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Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Pro-wool not anti-wool? on 12/05/2006 16:06:17 MST Print View

You need to start reading articles on this site. I believe you'll find more of a pro-wool bias than another other place.
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what I have seen of this site and at other UL sites and literature is a very pro-synthetic and pro-goose down tone. Wool is denigrated to be "too heavy."



In fact, the old backpacking light 101 document/manifesto written years ago by RJ and AD talks about wool quite a bit.
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Really? I thought I read that and I dont remember anything much about wool. I need to go back and reread that.




This site, and most enlighten, UL hikers are far more pro-wool than you think. Now if you are talking about using wool as an insulating layer, that will never happen.

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Your statement points out the ignorance I have been talking about. Wool as a base layer acts BOTH as a wicking layer and as an insulating layer in truly cold weather conditions. All "base layers" are in fact insulating layers as well as wicking layers.

You think that fancy merino wool long underwear you wear ONLY wicks and does not work as an insulating layer? LOL
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>It is too heavy.

Who says so? Did you know that if you wear wool clothes, you will most likely only need one pair of wool pants and one wool shirt per every 5-7 days on the trail in wintertime? I would suggest (strongly) that this need for only one set of wool clothes is not possible with synthetics.

Thus in the end, you actually SAVE WEIGHT by going pure wool! Because basically, it means that you only need to wear carry one pair of pants and one shirt and those you ARE WEARING the entire time you are on the trail!
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But as a base layer. I'd say this site is almost 60/40 in favor of wool over synthetics. In fact, I sometimes have found the pro-wool bias on this site a bit too much. Though, recently, it has been toned down a bit.
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Really? I found this forum to initially be more anti-wool when i started posting, then I left to go to Thanksgiving and do some deer hunting for a week and returned and found a whole bunch of people who had previously been posting anti-wool posts were now posting pro-wool as if they had suddenly become "enlightened" or something?

What is that?
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I'm not sure what UL literature you have been reading, but I haven't read one yet (and I have read quite a few) that are anti-wool (for base layers).
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Ive always read and talked to people who are anti-wool going way back before UL backpacking became the en vogue thing that it now is. There are a lot of people who HATE wool, but there are also people who LOVE wool. Wool is sort of a "love it or hate it" kind of outdoor gear.

I personally love wool for both base layer (long underwear in extreme cold conditions) and for regular outdoor clothes, as well as for hats and gloves.

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I think this whole entire "I can only tolerate merino wool" attitude is a load of crap. People say that because it is what they BELIEVE they can tolerate. Its psychological mostly.

If these same people were suddenly told, "you are going to be sent to a lumberjack camp for three months in the middle of the winter and if you try to escape you will be shot. And you will be exposed to extreme cold temps for three solid months, you must take everything with you when you go in, there is no resupply whatsoever."

I bet you a lot of them would suddenly be looking for wool base layers AND wool "insulating" layers because deep down inside, they know that wool is the best for most types of cold conditions.

There would be a bunch of people wanting to go back to cold weather backpacking and camping basics, which means wool. Merino wool, scratchy itchy coarse wool, whatever. As long as it doesnt have too much synthetic mixed in with it and is mostly wool, its good to go.

Vlad

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Lumberjack boot camp on 12/05/2006 16:30:06 MST Print View

Vlad ... are you joking again when you write:

"If these same people were suddenly told, "you are going to be sent to a lumberjack camp for three months in the middle of the winter and if you try to escape you will be shot. And you will be exposed to extreme cold temps for three solid months, you must take everything with you when you go in, there is no resupply whatsoever."

I bet you a lot of them would suddenly be looking for wool base layers AND wool "insulating" layers because deep down inside, they know that wool is the best for most types of cold conditions."

You must be or you don't know this audience ... if anyone treated me like that I wouldn't buy wool clothes ... I'd leave.

Then, if I was dumb enough to go into that kind of environment and treatment voluntarily I'd go see a shrink.

Is that how you were treated in the camp you talked about going to as a younger person in the 1970s. If so I wanna make sure nobody I know ever sends their young'ns there ...

Finally, having worked for the timber companies for a number of years in the past as a lawyer ... if they pulled that kind of treatment on the lumberjacks I know there'd be a lotta sorry camp counselors in a very, very short time ... if they lived through it.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Lumberjack boot camp on 12/05/2006 16:45:15 MST Print View

For the slave camp, I vote they wear fiberglass batting wrapped in duct tape. That'll learn 'em.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Lumberjack boot camp on 12/05/2006 17:45:44 MST Print View

"For the slave camp, I vote they wear fiberglass batting wrapped in duct tape. That'll learn 'em."

