Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Howdy, I'm Phil, and haven't had a hike for 14 days.

I was raised by wolves in the Big Bend of the Rio Grande River in South West Texas.

Oops, sorry, blacked out there for a second.







Let's see....


  • From Dallas, Texas, now living in Hampton, VA
  • Started camping at a very early age, in my parents back yard, under the stars.
  • First real backpacking trip on my own: 1971 Big Bend National Park
  • Latest backpacking trip: 28 Feb 2020
  • Graduated from Texas A&M University.
  • Favorite backpacking places, 3 way tie, Sierras, Bridger Wilderness, Grand Canyon.
  • I love taking groups into the forests and mountains.  My cathedral.
  • I have been taking groups of friends backpacking for about 30 yrs.  Prefer company around the campfire, don't do much solo, however many of my companions seem to be 'aging out' of my adventures (which are pretty lame anyway), and solo hikes might be in my future.
  • I'm a slow walker and usually fall behind, but that's because I love to take a lot of photos and video.  My trail names was Drag'n (get it?), but my group turned on me in the Bridger Wilderness and gave me the new trail name of "Chief".
  • My life mantra is to not rush through the outdoors, take my time, soak it up. Any trip might be the last.
  • I no longer like to hike in the rain and cancel hikes if the weather forecast calls for more than 50% chance of precip.
  • Pet peeve: trail runners who try to force the trail, those that think everyone wants to listen to their music, and those that litter in the back-country (or anywhere for that matter).
  • I ran a meetup group for about 8yrs here in VA, "Obsessive Compulsive Backpackers", but after time, fewer and fewer folks were posting trips, so I closed it.  But OCB continues on as a FB page.
  • I am a retired US Army Officer and retired engineer.
  • I lived in Germany for 15yrs (3 tours), and was heavily into mountaineering...and lots of stealth backpacking.  I do wish I had a digital camera in those days.
  • I am married and have 3 kids that I know of (wink).

The end.  Signed copies can be found as you exit through the gift shop.




REI Member Since 1979
short backpacking trip, cut short due to high winds
5 Replies

Thanks for the intro! Of your three favorite places Sierras, Bridger Wilderness, and the Grand Canyon which would you recommend visiting first? I haven't been to any of them, although my wife spent a summer working at the grand canyon and has some amazing stories so that might be our first.

Also: based on my math if your last trip was the 28th of February then you haven't had a hike in 11 days... 🙂

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi John, If you're going to be in Washington, I would say the Sierras make more sense. The parks from Yosemite and southward require entry permits from, each trail head has a quota.

I'll be happy to walk you through the process.

In Bridger Wilderness, no permit required, you can decide where you want to camp and stay as long as you wish.  Wyoming fishing permit recommended.

All of them will blow you socks off!

REI Member Since 1979

@Philreedshikes Thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to reach out when the plans come together! I've got a 'baby' (turned 32 yesterday) brother who lives in LA so a trip to California is on the radar already, probably not until next year but maybe this fall. I'll keep you posted. Thanks! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Philreedshikes thanks so much for the intro! And for joining our community! And for helping others with answers!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Ah, Dallas! I misspent a large bit of my youth there.  Happiness was Dallas in my rear view mirror as I headed west....

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.