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#119224 - 08/11/09 02:50 AM Packing light conspiracy theory
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
I noticed that a couple of the most popular backpacking communities, including this one, focus on light backpacking. Is that because a light backpacking supply company started them to promote their products? Not that there's anything wrong with that. I was just wondering if the "long time sponsor" was really a sponsor or also the parent company of this website.

I'd personally prefer less emphasis on "light" and "ultralight" just so I know I'm not missing anything. Or maybe that's what backpacking is all about. Just wondering.

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#119225 - 08/11/09 03:47 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
OK, I am going to try to be polite here. First of all, I have over 3600 posts here, you have 4, so I think I know a little bit about what this site is about.

Second, I don't own this website, so I am not part of the conspiracy, whatever that is supposed to be. Backpacking Light is the website and the Forums are one part of the site. I have no idea what you mean by "long term sponsor," but if you mean BackcountryGear.com, they are one of many sponsors with links that go to their sites or to pages that feature their products. That is why this site is free, unlike many subscription sites. The sponsors support the site, just like millions of other sites on the Web.

This website is devoted to lightweight backpacking. I would think you might have figured that out from the name, but apparently not. If you think you are missing something about backpacking that you can't find here, go look at other outdoor sites. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them that cover all aspects of outdoor sports.

If you want less emphasis on lightweight backpacking, you are in the wrong place. Kind of like going to Baskin Robbins and complaining that they only sell ice cream. I'm not saying go away, but if all you are going to do is whine that the site is too lightweight oriented, you are wasting your time. Not everyone here is a total gram weenie, including me, but if you aren't interested primarily in lightweight gear and technique, this isn't the place for you.

We don't do car camping, we don't do RV camping, we don't do horse packing or motorcycling. We do the stuff you see on the site and in the forums, if none of this interests you, then like I said, you'll just have to try somewhere else.


Edited by TomD (08/11/09 04:18 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#119229 - 08/11/09 08:06 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I can't speak to the ownership v. sponsorship issue; that's something Packlite will have to answer. I do know that there is virtually no censorship on the site; I've never had a post changed or deleted. (I have seen some posts disappear - they've all been either blatant marketing pitches, spamming, or flame wars that got out of hand and needed to be stopped.)

As far as the lightweight issue, I come (as many of us in the "over the hill gang" do) from a very traditional background: Kelty, Camp Trails, Eureka, Svea, Sigg and The North Face were the old brand names you'd find in our packs. Stainless steel, cordura nylon, A-frame tents, and external frame packs were all state of the art.

Then came the end of the Cold War, and the "peace dividend." My theory is that suddenly, some very clever folks whose skills had previously been used to design missile guidance systems and high-strength aircraft were available to design GPS systems and innovative tents. Materials like titanium and carbon fiber formerly available only for defense contractors were suddenly on the market. Throw in the general entrepreneurial urges and a growing market for the product, and you got a genuine improvement in gear quality. (Much the same thing happened after World War II, when nylon replaced canvas as the material of choice for tents and packs, and down sleeping bags and clothing became commonly available.)

Anyhow, the cottage industry innovators got the wave moving. When the mainstream companies realized that the light stuff would sell in quantity, they started making lighter, more innovative gear and including it in their retail lines. Now, I don't know about you, but when I stood in the store trying to decide whether to buy a 7-pound Eureka Timberline or a 3-pound MSR Hubba, it didn't take long to figure it out.

I don't really think it's a conspiracy. It's simply free market economics at its best: consumer demand, responded to by competitive manufacturers and retailers, result not only in lighter, but also better, gear. The better stuff is pricier, but that's also the markets: perceived quality and utility command a premium in the marketplace.

Occasionally, when telling my granddaughters about the good old days, I miss my Adjustable II external frame pack, my 2-pound Sigg cookset and Svea stove, and my Timberline 2 tent with the twin vestibules. But when I take them camping, you'd better believe they'll be carrying Deuter or Granite Gear packs and sleeping in a 3-person, 5-pound tent. We won't be carrying any canned goods, either.

