Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#77462 - 08/05/07 07:07 PM Ul & Mainstream
mugs Offline
member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Spokane & Maple Valley, Wa
Moderators if you have any guts you will not edit, delete, or change this post

While out on a recent PCT section hike in Oregon, I was discussing with a friend the advantage of being light on the trail and how it allows us to get out past the Tourons. Which makes for a nice hike because of the fact that we can go further into the backcountry due to our lighter loads. Plus without a lot of gear we also leave a more eco-friendly and smaller footprint. We were discussing the fact that maybe backpacking is a dying breed as well. But I had to disagree some what, because I see more and more lightweight equipment in more mass media markets.
This quite frankly makes me upset. I like being light because (yes I’ll admit) there is a certain gloat factor in it. I like it because I can get away from the people because they can not get as far. I like it because they do not know about it and this gives me a window of opportunity to do my second favorite thing, which is, teach. I feel as if this is our own little world, and that membership is required. I like keeping it clandestine and cottage. We are a minority of elitist, a pure society, one who is eager to help when asked, one who is more aware and sensitive of the over populated back country areas. But one must come to us for the information; it is not easily accessible, until now.
Imagine my disgust when I saw Dr. Ryan Jordan’s book Lightweight Backpacking & Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Hiking Equipment, Technique, and Style at of all places the Wal-Mart for the outdoors REI. Before I go on and start getting flamed, and having people come back and say, well you were in REI so what does that make you? What was I doing at REI? Simple, living up to there Return Every Item policy and giving back to them something that had been sitting on my shelf for 3 years due to malfunction that is related to over engineering.
Getting back to my point. How dare you, Dr. Jordan. You are not allowing this book to be sold because you want to spread the gospel, you are beginning to do just what Jansport, Gregory, and Kelty did, they started out small but then sold out the corporate machine in the name of Money!!!! You Dr. Jordan have done the same thing in this case. I feel as if you are not desirous of teaching, or helping “Joe Snuffy” on how to go light. It is the thought of the potential selling power that comes to REI and their catering to the “Joe Snuffy’s” of the world. Not only will people buy your book (which I bought through BPL more than a year ago) but because of all the “gear plugs” in it they will then go to the BPL site and buy more of your products. A very crafty marketing scheme I must say so myself, but and evil and typical corporate one, none the less. You yourself said “My wife, Stephanie, and I have renewed our commitment not only to simplify our lifestyle, but to renew and engage the relationships with people we love the most-including each other.” (1) You are not doing this by selling out Dr. Jordan. If there is one thing I have learned from people who have money or are seeking money it is that there is never enough. I beg of Dr. Jordan keep your business and this industry pure like it has been and needs to be. Do not loose sight of the mission, the movement, and the people. Do not sell out like the predecessors before you did. Who now are out sourced and of cheap quality, or over engineered products to mainstream companies.
What is even more disheartening is in another section of the REI store I saw a ton of light my fire gear, and the once BPL only long handle Ti spoon, which ok I can understand that, it is readily available and not to industry specific, neither is the ESBIT and ESBIT stove that was in the same row either. But next to that were about 10 Vargo Titanium alcohol stoves and a quart can size of denatured alcohol. Outrage, I say, outrage. What is next will we se ULA, SMD, GG, MoGo and others in mainstream out-door stores?
Imagine with me people that the nest time you head out and go to you favorite get-away place that you know, no one else can ideally get to because it is too far, or is not very well known to begin with. You get there and there is another person there, with lightweight gear, that they were able to purchase at REI or some other mainstream outdoor store. Not only did they buy the gear there, but they got the information from there as well. They did not have to go through the “rites of passage” they did not have to dig, research, explore, and find the information and knowledge themselves, they bought it!!!! And now a once under populated area is now over populated, all because Ul went. mainstream. Also when Ul goes mainstream the cottage industries begin to loose their positions on the niche market and therefore leads to them having to close shop. Which then puts them out of an income and forces them back into corporate society, and we loose quality hand crafted (in most cases) equipment.
People I beg of you lets keep our sport, our world, our society pure, let us not cater to the cooperate world, allow us to teach them via the means we always have, lets keep from becoming them majority. Let us not loose sight of our intent and allow others to purchase our knowledge in a department store for the sake of making another buck.
KEEP IT PURE !!!!!!!


