Jim Wood's Base Camp

About Me

I'm in my mid-50's, a corporate finance executive from the Silicon Valley, and have worked with a great many early stage technology companies over the past 30 years. I've also help to start a number of companies, the most recent, a secure Internet communications firm in San Mateo, CA. I recently relocated (temporarily) from California to Virginia for family reasons, but hope to return to the West soon.

I've always had a wide variety of interests outside of work. I've been a guitarist, a keyboard player, a computer enthusiast, a photographer, a movie buff, a scuba diver, a canoeist, and a mountain biker. However, I now mostly describe myself as a hardcore backpacker.


In the early 1980's, I quit my job and sold my house in California. I bought a van, a 30' travel trailer, a 17' canoe and when all was ready, drove into the sunset. I was on the road for about two years before returning to work. During the course of this trip, I engaged in mostly backcountry-related pursuits, especially canoeing. My longest paddle was a multi-month adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota and Southern Canada. 


For as long as I can remember, I've held a deep and abiding passion for the wilderness. I began actually backpacking in 1988 and my only regret is that I didn't start sooner (even though I hated my first couple of trips). Since those early days, I've trekked all over North America, much of it solo. Perhaps because of my engineering undergraduate background, I'm something of a compulsive problem solver. From the beginning, I've spent an enormous amount of time testing, creating, and modifying backpacking gear with the (perhaps paradoxical) objective of making it invisible. I've always wanted equipment that was so cleverly designed, so well constructed and so light weight, that it would fade completely into the background of the wilderness experience.


Which brings me to the Base Camp. I hope, though this website, to share some of the tricks and techniques that I've developed and acquired from others over the years. I also expect that I'll learn many new things from those of you who are generous enough to provide comments through the feedback forum. I greatly look forward to hearing from you.


Best regards,

Jim Wood.