Patches for my packs

Yesterday I received a couple of really cool patches from Death Wish Coffee Company (my new favorite).  Today I stopped at the local Scout Shop in Wilmington to pick up a few items including Badge Magic.  Now those cool patches look awesome on my backpack and day pack.

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Our Scouts from BSA Troop 660 picked a new adventure for us, and they are looking forward to it.  We are heading to:

Colorado Springs for a tour of the Air Force Academy, Pikes Peak, and white water rafting.  Then it is off to the White River National Forest to complete a four day 25 mile backpack trip.

We are then camping at Canyonlands to exploring Arches National Park, Moab, and Canyonland.  We’ll follow up with a horseback ride in Monument Valley.  I plan to get up early to get a photo or time-lapse of the sunrise.  Then it’s three days at the Grand Canyon for some serious day hikes.

We will complete the trip with a visit to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and the Capitol Reef National Park for two days.  Back to Denver and fly back home.

I still need to check with the airline if I can bring my DJI Phantom 3 Pro.  I plan to bring my GoPros with plenty of empty 32GB scares and a Jackery Giant battery charger.

Philmont Summer Trek Cancelled

Yesterday we received an email from the Philmont Scout Ranch announcing the closure for the 2018 summer season. Below is an excerpt from the email:

PHILMONT SCOUT RANCH ANNOUNCES CLOSURE FOR 2018 SUMMER SEASON – 7/5/18

After careful consideration of the situation and available options, the difficult but prudent decision has been made that the Philmont backcountry will remain closed for treks and individual programs for the remainder of the 2018 summer season. This means that the following programs scheduled for this summer are canceled: 7- and 12-day treks; and individual backcountry programs, including Rayado, ROCS, Trail Crew, STEM and Ranch Hands.

The Ute Park fire consumed 26,387 acres of Philmont property.  As of July 6, 2018, the cause of the fire is unknown and is under investigation.

The Morris Creek fire started June 29 from a lightning strike, and has moved onto Philmont property.

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We hope the fires are contained quickly and for the firefighters to return home safely.

Going Backpacking After 32 Years

When I was much younger, I was in Cub Scouts and then joined Boy Scout Troop 293 in North Huntingdon, PA.  I went on many hiking and camping trips until I was about 16, and then quit because I had a driver’s license, a girl friend, and wanted to make money.

Fast-forward to 2008, my son joined Cub Scout Pack 86 in Wilmington, DE.  He did pretty well in Cub Scouts and was looking forward to joining Boy Scouts.  We scouted around and joined Troop 660 in Wilmington, DE.  It is a great troop, we enjoy going on all the camping trips, participating in the Klondike Derby, and other activities.  I am happy to say my son is doing well with Boy Scouts and should ear his Star Rank in the next week.

So what does that have to do with backpacking?  We are going to Philmont Scout Ranch in 2018.  With that in mind, I figured it was time to start training.  After all it’s been 32 years since I’ve gone on a backpacking trip.  I don’t own a backpack.  So I started some research and had to get fitted.  The folks at REI did a great job helping my son and I with choosing backpacks.  I ended up with a REI Traverse 70.  There were a lot of customers today, so weights were scarce.  Let’s just say adding 25 pounds to your back for the first time in 32 years is a bit of an eye opener.

Time to start the training!  I took my backpack out for a spin at Carousel Park Farm for a hike.  I didn’t load it with too much with stuff.  I started easy to get a feel of the pack.  What I like about Carousel Park is the different terrain you come across.  Grass fields for part of a path then a turn and you’re into the woods with trees and roots to watch for.  Part of the path had gravel and driveway stone.

I hiked 3.4 miles in about 76 minutes and survived!  WOOT!  I’m sure those numbers are terrible, but I was pleased with my first attempt.  A buddy of mine told me about a few more places I should look at to practice hiking before our week-long trek in July.