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oreotragus
10-01-2007, 14:23
I just gave a speech over thru-hiking the AT in my college Human Communication class (aka speech class). I let a volunteer try on my loaded GoLite Quest pack (about 25-30 lbs). Everybody seemed interested by the notion, and I was asked a few questions about it after class, so maybe I got one more person interested in thru-hiking, or at least curious about the trail. :rolleyes:

To give them an idea of WHY some people want to thru-hike, in my speech I quoted Henry David Thoreau: "I go forth to make new demands on life. I wish to begin this summer well; to do something in it worthy of it and me; to transcend my daily routine and that of my townsmen... I pray that the life of this spring and summer may ever lie fair in my memory. May I dare as I have never done! May I persevere as I have never done!"

I think that sums it up for me. :)

oreotragus
10-01-2007, 14:25
BTW - my "loaded" pack was stuffed with towels and dumbbells. :p

Jack Tarlin
10-01-2007, 15:15
Not meant as a criticism, but next time you do this, why not fill your pack with your real gear, etc. Your audience may well have gear-oriented questions, along the lines of what sort of things you're carrying and why, etc. If you're gonna give a talk while wearing a backpack, why not make it real, and not merely have it as a prop. :-?

shelterbuilder
10-01-2007, 18:24
Not meant as a criticism, but next time you do this, why not fill your pack with your real gear, etc. Your audience may well have gear-oriented questions, along the lines of what sort of things you're carrying and why, etc. If you're gonna give a talk while wearing a backpack, why not make it real, and not merely have it as a prop. :-?

I did this once when my son was in grade school - brought the pack in and gave a little talk about backpacking. As I was talking, I unloaded gear and set some of it up - kind of like show and tell. It's amazing how many second graders you can fit into a four-man tent!:D I don't know how many of these kids went on to become backpackers, but for years, lots of these kids remembered the "over-stuffed" tent!

oreotragus
10-01-2007, 19:55
I would love to do that - but seeing as how my pack is about the only thing I have, it's not possible. :) I am pretty broke right now. I am your typical poor full time college student. I would love to get all the gear I want and need, but my meager dollars go to gas and food. :p

shelterbuilder
10-01-2007, 20:09
I would love to do that - but seeing as how my pack is about the only thing I have, it's not possible. :) I am pretty broke right now. I am your typical poor full time college student. I would love to get all the gear I want and need, but my meager dollars go to gas and food. :p

Been there, done that!!:( I think that it took me about 3 years to get most of the equipment that I wanted when I was in college - and that included begging for specific Christmas and birthday presents! And going VERY hungry sometimes....

oreotragus
10-01-2007, 20:29
Exactly. The other day my dad was saying that he would get me a new vehicle if I absolutely needed it (my little Ford Ranger is unreliable). I told him that my truck is fine, what I NEED is a tent and a sleeping bag!! Haha! :D

shelterbuilder
10-01-2007, 20:31
Exactly. The other day my dad was saying that he would get me a new vehicle if I absolutely needed it (my little Ford Ranger is unreliable). I told him that my truck is fine, what I NEED is a tent and a sleeping bag!! Haha! :D

Just remind Dad that the tent and sleeping bag are SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper than a new truck...even a new old truck!:D

oreotragus
10-01-2007, 20:39
Unfortunately, his reply was that hobby stuff/nonessentials is for MY money, not his. Hey, I can't complain. :) He helps me out a lot, money-wise, especially now that I'm currently unemployed.

Plus he goes hiking with me sometimes. We went to Providence Canyon a few weeks ago (west GA). Unfortunately, that day it was 100 degrees and my foot has a bone problem of some sort that flared up really badly and I ended up limping out of the canyon. Not the best trip, but hey. At least I got to go hiking.

Blissful
10-01-2007, 21:06
We gave a demonstration to second graders too - when we stopped back home in VA in May during our hike. I had been sending the class postcards so we stopped by to visit them. It was so much fun. The only thing I didn't like is we caught bad colds from it, squeezed into a tiny classroom with little kids sneezing on you. Yug. But it did get us ready to give talks about our hike, esp when we got to the Whites and the croo asked us to give talks to the people staying at the huts. We did that twice and had a blast.

oreotragus
10-02-2007, 01:58
That's pretty cool, Blissful. Not about the colds though - ugh. :p

hacksaw
10-02-2007, 10:10
My family threw me a "going hiking" party before my hike. I brought my loaded and ready to go pack and did the show and tell thing. I think they were made more at ease about my hike and actually were curious of what my gear did and asked for several demos. I didn't put my tent up but I did unroll my bag and pad. Several wanted to try it out and weren't impressed with the comfort level until I told them I didn't expect to sleep on concrete floors very much. It did generate interest in hiking and it also generated income when they asked if I needed anything and I said "Yeah, Cash"!

I have since hiked with my two younger sisters, my brother and my nephew and his sons who are now regular backpackers. Just goes to show if they don't see it aa something dangerous and foreign its much easier for people to accept it as a good thing.

SouthMark
10-02-2007, 10:26
A friend and I years ago used to put on a skit about backpacking to youth groups in which one of us would carry a pack of about 65 ponds loaded with stuff like canned goods, coleman lantern, canvas tent, new boots, lots of stuff not needed, etc. The other would pack light about 2530 pounds. We would pretend to meet while hiking and the overloaded one would be exhausted, complaining, blisters, etc. and the lightly packed one would question his gear and then proceed to unpack his light pack and explain and compare the light choices over the heavy and unneeded stuff. We used a lot of hummor and it seemed to work great. Maybe it left a lasting impression.

