Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gave an ultralight backpacking presentation tonight

The Man and I gave a presentation of our ultralight backpacking gear to some boyscouts tonight.

I had never been to a boyscout meeting before. It was kind of strange. They are pseudo military with their little color guard, but they have no discipline. They did have more discipline than a bunch of pre-teen and teen boys would be expected to have. Organized chaos in a way I guess.

Somehow we held them spellbound with our gear demonstration for an hour and a half. We brought our packs and The Man went first, unpacking his gear and showing it off. He has some high-tech stuff and the techie boys in the group were very interested. I have mostly homemade/recycled and minimalistic gear and I seemed to hold them spellbound by talking really fast.

I think I disappointed one of the troop leaders because I hardly pack any first aid stuff. What else do you need besides a few bandaids, some gauze and tape, a few ibuprofen and other pain killers, a needle for poking blisters, my pocket knife and a little neosporin? I could use my bandana and shirt for bleeding, my pad for splinting. My reading glasses were extra strong so I could see the splinters in my fingers. Anything worse than basic boo-boos and I'd be too far gone to help myself, I'm afraid. In that case, I'd have to use my phone or hope someone would come along who could go for help. I never needed anything from anyone, though, in all the 3000 miles I hiked.

We talked too long and could not show any pictures. The boys might have been bored with pictures anyway. I had hoped to show pictures of other hikers, of the places where we stayed, the water caches and how my tent is set up with trekking poles. I also forgot to give out my handouts of links to good web sites for gear. I gave them to one of the leaders to hand out later.

I hope they enjoyed our presentation. At least one boy wanted to ask more questions afterward. He really wants to hike the PCT one day. I'm sure that he will.

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