Got Ruck?

How many of you out there enjoy rucking for exercise? I’m hoping it’s not just the former military guys that do it. Check out this article about me that just came out recently. I hope it will stoke your fires!

Hiking the Hump-DWP-001

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

PS…This article makes my baby girl’s first appearance in the media!

Cracking Open My First Cairn Box

I love the recent trend in membership subscription boxes. If you’re not familiar with them, basically, you sign up for a subscription for a company of your choice, and they send you a box full of goodies each month. Prices vary, but you get more in value than what the box costs. They’re out there for just about any affinity group you can think of including geeks, gamers, martial artists, sex fetishists, and outdoor aficionados.

For over a year I subscribed to the one from Lootcrate. It was pretty cool and always had lots of neat stuff for geeks and nerds involved in sci-fi, zombies, comics, games, and more. It was a great monetary value as well because I’d keep some, give some to my kids, save some for gifts, and sell some.

I really enjoyed the Lootcrate boxes, but I decided to shift that money over to a box that I thought would actually be more useful. Our family, including 4 kids, are always in the outdoors and we also fancy ourselves to be amateur preppers after living in hurricane prone areas for several decades.


I just signed up for the outdoor recreation box from Cairn and received my first box this week. I’d checked out their previous boxes and it looked pretty cool. My first box did not disappoint either, as I found some items that immediately went into my backpack or my mouth.


Here’s the rundown on the September box…

  • BlackStrap Daily Tube. It’s a stretchy, breathable, quick-drying fabric tube that works as a scarf, balaclava, and more. I like it because it offers UPF 50+ and will make a great quick head covering for me if I forget my hat.
  • Epiphany Outdoor Gear V3 Pocket Bellows. This is a tiny fire bellows that will be great for helping start that stubborn fire. This is a keeper for my fire starting kit.
  • Skout Organic Black Pepper BBQ Raw Pumpkin Seeds. I already ate these! Nom nom nom…
  • Whiskey Run Butter Stick Lip Balm. With 4 kids we go through lip balm quick in the outdoors, so this will come in handy. Honestly, I think my 3yo is eating the stuff.
  • UST Brands Compass Carabiner. This got clipped onto my Get Home Bag right away. Great for grid down navigation.
  • Mike Putnam Photography Greeting Card. It’s a beautiful pic, and I’m sure one of my good friends will be receiving this in the mail at some point.

Overall, I was very pleased with the box and it was immediately useful.

If you’d like to check them out, you can find Cairn right HERE. If you do sign up, please use me as your referral. When prompted, just enter my name “Dr. David Powers” and e-mail “” as the referral person.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

Youngest Person to Summit a US Highpoint

My youngest boy who is now the youngest person to summit a United States highpoint at the tender age of 19 days old. The previous record was held by William James Dean at 20 days old and was set in 2008. My son Gideon Eleazar Powers was only 19 days old when we had him on the summit of Sassafras Mountain on Wednesday April 6th.
I’m pretty sure this record isn’t broken more often because not many parents are as crazy and adventurous as we are. We would’ve tried to set it sooner but just couldn’t fit the trip into our schedule earlier.  I’ll be perfectly honest. He didn’t walk up the mountain, but that’s within the rules. He was perfectly happy to pose with our summit flag though.
I’m a member and the South Carolina representative of The Highpointers Club. It’s a club that exists to promote the 50 state highpoints, ensure access to each, and help people reach the summits. The highpoints range from the highest, Denali in Alaska at 20,320′, to the lowest in Florida at 345′. Sassafras Mountain in the Palmetto state is listed at 3560′ and is in the lower half of the summits. The highpointing records are maintained by The Highpointers Club and are updated each year in their annual Highpointers Club Directory.
For years now I’ve been working with various groups and government agencies to improve access and amenities at Sassafras Mountain. We’ve made a lot of improvements at the summit, including new signage and an overlook that was built by the Department of Natural Resources.

Recommended Reading…

Highpoints of the United States: A Guide to the Fifty State Summits"".

Seven Summits"".

Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills: 50th Anniversary"".

My Name in Lights

For a long time I’ve neglected one of the most fundamental aspects of marketing my business and my services. A large aspect of my professional life is public speaking- doing lectures, seminars, training, etc. I needed a commercial that succinctly explained what exactly I do. Finally, after a couple of meetings with my good friend Michelle Sutton, a marketing maestro, she convinced me to do a commercial and helped me script it. Then Brent Justice of Motionworks Multimedia helped me refine the script and set up the shoot. Brent was absolutely incredible during the process of filming, scouting locations, and the final editing and tech work. The whole being in front of the camera thing made me incredibly nervous, but Brent was great. He not only made me feel completely comfortable on screen, but he made me smile and feel good about it as well. Now that’s a big score for a perpetual pessimist like myself.

