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#203183 - 07/14/19 09:13 PM The perils of They
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1978
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I remember, many years back, when I learned to backpack. Before reading The Complete Walker (the original), I relied mostly on what I learned by asking others (mostly Scout leaders, since my son and I were both learning-by-doing with his Scout troop.) Much of what They told me turned out to be wrong. (I don't think They intended to mislead me; they just gave me maxims instead of teaching me the logic behind their technique. I later learned that everything They knew had been passed down as Rules by Others who taught Them.)

Some of these included:
Sleep naked, you'll be warmer.
Always carry 2 liters of water; doesn't matter where the next source is.
Always build a campfire (it's upholding the 'Murican pineer heritage), even if you have to build a new fire ring.

Anyone else have some favorite things They taught you?

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#203187 - 07/14/19 09:54 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: Glenn Roberts]
wgiles Offline
member

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 182
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
I subscribed to the sleep naked approach until I sat down and thought about it. These days, my sleep suit and bag (or quilt) depends on the conditions that I expect to be in. Having a sleep suit or bag liner helps me to regulate my temperature and keep from overheating. What we should have gotten from the old school is not to sleep in your trail clothes.

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#203193 - 07/15/19 05:27 AM Re: The perils of They [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 291
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I was fortunate enough to discover The Complete Walker early on, but I recall lots of bad advice, mostly from salespeople and Backpacker magazine.

I recall one salesperson, extolling the virtues of the Kelty D4 (old version), assuring me that if I used a pack made of coated material my food would smell like my dirty socks.

But it still goes on...Just recently, I overheard a salesperson at REI telling a customer that you must absolutely wear wool socks when backpacking, never synthetics.

Most of this backpacking "wisdom" is just someone repeating what they've heard or read somewhere, and the internet has exacerbated the problem.

The best advice, which I later passed on to the lady at REI, is to take anything anyone tells you with a grain of salt.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#203203 - 07/15/19 11:41 AM Re: The perils of They [Re: Bill Kennedy]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 873
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Bill Kennedy
I recall one salesperson, extolling the virtues of the Kelty D4 (old version), assuring me that if I used a pack made of coated material my food would smell like my dirty socks.
It's not supposed to smell like that?
_________________________
The journey is more important than the destination.

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#203211 - 07/15/19 04:22 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6751
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Well, it will. if you store your dirty socks in the food bag! I take a separate plastic bag for the dirty socks, which will probably also be wet or at least damp and impart the dampness (as well as the odor) to your dry stuff, not just your food.

A lot of folks these days seem to be "learning" from Youtube videos, posted, of course, by "They." Some are good, others defy common sense!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#203214 - 07/15/19 05:57 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1978
Loc: Southwest Ohio
And, sometimes, make you wonder what they are smoking and if they would share! smile

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#203233 - 07/17/19 11:32 AM Re: The perils of They [Re: Glenn Roberts]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 873
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
And, sometimes, make you wonder what they are smoking and if they would share! smile
But if they shared, you'd end up making bad Youtube videos too.
_________________________
The journey is more important than the destination.

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#203263 - 07/18/19 09:05 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: 4evrplan]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2075
Loc: Napa, CA
The sleep naked myth came up just this week with a group of young Gen Green trail workers. The ranger and I cleared up the facts...although I think one of the young guys was disappointed.
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balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#203283 - 07/21/19 11:11 AM Re: The perils of They [Re: balzaccom]
Lonerock Offline
member

Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 55
Loc: Southern Oregon
I learned early on to seek advice, whether from Colin Fletcher or other sources, but then rely on my on my own needs and experience. Whether backpacking, camping or day hikes over a period of time we are shaped by our own personal needs rather than some generic advice from a book, salesperson or video. It's what fits our needs and not the needs of someone else that's important.
As far as sleeping naked, I sleep naked at home so I've found that doing the same backpacking or camping is more comfortable and helps with the transition to sleeping outdoors, although in cooler temps I'll wear a light shirt.

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#203284 - 07/21/19 03:22 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: balzaccom]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 933
Loc: Michigan
The sleep naked myth probably came from some young guy taking his girlfriend hiking.

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#203285 - 07/21/19 03:24 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: Glenn Roberts]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 933
Loc: Michigan
One of the big ones is what "they" told us should be in our first aid kit. Full on surgery anyone?

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#203286 - 07/21/19 03:34 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: GrumpyGord]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3171
Loc: Portland, OR
I suspect a lot of these bits of lore are holdovers from a time when backpackers were rare (and were often mountaineers doing approaches to difficult peaks), pack animals were the norm, and the backcountry was much more remote and empty than it is today. Gear was only slightly updated from the days of bedrolls, axes, and army surplus mess kits and canteens.

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#203299 - 07/28/19 06:11 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: GrumpyGord]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
The sleep naked "myth" has some validity. A cold sleeping bag needs to be warmed up, and a naked body does this quicker than a clothed body. (This is the same principle used to warm person with hypothermia- get in bag naked with patient.) But once you get the bag warmed up, putting on a sleep layer will keep you warmer throughout the night. By the way, to get a warm body before jumping into the sleeping bag, I take a brisk stroll right before bedtime. If I hop into your sleeping bag cold, it takes longer to warm up.

I never sleep in my hiking clothes, simply because I want my sleeping bag to stay clean longer. However, having to put on clothes every morning does slow me down a bit in the morning. Theoretically it would be nice to just get up already dressed.

I find that a lot of backpackers view the long-distance thru hikers as examples. Unless you are doing the same style (walk fast, go far, hit towns often), their equipment lists may not work for you. Each backpacking style has its own needs. Try to glean advise from those who have the same style as you do.

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#203302 - 07/28/19 10:35 PM Re: The perils of They [Re: wandering_daisy]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1978
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I think you meant, "If I hop into MY sleeping bag..." smile

I've never taken a set of sleeping clothes, but I may have to start - I always just shucked my pants and slept in my boxers and T-shirt (adding layers in cold weather.) For an overnight trip, not a big deal. However, the idea of clean, dry clothes on longer trips does seem good - and would give me something to change into if I "discovered" a hole while fording a creek on a chilly day. (Yes, it can happen. Don't ask how I know.)

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#203307 - 07/30/19 03:34 AM Re: The perils of They [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 291
Loc: Portland, Oregon
You're right about the thru-hiker influence. I do it myself, not always to my advantage.

Can't agree about the sleeping bag, though. It's just the inner shell that needs to be warmed up so it won't be cold against your skin, but if you're wearing clothes that's not an issue.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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