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#119273 - 08/11/09 09:05 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: sarbar]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
I think BPL is what I kept seeing in Google's search results a day or two ago and I thought it was this forum until I checked this forum's address. My conspiracy theory started when I discovered the two most popular backpacking forums are on light backpacking. Not really a big deal since I'll probably be packing lighter than most of you because I want to preserve my knees and I have a theory that packing too much will make you shorter.

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#119277 - 08/11/09 10:40 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Barry II
I think BPL is what I kept seeing in Google's search results a day or two ago and I thought it was this forum until I checked this forum's address. My conspiracy theory started when I discovered the two most popular backpacking forums are on light backpacking. Not really a big deal since I'll probably be packing lighter than most of you because I want to preserve my knees and I have a theory that packing too much will make you shorter.


confused
lol
lol

You might want to check around before you claim to pack "lighter than most of you."

grin


_________________________
"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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#119278 - 08/11/09 11:12 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
alanwenker Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
I wish there actually was a conspiracy afoot. I love a good conspiracy. There really were helecopters flying over my house tonight under the guise of spraying for mosquitos - that old line.

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#119282 - 08/11/09 11:29 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Two words:
Trekking poles.

You want to save your knees, get a pair of them.

And that I am serious about.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
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#119284 - 08/12/09 12:25 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: sarbar]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By sarbar
Two words:
Trekking poles.

You want to save your knees, get a pair of them.
I plan on it. I wish I could find non-metal folding ones though. I'm going for lightweight, small, and not attractive to lightening. I might just use branches. All this is assuming I actually hike on a trail. I just walk the streets now but I have my eye on a campground 45 miles away. I won't be using poles in city streets and I want my backpack to look relatively normal for the city.

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#119286 - 08/12/09 01:22 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Barry II
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...


Sorry dude, your theory holds no water. The sponsor, "Backcountry Gear" is not the owner of the board. Charles is not the owner of Backcountry Gear either. Also, lightweight backpacking is NOT a popular sport. So, whoever is behind this conspiracy...sucks bad. Not very many are buying in. I will be conservative and say that 80% of backpackers have packs over 50 lbs. The reason is because most people don't like effort. In fact, most people who love camping and spending time outdoors, don't even like backpacking. Now, from your posts, you have NEVER been backpacking. You don't even know what the difference is between "normal" backpackers and us. We are not normal, or mainstream, by the way.
I would suggest a little more research before making wild claims and conjuring up conspiracies...just saying.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#119287 - 08/12/09 01:26 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Barry II
I plan on it. I wish I could find non-metal folding ones though. I'm going for lightweight, small, and not attractive to lightening. I might just use branches. All this is assuming I actually hike on a trail. I just walk the streets now but I have my eye on a campground 45 miles away. I won't be using poles in city streets and I want my backpack to look relatively normal for the city.


Poles: Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4
Weight: 3.5 oz per pole
material: carbon fiber, one twist lock
Uses: shelter support, stream crossing stabilizer, probe, snake mover, bug basher, and of course, trekking pole

As for looking normal in town, unless you're carrying a book bag it's not worth the pretense.
_________________________
"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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#119288 - 08/12/09 01:45 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
You are a very good troll Barry 11. (That's the nastiest thing I've ever said on this forum - sorry folks.)

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#119292 - 08/12/09 04:36 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
packlite Online   content
Admin

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 2597
Loc: Pullman, WA, USA
You're a hoot, Barry. It's good to look back, occasionally, to remember where we came from. This site - "The Lightweight Backpacker" - began in 1995, I would say on an inspiration from a backpacking trip in 1991 with a group of old timers along with group of high schoolers. One old timer actually brought a cast iron grill about 18" x 12" and it weighed a bunch. One high schoolers brought a 1/2 gallon of milk and goodies to go along with it. I, myself, had a lot of really good gear, albeit heavy, and my pack weighed 60+ pounds. After that trip, I spent some time reflecting on how much easier, safer and more enjoyable it would have been had we took more time to plan out our gear strategy and took less heavy stuff especially those things that had lightweight counterparts. Anyway, that was the genesis of the site. The sponsor came along in about 1998 when I hooked up with BackcountryGear.com whose site carried Western Mountaineering bags (lightest nicest bag on the market at that time and still right there on or near the top in quality) and also was interested in supplying lighter weight gear, also for climbing. It was and still is a good match. But when I say sponsor, they are a sponsor in the sense that if you shop there by following a link from here, I get a small commission (if you actually buy and pay for something). This may (or may not) be obvious to you, but this relationship helps the "sponsor" as well as helps keep this site alive.

