Affiliation: BSA – National Eagle Scout Association
Occupation: Eagle Scout
Location: United States
Joined ExpertVoice: 2022
This month, we connected with Carson McCann, an expert whose experience in the Boy Scouts of America and being an Eagle Scout has led him to seek out some pretty amazing adventures. He shares these wild experiences with us, the products that make these trips successful, great advice and more.
Where are you from?
“I am from Nashville, Tennessee!”
Can you tell me more about your experiences completing six High Adventure treks?
“I’ve had the opportunity to do Boundary Waters, Okpik, Sea Base, and then Philmont three separate times. Boundary Waters and Okpik are both in Minnesota, but one is during the summer and one is in winter. The summer one entails canoeing around the beautiful Minnesotan/Canadian lakes ecosystem and portaging across small land bridges between lakes. For Okpik, it is a snow and ice wonderland, as you pull sleds across frozen lakes and sleep in Quinzhees or under the stars!
Sea Base is usually in Florida, but my troop journeyed to the Bahamas and chartered a sailboat for this adventure! We sailed around and visited islands and coral reefs, snorkeling wherever we could. We also toured Hope Town and ate delicious authentic Bahamian food.
Philmont is considered by many the peak of BSA’s (Boy Scouts of America) High Adventure trips. I enjoy it so deeply I actually worked there as a Ranger this last summer. Philmont is about 140,000 acres of Rocky Mountain wilderness in Northern New Mexico. Regular crews go on 7-12 day backpacking trips as they explore either the South or North country and get a sneak peek into the wild western history which occurred on that property 100 to 200 years ago. There are also Special Treks, such as Rayado or Cavalcade, which lend a unique and often more challenging experience for those who dare sign up for them.”
What is your favorite adventure and what aspects made it your favorite?
“My favorite adventure was leading a Rayado Special Trek this summer as a Ranger at Philmont. It’s a 20-day backpacking trek, considered by many the hardest adventure in BSA and the youth participants are strangers to each other. As Rangers, my partner and I crafted the whole trek ourselves, got to lead multiple boys on this challenge of a lifetime and did our best to demonstrate what it is to be a Leader. Accomplishing almost 200 miles and tens of thousands of feet of elevation, this trek pushes all to their limits but elevates what everyone thinks they can finish.”
Which products did you bring with you on your High Adventure treks?
“I love my Outdoor Research Helium Puffy. It is basically my only warm outer layer, and it stuffs into its pocket to act as my pillow at night. I use my Gregory Zulu 65L backpack with the 3L Gregory water bladder and they are perfect for every trip. I use a Black Diamond headlamp at night; people compliment me on how powerful it is; and my favorite clothes are Cotopaxi – it’s nice to look good even in the woods! My boots are the La Sportiva Ultra Raptors; I have literally never had problems with their waterproofing and they’re crazy light and durable – key for backpacking.”
How do you feel being an Eagle Scout has impacted your outdoor adventures and encouraged others to get outdoors?
“BSA and being an Eagle Scout really opened the doors to the outdoors for me. Being able to grow up going on adventures in a safe environment where it’s okay to make mistakes is imperative for younger kids trying to learn how to camp/hike/backpack effectively. The confidence in myself and my skills translates directly into my effectiveness as a backpacker and as a leader. That enables me to have meaningful and engaging conversations to get others outside too!”
Do you have any other big trips planned for the future?
“I have my heart set on hiking the Appalachian Trail and/or the El Camino trail in the nearby future!”
Do you have any advice for others looking to be an Eagle Scout and begin adventuring?
“I would say jump right in and commit. Don’t stay comfortable where you are; rather, continually push yourself to grow past where it’s easy and one day you’ll look back and say ‘wow, look how far I’ve come.'”
Are you interested in joining a community of experts that are passionate about the same hobbies and interests as you? If you would like to lend your expertise to the ExpertVoice community and want access to hundreds of brand discounts, visit www.ExpertVoice.com to learn how to join. If you’re already on the platform and are interested in seeing more product recommendations like the ones Carson provided, visit his profile to check out more.
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