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#167443 - 07/02/12 10:41 AM Condescension in backpackers
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
My hiking group goes each 4th of July to the same lake, to camp, fish and swim.

One of the traditionalists - slow miles, heavy gear - watched me get out the alcohol stove. He offered his stove for my use, as if mine wouldn't work. He offered his pump filter because the Sawyer Squeeze I am testing "looks like too much work."

But then, he gets up Sunday morning early, packs up everything, and starts for the trailhead because "I am too slow, you all will catch up to me." It took him a good five hours to go the six miles to the lake on the first day out.

We didn't catch up to him. I caught fish for breakfast and we lingered to cook and eat it. Because we could, because we knew it would take us two and a half hours to do the return trip. (It took less.)

I have to wonder why backpackers think that gear that is clearly working for me is so inadequate. Why would I bother carrying something that doesn't work?? I ignored him and boiled my water with the stove, filtered the rest with the Sawyer, and went on with my lazy day at the lake.
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#167445 - 07/02/12 11:18 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
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Registered: 12/23/08
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I don't think this is unique to backpacking. Think how often something similar happens at work (or when dealing with aging parents - or so my kids tell me.) People tend to feel most comfortable with what they are familiar with (sometimes I think inertia makes the world go round.)

I've always said the six most dangerous words in the English language are "We've always done it that way." (Or, if you prefer, substitute "never" for "always" - same result.)

The only attitude I can tell you to adopt is "Illegitimi non carborundum."

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#167446 - 07/02/12 11:28 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Cranman Offline
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Registered: 01/21/12
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NC
In your example it's a "old timer" but I have seen similiar from younger folks that just know their jetboil is superior because it boils water almost instantly....and can't understand why I am ok with a homemade alcohol stove.

To each his own, and it sounds to me that you got the better end of the deal, more time to fish and relax!

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#167447 - 07/02/12 11:30 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
aimless Offline
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Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
The answer to people like that is to smile and be as nice as pie to them, then do exactly what you intended to do all along. smile

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#167448 - 07/02/12 11:36 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Cranman]
ETSU Pride Offline
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Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Ha! I'm sorry, Lori, but it's a little funny. laugh

Around here, I don't have those kind of comments. When I get remarks about my gears, people are amaze at its size and lightweight. For instance, I was dayhiking a couple weeks ago to Mt. LeConte and there is a lodge at the top that tourists shell out 80 some bucks a night for. I usually avoid this place during summer months for obvious reason. This was my first hike to LeConte during the busy season for the lodge. I took my stove so I could have tea to go with my sandwich. Some couple was taking pictures not far from me and saw me pulled out the Pocket Rocket and was amazed by what I was doing. Their comment, "I cannot believe that is a stove!"

I've had people pick up my tent and would say, "This thing is insanely light, does it keeps you dry? Has to be a trade-off, right?!?!?" haha.
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#167454 - 07/02/12 12:12 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: ETSU Pride]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I dunno lori - I think there's enough Condescension on all sides. I've seen lightweighters be pretty Condescending to traditionalists, etc. I've definately seen lots of Condescending hammockers too (and even though I love my hammock, it's not the solution to everything..)

Having said that, come on, most people are catered to by the gear marketers and stores.. You wanna know why people do that stuff and stick with it? Go into a gear store and play newbie. Say you wanna buy stuff to go on trips up to 7 days - and do it like "super size me" - if they suggest it, you gotta buy it.. if they suggest two things, buy the bigger and tougher.

I bet you'll walk out with an "Expedition" backpack, (it can carry all you stuff.. an has GEAR patches.. oh what are those? that's for your ice axe and crampons and ropes and stuff.. oh you don't have those now, but you'll be manly/womanly enough for those soon....)... "four season" tent. (hey you could get this, but it won't work in -40 on denali - if you get this you'll be able to go anywhere!!) water filter that will filter the volume of the amazon and weigh half as much.. outback oven, dragonfly stove, base camp cooking set.. enormous synthetic bag because "you'll need to sleep in it wet". You get the drill, and an "expert" told them they needed this much "just in case". (I mean, you might some day go up denali...)


Makes for an interesting thought doesn't it.. a "super size me" exercise.. weigh what you get suggested....



Edited by phat (07/02/12 12:14 PM)
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#167455 - 07/02/12 12:18 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: ETSU Pride]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By ETSU Pride
Ha! I'm sorry, Lori, but it's a little funny. laugh

Around here, I don't have those kind of comments. When I get remarks about my gears, people are amaze at its size and lightweight....
I've had people pick up my tent and would say, "This thing is insanely light, does it keeps you dry? Has to be a trade-off, right?!?!?" haha.


I was also testing a 28 oz tent and got this too. Five people congregated on it when I got my hat out - funny how they think it won't keep rain off unless it weighs a lot.

I hose tested the tent for a good 15 minutes in the yard to make sure my seam sealing was good. So, yes, it works!
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#167456 - 07/02/12 12:21 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
And I suppose to be completely fair about it. really, it also depends you your goals..

If your trip style is to hike a short distance, camp for several days in comfort and lounge around - you're going to take *more stuff*. you're going to take stuff for comfort when you're in camp. Heck, I do it when I do that.. it's just that's not my usual style of backpacking.. normally I spend my entire day walking. I don't need amusements in camp, because I camp pretty much to eat a late supper and sleep.

Some people think walking all day is Bat S### Crazy.. Their idea of a good time is to get somewhere, sit in a chair, read a book, fish, lounge, play cards, etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with this!

I do this too sometimes, and sometimes then I do take "expedition" type gear.

So I think part of it is sometimes pretty simple - you're not hiking the same hike as they are.
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#167491 - 07/02/12 06:40 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
balzaccom Offline
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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
I also wonder if Lori's old timer had a bit os sexism in him as well...offering to clear up any problems she might not know how to handle.

A (female) friend once told me a wonderful story about going backpacking with six other women. One night a couple of young guys were camping at the same lake, and came over to say hello. As they chatted, the two guys kept looking around. Finally, one had to ask:

"So are you women all alone out here?"

