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#152453 - 07/08/11 12:31 PM Backpacking for two
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
Once we started backpacking together, a few things became pretty clear. My wife tends to look down on the trail, exploring flowers, rocks, funghi and animal scat with great interest. And I tend to look up on the trail, trying to catch sight of peaks, passes, and possible a trout stream or lake. It makes us a pretty good combination on the trail. Between the two of us, we don't miss much!

We work as a team in the campsite, as well. I generally sets up the tent, while my wife manages more of the kitchen. And in the morning, we work together to get everything packed up and on the trail. Some days I pump the water because I am packed first, sometimes that falls to my wife if she gets her pack loaded up before me.

And speaking of loading up the pack, we do try to share the load. I am bigger, and stronger, so I carry more weight. On a recent four-day trip to the John Muir Wilderness, I carried about 30 pounds total, and my wifey was carrying about 20--those weights include some water for the trail in each pack. We think that's about fair, because I weigh a lot more than my wife...and we are each carrying roughly the same weight in terms of a percentage of our body weight: between 15 and 18%.

We each carry our own clothes, sleeping bag, and pads. The big difference is that I carry the tent and food, while my wife carries the cook pot and kitchen.

Of course, as the trip goes on, we eat a lot of the food, so my pack gets lighter. That's when I start putting other things into the bear canister, like the gas for the stove, or some other part of our kitchen. And I've been known to carry more of the water, as well.

That way we each feel the benefits of the lighter load on the last couple of days of the trip.

It's not a perfect system, but it works for us. Got a better one?
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balzaccom

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

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#152457 - 07/08/11 02:21 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: balzaccom]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Since I treat most trips as solo, even when I'm with others, I can't really describe a system. However, I'm really glad to see this thread - sharing gear is a topic that doesn't get discussed much here, and it is a great way to keep pack weight down. However, it may not reduce it as much as it would first appear. For example, only carrying one tent is lighter, but it will be a two person tent. That tent will weigh less than two one-person tents, but not half as much. Likewise, you won't be carrying two stoves, but you will carry a larger pot (or more pots) and probably will need bowls and cups since you won't eat and drink from a small pot. (You won't need the bowls if you eat from the pouch, though.) You definitely won't need two filters, so that's pure savings.

I do have a couple of comments about your technique.

If you become separated overnight, the packing methods you describe could mean that your wife would have no shelter and nothing to eat; you would have shelter, but couldn't cook your food. In your case, this may not be a problem if you and your wife have a strict rule about always staying together. This seems to be a common rule among most of the husband-wife (boyfriend-girlfriend) or parent-child teams I meet, but not among the friend-friend teams. (In fact, this is exactly why my friends and I treat our trips as solo trips taken together.) So, if you're not committed to staying together, it might make sense to ensure you both had some of the food, and that the person without the tent had a groundcloth or small tarp.

My other comment relates to how the weight is shared. I'm assuming that, in your case, you and your wife are equally fit, and so the 60%-40% split seems appropriate since you are physically able to carry more weight. However, I can think of cases where the opposite is true. One of my female hiking friends is physically smaller than me, but extremely fit - strong, athletic, and very active. I, on the other hand, am about 10 pounds overweight and only average fitness. If we were sharing gear, and she were so kind as to offer, it would make a great deal of sense that she might carry 30 pounds while I carried 20. Such a situation might also exist where one partner had a physical impairment (such as asthma, or bum knees/hips, arthritis, or shoulder injuries.)

There is no right way or wrong way to divvy up loads - it depends on a variety of factors unique to the people sharing the gear. Thanks again for telling us how you and your wife do it; I hope you've started a very productive thread on a somewhat neglected topic!


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#152461 - 07/08/11 05:56 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: Glenn]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I beileve that for any brand of tent, a 2-man tent weighs less than two single-man tents. That is a weight savings. If you tent with someone, you simply stay together. I really do not see why that is so difficult. My husband is a heat-machine; I honestly take one less layer of clothing when with him! He adds at least 10 degrees to the inside temperature in the tent. We eat out of one pot. First aid is another area that you can save weight. Since you are hiking together because of tent and cook issues, you do not need two complete first aid kits. My husband takes a GPS, I take 7.5-minute maps so we are covered for malfunction and loss and although I would never take a GPS, it has been handy a few times when trying to find a trail in snow. And on longer trips, we consolidate repair gear, fishing gear (we take turns). When my daughter and I did an 18-day trip, we took one pair of wading shoes and threw them across the stream to each other. I would never take binoculars, but my husgand does, and I do enjoy using them. He would never take a camera, I do- so he gets to enjoy the photos after the trip. He really enjoys fishing; I like to eat fish. If it were not for his patience at fishing, I would eat less fish because if I do not catch fish in 15 minutes I quit.

