Adventures in Peru – What I Did for Thanksgiving Vacation

When I was a student, all the way through high school, I hated English class. I didn’t do well in spelling, grammar, speech or writing. I gave a speech once on why I shouldn’t have to give a speech (I think I got a “D” on it). I did like literature because I loved to read, but hated writing the book reports. If I had to give a speech I would give it in English, because I thought it would benefit me.

When I was in college, one of the few things I was good at was mountain climbing. For some reason, 1970’s horror movies didn’t do it for me. Give me William Boyd any day of the week. He was a mountaineer who became friends with my friend Steve. He introduced me to climbing when we were in college, and decided, “Look, I’m going to be climbing mountains. I’m not going to be a couch potato.” Mountains are awesome and Steve was inspire by them. He wanted to be like Mount Everest, so that was the goal that got me involved in climbing.

After college, I joined the Air Force, so I could be part of the Informationtechs Division, which was the branch of the military that did all the work that was needed for any computer games, movies or TV shows. They would give us a computer and we would spend time playing games on it. We would also go to a couple of rock climbing spots where they would give us a lecture and we would climb to see what we could do.

I loved all the little details of climbing, like the factors in the placement of gear. We would make a hole in the wall and then climb up the gear to see how much room we could get. They would give us pointers on how to use our sleeping bags, and how to pack for the trip. They were always amazed that we could fit so much gear in the confines of our 4 man tent.

I liked to pack light. When I was younger and flimsy, you could fit lots of stuff in a tight space. As you get older, it gets more difficult. I like to go as light as I can when I’m traveling. So a couple of years ago I bought a small backpack. It holds less stuff but is so convenient. I can carry it with the zipper on the outside and the day I want to take a hike I can pull it out and put my stuff in it. No matter where I go, I always bring at least 4L of water.

I also bought a small torch. It helps me get around camp more but it isn’t as powerful as a head torch. The best thing about a torch is that you can held it in different places. You can hang it from a tree branch, or wear it like a belt. I wear it strapped to my backpack.

Hat to wear in the sun


Blanket to keep you warm at night

Latex gloves

Benadryl (just in case you encounter some poison ivy)

Cotton balls

and the most important thing…


You never know what will happen on the trail. You could encounter a bear or something. With a contained fire you can make it so that you won’t be needing to reach into your pack to get a fire going. You can also use it to hang your food.

There is a lot to do when you’re hiking. But one thing I always enjoyed was cooking. Now I don’t have to worry about pitching my tent every time I want to cook. I have a small stove that I can hook up to the fuel regulator. All I have to do is fill it up with water and wait 3-4 minutes for it to boil. I also use it to melt snow.

Keep yourself hydrated. Eat water. Get plenty of protein. If you want to keep yourself and your gear warm, you need to keep yourself hydrated. Bring plenty of water with you. Stop drinking water before you head out. Keep yourself hydrated. Wear water socks. Wearing two pairs of socks is better than one. You can always take one pair off if you get too warm. Water alone will keep you warm, keep your gear clean and keep your energy up.

Focus on the trip ahead of you and on what you need to do to prepare for it.

Happy Hiking!