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#167493 - 07/02/12 07:19 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
And some the only way they will get out is if they are comfortable and can eat certain food, going with the only way they know, not open for suggestions. As vocal as you are here Lori, I'm surprised you didn't bend his ear. smile
Duane

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#167495 - 07/02/12 07:24 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
ndwoods Offline
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Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
I don't think it had anything to do with backpacking. If you were in a grocery market and ran into him he would probably tell you the food you picked out was wrong!:) My motto with people like that is I'm just glad I don't have to live with them!:)
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#167507 - 07/02/12 10:59 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: hikerduane]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By hikerduane
And some the only way they will get out is if they are comfortable and can eat certain food, going with the only way they know, not open for suggestions. As vocal as you are here Lori, I'm surprised you didn't bend his ear. smile
Duane


I may have stared at his four pound tent a little pointedly while packing away mine...

I'm sure he loves his gear every bit as much as I love getting, trying, selling and moving on to the next piece of gear. I hate my tent marginally less than the less five.... It might be around for more than a year.
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#167509 - 07/02/12 11:03 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By balzaccom
I also wonder if Lori's old timer had a bit os sexism in him as well...offering to clear up any problems she might not know how to handle.

A (female) friend once told me a wonderful story about going backpacking with six other women. One night a couple of young guys were camping at the same lake, and came over to say hello. As they chatted, the two guys kept looking around. Finally, one had to ask:

"So are you women all alone out here?"



I suspect it had something to do with it. There were a lot of really outdoorsy women on this one and he got really quiet while we were all talking peak bagging, triathalons, hiking long distances and climbing.

crazy
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#167511 - 07/02/12 11:11 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By phat
And I suppose to be completely fair about it. really, it also depends you your goals..

If your trip style is to hike a short distance, camp for several days in comfort and lounge around - you're going to take *more stuff*. you're going to take stuff for comfort when you're in camp. Heck, I do it when I do that.. it's just that's not my usual style of backpacking.. normally I spend my entire day walking. I don't need amusements in camp, because I camp pretty much to eat a late supper and sleep.




Well, sure, a lot of this is true of him. But a lot of why he goes is a lot of why I go. He's a photographer. I am enough of one that I bought a better camera to take with me on my eight day high Sierra jaunt. I am sure he will not want to do the class 2-3 cross country passes, nor will he want to have hiked the miles per day we will be doing to get out into Evolution Basin. But he will probably plan to, someday, with his huge DSLR, after he sees the pictures I bring back.

He didn't really bring anything else to do. He said he'd taken enough pictures and so off he went home. He had a little tripod chair, but that was about it for extras. What he had that was heavy were the backpack, the bear canister (HUGE and full of food he didn't eat), the tent, and the sleeping bag. And some fleece layers.
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#167513 - 07/02/12 11:22 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
lori Offline
member

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

I dunno lori - I think there's enough Condescension on all sides. I've seen lightweighters be pretty Condescending to traditionalists, etc. I've definately seen lots of Condescending hammockers too (and even though I love my hammock, it's not the solution to everything..)

Having said that, come on, most people are catered to by the gear marketers and stores.. You wanna know why people do that stuff and stick with it? Go into a gear store and play newbie. Say you wanna buy stuff to go on trips up to 7 days - and do it like "super size me" - if they suggest it, you gotta buy it.. if they suggest two things, buy the bigger and tougher.



he got his pack at Costco for forty bucks. They don't really sell you gear, they sell you everything in huge lots tho. I think he is more "spend everything on the camera and nothing on the gear." cool

I know the folks at the stores can be bad about this... it would be interesting to experiment ala "super size" gear - but I couldn't do it. Most of the store peeps in my area are in my hiking group and know who I am. wink
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#167514 - 07/02/12 11:25 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
Trailrunner Offline
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Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I get a lot of condescension in my tent when it's not properly ventilated.
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#167516 - 07/02/12 11:40 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Trailrunner]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Trailrunner
I get a lot of condescension in my tent when it's not properly ventilated.


LOL, you remind me of something someone said last weekend - she didn't guy out her fly very well, and Sunday morning she asked me if I had a lot of precipitation in my tent. grin
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#167518 - 07/03/12 12:15 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
BradMT Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 148
Originally Posted By phat

I dunno lori - I think there's enough Condescension on all sides. I've seen lightweighters be pretty Condescending to traditionalists, etc.



My experience is the gram-counters have 90% of the condescension market. In fact, the OP is one in reverse, albeit veiled.
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#167519 - 07/03/12 12:27 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: BradMT]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By BradMT
Originally Posted By phat

I dunno lori - I think there's enough Condescension on all sides. I've seen lightweighters be pretty Condescending to traditionalists, etc.



My experience is the gram-counters have 90% of the condescension market. In fact, the OP is one in reverse, albeit veiled.


You can believe that if you like.

I'm a pragmatist. If it works for you, great. I do what works for me.... Just don't expect me to sit there for long letting you force me to think the way you do, if I don't agree.

Trying to fix what isn't broken? Yes, that is in fact condescension. Whether it's because I'm the little lady or the crazy person with the pop can stove.
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#167520 - 07/03/12 12:53 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
BTW, other than his little spasms of Mr. Fixit, this guy is a really nice, awesome person to spend time with. Just like 99% of both of my hiking groups.

If all I ever have to complain about are the foibles of newbies (how many packs that aren't mine will I have to carry this year? so far none...) and misguided but helpful people, I am truly living a charmed life.
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http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#167522 - 07/03/12 01:27 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By lori
BTW, other than his little spasms of Mr. Fixit, this guy is a really nice, awesome person to spend time with. Just like 99% of both of my hiking groups.

If all I ever have to complain about are the foibles of newbies (how many packs that aren't mine will I have to carry this year? so far none...) and misguided but helpful people, I am truly living a charmed life.


Honestly if that's the worst you can complain about him lori - count yourself fortunate.. There's much worse jerks in the world. HYOH smile


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#167526 - 07/03/12 02:05 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

A (female) friend once told me a wonderful story about going backpacking with six other women. One night a couple of young guys were camping at the same lake, and came over to say hello. As they chatted, the two guys kept looking around. Finally, one had to ask:

"So are you women all alone out here?"


I've said it before, I've said it again, I think twenty-something men these days are just plain stupid, in general (please accept my apologies if you aren't, I know there are exceptions).

I've lost track of how many times, on (very lovely) epic hikes I've run into groups of 6 to 9 twenty something women, either on their own, or with one guy, who is looking miserable to be away from his video games the whole time. It's not just canada! I've seen this on South Coast Trek in tasmania, Skyline in Jasper, West Coast Trail in BC, and in Ireland! It's *not* a coincidence!

like. good lord, I had dreams like this in my teens (the reality on the trail at the time was guys in kodiak boots, frame packs and vegreville tuxedos..) now it's *totally different*.

