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#110531 - 02/01/09 03:16 PM free gear - is it worth it?
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi All,
This is sort of a sequel to Jasons free gear post. BTW I love his survivor stud videos and have a the photo of him in my collection, posing as a dead man in the desert with his Bowie knife still in his hand. Thanks Jason

Anyway I watched with some interest as Jason showed us many free camping devices. I have to question the theory here.

When I was a boy scout, Be Prepared meant do not take important pieces of gear that may break and leave you without one - like a plastic fork or a styrofoam cup. If you don't feel that you need a cup or spoon, don't take them, but if you take them because you feel that you need them, then take something rugged enough to last through the trip and maybe the next. A thin metal spoon of fork weigh very little, as does an unbreakable one cup plastic top from a thermos bottle.

That said - I sometimes like to go on "survival" trips or "native" trips where I take very minimal gear, but I do it for fun, challenge, to do something different, and I have the skills to do without most of my gear anyway - gear just makes it more comfortable and fun. smile

I am a bit unsettled that newbie campers watch your clever video and think "Hey I don't need no stinking reliable gear - Jason said so." What is the purpose of this concept? confused

Do people actually take free "Disposable" products camping to save weight? I kinda like the idea of keeping my pack packed with gear that I expect to be there and to function throughout the length of my trip. mad

Maybe I don't actually need a fork or a spoon, but they weigh so little, why eat with my hands and dribble down my jacket? crazy

Jim YMMV crazy

ps Now salt and pepper packets and cream from fast food places does make sense since they are consumable anyway.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#110537 - 02/01/09 04:44 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Jim, I had exactly the same issues with that particular Jason video. I can just see that Styrofoam cup splitting open the first day (I've had the things split open with the original hot coffee in them!), and the plastic spoon breaking on the second day. There's also the issue that metal cans are lined with a type of plastic containing bisphenol-A, so at least some of us think they're not too safe as cooking pots.

I'm also a bit concerned about the idea of "stocking up" at the fast food place. The store puts out those items for customers to use on their burgers, not for them to take a bunch home. I guess it depends on one's outlook whether or not you want to consider this stealing, but for sure, if quite a few people regularly indulge in this sort of activity, it forces the store to raise prices!

I've found Jason's other videos to be quite useful, amusing or both, and have recommended them to others, but this particular one left me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

I do want to commend Jason for his other videos, though!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#110540 - 02/01/09 06:02 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: OregonMouse]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Hey guys,
Thanks for all of your comments. Geez, what the heck are you guys doing with your sporks? Using them as tent stakes? eek

Most UL gear is less durable than the heavyweight stuff at REI and this is a sacrifice UL backpackers accept in order to lighten up. Sure, a titanium spork is light, but small things add up. The mug, the spork, the cook pot, the pack cover, etc. Ounces soon turn into pounds! So, if you want to truly lighten up, you have to be a little more careful with your gear. I've used a styrofoam cup a LOT and have never stepped on one, split one from heat, etc. I just stow it in my cookpot and it's protected.

As for "stealing" salt packs and condiments, I'm not advocating people clean out McDonald's every time they go and build an inventory at home that is going to cause them to raise prices. I just take an extra few--just enough for my next trip when I think about it. If you claim this is stealing, then you're stealing every time you use a McDonald's or gas station bathroom without buying anything. You're using their water, soap, paper towels, toilet paper, electricity, etc.

Anyway, the video was merely a suggestion of how to get some free stuff if you wanted and are not morally opposed to the idea. I'm not advocating everyone do this all the time; and certainly if you're ethically opposed to it, then don't do it. Don't take this too literally or to the extreme guys: I was just putting the idea out there for those who might find it useful. wink

P.S. If you check out my blog, you'll see a new video on the Gossamer Gear Light Trek 4 trekking poles.


Edited by jasonklass (02/01/09 06:21 PM)
_________________________
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


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#110541 - 02/01/09 06:35 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: jasonklass]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Jason

I found your video very entertaining, but like I said - I didn't really understand the message. If I hear you correctly, you are saying that if you are really careful, that you can use very fragile gear for a while and that its worth it to save weight. You also stated that ounces add up to pounds, but even my Ti cup with its insulating jacket and both Ti spoon and fork, weigh 2.85 oz.

My point is that interms of reliability and service my 2.85 oz will outlast your .85 ounces by 50 times. I did forget my coffee cup on a 4 day trip and I had to drink out of a used black bean soup cup. It was disgusting, worth going home over.

