81 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
joined Aug 8, 2004
Location: Near Blacksburg, VA
I have been backpacking for well over a half century. When I started, my first packframe was an olive drab, molded wood, military (Korean War) surplus item with a heavy canvas front. The gear "pack" itself consisted of my bag of gear attached to the wood frame using a diamond hitch (the same way you would tie cargo to a mule pack).
Ah, the glory of an external frame pack! It was quite a step up from the pack mule thing. It was dandy for a 100 pound load. I gradually drifted toward ultra-light backpacking (duh!), finally aiming for 25 pounds max, without the water, for a 10 day trek. Only in old age did I finally go to an internal frame pack, and only because it was a gift from my even older brother.
I have camped in temperatures between -10°F and 100°+, rain or shine, snow or daisies. For years, my preference was for 7 to 10 day hikes, nothing longer.
My son (then 19) and I spent 8 days of solitude descending the Grand Canyon on the South Bass Trail, following the Tonto Trail to Hermit Canyon, then climbing out on the Hermit Trail--done in early November. Christmas of the following year, a group of 5 of us descended the Tanner Trail, followed the Escalante Route westward, then onto the Tonto, to climb out the Bright Angel. I've also enjoyed a Rim-to-Rim-to Rim hike (S. Kaibab to North Rim, then back down, and out the Bright Angel (6 days in June), as well as a 4 day Christmas excursion down Hermit, east on the Tonto, and out Bright Angel. My last trip into the Canyon was a codger hike down the S. Kaibab to Phantom Ranch, the out the Bright Angel.
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