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DavidNH
02-11-2008, 00:41
I want to have some fun. This is for the rest of you. Anyone like to go against the grain and go anti ultra light.. carry all the comforts of home in your pack? What was the heaviest your a pack got on your backpack trips? 50+? 60+ ?

personally, I find that while there is a point where the pack gets to heavy to lift never mind carry, I don't mind carring some weight. Plenty of food, relaxed pace (10 mpd or maybe 15 mpd if easier terrain) and I like being in woods for a long time. Plus, why not have some camp comforts?

DavidNH

Bearpaw
02-11-2008, 00:52
Personally, I'm just pro-hiking. :D

Every thing from 110 pound arctic loads in the Marine Corps, 70-pound mountaineering packs when teaching for NOLS, and 20-pound packs for 5 days on AT & BMT sections. I prefer lighter, but I'd rather be out there with a few extra pounds than in front of a computer with a spreadsheet to drop a few more ounces.

warraghiyagey
02-11-2008, 00:53
I don't particularly care for labels of sorts but I'm sure I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum of the ultralighters. While my pack will never be the 70 lbs it was when I first left Katahdin I find myself very comfortable between 40-45 lbs. Probably will until the white hairs set in.:)

Tinker
02-11-2008, 01:04
I travel light, but not stupid light. My motto is "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it." That said, some people go for gourmet meals, apres-hike wear, camp shoes and furniture, etc. Not necessary, but I won't deride someone else for hiking their own hike.
In the winter, I'd rather hike smart than light.

Almost There
02-11-2008, 01:09
I try to go light, but don't really worry too much about it. Get ready to freak out, but I have never weighed my entire pack. I know that my pack, sleep bag, and tent come to a total of 9lb1oz. Other than that..I carry what I want and don't worry about the rest.

Montego
02-11-2008, 01:10
Most my pack ever wieghed post military was 74* for a week long summer trip back in 1982. Course, had a Golden Retriever with me that ate better than I did LOL. Never again says I.

Jim Adams
02-11-2008, 01:39
72 lbs. climbing Springer for the start of my 1990 thru. Got it down to 42 lbs. by Hot Springs...that was with a carton of Marlboros, a pound of dry cat food and a cat.

geek

grizzlyadam
02-11-2008, 01:47
summited springer in october of 2000, heading north, with a pack that weighed in around 100 pounds. at woody gap i threw away around 20 pounds of food. at neals gap i mailed home 30-something pounds of "stuff"....

summited katahdin in october of 2003, heading south, with a pack that weighed in at 33 pounds.

i learned a few things in those three years.

Frosty
02-11-2008, 01:47
It all depends on what your main goal is, to hike or to camp. If you spend most of your time hiking, and only camp to rest up for more hiking, then carrying extra weight to make the camp easier is counter-productive. That is, since your goal is more to hike than camp, make hiking more enjoyable ... carry less on your back.

If you are out there to camp, and hiking is something you do between campsites, then for you camping is the thing. It is more important to have stuff for your camping experience than the hiking part, so leaving stuff behind to make hiking easier is counter-productive. Make camping more enjoyable ... carry more camping gear.

River Runner
02-11-2008, 01:57
I say carry what you feel comfortable with, and I'll carry what I feel comfortable with.

I just don't find I need a lot of 'camp comforts'. A log works just fine as a back support instead of a camp chair. I don't need clean clothes to sit around camp (but do pack clean clothes for sleeping - long johns or shorts & T-shirt depending on season and an extra pair of socks). A beer can pot & esbit stove heat my water just fine. I do tote along some sort of comfortable sleeping arrangement - either a thick pad or my hammock.

But for those who find they want 'extras', as long as they are carrying them, that's cool to me.

ed bell
02-11-2008, 02:34
I want to have some fun. This is for the rest of you. Anyone like to go against the grain and go anti ultra light.. carry all the comforts of home in your pack? What was the heaviest your a pack got on your backpack trips? 50+? 60+ ?

personally, I find that while there is a point where the pack gets to heavy to lift never mind carry, I don't mind carring some weight. Plenty of food, relaxed pace (10 mpd or maybe 15 mpd if easier terrain) and I like being in woods for a long time. Plus, why not have some camp comforts?

DavidNHHave your fun, and I'll have some too.:sun I've never shouldered a load I couldn't carry.:cool: Never weighed it, but once it was on my back I carried it. No kitchen sink, though.;)

scavenger
02-11-2008, 03:00
Even when I carry home-made primitive gear (buckskin pack and clothes, wool blanket, bowdrill kit, stone knife, etc) I still don't really carry as much weight as some folks using modern gear. I have no idea how they get their packs so heavy.

t-bor
02-11-2008, 03:35
the heaviest was my 50 pound pack plus two cases of pbr and a half gallon of old crow

Mountain Dew
02-11-2008, 04:22
I'm only anti-ultralight when those that choose to be are always asking to use something of mine. I.E. butter, maps, info books, magazine, sports section from town newspaper, repair kit, ..... :rolleyes:

Lone Wolf
02-11-2008, 06:53
I'm only anti-ultralight when those that choose to be are always asking to use something of mine. I.E. butter, maps, info books, magazine, sports section from town newspaper, repair kit, ..... :rolleyes:

or ask you to boil water for them cuz they don't carry a stove

NICKTHEGREEK
02-11-2008, 07:17
or ask you to boil water for them cuz they don't carry a stove
Saying no to a request like that is soooooo easy.

russb
02-11-2008, 07:41
I am like most who posted here. I carry what I like. I do try to keep weight down but I don't obsess about it. I'd rather eat and sleep well than cut an extra few pounds off my pack weight.

