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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
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"...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
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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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#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.
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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.
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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.
_________________________
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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: 2594
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 ! "
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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!
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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
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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
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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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#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!
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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)
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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.
_________________________
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http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#119372 - 08/14/09 08:12 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Jimshaw]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Hmmmm - but anyway I wonder how many people carry large white reflectors to signal to passing flying saucers while camped on sacred mountain tops.


Jim, nobody does that anymore. We use "space blankets". And the internet brings those mountain tops right into the computer room! grin

ALL sports are driven by "marketing". It's not a 'conspiracy'. How does a company take an old concept like "a bag with straps on it" and keep sales alive? By constantly changing it with 'new' innovations like ice ax loops, crampon pads, and hydration bags on your kids book bag. I ran into this in the scuba business in the '80's. Delivering air to a sport diver had been prefected....so...they made it all prettier, and started adding gizmo's that you had to have or you weren't cool. I even put dive computers in that category! Sure, plastics and materials change and improve, but basic concepts remain the same. My old gear works just fine. Camping/backpacking is no different. I remember NOT using sleeping pads from the 60's to about the mid '80's...then you had to have a Thermorest. Enter the "ultralight" mindset.....
We tend to go counter to the marketing and get back to basics.
I find thinking past the marketing and un-doing the fluff we're sold, lightens the pack a bunch!


Agree on the 'footprint' thing....that probably is a conspiracy. grin


_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#119373 - 08/14/09 08:32 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Dryer]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I remember sleeping without pads; it's not a fond memory. However, I also remember the evolution: no pad, to air mattresses (my first one was a "borrowed" pool float), to closed cell pads, to Thermarest, and now back to air mattresses (albeit insulated, this time.)

The best recent example of taking old technology and giving it a new "cool" twist is Osprey's Atmos and Exos series packs. (This is not an attempt to discredit Osprey; the packs are well designed, functional, and - from all reports - perform very well.)

Back in the 70's and 80's we had external frame packs that had been pretty well perfected; they did the job, were reasonably well ventilated, and tended to bounce around a little and move opposite the direction you were turning.

Then came internals, and they got pretty well perfected.

So, what to do to shake up the market? Enter the Atmos and Exos series packs: they look like internal frame packs, with an innovative "trampoline" backpad and "perimeter" suspension element, with cutouts in the pack cloth so air could get to your back. I got one and, after a few hikes, discovered that the pack is really a modernized variation of my first external frame pack - it had the same bounce and tendency to move against my turns. (Of course, it was about 3 pounds lighter, had more capacity, and the pockets were much more usable.) Revolutionary design? No. Improved re-tread? Yes.

I guess our elders were right: the more things change, the more they stay the same. (Or, for us children of the 60's: what goes around comes around.)

I don't see this as a nefarious cabal conspiring against us poor packers - it's the same kind of marketing and design that goes on in all industries, from soap to cars to housing. It's that constant human desire to tinker; often, the tinkering results in small improvements to existing designs. After enough tinkering, something really innovative sometimes comes along. (Thomas Edison was probably the ultimate tinkerer.)

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#119374 - 08/14/09 09:17 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Jimshaw]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
and the mass markets are people buying the same old rectangular sleeping bags and tents with rain fly's the size of bikinis. mad


Hahaha...So, this is exactly what I found when I took my scouts backpacking last week. One boy said, "I have a two man tent". I said "Great, share with this other boy". Lets just say we were lucky it didn't rain. He pulled out a one man with a rain fly the size of a PB bunny bikini. I think the fly was a 10" X 10" square. I am going to try tarps this next month.
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#119385 - 08/14/09 11:33 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Ender Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 779
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By Barry II
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.


Barry,

Avoid the campground... take the Metro North train up to the Appalachian Trail stop (runs on Saturdays and Sundays, and walk 5 miles in either direction for a free camp site. It's much more remote than a public campground, with trail hiking, and the camping bit is free. You only have to pay for the train.

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#119389 - 08/14/09 03:28 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 927
Loc: Michigan
One of the things which I appreciate about this site that it is not all gear all the time. Everyone has gear which they use and prefer but there are no endless rants about "I use a super duper pack and any one who uses a whiz bang pack is just an idiot." Most folks here will state what they have if asked and may tell why they think it works well for them but endless gear rants are seldom seen on this site. Most posts are of a more general nature than specific brand posts.

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#119404 - 08/14/09 06:57 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: GrumpyGord]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
REI will make your wallet lighter for sure. I have an old external that has the same netting the atoms pack uses, and it weights 4 pounds, thats from 1975!
I tell the guys at REI that my base weight is 9 pounds and they say, "Oh your one of those minimalists?" I tell them no, i am not. I carry all the same stuff you do, just that most of it is lighter,made, and recycled. It also shocks them for the price of the atoms pack I can make almost all my gear.

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#119475 - 08/17/09 12:57 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Dryer]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Dryer
You had dive computers? I've never used one. Lets see I was 18 when i got my Naui card, which training is now the same training given Master Divers. Lets see, that was 1967. Nope, no computers dude. Memorized dive tables and a watch worked for me.