However I have to question a camping method that relies on fragile consumeable camping gear for its existence. Although I know it is in vouge for many and may be just fine for a warm summer trip in the midwest.

My long term gripe about the UL movemenmt is that it relies on unreliable gear. Clothes that would shred in a lot of camping environments and inadequate protection from weather. Many peops think sandals, tevas and old tennis shoes are appropriate on the trail, until they break an ankle I guess.

Jim YMMV crazy

Jim

P.S. OK so I weighed my lexan spoon at .3 oz. I pulled down a 12 ounce plastic cup from the cupboard and it weighs 2 oz. So for 2.6 oz I get a regular kitchen cup and an indestructable fork AND spoon. Total value around $5 retail. I can stand on the cup. crazy

Interestingly it weighs less than my titanium setup which cost around $45.


Edited by Jimshaw (02/01/09 08:08 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#110544 - 02/01/09 08:20 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: Jimshaw]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
Jason

I found your video very entertaining, but like I said - I didn't really understand the message. If I hear you correctly, you are saying that if you are really careful, that you can use very fragile gear for a while and that its worth it to save weight. You also stated that ounces add up to pounds, but even my Ti cup with its insulating jacket and both Ti spoon and fork, weigh 2.85 oz.

My point is that interms of reliability and service my 2.85 oz will outlast your .85 ounces by 50 times. I did forget my coffee cup on a 4 day trip and I had to drink out of a used black bean soup cup. It was disgusting, worth going home over.

However I have to question a camping method that relies on fragile consumeable camping gear for its existence. Although I know it is in vouge for many and may be just fine for a warm summer trip in the midwest.

My long term gripe about the UL movemenmt is that it relies on unreliable gear. Clothes that would shred in a lot of camping environments and inadequate protection from weather. Many peops think sandals, tevas and old tennis shoes are appropriate on the trail, until they break an ankle I guess.

Jim YMMV crazy

Jim


Hey Jim,
I have never said that every single idea I've come up with works in every situation, in every condition, in every location. But for some reason, people take it that way. People email me from Alaska saying that the tea light stove doesn't work because it was 15 below, windy and snowing. OF COURSE NOT! And in those conditions, I would take a white gas stove. Why does everyone assume that just because I put forth an idea that I think it's the be all, end all for every situation and that's the thing I always use? I never take the same gear all the time--I adapt it to different situations. Why can't people get it that we're all just sharing ideas here, things are NOT set in stone, and that all of us are going through a constant evolution in what we carry? Take it or leave it. But just don't assume that simply because I mention an idea in a video that that's my typical MO. I'm not limited to that. I put it out there for others who might benefit from it.


Edited by jasonklass (02/01/09 08:21 PM)
_________________________
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


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#110562 - 02/02/09 06:59 AM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: Jimshaw]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
Well, I now use a coffee cup with lid (after purchase from previous coffee) to use in camp for my hot drinks like tea and coffee, even soup. I used to use a plastic heavy coffee mug for the same purpose. I still have my Ti bowl for cooking. When the cup breaks, I just buy more coffee. The McD cups are pretty sturdy. And yes, it does last throughout my trips. Why be so judgemental if you haven't tried something? Or your is your opinion always the right way to do things?

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#110563 - 02/02/09 09:15 AM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: leadfoot]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Originally Posted By leadfoot
Well, I now use a coffee cup with lid (after purchase from previous coffee) to use in camp for my hot drinks like tea and coffee, even soup. I used to use a plastic heavy coffee mug for the same purpose. I still have my Ti bowl for cooking. When the cup breaks, I just buy more coffee. The McD cups are pretty sturdy. And yes, it does last throughout my trips. Why be so judgemental if you haven't tried something? Or your is your opinion always the right way to do things?


Leadfoot,
Yes, those McDonald's cups are awesome! They're a little bigger than the office styrofoam cups and seem to have some kind of coating on the outside that makes them more durable. I forgot to mention that in the video. Thanks for bringing that up!
_________________________
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


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#110564 - 02/02/09 09:16 AM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: Jimshaw]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Jim,
P.S. What does "YMMV" mean? confused
_________________________
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


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#110565 - 02/02/09 09:33 AM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: leadfoot]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I have been taking styro/paper coffee cups on day hikes - I test stoves and other gear on long day hikes. A hot cup of tea can be bracing when it's cold out. Backpacking I still put an insulated mug on a biner on the back of the pack.