Summit
02-11-2008, 07:56
I've carried 66 lbs starting out when carrying 14 days worth of food because I did not want to bother with reprovisioning food on my 180 / 210 (did this several times) mile hikes. Getting a little older now, I do not intend to ever carry 14 days worth of food again, but I guess I would if I had to! :rolleyes:

I have been cutting weight significantly with new stuff and to make hiking more enjoyable as age creeps up. :) But I'm not a scales/ounces person and carry a few things for enjoyment that would not make an ultra-light's "essentials only" list! :p

AT-HITMAN2005
02-11-2008, 08:18
i caught a lot of crap from my hiking companions in 05 because they were unwilling to lighten there load. i'm by no means ultralight, but i try to keep it around 20lbs, they were carrying 35-40. funniest thing to me was they carried alcohol stoves, and drank from platys with inline water filters. i carried a simmerlite and 22oz fuel bottle, drank from nalgenes using a katadyn hiker to filter my water. they would ask me how my fanny pack was feeling today.

fiddlehead
02-11-2008, 10:42
"Anti Ultra-lite"?
Well, why don't you really have some fun and pack an old style canvas tent, big old rectangular sleeping bag, wool pants and shirt, coleman lantern, ax, rubber raincoat, 10 or 12 potatoes and a couple cans of Dinty Moore?
with Limmer's on your feet
That'll show the ultra lite boys who's smarter, aye?
Once met a guy carrying a gallon of whole milk. why not?

Foyt20
02-11-2008, 10:48
87 Pounds was my heaviest pack ever. Philmont, New Mexico, one of the other advisors was just about done. Strapped her pack to mine, and kept on trucking. Hurt like hell, but it was the last day of the trek, and i could smell the nachos in base camp from 3 miles away.

max patch
02-11-2008, 10:54
I carry what I want to carry and don't worrry about the weight. On my thru I started at 50 pounds, eventually ended up carryng an average of 45 pounds with a 5 day food supply. I started the 100 mile wilderness with 62 pounds with extra clothing and food (10 days) as I wanted to be able to take as much time as I wanted thru this area without worrying about reaching town by a pre-determined date for resupply.

ofthearth
02-11-2008, 11:18
I don't particularly care for labels of sorts but I'm sure I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum of the ultralighters. While my pack will never be the 70 lbs it was when I first left Katahdin I find myself very comfortable between 40-45 lbs. Probably will until the white hairs set in.:)

Speaking as a "white hair" - it's still "possible" :rolleyes:.


And saw this over in the "Terms and Slang" thread. Thought it might fit in here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweeger
Years ago I read in some trail magazine a disparging article about hikers who like to sleep late and only rise when the sun is warm: a Crack O'Nooner.

The disparaging tone took me by surprise. For why does one seek out the solitude of the forest? To hike an ungodly number of miles each day? To rush up and down the mountains without stopping to smell the rocks? To pack in with you all the hustle and bustle you were trying to get away from in the first place, then pack out the blisters and the muscle pains?

Or is it to sit back and enjoy the fine, fine view for another five minutes, another hour, or another night? To carry a few beers and welcome the thought that you'll hike a few fewer miles each day because of the added weight? To take the time to build a decent fire you can be comfortable by, then stay up late and swap tales in its warm light until you're so tired that you sleep well past the dawn?

You choose. But please, don't wake me up to tell me your answer until at least noon.

- Tweeger

To which I posted:

I think after reading your post we need another term. UNUL - unultralite and you have kindly provided the definition. I think I might even change my trail name And if I wait till after noon, and don't ask to borrow your map..... can I have a beer. Enjoyed the post

Mags
02-11-2008, 11:19
It all depends on what your main goal is, to hike or to camp. If you spend most of your time hiking, an


Exactly. When I'm on thru-hiking and hiking all day, I go as light as possible for me.

On social trips, I take the wine and some other creature comforts.

It is all good.

rafe
02-11-2008, 12:25
72 lbs. climbing Springer for the start of my 1990 thru. Got it down to 42 lbs. by Hot Springs...that was with a carton of Marlboros, a pound of dry cat food and a cat.

geek

Do you remember "Dead Ahead?" He had his entire Grateful Dead collection with him. About thirty or forty cassettes worth. I know he finished about 2-3 days before you. He carried an espresso maker and real liquid milk (Parmalat.) I know he carried that all the way to K, 'cuz he treated me to a wonderful cup of coffee on my 2nd morning heading south thru the 100-mile. Used to drive his hiking partner (Wild Bill) crazy with the crazy sh it he carried.

hobojoe
02-11-2008, 12:32
The only reason to reduce pack weight is to carry more beer.
Drink more beer,
Hobo Joe

Wolf - 23000
02-11-2008, 12:34
I've never been one to really preach going lightweight or ultra-lightweight. Personally I don't care what others carry, I just worry about what I carry instead to be happy and have fun other there.

With that said, some people may not know this but when I first started backpacking I started off carrying 2 full size backpacks (a Jansport travel bag and a all rubber pack). I started off carrying between 85 to 100 pounds. I did everything wrong and can laugh about it now.

Surprising, as it is sometimes I still go out and goof around or if I'm winter hiking in EXTREME conditions I might carry 35 - 45 pounds.

Wolf

MOWGLI
02-11-2008, 12:39
I like a few luxury items. Sometimes a flyrod, a paperback, and maybe some binoculars. I'm learning that as I get older, carrying 40# going uphill isn't as easy as it once was. I've made a few investments that make backpacking lighter possible. My trip a few weeks ago on the Florida Trail was a blast. My brand new pack was under 30# with 6 days of food and water. I even hiked barefoot for a few hours in an area that was quite sandy. Good times that wouldn't be possible carrying over 40#. Reminded me of growing up as a kid when I went barefoot all summer. Used to drive my Mom crazy.

The only thing I'm un is, I find it unenjoyable when any kind of gear zealot starts lecturing about their particular style of hiking.

