Our Hiking Equipment the Ray Way
by James Gibling
Our Hiking Equipment, the Ray Way!For wisdom to pass from one to another, The realizations of ones mistakes is key to fuel the effort of an individual to seek change. On one wintery backpacking trip half way across a steep icy shoot, I definitely had one of those realizations and it went something like, “Oh dang!!! If I slip, this could be it!” It was a slow haul across the shoot but I did make it across, but metaphorically making it across was a first step into appreciating another wisdom.
"The beauty of Ray and Jenny is in their efforts to help arm people with the mindset to safely turn their dreams into reality."At a local climbing store, rethinking my approach to hiking, a bright colored book titled the "PCT Hiker’s Handbook" caught my attention and I happened to open right to a page titled “Brain Lock”. It’s when your body freezes up due to the realization that a mistake (like a slip on an icy shoot) could mean tragedy. Ya, you guessed it, what Ray described was exactly what I was experiencing. Needless to say I studied the book diligently, and Ray’s lightweight approach to backcountry travel really connected with me on several levels. After hiking over 30,000 miles himself, he engineered out many of the hidden dangers of traditional backpacking (not exactly emphasized in the glossy magazine adds) all without compromising safety. His methods revolved around understanding the real dangers in the backcountry, appropriately lightening up your equipment while all along emphasizing skill, knowledge, and awareness rather than a dependence on equipment. But in the end, the equipment is a trivial matter. The beauty of Ray and Jenny is in their efforts to help arm people with the mindset to safely turn their dreams into reality no matter what type of gear you are carrying! I have introduced my wife to Ray’s Ways and it has opened up a new avenue for her to join me on backpacking trips. I even had my friend Roy (also an engineer) whom never backpacked in his life, join me on my 06′ PCT Hike and he accomplished an astonishing 100 miles in just 4 days using Ray’s ideas!! If you get a chance, check out their website RayJardine.com. They sell kits that help you get started in making quality lightweight equipment at a very modest price. They also include an online journal of all their AMAZING adventures. And I mean AMAZING! Like sailing around the world, skiing to the south pole, rowing across the Atlantic, to name just a few… that’s right I said ROWING across the Atlantic. I promise their energy is contagious and to continue what they started, I added a photo slideshow of our some of our adventures using homemade gear via Ray-Way kits. Thanks Ray and Jenny. James Gibling
June 20, 2013
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