"space blankets" of course, I guess once again I was too far ahead of my time, but back then there WERE flying saucers to signal, you know they all left in 1977 right?
Jim crazy
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#119478 - 08/17/09 02:52 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Ender]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By Ender
Avoid the campground... take the Metro North train up to the Appalachian Trail...
I'm looking into that. Croton Point Park has trails too, and no bears, but maybe I'll find a guided tour for the AT. One where the leader has bear deterrent. And I'll have my own. And I have to decide whether I want to deal with the threat of snakes. I may be more of a walker than a hiker until guides start carrying anti-venom.

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#119481 - 08/17/09 08:27 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Jimshaw]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Nope, I don't own a dive computer. I've used rentals but still like reading the tables. I taught in the 80's and remember when computers became all the rage...and watched the batteries die or equipment break. Like you, I started way back before BC's were standard. A computer was yet something else to hang off you. Never converted to Nitrox either.

What happened in 1977? Texas has plenty of aliens!
_________________________
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#119594 - 08/20/09 10:03 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
Originally Posted By Ender
Avoid the campground... take the Metro North train up to the Appalachian Trail...
I'm looking into that. Croton Point Park has trails too, and no bears, but maybe I'll find a guided tour for the AT. One where the leader has bear deterrent. And I'll have my own. And I have to decide whether I want to deal with the threat of snakes. I may be more of a walker than a hiker until guides start carrying anti-venom.


Let's see, you have lightning, bears and snakes covered. Don't forget mountain lions, bobcats (those little guys can really be scary), wolverines, feral dogs, coyotes, wolves, and poisonous spiders. I won't even mention all the deadly insects out there (especially the ants that try to eat you), because then you will be too overwhelmed. But, if you go with a guide they will be able to carry all the necessary deterents to ensure a nice, safe, sanitized trip. happy
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#119597 - 08/20/09 10:31 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Bear Deterrent? For black bears?

Okayyyyyyy.... Here's a real ultralight one. Stand where you are sure the bear has plenty of room to escape. Wave your arms, yell, throw rocks in the general direction of the bear. Watch it run.

I still think you're having fun with us. I haven't seen anything like this since that girl joined our hiking group and asked if there was a bathroom available on the trails (all of them), and how much water to carry because she didn't trust filters.
_________________________
"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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#119599 - 08/20/09 11:09 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Well, almost every trail I have been on has a bathroom on it. My 6 year old son thinks the bathrooms on the trails are WAY better than any in civilization. crazy
_________________________
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#119603 - 08/20/09 12:16 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
Lori, if you never learned to make noise as you're hiking when there may be bears around so they'll know you're coming and run, as opposed to suddenly finding you five feet away from them and maybe attacking, that's scary. And you're not supposed to keep food in your tent and you're supposed to seal up your clothing after you cook. And I'd have someone with me who could get help if I'm bitten by something potentially poisonous (you're supposed to lay still), be an extra set of eyes, help scare away dangerous animals, etc. And I'd use a non-metal pack, even if I have replace the metal parts myself.

These aren't just my theories. They're best practices for safety that I've heard or read elsewhere (except for the non-metal backpack, but I read to keep it 100 feet away in a thunderstorm if it has a metal frame, and I don't want to.)

For day hiking, it says here that you should carry 32 oz of water.

I'd probably think more about poisonous insects before I went hiking, but I think snakes are more dangerous.


Edited by Barry II (08/20/09 12:18 PM)

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#119606 - 08/20/09 01:15 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Since I've been in the Sierras all my life and had no problems at all - I have seen a grand total of four black bears despite decade after decade of going into Yosemite, where the most habituated bears in the world live - I think I'm very likely doing something right. Please spare me lectures on food safety and so forth, I know how to follow the rules, which are far stricter here than in your neck of the woods.

I'm sorry you're so afraid of these creatures. Paranoia isn't going to help. All environments and all situations have a learning curve, and all risks are not equal. Statistically speaking you will have a better chance of being hurt in your own home, or on the road to the trailhead, even if you don't bother to learn anything about injury prevention. If you want some realistic ideas of the dangers in the wilderness check out some SAR statistics.

I find it interesting that you show up in a forum looking for information and reject what you're offered. You may read all the books and articles in the world - they will contradict each other, as there's a lot of outdated info and misinformation.
_________________________
"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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#119609 - 08/20/09 03:58 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Dryer]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Dryer, that's when I was teaching too. No computers either. I think they came along in the late 80's but were so expensive, I never got interested in one. Tables aren't that hard to learn and they never run out of power. I remember doing 9 dives in two days on a boat trip and it was all done on tables.
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#119612 - 08/20/09 04:13 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: TomD]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Barry, I don't know who has convinced you that the outdoors is so dangerous, but whoever it was did you a disservice. Many of the people here have hundreds, if not thousands of miles of hiking and climbing on their resumes and virtually none of them have even seen a bear, been bitten by something or been hurt (except Jim who broke his leg jumping over a log, but that was his own fault from what I hear; hehehe).

