportunities.

thank you,
Tony Hook
Cumberland Trail maintenance/volunteer coordinator

I have helped in constructing a couple small sections of this trail, including a portion of the trail in Frozen Head SP, and found it rewarding work. It's a good feeling to give back to the hiking community in this way.