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#101661 - 08/25/08 08:25 AM Recent observation of Light backpackers
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
We just returned from a 6-day loop from Edison Lake, with 2 days on the JMT (same as PCT here). We were going north; seems like all the JMT guys were going south, so we passed tons of backpackers. Out of all the hikers (perhaps 30 groups), only one couple looked like they were going "light". We lifted packs on the boat taxi: no light weight hikers here! One JMT hiker was carrying a 5-pound 2-man tent just for himself. I do not think it has rained for a month in the Sierra. Mosquitoes are practically nil right now too. Lots of heavy Nalgene water bottles. Lots of heavy-duty sleeping pads. Lots of 6-pound Gregory packs.

On the positive side, several of those camped at the Vermillion Lodge were going light- a Tarptent single Rainbow tent, a poncho set up, a bivy. So the message is getting out, however slowly. It seems to boil down to personal choice- which is good- we do live in a free country. There is an incredible reluctance go trade campsite creature comforts for all-day walking comfort. And I am far from light myself. I still have about 28-30 pounds on my back starting a 10-day trip.

Being a part of this forum makes us think that everyone is going light. Contrary to our personal interests in going light, it seems to me that most folks are still on the heavy side of the scale. Is this what you have observed in other places?

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#101662 - 08/25/08 09:58 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Yes, I was noticing that on our recent trip to Mitre Basin. Of course, most people we ran into were out for 5 days, but pretty much everyone was carrying big heavy-looking packs.
_________________________
dk

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#101663 - 08/25/08 11:43 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 846
Loc: Michigan
Sometimes I question my lightweight ways. Recently I was out with a 21# pack w/ 5 days food and 1 qt water. I was going into my final destination on a well used tourist type trail and I spent one night with two couples who had hiked in five miles with 50# packs. They had fresh food, booze, chairs, coffee press, large tent etc. I hiked 12-15 miles per day and had tent, sleeping bag, thin sleeping pad, glop for food etc. I asked myself who was the smart one here.

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#101664 - 08/25/08 12:30 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
trailblazer Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 788
Loc: Menlo Park, CA/Sierra Nevada
I often never see ultralight backpackers "in the wild". In my mind it comes down to two concepts: education and decision making. As far as education goes, I think a lot of folks know about 'going lightweight' but that's as far as it goes (my last time I looked through mainstream backpacker magazines things were far from the philosophy of ultralight backpacking). So in my opinion although the concept is known, unless one decides to make that effort to learn, it'll never happen.

I will add that I once considered myself an ultralight backpacker and while I still adhere to the philosophy of lightening up, there are several decisions I've made over the last several years that stear me away from 'ultralight'. If you saw me on the trail, I doubt I'd be grouped into the lightweight club, but I couldn't be happier with my packweight. That's not to say my pack isn't light, it just doesn't look it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Greg
www.naturefocused.com

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#101665 - 08/25/08 03:41 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
If everyone else was going UL, we couldn't feel smug.

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#101666 - 08/25/08 05:21 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
I think your observation is spot on. 'We' think light packing is the 'answer' but the vast majority of backpackers are 'business as usual.' Nothing wrong with that except...

More and more, I'm running into neighbors and casual friends that say they, 'just can't do it anymore.' Their conditioning, middle-age spread, boomer knees, etc., have caused them to retire from backpacking. That's a real shame...everyone can do better/go further with 12 pounds on their back than with 50 (as one of my friends thinks is necessary). Meanwhile, I'm left with a diminishing group of trail partners...

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#101667 - 08/25/08 07:48 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: GrumpyGord]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Grumpy makes a good point. What is your priority?

My last few trips have been winter trips so mine is comfort and safety. I take a lot of stuff-a big two person tent, just for me, extra clothes and gear, skis and a sled. There are pics of my gear somewhere-winter forum or maybe trips forum.

On the other hand, I saw a tv show about Yellowstone showing a photgrapher sleeping under a tarp in a pretty big snowstorm. Not something I want to be doing.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#101668 - 08/25/08 11:23 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I'm probably not even considered lightweight by most here - I'm under 30 lbs but not under 20. However, I do feel that comfort is important and so is being prepared for sudden changes of weather/temps, especially as fall is slowly heading for winter.

Still I find that I am easily the smallest backpack on the trail with my Mariposa Plus, and all the coffin sized Jansports, Gregories and Ospreys going by me are often covered with sleeping pads, bags, mugs, huge GSI measuring cups, Nalgenes in various sizes, shoes boots or sandals, random bits of drying clothing, and parts of tents (or the whole darn Walmart dome tent that sleeps four). My stuff fits well into my pack and the bits I keep in the pockets are there for convenience's sake.

I do find that I run out of ibuprofen - I keep giving it to people who need it at the end of the day. Me, I just have a headache related to pollen allergies once in a while....
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#101669 - 08/27/08 08:14 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: GrumpyGord]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
For me, part of backpacking is knowing that I can be perfectly happy outdoors without the extras. Yes, I like real coffee; no I do not need it on a backpack. Yes I like wine; but do not need it on a backpack. I have found that if you go out for a long trip (say 30 days), you become very comfortable in the wilderness without the trappings of civilization. I think it is a mind-set. At first you miss the nice little things of civlization. Then you adapt to the wilderness and really do not miss these things. You begin to really LIVE in the wilderness.

I am not ultra light. For me the extra poundage that kicks me out of the ultra-light group is safety oriented- for me I need to know I can survive and be somewhat comfortable in odd one-week bad weather situations. The second thing that kicks me out of the ultra-light catagory is that I tend to use my current equipment until it wears out. When I replace a piece of equipment, I do go for the light weight gear, but it will take me some time to get everything light weight. But it is a goal of mine to lighten up a little bit each time I go out.

Don't get all envious of thoes with a coffee press. They are probably looking over at you with your small pack and envy you!

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#101670 - 08/27/08 08:29 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
> What's your priority

Mine has always been comfort.. Which is why I'm so happy right around the 18 to 20 lbs mark for a three day outing. With that I end up with a hammock and a big tarp that I sleep like a pithed frog under, comfortable clothes, food I like. a nip of scotch in the evening and
a book to read in my hammock after dark. There's little more I want or need, and I actuall
do not find myself looking at the 50-60 pounders with envy - usually it's more like pity -
particularly when the glass jars of peanut butter, and the full size kitchen wooden cutting boards come out.

As I've mentioned a few times - I know darn good and well I can go much lighter - particularly if I ditch the hammock and sleep on a thin pad on the ground with a smaller tarp, I *have* done it. it's just not comfy. *for me* the difference between "lightweight" (what I consider myself) and "ultralight" or other superlatives is comfort. I have for me to be what I consider a very nice balance between comfort on my back all day, and comfort in camp. But that "comfort" level will be very much up to the individual.

So, back to daisy's question, I hardly ever see other lightweighters on the trail, unless it's someone I've taken under my wing. I've seen a few. But frankly when I think most of the people I see on the trail in my area are twenty somethings who went into MEC with a visa card and said "Gear Me" it's not surprising. For all the availablility of mass market lightweight gear, it's not predominantly what is available, and it isn't "taught" to shoppers. Probably at least in part because they'd spend a lot less. Heck, i find even this group
tends to try to shy beginners away from it too much - beginners are scared they'll
end up cold, hungry, and uncomfortable an listen to the naysayers. (and don't start on me
about sending beginners out dangerously light. - search back and find my rant about
the crack-addled rhesus monkey being able to use my gear..)

And once winter gets here, my lightweight notions go mostly out the window. although I now have a homemade mini tent stove, bought a rollup pipe from tigoat, and have a golite hex 3 on the way that I am going to sew a stove boot into as my "solo hot tent". Again, lighter weight than traditional, but emphasis on the comfort.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#101671 - 08/28/08 06:23 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: phat]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
A soon-to-be bride was planning for her honeymoon cruise and dropped in at her drugstore to pick up dramamine and birth control pills. The druggest took a look at the lables of the bags he was handing over and said, "If it makes you sick, why do you keep doing it?" <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

I agree with phat. From my perspective, light/ultralight is all about comfort...the comfort of a light pack. If so much is dropped out that it impacts other factors of comfort or safety , then you're doing it wrong, IMO. Yes, I have read about gram weeinies whose approach is that weight is paramount. But, as my group in Boy Scouts use to say, "Any fool can be uncomfortable."

