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#148979 - 04/07/11 04:56 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Great post!

For me, getting "Light" has been a kind of long process that's still in the works. It's never been an issue of money really, because I don't have any, it's been more about being patient for really good deals, taking it one step at a time, and learning from others.

My "Big Three" are not at all expensive, but they are pretty light. It took me several years to get to that point, but not a lot of money. Lately, I've focused on food and clothing. Not buying new clothes, but selecting what's best from what I have for the trip I'm taking. I finally spent the time to make a "Cat Stove" and learn more about lighter weight food, and plan what I'd eat better. I've always carried way too much food. The last few times I only carried a bit too much. I still carried way more fuel than I used though.

So I'm down to shaving ounces here and there now. To do that I have to pay close attention to what I didn't use or need.

For me, getting lighter on the cheap, and learning make some of my own lightweight gear has been a lot of fun. But I've never NOT went because I didn't have what I needed. I've always took too much instead blush
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#148984 - 04/07/11 06:43 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: Glenn]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
It's not like there is a Holy Book, divinely inspired, of Lightweight Backpacking. I want to assure you that the rumor that Oregon Mouse and Wandering Daisy have taken vows in the Lightweight Church are absolutely false; nor is Trailrunner the Archbishop.

it is always interesting to see what each of us will carry; I often say either, "I don't need that," or else, "I would always carry XXX, how can he get out there without one?" You often get a nice idea of something different that just might work for you.

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#148990 - 04/07/11 07:18 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: oldranger]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Nothing holy at all (despite what you may read on another site)! laugh However, having a light load makes backpacking a lot more enjoyable! Which is the whole idea--to enjoy this wonderful activity!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149002 - 04/07/11 10:39 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: oldranger]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
Thanks for the vote of confidence all thanks . I really would like to benefit from the experience of everyone here, and I look forward to some constructive criticism when I do decide to post my gear list.
_________________________
...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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#149005 - 04/08/11 12:57 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
I do want to stress that OM and the other posters have captured the essence of my original post. If you spend all of your time worrying about what equipment to take, you'll never get out on the trail. Use what you have, learn from others, and whatever you do, get out there and hike!
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balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#149006 - 04/08/11 01:32 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Don't feel bad; I haven't posted mine, either. It's not light enough for Backpacking Light (they're really nit-picky over there), trying to format it from Excel to post on this forum is almost impossible, and I haven't found anyplace else appropriate that I can post it for free. My base weight (everything but the variables of food, water, fuel) is 13 lbs. with fishing gear, 12 without, and I can live with that.


Edited by OregonMouse (04/08/11 01:34 AM)
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149007 - 04/08/11 02:00 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: balzaccom]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
I did my best not to digress from the original post (which was very well done). The main point of my post (which I may have understated, but didn't ignore) is that I DO get out there, and I always have, regardless of my gear. I pack what I want from what I have and I go. I wanted to emphasize, however, that backpacking is not a uniform experience where just anyone can strap on a bag and head for the hills. You introduced the idea of gear into the original post, regarding the big three as a contrast for your main idea, and I think discussions of gear in the context of this forum are certainly not out of bounds shocked . I was mainly writing in support of the idea Mouse raised regarding a genuine need for some people to take gear into account. If I couldn't "get out there" with a heavy pack, I'd have to start looking for alternatives. Right now, I'm looking for ways to deal with carrying the added weight of an extra person in my pack, so I think gear still plays a role.

I reviewed what I wrote initially, and I believe I adhered to the idea in the original post. Unfortunately, a stray thought resulted in a couple of responses to my post regarding gear (which I still appreciate greatly, since I was starting to wonder if this forum would be useful for me). I was writing to continue on an idea that OM brought up, not to dwell on a gear list.

What I am trying to say is that the "essence" of your original post opens up a lot of other questions (like safety and skills, as Daisy mentioned). If we ignore the concept of gear, your original post ultimately says "go hike regardless of your physical, emotional, financial, or otherwise situation." These aren't issues to be ignored.

If it helps to get this back on track for those who only respond to the last sentences of a post, I think anyone with a desire to experience the outdoors should find out what it takes for them to realize that dream, regardless of their pack weight.

_________________________
...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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#149008 - 04/08/11 02:06 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: OregonMouse]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
This isn't the place for this discussion, but I'm really curious about you 1 lb of fishing tackle. Right now, tackle is kicking my butt in terms of weight. Ballsac is going to have a fit for me even mentioning this in this topic, but I'd really like some ideas. Maybe a different topic?
_________________________
...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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#149009 - 04/08/11 02:18 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: Glenn]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
To Bill, Glenn, and Ranger, thanks again for your reply to my post.
_________________________
...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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#149013 - 04/08/11 09:36 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: oldranger]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Originally Posted By oldranger
It's not like there is a Holy Book, divinely inspired, of Lightweight Backpacking. I want to assure you that the rumor that Oregon Mouse and Wandering Daisy have taken vows in the Lightweight Church are absolutely false; nor is Trailrunner the Archbishop.


