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.
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.
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.
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.
Personally, I think it just all about getting out there and enjoy it while being safe.
Edited by ETSU Pride (02/19/1308:08 PM)
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart
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.