Attached photo taken by Sue "Hammock Hanger" Turner.

cannonball
02-11-2008, 13:12
I like to take a few luxary item such as a sleeping bag, food , and water.That tends to make my pack weigh over 8lbs.:rolleyes:

sheepdog
02-11-2008, 14:34
The only thing I'm un is, I find it unenjoyable when any kind of gear zealot starts lecturing about their particular style of hiking.


Amen
I sure like my external frame backpack. I get more unsolicited advice about it. It's cool and comfy.:D

Terry7
02-11-2008, 14:36
I believe in light when it comes to gear. But this year I am going to carry alot more food. I am going to eat better and not have to rush to get to a town because I am low on food. H.Y.O.H.

BR360
02-11-2008, 15:04
Carry what you need, leave what you don't at home. Including attitude.

My heaviest pack was close to 100# for a week-long climbing trip with my girlfriend in the Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming. It was late Sept. Had winter gear, which we were glad for as it snowed 5 inches on the 5th day. Great trip, resulting in some memorable stories.

That being said, I prefer to go Light, and I DO weigh my stuff for most trips. But social trips, I'll carry extra kitchen stuff to prepare better food, plus libations, plus a Chair kit for my sleeping pad for sitting around the fire.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-11-2008, 15:23
I was talking to a serious backpacker yesterday and he introduced me to a new concept - C. E. L. - Comfort, Economy, Lightweight. It is his contention that you can have any two of three pretty easily, but rarely can you have all three. For example, 20F bag that will keep you warm (Comfort) can be had rather cheaply (Economy), but they weight 5 to 6 pounds(Not Lightweight). A 20F bag (Comfort) that weighs 2 pounds (Lightweight) is gonna cost you (Not Economical). A one pound bag (Lightweight) can be had Economically, but you will not be comfortable at 20F.

The Weasel
02-11-2008, 15:31
I travel light, but not stupid light. My motto is "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it." That said, some people go for gourmet meals, apres-hike wear, camp shoes and furniture, etc. Not necessary, but I won't deride someone else for hiking their own hike.
In the winter, I'd rather hike smart than light.

I think ultralight is like dieting in a lot of ways: People think that if you're ultralight, you have to suffer, much like dieting means eating boring or uninteresting food. That's wrong, and it was always Ray Jardine's point as well: Enjoy the hike as much, or even more, without the weight.

- "Gourmet" doesn't have to mean "heavy". I carry unusual and differnt carb bases than noodles/sauce: Yellow grits/polenta, couscous, black rice and other fun things. Some are lighter weight than "gourmet" foods, and I make sauces and go-withs that are similarly fun but light. It don't need to come out of a can to be good.

- Gear has to meet the "3-in-one" test for me: Everything has to have 3 different uses (or more) to be carried. Almost everything meets that test, which means I'm bringing three times as much stuff as the weight suggests.

People should bring what they want, but bringing "more" doesn't necessarily mean that you can't accomplish the same goal or do the same things with less, just as well.

TW

Jim Adams
02-11-2008, 15:35
Do you remember "Dead Ahead?" He had his entire Grateful Dead collection with him. About thirty or forty cassettes worth. I know he finished about 2-3 days before you. He carried an espresso maker and real liquid milk (Parmalat.) I know he carried that all the way to K, 'cuz he treated me to a wonderful cup of coffee on my 2nd morning heading south thru the 100-mile. Used to drive his hiking partner (Wild Bill) crazy with the crazy sh it he carried.

LOL...he used to have those box speakers mounted on the top of each side of his external aluminum frame. it sounded great and he really did enjoy it but...well, i have no room to talk.:cool:

remember Mule? 101 lbs. on top of Springer. Springer was his first night EVER camping. He had a survival knife, a machette, a hatchet, pepper spray, a tazer and his pistol...he was terrified at first but he ended up loving hiking and hiked quite a bit more after Katahdin...been looking for him for years, can't find him!:-?

geek

warraghiyagey
02-11-2008, 15:36
Amen
I sure like my external frame backpack. I get more unsolicited advice about it. It's cool and comfy.:D
Agreed.:sun

max patch
02-11-2008, 15:49
But this year I am going to carry alot more food. I am going to eat better and not have to rush to get to a town because I am low on food. H.Y.O.H.

Agree. I always carried one more days worth of food that I thought I needed. An extra 2 pounds. No big deal.

Footslogger
02-11-2008, 15:54
Not sure where the line is drawn in the sand in terms of the whole "ultralight" stuff. But I've managed to get my distance pack (total carrying weight) down to 24lbs - - that's all my clothes/gear, foodbag for 4 days and my starting water supply. That alone has improved my hiking pleasure and doable miles/day.

In 2001 I was carrying about 55 lbs for the same type hiking as above. So ...I've dropped about half of my packweight. Not sure that qualifies as "ultralight" ...but I can sure tell the difference in the long haul.

'Slogger

DavidNH
02-11-2008, 17:07
"Anti Ultra-lite"?
Well, why don't you really have some fun and pack an old style canvas tent, big old rectangular sleeping bag, wool pants and shirt, coleman lantern, ax, rubber raincoat, 10 or 12 potatoes and a couple cans of Dinty Moore?
with Limmer's on your feet
That'll show the ultra lite boys who's smarter, aye?
Once met a guy carrying a gallon of whole milk. why not?

Fiddlehead,

that's classic. You gave me a good chuckle!

You really met a guy carrying one gallone of whole milk in his pack? wish i couldda seen that. Must have been heavy pack!

Roland
02-11-2008, 17:12
~
that's classic. You gave me a good chuckle!
~

It certainly brought back memories. I never carried the milk, though. Honest.

Wolf - 23000
02-11-2008, 17:26
I was talking to a serious backpacker yesterday and he introduced me to a new concept - C. E. L. - Comfort, Economy, Lightweight. It is his contention that you can have any two of three pretty easily, but rarely can you have all three. For example, 20F bag that will keep you warm (Comfort) can be had rather cheaply (Economy), but they weight 5 to 6 pounds(Not Lightweight). A 20F bag (Comfort) that weighs 2 pounds (Lightweight) is gonna cost you (Not Economical). A one pound bag (Lightweight) can be had Economically, but you will not be comfortable at 20F.

