About David

My day job title is DevOps Engineer with Ciox Health where I help modernize health information management applications. I also lead various BSA activities as a Cub Scout den leader and roundtable commissioner.

The Two - Approved

My wife knows my knee is sort of a mess, even on its best days. On her own, she found the Gossamer Gear “The Two” tent, saw the price, and still gave me the thumbs-up to buy it when/if it ever comes back in stock. 2.75lb saved! I tested to see if a cuben fiber tent would also be an option and the price point resulted in a decidedly negative frown. [Read More]

Scout Lock-in Checklist

Book a venue Schedule a District Executive to attend Publish an event on the Council/District website Note that Lion and Tiger parents have to stay the whole night List things that Scouts need to bring Sleeping mat Sleeping bag or blanket Pillow Medicine - if needed, have the parent stay Create a signup and payment form for pre-registration Let the early bird registration fee go up one day after advertised to minimize drama for people who forgot to do it on time Create an event on Facebook Advertise at Roundtable Coordinate with District Committee events chair Get two copies of a G-rated movie (girls’ and boys’ sleeping rooms). [Read More]

Prepping for two

My tent that actually fits just two people is 4.75lb with the newest in tent technology (from 1995) - the original Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight. I emptied the contents of the tent bag tonight and cut off all the labels, swapped the original aluminum stakes for titanium, and traded the polyester guyline ropes for dyneema of half the diameter. Before all that it was 5lb even. My wife is not yet comfortable with my son and I each having our own hammock in the wilderness. [Read More]

Gear that's working

Gear that's working
When I was a young Boy Scout, ~13 years old, I went with my dad to some sort of adult scouting event where they handed-out grab bag items to thank people for attending. My dad won an REI carabiner, which he gave to me. I’ve been carrying the silly thing around since and it has served me for many different needs. The old carabiner got me thinking about things which I like so much, I would take it on a section or an overnight hike without a second thought. [Read More]

AHG hiking badge day

Destination: Unicoi Gap Today's Miles: 4.20 Start Location: Tray Gap

AHG hiking badge day
Yesterday I asked my son, “what do you think you’re going to eat for dinner when we do an overnight hike on the Appalachian Trail?” “Hot dogs, of course, Dad! And marshmallows over the fire.” My wife and I laughed and then I proceeded to pack for the hike we took today. Honestly, though, we’re not thru-hiking and we’re probably just doing one night at a time. If we plan for a shelter with a bear box, having hot dogs for dinner may not be impossible. [Read More]

Rules for Hiking (with me)

I can’t (yet) brand myself with the prestige of “AT thru-hiker,” but I have developed a set of rules for hiking. Over time, I imagine these evolving into a help sheet for scouts before they attempting something like the Backpacking merit badge. Rule #1: No Cotton By no cotton, I mean anywhere for anything. Check your underwear, your socks, your shirt, hat, jacket. No cotton blends, either. NO cotton. [Read More]

Shaking Down at Sawnee

Shaking Down at Sawnee
I dragged my kids almost 4 miles around Sawnee Mountain today. My pack was loaded to about 11lb, which was pleasantly manageable. I was mostly testing to see how well my knee is doing now that I’ve started rolling various things connected to my IT band. The entertainment for today were all the people that tried to skirt around the little streams of rain run-off passing along, through, or down the trail. [Read More]

Fixing my knee for 2019

Fixing my knee for 2019
People make resolutions to lose weight, sleep more, spend more time with their family, etc. My knee is something I have to fix. Limiting my AT sections to 10 miles, then taking 6 weeks off to recover is not a workable plan. I’m fairly confident it’s an IT band problem now and that there’s greater than zero hope of resuming overnight hikes. I got a foam roller for Christmas as one of my best hopes of a resolution. [Read More]

Clothing choice of the retired

Clothing choice of the retired
At the overlook for Cowrock Mountain, I met a lady who was doing AT section hikes in her retirement, chatting with people about where they were from, and doing a bit of mini trail magic by offering to take photos of couples at the overlook. I got caught up in talking to her and left the overlook without a photo. Much of what I took away from talking with her was her choice of wardrobe, which I hold in higher regard since she has roughly twice my life experience. [Read More]

#OptOutside 2018, cold, then hot, really cold, round and round

Destination: Hogpen Gap Today's Miles: 8.32 Start Location: Byron Reece Memorial Trail parking

#OptOutside 2018, cold, then hot, really cold, round and round
The best photos are really not staged. I got some staged photos today, which were good, but I’m still not ready to put my kids’ faces on the Internet. At the best photo spot of the day, we met Ben and Abby from Orlando. Ben had already taken his 10 year old son “Dash” from Amicalola to Hogpen Gap and his 13 year old daughter wanted to go, too. Ben is a den leader for a pack 242 in Orlando and we had pleasant conversation for about half the trail. [Read More]