I'm more careful with my gear than other people. Generally it appears people use gear, toss it around, drop it, and get irritated when something breaks or rolls away. For people like that maybe they're better off with bomber packs and stainless steel. smirk
_________________________
"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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#110568 - 02/02/09 10:58 AM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: lori]
alanwenker Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
I don't like disposable items and try to avoid buying them. I'd never use a foam cup for that reason and I try to remember to bring my own travel mug to coffee shops. I'm also the type who would destroy a foam a cup in the bush.

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#110569 - 02/02/09 11:51 AM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: jasonklass]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. wink
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#110570 - 02/02/09 12:03 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: jasonklass]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I agree with Jason here. If I was climbing Everest, or even going out for more than say 3 days, then my gear choices would be different to an overnighter. A plastic spoon and a disposable cup would be perfect for an overnighter. Maybe even two nights, if you are not careful with your gear. If the spoon breaks, so what, you can survive for a night or two. If you don't like the styrofoam cup, then replace it with one of those insulated paper ones. If most beginners start out with overnighters, then why would it be bad to suggest a cheap, light alternative so they can just get out and try it?
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#110575 - 02/02/09 01:05 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: finallyME]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2928
Loc: NorCal
Right. Perhaps to be more globally inclusive we can also start using YKMV--your kilometrage may very.

You're welcome smile

Originally Posted By finallyME
YMMV= Your Mileage May Vary. wink
_________________________
--Rick

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#110576 - 02/02/09 01:15 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: jasonklass]
OldScout Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/03
Posts: 501
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
Originally Posted By jasonklass
Jim,
P.S. What does "YMMV" mean? confused


Your mileage may vary.

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#110580 - 02/02/09 03:38 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: Jimshaw]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“Many peops think sandals, tevas… are appropriate on the trail, until they break an ankle I guess…”

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Remember, the opposite can be said, ‘it is unhealthily irresponsible to promote boots to beginning backpackers.’

And back to subject, I like taking Styrofoam cups on 2 or 3 day trips. And NO I don’t stand on them.
-Barry

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#110584 - 02/02/09 04:37 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: jasonklass]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada


Heh. Well, I fall somewhere in the middle. I've been known to take a fast food spoon, but normally take a 50 cent lexan jobby that admittely is a bit more durable, but mainly because it has a longer handle to go into a food bag smile

I guess where I fall it that I will take that "lightweight"
gear when I have an option to do without. Realisticly, I can
do without a spoon. I can just as easily shovel the freezer bag into my face with two sticks used chopstick style, or by upending the bag. It might not be *pretty* or convenient, but having my cheap spoon break won't ruin my trip and I won't starve.

I put an alky stove in the same category for a different reason. While they are amazingly durable, even if I smoosh it, it's really hard to make it where you can't bend it back and burn alky in it. It might not do it as well but it'll do.

I *might* be tempted to put the styrofoam cup in the same category, as *optional* gear. because I can live with just my pot.

On the other hand, I do draw the line at a canpot. I've tried 'em, I wreck them too easy, and then I really am up the creek without a paddle. If I had a durable fireproof cup to
boil in perhaps then I wouldn't be, but then I'm carrying
a heavy cup so as to carry a light pot.. hmm. Me I just stick to a small but durable Anti Gravity Gear 3 cup pot. My cup is a thin little plastic thing and that's all I take. Still, I
know some people love their canpots. just not for me.

Other places when I take less durable gear I take a backup.
I love platypus bags, they're really light, but they get holes
in 'em. So I always have two with me, and on at least three
occasions I have returned with only one that doesn't leak. (I can get by with a leaky platty, I just don't like to smile
Two platys still weighs a lot less than one nalgene, and the ability to haul up 5 litres of water for camp is really nice, even if I'm only carrying a litre while walking.



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#110593 - 02/02/09 08:07 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: Jimshaw]
EricKingston Offline
member

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 272
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By Jimshaw

P.S. OK so I weighed my lexan spoon at .3 oz. I pulled down a 12 ounce plastic cup from the cupboard and it weighs 2 oz. So for 2.6 oz I get a regular kitchen cup and an indestructable fork AND spoon. Total value around $5 retail. I can stand on the cup. crazy
Interestingly it weighs less than my titanium setup which cost around $45.

I think you just flawlessly demonstrated a big part of what Jason’s video is also about by reaching into your cupboard and finding a couple of trail worthy items. Jason’s lineup of free gear promotes out-of-the-box thinking. You don't have to go out and spend $12 on the latest and greatest titanium spork (some may even call that ridiculous), when there are so many other options of equivalent weight that would work just as well. On the other hand, I do love my titanium spork laugh!