Frolicking Dinosaurs (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/member.php?u=6083),

Iím not sure who told you this but it is not always accurate. Sometimes spending a few extra bucks on some equipment can save you money in the long run. Iíll explain using your example on two 20F bag - one cheap but weights more the other lighter and more expensive. Prices are from Campmor rounded off.

Sleeping bag Weight Price

Campmor Goose Down weight 2 lb 6 oz $120.

Slumberjack Latitude 3 lb 13 oz $40.


If you go with the Campmor sleeping bag you save yourself 1 lb 7 oz or you can go with the Slumberjack and carry the extra weight and save yourself $80. I believe this was your point in your C. E. L.

My point is this the Slumberjack sleeping bag is cheaper but also a lot larger than the Campmor sleeping bag and will require a larger backpack to carry it. Larger backpack generally will cost more and weigh more than smaller packs. After buying everything, the different in price is not as great as you may believe.

Instead of just looking at piece of equipment individual, look at how they work with the rest of your system. Sometimes it can save a lot of money and weight.

Wolf

rafe
02-11-2008, 18:16
Wolf, I believe your example actually makes FD's point -- which I agree with, in general terms. Your point is valid also -- that all the parts have to work as a "system."

A while back, I purchased a GG "Nightlight" 3/4 pad, in as part of my effort to lighten up. Yes, it's light. And yes, it's pretty cheap. For me, comfort was lacking -- but even worse, because of its bulk, carrying it would have required a major rearrangement of my pack and its contents.

Example 2: Not carrying a filter. OK, now you need a cup to scoop water from shallow sources. Hey, great, I already carry a cup. But wait.. I carry it inside my cook pot, which is at the bottom of my pack. :rolleyes:

I kept running into this effect again and again -- ripple effects from changing one item create secondary issues, either in packing or in my "routine." I guess that's what happens when you try to optimize a system that's already been optimized... ;)

Mags
02-11-2008, 18:43
I posted this chestnut about 3 yrs ago... My..how times flies.. :eek:

*******************
It is off the AT..but still afunny story.

Last year I was on my Colorado Trail hike just north (trail wise) from where the CT and the CDT split for the last time. The CT heads south and west towards Durango, the CDT heads south towards Wolf Creek Pass.

Anyway, I am hiking up the trail. I see a gentleman with thick, heavy leather boots. A HUGE pack (Dana Designs, maybe?). Had the Nalgenes and every other item it seems from the outfitter.

Here I am: Nike sneakers a bit torn, my lightweight, all mesh pack. Banged up ski poles. Dirty polyester dress shirt. Almost three weeks beard growth.

I said "Hello'.

He said "Interesting gear you have". (While eying me up and down with a *** look on his face)
Me: "Yep. Works for me"
He said: "Well, always more to learn as you backpack more. When you backpack more, perhaps you will have different gear"
Me: "You are right. Always more to learn"
He: "Enjoy your hike. Be careful".
Me: "You too! It is a great day!"

:)

The guy probably thought I was a total moron (Well...he may be right, but not in the context of backpacking. :D). Probably thought I'd died somewhere in the San Juan mountains!

Anyway, not quite the story you asked..but a good story I think.

sheepdog
02-11-2008, 18:45
Fiddlehead,

that's classic. You gave me a good chuckle!

You really met a guy carrying one gallone of whole milk in his pack? wish i couldda seen that. Must have been heavy pack!
Think of how much weight could he have saved with 2% milk or maybe even skim. What a moron.:D

Skidsteer
02-11-2008, 19:00
I was talking to a serious backpacker yesterday and he introduced me to a new concept - C. E. L. - Comfort, Economy, Lightweight. It is his contention that you can have any two of three pretty easily, but rarely can you have all three. For example, 20F bag that will keep you warm (Comfort) can be had rather cheaply (Economy), but they weight 5 to 6 pounds(Not Lightweight). A 20F bag (Comfort) that weighs 2 pounds (Lightweight) is gonna cost you (Not Economical). A one pound bag (Lightweight) can be had Economically, but you will not be comfortable at 20F.

I've read of that concept before. I think it might have been Chip Rawlins in 'Walker IV', but I'm not sure.

Frosty
02-11-2008, 19:25
Frolicking Dinosaurs (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/member.php?u=6083),

Iím not sure who told you this but it is not always accurate. Sometimes spending a few extra bucks on some equipment can save you money in the long run. There are always exceptions, of course, but assuming a knowledgable buyer, generally the quality of gear does not go up as the price goes down.

FD's comment is a take on an old engineering maxim: Good-fast-cheap, pick any two. Works for most engineering projects, as well as restaurant food :D

If you try hard enough, you can find exceptions to every piece piece of good advice.

Frosty
02-11-2008, 19:28
I'm learning that as I get older, carrying 40# going uphill isn't as easy as it once was.I must be really old, because I don't even remember when carrying 40# uphill was easy :(

Wolf - 23000
02-11-2008, 19:44
Wolf, I believe your example actually makes FD's point -- which I agree with, in general terms. Your point is valid also -- that all the parts have to work as a "system."

A while back, I purchased a GG "Nightlight" 3/4 pad, in as part of my effort to lighten up. Yes, it's light. And yes, it's pretty cheap. For me, comfort was lacking -- but even worse, because of its bulk, carrying it would have required a major rearrangement of my pack and its contents.

Example 2: Not carrying a filter. OK, now you need a cup to scoop water from shallow sources. Hey, great, I already carry a cup. But wait.. I carry it inside my cook pot, which is at the bottom of my pack. :rolleyes:

I kept running into this effect again and again -- ripple effects from changing one item create secondary issues, either in packing or in my "routine." I guess that's what happens when you try to optimize a system that's already been optimized... ;)

terrapin,

My point wasn't to disprove what FD was putting out, only to point out the ripple effect as you put it. I've seen it all to often, hikers trying to save money on good cheap gear end up spending more if they spent a few bucks in the beginning.