It's rather nice, because at my (not yet old) age I am still considered "safe" - so I can be talked to, asked advice, rousted out of my tent to mcGyver something up to retrieve a camera dropped 4 feet into a pile of logs (all the while the one guy is hiding in his tent).

What the heck is wrong with these guys!

Although in all seriousness, it *sounds* funny, but I'm really actually becoming concerned about the lack of men in the sport. Young men are *not doing this stuff* young women *are*.


Edited by phat (07/03/12 02:08 AM)
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#167527 - 07/03/12 02:18 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By phat
Originally Posted By lori
BTW, other than his little spasms of Mr. Fixit, this guy is a really nice, awesome person to spend time with. Just like 99% of both of my hiking groups.

If all I ever have to complain about are the foibles of newbies (how many packs that aren't mine will I have to carry this year? so far none...) and misguided but helpful people, I am truly living a charmed life.


Honestly if that's the worst you can complain about him lori - count yourself fortunate.. There's much worse jerks in the world. HYOH smile




There are more condescending guys in the group - it's just hard to take them seriously some of the time, and thankfully, they don't come out with me much. One in particular amuses me to no end, he was bragging about his fishing acumen, then proceeded to lug around a gallon ziploc full of water to store his dead fish in.

wink
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#167528 - 07/03/12 02:25 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

There are more condescending guys in the group - it's just hard to take them seriously some of the time


Good thing you don't come out with me then. Heck, I'm so full of it most of the time my eyes are brown and you need to wipe my hair off after a good story wink

Comes with the gender.

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#167530 - 07/03/12 02:41 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By phat
Originally Posted By lori

There are more condescending guys in the group - it's just hard to take them seriously some of the time


Good thing you don't come out with me then. Heck, I'm so full of it most of the time my eyes are brown and you need to wipe my hair off after a good story wink

Comes with the gender.



Oh, I don't know, I get along with egos of all sizes. Search and Rescue is full of those after all.

I'm sure you're easier to get along with than you think. You're still married, after all. grin

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#167532 - 07/03/12 02:53 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

I'm sure you're easier to get along with than you think. You're still married, after all. grin


Well, I'm sure my wife would have an opinion about that. I however, am wise enough not to voice one wink


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#167587 - 07/03/12 09:56 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
Cubleader Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 12
Loc: PA
You guys don't know what condescension is. smile Start running. I started running just about a year ago to be in better shape to pack on some real trips and have had a huge eye opener. Since then, I've run six 5K's and one 5 miler road race. (I've also lost about 30 pounds in the process... yay me !) For the most part, runners are great but, there are also the "10% er's" that don't have a good thing to say about anyone except themselves. Check out some of the stuff on the Runners World forums.

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#167589 - 07/03/12 11:56 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
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Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Once again,we all married better than our wives did. smile

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#167590 - 07/04/12 12:51 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
I've said it before, I've said it again, I think twenty-something men these days are just plain stupid, in general (please accept my apologies if you aren't, I know there are exceptions).


I have two 20 something daughters and they, and their girlfriends, do go hiking, camping, floating, atving, 4wheeling etc. They even go rock climbing, rappelling and hunting. Those young women are a blast to go hiking with. I've taken them bushwhacking with me many times and they're tough as can be. They go camping together themselves quite a bit now, and from what I've heard they have a pretty good time of it too. I'd pity the guy who walked up and said something stupid to them laugh

As far as condescension in backpackers, I don't run into that much here. There just aren't many backpackers here, and I don't use trails much so I rarely run into others. When I do, I'm pretty much dressed like a hobo, and scruffy as can be, and unless they're a real hillbilly they generally don't stop to chat much.

Real hillbilly backpackers are rarely condescending. I've never run into one that was. Now your city backpackers who come here with shiny new gear generally kind of freak out when they see a local backpacking. You can hear the banjo music playing in their heads and see the fear in their eyes. It's so obvious, they think your out there cooking meth and murdering intruders with an axe and it really makes for a very uncomfortable encounter. I suppose in a way that could be considered pretty darn condescending, but I never take it that way. First I try and calm their fears, never succeed, then I just head off bushwhacking into the forest and let them sleep on the fact that I'm out there too laugh

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#167595 - 07/04/12 10:19 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: billstephenson]
balzaccom Offline
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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
As a cyclist, I am happy (?) to report that a recent poll showed that people thought cyclists were the most unpleasant and arrogant of all amateur athletes. Backpackers didn't even make the list.

Somethig about spending all that time sitting on that tiny saddle....
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#167602 - 07/04/12 11:43 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By balzaccom


Somethig about spending all that time sitting on that tiny saddle....


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#167603 - 07/04/12 11:44 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Condenscension:
Webster's unabridged dictionary:
#3 "voluntary assumption of equal status with someone considered inferior."

lets see the gentleman was inferior because he was:
1) male - sexism
2) elderly - ageism
3) his pack ws lighter - ULism?

My own comments I will keep to myself.
I think this thread belongs in the "rant" file.
Jim
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#167609 - 07/04/12 12:55 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Jimshaw]
aimless Offline
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Loc: Portland, OR
Actually, Jim, I think lori's point was not that the gentleman in question was inferior to her, but that the way in which he offered her advice seemed to suggest that she didn't know what she was doing and therefore included a presumption of superior knowledge on his part.

For my part, I think that offering unsolicited advice always carries this danger, and I've been guilty of it more than once in my life. However, as sins go, if the advice was well-meant, it is far better to overlook any unintended offense and forget about it.

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#167611 - 07/04/12 02:33 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
packlite Offline
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.... reminds me of the time ....

in the early nineties, a bit before I created this site in 1995, went on a week long trip with a group of folks (guys, actually). I was just getting into carrying a light pack and was maybe a little religious about it - all my light gear in the face of all the other dudes with their heavy gear.

Anyway, very long story, so the short of it is this - when at our destination, I somehow was able to not squirrel away in my self-sufficient lightweight environment, but instead to join into the group share mentality. Of course, once encamped, their gear was more awesome than mine.

One guy brought a (must have been at least ten pounds) cast-iron griddle. It took four camp stoves under the thing (including my tiny tit gas stove) to heat the whole plate. Man that was fun. To this day I have fond memories of that trip.

We all went fishing (me with my 4oz fishing kit and they, with their full-size gear - of course, they did way better), caught 45 trout one day and had a major fish fry using that griddle. Some of the guys brought eggs, pancakes, pots, pans and so on. Things I wouldn't dream of bringing on a 7-day trip that covered 25 miles with about 5000 elev gain with some of it cross-country.

