That's definitely a good picture! Amazing how far we have come. My first trek was with a jansport pack and a canvas tent. I cooked with a small iron skillet over a Svea stove. Ended up with burnt lips off the sierra cup. Lots of good memories though.
My father came to visit last summer so I took him canoeing as he is a little too old to backpack anymore. He proudly brought his sierra cup along. I wish I took a photo of him smiling as he dipped it into the pristine lake and took a drink.
That's a beautiful pic. Your scanner's doing a great job. After that excellent guide book, you really ought to consider your next book being about your hiking experiences; many of us would enjoy reading it.
You know, sure that stuff was a bit heavier folks, but really, you're all picking on that pack, when really, I don't recall those packs being all that heavy or bad.. the sleeping bag on the other hand, I mean like today, I can't imagine carrying anything that big outside of deathly winter
I'm having a hard time thinking that really all of the difference in what I carry today is due to the gear. While my shelter is a lot lighter, it's usually a one man shelter and I always used to carry a 2 man pup and share. My sleeping bag is a *lot* lighter, and ok, my pack is too, but my old canadian tire external framer is not as heavy as a lot of internal frame packs. IMO a lot of the fact that the "good old days" were heavier is not so much my gear, but my experience. I used to take a much more complex (and heavy) kitchen setup (peak 1 stove, full mess kit) heavier food, more changes of clothing, socks, etc. 16 and stupid just isn't the same as 43 and stupid
(If only I could put my 43 year old mind in my 16 year old body...)
My WFS Mt Blanc external frame is 3lbs 10oz. Certainly heavier than my frameless packs, but still lighter than some of the behemoth internals that people still buy today. It is also much more comfortable to carry than the giant internals. Since it is an "L" frame, it make a great seat at camp too.
I have said in the past that the old gear was not necessarily heavier. Lightweight backpacking isn't new, just designs and materials have changed. The most limiting factors in the past for going lightweight is the same as now, knowledge and money. Cheap gear is most often heavier regardless of the decade.
When I had a Jansport my base weight was 19 pounds for my summer on the PCT. A lot of the old gear was not that much heavier despite what people say or believe. In the old days people carried more of it and often took home cooking items - frying pan etc, and stoves were heavy. You might end up with 5 pounds in a cookkit and a 15 pounds tent, but if you used a 6 ounce plastic tube tent and an aluminum pan over a campfire, you could save 19 pounds right there. Don't forget the cruiser axe and the Bowie knife. If you packed gear with the same eye to light weight, you could go almost as light 30 years ago. Just because that pack is big does not make it heavy. Look at the sleeping bag on top - it probably weighed over 6 pounds. Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
When I had a Jansport my base weight was 19 pounds for my summer on the PCT.
Heh, and i was sort of doing the math on what my base might have been with late 70's early 80's era gear, keeping a very lightweight mindset, and I was arriving at a number of about 20 pounds - so this pretty much confirms my suspicion. So with a reasonable food load I could have been 25 pounds for a weekender pretty easy (God knows I never was then...)
Sure, it's not my current 9-12 pound base weight. but it's also far from unmanageable - and in that old pack probably even still quite comfortable to carry... and so then I'm thinking "why the heck didn't I do that". and remembering, no money, cheap gear, cheap food. frozen mooseburger and taco mix. stubby beer bottles, hand axes, etc etc etc....
When I did a summer-long hike on the AT in 1977 I had, at times, as much as 65lbs... average was around 40lbs. I was a tough, fit, 16 YO and never thought much about it, except I hated the heat and humidity. I'm a Westerner by birth and preference.
Still a great summer.
Getting back to the original photo, wandering daisy is CUTE with a capital C.
Absolutely great photo... looks like the NOLS garb of the 70's...
There Is No Bad Weather, Just Bad Clothing...
The shirt is not denim- but the standard lightweight 60/40 (cotton/dacron) workshirt that all we hippies wore in the late 60's. You were supposed to then embroidry them with flowers, but I was always too busy climbing to get the flowers done (I do know how to emoroidry).
Phat, thanks for comment on the sleeping bag. There is a story behind that bag. Dupont had contracted with NOLS to test their new Dacron for use in sleeping bags. They were 0-degree bags designed and sewn by NOLS using Dupont's new fill material. They were very bulky then but not really that heavy. I believe about 4 pounds. My bag that I used, was may personal Frostline Kit 3-pound down bag (I am carrying it on the bottom of my pack). Over the years Dupont improved the fill so that it was less bulky. Another reason for the bulky bag was Paul Petzold. He was abouy 6 feet 4 inches weighing nearly nearly 300 pounds and his pet peeve was clothing and bags that were too small - so he overkilled and made EVERY NOLS created product HUGE. You could get two of me in that bag! I pretty much used my own personal gear because few NOLS items ever fit me. NOLS also had a contract with Woolrich. They made wool shirts for us with Neru collars that had not a bit of cotton on them. The inside of the collar was also wool. I really liked those shirts and have never seen them sold to the general public.
I agree that base weight was not that high, but I always climbed and never went out without a rope (11-mm perlon, ugh!) piton hammer, pitons. Talk about weight reduction- climbing gear has really evolved into lighter gear.
Our cook gear was group gear. Each of us only carried a cup and spoon. Each 4-person cook group carried 2 #10 tin cans to cook in and one Teflon frying pan with a lid. When I started we only used fires. Then shortly we were using stoves - the old 11R (I think that is right- the bigger version of the Optimus 8-R- that stove in the blue case).
I broke the Kelty packframe in 1973 and Kelty gave me a new one, no questions asked, that I still use today! The old pack bag is long gone, worn out. The old Kelty set up was about 6 pounds. Not light, but not too bad.
Not sure if my feet show, but those old Lional Terray boots weiged 5 pounds! Footgear is another item that is so much lighter now.
Petzoldt had a story that taught us not to get too hung up on gear. Equipment does not make the climber. He used to be a caddy and he would make lots of money betting golfers that he could beat them - allowing them to use all their clubs and he only used one - cannot remember exactly which club he used, something like a 7-iron, but he generally won.
Do not get me wrong- I love all my new light gear, but if I never had another penny to spend, I would just dig back into my old gear when my new stuff wore out and continue backpacking.
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
Actually it was my old "heavy weight days" that I originally was striving for to reduce my pack weight! My old pack weight for a 5 day trip was 25 lbs with food and water! No tent, just a tube tent. No heavy pad, just a light ensolite pad. No stove, we cooked over a fire. No water filter, cholorine drops. etc etc etc In the late 80's I went on a solo trip where my pack hit 40 lbs. I hated it and was thinking about that old 25 lb pack weight and have been working on it ever since. I am down to 12 lb base weight...pretty happy with that actually. I got lower, but added some things back in...:)
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