In the end, the gear won't hike the trail for you (not yet), it just helps if you were happy with your gear you have.;)

Wolf

rafe
02-11-2008, 20:07
In the end, the gear won't hike the trail for you (not yet), it just helps if you were happy with your gear you have.;)

Heh. It's listening to those ultralighters that made me "unhappy." But in the end, I'm glad I undertook the effort to lighten up. It seemed to work out well -- so far, so good. (24 lbs. "base" wt. down to about 16; good enough for me.)

Fiddleback
02-11-2008, 20:09
The reason I aspire to ultra-light is comfort. I find it more comfortable to carry less on the trail. I feel better getting to my destination and after I arrive.

I don't feel like I've given up anything but instead have learned to pack smarter and with some 'reason' (do I need that? will I use that? can it be smaller and lighter? can something else serve a dual-use function?). As far as carrying the 'comforts'...I'm more comfortable in camp with my 12lb+consumables pack load (for our three-season, 20-105į extremes) than I ever was with my 30-pounder.

There's been three phases of backpacking in my life; the early 60s, the early 80s, and this decade. In this current, ultra-light phase I'm eating and sleeping better on the trail than ever before.

FB

rafe
02-11-2008, 20:12
I must be really old, because I don't even remember when carrying 40# uphill was easy :(

It was never easy, but we were young and oblivious. Great smoky mountains, indeed. ;)

Programbo
02-11-2008, 20:33
Back in the day we just carried what we needed to carry and most times never bothered with weight..If that`s what it weighed then that`s what it weighed and if you needed to make less miles to carry what you needed then that`s what happened... I think the most weight I ever carried was like 55-60 pounds in my old Kelty Tioga..But I was carrying a lot of odd things..guns..ammo..a sword..Lots of books to read..... Now what I would like to see is one of these macho extremists try to set a record for hiking the AT in the fastest time while carrying say 75-100 pounds..THAT would be a noteable feat and a real physical challenge

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-11-2008, 20:41
Hi Sara (Programbo). I was hoping you would weigh in here. The old gear was heavier, but it sure seems to me we were having more fun back then. Today it seems to be so much about making miles and getting to shelters & towns.

TNjed
02-11-2008, 20:41
my buddy carries big cans of soup and about three changes of clothes and is pack weighs in at 80 lbs. regularly and he carries it like it ain't no thing. I think he's nuts

Summit
02-11-2008, 20:45
"Anti Ultra-lite"?
Well, why don't you really have some fun and pack an (snip) big old rectangular sleeping bagActually, I'm thinking about one for my next sleeping bag. The difference between mummy and rectangular for same features is about 1 lb. I could definitely see myself enjoying the comfort of a less restraining bag. I'm just not sure about warmth. It seems reasonable to suspect that it will be a little chillier in a 20 degree rectangular bag vs. a 20 degree mummy, due to how much air your body has to warm.

I rarely have to zip my current 20 degree mummy bag up, just stick my feet in the bottom and drape it over me. A rectangular might not be too hot to get in and actually zip up, whereas except for very cold nights, my mummy is too hot. Just my thoughts . . . but my 17 year-old Slumberjack 20 degree bag is still in good shape and working great. It has never let me down.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-11-2008, 20:50
Instead of just looking at piece of equipment individual, look at how they work with the rest of your system. Sometimes it can save a lot of money and weight.That is an excellent point. I do use quite a bit of gear as part of an overall system, but I'm always looking and learning and trying new things. Otherwise, I might get old and that wouldn't do at all :D.

fiddlehead
02-11-2008, 21:03
Fiddlehead,

that's classic. You gave me a good chuckle!

You really met a guy carrying one gallone of whole milk in his pack? wish i couldda seen that. Must have been heavy pack!


Yeah, we stuffed about 8 of us in a small shelter (old style) in Maine in '95 during the tail end of a hurricane (i beleve someone said we got 5 inches of rain that night)
When these 2 guys come strolling into camp with HUGE packs. someone commented on the size of the packs and one of them said: I'm carrying just over 100 lbs. The other guy was only carrying 85. I asked what made them different and the guy with the bigger pack said "i'm carrying a gallon of whole milk and 3 books among other things"
They tented out (thankfully as the shelter was REALLY full) and probably had a good nights sleep although it sure was a rainy and windy night.

Summit
02-11-2008, 21:36
I met a guy carrying 2 1/2 gallons of wine (one of those bladders in a box with a spout). I know . . . a guy after some of you's own heart! :D :p

warraghiyagey
02-11-2008, 21:42
I met a guy carrying 2 1/2 gallons of wine (one of those bladders in a box with a spout). I know . . . a guy after some of you's own heart! :D :p
Is this 'I met a guy' kind of like the proverbial 'I have this "friend"'??? ;);)
:D

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-11-2008, 21:45
I've run into some hunters that definitely where serious heavy-weight backpackers. One guy had a 10" cast iron skillet strapped on the outside of his pack. Ran into another that had a large doe draped over his shoulders.

warraghiyagey
02-11-2008, 21:48
Ran into another that had a large doe draped over his shoulders.
Glad I wasn't there to see him retrieve his gear from inside said doe.

rafe
02-11-2008, 21:48
Hi Sara (Programbo). I was hoping you would weigh in here. The old gear was heavier, but it sure seems to me we were having more fun back then. Today it seems to be so much about making miles and getting to shelters & towns.

I get your meaning and I agree, somewhat. I think this is more a function of the thru-hiking concept than anything else. Seemed that hiking may have been more "fun" without the serious goal of going 2000+ miles (or even 100 miles) in one go. Totally different mindset.