Originally Posted By Phat

I do draw the line at a canpot. I've tried 'em, I wreck them too easy, and then I really am up the creek without a paddle.

Yup, I have to agree. I've taken them on trips and had some very close calls. No matter how well I try to protect the canpot, it would return with indents and crushed sections after a trip. I'd just end up making new ones. The miniscule weight makes them very tempting, but in the long run, it's just not worth it (for me anyway).

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#110596 - 02/02/09 08:30 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: BarryP]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
Can't you boil water in a styrofoam cup? Isn't that one of those physics things as long as there is water inside, it won't burn? crazy


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#110597 - 02/02/09 08:33 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: leadfoot]
EricKingston Offline
member

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 272
Loc: Michigan
Mmmmmm.... the taste of instant cancer!

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#110599 - 02/02/09 09:30 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: EricKingston]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Thanks for all your feedback everyone! I think everyone has different tastes, likes, dislikes, etc. and all I was trying to do was put some ideas out there for those whose worldview and hiking style might jive with them. As with all of my videos, comments, suggestions, etc. I'm fine with people taking it or leavng it and enjoy the discussion! After all, we're all just brainstorming and sharing ideas to help each other out, right?


Edited by jasonklass (02/02/09 09:31 PM)
_________________________
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


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#110600 - 02/02/09 09:53 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: jasonklass]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Jason

I think you can be less defensive now. smile I said I enjoyed your video smile but questioned the message. confused People seem to be all excited about that. While I said that I like my Titanium gear that hasn't needed to be replaced for ten years and it is my personal first choice, I pointed out that in my cupboard there was lighter cheaper gear that was also extremely durable. What I questioned was taking less than durable gear when free durable gear is at hand. I don't get it. Thats not a negative ok?
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#110602 - 02/02/09 10:07 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: leadfoot]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
lead foot

quote"
Why be so judgemental if you haven't tried something? Or your is your opinion always the right way to do things?"
_________________________________________________________

I Think you should perhaps reread what I said. I do question taking breakable gear camping when free durable gear is avaiable in your kitchen. I prefer to carry my indestructable titanium, but I could care less what you carry. I merely asked a question about the concept. I'm sorry that you find that so threatening. not really... but it sounded like a nice thing to say.

Jim

_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#110604 - 02/02/09 11:21 PM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: Jimshaw]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Hey Jim,
Now, I think I'm confused. What is the "free" more durable gear you're talking about? Are you talking about the cup, spork, etc.? Sorry, I think I've lost you.
_________________________
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


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#110613 - 02/03/09 06:05 AM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: Jimshaw]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
No jim, I didn't feel threatened by your comment. As we all know, the written word can become misunderstood as to the tone and true meaning. When your comment about asking if people carry disposable items and then this mad, I read it in the manner you hadn't intended.

The styrofoam cup works pretty well for me, and it isn't one of those white things we use at a picnic. I don't care for disposable spoons, though. Even those Light-My-Fire sporks are useless...both break easily. And if you read what I said earlier, I use titanium bowls as well. The coffee cup is just a luxury item. I know you could care less what I carry. I'm reading your comment light-heartedly, right? smile






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#110616 - 02/03/09 09:38 AM Re: free gear - is it worth it? [Re: jasonklass]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
If I buy a Tim Horton's coffee on the way to the trail head I bring the used cup with me, and see how long it lasts before I use it for tinder, but I still have my regular mug. I guess I am saying I don't go out of my way to bring that stuff. I like my regular gear to be durable enough to last a month even if I'm only out for a weekend, but once I leave home I am also in 'foraging and scavenging mode', so anything I come across might get grabbed and re-used in some way or another. Same with junk I find in the woods or on beaches, and natural materials also. It's fun. Found some sort of 'bait bag' made out of fishing net and a piece of rubber tire and I used that for keeping small items and garbage in for that trip. Found a balloon washed up on Cradle Brook Beach one January. with a face on it, from some store promotion miles away, so it became my 'Spalding' hiking buddy for that trip.

I do the same in dollar stores and department stores, but I have gotten alot more fussy when it comes to actually buying stuff. I'm trying to get away from plastic as much as possible also, unless its really durable, and I don't already have one. Some free gear is definitely worth it though, like a little container fashioned out of birch bark, and I still have the wedding bottle I got for mixing aqua-mira, which actually came from a wedding I was at. Natural materials are best though, but if something is on its way to a landfill that's fair game also. If you are actually adding to the landfill, that's no good. Even if what you are buying is really durable you should probably think twice if you already have something. The best things in life are free, and some of the best free stuff is the stuff you have already.

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