There might not be a Holy Book but there are faithful believers.
It is important that the faithful be on gaurd and not listen to heretics.


Edited by chimpac (04/09/11 08:12 AM)
Edit Reason: spell

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#149020 - 04/08/11 10:56 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By MTvagabond
This isn't the place for this discussion, but I'm really curious about you 1 lb of fishing tackle. Right now, tackle is kicking my butt in terms of weight. Ballsac is going to have a fit for me even mentioning this in this topic, but I'd really like some ideas. Maybe a different topic?


I take about 20 ounces of fishing equipment---that includes an 8.5 foot fly rod and reel, and a selectiong of flies. Other than leaving the rod or reel at home, I don't think I can get that weight lower.

And just and FYI--Balzac was a French novelist...:^)
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balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#149055 - 04/08/11 08:56 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
MTvagabond

There are other parents here in your situation; I'm just one of them, and learning from all of these other wonderful people. I'd love to see your gear list - it might save me some weight when I'm taking kids out this summer.

Steadman

PS - My list, with feedback, is posted as "Summer backpacking list (with kids)" in the kids forum. I've taken several of the suggestions (bowls are going to be margerine tubs, and lori was right - I'm carrying extra stuff sacks...)

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#149087 - 04/10/11 01:31 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: balzaccom]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
Sorry to be a little defensive in my last few posts (influenced by a few local brews). Anyway, my apologies to the french novelist.
_________________________
...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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#149088 - 04/10/11 02:43 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: balzaccom]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
Going back to the main idea, you're basically saying that weight is not a consideration in terms of enjoying the experience of backpacking. I've always had an enjoyable time backpacking regardless of the pack weight, just because I was "out there". But as I start to lighten my load, I know I enjoy it even more.

The idea that anyone would not get out just because they don't have the lightest gear is just silly. I mean, no one who REALLY wants to go backpacking would not do it just because they didn't have the coolest gear. I've had great trips with heavy loads that were only a few miles. I've also had great trips with heavy loads that were very long. The hike part itself is always less enjoyable than the camp time.

It's not so simple as just "getting out." I think the trail versus the camp time is also a major consideration. For example, my wife is a convert to backpacking. When we first started dating, she loved car camping but had no experience with backpacking. I helped her get some gear and she loves it now. But she will always be a car camper at heart. Our trips are pretty truncated in my mind, but I'm happy she still goes with me. In this sense, just getting out there is probably good enough.

The difference between just "getting out there" and hiking light is one of aesthetics. The more weight I drop, the farther I can go, and the more I can experience. I can get out there with the car campers every weekend, but I won't have the wilderness experience I would have backpacking. I see a lot packing heavy, but how much more could I experience packing light?

The real question here is, what are your priorities? Do you want to hike 15 miles per day to reach an amazing piece of landscape, or do you want to hike 5 miles and camp for a day or two? Both can be enjoyable, but the gear choice is different. It's all about your goals!!! The big three aren't such a factor for shorter trips, but play a part in planning for longer trips. It's too simplistic to suggest a one-hike-fits-all kind of model.

Anyone who wants to hike would not let their gear collect dust. But the gear in question and the trip details might determine where or when they use 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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#149090 - 04/10/11 11:24 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
My fishing tackle (weights in ounces):

Tenkara Iwana rod 2.8
Line, tippet, flies, dry fly dressing 3.0
Frying pan, Evernew Ti nonstick 16 4.1
GSI Micro-Spatula 0.3
Plastic bag for fry pan 0.3
Seasonings for cooking fish 0.1

This is actually about 11 oz. However, if you add in the extra cooking fuel (just in case I catch anything to cook laugh ) and a little extra olive oil for frying, a pound is about right.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149107 - 04/10/11 11:44 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: OregonMouse]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
I love that post OM!

I take a full-sized fly rod (because for me, half the fun of fishing is casting...) and reel. BY the time I add a box or two of flies, that gets me up to around 20 oz.

But I don't take the pan! If I keep fish, I use the old alder shoot method, and roast them over a fire. Which is why I don't do that very often. My wife wishes I would keep more...

_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#149120 - 04/11/11 03:44 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: balzaccom]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Casting with a Tenkara rod is a lot of fun, and takes a lot of practice! I'll never go back to the old rod and reel.