(1.) Jordan, Ryan Unfullfilled drams in the Western Artic. Backpacking Light, iss7 pg.53.2007


Disclaimer:. I do not care how much heat this brings, but this has been keeping me up at night, I felt as if I had to say something, even if I am only one voice.
_________________________
I miss my 4.8lb base weight as a ground dweller. But I sure don't miss the ground.

Top
#77463 - 08/05/07 07:59 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
jaiden Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 123
Don't sprain your arm trying to pat yourself on the back. You're not elite, you're a jerk.

I'd love to see the pioneers of the lightweight revolution succeed and their products to be spread to the corners of the earth, and yes, for them to be able to support their families on the fruits of their labor. Corporations aren't evil, pretension is. If you want to make something and only sell it to people who have joined some cult through bizarre rituals on the most spot imaginable, feel free to do so, but don't trash those who have actually taken a risk to create something new. Keeping "this society pure" sounds like fascism to me.

And all that being said, I don't want to see your post deleted even though I totally disagree with it.

Top
#77464 - 08/05/07 08:19 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Mugs, I'm not going to flame you because I understand how you feel. But please consider this: Going light is nothing new, it is just new to you. The only things that have changed are the various technologies involved. Serious backpackers have always carried light packs. I have on my bookshelf a book published by the Sierra Club titled "Going Light With Backpack and Burro". It covers a lot of the same basic lightweight ideas that are presently in vogue yet the book was published in 1953. So, clearly, the lightweight concept was alive then but the technology was much more primitive. As an example, I hiked the JMT in 1954 with a base weight pack of about 15 pounds; I didn't think of it as light or heavy, I just took what I felt I needed after careful consideration and left the rest behind. I would carry about the same weight today but would be much more comfortable due to improved technology.

Over the years since then, I have seen the same thing you are seeing; a lot of your favorite places being visited by more and more people. In fact, your so called "mainstream" backpackers really didn't start appearing until the mid-60's when the baby boomers discovered the outdoors and according to some pundits "invented" backpacking. Suddenly backpacking became a consumer sport rather than a cult activity and the gear provided to meet the demand increased exponentially; so did the competetive consumerism involved in its purchase.

But on an optimistic note, I have read that overall, back country use is declining somewhat as obesity, motor sports and computer games have their effect on the population of backpacking-aged people. I have read somewhere that the average backpacker is now an approximately 50-year-old male; comparatively few backpackers are in their 20's and 30's. This may be one reason that lightweight backpacking appears to be making a comeback.

However, I am afraid that sharing your favorite spots with the arivisté and their new "storebought" lightweight backpacking gear and book learning is something you will have to learn to live with. You'll do this the same way I had to reluctantly learn to share with the people who started after I did: including people like you <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />.


Edited by Pika (08/06/07 06:16 PM)

Top
#77465 - 08/05/07 08:20 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
I can't say I totally agree with you. I mean, yes, people may go corporate with their products this makes them more readily availiable to a wider base of consumers, but so what? Is it so terrible that more people get into backpacking? I mean, the only people that will get into it and stick with it are the people who really enjoy and appreciate it. What's the harm in that? Maybe it'll help people want to preserve the wilderness a little more so that the backpacking opportunities don't become surrounded by buildings and cars instead of trees and mountains.

I do understand your point on people simply reading things and getting them right away instead of learning about them as they get more into the activity. I personally like doing the research and learning myself rather than reading it, but you have to start somewhere. Even when you read something right out of the book, you still have to figure out what does and does not work for you. It isn't like everything you'll ever need to know and use is just handed to you in a gift wrapped basket.

