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Backpacker Magazine – May 2013

First Night Out: Year of the Reader

Three readers who hit the trail for the first time (newbies!) in 2013 as part of our Year of the Reader celebration.

by: Sarah L. Stewart and Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Yolanda Irizarry, New York, NY
Yolanda Irizarry, New York, NY
Jonathon & Erin Runcan, Lancaster, OH
Jonathon & Erin Runcan, Lancaster, OH
Logan Condron, Parsonburg, MD
Logan Condron, Parsonburg, MD

Jonathon & Erin Runcan, Lancaster, OH

The trip Wildcat Hollow Trail, Wayne National Forest, OH, October 2012. This figure-eight trail through pine forest and over rocky ridges offers two options: a 5-mile and a 15-mile loop. “We wanted to do the shorter version, but we missed the junction and ended up on the longer one,” says Jonathon, 31. “With darkness quickly approaching and no campsite to be found, we made the best of it and camped in a grove on a 25-degree incline. The morning was great, though!” The gear Both of the Runcans grew up camping with the scouts, but hadn’t spent a weekend in the wilderness for years. Erin, 30, bought new gear, but the couple made do with Jonathon’s old, 8-pound tent, which “wasn’t as waterproof as it was 16 years ago.” What I learned “Don’t leave home without topo maps and the chops to use them. I have a merit badge on my Boy Scout sash that says I’m supposed to know what I’m doing, but that’s apparently totally false.” Next time The Runcans stayed on track last March on their second trip, in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge.




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