I've worn polypropylene that was cooked in a dryer that came pretty close-- like sandpaper.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Pro-wool not anti-wool? on 12/05/2006 17:57:47 MST Print View

You think that fancy merino wool long underwear you wear ONLY wicks and does not work as an insulating layer? LOL
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Well, of course, everything I wear is an insulating layer (including my back hair). Even a thin polypro shirt insulates a tiny bit. But, if I'm sitting around camp doing nothing at 40F, my base layer isn't going to keep me warm no mater what it is made out of.

I fail to see how a single layer of any material could replace both a base layer and an insulating layer.

>It is too heavy.

Who says so? Did you know that if you wear wool clothes, you will most likely only need one pair of wool pants and one wool shirt per every 5-7 days on the trail in wintertime?
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First show me the numbers. Your argument is all about numbers. Let's see them.


Second, who says folks wearing synthetics bring more than one shirt and pants?

Edited by tlbj6142 on 12/05/2006 17:58:35 MST.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Pro-wool not anti-wool? on 12/05/2006 18:16:48 MST Print View

Second, who says folks wearing synthetics bring more than one shirt and pants?
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Vlad does. He knows all, don't you know that by now?

Anyway, I wear synthetics, not because I don't like wool, but because its what I can afford. If I had the $80 or $90 for a nice Ibex or Smartwool shirt I would buy it in a heartbeat, but I don't so I have to make due.

Adam

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: Pro-wool on 12/05/2006 18:44:44 MST Print View

Maybe if a member's rank drops below a cerain level, the BPL Swat Team should kidnap him or her and send them to the Lumberjack All Wool Slave Labor camp, where they work all day dressed in wooly long john suits with the trap door in the back, making Ti extra-long spoons. I think the cut-off rank should be just below whatever my current level is. Make them eat nothing but Balance Bars to toughen them up.

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Lumberjack boot camp on 12/05/2006 18:47:12 MST Print View

Vlad ... are you joking again when you write:

"If these same people were suddenly told, "you are going to be sent to a lumberjack camp for three months in the middle of the winter and if you try to escape you will be shot. And you will be exposed to extreme cold temps for three solid months, you must take everything with you when you go in, there is no resupply whatsoever."

I bet you a lot of them would suddenly be looking for wool base layers AND wool "insulating" layers because deep down inside, they know that wool is the best for most types of cold conditions."

You must be or you don't know this audience ... if anyone treated me like that I wouldn't buy wool clothes ... I'd leave.

Then, if I was dumb enough to go into that kind of environment and treatment voluntarily I'd go see a shrink.

Is that how you were treated in the camp you talked about going to as a younger person in the 1970s. If so I wanna make sure nobody I know ever sends their young'ns there ...

Finally, having worked for the timber companies for a number of years in the past as a lawyer ... if they pulled that kind of treatment on the lumberjacks I know there'd be a lotta sorry camp counselors in a very, very short time ... if they lived through it.
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It was a figure of speech of sorts. A dramatic, colorful analogy to get your attention...whatever you wish to call it. Another way to put it might be "what if you were to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere, in the wintertime, with no support and just what you could carry on yourself and on your back?"

I would opt for layers of wool. Wool long underwear, wool clothing, wool hat, wool gloves and of course raingear and some type of heavy parka.

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Is that how you were treated in the camp you talked about going to as a younger person in the 1970s. If so I wanna make sure nobody I know ever sends their young'ns there ...
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LOL, no I never attended any "camps" like this one I described. Actually I got the idea from a book I read, titled "SuperTraining" by another lawyer who IMO, is a good writer.

This other guy used the term because of his audience (bunch of macho powerlifter/strongmen types), I used it because I consider backpacking to be a rugged individualist/he-man type outdoor activity. I wanted to get your attention...which I did.

later Mr. Esquire,

Vlad

PS: dont tell Ron Moak that the "lawyers have found this site." heehee...