My point is, yes, you could be eaten by a bear, kidnapped by drug dealers, fall off a cliff or get struck by lightning. BUT, if you just stay home, you could die from eating bad mayonaise, get swine flu, get hit by a car walking across the street or get hit by a piece of space junk. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

The chances of any of these things happening is about zero, so stop worrying, take reasonable precautions and go out an enjoy yourself.


Edited by TomD (08/20/09 04:13 PM)
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#119613 - 08/20/09 04:40 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1813
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Barry,
I think you are trying to scare yourself. Perhaps you should take better heed of what some of the more experienced individuals on this forum have to say rather than arguing with them.

You worry about bears. Good. Bears can hurt you. Are they likely to? No! The odds of you being a victim of a bear attack are about the same as those of your being mugged in church; insignificant. I have hiked, worked and mountaineered in the western mountains for over 60 years. This experience includes a lot of time in bear central, the Sierra, as well as in grizzly country in Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia. Have I had bear encounters? Yes, quite a few. Did anything come of them? No. Once, I got near a sow grizzly with cubs. She bluff charged, I retreated, and all was well (after I changed my undies).

The biggest problem one is likely to have with bears is their trying to get at your food; I suspect that most bears would prefer even instant oatmeal to a bite of you.

Snakes? I live in SE Arizona. There are a lot of rattlesnakes here and a lot of different species of rattlers. Are they a risk to one's safety? Yes. Are they a significant risk to one's safety? No. In season, I see at least one rattler on every other trip into the local mountains. I have never had one strike and they don't attack.

I was bitten on the calf by a rattlesnake back when I was about 12 years old. It scared the crap out of me but it was a dry bite and required no treatment. I'm told that over half of rattlesnake bites are dry. Well over half of all bites are on males between 16 and 25 years of age with alcohol a common factor and often accompanied by a cry of "hey guys, watch this!"

Poisonous insects? Again, we have a full selection here in SE Arizona. We have 3-4 different kinds of scorpion, poisonous centipedes and two different kinds of poisonous spiders. None of them are a problem if you watch where you put your hands. Rabid bats are a bigger problem.

In fact, I have suffered more from the local plants than I have from bears, snakes, bats and bad bugs combined. We have stuff with names like catclaw and shin dagger. Just about everything green here has thorns, points or is poisonous. You can loose blood on just a short walk.

My advice to you is: start slow and learn about what is out there to fear. Eventually, you will come to realize that there is really not much that goes afoot that you need to fear.

On the other hand, weather changes can be very dangerous for the unprepared. Most of people who die in the back country are victims of the weather and their lack of preparation. Deaths due to animals don't even come close to these numbers.


Edited by Pika (08/20/09 04:41 PM)
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#119620 - 08/20/09 05:34 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Pika]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
"My advice to you is: start slow and learn about what is out there to fear. Eventually, you will come to realize that there is really not much that goes afoot that you need to fear."

I second that advice. Let's cut Barry some slack; if I'm remembering his other posts, he hasn't actually gone backpacking yet. He has concerns that are trivial to us after all these years - but they're very real to him, and very understandably so. I remember how nervous I was before my first backpacking trip, wondering about bears and (where I was going) the timber rattlers that were "common" to the area. (I thought "common" meant every 15 or 20 yards, and that they preyed on humans.) And I grew up in a rural town, where playing in someone's woodlot was pretty common. Barry, on the other hand, is a big city boy in the biggest of cities; some trepidation is certainly understandable, and shouldn't be ignored.

So, Barry, ease into it. Pick a weekend when the weather's predicted to be beautiful, and head out to any local park that allows camping. Plan to camp in the public campground, if you want, at the end of a 6 or 8 mile hike - long enough that you can prepare at least one meal on the trail (lunch, probably), and can try out that water filter in a creek (carry two quarts, for starters, and filter a quart when the first one's gone. That way, you've got a spare in case it doesn't work. But it will.) In the campground, choose a more isolated site rather than surrounded by others, and use only what's in your pack. If you choose well, you'll pick a park where there are no bears (save that fear for another day), but practice bear-bagging - it's a good skill to develop, it will keep your food away from the local raccoon, and you need some form of evening entertainment anyhow. You can use a "metal" pack, since there's no storms around.

(By the way, the advice to ditch the pack in a lightning storm is good if you're up on an exposed ridgeline and there are nearby strikes occurring. In the big woods, the lightning will be drawn to the 75-foot trees all around you, not your metal pack. I've always kept my packs with me in a normal lightning storm, and kept on walking; I've yet to actually see a lightning strike. Some of that walking has been on the heavily wooded ridgelines of the Appalachians.)

Getting that first trip behind you makes you realize just how small the chances are of something going wrong. Get out there, take the trip, and deal with your anxieties as you go. They're normal, we've all had them, and we've all gotten over them - or learned to plan trips where they don't come into play. They will recede, but it will take some time. If we lived closer, I'd be glad to go with you on your first trip.