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#101672 - 08/29/08 01:41 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
All seems to boil down to camp comfort and what style the individual backpacker takes. In the right Season WITH the right knowldege base, lightweight packing is alive and well. Sometimes a trip is planned around comforts in camp, as folks hike to a particular destination and back out. Every trip is different and that's what I enjoy about backpacking, to each their own. The other thing is that I never 'trail mooch', and am annoyed by those who do <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> If ya' failed to pack it to 'lighten' your load, then don't try to bum mine off me, use yer hand <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#101673 - 08/30/08 12:30 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
intrek38 Offline
member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif
I'm down to around 30 -35lbs on my once a year 6 day trips which I know I have a ways to go but at least I can now look up a little more then I use too, also not a sore at the end of the day. Funny how much a person can forget in a year.
With the exception of this years hike, I have hike a loop above Edison Lake for the past 6 years. I must admit I'm a little anxious to see you trip report Daisy...

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#101674 - 08/30/08 06:29 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
altadude Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 524
I am headed for a 4 day trip in Baxter and will weigh my pack. I am with Phat-18-20lb including food.........lighter than in the old days.........but not that light.........

I am not an UL bper..........

I see the discussion/goal of UL as an intellectual imperative.......I aim to lighten up by not having what I consider "frills" and by slowly purchasing UL gear.........

What I cannot get rid of is the belts and suspenders gear for safety. I pack for a lot of "what ifs." Yes, I subscribe to "you brain" as being the most important piece of survival gear but also by knowing my limitations. I have read so many accounts of people who get injured or die from exposure-by not having any bivy or insulation clothing..........what ends up happening is that my day pack is much like my 4day bpack less the food............My professional training is aimed at working for the best and preparing for the worst............hard to be a gram weenie that way..........

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#101675 - 08/30/08 07:15 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Interesting observations. I've seen/talked to other hikers, and while the majority still do carry big-brand, big-weight packs and bombproof nalgenes, some people are at least aware of "those ultralight people". We're usually seen as those weirdos who pitch tarps with hiking poles. I do notice that chain sporting goods stores (like REI) mostly carry standard-weight gear, but will sometimes have a few token lightweight items for us who are in the minority of weight preference. A year ago I even saw a small line of "lightweight" hunting packs from Cabela's. At least we're on the radar.

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#101676 - 08/31/08 04:51 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Wolfeye]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Wolfeye
Hi dude <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
Its been my observation that weight can be lessened by two methods, buying lighter gear, or taking less stuff. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Little of my stuff is UL, but I generally BP with 16 -23 pounds of "traditional" gear. My tent is 3.25 lbs the pack is 29 ounces. UL to me means flimsy.
The concept that UL is better and people would embrace it if exposed to it is flawed.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#101677 - 08/31/08 06:08 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Jimshaw]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I tend to agree (perhaps not quite so bluntly as Jim) that you can go light without necessarily going to extremes. One of the things the "hardcore" UL'ers have done is to nudge traditional gear makers to re-think traditional gear and come up with lighter versions. I've never found true UL gear to be flimsy, but I have found that it takes more care and fiddling.

Nearly all my gear is either from Granite Gear, MSR, Patagonia, or Brunton - all pretty much traditional offerings pared down as far as possible. Depending on exactly which shelter system (tent v. tarp and bivy), filter (Miniworks v. Hyperflow), rain gear (poncho v. rain suit), and pack (Vapor Trail v. Virga), my summer weekend load ranges from 13 to 17 pounds. A week in the fall rarely exceeds 25 pounds, even with a couple extra quarts of water.

Like Jim, most of the lighter load comes from doing without and thinking things through. For example, I can use a short pad instead of full-length by choosing a pack with a padded back that can be used to extend the pad; by using a Dromlite that can double as a pillow, and so forth. I only cook supper, reducing the weight of my food and letting me take less fuel, as well as reducing my kitchen gear to a Pocket Rocket stove, single Titan pot, and a spoon.

I've also stopped taking a candle lantern (when it gets dark, go to sleep) and spare clothes on weekend trips (nylon shorts with mesh liners eliminate the need for underwear and dry quickly, and a single synthetic T-shirt is plenty for a weekend. Longjohns under the shorts accomplish the same thing as long pants. I eliminated anything I didn't know how to use from my first aid kit, and also eliminated some of the more extreme stuff (where I hike reduces the risk of broken limbs and other trauma to an acceptably low risk, I believe.)

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#101678 - 09/01/08 05:48 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Wolfeye]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Oh they are aware of the lightweight crowd. And yes they think we take it to extreams. When I was in my local gear store (Outdoors Inc) here in Memphis and looking a stoves, I had the discussion with a salesman. Yes, we are kinda like freaks I guess. So be it.
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Enjoy your next trip...

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#101679 - 09/01/08 05:52 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Jimshaw]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Jim, I have to agree with you also. I don't own flimsey super lightweight stuff and I carry less. The only light gear that I carry is my pop can stove and pot and my hammock and fly. Everything else is regular stuff. And I consider a light pack weight at 26 to 30 lbs max.
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#101680 - 09/01/08 07:23 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Jimshaw]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Yup...reducing the amount carried is the first and biggest step. But there's a certain negative connotation in the word, "flimsy", just as there is in its opposite, "over engineered." I'm not sure either word usage is fair. Backpackers can match equipment to the conditions expected and that often impacts pack weight, e.g., 'rugged' packs for bouldering or off-trail thickets, 'light' packs for cleared trails, trail runners or heavy boots, etc. Likewise, individuals can learn to match equipment to need; three-pound torch burners or soda-can stove, -20° sleeping bag or +20°, 6000cu in pack or 4200?

Practiced correctly, packing light does not mean uncomfortable, unsafe, or unprepared. My standard, weekend load has been halved and I'm more comfortable and better fed on the trail than ever. I even carry more/more capable toys... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#101681 - 09/04/08 07:30 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
Haiwee Offline
member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 330
Loc: Southern California
I see a lot of posts regarding "comfort" vs. "lightweight." I've posted on this subject before; I went lightweight precisely because I wanted to keep those comforts -- if not expand upon them.

When I was young I usually humped a fifty or fifty-five pound pack into the wilderness. I carried a heavy two-man tent in a heavy pack and slept in a heavy down bag on a ridge rest pad. Around camp I sat on logs or rocks. In addition to the essentials I carried a fishing rod, tackle, a book to read at night and a small flask of booze.

Thirty years later, I couldn't possibly carry that kind of weight; my knees would give out after two or three miles. Today, my base weight is a tad over 14 pounds, which allows me to still carry my fishing gear, book and booze, as well as a chair kit and an inflatable sleeping pad. My total weight on a five-day trip, including food and luxuries, is around thirty pounds.

In other words, I carry about twenty fewer pounds than before but actually enjoy more comforts -- I sleep better and lounge more comfortably around camp.

In short, I believe lightweight backpacking doesn't have to be a trade-off between weight and comfort, but is instead a means to continue to be comfortable, particularly as we grow older.
_________________________
My blog on politics, the environment and the outdoors: Haiwee.blogspot.com

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#101682 - 09/04/08 02:59 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Haiwee]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
"In short, I believe lightweight backpacking doesn't have to be a trade-off between weight and comfort, but is instead a means to continue to be comfortable, particularly as we grow older."

I couldn't agree more. You've made the point I was trying for below, but much better: the extremists prompted the traditional gear makers to re-think their offerings, and the result has been that we get lighter gear without really sacrificing comfort or convenience.

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#101683 - 09/04/08 05:08 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Glenn]
just_another_Joe Offline
member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 117
Glad to see that everyone here, has it right. You are all focussed on personal preference. That is not the same as a gram weinnie bragging that his is lighter than yours. It is nice to be in good company.