So there you have a little history that may (or may not) be interesting to you. I'm pretty certain that you are not as ignorant as you make yourself sound, but whether you are or are not makes no difference to me. You are welcome here -- unless you don't fit in. The choice is yours.

packlite
_________________________
" Not all those who wander are lost ! "
J.R.R. Tolkien

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#119295 - 08/12/09 07:22 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
If you want non-metal poles, there are carbon fiber poles available. I've used the MSR Overland Carbon, and like them. I believe there are also some sold at Gossamer Gear and/or the BackpackingLight websites.

Of course, I've also used sawed-off broom handles and the "utility" handles (replacement handles for rakes, shovels, etc.) that you can find at hardware stores. My son once made a nice hiking pole out of a fallen tree limb he found.

You mention you're only walking city streets now. Does your city have any local parks that might have a walking trail? Mine has a track laid around the local soccer fields. It's about a mile and a half long; probably half a mile is beside a creek, under some trees, and all in all it's pleasant enough. I try to get out there about 2 or 3 times a week and walk a couple or three laps. I carry my pack, packed for a weekend, and use my hiking poles. One thing that was jarring was that, on backcountry trails, you speak to anyone you meet and they usually talk back. On this trail, you can smile and speak - and get ignored. Must be something about cities (my "city" is 10,000 people in rural Ohio - and prides itself on its small-town friendliness!)

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#119296 - 08/12/09 07:44 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: finallyME]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I'd have to disagree with your statement that we (I assume you mean lightweight backpackers) are not the norm. At least, I'll disagree based on the anecdotal evidence in the areas I hike, east of the Mississippi. I'm seeing more lightweight packs and fewer heavy packs all the time. Like it or not, we're turning into the "establishment" (yes, I'm a child of the 60's.) Of course, where you hike West of the Mississippi, it may be different, and for good reasons based on terrain, weather, and other considerations.

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#119297 - 08/12/09 09:10 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: packlite]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Charles....thanks for your history lesson! To add...

This site stopped using "black helicopters" a couple years ago and now uses Predator and Global Hawk drones. Much lighter and cheaper to operate. We know what you are doing before you do it.

To those still seeing or using 'black helicopters', they aren't from here. You can trust me. cool
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#119298 - 08/12/09 09:33 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
I wish I could find non-metal folding ones though.

Barry, we have both metal and non-metal trekking poles in this household. My wife likes telescoping store bought poles. I personally still use modified ski poles for a variety of reasons. First, they can't collapse under load. They can be even lighter than 'trekking poles' because of the lack of hardware. They don't 'buzz'. They can be replaced for almost nothing....I have several by the back door here. I've flown them all over the world, too.
So, you might duck into a local pawn shop and look at some carbon or thin aluminum ski poles, buy a couple, and learn some technique. They work fine on city concrete. Lightning doesn't care about your poles.
You'll learn whether you are a one or two poll-er. I'm a one pole hiker, unless there is a lot of climbing.

Urban hiking is a blast. I'm care taker of a nature preserve in this town and sometimes hike to another preserve five miles away, passing through mine. Also, when visiting another city, long hikes to points of interest are a priority. Boston comes to mind. A fanny pack is all that's needed. Go get some miles!
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#119300 - 08/12/09 09:57 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Glenn]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Glenn
I'd have to disagree with your statement that we (I assume you mean lightweight backpackers) are not the norm. At least, I'll disagree based on the anecdotal evidence in the areas I hike, east of the Mississippi. I'm seeing more lightweight packs and fewer heavy packs all the time. Like it or not, we're turning into the "establishment" (yes, I'm a child of the 60's.) Of course, where you hike West of the Mississippi, it may be different, and for good reasons based on terrain, weather, and other considerations.


Well, considering my numbers are anecdotal, I can't really argue. wink
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#119309 - 08/12/09 02:37 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Glenn]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By Glenn
You mention you're only walking city streets now. Does your city have any local parks that might have a walking trail?
There's one about 8 miles away if I take my preferred bicycle path route. The bicycle path itself is good enough for a less polluted, semi-scenic route with no red lights. I got into walking to stay in shape and save money on transportation. I'm getting into backpacking for a bunch of reasons, like being able to stay out all day without eating at fast food places and having a comfortable way to carry groceries. I already have a cheap two person tent so I looked into where the nearest campground is but I'm not clear on whether I'll go there, how I'd get there, or what equipment I'll use.

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#119311 - 08/12/09 03:02 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Are you in New York City, or more upstate NY? (the "how I'd get there" question made me curious. In Ohio, 8 miles is just a 10 minute drive.)

