A few months ago my younger brother Austin had mentioned that he was going to be going to Philmont Scout Ranch next summer and was very excited about going. We talked about how much fun I had the first time I had gone and how much fun my brother Alex and and I had when we went. We continued to talk and I had asked if it were possible would he want me to go. He said he would love for me to go but he understood that vacation time, money, and having an adult slot would be the limiting factors. After talking with the scout master of the group my youngest brother is going with they did not have any adult spots open. This was rather discouraging to Austin that I would not get to go but I reassured him that he will still have an awesome time.
Everything changes in an instant people say and yesterday was just that change . I got a text message around noon from the scout master asking if I was still interested in going. Without hesitation I said yes. So on July 17th 2012 I will be heading off to Philmont Scout Ranch with my brother Austin for one heck of an adventure. This adventure will not take my eyes off the prize of hiking the AT but it sure will help with training as well as gear research. Lots more to come and even some photos of past Philmont Adventures.
I spent the weekend going through three ceder chests full of old keeper items and things that my mom had kept from when I was a kid and various other stuff while growing up. One group of things that I was really excited to find was my old Boy Scout Items. Mom had saved all of my uniforms. Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, Webelos, and Boy Scouts. It was neat to go back through all of those memories. I will have to pull all of them out again and take photos once the boxes get moved to the new house. Which I really hope is soon. Nearly 3 months and still not living in the house yet. I did that on Sunday while a storm brew threw. Still researching equipment and getting my plan in place for raising money for this grand adventure.
I have been doing a lot of research as to which type of pack to get. I do what I always do when starting to research something I head to Google. I typed in “external vs internal packs.” There are loads of sites listed in the search results so I decided to just stick to the first two Google results pages. One of the most interesting feuds of the great debate I ran across was over at White Blaze where the battle of the External vs Internal rages. It was very interesting to read the comments on how both sides are better and each side giving very valid reasons as to why one pack was better than the other. There were even folks who fought for both sides of the battle. What it boiled down to was to each their own.
Below are a list of items I found as to what sets each one apart in my research.
- Form Fitting
- Abundant in sporting good stores
- More brands and more models
- Heavier than some external frames
- Good for mountaineering and tight spaces
- Hard to connect extra gear to on the outside
- Holds less weight than external
- Focuses the weight between the shoulders and directly on the hips
- Less ventilation for you back.
- Less expensive than internal packs
- Not as many models and brands
- Harder to find
- Very few in sporting good stores
- Lighter than internal packs
- Wider frame allowing for higher center of gravity
- Great Ventilation of your back
- Easier to attach gear to the frame
- Holds heaver loads
- Easier to get to specific items
Now keep in mind I am not a doctor or a scientist or even a licensed gear salesman and the above items are a conciseness of about 25 – 30 websites who all said the same things. What I am finding is pick a pack that fits you and feels good on you. Do not focus on one kind or the other unless you specifically want to. From my findings of research of the AT there are more people who choose the internal frames but there are still a small percentage who are loyal to their externals. To me it sounds like the great Mac vs PC debate or even the Ford and Chevy debate of old. When it comes down to it both will get you where you want to go and both will get your gear to where you are going. My suggestion head to the store and just start trying them on. With that in mind I am headed to the local camping stores this weekend to see what they have in stock. I don’t plan on buying one yet but a little window shopping never hurt anyone.
As a web designer / developer by trade the amount technology changes should not be surprising however I still manged to be after a nice conversation with Bill H @Day_Hiker on twitter today. I had asked to the twitterverse this simple question.”Internal vs External Frame packs which is better? I have only used External frame packs and am wondering if there is a need to switch. “ Bill answered quickly and we bantered back and forth about how he really likes the internal packs and how they have gotten so much better compared to when I remember them being the “next best thing” to the hiking world back in 1998.
I sat there and thought what could possibly have changed in 13 years well the whole industry has been re-engineered and refined again and again. Everything is now lighter and smaller. More gadgets are on the market and more and more people are taking their gadgets with them on the trails. Over the next few months I will be researching, playing with, and even buying equipment.
I will apologize for sounding like an old fart when i say things like “the last time i went on a big adventure” or “back when i was in scouts” . I am really not all that old at 28 however its been over a decade since I have done anything like this an sure as shootin darn tootin time I get on to a new adventure.
A great shout out to Bill aka @Day_Hiker I would highly recommend following him on twitter and checking out his blog.
Find Bill on Twitter
View His website Diary of a Day Hiker
Well I am back. Things are still crazy as ever still not moved into the new(ish) house and have been dealing with a contractor nightmare. I promise to get back to blogging about the project and seeing where it all goes. More to come.
Spent Friday night after work and Saturday morning at the house doing yard work. Clearing out the back yard of all the extra brush and extra crap away from the fence. Manged to get quite a bit done. The one thing that I really had to worry about was the heat. We were under a heat advisory for the whole weekend. I stayed hydrated and managed not to feel to sore on Sunday. Skipped walking over the weekend and replaced it with the yard work. Continued better eating habits and hardly any soda.
Until next time.
Happy Independence day. I hope that no one has blown off any fingers or ended up in the hospital. The weekend of the 4th of July this year was just awesome. Traveled up north to J’s parents farm and hung out played with the animals and I was asked to grill for their BBQ which was a lot of fun. I miss grilling glad that I will have a nice backyard at the new house to continue grilling for the rest of the summer. I then got to go visit a friend and his family I have not seen for nearly 10 years. It was great to catch up and see them all again. They had a very nice fireworks display with some huge 6 inch shells. Then we headed back to KC to have lunch on Monday with the same friend and then met up with another high school friend I had not seen since 2000. Overall it was a full weekend of fun and great fellowship.
Update on the house front. Finally got the dimensions for the upgrades to the new house as well as the cost estimates. Going to be a very expensive venture but it will be better to send the money now and get what we want and get it all up to code and working now and not have to worry about later. Still living the transient life with some friends until the house is done.
Until Next Time …..
Today I finished moving out of the apartment. All of the left over items have been taken to the house. The rest of the stuff including my pup have all been taken over to a friends house that I will be staying at while the house is still under remodeling. The contractor seems to be running on his own schedule and that schedule is very slow. This upcoming weekend is all about rest and relaxing. With the heat and a huge need to just relax after all of the stress of the move I plan on watching hours of tv and hopefully getting some work done on some other web projects. Who knows what will actually get completed but hopefully something does.
Still keeping up with the better drinking and eating habits. The possibility of needing to add another hole in the belt which is a very nice feeling. Also more walking / hiking is in my near future.
For all of you Americans out there Happy Independence weekend stay safe and stay cool.