I participated in a great event about lightweight backpacking for Scouting over the weekend in Austin, Texas, organized and hosted by Wood Badge Candidate Alan Graham of the Capitol Area Council. We had 65 attendees, including scouts, parents, and scoutmasters, who came to learn how to reduce the weight of their backpacking gear, introduce lightweight backpacking techniques to their troops, and prepare for going light at the famous Philmont High Adventure Scout Camp.
The day-long program consisted of talks and demos by scoutmasters and leaders from the Scouting community who have already made the transition to a lightweight backpacking and who recounted their experiences implementing the methodology with scouts and parents in their troops. I participated in a dual role, both as a BSA Venturing Crew member and a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador, speaking about about the Philosophy of Lightweight Backpacking and how to reduce the weight of The Big Three (shelter, sleep system, and backpack.)
- Alan Graham
- Keaton Graham
- Scoutmaster Sam Francis
- Assistant Scoutmaster Pat Rabun (Fort Worth)
- Senior District Executive Michael Hanley
- Grant Sible, President of Gossamer Gear
If you weren’t able to attend Saturday’s session, all the talks and gear demos were professionally videotaped and segments will be posted on YouTube in about 30 days.
At Alan Graham’s request, I’ve also posted all of the presentations that were given below so you can view them online, or download them, if you’d like to use them as a basis for developing your own introduction to lightweight backpacking for scouts or other hiking groups.
Special thanks to Austin-based Gossamer Gear, Evernew USA, Six Moon Designs, and Mountain Laurel Designs who also co-sponsored this event, and raffled off some very nice gear including backpacks, shelters, and bivy sacks to the seminar attendees.