My first pack was a Kelty Redwing 3100 I used and still use for overnnighters and weekenders on occassion. So what? That pack helped get to know something and learn something I still love and enjoy doing. Does this mean I'm not keeping it "pure?" And what is pure really? There's no need to become the forums bigoted fascist dictator deciding what is pure and what is not. The people who backpack are the people who are meant to backpack. The people who aren't are the ones who tried it and didn't like it or looked at it and ran away before they even learned more, which means they weren't meant for it.

It is like the poeple who get angry at the bands who sign to a record lable and then call those bands sellouts. So what? They want to make a living and get their music out to a more diverse audience? As long as it is good and you still enjoy it, who cares?
_________________________
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle

Top
#77466 - 08/05/07 08:36 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
EricKingston Offline
member

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 272
Loc: Michigan
Well, don't changes of this nature seem to be completely inevitable? I understand your angst, believe me I do. The lite philosophies preached about here have become more of a lifestyle for myself than mere methods of lightening my backpack. But good things do catch on - even those within the fanciful world of backpacking. Whether it's movements such as Ryan's pushing lightweight into mainstream, I'd say that's rather questionable. Yes, I'm sure it's not helping to slow things down, but perhaps this is his way of "teaching," just as you and I both enjoy, and he's not necessarily in it just for the money. Hmmm... Who knows?

Eric Kingston

Top
#77467 - 08/05/07 08:43 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: Pika]
EricKingston Offline
member

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 272
Loc: Michigan
Pika - Well said...

Top
#77468 - 08/05/07 09:00 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Mugs, I know we chatted some time back about options in wilderness education. With that in mind, I would have thought you would be as excited as I was when I saw Ryan Jordan's book in my REI.

You mentioned a conversation in your OP which discussed whether backpacking was dying as a sport. To an extent, I think that may be an accurate thought. There are statistics (God love them since there are statistics for nearly every viewpoint it seems) from the National Park Service that suggest backcountry permits are dramatically down in the last couple of decades.

Perhaps a part of this is that with the advent of the 7-pound super-suspension pack, other gear naturally began to weigh more some time around the late 80's. When I began my AT thru-hike in '99, my pack with 3 1/2 days of food weighed 57 pounds. And after the loads I carried in the Marine Corps, I thought this was light! But now, my pack is almost never more than about 1/2 this weight.

The way I see it, as an educator, I owe it to teach others what I know about lightweight backpacking. As a NOLS instructor, I routinely taught students lighter weight options they could use when their super-heavy course ended. I would actually bring in my LW/UL kits to show them at our final barbecues in Lander. I've tried to do the same for local scout groups and customers in the REI where I work.

So when Ryan Jordan's book showed up in REI, I was really excited. I see it as a big step forward in expanding the backpacking world, a world which otherwise shows a pattern of decline. And I see spreading the word as a calling, the right thing to do. Besides, just because the book is out there doesn't mean the UL movement is suddenly going to erupt. Ray Jardine's books opened a lot of eyes, but didn't suddenly make UL the predominant form of backpacking. Ryan's work will only appeal to those who are already predisposed to go lighter. And that's not the style of backpacking a lot of hikers choose.

So do the most important thing and keep getting out there. That's what backpacking is really about, moreso than any amount or type of gear.
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

Top
#77469 - 08/05/07 09:04 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream -- A Contrarian View... [Re: mugs]
Ben2World Offline
member

Registered: 10/26/04
Posts: 1754
Loc: So Cal
Mugs:

When I go to Wal Mart (gasp), I am absolutely bewildered by the sheer number of obese people shopping there. (But before anyone flames me, let me say that I am merely using Wal Mart to illustrate the indisputable fact that our countrymen -- and women -- and kids -- are getting more and more obese with each passing year!)

I say let's get as much UL gear, books, DVD's out to the mainstream as possible! If knowing that Nature can be enjoyed safely without hauling 70 pounds will get more people off their couches and on the trails -- I say let's make it happen! That our tiny UL world might somehow be "less pure" as a result is a fair price to pay -- IMHO.

BTW, if ever trails become as crowded as shopping malls, bear in mind that 99% of the wilds don't have trails. You will never run out of places to challenge yourself -- or places of quiet and solitude.

