Bob Laney

  • 05/15/1974

    Linville Gorge Bewilderment

    The weekend before my graduation from Wake Forest University, I went backpacking in Linville Gorge. Along for the trip was yours truly Bob Laney, my sister Ann Laney, my good friend from high school Mark Boone and another good friend from NC State Billy Gardner.

  • 07/15/1969

    Shenandoah River Scouting

    The summer between my junior and senior year in high school, I joined a Boy Scout sponsored 70 mile canoe trip on the Shenandoah River near Luray, Front Royal and Harpers Ferry, Virginia. I was the only member from my Explorer Post to go, so in order to have a canoeing partner, I recruited my Boy Scout younger brother Frank Laney. We went with a half dozen other Raleigh area troops for a District organized High Adventure. To give us proper adult leadership, Frank and I were attached to another troop lead by a kindly older gentleman named Rudy who had immigrated to the US from Austria.

  • 05/04/2016

    DeLorme inReach SE

    DeLorme is a GPS (global positioning system) equipment manufacturer in Maine. Their products are usually regarded as the best on the market, and often win the Backpacker Magazine best gear of the year award. They currently have three overlapping and somewhat confusing products available.

  • 05/04/2016

    MSR Guardian Purifier

    The well known outdoor gear manufacturer Mountain Safety Research has developed a newer, better pump water filter. It is the Guardian Purifier. This equipment garnered the 2016 Backpacker Magazine gear of the year award.

  • 01/15/2011

    Scuba Buoyancy Control

    Before you make a first dive with new gear, try to find a way to get in the same kind of water (salt or fresh), wearing your dive suit & all your gear, and adjust your weights to the least amount possible. If you are wearing an exposure suit with no neoprene, and are skinny with little natural flotation, it may be as little as 6 pounds ' which is the buoyancy your air tank will add when empty at the end of the dive. Even with a full neoprene suit and endomorphic body [how is that for a polite way to avoid saying 'fat'!], more than 18 pounds of lead should be suspiciously heavy and re-calibrated.

  • 01/14/2011


    Humans evolved over a half-million years with body chemistry that produces breast milk for babies that is far superior to any nutrient that can be made in a factory. Mother's milk not only provides food and drink, it is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, antibiotics, enzymes and all kinds of other requisites for a baby's growth and health. Of course, the same thing applies to all mammals.

  • 01/13/2011

    Schoeller fabric

    I like my products as natural as possible. That is why I have advocated down over Polarguard sleeping bags, leather over nylon boots and fires over gas stoves for years. So it is with some chagrin that I report the greatest development I have found in outdoor clothing since Gore-tex. Schoeller fabric is the way to go. It is most often seen in mid-weight pants. But it has recently been cropping up in gloves, hats and coats.

  • 07/15/2010

    Water Sources and Treatment in the Back Country

    A recent Backpacker magazine article about research by Wilderness and Environmental Medicine in many national parks was enlightening. It studied outdoor water sources and back country illnesses.

  • 04/05/2010


    How do we stay motivated in the face of adversity? When the trip is going poorly, you are way too hot, or cold, or exhausted, or half-way lost, or scared, how do you keep a strong outlook and good attitude? Think of your position as having three components.

  • 04/05/2010

    Healthy Appetite

    The healthiest creatures are those with the biggest appetites. A person who runs marathons will have twice the capacity to consume calories and not gain weight than a couch potato. Satisfying yourself and doing what you please not in a selfish way or to the detriment of others, but keeping your own physical, mental and emotional needs in mind makes you a happier person and more fun for other people to be around.