One of the biggest advantages has nothing to do with weight- two heads are better than one. We have saved each other from stupid mistakes many times. The biggest comfort I get from my husband is at stream crossings. Just knowing he is there to drag me out if I fall in helps. If I were to go out with a friend, very little would be different. We would simply agree to stick together. I think the stay together thing is a lot easier for me because of being a climber- you used to being roped to each other and totally dependant on each other. Being a part of a climbing "team" is just second nature to me.

The interesting thing with us, is that 10+ years ago, my husband being a lot stronger and bigger than I, carried most of the heavy climbing gear. He is older, so over the years as he approached his mid-60's, more weight has shifted to by my pack. I feel I owe him this after all those years he carried the heavier load. As we both age we may shift the weight to a pack horse or goat! I am not saying that everything is perfect with us- we both frustrate each other at times and have arguements. I do not have the freedom to "hike my own hike". But I do feel less anxiety when I am with him and we mostly enjoy each other's company. I also enjoy going out with friends and even strangers! I really think having someone to share with improves the trip.

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#152468 - 07/08/11 08:50 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: wandering_daisy]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I agree that a two-person tent is lighter than two singles. My buddies and I prefer to take two solo tents because we don't always stay together. Sometimes, one of us will be in the mood to camp by the stream, and listen to the waterfall; the other will go up the ridge, because there's a better view of the stars. Occasionally, we'll even separate during the day to do a side trip or explore a different trail, then meet up at night.

But that's just us, and we agreed up front that we weren't really hiking as partners. My son and I have taken a couple of trips as partners, made the agreement up front to stay together, and used his two-person tent (and split other gear), and it did save us several pounds.

The important thing, to me, if you're splitting gear is to make the decision to stay together up front, and be able to trust the other person to stick to it. The second most important is not to get locked into gender stereotypes when splitting the load.

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#152471 - 07/08/11 09:32 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: balzaccom]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: Portland, OR
When my wife and I backpack together it has nothing to do with weight savings and everything to do with enjoying a hike together. My wife would be hard pressed these days to backpack under any other circumstances than with me to carry a fair amount of the load.

She does agree to a variety of weight saving ideas I put forward, knowing that I will be the mule for the trip, but there is a certain level of comfort she will not compromise on, especially in regards to sleeping pads and food.

As a result, I will carry six or seven more pounds for a two night trip with her than I would for a week long solo trip. It is a trade-off I willingly make once or so a summer, so she can enjoy the backcountry.

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#152474 - 07/08/11 11:16 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: aimless]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
There's a thread somewhere here (I'm not sure how to find it exactly because I'm not sure what terms to search), but it recomends that both people carry SOME form of the major things. For example if one person carries the filter, the other carry some type of tablets or drops. If one person carries the tent, the other have atleast a plastic sheet that can be set up as an emergency tarp, that sort of thing. I think its a good concept.

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#152532 - 07/11/11 01:09 AM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: balzaccom]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
balzaccom
I'm glad you started this thread. We don't often discuss responsibility/commitment/partnership in 2 person backpack roles. Climbing is easy - you are responsible for your partner's life and your own, and everything you carry is shared. Camping with a group like scouts, you are a team forced together in a formal group, winter camping in extreme weather you share a tent, jackets, food etc. cool

Now what about "meet ups" and "loose" camping partners that may camp at different lakes, carry ALL of their own gear, and resent having any group responsibilities. This works better in nice weather and places where no one is gonna suffer too much if they screw up with no help from a partner.

Then there's a situation where ultra-light backpackers will shun responsibility for their partner in order to avoid carrying any extra weigh. frown Extremely experienced campers may always carry solo tents and camp 100 yards apart so snoring etc is not a sleeping problem, yet even if both people carry complete solo gear, they have a choice about how much to cooperate, comunal cooking or what ever.