Top
#77470 - 08/05/07 09:46 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: Bearpaw]
mugs Offline
member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Spokane & Maple Valley, Wa
Quote:
The way I see it, as an educator, I owe it to teach others what I know about lightweight backpacking. As a NOLS instructor, I routinely taught students lighter weight options they could use when their super-heavy course ended. I would actually bring in my LW/UL kits to show them at our final barbecues in Lander. I've tried to do the same for local scout groups and customers in the REI where I work.

as an educater (soon to be) I agree with you. And yet that is my point exactly, they have to come to you for the knowledge and you are happy to share. I likewise am happy to share and people come to me seeking my advise on Bping and I give "seminars' (not at REI though, they never let me give "that" seminar but that is another topic) which is my argument. they seek and not just purchase it. They get shown hands on as well, they had to go through a right of passage.
Also if the mas market is gettign directed to one Ul site then that under cuts the smaller guys.
_________________________
I miss my 4.8lb base weight as a ground dweller. But I sure don't miss the ground.

Top
#77471 - 08/05/07 09:57 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: MattnID]
mugs Offline
member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Spokane & Maple Valley, Wa
Quote:
It is like the poeple who get angry at the bands who sign to a record lable and then call those bands sellouts. So what? They want to make a living and get their music out to a more diverse audience? As long as it is good and you still enjoy it, who cares?

So I imagine that you don't mind that moosntone, montrail and the once good company of North face are now all bought out/sold out. You enjoy seeing a SUV driving, latte sucking, cell phone talking while driving their SUV wearing a North Face jacket bought at Nordstroms because it was good for that company who sold out. And that now once trusty brand you could count on, is junk because they sold out. I should hope not. I remember when Metallica sold out in 92, they have sucked since. Is this what you want to see happen to us?


Edited by mugs (08/05/07 10:56 PM)
_________________________
I miss my 4.8lb base weight as a ground dweller. But I sure don't miss the ground.

Top
#77472 - 08/05/07 10:00 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: Pika]
mugs Offline
member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Spokane & Maple Valley, Wa
I am not pushing the light weight methodology, I am talking about selling out. And people being able to buy a store bought experiance.
_________________________
I miss my 4.8lb base weight as a ground dweller. But I sure don't miss the ground.

Top
#77473 - 08/05/07 10:07 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Just looking at the impact of more people in the back country from another angle . . .

People = votes. If we can get more folk to appreciate the less-spoiled segments of creation for their intrinsic value (rather than as a "resource"), there will be a greater political base to counter those with plausible arguments on putting idle "resources" to "use".
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

Top
#77474 - 08/05/07 10:08 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: jaiden]
mugs Offline
member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Spokane & Maple Valley, Wa
I will take me being a jerk,as me being bold and not afraid to voice my opion, and will take in stride coming from a person with only 24 posts. I am not saying we are an elite cult or being facist, I am speaking about selling out here, and allowing something that once was select to become mainstream, not for the passion of it, but for the sake of making a buck. And yes corperations are evil. Do you think the rich and poweful really want equality for all, and to share the wealth. No they don't, they want to keep the "little" people down so that they can remain in in power. They don't want to share there power or their wealth. And then they spoon feed us propoganda, and sell us what they want us to become hooked on. They want us to become obsessed with getting that latest greatest thing, that will give us that latest greatest fling, and yet we are still empty inside. That is the way it has been done since a class system became established.


Edited by mugs (08/05/07 10:19 PM)
_________________________
I miss my 4.8lb base weight as a ground dweller. But I sure don't miss the ground.

Top
#77475 - 08/05/07 10:09 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
Ben2World Offline
member

Registered: 10/26/04
Posts: 1754
Loc: So Cal
Mugs:

Can you elaborate more on your objections regarding the ability to buy store-bought experience?