Anyway, now, when I'm with other ultralight gear junkies, I suppose I'm as religious as the next person, but when with a mixed crowd, I strive to blend in without too much regard to who has what -- and as you might expect from this experience, I don't mind using someone else's stuff, if they offer.

The trip was a success - everyone had a great time!!!

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#167613 - 07/04/12 04:10 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By balzaccom
As a cyclist, I am happy (?) to report that a recent poll showed that people thought cyclists were the most unpleasant and arrogant of all amateur athletes. Backpackers didn't even make the list.

Somethig about spending all that time sitting on that tiny saddle....


It could very well be that tiny, rock hard, seat laugh

I want to add a little localized flavor to this conversation, because, to a degree, I think it can be a local thing.

We probably have the least amount of backpackers here, per acre of public land, than anywhere east of the Rockies. Most of the locals that backpack are as knowledgable as your average backpacker here on the forums, but it's probably true that fewer are true gearheads, or arrogant about their gear or skills.

Backpacking here is not the same as the AT, or Western States backpacking. Our longest trails are measured with a couple hundred miles, and our best spots are often not near a trail because we don't have lot of trails. Most of our trails would be rated nearer the "difficult" end of the scale too, so miles are no measure of a hike here, when compared to most of the popular trails in the U.S.

I don't know of a single hiker here on the forum that has thru-hiked the OHT, or even the BRT, but if you can say that here, you're held in high esteem.

Among the members here, I'd have to say that W_D is the one that hikes most like Ozarkers hike. The miles she does and routes she takes are what the best of us can do here on the trails. I'm not in that group, a 10+ mile day here would kill me, I know W_D could do more here, but she'd be honest about the difficulty too, as I'm sure most our thru-hikers here would be.

So, like our most experienced hikers here on the forums, Ozark backpackers tend to be humble. They know the miles can be tough, and they know the weather can kill you, so if you're out there with them you've pretty much earned their respect already. Even if you find you don't like them much, you have to give them their dues for being out there. I met a couple women down in Arkansas last year at a hiker's gathering that are awesome. As far as I know, not one man there dared to be condescending to them. We can't possibly be, we know where they've been. It's certainly an Ozark thing in that it's how the locals think about it here. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that's the norm.

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#167628 - 07/04/12 07:40 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: packlite]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By packlite
.... reminds me of the time ....
I don't mind using someone else's stuff, if they offer.


Oh I'm not proud either. if I'm packed ul, working my way through three ounces of stove alcohol a day, I will still have extra coffees and soup with me.. I'm definately not shy about yogi'ing hot water if people are bugging me for tall tales wink

Nevermind fires, treats, booze, cigars, etc wink




Edited by phat (07/04/12 07:40 PM)
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#167632 - 07/04/12 11:13 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
Trailrunner Offline
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Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By balzaccom
As a cyclist, I am happy (?) to report that a recent poll showed that people thought cyclists were the most unpleasant and arrogant of all amateur athletes. Backpackers didn't even make the list.


As one who used to turn pedals for a living and then switched to a bunch of other sports.......I agree 100% And may I add that ultramarathon runners seem to be the exact opposite.

.........anyone who disagrees with me is a moron.
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#167634 - 07/04/12 11:41 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Jimshaw]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
Condenscension:
Webster's unabridged dictionary:
#3 "voluntary assumption of equal status with someone considered inferior."

lets see the gentleman was inferior because he was:
1) male - sexism
2) elderly - ageism
3) his pack ws lighter - ULism?

My own comments I will keep to myself.
I think this thread belongs in the "rant" file.
Jim


this post confirms that you are consistently reading my posts wrong...

The upshot of the original post is the assumption that my gear doesn't work is condescending. Which is something you do on an ongoing basis, each time you decide "UL gear is cutting corners and less safe". Kettle, black. Want to check out the tone of this response you made again?

This thread is a musing on the whys of gear elitism. The traditionalists think those of us striving for lighter backpacks are crazy for using silly little stoves and 3 oz water filters. The lightweights who drill holes in toothbrushes and hike all night so they don't have to carry a sleeping bag look at me and say "your pack is too heavy."

I feel that I do enough to stay safe in the environment I hike in most, while not wrecking my back and joints. I hike with newbies, oldbies, heavyweights, lightweights, ULs, and *crazy people* - and I do not criticize nor do I question their gear. I let them do as they will, sometimes to my detriment, since I am occasionally carrying other people's stuff in addition to my own because their **safe heavy gear** weighed too much for them and they blew a knee or a back. And I do it without criticizing - I merely suggest to them that they go fewer miles next time, or get a pack animal, or perhaps plan to leave the chair, four bath towels, and 3 lb textbook at home next time, since it is clearly not working out the way it is for them. And they thank me for carrying their stuff and apologize, and some of them actually do come out with me again, and enjoy themselves a lot more. They do it because I am able to talk to them in ways that don't accuse them in the ways you accuse me. Telling me I am ranting and insinuating that I think this fellow is inferior? Where in this post is there anything saying he or his gear is inferior? He has opinions. They are his. The problem comes when someone tries to make their opinion mine.

My pack is just right, Jim. It isn't too light, or too heavy.

It's light enough for me to save the newbies and heavy enough to give me the food, shelter and fishing gear I need to enjoy myself. I also enjoy helping the newbies or I would stop doing so. Correct?

The gentleman in question is far nicer to me than you are. I will hike with him any time he likes. I have a lot to learn about photography from him, and maybe he'll pick up some ways to lighten up his pack so he doesn't feel like he hikes slower than everyone else. You can bet that the lessons we give each other won't have any further condescension, because while I've not talked to him yet about my experience, I know that when I do, he'll let me keep using my pop can stove without further lectures, and maybe I'll finally figure out how to use my camera on manual.


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#167649 - 07/05/12 10:30 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
Indy Offline
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Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 12
I can't vouch for BPing, too new to the hobby, but I can say with certainty that shooting sports, and adventure racing are chalk full of gear snobs. Granted, these are both competitions, but both can also be recreational. Snobbery knows no bounds, apparently.

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#167650 - 07/05/12 10:42 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Indy]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
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Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
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"Some people can only feel big by making others feel small."

This is definitely not unique to any one activity, pastime, job, or other form of interpersonal relationship. Nor is it anything new; I've seen it everywhere, all through my life.

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#167676 - 07/06/12 09:53 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: billstephenson]
JPete Offline
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Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
Billstephenson,

Just wanted to second your thoughts for fun.