As far as having less emphasis on light, that won't happen here; the heavy gear that's out there is, for the most part, not worth buying. It doesn't work as well or last as long (and that's a gross oversimplification.) To borrow some phrasing from pop culture: "Light" is the new "heavy." The light gear works just as well (and in many cases better) than the heavier traditional gear, and is just as reliable.

Ultralight is another story. We have a few here who use frameless packs, and push total loads down toward ten pounds. I've played in that game, and retreated from it because it didn't fit my needs. It bears the same relationship to "regular" gear that concept cars bear to the cars you and I drive: it's a great place to test cutting-edge technology, but it has a long way to go before you and I will drive/carry it. But, excluding things like climbing gear or photo equipment, most of us probably carry packs that range from 20 to 30 pounds for a 4 or 5 day trip. If you want hard-core ultralight, you'll have to try other websites.

The short answer: what you're seeing is evolution, not hype. The skills required to use the lighter gear are still pretty much the skills I needed when I started out. The new materials just make things generally more pleasant.


Edited by Glenn (08/11/09 12:45 PM)

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#119230 - 08/11/09 09:35 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Glenn]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
I don't know, Glenn, I'm from the 'over the hill gang' and my hiking/camping style has changed dramatically, and comfort has been maintained if not improved. Weight has been cut by half or more. I own very little cutting edge name brand gear because I refuse to pay the prices. I don't even shop for it. Much of the stuff I use, I made myself or modified something to fit my needs. When I think back to the 60's, 70's, 80's equipment I carried, versus what I carry now, the changes and methods are dramatic.

* I used to buy all my gear, taking the 'expert' advice from the store personnel
* I now hike primarily in trail runners (sneakers).
* Coin cell lights...mostly homemade...instead of a Maglight.
* No lanterns at night instead of a candle lantern I carried for years....which I thought was 'ultralite'.
* No stove instead of a pile of stoves i mostly now use for car camping. Sometimes no cooking at all!
* One, super light, yet bought at Walmart, pot, if any.
* My empty pack weighs 13oz. instead of a 5.5lb. mountaineering pack..which I now use to store my gear in the closet.
* poncho shelter or hammock, or under the stars, instead of tents. Working now to eliminate back pads...never used 'em in scouts...why now?
* water bags instead of heavy plastic jug/bottle things.
* tiny knife or multi tool instead of clunky army knife.
* thought process now focuses on 'double duty' and 'multi-function'.
* I don't haul TP rolls around anymore.
* Huge mindset change in clothing, especially in the desert.
* Now carry a lightened umbrella for portable shade and rain protection.....never thought I'd do that.
* Trekking pole (converted ski pole for me) instead of wood hiking staff.
* I'll hike at night sometimes...never did that in past decades.
* The only time my pack weight approaches 25 lbs. is when I'm forced to carry water for the entire trip. Otherwise it's 15 lbs. or less, in spring, summer, and early fall.
* toiletries/soaps/water treatment/first aid/ all now fit in a small baggie instead of a big stuff sack and any liquids are now re-packaged into tiny containers.

I think it's not so much the gear/materials changes but the mindset change. You learn what you really need vs. what we're told we need by the mainstream.
Books, this website, it's fabulous members, and Thurhiker.com were big influences along the way.

Censorship....Glenn, you don't get censured because you write good stuff! This website needs very little hand-holding because we have some of the most civil people here whom ever I've shared the Internet. We run off everybody else. grin

_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#119237 - 08/11/09 12:36 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Dryer]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Hi, Dryer. I think we're pretty much on the same page, so far as thought process; where we differ is on a) how far to take the lighten-up process and 2) whether to rely on manufacturers or take matters into our own hands (pun intended!) We definitely both want to be comfortable for the lowest possible weight.

I'd definitely put you into the category of ultralight. I like that category, and wish I could get there; I've tried, and just can't quite find that right blend of gear that works for me - it's personal preferences, not the fault of any of the gear. Ultralight works - with the exception of a couple of ill-conceived experiments involving closed-cell foam pads and bare sandstone ledges, I was never uncomfortable using ultralight gear. If you can achieve the right mix of gear, and if it suits you, ultralight works well. I'm just not there - yet. I keep hoping...