(Now, just to make you feel better: Senior-year ROTC cadets learned to fly light planes. At the end of the year, I was talking to a soon-to-be-senior buddy, and he was very, very worried about soloing. He just knew that, if he was alone in the plane, something would go wrong. I gave him lots of reassurance and encouragement, and got him calmed down. About midway through the next year, I got a call from another buddy, who had been commissioned with me and still got the college newspaper. Seems our mutual friend had taken off on his first solo, made the required circuit of the field, lined it up for the landing - and tore the tricycle gear off the plane when he came in a bit too low over some wires. He was fine, though, and went on to fly F4 Phantoms, which was the hottest jet the Air Force had at the time.)

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#119621 - 08/20/09 05:34 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: TomD]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Tom, my dad was a YMCA instructor in the 50's-60's and the US Navy Diving Manual was the text book then. There were no slick PADI plastic tables or even C-cards then! I was a PADI teacher you'll probably remember a 3 year window where there wasn't even a swim requirement! I learned from my dad and BC's were 'horse collars' and most people chose not to use them.
Times have changed! (for the better...I like lazing in a BC, totally weightless)
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#119629 - 08/20/09 11:43 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Pika]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Pika

My advice to you is: start slow and learn about what is out there to fear. Eventually, you will come to realize that there is really not much that goes afoot that you need to fear.

On the other hand, weather changes can be very dangerous for the unprepared. Most of people who die in the back country are victims of the weather and their lack of preparation. Deaths due to animals don't even come close to these numbers.


Okay, here's what I started out with at the tender age of six, when I had read no books at all and had no real clue other than what I learned at momma's knee. And since momma at times lived for months out in the country in a tent or shack, taming down skunks and squirrels and wild horses for pets, I figure she was pretty good at knowing what she was saying.

* If you don't know what it is, don't touch it. If you want to know what it is, look it up when you get home, don't take it with you.
* If it wobbles or slips when you put a shoe to it, draw back the foot and walk somewhere else.
* Keep your hands and feet in your sight, and out of holes, cracks and crevasses.
* If a rock falls instead of rolls down it, find a gentler slope.
* If it rattles, walk away, even if you think it might be a gopher snake faking it with the leaves.
* If it's shiny leaves of three, don't touch it and warn your dad, he's deathly allergic and we don't want to kill him.
* If you get lost sit down and stay there and yell. (Did this a couple of times, turned out mom just moved around a boulder and I didn't notice.)
* Moss grows on whatever side is shady, don't trust it. Look at where the sun was and where it's going instead.
* If you stay still, you'll see the animals. If you make noise they go away. (Yes, this did include bears. No, never had a bear even come close.)

Still works. And yeah, it's not that simple, but it's all a kid needs other than "stay close." It mostly works for adults too. Once you start going out on short hikes you start to figure things out - that's part of the fun. I managed to survive another thirty years or so without carrying the burden of fear, then I started to find out there were books and forums about backpacking and hiking. Somehow, in all that time being an uneducated and uninformed hiker, I managed not to get poison oak, snakebit, lightning-hit, attacked by anything bigger than a chipmunk (it REALLY WANTED that trail mix!), or ever so much as a sprained ankle. I've had one infection due to a missed tick (got all the others out within minutes of bitten) and mosquito bites that went away overnight. I've only ever been bitten by a garter snake, but that's because I was a tomboy and collected snakes and had to catch garters to feed to the king snakes, which were the real fun snakes to keep. Rattlers lived in the field around my house and I played outside constantly, and never once did we get bit, nor did the dogs. Coyotes and mountain lions definitely lived in the hills around our house. Surprise! never attacked by any of them, not even if they were rabid. On any given day you could find me climbing (with permission) neighbor's fences and going bushwacking through oaks and pines and looking for treasures in the foothills, identifying animal scat as I went. I always came home with nothing more than a scratch or two and a sunburn.

The things I added to the list as an adult:
DRINK WATER. SERIOUSLY. DRINK MORE. Also, eat enough calories!
And - Don't get too cold! Take those layers!

At some point it becomes obvious that the DIRE WARNINGS in books aren't dire at all. They're just cautions to take care. No need for the RED ALERT mentality.

When we tell you things aren't as bad as you're making them out to be, we aren't just making it up. Books will always tell you how to avoid worst case scenarios. If you read in a book that there is a danger of snakebite, yeah, that's true - an astronomically small danger if you don't touch the snakes. I have seen ONE snake in the middle of a trail - early in the season, while it was still cool and the snake obviously was trying to warm up in the sun. A prod of the trekking pole tip got it to leave.