I grew up in the Ozarks, first near Alpena, Ark, then Springfield, Mo. I learned to backpack in that area (mostly bushwhacking for lack of trails) and I can vouch for the challenges (I've hiked and backpacked a good many places since for comparison purposes).

I was just starting a thru-hike of the OHT when my leukemia kicked up a couple of years ago (I'm just getting back into backpacking now). I was only about three days in when I realized I was to weak to be in the woods alone, but I had already had a pretty good look at the challenges, and I hadn't even gotten to the rough parts. I'll try it again one of these days.

But it was fun to be back in country I once knew well.

Take care, jcp

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#167681 - 07/06/12 01:36 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
lostagain Offline
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Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 48
Loc: DFW, Texas
Interesting thread. Seems a lot of other sports have condescension in them. Although with backpacking it seems less condescending than not understanding. In Lori's case, the gentleman had probably never seen an alcohol stove before (at least not a popcan one) and thought something had broken on hers, but lori was determined to use it anyway. I could be wrong too.

We've got a worse sense of it in golf. In that sport, you get a lot of "Look at ME! Clearly my gear is superior because it's lighter/newer/fancier than YOURS." Mostly it's just name brand clubs vs. my self assembled component oriented clubs. I buy a certain head (or set of heads), shafts, and grips, then assemble them myself to fit my game and me in general. I can't tell you the number of ties someone with name brand clubs has looked down on mine at the tee box, but by the end of the round wanted to know where he could get clubs like mine. In reality it has nothing to do with the clubs and everything to do with his/her ego and lack of knowledge about not only the gear they're using, but the WAY THEY PLAY THE GAME.

I see no difference in backpacking. How you hike is how YOU hike, it's not how I hike. As with everything, what works for you may work for me, but we won't know until I try it. Vice versa applies.
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#167684 - 07/06/12 01:51 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lostagain]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
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Don't get much of that when the fancy-club guy and I are both walking around in the trees looking for his ball. smile

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#167720 - 07/09/12 01:14 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: JPete]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
I grew up in the Ozarks, first near Alpena, Ark, then Springfield, Mo.


I live pretty close to right in between those places. I have a friend who lives in Alpena and have been there often. It'd have to be pretty great to grow up near Long Creek. I'd have been hiking along that every chance I got as a kid. I've explored it from the back of the cove at Table Rock Lake for a bit and that's a stunningly beautiful area there.

Quote:
I was just starting a thru-hike of the OHT when my leukemia kicked up a couple of years ago...


Wow, that's a shocker, I don't recall you ever mentioning that before. I'm sure glad to hear you're back on the trails again.

You really did three days on the OHT fighting that? Geez, that had to be brutal. I think the starting point from the west end has changed a few times, but the last time I looked it had you climbing down a big steep mountain, then right back up one just as big and steep, it's like "Welcome to the Ozarks!"

I've never really hiked any of the OHT but I've backpacked/bushwhacked in quite a few of the areas it runs through and I've studied it on topo maps and that is just a vicious trail. I'm kind of baffled by some (most) of the routes it takes. A lot of it seems to be deliberately vicious. I'm not kidding either.

While I studied that trail I did think to myself that it had to be a committee of condescending brats that routed it. As tough as it is to hike anywhere here, I think that trail was made deliberately tougher than it had to be and plain old jealousy had a lot to do with it. I think they figured "If we can't make one longer, make it tougher", and then they also purposely avoided some incredibly beautiful spots to "keep hikers from ruining them".

So, in my opinion, the trail is those design goals achieved. But that's not why I've never hiked it, I just love bushwhacking too much to stay on a trail for long. Honestly, I don't know how you thru-hikers do it, I'd have made it to the bottom of that first hill on the OHT and started following the creek instead laugh

I guess one of the things I love about hiking here is that I can go bushwhacking like when I was a kid. Back then it was day hikes in city parks and forest preserves, but they were still full of adventure. I've been here for about 18 years now and hiking in the Ozarks is always like a dream come true for me. I loved hiking out West too, but I just never felt at home there like I do here.

Quote:
I'll try it again one of these days.


If you ever do get back here let me know, I'd love to hook up with you for a bit and I'd be glad to resupply and shuttle you. And if you think you might rather ramble around bushwhacking for a bit again instead, well, you know, I'm always ready for that too...
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#167743 - 07/09/12 09:29 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: billstephenson]
JPete Offline
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Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
billstephenson,

Thanks for some serious nostalgia!! Yes, Long Creek was fun. We used quite regularly the swimming hole just west of town, and walked considerable distances on fishermen's trails. Can't speak for Table Rock; Norfork was only half finished at that time. Camped years later on the Table Rock site (after the initial drilling, but before they started moving things).

Hiking tended to follow very old wagon roads,farm lanes and animal tracks, or just plain bushwhacking because existing trails usually led to places where Mason jars could be filled (and where we knew we shouldn't be). There were a few that went to caves (sometimes that was where one went with the jars -- Boone was a "dry" county). There was one trail to the top of Boat Mountain that was a a real adventure for a kid. There was also the route of what is now the highway to Fayetteville, then the remains of a pioneer wagon trail, two ruts with gates across it; funny, since most of the area was then free range.

If your friend was a local native I might know the family, there weren't that many. Dad was principal of the little consolidated high school.

I'm serious about trying the OHT again, probably next April (early) or the next one (depending on my strength), and I'd love the local contact/company (and I would not be averse to a bit of bushwhacking -- now that most of the stills are gone).

You give me too much credit, however. I started from the West, but it wasn't quite that bad. I had indeed just gone down a very long (and yes, unnecessarily steep) hill (from the state park camp and lodge), and sat down for lunch when I sorta took stock and realized I needed to get out, so spent the remainder of the day climbing back up again. But that was the only really serious hill up to that point. There were two fords (out of three) that were considerably worse than the hills (actually dangerous for a solo hiker in the spring). But I'm well aware that the real challenges were still ahead.

Much more to say and share (and questions to ask), but we've already hijacked this post.

Best, thanks much, jcp


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#167748 - 07/10/12 09:58 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lostagain]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Mainly, the experience made me think about how I approach the gear of others, in a self examining kind of way - have I ever made anyone feel defensive about their gear choices?

I wouldn't be surprised if I had. Not really my intention - we only ever intend to help, I think.