My wife has a system. I carry in her backpack down the trail while she tries to keep up and I stop so she can catch her breath. After hiking in I establish a minimum camp, make her comfortable with food water, shelter etc, then I go cross country back to my truck and grab my pack and then go back cross county. She loves to backpack as long as I carry her backpack. grin So I take her someplace generally easy, carry her gear, do all the camp chores and cook and then carry everything out and drive her home. Its another system...
Jim
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#152543 - 07/11/11 08:36 AM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: balzaccom]
Paulo Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 158
Loc: Normally Pacific Northwest
Balzaar,

Great ideas. Your ideas could easily be adapted for family hiking. There are simple jobs around camp for everyone and it makes the whole experience more enjoyable.
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#152549 - 07/11/11 11:28 AM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: Jimshaw]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
balzaccom
My wife has a system. I carry in her backpack down the trail while she tries to keep up and I stop so she can catch her breath. After hiking in I establish a minimum camp, make her comfortable with food water, shelter etc, then I go cross country back to my truck and grab my pack and then go back cross county. She loves to backpack as long as I carry her backpack. grin So I take her someplace generally easy, carry her gear, do all the camp chores and cook and then carry everything out and drive her home. Its another system...
Jim


I am not going to show my wife this thread...
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balzaccom

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

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#163478 - 03/08/12 11:01 AM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: balzaccom]
SkullsFB Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 1
I have a family I like to get into the backcountry. My wife has very limited experience and my oldest is 8 1/2 so she doesn't carry much. To make the trip enjoyable the distance has to be short because of how gear is distributed. I have 2 two person sixmoon designes tarptents which weigh less than 2.5 pounds apeice. We each carry one. These are incredible tents with floor pan and mosquito netting I love them.

This is how we distributed gear up till last year. I carry the my and my daughters sleeping bag the kitchen my sleeping pad first aid water filter 1/2 the food. My wife carries 2 sleeping pads 1/2 the food (the snack foods) her sleeping bag both the girls clothes and one tent. Lilly carries her small backpack with a stuffed animal a bit of water her safty whistle.

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#163494 - 03/08/12 01:48 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: SkullsFB]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
My wife does not backpack. I doubt her troubled back would allow it.
My oldest son does like to go along. We sometimes use just my canister stove for food prep. Miah likes to use his own diy wood and alcohol stove. While we stay close together, weight savings is only minor. We both carry our own Hammocks but the two of them weigh about the same as a 2 p tent. Maybe even less. We share my water filter. We alternate who pumps the water and often just do our own. I have a two pound two person tent that would save a couple pounds. I snore badly though and after hammocking it ,I dont care if I ever sleep on the ground again. If weather got exceptionally cold, I could always pitch my hammock on the ground. We each do our own food prep but swap our diy dehydrated meals. He did use my sea to summit pocket shower one time last year. If split up I am sure we would both survive. He would be minus water filter? He has a steripen but often doesnt bring it. We like that the filter removes visible particles from the water as well.


Edited by Kent W (03/08/12 01:50 PM)

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#163504 - 03/08/12 02:59 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: Kent W]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
And I thought you were going to say your wife is in her first trimester or something...

I do not have any regular partners any more. So when I go with someone, it is more like a bunch of solo backpackers that happen to be going the same direction at the same time. I end up packing what I would normally. Its all good; everyone is happy.

The Steripen. The prefilter that comes with it doesn't work well where you go backpacking?

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#163536 - 03/08/12 07:15 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: skcreidc]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
That's how all of my trips are anymore, too: a bunch of solo hikers headed the same way at the same time. Besides, we like to play with our toys.

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#163537 - 03/08/12 07:30 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: Jimshaw]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Jim and I both come from climbing backgrounds where your climbing partner is your lifeline. Particularly on more difficult and remote climbs, teamwork is what makes or breaks a lot of expeditions.

I do not see much teamwork in today's backpackers. When I go with others, it is NOT as two solo backpackers- we are a team. Meet-up groups are really too loosy-goosey for me. I still have an entrenched wilderness ethic that says you never leave a slow member behind, carry extra weight if that is what is required to get the group from point A to point B as a cohesive group, be a good follower, be a strong leader, compromise, create synergy, cover each other's back. I think we are a dying breed.