But the meat-and-potatoes of this website seems, to me, to be light instead of ultralight, with a nice hint of ultralight seasoning to it. The main emphasis of the site seems to be helping folks who carry the 40 - 50 pound traditional loads get down into the 20 - 30 range. The ultralight insight provided by you and several others keep pulling those of use with those 20 - 30 pound loads down toward 10 - 20 pound loads. And that's a pretty good blend of points of view, in my opinion. The other nice thing is that none of us are zealots - everyone gets to hike their own hike, but we're all willing to learn from the others and adapt what works for us. Well, maybe not Jim... wink (Sorry, Jim, it was just too good to resist!)

As far as relying on manufacturers, I do so because they're much better at building gear than I am. (I've tried a couple of projects; they end up looking - and working - like I made them. Not good.) I've been lucky in that much of the gear I have now is made like it was designed for me and the way I hike. If you have the skill, I highly recommend making your own gear; I envy your ability to do so.

Because of the blend of personality and perspective, and the lack of "my way or the wrong way" attitudes, this is by far my favorite, and most useful, backpacking site.

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#119238 - 08/11/09 12:53 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: TomD]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By TomD
This website is devoted to lightweight backpacking. I would think you might have figured that out from the name, but apparently not. If you think you are missing something about backpacking that you can't find here, go look at other outdoor sites. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them that cover all aspects of outdoor sports.


I looked at a few backpacking books the other day and I don't think they refer to "lightweight backpacking" or use a similar term, yet the only two decent websites on the topic (maybe I just didn't search hard enough) are about lightweight backpacking, so I was suspicious. It's fine even if there's a profit motive involved and a backpacking supplier owns the website. And for all I know, lightweight backpacking is the common kind that 90% of backpackers do. But just in case that wasn't the case I figured I should raise the issue. If 90% of backpackers avoid lightweight equipment for some reason, it would be nice to know before I visit all the sponsors and other sites people link to here. The only real problem I found is someone who complained about the weight of the large sized bear spray, but I don't even think that was on this board. I'd totally be willing to fail to complete a trail because I took the large bear spray.

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#119241 - 08/11/09 01:47 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3139
Loc: Portland, OR
Barry II,

Somehow or other it has escaped your notice that one of the most popular forums on this site is the Make Your Own Gear forum. There you will find dozens of people eager to tell you how to avoid buying the products of ANY gear maker, unless you think this conspiracy extends to the makers of silnylon cloth.

It is good to be wary of hidden motives, but when there is substantial evidence that no such motive exists, it is better to let your guard down a bit, look for whatever useful information this site can supply, and apply it to meet your needs.

As TomD said, if you can't find anything here that meets your needs, then all you have to do is drift away. Impugning the motives of the site owners is not really very generous of you, when other, simpler explanantions, which better meet the facts, are available to you.

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#119242 - 08/11/09 01:55 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Rick_D Online   content
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2912
Loc: NorCal
The lightweight backpacking "industry" exists because of this site, and a handful of others. Charles has been at this for more than a decade, beginning at a time when there was ZERO commercially made lightweight gear. Anybody recall when the Dana Bridger was lightweight?

Light gear isn't a new idea--it has been marketed in the past to collective yawns from the public--but it's really been within the last five years that it's become a significant force in the industry. And now that "regular" folks have discovered they too can thru-hike a trail like the PCT using very light gear, it's achieved a bit of permanence.

There's nothing nefarious to see here, that's a fact.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#119244 - 08/11/09 02:05 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I don't think the majority of people go out of their way to avoid lightweaight gear. I think it is more about lack of education on the value of going lightweight, and possibly also somewhat cost because lightweight gear does tend to be more expensive (unless you make your own). Many people who follow lightweight principles choose some areas to cut significant weight (i.e. pack weight, sleeping bag, stove/cookwear, clothing), but don't go whole-hog lightweight on every piece of gear. Lightweights like me have no choice but to go lightweight - I weigh just over 100 lbs, and 35% of my body weight is ~ 35#. With "traditional" gear it doesn't take long before I'm at that point or higher. With lightweight gear I can go down to 15-20# and have room for luxuries if I want. If you're a big hulking guy with youth on your side then you might not care about hefting a 60# pack around, but if you're like most of us, every pound of weight off your back makes the hike ever so much more enjoyable.

