Where I come from: A peek into my life

Today I’m going to set some things straight.

Here’s the new schedule. Mondays will always be new videos. Fridays will be new videos, old videos, or something different. This will give me time to post to WordPress. I love to write! I’ll also have a greater chance to connect with people on my Facebook page. Check out the Facebook and YouTube channels links above.


I’m the father of three girls who keep me on my toes! There’s never a dull moment when they’re around. During the week I repair computers and I stay busy with family and friends. On the weekend I like to get out and play!

I was raised on an old farm in rural southern Indiana. Its been in the family since the American Civil War. I’ve lived in this area my whole life.

I grew up next door to my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, lots of cousins. I am still close to them.

I was outside all the time growing up. There was always something to do. There was wood to cut, gardens to tend and harvest, basketball to play, track to run, fishing, boating, hiking, and camping. Something to build, something else to repair. Snow to shovel in the winter, leaves to rake in the fall. I was involved with scouts, family, & church.

It was a blast growing up in the country. My closest cousin was only a couple of years older than me and we were always getting into something. We hiked the woods, climbed trees, played in the hay loft, and tormented our sisters. You know, normal boy stuff.

When I got into high school my cousin’s mom married and moved to the Louisville Kentucky. The cousins who remained were all more than 10 years younger. I got more involved with they day to day doings of the homestead and spent a couple of summers working as a Junior Councilor at church camp. One summer I spent all but two weeks camping.

Then, there was my Dad. My Dad was a character! The funniest man I’ve ever known. He knew all the best jokes, taught me how to play basketball, and was my best friend. We had went throughout the farm painting certain trees to be the “holes” for our own frisbee golf course. We would hike the woods, sometimes late into the night. Talking for hours.

In my 20s, I moved to the city to be closer to work and friends. (Well to be accurate, it was because of a woman.) I got out to parks, walked my dog, played basketball & frisbee golf, but I spent less & less time in the backwoods.

Finally sometime in my 30s I realized it had been a couple of years since I’d been out for a hike. We have wonderful parks here in town, some with miles of trails, but it wasn’t enough. I needed to get my hands dirty. I wanted to make a fire and cook. I wanted to be all alone. I needed the wild, the back country!

YouTube was getting really popular and I had been watching it, a lot! In the videos I liked best, people were going out in the woods having fun. Some of them claiming to be “bushcrafters”, others “ultralight backpackers”, or whatever. I thought it was pretty cool, so I was going to join them.

So I grabbed my iPod touch and without any thought or training, I started making movies. I flew by the seat of my pants. The lighting was terrible, the pacing was horrible, I couldn’t talk well on camera, and the camera angles left much to be desired.

Eventually life took a turn and I didn’t have time to go out anymore. A close death in the family, the stress of daily life, and several other problems got to me. My marriage broke down and I was just living day to day.

Last spring I had finally had it! I had to get out more, but a simple 4 mile hike one afternoon on the Knobstone Trail turned into several days of pain. I was in really bad shape! Living in the city had made me soft! But still the back country calls to me.

I’ve increasing my activity and eat better. I found a weight vest to wear while doing chores. I get up in the mornings and do free weights here at the house. Go to the gym a couple of times a week to get a good aerobic workout. I’m averaging a pound a week weight loss. Last month I did 10 miles on the Knobstone and didn’t feel like cold death the next day!


I know we can all improve our lives through being in the great outdoors. We get caught up in the craziness of everyday life. Returning to nature resets our body’s stress levels and helps us to find peace.

Human evolution hasn’t managed to keep up with the pace of modern life. We medicate bored children when they won’t sit still in class 8 hours a day. We medicate our dogs because they don’t get enough exercise and bark too much. We medicate ourselves because we’re depressed when what we really need is good dose of sunlight.

The longer I live, the more I’m becoming an advocate for outdoor adventure. Go ride a bike. Toss a ball. Get some sun. Talk to your neighbors. Go backpacking. Do something that makes you feel alive!


Welcome to my journey. I’m preparing for my first thru-hike of the Knobstone Trail, about 50 miles. There are skills to learn and practice, exercises to do, gear to test, things to make and fun to be had.

Welcome to Backpacking with Just Plain Phillip.


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