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  1. #21
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    I think the ultralight/light/traditional boundaries are too arbitrary, and unneccessary.

    They don't take either the clothing worn or the season into proper account. I tend to wear more clothing most of the time and and pack less clothing. I do this to keep my wool sweater on so it can dry out, and so only stuff like skin layers and wind layers need to go in the pack, plus some fleece in winter. That tends to make me an ultralight by packweight, even though I'm not. My total skin out weight would be comparable to ultralight backpackers in summer, lightweight backpackers in Spring/Fall, and just over that in winter, and a little more than that for longer trips with midwinter extremes. I think what matters most is whether or not people are minimalists. I consider myself a hiker in a natural and traditional sense, not a backpacker, because the essence of hiking is the hike, not the pack.

    Backpacking, at any weight, is most essentially a term for manufacturers and retailers, not for the hikers themselves.
    Rather like the way we are compelled to live in buildings today, rather than dwellings.

  2. #22

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    whats the weight class above expedition? I think im somewhere in there

  3. #23
    Registered User chrishowe11's Avatar
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    why must we all catagorize and put ourselves into different catagories? people bring what they need. we all need different things.

  4. #24
    Registered User oxxo's Avatar
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    So true!

  5. #25
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    There are two kinds of people. Those that like to categorize people, and those that don't.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrishowe11 View Post
    why must we all catagorize and put ourselves into different catagories? people bring what they need. we all need different things.
    its all a part of the competitive nature of athletes. some people don't see it as a competition. some do. some are offended by others' need to make a sport out of it.

  7. #27
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    Thanks for the article. I started backpack camping back when my son started cub scouts about 6 years ago. I started with a 6500ci LL Bean 6.5lb pack it was probably up at least 65lbs loaded since I carried stuff for both up us including a 10lb 4 man tent. I have worked myself down to a 3800ci Granite Gear pack a 3lb hammock and am hopefully going to go lower in my overall weight. my last camping trip I was at 24lbs for a weekend hike with 8 of those being water. Since we are more camping than hiking I think the added extra weight is made up in the camp comfort level.

  8. #28
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    The most important thing for myself regarding pack weight, and total weight, and body weight too for that matter, is not so much performance OR comfort, but that hiking and running are things I want to be able to do to a very ripe old age, especially as I will likely have more time then, God willing.

    So I am making an extreme effort now to drop my body weight down to a very competitive running/hiking weight. Once I've done that I really don't think a difference of 5 or even 10 pounds in total weight will matter all that much, but every bit helps, as some trips are bound to be heavier, being longer or winter or with family. Right now all trips are heavier than they should be on my back and knees and ankles and feet because of body weight, so it is more important now to reduce pack weight as much as possible.

  9. #29
    Registered User m6amba's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    The most important thing for myself regarding pack weight, and total weight, and body weight too for that matter, is not so much performance OR comfort, but that hiking and running are things I want to be able to do to a very ripe old age, especially as I will likely have more time then, God willing.

    So I am making an extreme effort now to drop my body weight down to a very competitive running/hiking weight. Once I've done that I really don't think a difference of 5 or even 10 pounds in total weight will matter all that much, but every bit helps, as some trips are bound to be heavier, being longer or winter or with family. Right now all trips are heavier than they should be on my back and knees and ankles and feet because of body weight, so it is more important now to reduce pack weight as much as possible.
    x2 JAK

    im sitting at 230lbs (body weight), and am working on losing 20lbs of body weight
    when i drop to 210lbs, i'll be able to carry a 20lb pack, and it will feel like carrying nothing at my current body weight
    but then the disadvantages might be that since i dont have the extra "insulating fat" i'll be colder, and hence, will have to carry more layers/food to stay warm....id consider that a fair trade!

  10. #30
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    Interesting article.

    I agree with one of the earlier posters, not so sure about the info from lightweight up.

    Apart from anything else, the miles you are doing seem low.

    One of the things that I think makes lightweight interesting is the way all of the gear is being looked at.

    Gear sellers are never going to embrace lightweight that much, because you do not sell a lot of 200 jackets to lightweight hikers.

  11. #31
    Registered User David@whiteblaze's Avatar
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    am using about $300 of tent and pack, with my old sleeping bag and thermarest and itll be around 7 or 8 pounds.
    Important Notice:

    Due to recent budget cuts, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

    We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Sincerely,
    The Government

  12. #32
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    I remember an egotistical writer marketeer who put on all his clothes and rain suit, barely had any food or water because he could get both as soon as he left the border and smuggly bragged about his pack weight being so little when he started....

    At the end of the day pack weight is all that matters and in this case skin out. I understand the fun of breaking it all down and categorize things but feel overall comfort is worth more than a few pounds.
    With this base weight stuff- its so misleading because all those extras(?) you don't include WILL be included when you start walking. Someone can be UUL base weight and still be carrying a traditional pack weight--with a flimsy pack. You aren't gaining anything at that point.
    Thats wrong BTW- if you think you are more comfortable then you probably will be- not knowing what your missing.
    UL "snobs" like to compare greenhorns packs stuffed to the gills (w/ food and water)- to their base weight and start making comparisons.
    About as heavy as I get loaded is 35lbs- add 5 for winter hiking- not quite traditional- old school maybe?
    I guess what I'm saying is you can shuffle the numbers to mean anything, thats marketing. Thats the need for the latest greatest but its smoke and mirrors IMO.

