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#167847 - 07/15/12 09:01 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
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
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1731
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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check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#167849 - 07/15/12 11:33 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: balzaccom]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
Loc: Southwest Ohio
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
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
member

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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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#167872 - 07/16/12 05:00 PM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
wildthing Offline
member

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
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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 Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
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: 3889
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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"You want to go where?"



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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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"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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#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.
_________________________
"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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#168360 - 08/09/12 11:46 AM Re: Condescension in backpackers [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1731
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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balzaccom

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

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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: 3889
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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"You want to go where?"



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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 Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
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 Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
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: 3889
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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"You want to go where?"



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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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