Astute observation. I will add these are not just used by others when advocating for specific gear or techniques, but in the mind of a single person when making any decision. Sometimes subconciously. Something to put into the forefront of one's mind when self-justifying a decision: "Are any of my reasons a result of a logical fallacy"?
Camping is one of those things were the old fallacies will never die. Like rattlesnake bite kits with razor blades and the need for Bowie knife to protect ya from animals, we all know that OLD CAMPING LORE is stronger in peoples minds than any new fangled gear or concepts.
THIS IS THE REASON I STOPPED WRITING OUTDOOR ADVICE and dropped out of this group years ago, its a waste of breath. Before they went snowmobiling I tried to talk to my roomie and loan him some good gear but he told me his gear was perfectly fine. This morning he said he had been soaked all the way through but that the coat work perfectly. ??? so anyway yeh - people are not logical. Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Interesting you should mention Fallacies. I was thinking the other day when I was hiking that there are, and always have been a lot of fallacies in backpacking. For example I found a list of myths concerning hypothermia on line; https://www.almanac.com/content/10-myths-about-cold
Also of interest was your comments about the bandwagon argument. The bandwagon argument, the appeal to vanity, and the appeal to snobbery are all standard practices in the advertising industry. I am an artist, and 99% of the how-to books and videos tell you the "right" way to paint and the "right" brushes, paints and paper to use. But being original and expressing your own feelings about the subject you are painting requires something from inside you, not what appeals to someone else. I'll get off my soapbox now. Sorry for the rant. By the way.... the logo you see next to my name is a painting I did of Mt. Baker, WA.
Loc: Portland, OR
Newbie hikers tend to worry about being attacked by wild animals or getting lost. Experienced hikers tend to worry more about hypothermia, dehydration, and injuries from falling. I habitually conserve warmth long before I feel cold.
Since a lot of us here like to solo hike, I think we use fallacies to rationalize that it is just as safe as being in a group. It is NOT. IF you have ever been involved in a serious accident or been seriously ill on a backpack, you realize how vulnerable we really are, even if carrying a PLB. Thankfully this does not happen often, if at all for most people.
Although willingly accept that extra risk, I do not fool myself into thinking it is as safe as with a group. Although I would rather be backpacking with others, it seems all my backpack partners have aged out of the level of backpacking I still want to do.
Whether driving to the trailhead is the most dangerous depends on what kind of "backpacking" you are doing. The statistics we read assume pretty mellow backpacking, mostly on trails. I have known a handful of climbers who have died climbing and none who have died driving to the trailhead.
Any person may more likely die driving than backpacking, but that is largely due to more hours spent driving vs actively backpacking (another wrinkle in the "statistics" is, are being in camp watching the sunset or sleeping counted as actual backpack hours? My driving to the trailhead is a small fraction of all the driving I do so IF I were to die in my car, it would not likely be driving to the trailhead.
I do not think anyone has actually done detailed statistics that verify that driving to the trailhead is more dangerous.
This is an interesting wrinkle into an old truism about the dangers of backpacking vs. driving. I don't know anyone who has died backpacking or driving to the trailhead. I've read stories of people who have died backpacking and stories of people who have died in car accidents on roads near trailheads, however the car accident stories usually involved people driving dangerously on the twists and turns of mountain roads for fun. i.e. they were there for the recreation of driving dangerously not for the recreation of backpacking.
To muddy the water further, you could take into affect the impact on life expectancy of exercising. If I'm backpacking, I'm exercising and not sitting in a chair doing work or watching TV. That will have a positive impact on my life expectancy. I work in an office and I tell people the most dangerous thing we do is sit in a chair and stair at a computer screen all day.
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