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#101684 - 09/04/08 07:08 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: just_another_Joe]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Hey mine is lighter than yours :-P
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#101685 - 09/04/08 07:22 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: just_another_Joe]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Very good company at this board! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#101686 - 09/04/08 07:24 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: phat]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Phat,
That's only because you use the metric system up there <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

BF <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#101687 - 09/05/08 06:57 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: phat]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Quote:

Hey mine is lighter than yours :-P


But mine is smaller.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#101688 - 09/06/08 10:12 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
longhair29 Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
I've seen the UL thing practiced more on dayhikes verses Backpacking here in Washington state PNW. As in alot of Golite frameless Packs.

Which brings up an observation last month coming out of Necklace Valley we saw two older Lesbian Backpackers (hurray for them) who were wearing Golite's biggest internal frame (light weight) Packs and they were struggling with getting 'em on. Apparently the best I could figure was either A. they bought their Packs at REI and the sale rep didn't show them how to properly put their Pack on or B. they bought their Packs via mail order and well................... Their method was to sit down on the ground and slide into the shoulder harness and then precariously stand up while bent over, gosh it looked aweful.

I wanted to trot over and show them but I was busy getting my gear back inside my Pack.

Of course the proper way to put a fully loaded Backpack on is the put the Pack on your thigh when your knee is bent, put one arm through the shoulder harness, then other and so on. Your leg takes all the weight, but only temporarly. Friggin' REI employees.

Oh well, speaking of REI they are carrying more lighter weight Packs these days besides just their own and I've seen more and more people being fitted with Nimbus, Gregory and TNF Packs in the 3,800+ cube volume range.

I myself did that 4-day trip with a 3,750" Pack and believe I can now do maybe 6-days in my Zero Sarc changing out my Hubba for my Sil Tarp 2 + my single pole Bivy and/or maybe splurging for the 5' x 8' Sil Tarp with bivy for reduced Pack space = more food and fuel.

On that trip, my buddy and his GF both had 6-ft long Montbell inflatable pads WITH the inflatable pillows that clip on. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I teased him to no end about his 2.3-oz. pillow. They were sleeping in his Thunderdome Montbell 4-Lb freestanding Tent. I wondered why his GF needed a six foot pad when she is only 5-ft, 3-inches? Humm........... Seems a 150 pad would have saved a little more weight. She also had a paper back book of the Lewis & Clark journey which was full size 10" x 14" x 3" thick holy cow! BUT here total Pack weight with food, fuel water and necessities was still only 34-Lbs so go figure that one.

They also had the 5-ft x 8-ft Sil Tarp (which I recommended they get for a cook shelter) and that thing was a chore to setup due to it's tiny size. For the three of us it was a squeeze sitting under it we deployed one stove each just under the side edges but otherwise almost in the rain while 80% of out bodies were under cover except for our rain panted legs. What made the day was my traditional Evazote pad 50" x 20" x 1/2" thick which I used exclusively as my sleep pad came in handy for the three of us to sit on insulated from the cold wet ground under the Tarp with no worries about punctures from all the rocks.

My Evazote Pad was quite nice and comfortable to lay on propped up against a log we dragged down from the slopes while we tended our satelite bon fire and ate dinner. Something I could never have entrusted to any inflatable pad. But in hindsight I wished for my MaxLite 3/4 inflatable Pad and a short 20" x 20" chunk of 3/8" Evazote sit-pad.

I embrace light weight clothing, WP/B shell gear and lighter weight stoves, Packs and shelters in my gear choices but still emphasize comfort in camp because I've never been a fast hiker and never will be a fast hiker period.

I can walk all day, just not fast. For me it's all about just being OUT in wilderness, enjoying the sights sounds and my thoughts and nature............................ not speeding through it to the next campsite.

Instead of criticizing other Backpackers on the trail for what they decide to carry and/or for not living up to your personal gear standards you need to just thank yourself for the simple reality they are outside in the wilderness Backpacking!

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#101689 - 09/07/08 06:43 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: longhair29]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Quote:
BUT here total Pack weight with food, fuel water and necessities was still only 34-Lbs so go figure that one.


The 10lb book was food for her mind, maybe she didn't need much else. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#101690 - 09/08/08 02:23 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: chaz]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:


But mine is smaller.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />


I was going to say something, but this is a family site. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#101691 - 09/20/08 03:19 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1143
Loc: Washington State, King County
The original post was in the context of heavy packs on the backs of southbound JMT hikers. I thru-hiked the PCT this year, and got started into the Sierras on June 7th, averaged about 18 miles per day on full hiking days in that portion, 4 - 5 miles per day less than my average overall. Snow melted on the early side this year, as it did last year, but of course there was still a lot of snow on the passes in June, lots of big snow patches lower down, melting snow streams, mud, and of course the usual stream crossings.

I hiked mostly alone in the Sierras, and the few northbound hikers I encountered were other thru's or the occasional JMT'er that I'd pass, while most or all of the southbounders were doing just the JMT. The difference was striking. It just seemed (not just to me, but various other thru-hikers commented) that all the JMT hikers had huge packs, seemingly equipped as if for the Arctic or something, while most of us had mailed our ice axes home fairly early when we realized we wouldn't need 'em, along with other stuff. Everyone has a bear can on the JMT these days, which is somewhat of a leveler, and another levelling factor is that thru-hikers eat something like twice as much food and thus have more food weight per day. Offsetting that is more distance done per day, though that definitely goes down in the Sierras per above.

Sorry to be so long winded here; I guess my points are that:

(a) JMT'ers (at least in June) might be carrying heavier packs because the Sierras are considered by many to be a somewhat more severe, difficult environment, but that

(b) a person nevertheless doesn't necessarily have to have a super heavy pack. I felt safe and a lot more comfortable with less weight on my back, and sufficiently comfortable in camp; I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be loaded down with more gear.

Note that I'm not an ultra-lighter; my base weight was normally something like 17 - 18 pounds these last few months, 5 pounds or so heavier than that at the start of the Sierras, but I lightened back up when I mailed stuff home from two different places in that section. I'm not advocating an extreme ultra-light approach for everyone, everywhere, but my sense from the JMT portion in particular is that folks sometimes overcompensate for what sounds like a more scary and dangerous trip than it might in fact be.

And/or, of course, they carry more general crap that they just don't need ... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#101692 - 09/26/08 09:39 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: dkramalc]
HikerMatt Offline
member

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 21
Loc: Michigan
I agree with most here...it comes down to personal preference. Myself, my pack itself is 5.5 pounds, which I know is on the heavier side, but with all of my gear (minus food and clothes) I have it at a maximum of 14 pounds, 17 if I carry a full Camelbak) With food and clothes I am still under 25. To me, when I go out, I am not looking to have luxury...a tarp over me while I sleep and some sort of food in my belly is all I ask, but to some, they want to carry everything but the kitchen sink, and that's fine. My philosophy on those types of people is that it's not me carrying it, so I don't care. *shrug*

As far as ultralight gear goes, I would love to own more, but my wife only allows me so much budget for gear so I work with what I can get my hands on. Such as adjusting my gear for the heaver pack that I carry...
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#101693 - 09/27/08 03:08 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: BrianLe]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I met several PCT hikers early this summer. Maybe I met you on the trail!

I think PCT hikers are a lot more experienced, thus are better at going light. Again, as you say, you HAVE TO be light to do the required mileage.

JMT hikers seem to be mostly the type who like their creature comforts, too. To each his own!

Did you complete the PCT? Congratulations!

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#101694 - 12/04/08 09:19 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
hikerFedEx Offline


Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 19
Loc: United States
ya, that's certainly my experience in the Northeast. On the AT, the LT, the Whites, Adirondacks, Green Mtns of VT, all New England hiking. Very few overnite or multiday hikers are traveling lite or UL, never mind SUL. It's a long slow effort to convert friends, too. I try to plant seeds with nearly every hiker I chat with, without seemingly like a know it all or too pushy.