From the other end of the spectrum:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/...t=564331#564331

I would say "you know your gear is light enough when you can carry the pack, you have what you need, and you're safe in the conditions you're facing - and, it's the pack weight you wanted to carry."

Being a snob about the gear you're carrying is kind of dumb either way. It's not science. It's a balance of skill and tools. A heavy pack won't help you at all if the stuff inside it is beyond your ability to use it properly - same as a light pack. Durable four season gear is overkill on a one night trip at lower elevation where you're going to bail on the trip if the forecast is bad. It'll be just the ticket if you're over 13,000 feet and intending to stay out for three weeks in October. (Yet, someone brought a four season tent on my last six mile, one night, easy trip....)
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#167809 - 07/12/12 02:10 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
lostagain Offline
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Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 48
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By lori

Being a snob about the gear you're carrying is kind of dumb either way. It's not science. It's a balance of skill and tools. A heavy pack won't help you at all if the stuff inside it is beyond your ability to use it properly - same as a light pack.


AMEN! As I've told prospective customers who want me to modify their golf clubs, "It's never the bow and arrows, it's ALWAYS the Indian." That is it doesn't matter how good/light/expensive your equipment is, if you don't know how to use it properly, then it's just dead weight.
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#167811 - 07/12/12 02:19 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lostagain]
aimless Offline
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Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
it's ALWAYS the Indian

Even though it is a bit of a derail of the thread, this reminded me of an article I read long ago in Sports Illustrated about Lee Trevino.

Apparently, when Lee was a teenager and not yet on the PGA tour, he won a ton of money from players at the country club where he caddied, betting he could beat his opponent across 18 holes using only one club to drive, chip and putt, and he let his opponent choose the club. If I recall correctly, he also once beat someone using a pop bottle as a club.

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#167835 - 07/14/12 10:01 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline
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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By lori


Being a snob about the gear you're carrying is kind of dumb either way. It's not science. It's a balance of skill and tools.


It's also a balance of time, interest and money. All backpacking equiment is a compromise. Some choose to spend more money, some choose to take less, some choose more comfort, and some simply take what they have always taken, because the trip is more interesting than the equipment.

So which one is wrong?
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#167841 - 07/14/12 09:41 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
balz
neihter is wrong.
Wrong is in the mind of the "superior person" who knows his or her gear is superior and therefore that they are superior.

The point being that condescension should'nt really belong as a part of backpacking, but is more a personality trait of some people whether they backpack or not.
Jim
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#167847 - 07/15/12 09:01 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
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Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I don't think there is an objective" right" or "wrong" here. I don't think my gear is the best, period - but I do think it's the best for me. HYOH seems appropriate, I think.

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#167848 - 07/15/12 10:32 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
balzaccom Offline
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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By balzaccom
Originally Posted By lori


Being a snob about the gear you're carrying is kind of dumb either way. It's not science. It's a balance of skill and tools.


It's also a balance of time, interest and money. All backpacking equiment is a compromise. Some choose to spend more money, some choose to take less, some choose more comfort, and some simply take what they have always taken, because the trip is more interesting than the equipment.

So which one is wrong?


I hope it was clear from this post that the question was rhetorical...all of the answers have validity.
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#167849 - 07/15/12 11:33 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
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It was, and was a nice way to sum up the thread.

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#167869 - 07/16/12 04:11 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Glenn Roberts]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
I don't think there is an objective" right" or "wrong" here. I don't think my gear is the best, period - but I do think it's the best for me.


That must be nice. I've never been able to say that, though I could always say "Best that I can afford", or "Best that I have" wink

There are differences in how people react to new or different things in any field and it can be interesting to observe.

I'll offer that admiration is the opposite of condescension, and people react with one or the other with predicable consistency based on just a few variables. It is certainly a personality trait, but I think perhaps even more broadly it's a cultural trait.

There is certainly a "Celebrity" effect variable that's easy to observe. People will often associate the quality or effectiveness of something based on who makes or uses it and their celebrity status, even if it's not associated with the product or subject. Way too often I've seen this sway people's opinions with far more weight than deserved, and it's often not easy to move them back to a more objective view.

Take celebrity status out of the picture, and the same people will almost always react the same, with either admiration or condescension.

Generally speaking, I'd say condescension is the norm. People tend to want to criticize. They look first for things to criticize and tend to ignore admirable qualities.

People that tend to react with admiration look at the same thing differently. They tend to look for the admirable qualities first and foremost, and may ignore defects to a fault.

If you are self aware, and know your own tendencies, you can work to add balance. If you know someone else's tendencies you can work to adjust your approach on how you point out what they may be ignoring. But all that's a lot of work laugh
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#167871 - 07/16/12 04:35 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: billstephenson]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Interesting how it shifted - we went from a thread about attitudes to suddenly "superior" gear.

There is no such thing. Gear appropriate to the environment or the task, yes.

Of course, that's just my opinion. If you want to carry planks and tools and make a house because there is a slight chance of rain, and call it appropriate, so be it. Just don't thumb your nose at my tarp and keep the noise down.
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#167872 - 07/16/12 05:00 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
wildthing Offline
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Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
I would say don't thumb your nose at my tarp or my hammock or my bullet-proof tent or my well-stocked first aid kit! Everyone had different experiences to fall back on and I tend to remember the snow that fell in May, June, July or August when I think about the extreme range of many habitats. I've been snowed on in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon and North-West Territories, not just in British Columbia where I live.

It is easy to be critical. What really matters for a trip is the journey and if you can get there with a light heart and a light backpack, you'll be the favorite of all those you meet. We met the people over the big pass with draughts of whiskey, and they didn't sneer at the fact we packed the extra weight! They just drunk it back with appreciation and weariness of having made it over the pass.
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#167873 - 07/16/12 05:16 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By lori
If you want to carry planks and tools and make a house because there is a slight chance of rain, and call it appropriate, so be it. Just don't thumb your nose at my tarp and keep the noise down.


You just described my neighbor and oft times hiking partner, Randy...

This past winter I invited him to backpack to the top of the bluff behind where we live to test out the campfire tent I'd made. It's a pretty cool spot, and he'd never been up there. He's been talking about how we need to go build a shelter up there ever since, and I keep telling him I like it the way it is laugh

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#167875 - 07/16/12 05:38 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Given that it's really hard to find crap gear nowadays (I remember the 70's and 80's, when it was easy), I think "superior gear" is intrinsically tied to "attitude." When I say the gear I have is the best for me, I'm speaking not only of brand name or other marketing cachet. I'm talking about the best balance of performance, convenience, weight, and price for me. Some of my gear cost very little, much of it cost more. But I don't buy based on that (well, I don't anymore - I got over my little obsession with "it has to be MSR." smile ) There are some lovely tents out there that are way over my price-tag comfort level (Hilleberg, Atko, and some others jump to mind) BUT they are also way overkill for the conditions I go out in. If it weren't for bugs, I'd still be under a tarp - and a fairly cheap one at that - but it doesn't fit my needs and so it's not best for me.