Top
#77476 - 08/05/07 10:26 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: Ben2World]
mugs Offline
member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Spokane & Maple Valley, Wa
In other words B2W they can purchase the information from a mass market store, then possibly purchase the gear from a mass market store. Which means that more than likely the "little" guy (take for instance your pack) is no longer in existance. And be able to head out on the trail with it. They did not have to dig, research, inquire, join forums, hike with others that were able to pass on the trail lore like we have done. They got it all from a store, instead of having to learn it as we have.
_________________________
I miss my 4.8lb base weight as a ground dweller. But I sure don't miss the ground.

Top
#77477 - 08/06/07 06:51 AM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
cameraboy Offline
member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 34
Quote:
comparitively few backpackers are in their 20's and 30's. comparitively few backpackers are in their 20's and 30's.


I'm 34 and I started backpacking at 33.. What got me into backpacking? Well, after a lot of car camping and wanting to get to more remote areas....MY WIFE BOUGHT BE RYAN JORDAN'S BOOK ON AMAZON.COM.

I read it, dropped my pack weight, and now I'm enjoying getting out there more and having an entirely new and fulfilling experience.

If this isn't acceptable to you, because I learned how to go lighter from a book instead of struggling for years before being fortunate enough to run into someone like you to benevolently bestow your infinite wisdom upon my humble self in person, well, I really don't really give a rats [Edited for inappropriate languge, please review forum policies for more information] what you think. See you on the trail.

As for Ryan Jordan, he has a body of knowledge and a marketing mechanism (his website) so why shouldn't he profit from that? I am glad my wife spent some money on a book that has enriched my life and taught me much.

As for "selling out," for every North Face that sells out and has their products decline in quality, another smaller business pops up to fill that void. In the meantime, if the Six Moons Designs people can spread their quality products to a mass market for a few years before the quality declines, and they make a buck doing what the love, good for them. When (if) their stuff becomes crappy, someone else will fill the "quality" market.

I suspect that your real issue is more about losing what you imagine makes YOU so special. If everyone knows how to go lighter, then poor Mugs is just another backpacker, not a member of a super secret group that so few people know about. I have news for you...bands don't start to suck when people other than you start to like their music. YOU are the one being manipulated, because YOU need to feel unique in order to appreciate something, and that's a personal problem, not a problem for the rest of us.

Top
#77478 - 08/06/07 07:13 AM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
jaiden Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 123
Thanks for taking the time to look at my profile.

No, I don't think "rich and poweful really want equality for all, and to share the wealth" and neither do I. If you do something which someone else values, you have every right to ask for compensation in exchange for it. If you want the wealthy to share their wealth with you, you have to do something more than whine about it.

Most corporations fail, despite the hard work of those founding them, and without the motivation of wealth, and but for those that succeed, we would be living in a third world country. Also, it's important to understand that most corporations are publicly owned, which means they're actually owned not by pasty fat man, but by the retirement funds of little old ladies. But perhaps most importantly, this process puts food on the table for the families of millions of employees. Sure, Bill Gates has billions of dollars, but he puts food on the table of 76,000 families world wide every day. Before you cast stones, consider whether you've ever done anything similar.

If you want "equality for all" try moving to Cuba and see how equal you feel. If you want "equal opportunities for all" as I do, be glad you live in a country where a high school geek can become a billionaire.

Anyway, from my perspective, this thread is way off topic now, for which I'll take responsibility, so I'll drop this conversation after this post.

Top
#77479 - 08/06/07 07:40 AM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Quote:
And people being able to buy a store bought experiance.

Mugs, I do know what is troubling you and I have felt the same sort of things quite strongly myself in the past.

I think the problem a lot of us are having with your post is that you seem to equate lightweight backpacking with an arcane, elite fraternal order analogous to a priesthood and that the niche manufacturers are fellow travelers and suppliers of sacred objects. You also imply that they should not be concerned with earning a good living from their endeavors. Further, you seem to imply that the only proper form of instruction in the mysteries of LW is by word of mouth from those already annointed in "the way". And finally, you seem to think that there is a purity of discipline that must be maintained.