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#163543 - 03/08/12 08:38 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: wandering_daisy]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
You may be a dieing breed. I see your point. Dont get me wrong my son doesnt get out of earshot. Most the time he is leading. He is younger, stronger,"Man that hurt" and more fit. Facts are Im getting old he is in his prime. I dont want him waiting on me all day. The saying hike your own hike is fitting. I dont like it either. I would love to have taken up climing in my younger days. We share what we share, but most important is we share the experience. He will pass it on like my Pop did for me. "God Bless Ya Pop" Miss ya every day!

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#163544 - 03/08/12 08:42 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: wandering_daisy]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Quote:
I do not see much teamwork in today's backpackers. When I go with others, it is NOT as two solo backpackers- we are a team. Meet-up groups are really too loosy-goosey for me. I still have an entrenched wilderness ethic that says you never leave a slow member behind, carry extra weight if that is what is required to get the group from point A to point B as a cohesive group, be a good follower, be a strong leader, compromise, create synergy, cover each other's back. I think we are a dying breed.


Teamwork is inherent in backpacking with a group. One of the first things I learned. How can it not be. You all bear responsibility for one another. It is not always easy to throw a bunch of strangers together and have an instant leader. But in the 2 meetups I joined, I thought everyone looked out for one another quite well. Everyone shared what they had if needed and stopped to wait for the slow ones. I have no problem being the leader, or the follower. But I will speak my mind if I think things are going wrong. I would content that even strangers in the Sierra Nevada that we have met on trail have looked out for others they do not know but have run into in their travels. Maybe I've just been lucky, but over the past five years I can't think of a single trip where people weren't looking out for each other and being helpful. I just don't see the dying breed part from my angle. I am careful as to who I go out with in general. Although, I admit I had no idea what I was getting into with the Meetup group.

It leaves me curious as to the experiences that lead you to that conclusion.

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#163547 - 03/08/12 09:14 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: wandering_daisy]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I'm not sure I fully agree. Yes, I refer to most of my trips as "solo hikers headed the same way at the same time." However, that's a case of oversimplification.

We are all solo as it relates to gear; we each take enough to be self-sufficient. I suppose that leads to a certain amount of non-team behavior: very occasionally, not sharing shelter allows someone to go camp on top of the hill, just because he/she needs a night alone; it also means everyone cooks for themselves because each has a stove and pot, and different food preferences.

But those are just surface differences. We do share the team concept, so far as it means we look out for one another and stay together on the trail, that leaders are designated (often in an unspoken way), and that we implicity agree to follow. These roles shift over the course of the trip, but we do tend to function, on the big things, as a team. And, quite often, our groups do still include sub-groups of two or three sharing gear.

Good point, though - it made me stop and think that I may equip myself as a solo hiker, but I tend to actually hike as part of a team.

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#163550 - 03/08/12 09:33 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: Glenn]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
Originally Posted By Glenn
<Snip> ...and different food preferences.


This is the main reason I rarely hike with someone else. I am a foodie. But there seem to be as many dietary needs and preferences and tastes as there are tongues. I find coordinating food for another person, let alone a group, to be stressful. I don't know what he or she likes, I don't know food allergies, etc. I get along just fine with my brother, but he's family and I know him well. It's the strangers, or acquaintances, or not-so-close friends with whom I have the most trouble.

So unless I know the person or people who are coming along and their food needs, I usually say "BYOF" -- Bring Your Own Food.
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"Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls."

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#163585 - 03/09/12 12:03 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: skcreidc]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I lead climbig trips for the CMC for over 10 years and quit doing it because of the lack of willingness of participants to work as a group. The last climb I lead, in another group just behind us, one of their members died. That really hit home to me. All that day, in spite of pre-agreed on method to avoid rockfall danger (kicking rocks on each other) one member "did his own thing". Because CMC is an organized group the liability issue of being leader was the deciding factor for me.

I have been in a few epic situations with injuries and the whole picture changes when things go bad. I am pretty old-school. prefer strong leader from the get-go, not just have a leader "emerge" from the group as time goes on.

The original post is about a group of two. Couples who backpack together have a long history of sharing tasks and co-leadership. This is entirely different than going with another for the first time. If I go out with a new person I like to work out most of the concepts and emergency procedures BEFORE we head out.

