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006 Outdoor Field Testing Gregory and Mystery Ranch Backpacks

Posted by on April 4, 2014
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Bob Ward

Fiction author with a zest for adventure travel. Blogs, tweets, videos, and pins for research and fun. He also hosts Ward's Adventure Travel Research & Trip Journal, a weekly podcast available on EFN, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and more.

Hands down, my favorite podcast episode so far!


We loaded our packs with 15 lbs of gear and journeyed out along Hog Barn Road toward West Pond. The weather and temperature were perfect! 46 degrees. Young Jack came along, as well as our two dogs, Woof and Fonz. After about 3 miles, we rested beside a cabin and pond, and there we recorded the first half of this episode. In field recording was so much fun! There wasn’t much better than lying back on the hillside, just soaking up the spring sun, nearly drifting off into a nap. But napping would wait, because we ruminated on the scenery, on the hiking, on the dinner we’d cook up later, on eagles flying around, on how to sit on a chicken eggs naked, on what we carried, on what everything weighted, and many more topics of great interest to us.


At our second stop, we recorded the second half of this show. By then we were noticeably more tired, more crabby, more brain dead. We succeeded in boiling water with the MRS Whisperlite stove (boiled two cups in 2 minutes), and cooked up a fantastic meal of Beef Stroganoff. Alas, there were so many topics to discuss, we had no problem keeping the conversation rolling for the entire hour.


Bullet list (1st half of show):

  • In a valley overlooking a pond
  • Old log cabin built with hand axes
  • 20 lbs packs get lighter as you go
  • Blue sky, fluffy white clouds, 46 degrees
  • Dogs are swimming in the pond
  • Jack says “Hello”
  • Benefits of lying back in the grass
  • Sat, March 29, 1:40 pm – no bugs
  • Eagle egg story
  • Talk about dragon eggs
  • Sitting naked on chicken eggs
  • Gear talk and rundown of item weights
  • How much water we brought
  • Each 12 oz package of Beef Stroganoff weights 6.5 oz
  • Dad want to see my Colibri lighter
  • I brought a cougar knife
  • Jack and I saw a cougar; I tell the story
  • Saving Private Ryan knife in chest scene
  • How we bundled our gear in towels
  • Walking in mud takes more energy
  • Hiking Staffs are useful but ours are heavy
  • How to use and carry a hiking staff
  • Dad might have bent his third leg
  • How to tuck and roll and dive for snakes
  • Responsible hiking techniques for safety
  • On climbing logs or going around
  • Name calling
  • Leaving your idiot hiking partner behind
  • Unnecessary risks
  • Two eagles flying and nesting in the treetops
  • Dad meets a Falconeer
  • Getting the Jeep buried and how
  • Dad flicks my Colibri lighter
  • How to start a fire like Tom Hanks

Bullet List (2nd half of show):

  • At West Pond with less enthusiasm
  • We got tired
  • Beef Stroganoff was tasty
  • 16 oz of water boiled in 2 minutes
  • Six miles total hike
  • More stove talk
  • The dogs are hungry too
  • Jack talks to dad about seeing a dead cow
  • They discuss bear and cougar scat
  • Should we hike back or catch a ride home?
  • Another mention of the dead cow
  • Carrying 20 lbs gets easier as you go
  • Hiking from sun up to sun down on the A.T.
  • Discussing strenuous, uphill battles
  • Bob’s coonskin cougar tracking hat
  • More interesting ways we used our hiking staff
  • The dead squirrel story
  • Talk about the value of leather gloves
  • Transport on call
  • Dad’s pedometer confirms six mile estimate
  • GPS units versus U.S. Geographical Survey maps
  • Feeling lost in the woods
  • Rabid frogs
  • Opie Taylor’s fishing pole
  • Why more people should hike
  • Dad’s old trail epiphany
  • Riding and wrecking dirt bikes
  • Jack’s Eagle Scout project ideas
  • Volksmarching and maps
  • Dad saw the Jeep ravine
  • 4-wheeling talk
  • Bass fishing at West Pond
  • Same old bear attack fantasy
  • Result of dad’s try to draft past me
  • On falling with style
  • Increasing our pack weight for next hike
  • One-person sleeping bag?
  • Tyvek tents and Visklamps
  • More name calling
  • Hammock chat
  • Sleeping under a pine tree in the Boundary Waters

Hands down, my favorite podcast episode so far!

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One Response to 006 Outdoor Field Testing Gregory and Mystery Ranch Backpacks

  1. Dad Ward

    The “right-up” sounds like a lot of fun. I can’t wait to hear the podcast.

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