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  1. #1
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    Default Rating how long gear lasts

    I was just watching a video of Linthikes going through his ultralight pack.

    One thing he said struck me as profound in some sort of way.... and I thought it might spur an interesting discussion. He pulled out his polycro ground cloth
    said, I get about 1,000 miles out of these.....said under the context that they last a good long while....
    I've heard other hikers talk about life of things in terms of miles too....mostly shoes, but that makes more sense.... a mile is a mile with shoes....
    but then it struck me....
    but with other gear.....a mile doesn't mean much

    now I know nothing about this guy really, except that he's some extreme long distance guy.
    but I could just tell by the way he talks, and just the way he carries himself, that he's experienced.
    My guess is he covers some insane number of miles per day....
    so
    while that 1,000 mile number sounds HUGE to a guy like me..... it's like forever.... to infinity and beyond....
    it's probably not really all that many uses....

  2. #2

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    "It depends"

    Just say 20 miles per day, that's 50 nights to do 1000 miles. A polycro ground cloth may indeed wear out after 50 nights, especially if you are not very selective where you pitch your tent.

    A lot of it is how you treat your gear versus what it is made of, although that does play a part.

  3. #3
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    I met Lint in 2010 on his second AT thru and can safely say he is the real deal. As far as rating gear by miles can be somewhat useful for gear you use everyday like shoes, socks, pack, sleeping system. Not as useful for other gear like raingear and tent, unless you use it every night. Going back to Lint, he can probably cover more miles per day than the average hiker. So his days on the trail will be fewer for the same distance. I started using a polycro ground sheet this year. I can see where it will have a limited life span, but for the cost I don't mind.
    More walking, less talking.

  4. #4

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    Shoes = miles walked
    Socks = miles walked
    Tents = nights spent
    Other gear = seasons used

    I work at an outfitter and this usually makes the most sense to a customer no matter how far or fast they're gonna walk.

    Example:

    I have 200 nights in that tent and it's still got another 50 in it

    I have 440 miles in a pair of those shoes and I can get another 100 out of them

    I've used that pack for 5 seasons now and it needs to be replaced

  5. #5
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    Default

    It is the fault ultra-light movement of the last 30 years. New space age materials were developed that allowed the 44 pound pack I hiked the trail with back in 1968 to become the 24 pound of today. Durability was center stage for hiker needs, it was all canvas, wool and cotton. I still have some of that stuff. I wound not dream of using it. I was happy to surrender it for light weight. But, we are always pushing the frontier when it comes to lighter gear and we sometimes go too far. Some of the new ultra light stuff is not only too expensive but too flimsy to stand up to the trail. So we have to be careful when we spend all that money for ultra-light.

  6. #6

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    I would say that for the group of folks concerned enough about weight to be looking at lightening their load, there is a pretty average MPD. 15-20 miles a day is pretty average I would say. That being said when I hear someone say they have carried something X number of miles I'm not sitting there with my calculator trying to see exactly how many days they have used it. I try and compare most gear life to that of a thru hike (2000 miles) and if a thru hiker can finish his hike with a piece of gear that he started with then I deem it a good piece of gear. If he is still hiking with it after his hike, or on a second thru hike then I give that piece of gear a "wow that's a good piece of gear ya got there". So now after saying that as well if someone says they have 1000 miles on that there piece of gear then IMO it just shows that the gear has some potential to go the distance. I would say that the item I have carried the most miles would be my crocs which I have had since I started hiking.
    Trail Miles: 3,918.6 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1 Completion: 2004.8 - AT Map 2 Completion: 265.0

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by moldy View Post
    ...Some of the new ultra light stuff is not only too expensive but too flimsy to stand up to the trail. So we have to be careful when we spend all that money for ultra-light.
    And NOT be dicks about returning stuff to vendors when we knew it was flimsy.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by moldy View Post
    It is the fault ultra-light movement of the last 30 years. New space age materials were developed that allowed the 44 pound pack I hiked the trail with back in 1968 to become the 24 pound of today. Durability was center stage for hiker needs, it was all canvas, wool and cotton. I still have some of that stuff. I wound not dream of using it. I was happy to surrender it for light weight. But, we are always pushing the frontier when it comes to lighter gear and we sometimes go too far. Some of the new ultra light stuff is not only too expensive but too flimsy to stand up to the trail. So we have to be careful when we spend all that money for ultra-light.
    It's true that ultralight gear takes some experience to use. I don't mind being s little more careful with my gear if it lightens my load. I started off with an 80 liter Arc'teryx Bora pack and carried 40 lbs. I was able to carry it about 8 to 10 mpd. Now I hike with a 10 lb base weight and I get to see SO MUCH MORE. I can hike 2 or 3 times the distance and see 2 to 3 times as much. I feel pretty lucky to be living at a time where cottage industries are putting so much focus into lightening a pack.

    Silnylon, dyneema, xpack, robic...there's been so many materials coming out that are light yet bomb proof. I have a silnylon tarp that is almost 18 years old and has maybe 2500 miles on it. I just retired it in 2016. Impressive

  9. #9
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Most of my gear is well-used but I rarely actually wear gear out (clothing being the exception). I normally upgrade/replace before it gets to that point. For example every 3rd year or so I will replace my thermorest air mattress. I have had a mattress separate at the baffles and had to sleep on a basketball for a few days until I could replace it. To make the expense more tolerable, I allocate a set amount each month for hiking gear in my budget. My still usable old gear is generally given away to people that have expressed an interest in hiking.
    Lonehiker

  10. #10
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Circa 1974:
    Still functioning:
    REI Goose down sleeping bag
    Jensen Pack made by the Hippies in Victor, Idaho
    SVEA 123 stove and SIGG Tourist cookset and fuel bottle
    Tuolumne tent by The North Face replaced under warranty. Replacement still in use by a friend.
    Camp 7 Down vest and synthetic sleeping bag still in use
    Circa 1994:
    Dana Design Terraplane backpack, Garuda Atman tent and Western Mountaineering Antelope Super DryLoft all still in service. I spent last night in the Antelope.
    The gear has lasted longer than several of the companies.
    Wayne

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Circa 1974:
    Still functioning:
    REI Goose down sleeping bag
    Jensen Pack made by the Hippies in Victor, Idaho
    SVEA 123 stove and SIGG Tourist cookset and fuel bottle
    Tuolumne tent by The North Face replaced under warranty. Replacement still in use by a friend.
    Camp 7 Down vest and synthetic sleeping bag still in use
    Circa 1994:
    Dana Design Terraplane backpack, Garuda Atman tent and Western Mountaineering Antelope Super DryLoft all still in service. I spent last night in the Antelope.
    The gear has lasted longer than several of the companies.
    Wayne
    Tuolumne was my tent of choice from 1980 to 1992 and used extensively for a couple thousand bag nights. Here it is in action in Sumter NF SC---



    Back in the old days we didn't carry cameras much and so vintage gear pics don't exist.

    My old North Face Ibex down bag got me thru 21 years of near constant use.

    And my old North Face BackMagic pack is still hanging in the garage.

  12. #12
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    My only complaint about the Tuolumne was the drawstring tunnel entrance. Otherwise it was a bombproof shelter for 1 or 2.
    Wayne

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