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#123281 - 11/02/09 03:11 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: phat]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
Looked down on? No, but I've felt awfully bad about seeing grown men cry when they find out how light my pack is. I'm not joking. It's happened.

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#123284 - 11/02/09 03:39 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: kevonionia]
JimmyTH Offline
member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Indiana
I read Bill Stephenson's post about hiking hillbilly style and had to laugh. I'm much the same, have read all the stuff about how deadly cotton denim is and still wear it. Been through a lot of bad weather and cold snaps in it, sometimes dry and sometimes wet, in the mountains and elsewhere, and it hasn't killed me yet. At my age I think it's running out of time to do that. Also carry a real stick, not one of the fiberglass toys. I have a four foot light staff I take with me on runs, and a six foot staff for the trail. Just had an argument with a neighbor a few days ago when two of their dogs tried to take a chunk out of my heels while I was running past their property and I cracked one of them over the head to back it off. When I was a kid nobody ever went anywhere without firearms. I don't carry a rifle any longer but in the beginning out in the Cascades when I first backpacked for fun I felt very strange without one. Extreme culture shock. If I didn't have a stick and good knife with me I'd feel embarrassed.

I've been stared at a lot by people tricked out with all the newest gear. My stuff is old and cheap. I have some things that are pretty heavy compared to ultralight but I still like them, and my total rig usually isn't heavy. Sometimes I don't even take it.

Bill may know the trail from the microwave tower north of Ponca to Hemmed in Hollow on the Buffalo River. I hiked that in February one year during the two weeks of good weather you always get in the Ozarks that month, full moon that night and clear sky, no weather fronts coming in, seemed like a beautiful time to just take minimal gear and comfortable clothes and go see the falls. We hiked in during the afternoon and evening and it was perfect weather for that, shirt sleeves and jeans and a backup jacket was the extent of my cold weather gear. We kept ahead of a string of backpackers from Little Rock who were going at it like it was an arctic expedition, loaded down with gear for every situation, down jackets, heavy boots, and they really thought we were crazy, kept trying to rescue us and make us part of the expedition until we got to civilization. I tried to explain that this was civilization, that my neigbors used to live just down the road there before the government took it over. In the evening when we were thinking about heading home, sun just going down, they were setting up camp near Granny's Cabin and I thought I might have to fight my way out of there with the stick. Linda would have been ok, she was a lot prettier than me and two of the guy's were offering to share tents and sleeping bags for the night. I'd have had to sit by the fire where it was cold if they had tackled me and rescued me for my own good.

We finally shook them loose and had a beautiful moonlight walk home, didn't even need lights. I didn't feel like we were in any danger because I had a knife and firemaking tools, if we'd got stuck we'd have built a campfire and kept warm the old way up against one of the bluffs. One of the nicest hikes I've ever had. Wouldn't have done that if I hadn't lived in the Ozarks long enough to trust the February warm spell.

I do have wool pants for the arctic, much below freezing and the denim isn't quite so comfortable. But a lot of the modern hiking clothes just feel like underwear to me and I wouldn't have any of them.

JimmyTH

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#123314 - 11/03/09 05:41 AM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: Spock]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
I have not really been looked "down" upon, but with surprise and curiosity, and many kids had fun of what they considered" kid's, or toy tent". Curiosity and fun from my "toy stoves" too. Fascination from the wood stoves.
And the ever present question, "aren't you cold in that?" (I do most of my hiking in early or late season at home)
And sometimes, a serious concern about my "safety" as I had to "prove" I had all the necessary gear....

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#138510 - 09/08/10 04:02 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: keepitlow]
bubbawadew Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/08/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Texas
I don't consider my self an "ultralight" backpacker, my 3 season base weight is 17lb 12oz. I have never been looked down upon because my gear was too light. I have been asked questions by non-backpackers how i can survive for 6 months with only the gear in my backpack. But there were two different times that i was looked down upon because my gear was too heavy. They were not nice at all about it but other than that never had a problem.