I'm sure you know that none of this is the case and that it is not what you mean but it does sound that way from the phrasing of your post. I recognize that it is actually a cri de coeur from someone seeing a commercialization of something you see as spiritual. In many ways I agree with you but I don't agree with the way you expressed it.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

Top
#77480 - 08/06/07 07:44 AM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: Pika]
Hector Offline
member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
Uh, I was gonna say something, but then I thought I might wind up being stoned, so never mind.

Top
#77481 - 08/06/07 09:22 AM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
Do I care if someone is walking around in the mall wearing a North Face jacket even though they probably don't backpack or probably even camp? No, I don't care. It isn't illegal for them to have a jacket made for something a little tougher than what that particular person will ever do. I'm not going to look at them and think to myself, "what a poser." Does this kind of stuff cause a brand to lose its quality? It is possible. So I won't buy it then or suggest it to anyone else and someone or something else will come along with quality stuff.

You use Metallica as an example of a sellout band, but plenty of people still love them(despite their last album). Is the quality of their music lacking now that they're making big bucks off of their music? If that is your opinion, then I suppose that the music is. But that's the whole point, it is all a matter of opinion. So you don't like a brand going big. Dont' buy it anymore, it isn't like they're the only brand out there. It isn't as though their products will suffer because of this, it is not an automatic outcome.

So do I think backpacking will suffer because of some guys book or brands going corporate? No. Like I said before, the people who will want to do it will do it and the people who won't, won't. The brands that begin to make terrible equipment will lose their original consumer base and other/new brands will come along and fill that gap. The fact that these things happen really isn't going to change the fact there are people who don't like getting dirty. Don't like sleeping on anything other than a thick mattress. Don't like eating their food off of anything other than a plate and table with silverware and a roof over their head. So these brands that you've known for so long are moving on and you don't like it? There's nothing that can be done about it. Don't live in the past and move on.
_________________________
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle

Top
#77482 - 08/06/07 09:38 AM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
I fail to see how having only been on this forum for a short time makes any difference to anything. It doesn't mean automatically that this person's opinion is any less valid than anyone else's.I for example, only have 21 posts on this forum after this has been posted, yet I've been backpacking since I was sixteen. I'm not exactly new at this. I take it as an insult that you would simply look down on what someone says based on the amount of posts someone has made. I doubt I'm the only person who thinka that that kind of arrogance isn't necessary on this forum and a step in the wrong direction.

What does that say to someone who is new to backpacking and they come on here and see some "purist" giving some person crap simply because they haven't been around the forum as long as they have? No wonder people want to go and buy books rather than ask someone the information when they see people who seem to want to horde and "protect" the sport of backpacking for "purists" alone.
_________________________
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle

Top
#77483 - 08/06/07 10:32 AM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
GreenandTan Offline
member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 56
Mugs,
It is all in the mind. If you think you are free then you are free. If you think you are being oppressed by the evil corporations then you are, and you can put a bunch of bumper stickers on your corporation made car that burns corporation made gasoline (or Bio-Diesel) to complain about it. You are free to complain in this great country. You are free to buy your stuff where ever you want. It is a free market. You can make your own gear if you want, using fabric and thread made by a corporation. No matter how little a trace you want to leave, or how much you want to reduce your "carbon footprint," by reading this on your computer full of heavy metals and powered by electricity you are part of the problem.

As far as the economics of "selling out" it is capitalism that drives our economy. We are not unlike any other animal in that we have a desire to obtain resources and compete for those resources. The communist experiment failed miserably because people are inherently greedy and those in power make the rules no matter what the politics say. Pol Pot's attempt to return to "Zero Year" was a disaster. Backpacking and wilderness exploration has its roots in imperialist capitalism in that agents of capitalists were trying to find trade routes, resources and new markets in primitive areas.

The problems that we have in the back country are not unlike the problems that we have when we are trying to get to work on time during the high traffic times (which are most of the waking hours anymore). It is population, and the pressure of population that makes strip malls pop up where we didn't see them a week before.

I selfishly lament the growing population too because I will have to compete with more people for some resources (quiet and solitude) and they get in my way on the road. I wish half the population did not exist as long as it did not affect anyone I like. The sole cause of these problems are not caused by someone "selling out" and wanting to make money for their ideas and efforts (capitalism).

