The Backpacking Technology blog is created and updated by Bob Shaver.


I started backpacking in 1967, when I was 17 years old.  I went hiking with a YMCA sponsored hiking group in Lancaster California.  We did an overnight trip each month, and several week long backpacks in the summer.  I did a lot of peak climbing in the Sierra in the late ’60s. At one time I figured I had climbed 200+ peaks including those in Idaho, California, and Washington.

When I went off to college I did a little rock climbing in Yosemite.  On one trip I took some old wooden Army skis and cut off about 1/2 inches off each side, make some aluminum brackets, and used straps to secure my boots to the skis.  With those skis I skied out to Glacier Point in Yosemite for a 3 day winter trip.

In the summer after my junior year of college (1971), I planned and led a 28 day hike of the John Muir Trail. We climbed 17 peaks along the way.  Lots of people hike the JMT faster, but I have not heard of anyone climbing that many peaks along the way.

After college I packed up my car and drove to Washington state.  The 3rd day in the state I climbed Mt Rainier solo as far as Camp Muir, where I found another single climber and we climbed it roped together as required by the rangers.  I climbed hundreds of peaks in Washington over the next 10 years or so.  In the first two years I was in Washington I would quit my job in Wenatchee and spent the summer hiking.  I’d hike for two weeks, then come home for cleanup, resupply and rest.

For a time I was on the nordic ski patrol at White Pass when I lived in Yakima, and later at Bogus Basin in Boise. I was associated with the Central Washington Mountain Rescue Group, and went on a few rescue missions with them.

I’ve been in Boise for 20 years.  In Boise I taught a backpacking class at Boise State U for 12 years, and a class in winter mountaineering and camping for 12 years also. I was a scout leader in my son’s boy scout troop.  He is an Eagle scout now, and our time in scouts was great.  I continue with our troop as a leader of backpacks.