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#167877 - 07/16/12 06:23 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Glenn Roberts]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
I'm talking about the best balance of performance, convenience, weight, and price for me.


I understand, I'm getting pretty close to that, just not there yet, and never have been. I might hit that mark this year, after hanging out here for years now and working at it a piece and a buck at a time.

A bigger part of why is because I was given both a backpack and a sleeping pad that I probably would've never made the leap to purchase and they've made huge difference in comfort. I'd still be going, but I'd sure be suffering more when I did grin
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#168265 - 08/06/12 09:28 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
Merrellman78 Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Western Pa.
I understand your feelings,lori....I too, will at some point, get the "Oh, you use a COLEMAN backpack......." I just got into hiking and backpacking...Im 51, and am not independantly wealthy, so I gotta make do with what I can afford. Yeah, some stuffy people would look at my gear...Coleman MAX pack, Outdoor Products poles, Merrell boots,Swiss Gear sleeping bag, and say,"Youve got nothing but junk there, boy!!"....but you know what...I dont care!!! I love my stuff-it works, and I didnt need to re-mortgage the house to go hiking!!! Ive used my gear multiple times, and it works,and thats what counts!!! Im sure some people out there have spent more on boots than I did on my pack, boots, and tent combined....but its mine,I love my gear, it works....PERIOD!! It aint all about price.....just getting out in the out-of-doors is all I need........hey,maybe someone should start a "Budget hiking" thread!!! Have a good day,all!!

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#168266 - 08/06/12 09:29 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Merrellman78]
Merrellman78 Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Western Pa.
Oh,I forgot to mention....I have a Kelty Zenith tent, and an REI Camp Dome 4 that I use.......great stuff!!!!

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#168278 - 08/06/12 12:47 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Merrellman78]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Condescension in backpackers? Sounds like someone bring their personal problems on the trip as part of their baggage.

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#168354 - 08/08/12 03:00 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: skcreidc]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
I've never directly experienced condescention, but I think it has still influenced me. For a long time I declined to go hiking with people who I thought had "better" stuff than me because I didn't want them looking down their noses at my equipment.

I've since decided that 1) most people don't care, so long as I'm not endangering them or myself; b) I don't care what anyone else thinks, because I am not out there to please anyone but myself; and III) if anyone does care, it's their problem, not mine.
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#168359 - 08/09/12 09:21 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: skcreidc]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By skcreidc
Condescension in backpackers? Sounds like someone bring their personal problems on the trip as part of their baggage.


Perhaps that is why it bothers me more than other annoyances. I go to get away from all of the baggage people have, since I deal with it every day at work. (The mental health field is like that.)

Unfortunately there is no way to tell who's going to threaten to kill themselves over the morning coffee, or lecture you while you're making it.
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#168360 - 08/09/12 11:46 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
On our trip last week, we were on our way out, and we met a group on the trail. I asked the older gentleman up front where they were headed.

He answered--but I didn't understand him. I thought he said Altha Lake (a small lake on a rarely used route that we had just visited two days before.)

"Altha Lake?" I answered. "We were just there!"

"ALGER LAKE" he replied with disdain. "It's at 10,600 feet."

Well.

We were properyly chastened. After all, how many lakes in this area are that high?

(ASNWER: more than you can count. But it seemed important to the guy.)

We greeted the rest of the group, and they were quite friendly--and maybe a bit embarrassed by group leader Grumpy.
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#168366 - 08/09/12 02:40 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Quote:
I go to get away from all of the baggage people have, since I deal with it every day at work.


I empathize with you Lori. I do much the same. It sucks when you are on trail and that baggage is following you around like a puppy dog.

I go out and bring no extra stuff. No music playing devices, no gps (usually), nothing but food, shelter, and the very basics. The whole point is to be in the moment, out there, at that time. It is hard to be in the moment in our world with the way it is organized with the insurance, paychecks, bills, cell phones, keeping so-and-so happy, bla bla bla. I need down time where everything is stripped to the basics; noticing the mares' tails coming in from the North west and keeping an eye out for some change in the weather no matter how subtle. When I come back from trips I am (usually) fully recharged; centered if you will.

I guess its hard for some people to leave their extra baggage at the trailhead. And sometimes it takes me a couple of days to drop it all off myself. Maybe the site motto "Packing Light is More Fun" can have multiple meanings.



Edited by skcreidc (08/09/12 03:03 PM)

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#168375 - 08/09/12 09:45 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Maybe his comments were pointed more towards the group than you. He may have wanted to hike to a much lower lake laugh
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#168884 - 08/30/12 09:35 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By balzaccom
I also wonder if Lori's old timer had a bit os sexism in him as well...offering to clear up any problems she might not know how to handle.

A (female) friend once told me a wonderful story about going backpacking with six other women. One night a couple of young guys were camping at the same lake, and came over to say hello. As they chatted, the two guys kept looking around. Finally, one had to ask:

"So are you women all alone out here?"


Hahahahahaha This remids me of a trip I went on when I was 14... I was taking a camping class with 1 other girl and 3 boys. The 5 of us and our instructor decided to go camp for a weekend (in February) on a piece of mountain property my family used to own - smack dab in the middle of Appalachia. The camp site was about a mile (or less) from where we parked the car. To get to the campsite we had to walk past a cabin inhabited by an old mountain man. The other girl and I had to make a trip back to the car for forgotten gear. On our way back to the camp site the old man was chopping wood, but stopped as we walked past. He looked at us then asked if we were camping up on the mountain. We said yes rather nervously. He then asked us if we were married (He'd seen the boys go by earlier). The girl and I looked at each other, laughed and said no, we were just 14. His reply "well then, how are you going to keep warm?" blush

MNS
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#169744 - 09/24/12 03:03 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
As with any hobby/ sport there seems to always be people who want to pic apart what someone else does. Just makes me smile and move on. I have no time for negative people in my life, it is just too short!
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#172865 - 12/10/12 01:29 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
monkeykoder Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/04/12
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By phat
Originally Posted By balzaccom

A (female) friend once told me a wonderful story about going backpacking with six other women. One night a couple of young guys were camping at the same lake, and came over to say hello. As they chatted, the two guys kept looking around. Finally, one had to ask:

"So are you women all alone out here?"


