Yesterday I had a chance to attend Andrew's Gear Clinic and I took these photos of the event.
Sunrise Mountain Sports Livermore, CA.
It was a packed event where Andrew laid out his theory comparing Ultimate Hiker vs. the Ultimate Camper. There were a lot of humorous personal stories and slides to show examples between the two.
Starting the Slide Show
The slide show gave a nice mix of photos to illustrate his ideas as well as to clearly list resources and definitions of the techniques and ideas that he wanted to convey to us.
Hands on Time with Gear
The gear assembled was a mix of Andrew's personal gear that he had taken on his trips and what Sunrise Mountain Sports had to offer. The day before, when Andrew had given his presentation on his Alaska-Yukon Expedition, he had this same table filled with nothing but his own personal gear he had taken on the trip. This was great because you could touch and feel his choice of materials and gear that was proven on the trail.
PackRaft 5 lbs
The Most Important Piece of Equipment- You Brain and the Skills You have Mastered
The Humble Cat Food Tin Alcohol Stove Andrew had Taken on his Expedition
Evernew Ti Pot with Handles Removed
Andrew prefers simple meals that require plenty of hot water- Soup Like Meals. They provide not only food, but aid in re-hydrating and warming the body.
Recruiting the Audience to Help Setup a Mid Shelter
Andrew asked a number of audience members to help him illustrate the various light weight shelters options such as this Mid and a simple tarp that can provide plenty of coverage from the elements.
Q&A After the Formal Presentation
One of the nice aspects of the event was Andrew frequently inviting the audience to ask questions throughout the presentation. The negative aspect of this event was that there was so much material to cover in a relatively short time. Given Andrew's vast experience and fielding questions, he really needed twice the time to be able to coverage the main points of his ideas and give examples.
That said, it was very informative and dense for the novice to intermediate traditional backpacker. For more experienced and lightweight backpackers, I think that the value of this was to be able to talk to the man himself, to ask your own questions to him, to glean some insights on how to improve your own kit based on his experiences, to simply be inspired to better yourself by his example and his accomplishments.
Fielding Question at the Intermission with Debbie from BPL
Actually, one of the pleasant surprises was to see how many BPLers were in attendance. I was sure that saw at least 8 or more people who had attended the recent Gathering of Gear Geeks at Henry Coe State Park.
I was able to get two copies of his book at he event, which he autographed for me.
Really enjoyed both nights but between the two, I enjoyed the presentation on his Alaska-Yukon Expedition the most, because it had a more relaxed pace and was more intimate feel due to the mix of photos and videos taken on the trail.
Either way, I highly recommend your taking a little time out of your evening to attend his presentations. Great fun.