When I did my first trail project back in 2003, I met a gentleman named Steve Austin.
A legend in Colorado trail working circles, the Steve Austin I met even has a tool named him for moving rocks called, appropriately enough, the Austin. When I met him, he was a wiry man in his mid-seventies who could out-work people less than half his age.
And , at eighty-seven years old, still going strong. (Update August 2015: Make that 90 years old and soon-to-be 300 projects! )And he gave out cookies too!
A big part of multi-night trail work projects is the camp meal.
After a long day of moving blow downs, building rock steps, grading a trail or cutting back brush, a hot meal in camp is always welcome.
Getting the meal at base camp is interesting.
A backpacker’s cook pot is not really good for holding the more-than-one-pot meals and a plastic dinnerware plate means the stews or chilies often served at these events sloshes over.
Even a “regular” meal is precariously held on a knee while sitting on a camp chair.
Mr. Austin had an ingenious way of eating these wonderful meals. A way that was great for making sure that any food would not tip over: a frisbee.
Light, durable, inexpensive (often a free give away) , easy to clean and effective.
Eventually, I emulated the idea of using a frisbee for meals.
The frisbee has worked like a champ.
The food stays put, does not spill over and works for outdoor group meals in general, too.
At a recent trail work project, my dinner frisbee received some chuckles at first followed by admiration.
Good enough for a 26+ year volunteer on Colorado trails, good enough for me!
The frisbee is always stashed with my other camping gear and is something I would not leave behind for overnight trail projects.
So get a frisbee next time you sign up on a trail work project. People may chuckle, but then they’ll see the wisdom of what a great idea it is. I know I did!
Piece of trivia… a frisbee was originally a Frisbie pie plate. Throwing it around for recreation was an afterthought that took off (ha!). Call it a dinner pie plate and the idea of using a frisbee for a meal makes more sense. 🙂