Of course, we can argue about what constitutes "fun." ;)

warraghiyagey
02-11-2008, 21:49
Or even worse to see him pack his gear.:rolleyes:

Programbo
02-11-2008, 23:11
I get your meaning and I agree, somewhat. I think this is more a function of the thru-hiking concept than anything else. Seemed that hiking may have been more "fun" without the serious goal of going 2000+ miles (or even 100 miles) in one go. Totally different mindset.

I don`t know about that..People were thru-hiking just fine back when the typical loads were much heavier..If I`m not mistaken the percentage of people dropping out early was much much lower and those successfully completeing was much higher back in the external frame, blue jean, stiff heavy leather booted, non-trekking pole age..I can recall putting in many a 20+ mile days and it never seemed a struggle..I think the reason FD said it was more fun was because pretty much all of us back then were on the trail for reasons that went far beyond simply getting from GA to ME or making miles or tribal socializing..Maybe I need a trail name like "Time Machine" or something because mentally I am straight off the trail in 1977 and suddenly appeared again in 2007 :p

Summit
02-11-2008, 23:21
Is this 'I met a guy' kind of like the proverbial 'I have this "friend"'??? ;);)
:DNo, I asked him to be my friend, but he wasn't sharing! :eek:

warraghiyagey
02-11-2008, 23:23
No, I asked him to be my friend, but he wasn't sharing! :eek:
Goddammit!!:mad:

rafe
02-11-2008, 23:27
I don`t know about that..People were thru-hiking just fine back when the typical loads were much heavier..
I'll buy that part...
If I`m not mistaken the percentage of people dropping out early was much much lower and those successfully completeing was much higher back in the external frame, blue jean, stiff heavy leather booted, non-trekking pole age...... but I've seen no evidence to support that contention.

If you take it back to the 1970s or earlier, of course there was "less socializing" -- at that point, the number of starters each year was truly minuscule.

Frosty
02-12-2008, 00:15
The old gear was heavier, but it sure seems to me we were having more fun back then.Well, it shouldn't be too hard to find a hand axe, trencher, woolen underwear, canvas jacket and pants, oilcloth slicker, get a pair of heavy calf-high boots. Wow. Snag an old 8-10 pound external frame pack, Peak One gas stove and a cast iron skillet, couple woolen blankets.

Be sure to write back and tell us how much fun you had!

In fact, tell you what: I have a bunch of old gear in my attic, and it's heavy, too.

I'll sell it to you for what I paid for it, how's that? I get the money and you get to have more fun hiking!

I'll be sooooo envious in my trailrunners, carrying an alcohol stove, titanium cookpot, and synthetic clothing in my 17 ounce pack. You lucky girl, you!

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-12-2008, 00:19
::: Frosty seen looking a toeless foot and wondering if trailrunners will help :D :::

warraghiyagey
02-12-2008, 00:26
::: Frosty seen looking a toeless foot and wondering if trailrunners will help :D :::
Weird. Lost his toes and wasn't even frostybitten.
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/laughing001.gif

rafe
02-12-2008, 00:26
::: Frosty seen looking a toeless foot and wondering if trailrunners will help :D :::

At least he has useable forearms.

jrwiesz
02-12-2008, 06:06
I met a guy carrying 2 1/2 gallons of wine (one of those bladders in a box with a spout). I know . . . a guy after some of you's own heart! :D :p

What's not UL about that? It's not in a jug!:sun

jrwiesz
02-12-2008, 06:08
... Ran into another that had a large doe draped over his shoulders.

His idea of fast-food?:sun

NorthCountryWoods
02-12-2008, 08:27
Been at both ends of the spectrum.....70lbs pack and towing a 100lbs sled in Kluane NP in winter......to just the clothes on my back and a multitool in a survival course in Denali SP. Anybody wanna guess which one was more enjoyable?

I actually carry less weight than I did, but would still be more than double what a UL carries. Food and sleeping pad is the dagger for me. No cast iron pans, but I sleep like a log on my heavy sleeping pad with a full stomach and wake to coffee and a hot breakfast.

If I could be UL and still be comfortable, I would've been on board by now.

Tipi Walter
02-12-2008, 08:32
I just got back from a 7 day backpacking trip along the BMT and carried my usual enormity in a 6400 cubic inch pack, estimated at around 80 pounds. I was carrying my usual books and too much food, all my winter gear and my favorite 8 pound dome tent. And why not?

The winds and rain and sleet on the trip were rough and I was glad to have the gear. I might go a little slower than the UL girlie-men but I move every day and hike up the mountains same as anyone. And the ULers for the most part would not want to spend a week up at 5400 feet in the winter winds carrying their flimsy shelters, etc. Or their thin sleeping pads and inadequate sleeping bags.

As someone said, hiking UL is about comfort, and being a couch potato is also about comfort, so the two could be related ha ha. The hard nut the UL has to crack is this: How to stay out for 10-15 days in the middle of winter at 5000 to 6000 feet without resupply?

Lone Wolf
02-12-2008, 08:36
As someone said, hiking UL is about comfort, and being a couch potato is also about comfort, so the two could be related ha ha. The hard nut the UL has to crack is this: How to stay out for 10-15 days in the middle of winter at 5000 to 6000 feet without resupply?
UL types aren't about being in the woods. they do big miles to spend time in towns. they're out of their element in the woods

rafe
02-12-2008, 08:59
UL types aren't about being in the woods. they do big miles to spend time in towns. they're out of their element in the woods

You just can't help yourself with the stereotypes, can you?

Frosty
02-12-2008, 11:05
I just got back from a 7 day backpacking trip along the BMT and carried my usual enormity in a 6400 cubic inch pack, estimated at around 80 pounds. I was carrying my usual books and too much food, all my winter gear and my favorite 8 pound dome tent. And why not?No reason. If you want comfort and convenience, go for it.



