Back in the day my hiking gear consisted of an old canvas knapsack. It had no frame, no padding, no waist belt, and was too small to hold what you needed.

I also had a walking stick — plucked from a random tree along the way.

My sleeping bag and tent were tied to the outside. I took a light jacket, poncho,  first aid kit, extra socks,  flashlight, rope,  compass,  knife, some matches, my journal and pencils, my canteen and three or four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Out the front door of our home I’d go, walking the quarter-mile east to the old logging road and disappear into the Redwood forest. I didn’t go far — didn’t have too — and I’d have my camp all set up by late afternoon and there I’d stay for a couple of days.

I had no idea how good I had it.

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