Glad to hear you're going to try backpacking. It's great exercise, and a pleasant antidote to the craziness of our "normal" lives. As you have questions, feel free to ask; if it's something that you're just too embarrassed to post about (and we all have such things, from time to time), send one of us a PM. We can mislead you with the best of them. wink

If you haven't already read it, pick up a copy of Colin Fletcher's Complete Walker IV. It's not really a beginner's book (though, come to think of it, the original edition was the first book I read, after my first Scout overnighter with my son, so maybe it's not such a bad starting place.) Your first pass through should involve a pretty thorough reading of the Prefaces and first chapter or two and the last chapter, on general aspects. Then, pick and choose your gear topics. He approaches it as walking with your house on your back, and organizes the material on gear and specific techniques accordingly: Kitchen (stoves, food considerations, cooking techniques, and fire); Bedroom (sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents, tarps, and how to use them - also an excellent description of a routine day on the trail); and so forth. As you go through the gear chapters, you might skim all the details on makes and models - much of it is 3 years or more out of date, unavoidably - and go back to that as you begin to make gear decisions. The parts to read are about the purpose of gear, design features of good gear, and how to make the gear work for you.

In the early part of the book, there's also an excellent discussion of the evolution of gear and how lightweight fits into the overall world of the backpacker. The book is actually a conversation between Fletcher and his co-author Chip Rawlings; Fletcher is more of a traditionalist willing to selectively use lighter gear, while Rawlings is more of a lightweight/ultralight/experimenter kind of backpacker. It sounds like it might be confusing, but it really seems to work and provides a lot of good information from a couple of points of view.

It's really a great read.


Edited by Glenn (08/12/09 03:06 PM)

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#119313 - 08/12/09 03:17 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Glenn]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
New York City. "How I'd get there" was about the campground, 45 miles away. I could walk it all or take the subway then walk 20 miles or take the subway then bus then walk (depends on what bus I take), or take the train all the way. Once I'm there I could go campground hopping, maybe. I have no immediate plans for this.

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#119321 - 08/12/09 06:29 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Barry
why not just camp in Central Park?

Its not the predators or global hawks that matter, its the android insects! crazy
Jim crazy
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#119323 - 08/12/09 07:37 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Jimshaw]
kev Offline
member

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 163
Loc: Iowa
BTW, carbon fiber will conduct electricity too, just ask some of early adopters of carbon fiber motorcycle bodywork that shortcircuted the battery, now that was a hot bike.
_________________________
Why am I getting old faster than I'm getting smart?

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#119325 - 08/12/09 07:48 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
Lightweight backpacking isn't uncommon. I still see many people who carry 30+ packs. I find it funny because if you shop right it is cheaper to buy light weight gear. The more rare thing to see is an ultra light backpacker.

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#119330 - 08/12/09 10:08 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Jimshaw]
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
Jim's here! NOW we can have a discussion about backpacking conspiracies!!!! grin
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Why am I online instead of hiking?

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#119336 - 08/13/09 02:01 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Folkalist]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Hahaha!
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#119364 - 08/14/09 12:10 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Folkalist]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Folkalist.
Certainly the "ray-way" is a conspiracy, crazy as is the broad usage of snow caves. wink If by conspiracy you refer to things like men's need for a big knife to protect them selves cry, or that rapists and wild animals just sort of hang around in the middle of nowhere waiting to be gunned by inexperienced shooters, that they are habituated to think of as prey. How about the Tent Foot print conspiracy. Its real. They decided that if they started making the floors of tents from really light weight stuff like the walls, that they could then sell an additional floor "foot print" for extra money and weight because the new lightweight floor wasn't durable enough.

Their certainly are manufacturing conspiracies in the backpack business. One year they will decide that you need a violet and teal backpack, and another year it'll be camo tights and bicycle tops. Whatever it is, there are more people out there buying gear than using it much, and the mass markets are people buying the same old rectangular sleeping bags and tents with rain fly's the size of bikinis. mad

Who says you NEED a hydration bladder in your pack?

Hmmmm - but anyway I wonder how many people carry large white reflectors to signal to passing flying saucers while camped on sacred mountain tops. grin Its ok, I'm part Indian.

Jim crazy YMMV


Edited by Jimshaw (08/14/09 12:12 AM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#119367 - 08/14/09 12:28 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Jimshaw]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
If anything REI is the center of it all! Foot print my butt. I try not to buy anything there.

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#119368 - 08/14/09 01:44 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Bushman]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Bushman
If anything REI is the center of it all! Foot print my butt. I try not to buy anything there.


They're certainly contributing to the notion that a three pound pack is "ultralight." Lighter than a six pound pack, maybe...

They will also contribute to the ultralightening of your wallet, for sure.
_________________________
"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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