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#138633 - 09/11/10 03:38 AM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: bubbawadew]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
A "funny" thing happened this spring, when i was using a tarp ( a"trailstar" clone...), in a campsite, a wood stove, polycree ground sheet, quilt, the lot.

My neighbours, who were car camping, offered me their igloo tent (massive thing), convinced I was a miserable homeless travelling hobo...

They were extremely confused, after I had to explain what "lightweight gear" can be grin grin...

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#138846 - 09/15/10 03:52 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: keepitlow]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
^My Hole LIFE^

The trick is to never look up to the look downers.


Edited by Samoset (09/15/10 03:53 PM)
_________________________
Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

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#138884 - 09/16/10 02:24 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: keepitlow]
ice Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/11/10
Posts: 1
well, hello to everyone,

this is my first post here in these forums and this topic made me chuckle a bit.
i was taking my oldest son canoeing in the BWCA the year he started kindergarten (was to become a tradition with my kids).
while at the landing outside ely, mn we unloaded our canoe and gear for our planned 21 day adventure. alongside us was a newly married couple (canoeing as honeymoon simply doesn't register with me), when the bride, attempting to take a bit of a breather from all the loading and unloading of their 2.......yes 2 canoes! asked the innocent question "where are you going and how long will you be out?" after my reply that we had planned a 130 mile trip and would be spending 21 days doing it, she literally rushed over to her new husband and screamed "they're going out for 21 days with that...pointing her finger at our canoe with 3 packs in it all tied and snug, and we're taking all this!"...arms sweeping toward their 2 canoes with numerous packs, coolers and everything else, including a portable sink, "for 4 days!" she was livid!
so i guess i may have been the one doing the "looking down upon" and it bothers me to this day to think that being self-sufficient yet lightweight may have started a new relationship down a rocky slope, as i was simply being practical as my son wouldn't be able to portage alot of extraneous "stuff".
we have great memories of that trip and many others we took because i didn't overdo it the first time. i wonder if they still camp....or canoe...or even TALK ?


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#138895 - 09/16/10 05:11 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: ice]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I can relate to that poor woman. A few years ago I invited my neighbor to go with me on a 3-day float on the Buffalo River in AR. I told him that I wanted us to each have our own canoes since I had never had the chance to use mine by myself. I was really looking forward to not having a heavy load and other people in my boat and dreamed of how nice it was going to be gliding almost effortlessly down the river.

I carefully selected and packed my gear to make sure my load was as light and small as possible. When we got there he had a truck full of gear and a huge cooler loaded with weeks worth of food and beer, that would not fit in his canoe, so, of course, he insisted I put it all in mine. After paddling that load for 28 miles I wanted to smack him in the rear with an oar, but I was just too darn worn out to make it sting mad
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"You want to go where?"



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#138910 - 09/16/10 11:13 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: keepitlow]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
I have never. In fact I have only heard encouragement and astonishment at the sacrifices and substitutes....most common *wow a stove out of cans!*

I honestly feel it is sad that when two people are in to the same thing there still has to be tension. When can we all just get along smile

B.S. I hope you had a lot of that beer and food for your effort smile
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#138937 - 09/17/10 01:56 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: GDeadphans]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
well i am only 5'7 hehe

i've had some remarks...about look at his ski poles haha, and ha i couldn't even get my leg in that tent and other stupid gear comments...they usually change their tune, when i literally blow by them on the ascents and they see me relaxing on the peak with a nice meal, all rested...or when i make and break camp in less than 15 minutes and have a cup of tea brewing...

i find the trick is to move/work a litte harder in the parking lot or trailhead/campsite and end up alone do to my pace(thanks to my lack of weight)
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

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#138942 - 09/17/10 03:15 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: GDeadphans]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By GDeadphans
B.S. I hope you had a lot of that beer and food for your effort


Yeah, I really shouldn't complain about my neighbor, and I should have really anticipated that giant cooler he brought. As much as I've tried to explain it, he just doesn't really care for the lightweight approach. But he does bring and cook some great food and always has lots of good beer so I figured out that I should just eat more, drink more, and be merrier when he's along...