Yes, for some people pack weight is an obsession and/or a point of pride, but on this board people are conscientious about making sure everyone has an opportunity to hike their own hike. If you care more about technique than gear, you still have a place on this board. The collective wisdom here is enormous, and generously shared.
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#119245 - 08/11/09 02:28 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Glenn]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
But the meat-and-potatoes of this website seems, to me, to be light instead of ultralight, with a nice hint of ultralight seasoning to it.


Well....yeah.....you're right. "Ultralight" is two things. 1) a loosely defined term, dependant on many things. Where, how long, experience level, woodcraftyness, etc. and 2) describes a life long 'process', not so much 'products'. It took (and takes) me years to learn what I really need, and what I'm willing to do without, all to make walking in the wilderness a fun experience. I'm skilled in the desert and forested areas near Texas. Drop me in Phat's neighborhood and I'd be lost...gear ignorant, and likely a heavy backpacker again, until I learned.
So, I think describing this website as "ultralight" is accurate, if you keep in mind it's all a continuous process, based on personal levels. Jumping straight into super-duper ultralight, based on someone elses definition, is a good way to be very uncomfortable or....dead.

I'm currently re-reading all my mountain man books. Big Sky, Give Your Heart to the Hawks, etc. ALL of those books describe a process from 'greenhorn' to 'mountain man'. Those old guys weren't about a fun walk in the woods on an established trail.
All their learned skills were life/death survival and many of those skills carry over to what we do today. They got so good at it that they preferred the life in most cases. It's exactly what we're striving to do...learning to prefer what most people would consider uncomfortable.

So, Glenn, call yourself 'ultralight'. Sounds to me like you've shaved about 50% off your pack weights. That's big! grin


Fun test for everyone, next time your in the grocery store. Head to the dog food isle. Pick up a 25# sack and heft it onto your shoulder. Put it down and pick up a 50# sack and do the same. I use to hual over 50# of junk in my pack. Today, 25# seems heavy.

_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#119246 - 08/11/09 02:29 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Originally Posted By Barry II

I'd personally prefer less emphasis on "light" and "ultralight" just so I know I'm not missing anything. Or maybe that's what backpacking is all about. Just wondering.


There are plenty of websites and forums for people who want to carry a 50 lb pack and the kitchen sink.

This site is for those with an interest in light backpacking/hiking.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#119247 - 08/11/09 03:32 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Barry II


I'd personally prefer less emphasis on "light" and "ultralight" just so I know I'm not missing anything. Or maybe that's what backpacking is all about. Just wondering.


Define for me what "light" and "ultralight" are. If you listen to Osprey, ultralight weighs three and a half pounds. If you talk to the sub-10 lb base weight hikers, they will mock you out of the park for having a three and a half pound backpack.

Not sure why you are seeing a conspiracy where there is merely a broad range of choices. You don't have to buy anything you don't want to buy to post here, after all. This is just a website on a topic the host wanted to focus the site on - are you going to see a conspiracy if I set up a Fishing for Golden Trout forum instead of a general fishing forum?

There generally aren't "Packing Heavy" sites because EVERYONE knows how to do that! The challenge is the light, but safe, pack - gear of sufficient durability to not need a learning curve is typically heavy, lighter gear is frequently fiddly (alcohol stoves, hammocks) and less durable (requiring more care) so of course we gather to learn from each other.

You are more than welcome to set up a forum called "Packing Heavy is More Fun" and see how many people sign up.
_________________________
"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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#119249 - 08/11/09 04:03 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Dryer]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I agree with everything you said, including especially the part about ultralight being a journey, not a set of gear. (Heck, back in the day, when my buddies went out with 50 pound packs, I thought I was "ultralight" when I figured out how to get by with 35 pounds!)

I suppose, reading the other posts in this thread, that there's another reason or two people still carry heavier loads. One is that they genuinely like their Timberline tent (maybe a honeymoon was spent there, or it's the tent that their son shared with them, or any other equally valid reason.) After all, I haven't rushed right out to replace my Hubba tent with the Carbon Reflex; I genuinely like my Hubba.