I'm very often camped where fires are not allowed, which is why the frying pan.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149137 - 04/12/11 02:26 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: OregonMouse]
MTvagabond Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Western Montana
It would take some getting used to (never fished without reel). I'm curious if you fish lakes with this rod? I had to teach myself to roll cast because most of our destination points involve lakes with little room for a back cast. It feels like it takes a heavier rod for this. Do you use this for lakes, or just streams?
_________________________
...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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#149140 - 04/12/11 08:37 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
Paulo Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 158
Loc: Normally Pacific Northwest
About the Tenkara, I got Jason Klass to do a 101 on the subject for my blog. He covers what type of conditions it is best suited for:
Tenkara 101
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Without a doubt, the hardest thing of all in a survival situation is to cook without the benefit of seasonings and flavourings. - Ray Mears

http://theoutdooradventure.net

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#149158 - 04/12/11 03:16 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I've tried it on lakes but not streams (in my area, stream fishing is catch-and-release only, and I don't do that). So far I haven't caught anything. If, as planned, I get to the Wind Rivers this summer, I'll be fishing both lakes and streams (I prefer streams) and will undoubtedly catch something. I'll report back in the fishing section.


Edited by OregonMouse (04/12/11 03:17 PM)
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149161 - 04/12/11 04:21 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: Paulo]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
That's pretty cool!

I have a pretty old collapsable fly rod that appears to be designed to use as a sort trekking pole when it's collapsed. I don't remember how I wound up with it, but it looks to work on about the same principle as the Tenkara type.

I'll take a closer look at it. I'm sure it must weigh more than the one Jason used for your review, but it's still kind of cool.

_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#149203 - 04/13/11 10:18 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: OregonMouse]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I grew up fishing with a cane pole about 16 feet long with a piece of monofiliment tied to it. A tenkara rod is essentially a high tech cane pole. Its a good meat collecting rod especially with a bobber worms and a boat. With all due respect to OM, who loves her rod and what it does for her - I don't really call that "fishing" [I am an acknowledged purist OK?], although I do use the same techniques with my fly rod on tiny streams, I can also put a fly MUCH further out than you can without a reel.

My sage 8 foot 4 weight rod weighs 2.2 oz and my reel weighs 5.7 oz with spool line and tippet. Flies wouldn't add another ounce, but I would most likely add line nippers and tiny hemostats which would put me pretty close to OMs 11 oz. Notice that neither of us are adding the weight of a rod tube...
Jim


Edited by Jimshaw (04/13/11 10:20 PM)
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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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#149205 - 04/13/11 10:28 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: Glenn]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Going light means having the experience to know what you'll need. But if you think you need to buy ultralight gear in order to go light, you are wrong. You can replace each and every piece of your current gear with a lighter piece and go lighter, OR you can simply leave half of what you normally take at home, and go lighter with no additional cost. Before blowing me off here - I haven't bought a significant piece of new gear in ten years and most of my gear is 20 to 30 years old. And I can still go out with people with lighter tiny packs, lighter stoves and lighter sleeping pads, and my pack still weighs less than theirs.

Sometimes I have heavy "mission gear" when I'm going on a trip for some specific purpose - be it night vision gear or a heavy camera, but without the gear there would be no purpose for the trip. But people bring all kinds of silly stuff because they think it will make their trip more enjoyable. Hey an ipod isn't too bad, some of the things people bring along have no real purpose for being there.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#149305 - 04/16/11 04:14 PM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: MTvagabond]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Quote:
I guess my point here is that I agree with Mouse that some people don't have a choice but to go light or ultra-light, depending on their situation.


I'd like to point out an additional value of going lightweight -- or at least "low volume" -- which amounts to about the same thing.

You save space in a car on trips. This can be significant. With at one point, 5 kids, we didn't have lots of extra room. We saved money by car-camping on trips instead of usually getting a motel. If we had owned conventional gear, there would have not been enough room in the vehicle. Either we would have had to spend the night in a motel or it would have taken a bigger (and more expensive) vehicle whose space would have been unused most of the year.

I understand, if you don't have the money, you have to work within those parameters. But if you do travel, then money which would be allocated to motel time or car size can be devoted to compressible, lightweight gear. I believe we saved in the low thousands of dollars over the time we had kids.

You don't even need a lot of kids for the car size savings to be realized. Perhaps a compact would be usable instead of a mid-size or a mid-size instead of a SUV/Van.
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#149459 - 04/21/11 07:08 AM Re: It's not about the big three! [Re: balzaccom]
Raiffnuke Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 6
Loc: North Adams, MA
I couldn't agree more. It is not about the weight, it is about getting outdoors and enjoying nature. So, just use what you have and go out and have fun.

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