81 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
joined Aug 8, 2004

I am a: 71-year-old male backpacker
Location: Near Blacksburg, VA
Occupation: retired


Backcountry skiing


Boot/Shoe Size10
Jacket/Shirt Size40
Pant Size33

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.

Gear Reviews (3)

user rating: 4.5 of 5 GSI Outdoors Cascadian Mug 4/03/2019
user rating: 4.5 of 5 UCO Clarus 2/09/2013
user rating: 3 of 5 Kelty Dart 2 8/08/2004

Forum Posts

Folding vs rolled camp pads February 22, 2018
how is a backpack supposed to fit over the shoulder? August 17, 2017
What era was this compass made? January 17, 2016
A Peek Back, Inside Jeff Lowe's Pack January 17, 2012
The 10 Essentials: Fire June 2, 2008