When I was eight years old, my father became interested in hiking (“backpacking”), and enrolled the family in a seminar hosted by the Sierra Club. Over the many weeks that followed, we learned about the virtues of traveling light in the backcountry.
The seminar was based on the Ten Essentials as espoused by the Mountaineers. A whistle was added to the list as the “Eleventh Essential”.
Soon afterwards, our family put what we learned into practice. We acquired the gear and undertook a number of family hiking adventures. I still have my father’s vintage Kelty pack, Svea 123 stove, and original Sierra Cup from that era.
This early outdoor education influenced my life, and helped shape my education, recreation, and career choices.