The "best practice" you can have is to go hiking, be careful, and keep learning. No more, no less. Fussing endlessly about bears when you are not in grizzly territory is not really going to lead to enjoying the hike. I have to tell the newbies in my group when we go to Yosemite that the bears are not going to hurt them, don't drop your pack and run, don't panic, don't give it your food, don't leave your pack unattended and go wading or taking pictures - because the only time bears learn to be aggressive is when they get your food, and the times they get people's food are generally when people are very careless, or when they are AFRAID of them. There was a bear in Kings Canyon that learned to charge at people because that resulted in dropped packs - the bear had to die, because people were SCARED, and the more people let the bear know it could scare them, the more aggressive the bear got. It's not fair to the bears to be terrified. Respect them, avoid coming into close proximity, look big and get loud and don't let them approach you. It's not about you - it's about them. You won't be the one hurt. And if you doubt me, check out the bear page on the Yosemite website sometime, or any other park website - the rules will be different in Alaska, or Rocky Mountain National Park, because the brown bears are not black bears. Black bears are less dangerous, statistically speaking, than DEER.
_________________________
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http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#119630 - 08/21/09 01:04 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
Barry II Offline
member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 25
Loc: NY
I think I'll go by the book. I didn't think that would be so controversial. The only thing I may do that I expected could make me seem paranoid is putting narrow Shields on my poles and painting them to look like people to make animals think I'm not alone. At the same time they could shield me from snakes.

By the way, I went camping twice when I was about 10 and 11 at sleep away camp, where I slept in a sleeping bag overnight in the woods, saw a snake, and got stung by a bee. As an adult, I went once to a busy campground and slept in a tent over the weekend. It wouldn't matter if I went 100 times. I'm cautious.

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#119634 - 08/21/09 07:11 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
Come on Barry, you didn't know it would be so controversial, you have been oozing controversy since the start, look at the title of your thread.
People have givin you their experience which no book can match, take what you need and leave the rest, unless you are just trying to entertain yourself which as long as people are willing to respond more power to you.
If you really are that paranoid, you might want to find a different hobby, panic is no fun in the backcountry.

BTW tinsle is actually recycled snake mirrors, snakes are scared of their reflection, at least thats what Steven Wright said.
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#119635 - 08/21/09 09:22 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Precisely what I expected.

Have a great time doing whatever you're doing - I doubt it's backpacking. You either don't get it or that was never the point in the first place.
_________________________
"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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#119647 - 08/21/09 02:17 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3139
Loc: Portland, OR
If you have books and will always prefer the book over what anyone here tells you, then obviously there is no reason for you to be here, or for anyone to try to tell you anything at all, other than:

Good luck. Happy hiking. Stay safe and try to enjoy yourself. Bye-bye, Barry II! smile

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#119649 - 08/21/09 02:40 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: bigb]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By bigb

People have givin you their experience which no book can match, take what you need and leave the rest,


All that's in books are people's experiences. Colin Fletcher? Experienced backpackers like Ray Jardine have a lot to say - they may be crackpots by many standards but there is a lot of useful information to learn from. Stephen Herrera? He'll tell you black bears evolved in a different environment than grizzlies and will react differently to you. Haven't seen anything in Barry's posts that indicates he knows any of those books exist. Even Bryson's Walk in the Woods can teach you how NOT to approach backpacking.

If he's joking about the shields painted to look like people, he's not reading any of the bear books (or any other animal safety material) out there, because there's comedy gold in the ones that suggest urinating around your campsite and he didn't even use it.

If he's serious about shields, he's definitely using the wrong books.

Either way, I'm done - he can go where he wants and do what he wants - judging from the pattern of what he responds to and how he responds, he's not really interested in using the forum in the way it was intended.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#119651 - 08/21/09 03:37 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I've stayed out of this so far, but it appears that Barry's mind was already made up before he came here, so why are we confusing him with the facts? This whole thread has been a waste of our time.

Goodbye Barry, I hope you have fun with your fears, but you won't get very far in life rejecting out of hand all advice from people with many, many times your experience just because it conflicts with a book you read!

Even if, as seems probable, you're pulling our legs, you're still wasting our time. We could be helping people who are truly eager to learn, and there are plenty of them!


Edited by OregonMouse (08/21/09 03:39 PM)
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#119656 - 08/21/09 03:57 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
sparkyy Offline
member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 20
Loc: southern california
Barry II:

You are 100% correct. Bears and snakes are very dangerous.

But you fail to mention mountain lions. They are very strong and very fast and they can sneak around quieter than any ninja. This is why we pack light. We need the agility to escape bears, snakes, and more importantly, mountain lions.

Mountain lions are everywhere in the woods (they have been spotted right outside NYC). Mountain lion are responsible for 90% of "missing hikers" They never find a trace because they eat everything. Sometimes they will find a torn shirt or a shoe because they can fall off while the mountain lion is consuming the carcass bones and all.

If you do risk your life and enter the woods, if you ever feel like something is watching you, that is a blood thirsty mountain lion. The only thing you can do is run screaming at the top of your lungs all the way back to town.

Oh also, you might get lost and fall off a cliff. That happens a lot. What you do in this situation is take out your lightweight tarp and use it like a parachute to land safely. Several people have escaped injury with this skill. With a heavy tent, you will fall to your death.