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#108342 - 12/26/08 09:06 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: hikerFedEx]
Ulhiker Offline
member

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 65
Loc: Arkansas
I've enjoyed reading the posts on this topic and agree with most here that it comes down to creature comforts and what we feel like we want to have as "luxuries". Myself, I tend to go UL, with a total pack weight of 11.25 lbs, including 3 days food, that I took on a recent 3-day hike in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas in October. To me, I had all the comforts that I wanted. I was warm at night, well-fed, and had a great time. I carried a poncho, which I slept under the first night, had a tarp that I used the second night, because of a chance of rain, and even carried a 11-oz filter. Please do not take any of this the wrong way, I just thought I'd share one of my recent experiences.
Oz
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#108458 - 12/29/08 04:31 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Ulhiker]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I think the most overloaded party I've ever met was a little over two years ago in SW Washington's Indian Heaven Wilderness. Three men had enormous backpacks, must have been 50-60 lbs. Two women were carrying day packs, and there was one child. They also had three pack horses, well-loaded. One horse was probably carrying horse stuff (feed, hobbles, ropes, etc.), but the other two pack horses would have been carrying 150-175 lbs. apiece of human gear. Doing the math, they had at least 450 lbs. of gear for 6 people--for a 3-day weekend!

My pack for the 3-day Labor Day weekend was 19 lbs., and I was very comfortable.
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#108466 - 12/29/08 08:14 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: OregonMouse]
Eric Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 294
Loc: The State of Jefferson
Mouse, I think that's result of the same consumerist mindset that convinces people that 2 people need a 5000 square foot house loaded to the rafters with stuff to be happy. One of the things I love about backpacking is that it gets you back to basics. After a week out in the woods I always get home and start thinking about all the things I have that I could live better without.

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#108614 - 01/01/09 08:07 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Eric]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Eric
Mouse, I think that's result of the same consumerist mindset that convinces people that 2 people need a 5000 square foot house loaded to the rafters with stuff to be happy. One of the things I love about backpacking is that it gets you back to basics. After a week out in the woods I always get home and start thinking about all the things I have that I could live better without.


Nothing like being out for a week with 20 pounds of gear on your back to teach you it's about wanting what you've got as opposed to having what you want smile

Nothing beats turning on a tap after being out a while though. forget computers. for me plumbing is the ultimiate in civilizing technology smile
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#108638 - 01/02/09 12:34 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: phat]
Eric Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 294
Loc: The State of Jefferson
I'll second the plumbing thing.
My wife and I lived in a tent for 6 months while we were building our house. When it came time to put in the finish plumbing we had a choice to hook up the toilet or the kitchen sink first. We chose the sink.

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#108710 - 01/03/09 02:29 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Eric]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Once you've had the lightweight gear epiphany, it can still be difficult sometimes finding a new optimal or near optimal in terms of clothing and gear weight and safety, especially for different places and different times of the year.

In terms of safety, too much gear weight can be just as dangerous as too little, though for most people on most trips there is a fairly wide margin between the two. Still it can be helpful when deciding on how much clothing and gear and food to bring along to consider going half way between how much you know is too little, and how much you know is too much. It's hard to know exactly how much is too little, for you on that trip, and how much is too much, but if you go half way between the the two, its usually a pretty good approximation of what is right. Aristotle offers us some other suggestions, such as leaning towards the lesser of two evils, and away from your natural tendency or that which tends to give you pleasure. In other words, if your tend to get a thrill from going light, you need to err more towards caution, and if you are a glutton for punishment, you need to lighten up a bit.

Here is Mr. Aristotle...

Book 2, Chapter 9
That moral virtue is a mean, then, and in what sense it is so, and that it is a mean between two vices, the one involving excess, the other deficiency, and that it is such because its character is to aim at what is intermediate in passions and in actions, has been sufficiently stated. Hence also it is no easy task to be good. For in everything it is no easy task to find the middle, e.g. to find the middle of a circle is not for every one but for him who knows; so, too, any one can get angry -- that is easy -- or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every one, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.

Hence he who aims at the intermediate must first depart from what is the more contrary to it, as Calypso advises --

Hold the ship out beyond that surf and spray.

For of the extremes one is more erroneous, one less so; therefore, since to hit the mean is hard in the extreme, we must as a second best, as people say, take the least of the evils; and this will be done best in the way we describe. But we must consider the things towards which we ourselves also are easily carried away; for some of us tend to one thing, some to another; and this will be recognizable from the pleasure and the pain we feel. We must drag ourselves away to the contrary extreme; for we shall get into the intermediate state by drawing well away from error, as people do in straightening sticks that are bent.

Now in everything the pleasant or pleasure is most to be guarded against; for we do not judge it impartially. We ought, then, to feel towards pleasure as the elders of the people felt towards Helen, and in all circumstances repeat their saying; for if we dismiss pleasure thus we are less likely to go astray. It is by doing this, then, (to sum the matter up) that we shall best be able to hit the mean.

But this is no doubt difficult, and especially in individual cases; for or is not easy to determine both how and with whom and on what provocation and how long one should be angry; for we too sometimes praise those who fall short and call them good-tempered, but sometimes we praise those who get angry and call them manly. The man, however, who deviates little from goodness is not blamed, whether he do so in the direction of the more or of the less, but only the man who deviates more widely; for he does not fail to be noticed. But up to what point and to what extent a man must deviate before he becomes blameworthy it is not easy to determine by reasoning, any more than anything else that is perceived by the senses; such things depend on particular facts, and the decision rests with perception. So much, then, is plain, that the intermediate state is in all things to be praised, but that we must incline sometimes towards the excess, sometimes towards the deficiency; for so shall we most easily hit the mean and what is right.

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#108711 - 01/03/09 02:38 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I would imagine some mountaineering or polar expeditions it might be very difficult to judge the optimal between too much gear and food and clothing, and too little, as the more extreme the expedition, the narrower the difference between the two. Also, the less fit you are, the narrower the difference. In theory, when too much gear is also too little, we need to stay home. wink

For most of us on most of our trips, the margin is very wide, so it is more a matter of finding a personal preference still within the bounds of safety. Even in such circumstances there are risks, as we often put ourselves in harms way by pushing one extreme, or some extreme, or another, either in the clothing, or gear, or perhaps the distance we travel or the decisions we make along the way. So it might still be useful from time to time, to consider in our judgement, something half way in between what we think is too much and too little, rather than push one extreme or the other.

Such decisions are often best decided over a cup of tea. smile


Edited by JAK (01/03/09 02:42 PM)

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#108724 - 01/03/09 06:59 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: JAK]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Jak, so much info I think my head will explode. O.K., Do I add more gear or throw everything away? Geez, I just wanna hike and camp. LoL
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#108847 - 01/06/09 10:05 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: chaz]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Originally Posted By chaz
Jak, so much info I think my head will explode. O.K., Do I add more gear or throw everything away? Geez, I just wanna hike and camp. LoL
lol Throw it all out and start over. Do it now.
Replace it only with stuff that Aristotle had in his day.


Edited by JAK (01/06/09 10:06 AM)

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#108848 - 01/06/09 10:06 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
p.s. I'm not sure what Aristotle used for hiking, but I'm sure he hiked regularly.
Anyone?


Edited by JAK (01/06/09 10:08 AM)

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#108859 - 01/06/09 04:00 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: JAK]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
He used the ultimate multi-purpose piece of gear, of course. A toga! Just think, it can configured as a tarp, used to cover your head, filter water, sleep in, and most of all wear grin
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#109219 - 01/12/09 03:46 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
I'd say that is what I tend to see on the trail. People with heavier packs, even than myself. I still carry in between 28-35 lbs depending on trip length and climate, but I'm young and enjoy hauling around the extra weight. I always see people carrying tents that are bigger than they need and people with half the kitchen utensils and cookware stuffed in their packs.

I think it is simply because most folks doing one or two trips a year and don't bother milling over how to make their gear lighter or altering their packing list. I don't blame them. They're just trying to get away from the city and enjoy something a little less complicated and doing what they think the activity requires of them.

I'm sure they go pick up an issue or two or "Backpacker Magazine," read through it to see what's new and what kind of new fancy stuff is out there, look at what all the advertisements have folks carrying and then look at their own stuff and think that what they've got looks about right compared.

