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Summer 2017 Letter from the Editor

My eldest daughter, who recently turned four, loves to play a make-believe game she calls Camping—it requires her to load up a backpack full of books, hike to her room, and then instruct whomever she roped into playing with her in the nuances of how to set up camp, from inflating the pads to building a fire for roasting marshmallows. It’s a fairly exhausting game for the grownup (much like the real thing, actually). But I love that she enjoys camping so much she’s turned it into one of her games.

Llamas allow me to get my kids into the great outdoors (I can’t even imagine what it would be like to backpack with two toddlers). Later this month, we’ll be attending the North American Packgoat Association’s Rendezvous in Lake City, Colorado to learn a little bit about another type of pack animal. Who knows, perhaps a family camping trip with a herd of goats will appear on the calendar next year.

In keeping with this year’s theme of the work it takes to keep our public lands, access points, and trails up and running, the summer issue’s cover story is about hard work happening on the Pacific Crest Trail. We also have another great article by Phil Romig about accessing public land and a story about trail types from Richard Galloway.

On the llama front, we have Bill Redwood’s second instalment of the story of his trip to Peru, as well as a piece by Marty McGee Bennett of CAMELIDynamics on the importance of a correctly fitting halter.

I am excited to announce an official expansion of the magazine to include other pack animals with the launch of Lawrence Robinson’s Goat Packing column. This addition anticipates the renaming of The Backcountry Llama magazine to something more inclusive, both of animals and of locales. Look for more details in the fall issue!

I’m on the hunt for a new columnist to take over the Minimum Impact column about applying leave no trace ethics to our trips. Bob Kennemer has become swamped with responsibilities that make him unable to continue writing the column, but the topic is too important to let drop. So if you’re interested in taking it on, please email me at alexa@thebackcountryllama.com.

For you locals, don’t forget the Packers’ Lunches, where we get together at Cafe 13 in downtown Golden to chat about packing. The summer lunch is on June 23rd, the fall lunch is on September 30, and the winter lunch is on January 5. Just drop me a line if you are interested in joining us.

The pack season is upon us—get out there and make the most of it!
Happy Trails,
Alexa Metrick, Editor