The winds and rain and sleet on the trip were rough and I was glad to have the gear. I might go a little slower than the UL girlie-men but I move every day Move every day, huh? Must have been a struggle, especially in the rain, but those girlie-men as you call them are not afraid to hike in rain and sleet and in the wind. Perhaps you should consider a cabin? You might get some condensation in your dome tent and ruin your trip.



The hard nut the UL has to crack is this: How to stay out for 10-15 days in the middle of winter at 5000 to 6000 feet without resupply?Well, as you said, ultralite isn't about staying put for 14 days, it is about hiking comfortably, but it is not hard a hard nut to crack at all.

Simply take what is necessary, nothing more, choose items for usefulness (and double-duty) and low weight. There is no weight limit to be UL. UL is more about sitting on a rock instead of a cripple creek chair, and sleeping under a tarp rather than a double-walled, extra-durable-floored, multi-entranced, huge-vestibuled tent palace.

But if you are going out and camping for two weeks, UL doesn't make any sense. As you said, it's about hiking comfortably, not camping comfortably.

Mags
02-12-2008, 11:08
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.


Carry on.

I'm a wimp myself and hope to be like some of you more avid hikers.

Wolf - 23000
02-12-2008, 11:23
::: Frosty seen looking a toeless foot and wondering if trailrunners will help :D :::

Was he trying to save weight?

Wolf

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-12-2008, 11:29
Wash. Rinse. Repeat..... Carry on.
I'm a wimp myself and hope to be like some of you more avid hikers.
::: Dino seen ROTFLMAO :::
Thanks for putting this in perspective.

pyroman53
02-12-2008, 23:21
We were doing 5 day trips back in 1970 with a pack weighing in right around 40-42 lbs. Now, for the same trip the pack weighs 33-35. Always been weight conscious - nothing new - technology and WB just make it easier these days. And most of the old tricks still work. But, I'm gunna be reasonably comfortable, SAFE, and self-sufficient.

DavidNH
02-17-2008, 01:29
Hi Sara (Programbo). I was hoping you would weigh in here. The old gear was heavier, but it sure seems to me we were having more fun back then. Today it seems to be so much about making miles and getting to shelters & towns.

Frolicking Dianasaurs..

There you have it in a nut shell.. exactly why I take exception to the ultralight philosophy. I have no problem with trying to get rid of "unnecessary weight" but I part company with these folks when it becomes strictly all about big miles and getting to shelters and towns!

In my thru hike.. I carried probably around 30 pounds when going into town... and 40-50 pounds (and probably 55 in the 100 miles wilderness) when I was leaving towns. But I would be away from towns for 4-5 days at a time. So that is food for 15 meals, fuel, etc etc. The ultra lighters almost always were going for 20+ miles per day and spent much less time between towns.

DavidNH

rafe
02-17-2008, 10:19
There you have it in a nut shell.. exactly why I take exception to the ultralight philosophy. I have no problem with trying to get rid of "unnecessary weight" but I part company with these folks when it becomes strictly all about big miles and getting to shelters and towns!

If you're going to present it as an either/or proposition (which it isn't) then I'd say it's a choice between comfort while hiking, and comfort at camp.

I don't care how old or fit you are; the less you carry on your back, the faster, more comfortably, and more efficiently you move through the woods. But of course there's no free lunch; with a minimalist pack, you give up some comfort and convenience at camp.

It's not black-and-white, either/or. There's a continuum between heavy and light, and every hiker gets to choose where they want to be in that regard.

Tipi Walter
02-17-2008, 10:29
Frolicking Dianasaurs..

There you have it in a nut shell.. exactly why I take exception to the ultralight philosophy. I have no problem with trying to get rid of "unnecessary weight" but I part company with these folks when it becomes strictly all about big miles and getting to shelters and towns!

In my thru hike.. I carried probably around 30 pounds when going into town... and 40-50 pounds (and probably 55 in the 100 miles wilderness) when I was leaving towns. But I would be away from towns for 4-5 days at a time. So that is food for 15 meals, fuel, etc etc. The ultra lighters almost always were going for 20+ miles per day and spent much less time between towns.

DavidNH

The obsession with mileage for the ULers is due I think to a mental investment in athleticism(a macho kind of Ironman mentality)where the ego must be placated with the completion of long distances every day. Hence their tunnel vision over light gear, the endless discussions over solo tents and sleeping systems, and their fixation with grams.

So from whence hast this UL craze sprung?? Perhaps the generation so enamored with UL philosophy(as ironically taught by oldsters like Jardine), are burned-out couch potatoes and computer-addicted Playstation Gamers who see the AT and backpacking trips as a maze-like game to be finished with as much speed and quickness as possible. Their alpha or beta or whatever brain waves, so used to video games and television, can only be fed in the green tunnel by moving fast with little weight. Gotta keep moving, the mantra of the modern day backpacker. The first-person shooter mode but with a hiking pole instead of a game console.

So when you see a current day backpacker out on some trail, they will stop to chat for a moment or two but they're always inching forward, inching forward. To actually stop and take off the pack and sit? Verboten!! It's a strange compulsion to allow the mileage demon to prod and poke, that danged reptile who won't be satisfied until we're all jogging along the AT wearing butt packs.

Bare Bear
02-17-2008, 11:18
I think HYOH is best. When I go thru'in then I keep it light (27 to 32 depending on weather including 4 days food). At home on the 'ten miles in, camp, bounce around fifteen miles, then hike out ten' trips I carry 55 including a frozen box of wine. Very popular with my hiker friends that way :)

Fiddleback
02-17-2008, 11:49
It's certainly not an either-or question...especially when the definition of ultra-light itself isn't in concrete. In my own attempts to cut weight I've ended up more comfortable on the trail (lighter packweight, 'better' clothing, lighter but more convenient water treatment), more comfortable in camp (from tent to hammock, better food through FBC, better sleep system, better wash-up, lighter 'entertainment') and safer (the same dual-use concept used to cut weight also results in most things being 'backed up'...I also carry bear spray now whereas I didn't in the past). Given all that, my pack weight is still less than half of what it used to be...