As for inconviences of tenting together- my husband is a champion snorer. I wear ear plugs. In the past there were not so many light single-person tents available, so it was normal for everyone to tent together. I never recall feeling the slightest discomfort sleeping next to another memeber of the group, even if I hardly knew him (or her). I can see why you may prefer to have the tent all to yourself, but in climbing, we really minimized our camp gear becasue we had to carry so much climbing gear. When you climb the summit is such as strong "goal" that any discomfort during camping is hardly thought of.

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#163587 - 03/09/12 12:23 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: skcreidc]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
It leaves me curious as to the experiences that lead you to that conclusion.


I have to conclude much the same thing as W_D. In my experience it has been newbies or someone who says they love to backpack, but really don't, and they don't have much experience either.

There is a very small group of Ozarkers that actually get out into the forests and backpack here. There is a large group that use trails and smaller parks and they enjoy nature in a more sanitized way. Then there are those that never get off pavement and you couldn't drag them into the forests.

There have been more than a few times I've added weight to my pack to accommodate potential issues I perceived while being part of a group. I've usually done this after urging someone to take more clothes, or water, or food, and they refused. They always insist, "No, I won't need it". I've handed it out as expected almost every time.

To be honest, this happened enough times that I started to get a bit resentful about carrying other peoples gear and mad at myself for not letting them suffer the consequences. I didn't like that attribute I found in myself, so it was a struggle.

When I backpack with backpackers I never have that problem. Sometimes we split gear, other times we pack the same as if it were a solo trip. Personally, I enjoy being with one or two backpackers more than solo, but I've found I enjoy solo more than a larger group, and that's how I've resolved that struggle, I go solo more now.

My wife doesn't backpack at all with me, but she loves to go floating and camping so we still get out together and whoop it up big when the water warms up enough to go swimming laugh
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"You want to go where?"



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#163588 - 03/09/12 12:29 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: wandering_daisy]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I am pretty old-school. prefer strong leader from the get-go, not just have a leader "emerge" from the group as time goes on.


That's been the root of my issues with groups. I've been reluctant to "Lead", even though I knew that leadership was required. I suspect your NOLS experience would have taught you to "Take" the lead in those situations. I have a hard time doing that.
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#163589 - 03/09/12 12:40 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: billstephenson]
immortal.ben Offline
member

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
I think letting a leader emerge is fine under "safe" and/or training circumstances. I am even fine with pushing a new leader to emerge under those circumstances while holding myself back from taking the lead.

I recall that while in leadership school in the military, those of us with known leadership ability were now allowed to take charge of any situation, forcing those without to step up and learn how to be leaders.

However, the more technical or dangerous the situation, a clear leader needs to be designated or recognized.
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#163691 - 03/11/12 10:51 AM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: immortal.ben]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
The more technical and dangerous the situation, the less I want to be backpacking with othe people.

And frankly, the more technical and dangerous, the more I am going to consider avoiding it on a backpacking trip.

That's not to say I need a flat trail. But class 3 is not really technical nor dangerous. It's just clambering. Dangerous? No thanks,


Edited by balzaccom (03/11/12 10:53 AM)
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check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#163695 - 03/11/12 01:31 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: balzaccom]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Quote:
I lead climbig trips for the CMC for over 10 years and quit doing it because of the lack of willingness of participants to work as a group. The last climb I lead, in another group just behind us, one of their members died. That really hit home to me. All that day, in spite of pre-agreed on method to avoid rockfall danger (kicking rocks on each other) one member "did his own thing". Because CMC is an organized group the liability issue of being leader was the deciding factor for me.


Thanks for posting the explanation up. From your above description, your point is completely understandable. That activity is dangerous enough already.

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#163745 - 03/12/12 12:07 AM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: wandering_daisy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy


I do not see much teamwork in today's backpackers. When I go with others, it is NOT as two solo backpackers- we are a team. Meet-up groups are really too loosy-goosey for me. I still have an entrenched wilderness ethic that says you never leave a slow member behind, carry extra weight if that is what is required to get the group from point A to point B as a cohesive group, be a good follower, be a strong leader, compromise, create synergy, cover each other's back. I think we are a dying breed.


that's pretty funny to me - 99% of my backpacks are meetups and are not loosey goosey in the slightest. We put forth the expectation that everyone comes prepared, but when the bear scat hits the fan, we do what's necessary.

