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To my cherished print subscribers,
So I don't like making excuses, but I was going to blame the tardiness of the spring issue on my six-month-old daughter who has refused to sleep for the last several months. But my inability to get this issue to the printer has just been compounded by the fact that the printer made a mistake and didn't print the magazine in color, so another week has been added to the delay.
I apologize for this and will work hard to get the summer issue out on time. In the meantime, however, I am emailing a digital copy of the spring issue to all my print subscribers to hold them over until the print one (finally) arrives. If you did not receive an email from me with the spring issue attached, it means I don’t have your email address--please let me know at alexa@thebackcountryllama.com.
Hope you all have a great spring!
Happy Trails,

Spring 2016 Letter from the Editor

Last year, the feature stories in the BCL focused on different pack animals; this year the focus is on different backcountry user groups: the retiree, the disabled, families with infants and small children, and families with teenagers. We’re kicking the year off with advice from Diane Spicer, author of the Hiking for Her website, about how to get the most out of hiking during your golden years.

Bob Kennemer, who has worked as a professional naturalist and guide in Colorado for more than 35 years, submitted a gear tip that parallels well with our feature story. He says, “A hiking staff is a great backcountry tool, but trekking poles do everything a hiking staff does and more. Trekking poles provide a better overall body workout, as one uses their arms and chest more. One can feel and even see the difference after some use. Trekking poles have also been shown to reduce wear and tear on knees and ankles and can reduce back pain.”

This issue has stories from a few other new voices, as well: John Fant describes his experience of becoming a PLTA Trail Certifier and Annie Nelson tells us about the llama seminars she teaches at Eastern New Mexico University.The issue is rounded out by Shirley’s poisonous plant article on Veratrum, or what we always called skunk cabbage, and the PLTA update from Lisa Wolf. My family has five camping trips scheduled for this summer and so, since I am completely inept in the kitchen, I found this issue’s story from the archives (Cookless Camping) to be particularly relevant.

Enjoy your backcountry season, and feel free to send along photos, tips, and stories to the BCL blog, Facebook page or via email!

Happy Trails,
Alexa Metrick