Appalachian Tater
10-02-2007, 10:38
Now the 25-30 pound pack would be at the high end of the range. There's quite the lively discussion going on in another thread about a sub-one pound pack.

SouthMark
10-02-2007, 11:14
Now the 25-30 pound pack would be at the high end of the range. There's quite the lively discussion going on in another thread about a sub-one pound pack.

Not 30 years ago, completely loaded with food, water and fuel for a 5 day trip.

rafe
10-02-2007, 11:57
Now the 25-30 pound pack would be at the high end of the range.

I might be wrong but I don't think so, not even now. 25-30 (loaded w/food and water) is a respectable "light" pack weight, and pretty typical among succesful thrus and section hikers. Not ultralight, but hardly extreme. Pretty typical, I'd think. Am I wrong?

Blissful
10-02-2007, 12:06
I might be wrong but I don't think so, not even now. 25-30 (loaded w/food and water) is a respectable "light" pack weight, and pretty typical among succesful thrus and section hikers. Not ultralight, but hardly extreme. Pretty typical, I'd think. Am I wrong?

From the hikers (guys) I met this year, that is actually a bit light. Most carried 35 to 40, esp with the weight of food and water. I got mine to 28-30 (depending on food), Paul Bunyan carried 35.

The pack maker of choice was Osprey, which surprised me. I really didn't see that much Granite Gear. Saw several Go Lite packs. And several also carried external frame - wondering if they are making a come back.

There were only a few ultra lighters that I met.

shelterbuilder
10-02-2007, 13:07
From the hikers (guys) I met this year, that is actually a bit light. Most carried 35 to 40, esp with the weight of food and water. I got mine to 28-30 (depending on food), Paul Bunyan carried 35.
The pack maker of choice was Osprey, which surprised me. I really didn't see that much Granite Gear. Saw several Go Lite packs. And several also carried external frame - wondering if they are making a come back.
There were only a few ultra lighters that I met.

I don't believe that I'm the only one out here who still prefers an external frame pack. Back when internals first became popular, one of the sales points for them was that there was no external frame to catch on brush when you were bushwhacking. Well, I know that the trail gets overgrown at times, but when do most of us bushwhack? I know that the load will carry closer to the hiker's center of gravity in an internal frame, but I sweat a lot (even in winter), and I prefer having some ventilation-space between myself and the pack-bag to get rid of some of the sweat.

rafe
10-02-2007, 13:24
Shelterbuilder -- I used to feel exactly as you do, and until this year my favorite pack was an ancient "Camp Trails Adjustable II." This year, I finally found an internal frame pack that suits me -- a Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone. And what I noticed was that there's generally an appreciable space between the pack and my back, at least at the shoulders. Enough space for flying insects to take advantage of...

IMO, the primary advantage (of the I.F. pack) is that the whole package is held more closely to the body. Less shifting of the pack when struggling through uneven, rocky, or steep terrain. And yes, easier to navigate tight spaces and overgrown trail.

Appalachian Tater
10-02-2007, 13:29
Shelterbuilder -- I used to feel exactly as you do, and until this year my favorite pack was an ancient "Camp Trails Adjustable II." This year, I finally found an internal frame pack that suits me -- a Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone. And what I noticed was that there's generally an appreciable space between the pack and my back, at least at the shoulders. Enough space for flying insects to take advantage of...

IMO, the primary advantage (of the I.F. pack) is that the whole package is held more closely to the body. Less shifting of the pack when struggling through uneven, rocky, or steep terrain. And yes, easier to navigate tight spaces and overgrown trail.


_terrapin_, did you do the internal adjustment where the metal bars meet the plastic sheet and do you tighten the "load lifter" straps? My experience with that pack is that you can make it cling as tightly or loosely to your back as you want with the latter.

Appalachian Tater
10-02-2007, 13:30
I don't believe that I'm the only one out here who still prefers an external frame pack.

Sleepy the Arab uses one.

Appalachian Tater
10-02-2007, 13:31
I might be wrong but I don't think so, not even now. 25-30 (loaded w/food and water) is a respectable "light" pack weight, and pretty typical among succesful thrus and section hikers. Not ultralight, but hardly extreme. Pretty typical, I'd think. Am I wrong?

You are correct, with food and water.

gypsy
10-02-2007, 13:48
I gave a speech in my speech class about how to ****e in the woods. I brought in a tree log and even gave visual examples of how to squat to pee. I explained that especially for women, this knowledge was invaluable even when not hiking. I got mixed reactions, from horror to uncontrollable laughter. However, I received an A for the speech. Hey... maybe I taught someone how to not pee on their shoes:D . BTW... the log was an example of what one should look for as a comfortable resting place to back out a Cinncinatti steamer.:D

Lone Wolf
10-02-2007, 13:55
BTW... the log was an example of what one should look for as a comfortable resting place to back out a Cinncinatti steamer.:D

god. :rolleyes: where did you learn to talk like that?

Gray Blazer
10-02-2007, 14:12
god. :rolleyes: where did you learn to talk like that?
From her other half? :D