One key, he said, was that he never cooked anything. When on the trail, he ate bread, cheese, peanut butter, granola bars and candy bars. For variety, he visited every restaurant he could get to.
Hot meals are nice, but this time I’m forsaking the alcohol stove, the wind screen, the alcohol, the fuel bottle, the cooking pots, the freeze-dried dinners, the soup mix and the heavy packets of hot chocolate. My pack will weigh less, and there will be no fire to make, no pots to wash and no slimy, soapy water to dispose of.
I’ll still sleep in my nylon hammock, but the sleeping bag will stay at home. By taking a little fleece blanket, I’ll trim 3 pounds. Kentucky in May is warm, anyway.
My sturdy aluminum canteens will be replaced by disposable, ultra light plastic Coke bottles.
A few “extras” will stay with me: a little transistor radio and ear buds for late-night entertainment; an aluminum hiking staff for extra stability on rocks; and an ice pick for slaying rabid Kentuckians.
I’m taking clean clothes too. I’d hate to gross out Ruthie … or the bears.
Danville native Kevin Cullen is a former Commercial-News reporter. Reach him at email@example.com