Capitalism is here to stay whether you complain about it or not. It springs from natural law and denying that we have those tendencies is the mark of either a dishonest person or an ignoramus. Those making the bucks made a choice to do so just like you made a choice to be a "little" person being kept down by the man. What do I know? I only have 16 posts and that, according to you, equals the value of someone's opinion regardless of their previous "life experience" before entering this holy, pure space to discuss such matters. I guess I'm an oppressed "little person" in this forum by your standards.

Top
#77484 - 08/06/07 02:19 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
"And people being able to buy a store bought experiance. "

I realize the experience you're talking about is the process of learning skills and slowly acquiring gear. I think for me the difference is in overall philosophy. I've gotten so much new, cheap, and progressively lighter from gear as an REI employee that new gear really doesn't mean a lot to me any more.

For me, the key experience to lightweight hiking is hiking, not so much the lightweight side, which has improved the comfort of my hiking, but not dramatically changed the experience. A hiker's backcountry experience can't be bought in a store. Even if a guide service is hired, the hiker still has to hike his or her own hike. To me, this is the experience that counts most.

I sort of envy you the thrill of learning a new trick or acquiring/making a new piece of gear. I just don't get so excited about it any more. For me, the biggest excitement, outside of being out there in the backcountry, is sharing new skills or gear thoughts with others. That way I get to live vicariously through their joy in new knowledge, and enjoy the satisfaction of helping someone else.
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

Top
#77485 - 08/06/07 02:37 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: GreenandTan]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
1st response: sheesh.
2nd response: at least LW gear and literature exist .

Anybody who's followed Charles' site since the first version understands how the pursuit of lightweight once meant selecting the Dana Bridger instead of the Terraplane. Look at where we are now. The outdoors industry--the big boys and the cottage pioneers alike--has responded by providing the stuff that we once would have had to make ourselves, ala Jardine. But it's still a drop in the gear bucket, and still more or less for the fringe. I don't know about anybody else, but every time I'm on the trail I tally standard weight versus lightweight kits (something to do, ya know?) and it's probably a 95:5 ratio in favor of old school. In fact, '70s vintange external frame backpacks still outnumber packs I'd consider lightweight.

As to REI being walmart or somesuch, remember that its roots are as a climbers co-op organized to obtain impossible-to-get European climbing gear, and even today they still manage to carry useful stuff amongst the acres of clothing. Being stocked at REI not a kiss of corporate death. I've bought a Hennessy Hammock and an Integral Designs siltarp there, two small specialty makers who seem to still be intact. I bought my copy of Jardine there, for that matter.

Want to get away from the masses? It has far less to do with what kit you're carrying than your ability to route plan, and your map skills. (GPS was also supposed to kill backcountry solitude.) My hiking buddies and I had the same route-planning challenges when we carried 50 pounds as I do today, toting half that much. You don't hike twice as far on the main trail, you get off the main trail.
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#77486 - 08/06/07 03:41 PM Re: Ul & Mainstream [Re: mugs]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
IMO the outdoors and the wilderness belong to everyone to use as they please so long as no harm is done to the environment or to anyone else. The source of their equipment or their information is of no concern to me. Live and let live. I don't feel like I'm a part of any elite group.

I wish such a book existed when I started backpacking. And I hope that increased exposure for the book results in increased sales for the cottage industries, resulting in new and better products for all of us. Besides, most cottage industries do not stay small forever. They either sell out to a bigger company, go mainstream, or go belly up. With or without Dr. Jordan's help.

Bearpaw is spot on. Anyone can read books until they pass out but there will never be a substitute for actual experience in the field.

Finally, without knowing Dr. Jordan or his mindset I think it's wholly unfair to speculate on what his exact motivation for writing and selling the book was.

Top
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 >

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Rockfalll on El Capitan in Yosemite
by balzaccom
09/28/17 09:47 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 31 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Blackbuzzard, LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21, Pasquale
12424 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com