RE: [John Muir Trail] So for those of you who have gone ultralight
- Q: What was the catalyst for getting you there?A: Watching the (amateur?) UL crowd suffer, sort of. (cheers and apologies to those who do it right)I'm kind of in the middle, best of both worldsYeah, I know there are lots of totally competent UL folks that get by easily with cowboy camping and a poncho that does five different things; they "heat up" water with a little tablet and call it "hot" and they move like lightnin' and damn, I'm envious, but . . . those are the good guys––the Skurka's and other bad-ass and willing to suffer for a lot less weight and . . . I know they will all come at me saying, But I don't suffer . . . and it's all relative.If you do UL right and none of it's a drag, then that's great . . . you actually get your water hot, you don't mind the bugs, you sleep like a queen and you do 20-30 a day, with a smile . . . but . . .I've seen enough people out there, experimenting and suffering when they shouldn't be. My favorites are the ones with the ultra-light tents that need to be "guyed-out" . . . I can set up my free-standing REIQuarter (3.5 lbs?) Dome in just a few minutes and toss everything in it, while a few people I've been around, end up taking half an hour or more and then some, to figure out where and how to best set up their 11 ounce tent.My biggest and easiest changes were in the pack and the sleeping bag. I went from a 7.5 pound (empty) Dana to an almost three pound Granite Gear pack. I went from a 5.5 pound Expedition worthy bag, to a barely two pound bag . . . that I am not that happy with, but it gets the job done.Nothing beats a stove that works every damn time you fire it up . . . you are spending a lot of cash on food and fretting over how to package it to get it all in your canister and then . . . you're going to trust it to some little pellet, or you're ability to wander around and select the right twigs to burn.Again, I've watched in amusement and heard 'em say . . . It worked great in my backyard or kitchen . . . and yeah, there are the pros and the, I can get by with this, crowd . . . but I've lent my stove out to a few people on a few less than ideal nights ( a little breeze in the trees) or watched as they chewed through something that wasn't quite cooked.MSR whisper-lite . . . I suffer the weight and enjoy the hot water/food.If I just had the bucks, I'd get it even a few pounds lighter, maybe, but I still wouldn't go the total UL way . . . I love the comfort a little weight brings me. I guess the bottom-line is know what you're getting into when you go UL and know how to use it . . . and I've said nothing new.I was camped a few years back in a nice cozy, solitary spot and I suddenly had an intruder . . . he was out on his first day and he had himself equipped with some fine, light, gear and I suspect he just had a lot of bucks and thought, buy the best (i.e., lightest, cutting edge) and it'll all be fine.Sure enough, as the darkness came upon us and the headlamps came out, I watched as he pranced around his tent, seemingly not a clue as to which part of it to secure first. Trial and error and error again, until I finally crawled into my tent to watch his shadow moving, ducking . . . he finally seemed to have it all worked out and got in, lights out . . . minutes later, after moving around in his tent, it all came down, not having been "guyed-out" right in the shallow soil . . . okay, you had to be there.Bobhttp://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480_
- I'm working at Ultralight because I am 71 years old, and can't do much real backpacking unless I carry very low weights. So, this can be sort of an alternative view of the John Ladd approach, except that the emphasis is on being nearly as light as possible, or it can't be done.
--- In email@example.com, "Allen C" <acurrano@...> wrote:
> Good advice for sure!
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, greg padgett <gregp701@> wrote:
> > Biggest thing I've found is that the pack needs to be able to carry everything comfortably.If I'm carrying upwards of 30 pounds then give me a pack with real suspension. Hanging 35 pounds from your shoulders all day will turn any hike into a death march.
> > I say save weight anywhere you can and feel comfortable doing so but not at the sake of being uncomfortable or unsafe.