    There is more to comfortable walking and sleeping than just weight. I guess I don't care for the skewed comparisons.

    This is a: I've been drinkin post> Thanks for sharing Bearpaw-

  13. #33
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    Ultralight does not leave anything out which is needed, or necessarilly sacrifice comfort. It is basically just more expensive, high quality, lightweight gear. Carefully thought out and selected for performance and weight. The gear IS more fragile usually, but everything you need is there. When it comes to being ultralight, money is your friend.

    SUL is a different ballgame. Yes some SULs do MYOG, not out of necessity, but because they enjoy it. Its a passion. So do many ultralighters.

    Comparison:

    Ultralight
    pack - 23 oz Mariposa plus, ULA ohm, etc. $170
    (these are lightweight framed packs)
    pack liner - 1.2 oz $4.00
    bag- 19 oz WM summerlite $300
    Cuben drybag for sleeping bag stuffsak 1 oz
    tent- 19 oz MLD Cricket $300
    Pad- 10 oz neoair $140
    Titanium stakes - 2.5 oz $25
    Seam Sealing - 1 oz $5.00

    Total Big-4 $974 76.7 oz = 4.8 lb

    Conventional


    Kelty pack $100 5.5 lbs
    Tent $150 5.5 lbs
    pack rain cover $10 .25 lb
    Pad thermarest $80 1.5 lbs
    Sleeping bag $90 4 lbs.

    total $430 16.75 lb



    The rest is leaving behind junk you dont really need, and minimizing the weight of what you do take. Take only what you need, the lightest form possible, and only the amount you will use, and no more. The oz's do add up. Use a spreadsheet and track every ounce. Easy to get under 10 lbs base for 3-season hiking, with EVERYTHING that you need.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 07-20-2011 at 22:58.

  14. #34

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    You know,

    It's all a matter of perspective. When I was (much) younger, I carried a 100 lbs pack for 20 miles give or take per day (courtesy of our Uncle), and I did OK with that. In my forties, I'm ecstatic that I can get a base weight of 12 pounds (pre food and water), that and the fact that no one is shooting at me!

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldmikemike View Post
    I'm ecstatic that I can get a base weight of 12 pounds (pre food and water), that and the fact that no one is shooting at me!
    A couple of times I've lost track of hunting season and slept near a pond. The _uckers shoot wildly on the other side and the _ucking shot skims across the water! Lightweight was no big deal at that point; I wanted body armor and couldn't care less about the weight.

  16. #36
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    As a bike racer/triathlete and a backpacker I can attest to the fact that UL stuff does not hold up in the long run. You see all of the want-to-bes copying the elites or pros and buying the gear they use, but these guys and girls get new gear yearly, and most as they needed it. I don't want something that is going to save me a few pounds, then wear out in 6 months to a year. For me, that is not the point. Yeah, I could spend thousands on the latest UL stuff, but really, how long is it going to last?? Everyone says your pack should weigh this and you shouldn't take that, you don't need a tent or a full pad, and your sleeping bag is too heavy. But, if you are in good enough shape to carry a 40lb pack and can average 20+ miles a day, then who cares. I would rather have everything I need, be comfortable, and happy than be 10lbs lighter. It boils down to being in shape to begin with, and not trying to hike yourself into shape. I believe alot of folks spend way too much time on the gear and not enough time on the engine. Lance Armstrong could take a 35 lb bike and still ride my legs off, because it is not about the equipment.
    Tridavis

  17. #37
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    There is hiking, and there is camping.

    Hikers spend most of their time HIKING, from place to place. They want to enjoy their time on the trail. That is why they are out there.

    CAMPERS spend their time in camp. Their hiking is only to get to the campsite where they will spend time.

    Dont confuse the two things, they are very different.

    When hiking, you sacrifice comfort in camp, in order to be comfortable on the trail.

    When camping you sacrifice comfort on the trail, to be comfortable in camp.

    UL hiking achieves maximum comfort on the trail, by bringing only enough gear and supplies to provide safety and minimal comfort in camp. That is the goal That is the only goal.

    Obviously you can live with some discomforts for 2,3,5 , or even 10 day hikes. 6 months however, as in the case of a thru hike, is a different story. That is why long distance hikers need some balance.

  18. #38
    lemon b's Avatar
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    In my experience which is all I own. Pack wieght relates to age, the knees, and the weather. Plus resupply fear. When I did Ga. to my Aunts Farm in Flint Hill. She picked me up in Front Royal. in 1978 I humped close to 50 pounds. Today I can carry 5 days grub & my stuff @ under 35 pounds. Plus unlike my friend snapdragon I haul 16 oz of H2o. I figure what I carry is none of your concern. Like I'm lugging my stuff. If you get into a bind when I was a kid I'd carry you to a road. Buyt with this cell phone ****? Hike your own hike.
    Last edited by lemon b; 09-17-2011 at 20:33.

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