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Pro-wool not anti-wool? on 12/05/2006 18:54:18 MST Print View

You think that fancy merino wool long underwear you wear ONLY wicks and does not work as an insulating layer? LOL
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Well, of course, everything I wear is an insulating layer (including my back hair). Even a thin polypro shirt insulates a tiny bit. But, if I'm sitting around camp doing nothing at 40F, my base layer isn't going to keep me warm no mater what it is made out of.

I fail to see how a single layer of any material could replace both a base layer and an insulating layer.

>It is too heavy.

Who says so? Did you know that if you wear wool clothes, you will most likely only need one pair of wool pants and one wool shirt per every 5-7 days on the trail in wintertime?
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First show me the numbers. Your argument is all about numbers. Let's see them.


Second, who says folks wearing synthetics bring more than one shirt and pants?
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I dont need no stinking numbers and I dont need no stinking "studies." And this is not about "numbers" from some study somewhere.

It has long been common knowledge that wool layers are "da bomb" with regards to keeping warm in the winter. Particularly in cold/wet or cold/damp environments.

From your pic, you look mighty young, I am wondering if you have perhaps been brainwashed by decades long marketing efforts to promote synthetics and in recent years, promoting goose down. If so, I feel sorry for you.

When I started backpacking in the Boy Scouts in the eighties, I was simply told by many people, "if you go camping or backpacking in the winter, wear wool and not cotton." By the late eighties, synthetics like polypropylene were in wide fluctuation and many began switching. I have used a combo of wool products and synthetics since the late eighties and never had the Internet, BackpackingLight.com, GoLite.com or anybody else to turn to for advice.

And I did perfectly fine.

I will not show you any numbers because I dont have any numbers, do not want any numbers and do not care about numbers. All I know is that wool works better than other stuff...period.

Try it, be honest about it and I bet you will come back saying I was telling you the truth.

Vlad

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Lumberjack boot camp on 12/05/2006 19:01:12 MST Print View

I'm sorry I got the idea about the lumberjack camp from a book titled "Dinosaur Training" by an attorney named Brooks Kubrik. Not "Supertraininig." I got the two mixed up.

Dinosaur training...AKA "train like a dinosaur," without high tech aids, without drugs, without supplements, etc.

Brooks Kubrik uses an anaology about being sent to a forced lumberjack camp where you had to do heavy lumberjack work or be shot. It's in a chapter I believe that was titled "grow or die" or something like that.

Vlad

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: wool and $500 hookers on 12/05/2006 19:12:14 MST Print View

Wool layers will make you feel as warm as if youd brought home those two $500 hookers back from that strip club you visited last night. One blonde, the other brunette.

Course, they'd complain about your LL Bean wool blankets and demand you put silk sheets on the bed.


LMAO

Vlad

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Lumberjack boot camp - Vlad on 12/05/2006 19:16:29 MST Print View

So is that anything like the way people train or do things at the Rayado thing? I had never heard of it before.

What do they do there -- I looked it up and it said it was secret in one description. You sound like you learned a lot or got a lot out of it and are proud of it. b.d.

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: ULB creative writing on 12/05/2006 19:18:05 MST Print View

I used to wear a GI issue scratchy wool shirt, sometimes with no undershirt or long underwear on underneath. And it never bothered me. Carried a pack, I didnt have "merino wool" eighter. I didnt get a rash, I didnt have a wussy attack either from the scratch.

Hang a cigarrette out of your mouth as you hump up that mountain with that wool shirt half unbuttoned and you look like the Marlboro man.

Vlad

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Rayado Trek....sssshhhhhhhhHHHHH!!!!! on 12/05/2006 19:31:21 MST Print View

So is that anything like the way people train or do things at the Rayado thing? I had never heard of it before.

What do they do there -- I looked it up and it said it was secret in one description. You sound like you learned a lot or got a lot out of it and are proud of it. b.d.
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Rayado is the BSA's version of Outward Bound or NOLS, basically. Yes, its a secret as to the specific contents, but no, they dont physically or emotionally abuse you or threaten to shoot you if you leave early. Quite the opposite, you come out of it feeling sort of like a combination of you just graduated from Marine boot camp but with a strong Daniel Boone tone. I really felt like I could handle myself in the outdoors when I finished that program.

Again, I cannot talk about the detailed content of the program here or some people might come down on me hard.

Personally I dont understand the need for the secrecy thing regarding that program. Being very generalized, I can tell you it is a huge amount of backpacking, a lot miles per day and held only in the summer months.