But, as far as I'm concerned, you can carry all you want into the middle of nowhere if you want as long as you're out there to enjoy the environment you're walking through in a respectful manner.
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#109264 - 01/13/09 12:02 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: MattnID]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By MattnID
I'd say that is what I tend to see on the trail. People with heavier packs, even than myself. I still carry in between 28-35 lbs depending on trip length and climate, but I'm young and enjoy hauling around the extra weight. I always see people carrying tents that are bigger than they need and people with half the kitchen utensils and cookware stuffed in their packs.

I think it is simply because most folks doing one or two trips a year and don't bother milling over how to make their gear lighter or altering their packing list. I don't blame them. They're just trying to get away from the city and enjoy something a little less complicated and doing what they think the activity requires of them.

I'm sure they go pick up an issue or two or "Backpacker Magazine," read through it to see what's new and what kind of new fancy stuff is out there, look at what all the advertisements have folks carrying and then look at their own stuff and think that what they've got looks about right compared.

But, as far as I'm concerned, you can carry all you want into the middle of nowhere if you want as long as you're out there to enjoy the environment you're walking through in a respectful manner.
Your comments are all true and that's exactly what I did after not car camping. After ditching weight though, I'm happier and find I have everything I really need. Plus it's fun building gear.
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#109874 - 01/22/09 05:03 PM Re: observation of Light backpackers TOILET???? [Re: Eric]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
TOILET? What has this site come to, I leave here for one year and when I return you people are discussing carrying a toilet or a sink around? ... or do I need need the rest of this post before commenting? Brum
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#109877 - 01/22/09 05:09 PM Re: observation of Light backpackers TOILET???? [Re: Brumfield]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Hey Brum,
Good to see you back!
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#110321 - 01/29/09 09:32 AM Re: observation of Light backpackers TOILET???? [Re: Brumfield]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
How was your trip in Mexico? Yes, I guess talking about toilets in the woods has degraded. I once asked the question about bathing and that went to another level. Down.
When your alone it's not a problem. When your with other people you don't know well or with women. Sometimes you need or they need a little privacy. Maybe in the form of some kinda cover. I was thinking of using my hammock fly to construct some temporary screen. As far as a toilet. Leave the TP and trowel at camp so you know it's occupied when the necessary supplies are gone. I guess when your alone in the middle of mexico wilderness. None of that is an issue.
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#110357 - 01/29/09 06:02 PM Re: observation of Light backpackers TOILET???? [Re: chaz]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
I think that getting to ultra-light is a process. I have been getting lighter for years now and I think that I can still go a little lighter and be comfortable. I can remember back in the 70's we all carried 50-60lb packs and thought that it was okay. Of course we were a lot younger and stronger then too so I guess we really did think that we were doing the best that we could do..."NOT".. I got lost south of Cades Cove back in the 70's with four or five friends and I think we were all glad that we had those bigger packs after being out 5-6 days longer than anticipated. We were inexperienced and we were not prepared for what we encountered and it was just a little bit of a messed up trip for the last 5-6 days...But any way, it was certainly a great lesson in being prepared and I don't think that I have ever had any where near the trouble that we had on that trip since then either....sasbre11004....

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there !!!!
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#115369 - 05/02/09 11:06 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: MattnID]
trekkin Offline
member

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 19
Loc: PNW
I just returned from a section hike on the AT, Springer Mtn to Hot Springs, NC. Saw and got to know dozens of fledging thru hikers. Almost all had fairly heavy 35-55 lb packs. Most used alpine ascent type backpacks by Gregory or Osprey that have whopping suspension systems for carrying a lot of weight. Maybe 10% of the hikers we saw used lightweight gear, like vapor trail, ULA, or Golite packs. We were the only ones I saw using tarptents; everyone else used heavier tents with flys and tons of poles.

We walked with a man for two days who used a pack with an 85 liter capacity, and it was full! (He complained of knee problems).

Several of these heavyweight backpackers left the trail around Fontana Dam; 160 miles in.

Our packs were 24-26 lbs; not ultralight but served us well. We hiked 273 miles in 20 days.

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#115630 - 05/07/09 03:20 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: trekkin]
TheJD Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Wisconsin
I've recently taken an interest in backpacking and am currently gathering my gear and of course doing all the research I can. The thing with me is I'm not really into backpacking for the backpacking part. My preference is spending a day or two hiking into remote wilderness and setting up a "base camp" where I'll remain for 3-4 days. From the base camp I can fish, day hike, or have little fires by myself. I really want to be alone in the wilderness and really enjoy it and not just walk through it. For me, being able to fish and cook it over a fire or just randomly explore is worth the extra weight. My pack right now is about 28# (food/water not included). But that includes fishing equipment, wood gathering tools and a small coffee maker.

Now, if I ever do actually backpack or thru-hike a trail, most of my weight would get dropped because I wouldn't need those little extras because I wouldn't have the time.

For me, I understand why people go light or UL. Less weight on your back, the more you can enjoy and the faster you can go. But for others it's all about actually enjoying the outdoors and not just being concerned with your speed.

-JD

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#116820 - 06/02/09 01:49 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
cpetterson Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/11/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Alberta
The main reason I have a 20 lb pack right now is that I have a very heavy tent (4 lbs) and a heavy sleeping bag (3 lbs - 0C) and don't have much money for anything else at the moment.

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#118435 - 07/17/09 03:36 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: MattnID]
Milkyway Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/20/09
Posts: 11
Loc: Illinois, USA
I agree with Matt about the once or twice a year backpacker. I put myself in that class. I started out at age 16 on an OB course (it was either that or military school), where we lugged 80 lb canoes on our shoulders over 1/2 mile portages. I weighed about 120 pounds back then, so arduous "lugging" and "backpacking" were hardwired in me for quite some time. I just never thought about weight much. My wife is a NOLS grad and we've gone backpacking about every third year (Yellowstone, Newfoundland, Pecos Wilderness, Porcupine Mts, Jasper). The last trip to Jasper was painful for me as I'm now over 50. There I was with my Kelty Super Tioga carrying a four-person Eureka tent you could stand up in. I should mention I've had an incomplete spinal cord injury for 35 years, so balance is a bit tricky (thank god for trekking poles). We decided to go to Glacier this year and I went out to the garage to sort through the gear, remembering past sufferings. I thought there had to be a better way to do this and started looking around and doing a little research. I saw an article in Backpacker about load lightening on the AT. One of the few advantages of my aging is more expendable income, so the Kelty packs are on the shelf replaced with Granite Gear, a couple of Thermarest Neo-Airs. The Eureka was replaced with a Big Agnes Copper Spur and an XT Lightning (there are 5 of us now). The Sierra Designs synthetic bags gave way to Feathered Friends. There's still a ways to go to lighten up and I am learning a helluva lot from all of your knowledge on this forum. So thanks a lot people!! I now believe I can keep wandering into the wilderness for years to come and that makes me really happy.

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#119681 - 08/21/09 09:30 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
sparkyy Offline
member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 20
Loc: southern california
In my local mountains, most people are on the lighter side, and some appear to be lightweight. Most of the people that I meet that seem overstuffed are boy scouts and people from out of state. I think the locals here have caught on pretty well. I never have picked up packs, but I can usually tell how heavy a pack is by the expression on peoples faces and how they carry it.

I do have to say, my old external frame pack from boy scouts is 4 lbs. Not bad, and it feels good. I have thought about taking it out just for shits and giggles to compare to my G4.

Pack weight is related to so many factors, and many can boil down to personal factors.


Edited by sparkyy (08/21/09 09:49 PM)

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#119703 - 08/22/09 03:59 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: sparkyy]
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
And where would your local mountains be? You don't have any information in your profile.
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#120782 - 09/12/09 03:53 PM Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: wandering_daisy]
dash4689 Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/09
Posts: 18
Loc: TX
In the 70's I routinely packed 60+ lbs. While that hurt, I didn't know any better. Since then, I have learned a lot and the technology has improved greatly.