Also there are many poisonous insects out there and mice that carry the black plague. The only thing you do for that is hike in stilts.

There is a company right now with a "wilderness bubble" in the works. It allows you to hike safely throughout the wilderness without the possibility to contact ANYTHING on the outside.



Edited by sparkyy (08/21/09 03:58 PM)

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#119659 - 08/21/09 04:07 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: sparkyy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By sparkyy

There is a company right now with a "wilderness bubble" in the works. It allows you to hike safely throughout the wilderness without the possibility to contact ANYTHING on the outside.



And if that's too expensive, you can always stay at home and rent National Geographic specials!
_________________________
"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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#119662 - 08/21/09 05:09 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: sparkyy]
finallyME Offline
member

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

You are 100% correct. Bears and snakes are very dangerous.

But you fail to mention mountain lions. They are very strong and very fast and they can sneak around quieter than any ninja. This is why we pack light. We need the agility to escape bears, snakes, and more importantly, mountain lions.

Mountain lions are everywhere in the woods (they have been spotted right outside NYC). Mountain lion are responsible for 90% of "missing hikers" They never find a trace because they eat everything. Sometimes they will find a torn shirt or a shoe because they can fall off while the mountain lion is consuming the carcass bones and all.

If you do risk your life and enter the woods, if you ever feel like something is watching you, that is a blood thirsty mountain lion. The only thing you can do is run screaming at the top of your lungs all the way back to town.

Oh also, you might get lost and fall off a cliff. That happens a lot. What you do in this situation is take out your lightweight tarp and use it like a parachute to land safely. Several people have escaped injury with this skill. With a heavy tent, you will fall to your death.

Also there are many poisonous insects out there and mice that carry the black plague. The only thing you do for that is hike in stilts.

There is a company right now with a "wilderness bubble" in the works. It allows you to hike safely throughout the wilderness without the possibility to contact ANYTHING on the outside.



Sparkyy you are forgetting the ants. Ever see the fourth Indiana Jones? Mountain lions are even scared of the ants. Chuck Norris almost died from an ant attack, but luckily he was able to roundhouse his way to safety. You HAVE to respect blood thirsty, meat eating, army fire ants that carry away small children all the time. Look at all the states that have large concentrations of these little buggers. Notice how many have Grizzlies. Grizzlies can't compete. They eat grizzlies for lunch. If you get a guide, make sure he knows the proper techniques for dealing with these monsters, and that he has the proper anti-venom.
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#119665 - 08/21/09 05:23 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: finallyME]
sparkyy Offline
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Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 20
Loc: southern california
FinallyME: Thank you for pointing out the ants. Very dangerous. I heard about the Chuck Norris fiasco, he is lucky he has skilled feet.

What I do when I am in ant country, is I will eat lemons and/or limes 1-2 weeks prior to a long distance hike to acidify my urine. I then pee on my bandana and apply it to my skin as needed. IT is ultra-lightweight also! Oh, and OF COURSE I am wearing my stilts.




Edited by sparkyy (08/21/09 05:26 PM)

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#119671 - 08/21/09 07:07 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: sparkyy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By sparkyy
FinallyME: Thank you for pointing out the ants. Very dangerous. I heard about the Chuck Norris fiasco, he is lucky he has skilled feet.

What I do when I am in ant country, is I will eat lemons and/or limes 1-2 weeks prior to a long distance hike to acidify my urine. I then pee on my bandana and apply it to my skin as needed. IT is ultra-lightweight also! Oh, and OF COURSE I am wearing my stilts.


In the Sierras we have especially dangerous rock eating ants. It's always wise to pack your jumping stilts and use them while navigating scree and talus. Note the illustration at the top of the page - some of those are my hiking buddies, all satisfied customers!
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#119673 - 08/21/09 07:45 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
OregonMouse Offline
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Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Let's not forget the dangerous flesh-eating slugs we have in Oregon. One of them could climb right up those stilts and munch off your foot before you know what's happening!
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#119676 - 08/21/09 08:27 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: OregonMouse]
Rick Offline
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Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I've always said that nothing will get me back into the confines of a tent quicker than having something slither across my face as I take in the night sky from my bivy and tarp. eek

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#119678 - 08/21/09 08:50 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: OregonMouse]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
Let's not forget the dangerous flesh-eating slugs we have in Oregon. One of them could climb right up those stilts and munch off your foot before you know what's happening!


the California version isn't so voracious, but check this guy out - I had to lean out of the plane to get this shot, sorry it's a little blurry, I think the pilot was nervous it might rear up and knock us out of the sky. We were right about treeline.

_________________________
"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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#119680 - 08/21/09 09:15 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
sparkyy Offline
member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 20
Loc: southern california
lori those stilts are just totally tubular! I can imagine all sorts of scenarios where those could save your life.

Check out this rarely seen giant baby. This thing could probably give Chuck Norris a run for his money. He looks tranquilized.


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#119686 - 08/22/09 09:23 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
It's always wise to pack your jumping stilts and use them while navigating scree and talus.