I didnt learn about wool (nor a lot of other stuff) from the Rayado program. I dont think I even carried any wool garments on Rayado as it was the middle of the summer. I learned a lot of stuff from other BSA programs, other BSA camps, general BSA training, a lot of winter backpacking and camping, etc.

A lot of people in the BSA have never even heard of it unless they've been to Philmont. If you go to Philmont, your Ranger will hype it all up and encourage the boys to attend "next year."

Some people at Philmont will overanalyze the Rayado Trek program and in their description of it, will psychobabble it to death. Talking about things like "group dynamics" and other stuff. I never saw the program like that and still dont. But I would be in the minority and I'm not politically correct at all.

IMO, Rayado Trek is mostly a gut check sort of thing. A lot of outdoor leadership training in it too.

This is just a generalized description of the program, nothing Ive devulged is not already known to outsiders if you ask around.

I better shut up or someone from the PSA will show up here and get my ISP #.

Vlad

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Rayado Trek....sssshhhhhhhhHHHHH!!!!! on 12/05/2006 19:39:25 MST Print View

Another well publicized part of the Rayado Trek is they have a very well defined age cutoff. The max age is 21, no waivers that I ever heard of. No adult Scouters are allowed to attend.

What I heard was Philmont doesnt want thirty something or fortysomething adult Scouters having heart attacks in the middle of nowhere at Philmont...thus they have no slots for Rayado. It is a purely indivudal program, guys dont attend as crews, you go as a single individual.

Vlad

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Rayado -- thanks Vlad on 12/05/2006 21:40:40 MST Print View

I just wondered about it. It also said it was a leadership camp on one of the sites I looked at. What did you learn about leadership there and how does it relate to UL? bd

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Rayado ...its a secret man on 12/05/2006 22:51:32 MST Print View

I havent been to Philmont since the eighties and the Rayado Trek has changed in length. When I did it, it was fifteen days nonstop. Now, I believe it is longer, like twenty days or something.

It was never advertised purely as a leadership camp that I ever saw. Sure, they advertise it as teaching outdoor leadership and "group dynamics" AKA teamwork, but as far as being a purely leadership school, like say, Philmont's National Junior Leader Training program, Rayado is not. The National Junior Leader Training Program is held at Philmont (or was) and when I was on staff in base camp one summer while still in high school, I saw the program up close.

That is one program I never went thru in the BSA and it is one program I regret not taking part in. Again, its another one of those little known BSA programs held at Philmont that is an individual, not a crew event and is held at the National BSA level and not the local council level or even regional BSA level.

My personal opinion is that quality of anything BSA is going to be much higher at the National level, AKA Philmont and similar programs, than most council and local programs. I wasnt too impressed with most of the local, council sponsored programs in my old BSA council. There were a handful of council programs I went thru that I considered very high quality, but they were few and far between.

But thats just me.

Others will take offense to such statements and I mean no offense anyone. I just found National level stuff to be more, "professional" you might could say.

Getting back to Rayado Trek, there is a strong leadership training aspect to it, but I really cant divulge specifics as Philmont is serious about keeping the nitty gritty details of the program a secret.

I can divulge a few more publically known facts about the program. It is coed (at least it was when I did it). Although the crews were kept separate...female participants stayed in female crews and were led by female "Rayado Rangers." And same for male participants....most participants were male when I did it.

Another well known fact that Philmont likes to publicize is that successful completion of the Rayado Trek will (almost) guarantee you to be accepted as a Philmont Ranger at some point after high school graduation. Providing of course, that you attain your Eagle Scout rank. Not all Philmont Rangers are graduates of the Rayado Trek program, but many are.

All I can tell you is that if you want to know more about that program, you would have to be a member of the BSA, probably go to Philmont as a Scouter and maybe ask questions.

I think that program is a good alternative for boys in the BSA who are very interested in backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing and such activities, but maybe their parents cant afford to send them off to a very expensive Colorado Outward Bound or NOLS session. Mine were not willing to pay for anything like Outward Bound of NOLS (my father was very critical of me "wasting" my time and money going to Philmont...he saw it as a mild form of rebellion). My Dad thought Scouts was a "waste of time" until I made Eagle, when he suddenly started acting very proud of me. I paid for all my Philmont trips when I was in high school, airfare, gear, clothes, boots...everything. My parents didnt pay jack.

The cost for the Rayado Trek is much lower than Outward Bound or NOLS.