Another could be thrift: it hasn't worn out yet, so there's no good compelling reason to replace it, and they don't feel like spending money just to spend money. When it does wear out, they will likely replace it with another piece of gear that is lightweight by current standards, but may well be a hulking relic in ten years (even though it still works great and is in good condition.)

A related financial aspect is budget: some folks can't afford to replace a set of "heavy" traditional gear overnight (I couldn't when both kids were still in school and living at home.) So, they'll replace a major piece of gear every year or so with a lighter version.

A final reason some folks still carry a heavier load than others is that they got the gear for free - usually from one of us gear junkies who found something lighter, or at least newer ("Ooooh, shiny...") There's nothing sadder than having gear collect basement dust instead of trail dust.


Edited by Glenn (08/11/09 04:19 PM)

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#119253 - 08/11/09 04:17 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: aimless]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Good point. Me and my ten thumbs don't visit that thread very often. Most of my "make your own" would, unfortunately, contain instructions like, "if the fit isn't precise, use a hammer to get it close," and "after you finish, give it a trial run. Then toss it in the trash, and go buy what you were trying to build." blush

Most of my do-it-yourself projects end up looking like I did it myself. I really envy the skills many of you have.

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#119254 - 08/11/09 04:20 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
This has to be quick because my black helicopter is warming up now.

This Forum is more about technique than gear. Recently a guy asked about the lightest guyline tensioner and the consensus was to learn to tie a tautline hitch.

Your personal gear selection tells me more about your hiking style than the gear.

I am pleased that I did not start to lighten my load until I realized I did not have that many years left of carrying a 45 pound pack. Pleased because I had the ability to carry a heavy pack for 30 years.

I would not loan my UL gear to a beginner. It DOES require experience to use it safely.

This Forum does appreciate diversity. Glenn uses a traditional double wall tent and that is good because not many members actually use tents. I have not used a tent in several years and that means I should not provide tent selection advice.

The viral or stealth advertisers on this Form are pretty quickly identified and asked to move on.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#119258 - 08/11/09 05:56 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: ringtail]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By food
This has to be quick because my black helicopter is warming up now.


Is that an ultralight black copter? Because if it isn't you need to turn in your decoder ring.
_________________________
"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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#119259 - 08/11/09 06:24 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
lori,

I wear a tin foil helmet when I log into this site to block the mind control. eek eek

I have EGAD (Extra Gear Acquisition Disorder) but refuse to take the medication.

OK, the folks on this Forum have a sense of humor, but also mature judgement and would not tolerate stealth merchandising. mad mad
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#119260 - 08/11/09 06:39 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: ringtail]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
I am a newbie with very few post. I have been on the internet for years and this is the first forum I ever joined even though the main site has been in my favorites for years.
Taking what you need and leaving the rest comes to mind, I mean this is like a bad twilight zone episode, even though there were no bad twilight zone episodes. Its a BACKPACKING LIGHT WEBSITE, its in the name, nothing hidden when its in the name, you can join the forum and carry as much as you like, I like the fact that there is so much experience on here regardless of weight ideals, light, ul, whatever. The only reason I waited so long to join is I hate people, but learning about my favorite thing in the world, (well except for strip clubs), wins out over my antisocial nature.
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#119261 - 08/11/09 06:39 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Originally Posted By lori
to set up a forum called "Packing Heavy is More Fun" and see how many people sign up.


grin eek My knees!
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#119263 - 08/11/09 07:40 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: sarbar]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Well Barry, as you can see, some of the regulars are having some fun at your expense, and as a moderator, I am not going to stop them. Their point is just because you looked at a couple of books that don't mention lightweight backpacking, that does not mean this site is a front for some company. Who do you think we are, the health insurance business? No. The site has many sponsors who are just that-companies that place ads here because the site attracts potential customers who might buy their products; it is the same reason beer companies buy ad time on ESPN-because people watch sports, a lot of people and a lot of those people like beer. It is a simple concept.

A site that attracts hikers interested in lightweight gear attracts companies that make it. Advertising 101-find your target audience. Henry Shires isn't going to sell a Tarptent to someone driving an RV; he is going to sell Tarptents to people who want to hike the old Appalachian Trail (except Mark Sanford).