Comfort and safety need not be, should not be, indeed is not, compromised simply because you exchange a heavy item for a light item.

Let's face it...individual attitudes and personal approaches to backpacking are myriad just as are the reasons for doing it in the first place. In my own backpacking, only once did I carry more than 40lbs and I've never done 15 miles a day at any packweight. And I, for one, never got the attraction of shelters or trail towns...

FB

The Desperado
02-17-2008, 12:14
It all depends on what your main goal is, to hike or to camp. If you spend most of your time hiking, and only camp to rest up for more hiking, then carrying extra weight to make the camp easier is counter-productive. That is, since your goal is more to hike than camp, make hiking more enjoyable ... carry less on your back.

If you are out there to camp, and hiking is something you do between campsites, then for you camping is the thing. It is more important to have stuff for your camping experience than the hiking part, so leaving stuff behind to make hiking easier is counter-productive. Make camping more enjoyable ... carry more camping gear.

I think Frosty has hit the ole nail on the head. I actually dont hike that much any longer, but when I was in my "hayday" so to speak I went according to the trip. As light as 35lbs and probably as heavey as 65lbs, or slose. Also as Mags said---It's all good! I judged by the trip, but a rule of my own was not to "beg from others" ie: boil water ha ha ...It's all good.

Patrickjd9
02-17-2008, 15:49
The only reason to reduce pack weight is to carry more beer.
Drink more beer,
Hobo Joe
I like my beer, but have always preferred to carry more concentrated alcohol on the trail. Wine or Irish Cream when I was younger, whiskey or brandy now.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-17-2008, 16:44
It all depends on what your main goal is, to hike or to camp. If you spend most of your time hiking, and only camp to rest up for more hiking, then carrying extra weight to make the camp easier is counter-productive. That is, since your goal is more to hike than camp, make hiking more enjoyable ... carry less on your back.

If you are out there to camp, and hiking is something you do between campsites, then for you camping is the thing. It is more important to have stuff for your camping experience than the hiking part, so leaving stuff behind to make hiking easier is counter-productive. Make camping more enjoyable ... carry more camping gear.Frosty the wise man
Has made an astute post
With his note of hiker's major goal
His acumen Dinos toast.

slow
02-17-2008, 20:55
This day and age,no reason to .Heck 15 yr's ago you could go lite.Some just choose not to and pay in the long run.

Dirty Harry
02-17-2008, 21:53
Im thinking about a sled with wheels, or mabe a radio flyer. You know to carry my solar powered mini fridge.

slow
02-17-2008, 22:33
Like it goes,Bold riders and old riders...but no bold old riders.:-?

rafe
02-17-2008, 22:40
Like it goes,Bold riders and old riders...but no bold old riders.:-?

Meaning what, exactly?

Wise Old Owl
02-17-2008, 23:00
I travel light, but not stupid light. My motto is "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."
In the winter, I'd rather hike smart than light.


Man that is Funny --- guess what I DID THAT!

Learn from your mistakes.

Rockhound
02-17-2008, 23:17
20 pounds isn't ultralight?

Rockhound
02-17-2008, 23:23
i caught a lot of crap from my hiking companions in 05 because they were unwilling to lighten there load. i'm by no means ultralight, but i try to keep it around 20lbs, they were carrying 35-40. funniest thing to me was they carried alcohol stoves, and drank from platys with inline water filters. i carried a simmerlite and 22oz fuel bottle, drank from nalgenes using a katadyn hiker to filter my water. they would ask me how my fanny pack was feeling today.
if 20 pounds isn't ultralight, what is?

MOWGLI
02-17-2008, 23:26
IMO, low teens or less is ultralight.

slow
02-17-2008, 23:51
IMO, low teens or less is ultralight.

SPOT ON.:)

slow
02-18-2008, 00:00
Meaning what, exactly?

Just smart with age.:)

WalkingStick75
02-18-2008, 09:53
When I left Springer in 1975 I carried about 50 pounds not including my blue jeans, leather wallet with a chain connected to my leather belt. Now I complain if I go over 40 pounds.

Once met a guy at Greenleaf Hut complaining that his pack hurt and wanted some help adjusting it. I seriously could not move it! Asking what he was had in it he pulled out canned goods, a six pack of beer a one burner coleman stove and a lot more! I was impressed he made it up to the hut.

rafe
02-18-2008, 10:01
When I left Springer in 1975 I carried about 50 pounds not including my blue jeans, leather wallet with a chain connected to my leather belt. Now I complain if I go over 40 pounds.

50 lbs. is nothin' for an 18-year-old. ;)

Fiddleback
02-18-2008, 10:23
IMO, low teens or less is ultralight.

Yeah...I've always considered 12lbs to be the top end of ultralight...but then all that the definition really does is to support conversations like this one and refine the stereotyping.:D It also serves as an elusive personal goal but not one I obsess on.

As for carrying things that might be needed...I don't recall any backpack where everything I carried was used. Still, there are certain classes of rarely used items that are carried everytime, e.g.; first aid and medicines, foul-weather gear, a light source, etc. But one has to draw a line...I don't carry a defibrillator, for example (I wonder if those things can be self-administered?:D).

Over time, lines are drawn. I no longer carry field guides, big flashlights, pounds of camera gear, six-pound sleeping bags, metal canteens, 'cook kits', pound-and-a-half stoves and their pound-and-a-half fuel bottles, candle lanterns, Readers Digest, a hatchet, extra jeans (!), and five pounds of food and trail snacks for each day. Looking back, it's surprising I was able to keep my packs under 40lbs. And surprising I didn't make the move to lighter ones much sooner...I think going solo pushed me hard to the ultralight dark side.

But I still pack too much trail snacks.:o

FB