Now my base pack weight is 20 lbs before water and food (1.5 lbs a day) resulting in around 30 lbs at the start. This gives me all I need to be comfortable in most any weather I am likely to encounter: temperature 25-90 degrees F, and rain, snow, and winds to 40 MPH, all of which I have experienced during the summer in the high country of Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming. Also Belize and Mexico.

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#132880 - 04/28/10 07:43 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: dash4689]
TerraPathic Offline
member

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 20
Loc: Kentucky
Holy Crap!!!!
Everyone is right if you are having fun.
Your pack weight xxxx no, let me just say this....my pack weight has never been a certain number. I have backpacked in for one night, two nights, three nights, four nights, five nights, with one kid, with two kids, with kids at 5 years old, 6 years old, 7 years old, etc., with a chance to fish, with a chance to hunt, etc. If you take all variables and multiply each against each other, my weight has run the gamut, not to mention buying new lighter gear as time goes on. I think experience determines what you can live without. You also have the excersise factor. I used to carry more than I needed to just for the excercise...notice I said used to.
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When you truly understand nature, there is no such thing as a bad day.

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#132890 - 04/28/10 10:36 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: TerraPathic]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By TerraPathic
Holy Crap!!!!
Everyone is right if you are having fun.
Your pack weight xxxx no, let me just say this....my pack weight has never been a certain number. I have backpacked in for one night, two nights, three nights, four nights, five nights, with one kid, with two kids, with kids at 5 years old, 6 years old, 7 years old, etc., with a chance to fish, with a chance to hunt, etc. If you take all variables and multiply each against each other, my weight has run the gamut, not to mention buying new lighter gear as time goes on. I think experience determines what you can live without. You also have the excersise factor. I used to carry more than I needed to just for the excercise...notice I said used to.


To me carrying a lighter pack allows me to have more fun. Instead of hiking 15miles and my mind being consitantly focused on the pack digging into my shoulders, my aching back and constantly praying for that 5 minute break to get the dam thing off my back, I find that carrying less, means that I enjoy the hike the more. Not only that but it allows the added variables of going with my wife, dog or bringing a long the fly-fishing gear or staying out for 5, 6 7 nights at a time less of a hassle because I am still never carrying more than 25lbs, which is a world away from the 35-45lbs that I used to carry.

Now on those five minutes of rest I can actually enjoy what I came to mountains for.

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#132894 - 04/28/10 11:23 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: ChrisFol]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I am in favor of a lighter pack. But last summer by the end of nearly 60 days out, in mostly stormy weather, my light weight tent just plain wore out, so I packed in the 5 pound 2-man tent. Must say, Wow! what luxury. I enjoyed every minute in it. This was only a 5-day trip so the pack weight was not terrible. Once in a while, I go "whole-hog". Most of the time trail comfort is more important to me than camp comfort, but this time, I was ready for camp comfort. Never regretted the extra weight.

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#132917 - 04/29/10 10:42 AM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: wandering_daisy]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
WD,
Wow, this thread has been going on for a while.
You made a very good point: Sometimes you lean toward trail comfort; sometimes camp comfort.
You probably posted it somewhere, but I can’t remember. You just stated “…my light weight tent just plain wore out”

Which tent were you using?

Thanx,
-Barry

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#132941 - 04/29/10 05:27 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: BarryP]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
It was a MSR Miro-Zoid that I got on sale at Sport Chalet for $100. It was 2.5 pounds (counting all stakes and string). It was light due to its small size, not material. It was regular coated nylon. The fly was absorbing moisture and slowly leaking in large swaths- not on seams, which I had sealed. Could easily have been ultraviolet deterioration. This also happened to another tent fly I had used for many years. It is a shame, to me, that manufacturers do not offer replacement flys alone. I do a lot of high altitude trips. Once in a klutzy moment, actually fell on the tent and bent the poles. I also have set it up under branches, used fires near it - generally abused the poor tent. It had been my main tent for about 5 years - probably had a couple hundred nights out. Also had it on coast hikes - I am not sure what repeated salt exposure does to a tent.

I now have a Tarp Tent Moment. Have not used it yet. I hope it lasts a few years. I am rather hard on gear, and the TarpTent seems a bit more fragile.

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#132945 - 04/29/10 06:56 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: wandering_daisy]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Yes this thread has been around for a long time. I think one thing coming out of it all is this: We all know how to carry less than we did in the good olde days. Lighter weight is easier to carry. The very lightest stuff has limited life expectancy and comfort, they are some of the trade offs for weight. Those who concentrate on trail weight, miss out on camping comfort. Life is a pendulum, we change our minds, sometimes we want the minimum weight, sometimes we want comfort. I want both and I don't mind carrying 20 to 25 pounds to achieve that. The "in camp" part is more important to ME.
Jim smile
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#133069 - 05/01/10 12:15 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: Jimshaw]
Paha Sahpa Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Middle of Wyoming and Black Hi...
You know after reading a lot of these threads and the benefits of going light I want to stop and ask. Are any of you mountaineering? If so, what are some suggestions that can be useful taking into account that the pack will just HAVE to have some weight on it? I mean besides nine to fifteen days of food I am taking my rope, crampons, ice-axe, sometimes snowshoes, pickets, anchors, etc... Along with that my tent has to be bombproof in the wind, my sleeping bag at least 15 degrees (3 lbs), I must have a hefty mid-layer, gloves, boots, etc... My pack must be able to handle all of this too (I use a small gregory denali). What do you guys suggest?
I will give my gear list.
-North Face Spectrum 23 tent - (I am not in love w/ this tent at all but it can withstand some Wyoming wind alright).
-Gregory Denali pro small
-Sierra Designs Nitro 15 800 fill bag
-Jet boil stove
-Cabelas XPG light sleeping pad
-I use 2 gatorade bottles and one soft bladder for water
-Coffee filters w/ iodine for water treatment
-Basic polyester baselayers
-Black diamond fleece pants
-Mt. Hardware basic hiking pants
-Mt. Hrdware fleece pull-over
-Some sort of columbia synthetic puffy pull-over
-Cabelas gore-tex rain jackets and pants
-Redlakes Softshell technical jacket w/ hood (only bring this sometimes)
-Basic fleece beenie and waterproof rei gloves
-3 pairs of smart wool socks. sleeping, hiking, and for mittens over my gloves
-Black diamond raven ice axe
-CAMP strap crampons
-Chaco's (sometimes)
-Merrel thinsulate high boots
-Eidelrid 9.8 eagle dry rope (60m)
-Black Diamond momentum harness
-beeners, belay device, cordura for prussic
-food, water, deet, sunscreen, chapstick, bandana

I don't know, I am all for going light but man I am just having a hard time seeing where. Suggestions? A typical trip is 4-5 days of mild backpacking anywhere from 11000-13000 ft. One-3 days for summiting to allow for bad weather, etc... Three days back. I take my time getting to summit so I am rested and safe.
What do you guys think?




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#133073 - 05/01/10 01:46 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: Paha Sahpa]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I have spent more time backpacking as part of climbing than just backpacking.

I am not familiar with Cabella stuff- I do think it is heavier than other brands. In spite of the hefty price, my mountaineering cloths are from the high end manufacturers such as ArcTerex or Marmot. We used the Mountain Hardware Approach (5 pounds) and found it very wind-worthy at high altitudes. In the Sierra I simply used a bivy sack - you actually spend little time in the sack if you are up at 3AM to start climbing.

The climbing gear is heavy so do as much as you can to reduce this. Depending on the type of climbing, you may be able to use a 50-m rope and light alpine rack. When I did serious 5th class backcountry climbing, my partner and I would use 50-meter double ropes. We primarily did this for quick retreat- less rappels use less anchors and you can get down faster in lightening storms. The total rope weight was more but we took less "emergency" gear for anchors. This also divided the rope weight - each of us carried one rope. We used very light wire-gate biners, Aliens, light spectra slings, stoppers. I rarely took any large pro unless I specifically knew it was needed. It was easy to find placements for small pro in the alpine environment. And consider the amount of pro. I climbed "Moon Goddess" a 5.8 8+pitch route on Temple Crage (in the Sierra) with a crazy eastern European climber - we did the entire climb with 8 small cams! And a rock fell on the rope half-way up and cut off 30 feet of rope and one cam got stuck so we lost that! I would not go this far (at one point he actually wedged rocks in cracks for pro and salvaged used slings that were on the route!). And if you climb well within your abilities, you really should not need a lot of gear. Alpine climbing is not sport climbing.