Some of the video was filmed in my living room and other parts on location in Murrells Inlet. Brent showed up at my front door with the whole setup from lights, camera, and mike. He even had an iPad with a prompter app on it for me to read from.

Maybe a commercial is in the future for you. I avoided making one for years but the finished product has already helped me with some of my marketing. I’d highly recommend using professionals for the job though. It’s worth the money.

Book Review- Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis

I just finished reading my advance copy of Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis. In case you didn’t catch it, I profiled Davis in South Carolina Woman a couple of years ago. It was shortly after I attended a class with her at Warren Doyle’s Appalachian Trail Institute in Banner Elk, NC. I’ll post the old profile on the blog along with the digital version of this article if you’d like to read it.

As a past graduate she wasn’t attending the class. She was there more as a celebrity guest. Imagine a room full of Appalachian Trail neophytes, none of whom had through-hiked the entire trail, listening to a trail superstar. She had already thru-hiked the trail once and then gone back to set the women’s speed record. She’s done even more impressive long-distance feats since then, including the 272-mile Long Trail in Vermont where she set another speed record; the 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, considered to be longer and tougher than the Appalachian Trail; and the 1000-kilometer Bibbulman Track in Australia. Oh, and yeah, she also runs 50 mile ultra marathons for fun.

In my own coaching business I constantly preach that people should pair their passions with their work. Why go to a job all day everyday that you hate and miss out on doing what you love? It’s not always easy, but it’s so worth it to wake up every day looking forward to life. Davis lives this philosophy. She talks about it in her book, having spent some time trapped inside a building behind a desk when she’d much rather be outside with a 40-pound pack on her back. Aside from spending as much time as much as possible outdoors she also started a company named Blue Ridge Hiking Company where she helps others achieve their dreams.

Her first book, Becoming Odyssa, gains its title from her trail name. As a classics major in college, she likened her journey on the trail to that of Odysseus and related many of the events on her first thru-hike to that nearly endless voyage.

A thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail is a big item on my bucket list, so I read every Appalachian Trail book I can get my hands on. As I said when I e-mailed Jennifer after reading this one, this is the best AT book I have ever read. Most of the AT books read like poorly written diaries where you never really get to know the hiker and feel the experiences through their eyes. This one is just the opposite. Jennifer is the kind of person that you can automatically connect with. Having met Jennifer only one time in person and talked to her many times by phone or e-mail, I already felt like I knew her. After reading this book, I feel as if I’ve known her as a great friend all my life. She just opens up so much of her feelings, emotions, and thoughts and reveals everything to the reader. I’m sure it took an incredible amount of courage to do that, but it’s that effort that makes the book resonate so well. While reading this book I had so many laugh out loud moments that my kids were constantly asking, “What’s she doing now?”

It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, skinny or fat, outdoorsman or couch potato, if you’ve ever thought about doing a long-distance hike, then read Davis’ book. I would rate this book as more essential to the mental preparation for a long-distance hike than anything else you could do. After you read her book, go check out the Appalachian Trail Institute and spend some time with Warren Doyle. Then and only then would you be a step closer to ready for the trail.

Backpacker Magazine’s Best Trail Coffee Ever

The annual Editor’s Choice Awards came out in this month’s Backpacker magazine. Always a great issue.

There are just too many choices out there in outdoor gear to waste money on bad decisions. The importance of having great quality trail gear is that the wrong gear can not only ruin a trip, but endanger your life.

When I climb high mountains I’m certainly not wearing the cheapest stuff available from the local mega-whatever-mart. I’ve been on some trips wearing thousands of dollars in clothing. Not only am I staying safe, but I’m setting a good example.

In one of my other ventures I am known as the South Carolina Trail Czar due to my extensive experience with SC trails. Because of that, people (especially novice hikers) will often ask me about trail gear. As a shameless plug for them, I like to shop at Sunrift in Travelers Rest, SC.

With that said, lets see what Backpacker had to say about coffee in this issue.

Starbucks Via won the award for “The best instant coffee. Ever.” No matter what you think about the giant mermaid coffee company, you gotta admit that the Via works on the trail.

Unless you’re willing to carry your own grinder and fresh beans, there’s no better way to go. If you don’t agree, try it out on your next backwoods trip.