Lets not get too carried away here. Ultralite jumping stilts certainly have their place but recommending them to a new hiker is a recipe for disaster. Worms, cougars, bears, ants have all been mentioned, however, no one has warned of trees. Those stilts can cause you to be impaled on a branch. People have been launched into nests of carnivorous squirrels. People have even been lost in trees, never to be seen again. And we don't even want to talk about getting your head stuck in a hornets nest. So, start with light weight coffee can hiking stilts....then move on to the jumpers after you have some tail miles and experience.

The Management.





grin
_________________________
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#119687 - 08/22/09 11:46 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Dryer]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I guess I forgot that not everyone was raised by acrobats. Thanks for the reminder.

For some, it might even be beneficial to start with something even lower than coffee can stilts. Platform shoes can be an effective training ground, followed by four inch high heel shoes. Navigating up and down stadium steps in four inch heels successfully might then be followed by espresso cans, and then by the taller coffee cans, perhaps stepping up to simple lengths of two by fours duct taped to the bottoms of your boots.

It may very well be that women are at an advantage with stilt hiking.... I wouldn't doubt there is research being conducted even as we speak!
_________________________
"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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#119689 - 08/22/09 01:05 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Ya' know, i actually read the WHOLE thread, and for once i am speechless confused

I'd love to take old Barry out to the woods for a SNIPE hunt, but i think he'd soil himself at the first Jackalope sighting grin

I do have a link for you, Barry:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfPQnDNutmc

BF cool

AHHHHHHHHHHH...Barry!!!!!!!! You ruined my 1000'th post! sick I was saving this for a monolouge on Jimshaw's nutty ideas, NOT yours!!!! goodjob


Edited by bigfoot2 (08/22/09 01:08 PM)
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#119692 - 08/22/09 01:49 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
You know, I once thought about trying the old urinate-around-your-campsite trick. Then I looked at the size of the perimeter. I couldn't drink enough water to ever make it around that circle. crazy

I also thought of trying it once when I had a troop of Boy Scouts out - you know, more volume. Then I thought what would happen if anyone came by and got the wrong idea about what was going on with all those boys and two grown men - well, you get the idea. We decided not to involve Children's Services. grin

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#119699 - 08/22/09 03:35 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: bigfoot2]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I can't believe I did not get in on this one sooner...

Barry, the No.1 danger when hiking in the forest is hillbillies making you squeal like a pig.

(The rest of you really should have known to point this out to Barry)

No.2 is alien abduction.

After that it's Chupacarbras, then you get into your bears, panthers, wolves, ants and what nots.

If you instant message Jim Shaw he'll fill you in on best methods to deal with all of them, or you could pay him to guide you to places where you can learn how to use the lightest weight and most effective deterrents from a real master. Jim's expensive, but he's the best there is still living.

Jim learned from Rancid Crabtree himself, who was unarguably the top authority on the subject before his untimely death (or disappearance).

I highly recommend you do like the rest of us here and spend your money learning from Jim before you take your first hike.

Sincerely,

Bill



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#119702 - 08/22/09 03:57 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: billstephenson]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By billstephenson
I can't believe I did not get in on this one sooner...

Barry, the No.1 danger when hiking in the forest is hillbillies making you squeal like a pig.

(The rest of you really should have known to point this out to Barry)

No.2 is alien abduction.

After that it's Chupacarbras, then you get into your bears, panthers, wolves, ants and what nots.




Some of this can be mitigated by selecting location and season carefully... hillbillies do tend to migrate into casinos at particular times of the year. And aliens frequent higher altitudes, in the interest of wasting less fuel entering the atmosphere....

But you're absolutely right - Jim is the best solution to the problem. We could go post after post on the particulars, Jim could probably educate an attentive individual in a week or two.

I totally forgot about wolves - what was I thinking? Not to mention the marmots. Piles of clean bones have been found all over the mountains - it's the marmots and pikas! Probably the cause of the extinction of the grizzly bear in California, leading to the rise of gargantuan banana slugs to take the grizz's place as the top predator.
_________________________
"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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#119705 - 08/22/09 04:46 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: billstephenson]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I'd almost forgotten about old Rancid! If they ever make a movie about Pat and his friends, there's only one logical choice to cast as Rancid: Randy Quaid!

My favorite story is "Poof! No Eyebrows!" and the sewer-pipe cannon.

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#119724 - 08/22/09 09:20 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: billstephenson]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
before his untimely death (or disappearance).


Yeah, see!? Those stilts again. He's probably draped over a branch at about the 20 ft. level.

_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#119728 - 08/22/09 11:29 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Barry,
I hate to do this because you are obviously a novice, but this site is like our Bible here at TLB Forums:

http://www.freewebs.com/survivorstud/

http://www.freewebs.com/survivorstud/survivalvideos.htm

Wolf Mills is hands down the BEST survival instructor that i could find at the last minute. VERY advanced techniques!