As for shoes, on rock climbs I approached and descended in light tennis shoes with SuperFeet inserts and used rock shoes on the route. I descended the Mountaineers Route on Whitney in tennis shoes. If doing this it is critical to time the descent before the snow hardens. I also rarely used crampons. One trick we did in the Sierra (snow here is called Sierra Cement) is kick steps up snow to the base of the climb the afternoon we get to base camp. Then in morning, when the snow is rock-hard we have nice flat steps to go up so do not need crampons.

I'm sure otherse here on this forum who climb have other good suggestions.




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#133078 - 05/01/10 03:27 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: wandering_daisy]
Paha Sahpa Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Middle of Wyoming and Black Hi...
Thanks, the cabelas jacket and stuff is pretty light. Just a basic goretex shell and thermarest makes the pad. Pretty light, lighter than my actual thermarest (trail).
Thanks for the suggestions on the climbing gear.
The bivy sack is tempting but there are two things that are keeping me from going this route. One is that on rainy/snowy days, while waiting around for the weather to clear up, it is nice to have a place to chill out. The second reason I like the tent is because sometimes I don't go alone, if you know what I mean.

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#133081 - 05/01/10 07:21 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: Paha Sahpa]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Totally agree with WD about the greater utility of smaller pieces of pro. Use natural pro whenever feasible. There are some amazingly light climbing strength biners available now. Climbing primarily in the Southwest (especially Arizona) I found bivvy sacks to work very well, even on those "non-solo" occasions.

When I began climbing, the standard rope length was 120 feet, and some of that disappeared in the waist tie-in! Shorter ropes might work very well, although that is one area where I have gladly accepted the weight. When working in Canyon de Chelly, I always carried 20M of 9mm rope, even when just "hiking." It was long enough to be useful on many occasions.

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#133094 - 05/01/10 09:44 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: oldranger]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Paha, this isn't really a climbing forum but there are some ancient climbers here. smile You may find more up to date info elsewhere. As a mountaineer you know that you can only take a few bomproof pieces of "camping gear" so that you have room for climbing gear, but as an alpine type you do not require the extensive gear of a rock climber which is very heavy. If you ARE doing technical rock climbing at altitude, then you are way beyond my ability.

As a Bibler owner I was impressed with TNF tent, it seems bomber and light, and really not that expensive.

I'm not so certain about the jetboil. My own preference would be for a coleman Xtreme first or a nice white gas stove second.

Why carry hiking pants and goretex pants?

It just seems to me that you have too many pieces of clothing and if you get a puffy jacket with a weather tight shell, your rain shell won't have to large enough to go over it. But be sure that it has a fully insulated hood and carry a balaclava.

Gloves, good luck with only one pair, I often end up with three, one reserved just for sleeping in, then big warm ones, and lighter ones that you can climb in.

I don't know the BD raven, I carry a light Grivel. If you are going to chop steps and use light crampons like the Camps, you should have a real axe, and by that I mean 25 to 30 ounces of axe as momentum makes up for force.

The Eldrid is a nice rope, but why do you need 60m? The UIAA ratings are for vertical falls. How much do you weigh? the impact on the rope in a vertical fall is proportionate to your weight. Generally mountaineering you will not have a vertical fall, so I often carried one, half rope - 8mm.

As OR says, there are light beeners, and I always carry two belay devices, even if one is like an ATC and the other a figure 8, which give you multiple descending options as well. Forget prussics. Go with a wild country ascender, or if they aren't available, go with a similar skeleton ascending device (S).
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#133097 - 05/01/10 11:07 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: Jimshaw]
Paha Sahpa Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Middle of Wyoming and Black Hi...
Thanks! I agree about using a thinner/shorter rope since that is such a heavy piece of gear. The one I have been using has been nice for summer sport climbing and I have only taken it up a summit once (Gannett). Purchasing a twin rope or something would probably work just fine. Good idea (maybe an expensive one though). You are right about the hiking pants. Probably a luxury item more than anything but I like them because they seem to be bug proof.. I am using the climbing gear I learned on and am very very familiar with so I don't really feel like replacing any of that. I use CAMP wire gate beeners I just took from my quickdraws.
From what I am hearing I need a nice puffy (down?) midlayer? What do you guys like? Patagonia micro-puff? Sierra Designs?
I know there are probably experts out there for alpine stuff but here in Wyoming more than half the hike is below tree line followed by just a few days of glacier and rock. Looking at the posts you guys have some crazy light rigs.

Jimshaw- Does your Bibler have condensation problems?

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#133115 - 05/02/10 12:23 PM Re: Less weight but greater safety and comfort. [Re: Paha Sahpa]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Paha said
"Jimshaw- Does your Bibler have condensation problems? "
NNNNnnnoooooooooooooooooooooooo... smile Thats one of the reasons for buying it, but it is one of the old fuzzy inner "Toddtex" tents. Its the driest tent I've ever used. I liked the roof vent on the TNF spectrum tent that you mentioned. Most of my tents are single wall, they are lighter, easier to set up and in my opinion they vent better if they have roof vents, than double walled tents, of course they don't have the screen inner tent, however you mentioned being pinned down in a storm, and you definitely DO NOT want a tent with screen for spindrift to blow through. In a storm above treeline, single walled tents are nice because you don't have to pitch basically two tents while getting the inner one wet. My ElDorado can be pitched from the inside. In a blizzard I just pull it over me and lay down in it, then pitch the poles from the inside and I go out later and stake it down., unless its super windy, then I may stake the two front tie outs first with my skis.
Jim
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#150028 - 05/08/11 01:01 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
We just returned from a 6-day loop from Edison Lake, with 2 days on the JMT (same as PCT here). We were going north; seems like all the JMT guys were going south, so we passed tons of backpackers. Out of all the hikers (perhaps 30 groups), only one couple looked like they were going "light". We lifted packs on the boat taxi: no light weight hikers here! One JMT hiker was carrying a 5-pound 2-man tent just for himself. I do not think it has rained for a month in the Sierra. Mosquitoes are practically nil right now too. Lots of heavy Nalgene water bottles. Lots of heavy-duty sleeping pads. Lots of 6-pound Gregory packs.

On the positive side, several of those camped at the Vermillion Lodge were going light- a Tarptent single Rainbow tent, a poncho set up, a bivy. So the message is getting out, however slowly. It seems to boil down to personal choice- which is good- we do live in a free country. There is an incredible reluctance go trade campsite creature comforts for all-day walking comfort. And I am far from light myself. I still have about 28-30 pounds on my back starting a 10-day trip.



I purchased my 6lb Gregory pack because after trying on every pack I could find in a 200 mile radius it was the most comfortable. My baltoro is so comfy the extra weight from my two pints (no they are not in glass) of booze is unnoticeable cool I think 3 of the 6 pounds of this bag is cushioning lol
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#150160 - 05/10/11 09:31 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
Yes, On my recent trip in the smokies and a few miles on the AT I was one of the lighter ones and am still heavy! One poor fool was carrying a guitar! Granted he could play one but wow!
I was lighter I felt than alot of tru hikers. My packs weighs 18 oz with back support. Bag 2 pounds, Pad 14.5 oz. Stove 2.1 ;ess fuel! Minus My Big Head, around 29 pounds I am ultralight baby! Fully loaded for 4 nights water food and ALL, AROUND 31 PDS! Light bye my spec? I am still not ulralight. I can say I dropped about 8 pounds from last years trip,and dam it felt good! Happy Trails

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#150274 - 05/13/11 09:02 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Spock]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Originally Posted By Spock
If everyone else was going UL, we couldn't feel smug.
It is not enough for me to be succeed personally.
My friends must fail. :-)

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#150321 - 05/15/11 04:07 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: JAK]
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By JAK
Originally Posted By Spock
If everyone else was going UL, we couldn't feel smug.
It is not enough for me to be succeed personally.
My friends must fail. :-)


Nothing like a little friendly competition... until your all out days from anywhere and nobody has a snake bite kit or venom extractor and someone gets bit! just a lil food for thought crazy
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#150323 - 05/15/11 04:21 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: jwild]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I get your quite valid point, but snake bite kits and venom extractors are considered to be worse than useless and are not currently recommended.

