Last week while backpacking a section of the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon (76 miles from Willamette Pass to McKenzie Pass) I met 12-year-old Tin Tin (his trail name), who was hiking all 455 miles of the Oregon PCT with his mom. Many adults wouldn’t allow — must less encourage! — a kid to take on such a quest, but his mom had confidence in him and, more importantly, he had confidence in himself. I was inspired by his tenacity, as well as what he considered essential for the trek. What did he have tucked in his pack? Books!