So last year we took a little motor boat *UP* the Buffalo River and camped on a sandbar and did day hikes into the Leatherwood Wilderness. That worked out pretty good smile

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#138947 - 09/17/10 06:06 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: billstephenson]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By billstephenson

I carefully selected and packed my gear to make sure my load was as light and small as possible. When we got there he had a truck full of gear and a huge cooler loaded with weeks worth of food and beer, that would not fit in his canoe, so, of course, he insisted I put it all in mine. After paddling that load for 28 miles I wanted to smack him in the rear with an oar, but I was just too darn worn out to make it sting mad


Geez Bill - it would have been super easy to ensure your gear was tied to the canoe, flip the sucker like a tyro, and the river would have taken the problem away for you.. smile wink
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#146634 - 02/19/11 08:13 AM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: keepitlow]
Alex Frost Offline
member

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 15
My current hiking buddy and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to hiking or backpacking. He seems to think that you should wear all your gear even if you're just hiking a few miles on a day trip. He also believes that heavier gear builds muscle and somehow makes you more manly.

So when I ditched my 1LB MSR stowaway pot and whisperlite for a supercat and a snowpeak 600 he gave me some grief. He seems to be coming around though, especially since I showed him plans for a fire bucket type windscreen/wood stove. Who knows, there may be hope for him yet.

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#146635 - 02/19/11 08:53 AM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: Alex Frost]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
I just got back into backpacking last year after a 25 year hiatus! My gear was almost 20 pounds lighter than 25 years ago!
Most people I encountered were more interested in if I was a thru hiker. Some were very curious and amazed I was going into the back woods for 3 nights. One fellow about my age I am sure will be out there this year if he hasnt already. My wife was concerned for my health and saftey. I am not in tip top shape, However,going lighter makes it muck more enjoyable. I am even lighter this year with a two pound lighter down bag and soon a Hammock! It is nice to reach camp and not be totally spent!

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#146686 - 02/20/11 12:10 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: Alex Frost]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
He also believes that heavier gear builds muscle and somehow makes you more manly.


I'd tell him that's absolutely true, if he's carrying your beer and cast iron cookware smile
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#146687 - 02/20/11 12:27 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: billstephenson]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By billstephenson
Quote:
He also believes that heavier gear builds muscle and somehow makes you more manly.


I'd tell him that's absolutely true, if he's carrying your beer and cast iron cookware smile


If someone wants to be more manly than me and will carry beer, cast iron cookware and steaks for me to prove it, I'm so into that.. heck I'll hike with my usual gear and wear a dress just to encourage them if that's the case - as long as I get my beer and steak at night..
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#147448 - 03/06/11 06:33 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: phat]
Alex Frost Offline
member

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 15
Not so sure about the dress, it may give him the wrong impression. But a kilt, now that's fair game.

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#147456 - 03/06/11 10:43 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: Alex Frost]
intrek38 Offline
member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif
Crazy how much a person misses out on with a 50 lb pack and a stubborn ego. If there to good for me I'll probably never see them again anyways..




Don't kilts weigh more??

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#148036 - 03/20/11 03:20 AM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: keepitlow]
Alex Frost Offline
member

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 15
Yes, a kilt would weigh more. But I suppose an enterprising scott could make one out of silnylon that would work wonders and be water proof to boot.

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#148045 - 03/20/11 10:06 AM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: Alex Frost]
intrek38 Offline
member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif

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#148063 - 03/20/11 02:03 PM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: intrek38]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

no way.. all the cool ultralight kids have *cuben fibre* kilts..

http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/cloudkilt.shtml

grin grin grin
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
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#148106 - 03/21/11 10:35 AM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: phat]
intrek38 Offline
member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif
That's cool, but what about when the skeeters get in..

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#148965 - 04/07/11 12:59 AM Re: Have you ever been looked down upon? [Re: phat]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
phat:

Disregard those ueber-light kilts the kids are wearing. Ned Beatty, in 1973, was already hiking a lot lighter in Deliverence:

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