I don't even own a lot of lightweight gear but if my choice is between buying something really heavy and something light that does the same thing, I'm getting the light one. The reason you don't see a lot of lightweight gear in stores or mentioned in books is because a lot of it is made by small companies who can't supply a chain like REI or can't make it cheap enough to sell in other large retailers. Lightweight gear often requires skill, as well and retailers would rather sell average, lowest common denominator gear that is cheap and takes a lot of abuse than something with a learning curve that needs a certain level of care to last.


Edited by TomD (08/11/09 07:42 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#119265 - 08/11/09 07:43 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: bigb]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
bigb: To Serve Man was kind of dumb.

My conspiracy theory is basically that the popularity of the packing light message boards may be due to a retailer's advertising campaign rather than the true popularity of the sport, and that the "long time sponsor" claim at the bottom of this page is misleading because the sponsor owns the board. I won't call the cops or anything, I'm just saying...

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#119266 - 08/11/09 07:46 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
I wish I could type the twilight zone theme
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"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#119269 - 08/11/09 08:21 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
FWIW, here's a run down on the backpacking forums I visit daily:

White Blaze, geographically specific to the Appalachian Trail - has an ultralight sub-forum

Backpacker.com - a general bp'ing site - has an ultralight sub-forum

NWHikers.net - geographically specific to the NW - has a gear forum but not ultralight specific

ClubTread - same as above but specific to the Canadian west and WA

BackpackingLight.com - the whole site is about ultralight

HammockForums.net - specific to hammock camping which may or may not be ultralight

And of course there's this forum with its emphasis on lightweight packing...

Yes indeed...the conspiracy is widespread but not yet universal... But I'm not sure equipment manufacturers are part of the conspiracy. True, they benefit from producing lightweight equipment but, in the end, the ul movement is about carrying less.

And I'm glad for it. My pack weight is less than half of what it use to be and I sleep better, eat better and am generally more comfortable than before. I'm happy to be part of the movement and support the conspiracy. But then, I do live in Montana. wink

FB
p.s. did you know the black helicopters now have noise supressors so that you don't know when they're overhead...? crazy
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#119270 - 08/11/09 08:27 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
O.k. dude... scroll your little mousie down just a scosh further and you'll see this:

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

If you click on that link you'll go to the list owner's website. You'll see that it is not a gear manufacturer, it is an individual named Charles who has put alot of blood, sweat and tears into promoting his hobby of lightweight backpacking since 1996. That's a long time, dude. He's a nice guy who likes to hike and is passionate about it. Passion is what drove the internet in the early years.

Get over yourself. Like many of us have pointed out, lighteight gear requires a higher level of experience to use safely. The experience here is phenominal. Yours is such a strange post I don't know why I'm even bothering to respond.

Over.

Out.

MNS
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#119271 - 08/11/09 08:33 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Hey, I all about equal opportunity -

Anyone who wants to carry all my junk around will get dinner cooked for them.

But I'll make sure I have you carry ALL my old school gear and not all the sweet UL gear I carry when it is on my back.

You can also carry in the fresh taters, steak and corn on the cob. And the cast iron skillet to cook it in grin

Or we can go lightweight, do a lot of miles and still have a great dinner - just very UL.

Oh, I'll admit I make UL hiking gear !*GASP*!

As for Backcountrygear.com....uh, they sell heavy gear as well. Save your arguments for BPL, which IS run by a company that only sells UL gear. Which is a big whoopie-doo in my eyes. Websites don't run themselves by magic. You either sell products (as BPL does) or you have advertising. Heck, my business website has ads on it and I sell products as well. It doesn't mean I am biased either. But neither do I have magical elves that pay for my server fees!! And at the end of the day, I'd like a house over my head and dinner in front of me. So I run ads - it allows everyone to use my website for free on their end. I am grateful that The light Backpacker is free for me to come use! I can ignore ads. Big deal.

Forums run by companies (BPL and Backpacker.com) are there to as a way for customers to return over and over. It builds "community". Again, no big deal.
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