BF cool


Edited by bigfoot2 (08/22/09 11:31 PM)
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#119733 - 08/23/09 01:32 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: bigfoot2]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Has anyone noticed that Barry is now giving "advice" on the Long Distance section of this site? Good grief!

I would really like to have gone on a snipe hunt with Bigfoot and Barry! I've never been on one, just heard about them.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#119735 - 08/23/09 02:42 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: OregonMouse]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I'm sure that if you read enough books, you too can give good advice, OM. Don't give up hope! We can only aspire to that doctoral degree in urban backpacking....

I went to a friend's house for a slumber party once and they talked me into a real live snipe hunt! (I'm not making this bit up, either.) They walked me out into the manzanita on a hill a couple miles from the house (my friend's family lived out in the foothills on a dirt road) and left me there with the sack as they wandered out making noises through the brush to drive them back my direction. Once I was sure they were out of sight, I walked back to the house cross country and was sitting on the couch watching tv when they got back - no one commented on it, and when I commented that I had made it back in time to dress out the snipe and put them in the freezer, no one bothered to look....
_________________________
"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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#119737 - 08/23/09 06:53 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Man, I hate to push this thread over 100 replies, but.... mad
What is a snipe hunt? confused
Does not knowing mean I live a sheltered life up here? grin

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#119738 - 08/23/09 07:08 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Rick]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 666
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By Rick
Man, I hate to push this thread over 100 replies, but.... mad
What is a snipe hunt? confused
Does not knowing mean I live a sheltered life up here? grin


It was a prank/trick played on new campers. The "story" and method is different as it is passed along. The basics are there is this "animal" called a snipe and we take the newbies out to hunt it. Usually it involves a sack to capture it. Some methods involve ditching the participant in the woods, others involve complex "fake" captures and torn bags to demonstrate the sharp claws and teeth.
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#119739 - 08/23/09 07:21 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: DTape]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
It also usually involves the following explanation: "It tastes like chicken." wink

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#119740 - 08/23/09 11:06 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Glenn]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The version I most heard of was that the newbie would be left standing under a tree, alone in the dark, holding a bag, for hours, waiting for the snipe to fall into it. Of course, there are infinite variations!

There really is a game bird called a snipe, but "snipe hunts" do not involve the real bird!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#119742 - 08/23/09 11:51 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: OregonMouse]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
The real snipe is a small, elusive bird. It takes a very good shot to hit one from a distance. Hence the word "sniper".
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#119745 - 08/23/09 12:51 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Trailrunner]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
snipe

snipe hunt

Other random artifact of my childhood: My uncle once gave me a present of rattlesnake eggs (rattlers are live bearing, btw).
_________________________
"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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#119749 - 08/23/09 01:29 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
sparkyy Offline
member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 20
Loc: southern california
Wow snipe hunting! haha How far down the rabbit hole we going to take this one? :P

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#119752 - 08/23/09 02:27 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: billstephenson]
theepdinker Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By billstephenson
Barry, the No.1 danger when hiking in the forest is...
After that it's Chupacarbras,...and what nots.

WhatNots!!!
Man those things can be deadly.
I avoid them it all cost.
I think the only thing worse are WhatIfs.
They can bring a person to a complete stand still just thinking about them.
They'll distract you from the truly important things, and cause you distress over the unimportant & improbable.

Barry might be beyond help already.
It reads like he's had a run in with a pack of urban WhatIfs.

Should someone keep an eye on Barry to make sure his WhatIfs don't infect others?
I've been told they spread through contact of any sort,
particularly among the uninformed & young.

I've found education to be a highly successful inoculation if applied before exposure.
After exposure it's hit or miss.
The only hope for a cure after exposure appears to be experience. Even then it's not 100%.

theep

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#119758 - 08/23/09 04:23 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: theepdinker]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
All this reminds me of being a young carpenter and being sent to the truck for a board stretcher.
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#119762 - 08/23/09 05:49 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: bigb]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By bigb
All this reminds me of being a young carpenter and being sent to the truck for a board stretcher.


Left handed or right?
_________________________
"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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#119764 - 08/23/09 06:06 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: lori]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
reversible of course haha
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#119771 - 08/23/09 08:41 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: theepdinker]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Excellent post on two levels. The surface level is humor, but the underlying message is profound. crazy
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"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#119773 - 08/23/09 09:08 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: bigb]
Eric Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 294
Loc: The State of Jefferson
Or being sent for 50 feet of horizon line.

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#119795 - 08/24/09 07:16 AM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: bigb]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
And now a whole new rabbit hole opens up: smoke shifters and skyhooks. smile

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#119804 - 08/24/09 01:20 PM Re: Packing light conspiracy theory [Re: Barry II]
sparkyy Offline
member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 20
Loc: southern california
Yes, the board stretcher. Our joke is the wire stretcher. You can keep it going pretty good as you describe what it looks like (phallic), or have them start calling the other foreman to see if it is on their jobsites, or maybe it is at the office, call the office haha. I think the CEO borrowed it, call the CEO!

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