I have carried other people's packs - the guy who carried my pack one time was happy I am a light backpacker, when my 22 lb pack biner'd to his equaled one big off balance load so I could take the (hideously painful) Osprey from a lady who decided our ten miles would be her virgin hike with it.

What is different about meetup is that you are frequently blessed with strangers. Which is why I interview people before they get to go on anything long or strenuous - I tell them up front, I want people of similar experience and ability, and I have the right to go hiking with anyone I want to, or not go hiking with them. If they are sounding like a bad risk I tell them they will not enjoy this one, we are doing that other (low miles, low risk) trip in a month, go on that one if you can, you'll like it better. There has not been a time it has resulted in angry people. Most people appreciate that I have thought to help them avoid suffering.


_________________________
"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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#163796 - 03/12/12 06:01 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: balzaccom]
bradderz Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 1
found this awsome packing guide on instructables
hiking packing guide for 1

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#163808 - 03/12/12 08:54 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: lori]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Lori- it sounds like you are a very good leader and do not avoid the role of leader, even if it means ruffled feathers. I wish all meet-up groups had good leaders. I probably should try them out again. Are you the primary leader in your group or does everyone take turns at leading?

I have meet many "loose" groups out on the trail with members spread out all over and many "where's Joe?" comments. The weak members are left behind. Many of these are quite young (college students maybe?) without anyone appearing to be very experienced.

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#163818 - 03/12/12 10:43 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: wandering_daisy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Lori- it sounds like you are a very good leader and do not avoid the role of leader, even if it means ruffled feathers. I wish all meet-up groups had good leaders. I probably should try them out again. Are you the primary leader in your group or does everyone take turns at leading?

I have meet many "loose" groups out on the trail with members spread out all over and many "where's Joe?" comments. The weak members are left behind. Many of these are quite young (college students maybe?) without anyone appearing to be very experienced.


I just make it clear I want to hike with a particular kind of backpacker for one trip or another - the leadership is more a matter of deciding who's going. One of my main tactics with meetup groups (I have two, and yep, I'm the primary organizer in both, but lots of event hosts in each) is being very explicit up front and then guiding the newbies away from certain trips before they get in over their head. Once on the trip I kick back and let group consensus take over, unless someone gets hurt (it's happened on other people's hikes, not yet on mine, tho I did end up sending someone home from a SAR training exercise once...). The group usually pitches in on the few instances where someone's got a bit off and we can't find them.

Some of my organizers are Sierra Club leaders, others have experience leading high school backpacks or other sorts of groups. Some just turned out to be pretty good at setting up events.

Most of the lost folk I meet on the trail are as you describe. Lots of them I find on the Mist Trail... Pretty much anywhere in the national parks on the most popular trails, there's loosely organized groups looking for each other. I'm surprised SAR isn't out there more often.
_________________________
"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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#163826 - 03/13/12 01:45 AM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: lori]
Dyingjohnnie Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 51
Loc: SLC, Utah
Tell me more about these meet-up groups..sounds fun!
_________________________
You learn that what's important is how you got there, not what you've accomplished. - Yvon Chouinard

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#163842 - 03/13/12 12:19 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: lori]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Lori, what you describe is exactly my (limited) experience with meetup groups.

Quote:
I just make it clear I want to hike with a particular kind of backpacker for one trip or another - the leadership is more a matter of deciding who's going. One of my main tactics with meetup groups (I have two, and yep, I'm the primary organizer in both, but lots of event hosts in each) is being very explicit up front and then guiding the newbies away from certain trips before they get in over their head. Once on the trip I kick back and let group consensus take over,


Some of the meetups really limit the size of the groups due to the area they are heading for and some are geared to beginners. So far the people I have met are all smart, helpful, and all over the map culturally; one guy is originally from India and works in San Diego while his wife, kids, and extended family live in Chicago. So he uses the meetup's to keep busy on the weekends.


Dyingjohnnie check this out

meetup .com

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#163852 - 03/13/12 01:57 PM Re: Backpacking for two [Re: skcreidc]
Dyingjohnnie Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 51
Loc: SLC, Utah
nice!
_________________________
You learn that what's important is how you got there, not what you've accomplished. - Yvon Chouinard

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