I've said it before, I've said it again, I think twenty-something men these days are just plain stupid, in general (please accept my apologies if you aren't, I know there are exceptions).

I've lost track of how many times, on (very lovely) epic hikes I've run into groups of 6 to 9 twenty something women, either on their own, or with one guy, who is looking miserable to be away from his video games the whole time. It's not just canada! I've seen this on South Coast Trek in tasmania, Skyline in Jasper, West Coast Trail in BC, and in Ireland! It's *not* a coincidence!

like. good lord, I had dreams like this in my teens (the reality on the trail at the time was guys in kodiak boots, frame packs and vegreville tuxedos..) now it's *totally different*.

It's rather nice, because at my (not yet old) age I am still considered "safe" - so I can be talked to, asked advice, rousted out of my tent to mcGyver something up to retrieve a camera dropped 4 feet into a pile of logs (all the while the one guy is hiding in his tent).

What the heck is wrong with these guys!

Although in all seriousness, it *sounds* funny, but I'm really actually becoming concerned about the lack of men in the sport. Young men are *not doing this stuff* young women *are*.


If what you say is at all accurate I really have to get my stuff back together ASAP...

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#174684 - 02/04/13 10:02 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
djtrekker Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 43
Loc: Virginia
On a slightly different twist, I had a date with a 53 year old woman (I was 52 at the time, 60 today), and when I told her I was into backpacking, she told me she thought I should act my age.

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#174704 - 02/05/13 01:25 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
4evrplan Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By balzaccom
As a cyclist, I am happy (?) to report that a recent poll showed that people thought cyclists were the most unpleasant and arrogant of all amateur athletes. Backpackers didn't even make the list.

Somethig about spending all that time sitting on that tiny saddle....


I once met up with a guy for a night ride. I had researched for the cheapest light I could find that would still be bright enough for the job (much brighter than for hiking) and ended up ordering a tactical light (small flashlight), two batteries, and a charger all for about $40. That's about one third the price of lights specifically designed for riding - the ones that are considered affordable that is. I built my own helmet mount, charged both batteries, and I was ready to go. When my riding partner saw I had a flashlight, I could see the gears turning in his head. He said, 'I brought an extra light. You can use it if you want to. That flashlight's not going to be bright enough.' Remember, I had done my research, and told him I knew for a fact the emitter (the LED equivalent of a bulb in an incandescent light) in my light was the exact same one used in his model helmet light, that it was advertised at 900 lumens and realistically put out about 700. Then I turned it on to show him it had good beam and throw. That shut him up pretty quick.

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#174723 - 02/05/13 06:15 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: djtrekker]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I assume you told her you were? smile

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#174726 - 02/05/13 07:40 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Glenn Roberts]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
I assume you told her you were? smile


Exactly! laugh
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#174735 - 02/05/13 09:11 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: Glenn Roberts]
djtrekker Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 43
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
I assume you told her you were? smile


Indeed I did. I resisted but almost told her she was acting 3 decades older than she was.....I'm a nice guy though, so....

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#175117 - 02/15/13 02:03 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
LoneStranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 23
Loc: Maine
I'm returning to backpacking after wasting years focusing on work instead. Last year I took my nephew on a 4 night loop through Baxter starting with a night at Chimney Pond which is a popular base camp for those summiting. With my old backpack and gear I was on the receiving end of a lot of condescension from folks who'd bought the latest and greatest for their two day trip to the top. I laughed off their comments because their opinions meant nothing to me.

Once we left the crowds behind and headed deep into the back country we also left those attitudes behind. The moose and the black flys didn't seem to think my gear wasn't good enough.

We did run into one guy, possibly human, possibly an elf, who appear to have jumped across a river we were preparing to ford. He looked at my pack and made some comment about being out for a day hike. Technically since I didn't pack him in I could have left him in a shallow grave, but I just gave him a grin and left him to carry his superiority down the trail.

Over the Winter I've upgraded a few items so this year I'll look more like one of the herd, but I sure won't be making fun of anyone else for what they have. To me the going is the important thing, not what you bring. If it is good enough to keep you alive then it is fine by me.

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#175137 - 02/16/13 07:15 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: LoneStranger]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Maybe it gives them a thrill, but those on the serving end of condescension suffer from a personality disorder. Mental defects that requires they feed a fragile ego, in order to give their own pathetic, shallow, and self-absorbed lives some kind of meaning. They live their lives through this facade and then they die. sick

J. cool

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#175142 - 02/17/13 08:29 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Some people are just so used to acting top dog they don't know when to stop even when they are clearly wrong. 99% of the time it isn't so obvious who it right and who is wrong, like what is popular music, who is cool, and how to dress, so they are just so damned used to it when they run up against some dude name Bolt they'll say something like "hey, yeah I'm having a bad day but you should really get a pair of these 'what-ever-they-are' so you can have proper form like this". The run the freaking world, but they don't change the laws of physics. Don't let it torment you.

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#175193 - 02/19/13 08:07 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: JAK]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Out of boredom, I read through this topic again and something occurred to me: no one has really ever said anything about my gear choices other than my stove at one time. My tent were commented by people who were in my apartment in college. Either I'm seen as a man with impeccable gear choices, or I live in an area where there are more newbies. grin

Personally, I think it just all about getting out there and enjoy it while being safe.


Edited by ETSU Pride (02/19/13 08:08 PM)
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#181547 - 12/30/13 05:11 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: phat]
Talthing Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 14
True that ! Also, going to brick-and-mortar is seriously limiting. Sure, they have a wide selection of gear...but when I started going lightweight, it gets harder and harder to shop at brick-and-mortar stores. My first attempt, I went with a Jansport Klammath 55 pack, Columbia Bugaboo 3-in-one jacket, Eureka one person tent, slumberjack synthetic bag, Thermarest traditional pad (when all was said and done my total weight 33 lbs!...for an overnighter)

I knew something was wrong and got online (kudos to outdoorgearlab...I love this site). After doing some research I'm now down to 19 lbs base weight...can't quite get down to the 12-15 lb weight but I'm slowly working and testing stuff as that is my goal.

Sure, I can carry what I have and be pretty happy on the trail...but if I can carry 12 lbs instead of 19 lbs...even better.


Edited by Talthing (12/30/13 05:15 AM)

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