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#150337 - 05/15/11 11:59 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: oldranger]
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By oldranger
I get your quite valid point, but snake bite kits and venom extractors are considered to be worse than useless and are not currently recommended.


yeah I have heard the same thing and do not actually carry one myself.
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#150353 - 05/15/11 06:16 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: jwild]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Yeah, it's all fun and games until everybody's out of TP. smile

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#150392 - 05/16/11 11:39 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Glenn]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Originally Posted By Glenn
Yeah, it's all fun and games until everybody's out of TP. smile


I still carry TP, but use water most of the time. Cleaner and nothing to carry out. Running out of TP is no big deal.

My current 15 pound base weight kit is safer, has more repair options and will keep me comfortable to lower temperature than my old 35 pound base weight. I sleep better and eat better.

I do not agree that I have sacrificed safety or comfort.



Edited by ringtail (05/16/11 11:39 AM)
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#150403 - 05/16/11 02:00 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: oldranger]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By oldranger
I get your quite valid point, but snake bite kits and venom extractors are considered to be worse than useless and are not currently recommended.


Fun reading for anyone interested.
Snake Bite
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#150409 - 05/16/11 04:23 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: ringtail]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I agree with you - it's not a sacrifice of safety or comfort. The situation seemed to call for a little humor, and that was about as little as I could provide. smile

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#150413 - 05/16/11 05:47 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Glenn]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
I thought your post was humerous and a good analogy.

I was going for the shock value. People tease about cutting off toothpaste handles, but it exceeds their imagination that we are serious about no TP.
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"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#150444 - 05/17/11 04:39 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: finallyME]
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By finallyME
Originally Posted By oldranger
I get your quite valid point, but snake bite kits and venom extractors are considered to be worse than useless and are not currently recommended.


Fun reading for anyone interested.
Snake Bite


thanks for the info grin
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“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

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#150641 - 05/22/11 01:48 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: ringtail]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
Originally Posted By ringtail
I thought your post was humerous and a good analogy.

I was going for the shock value. People tease about cutting off toothpaste handles, but it exceeds their imagination that we are serious about no TP.


I'm curious who you are referring to as "WE" here? Is this meant to apply to those who would consider themselves ultralight packers? Even though I have not, nor will I ever in all likelihood, consider myself in this rank, I'm not really sure I'd want to go without TP. I could make do, if needed, but I don't see how leaving the TP at home accomplishes anything more than creating an unsanitary inconvenience.
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#150667 - 05/23/11 12:20 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: MTvagabond]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Originally Posted By MTvagabond
Even though I have not, nor will I ever in all likelihood, consider myself in this rank, I'm not really sure I'd want to go without TP. I could make do, if needed, but I don't see how leaving the TP at home accomplishes anything more than creating an unsanitary inconvenience.


In the world today there are more people that use water than use TP. I consider it more sanitary than TP.

I still carry TP and if I am in a hurry or running short of water I use it, but water is better. crazy
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Yogi Berra

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#150670 - 05/23/11 01:14 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: ringtail]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

And snow is fantastic.. and refreshing..

I think a snowball is nature's perfect tp
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#150675 - 05/23/11 03:10 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: ringtail]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By ringtail
Originally Posted By MTvagabond
Even though I have not, nor will I ever in all likelihood, consider myself in this rank, I'm not really sure I'd want to go without TP. I could make do, if needed, but I don't see how leaving the TP at home accomplishes anything more than creating an unsanitary inconvenience.


In the world today there are more people that use water than use TP. I consider it more sanitary than TP.

I still carry TP and if I am in a hurry or running short of water I use it, but water is better. crazy


I forgot TP on a trip a few months ago, and have never managed to put the baggie back in the kit. Somehow sh%$ happens anyway and I am still healthy and hiking.

Probably because I wash my hands regardless. And allot myself a small bottle of sanitizer, which also has the additional purpose of taking tree sap off gear.
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#150678 - 05/23/11 03:34 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: phat]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
"I think a snowball is nature's perfect tp"

Yeah, and a used snowball would be the snowball-fight equivalent of a "dirty bomb"!

Sorry. grin

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#150692 - 05/23/11 08:13 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Actually a snowball (packed snow) is much too hard, just a hand full will do and it cools as it cleans, but it does melt when it contacts warmth...
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#150699 - 05/23/11 10:51 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Glenn]
GDeadphans Offline
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Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
dirty bomb hahahaha
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#150700 - 05/23/11 11:17 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: ringtail]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
I'll have to think about it. Not that I'm against leaving the TP at home just to try it, I'm almost sure I'd never sell my wife on the idea---(she has Ulcerative Colitis, and her morning routine is really more of a solemn ritual that I don't dare ask her to alter too much). I guess if I can make it work myself, it would be easier to ask her to try it.
_________________________
...then we might find something that we weren't looking for, which might be just what we were looking for, really. - Milne

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#150721 - 05/24/11 11:00 AM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: Glenn]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Remember, never ever eat yellow....or brown snow.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#150731 - 05/24/11 01:21 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: finallyME]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
So, you're saying there's no such thing as a chocolate snowball, regardless of what Phat tries to tell you? smile

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#150733 - 05/24/11 01:59 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: ringtail]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By ringtail
People tease about cutting off toothpaste handles, but it exceeds their imagination that we are serious about no TP.

--

I still carry TP and if I am in a hurry or running short of water I use it, but water is better.



I'm apparently not creative enough to imagine how you accomplish this without making a mess, and a bit leery to ask for details frown

We have a plant here that has thick, fuzzy, wide leaves, and is very common. I admit to using that when I've found the rare need, but I'll pack TP, and plenty of it, until I better understand this water method.

phat, as far as snow goes, "Refreshing" is not what I'd call a hand full of snow used for that purpose. Even George Costanza would have a whole new level of concern for "Shrinkage" with that one laugh
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#150742 - 05/24/11 03:21 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: billstephenson]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
"Stimulating? Invigorating?..."

Snow definitely gets the job done.

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#150748 - 05/24/11 04:16 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: oldranger]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
I do not want to be kinky, but snow is the best.

WARNING: Keep your weight over your skis and do not lean too far back. I will not discuss how I know not to lean too far back. cry cry
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#155002 - 09/22/11 08:17 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: TomD]
twinmike Offline
member

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Holbrook, AZ.
sleeping in the cold snow is not the worst part, its the getting out of the warm bag to take a pee in the morning, oooowe! now thats cold and keep in mind that snow helps keep you warm, its the getting wet. And that TV show he had three other people with supplies and cameras
_________________________
Many reach for distant shores only to run to the safest harbor.

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#155210 - 09/28/11 07:33 PM Re: Recent observation of Light backpackers [Re: wandering_daisy]
rm56 Offline
member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 60
Loc: Northern CA, Placer co.
Although I'm not ultra light I have improved. I confess I'm a gadget geek, I'm also an old Army ground pounder so I know a bit about going out. Back in the 80s I packpacked Desolation with a Dana pack at around 40pounds just for a weekend. Now I have newer gear, I picked up one of the tarp tents, a Rainshadow 3 person for me and my family that weights 2.65 pounds. I weighed my pack for a weekend to Yosemite and mine was 24 pounds. I have seen the ultra light packs, I have a North Face Terra 65 which does seem heavy to me. But I could lighten my load by leaving some comforts at home. I'm 55 and I like comforts, I also carry a serious first aide/survival kit that I put together. It came in handy when my boy fell and skinned up his knees. I also like to help folks in need..I look at it as Karma. Once in Desolation I had a bad headache, I barely slept that night. Next day a young lady camping near by gave me some Tylenol. Since then I take a just in case kit, and when I'm in the boon docks I share with people in need. Good way to make friends IMO.

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