In Episode 42, we discuss a March 2017 article that appeared in Outside Magazine titled “The 40 Most Significant Tools & Toys Ever Designed”. In honor of the magazine's 40th anniversary, the editors choose 40 products that “stood out for their sheer inventiveness” and their general impact on the outdoor community.
Tonight we sit fireside on the South Carolina side of the Chattooga River and debate the merits of some items on the list. Our group rarely reaches a consensus on each product – which makes for an entertaining show and guarantees that we'll do a follow-up episode in the future to expand on the list.
So listen in and tell us what gear Outside missed. And while you are at it … enjoy the fire cracking in the foreground and the Chattooga River flowing in the background as we talk about the Most Significant Backcountry Gear Of All Time!
Subject: Most Significant Backcountry Gear Of All Time?
Interviewee: BeerRun, PokeyBo, Therm Rider
Interview Date: April 13, 2017
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I have a friend hiking the Appalachian Trail this year and his schedule (and some inclement weather) had him take a zero day in Gatlinburg, TN which gave us an opportunity to catch up with him last weekend. Here is the World Wide Wanderer (aka 3W) relaxing on the balcony of the LeConte View Motel.
He shared some photos and video from the Trail and detailed his first three weeks on the A.T. We absorbed it like a sponge, then offered to buy him dinner – a gesture that no thru-hiker would refuse (and he didn't).
Then we headed out to walk the streets of Gatlingburg. Any thru-hiker will tell you that the town is culture shock after hiking in the backcountry. Plus … there was a conference in town this weekend – which meant the streets were packed with people.
But the road was not. There was a 10K scheduled to start at 10pm, and the roads were nearly empty. So we headed to the balcony of a Mexican restaurant to watch the run. But then … the rains came
The storm did not bode well for the runners, and the race was eventually cancelled. And it did not bode well for the thru-hikers either. Many planned to take another zero day in town and wait out the storms. So our plan to hike with 3W on the A.T. was a bust. We called an audible, took a group pic, and resolved to drive Southeast in the morning (minus 3W).
Oddly, the Chattooga River near Mountain Rest, S.C. had avoided most of the storms and it was sunny when we arrived – just as the weatherman predicted.
So we shouldered our packs and hit the Chattooga River Trail – hiking upstream and northbound to a campsite that the Camel and I last visited in 2001.
After backpacking two hours, we found a nice site on the river. It wasn't the one we were shooting for, but was worthy enough. Unfortunately, I didn't have my fishing pole because there is some great water here for trout.
But the rains that plagued the thru-hikers in the Smokies did eventually find us. The storm started at 9pm and continued through the afternoon on Sunday. Good thing we had the Kelty tarp pitched tonight to give us a place to hang out.
Yet we salvaged the trip and had a chance to serve some Trail Magic to a buddy in the process. So a successful venture in my book. Go 3W Go! Here he is at Amicalola Falls State Park to start his thru-hike on March 26th.