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.

Hiking With Fire Extinguisher

The fire extinguisher rubbed my pack a lot. It was a bad idea.

Hiking With Fire Extinguisher
Last night I weighed a bunch of stuff and figured the skin-out weight for the November GA thru-hike is 34-35lb - pack, what I’m wearing, food, water, all of it. Today I was having trouble figuring out what to put in my pack to weight it down that much, so I grabbed the fire extinguisher from the garage and threw it in my pack. That brought my list of ridiculous pack items from including camp chair, full bag of baby wipes, 24 pack of AA batteries, 6 pack of D batteries, up quite a lot. [Read More]

Kids Tried Pack

Kids Tried Pack
I took the kids to get their “Get Outdoors Georgia” and Junior Ranger patches at Amicalola Falls. The GA state parks are each supposed to get their own Junior Ranger program and phase out the current one. I asked the lady at the Amicalola visitor station if I could get a patch, too, but she denied me. I was even wearing my Canyon Climbers Club shirt (100% heavyweight cotton)! My pack was 26. [Read More]

Trail Naming Ettiquite

I forgot a major event on my AT approach hike! Several hikers stopped me to ask questions or for directions. It was interesting since nobody ever did such things when I hike that section without a pack. Hiker guys have a good reputation for friendliness, I guess? For one of the encounters, I don’t even remember the topic of the exchange - directions, what are you doing, where did you start, something like that. [Read More]

Started the AT approach trail

I think my biggest struggle today was not the 866ft ascent of the Amicalola Falls approach trail, but the fact that I have to summarize the day with only a single photo on the trailjournals.com blog. Picking a high point turned literal and I picked the highest point in altitude I reached on the AT approach trail before bailing out back to the car to go back to work. I’ve done the Amicalola Falls AT approach trail several times with my family between the visitor center at the entrance to the lodge at the top of the park. [Read More]

Ongoing Gear Indecision

Ongoing Gear Indecision
In the past month, I’ve tried on, walked in, and returned (or re-sold) a ton of different clothes and shoes - traditional and decidedly not traditional. Today, I did another shakedown hike, but with the kids this time. I returned the size 10 Altra Lone Peak 3.5s under REIs super generous return policy; thanks to my last shakedown hike, I know that my feet were swimming in those. I was surprised since “The Internet” seems to think you should wear Lone Peaks much larger than your normal size. [Read More]

Flat Tire Hike

Two days ago I took my bike out to Charleston Park to get a workout on the trails. It helps my knee from getting lose and arthritic. Only 0.8 into the 5 mile ride, I hit a tree root, almost tossed myself off the front of the bike, my chain popped off the front, and then I heard a loud hissing noise, as if someone had slashed a car tire. I didn’t get hurt, but I had the walk of shame back to the parking lot with my flat tire rubbing all over the frame and gear components. [Read More]

If not now, then when?

My wife and I have a tradition that we get to dictate the schedule for the week of our birthday and the other doesn’t complain, so I had tentatively inserted a week of vacation into my calendar for Fall, next year 2019, for a thru-hike of the GA section of the AT during the week of my birthday. Then she got talking to one of her American Heritage Girls moms about her overnight section hike. [Read More]

Cycling Merit Badge off road

Cycling Merit Badge off road
On trails approved by your counselor, take two rides of 2 miles each, two rides of 5 miles each, and two rides of 8 miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates for the routes traveled, and interesting things seen. After fulfilling the previous requirement, lay out on a trail map a 22-mile trip. You may include multiple trail systems, if needed. Stay away from main highways. [Read More]

Cycling Merit Badge on road

Cycling Merit Badge on road
Avoiding main highways, take two rides of 10 miles each, two rides of 15 miles each, and two rides of 25 miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates for the routes traveled, and interesting things seen. Lay out on a road map a 50-mile trip. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in eight hours. OR Participate in an organized bike tour of at least 50 miles. [Read More]

Cub Safe Camping

Cub Safe Camping
When planning your next Cub Scout camp event, check with your local council for a list of approved campsites. Some adults may remember camping in all sorts of neat places as a Boy Scout, but Cub Scouting has a specific safety list for young children. Note that in Northeast Georgia, some state parks are explicitly not approved for overnight camping with Cub Scouts. Cloudland Canyon State Park Providence Canyon State Park Tallulah Gorge State Park At least one adult on a pack overnighter must have completed Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) to properly understand the importance of youth protection guidelines, health and safety, site selection, and age-appropriate activities. [Read More]