New guy (kinda) here three…
I guess I should have done this too, but I know a lot of names here from other sites and did not think about it until I saw the other posts.
Anyways, my name is Ray (Hi Ray…) and I am a hiking gear-a-holic. (We hear you, Ray…)
I have been backpacking since 1974 and I just can’t stop. Oh Lord knows I’ve tried, how I’ve tried. But then I would find a pack that I had hidden away and I’d be off again, only to return home days, sometimes weeks later. Tired, worn out, dirty, with unexplained black toenails and pine needles in my butt. And yes, the big stress-free grin would be back. I would throw myself back into another work program until the grin would be gone and I thought I was safe, but then I would lapse again.
I even tried moving to Minnesota as I heard there were no mountains to tempt me. But there were all those pictures in magazines, and Coors commercials rubbing my face in the Rockies. Finally the siren call of the Sierra Nevada pulled me back to California where I became more addicted than before.
I tried to learn new ways of coping with my problem, to be smarter. What I learned was just how to get lighter, and how to hike smarter, harder and farther. Which just made me want, no NEED, more, always more. And the gear just keeps getting better. Stronger, lighter, more comfortable, heck the dang geese keep making puffier clumps of down! What’s a power-fill freak to do but buy a new bag and parka?
So here I am. Ready to be judged by a jury of my peers. Please do not look too harshly upon me, even though the grin is there all the time now.
I have met some of you years ago on Backpacker.com. Others know me from BackpackGearTest.org. Hopefully some of you have seen a tall ugly guy in the mountains of California. That was me.
I am a light weight backpacker, but am not UL. (My bro-in-law Dave is and says it is just a matter of time…) I spend a lot of time above tree-line. I backpack year round and climb and do mountaineering too.
I have been reading everyday and you guys are impressive. Eight pound packs? I was going to say I had one of those in 95 and then I realized yours are packed… I look forward to learning from you all and helping where I can.
And yes, you can call me Ray…