I can tell you that the Rayado Trek emphasized lighter weight backpacking, I suspect now they are maybe doing UL. But thats just speculation on my part, I have no idea what they are doing out there anymore.

Thats all I can tell you bd, sorry man.

My advice for anybody comptemplating that program would be:

1) get in shape
2) show up with well broken in boots
3) get a base tan before you show up, so you dont get sunburned in the first few days of the program...you will already be in enough pain.
4) wear your boots on the plane to Philmont, that way if you lose your pack and gear on the flight, you at least still have your broken in boots with you.
5) try to get acclimatized to 7-8 thousand foot elevations before you arrive, if that is possible. Particularly if you are coming from sea level elevations. Its a shame if you are all psyched up for the program, are in shape, arrive and then end up with altitude sickness. Big bummer.

6) get in shape
7) get in shape
8) get in shape

May I ask why the interest in that particular program? You have a teenager in Scouting or something?

Vlad

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Interest in program ... - Vlad on 12/06/2006 00:15:08 MST Print View

Vlad,

You wrote: May I ask why the interest in that particular program? You have a teenager in Scouting or something?

Actually no teenagers here, anymore. You seem to be very happy with that program and got a lot out of it, so just wondered. (Also read it was managed or some other related programs like you are referring to in your last post to military training and personnel, I grew up in the military and my dad was a Green Beret so I just was wondering ...)

Was interested in the patch that you have for an avatar. Looked up the words on it on Google, and you had mentioned a program you were in.

Gotta go, exhausted from work here ... writing and researching ... bd

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Pro-wool not anti-wool? on 12/06/2006 09:54:41 MST Print View

I dont need no stinking numbers
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If you don't need numbers you migth as well leave now, as the goal of UL backpackers is to find the "best and lightest" gear for the job. It is sort of hard to determine the lightest without numbers. No studies are required, just a scale.

If all you are after is the best regardless of weight, this isn't the place. As we'd just carry propane heaters with us and sit around camp in our "wife beaters and cut-offs".



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It has long been common knowledge that wool layers are "da bomb" with regards to keeping warm in the winter. Particularly in cold/wet or cold/damp environments.
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OK, I'm willing to help you convince folks that wool is "da bomb" as to-date your arguments have been woefully weak. If fact, I'm not sure you have said anything besides "wool is great, you folks are idiots". Which isn't the most convincing argument. If you have no interest in spreading the wool light (sorry), then this thread is more of a trolling experiment than a discussion and should be stopped immediately.

I have re-read your posts and it sounds like you want UL backpackers to consider using wool as a insulating layer in lieu of high-loft insulators such as Primaloft, Polarguard and down. Correct?

This site alreay is pro-wool for base layer, so you don't need to "sell" that concept.

Furthermore, it appears that you are only talking about winter conditions? Though we need to define winter. Do you mean 25F-45F wet snow and/or rain winter, or sub-25F dry snow conditions?

Also, is this wool garment used while being active (hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, etc.) or used at breaks and in-camp?

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Interest in program ... - Vlad on 12/06/2006 12:37:57 MST Print View

Vlad,

You wrote: May I ask why the interest in that particular program? You have a teenager in Scouting or something?

Actually no teenagers here, anymore. You seem to be very happy with that program and got a lot out of it, so just wondered. (Also read it was managed or some other related programs like you are referring to in your last post to military training and personnel, I grew up in the military and my dad was a Green Beret so I just was wondering ...)

Was interested in the patch that you have for an avatar. Looked up the words on it on Google, and you had mentioned a program you were in.

Gotta go, exhausted from work here ... writing and researching ... bd
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Hi...

Yes, I own that patch. It looks exactly like that patch and I would never bring that patch to a BSA patch trading meeting, because I'd have to watch it like a hawk or it would be gone. Its a very rare BSA patch.

As far as Rayado Trek having any military connections, no, when I did the program in the eighties, there were zero military connections to the program. More the opposite...most of the Rayado Trek Rangers and staff were college students and being in the eighties and post Viet nam era, I picked up on a lot of anti-military tone from the Rangers and staff.

What the program is like now, for all I know there might be some minor military connections to it or something, as the tone of the country regarding things military has totally changed since the eighties. The Rayado Trek is a National level BSA High Adventure program, not any sort of paramilitary or military sponsored program whatsoever.

Vlad