RE: [John Muir Trail] So for those of you who have gone ultralight
- Joe,"What is in “base weight” and what is not?"For one thing, not five pounds of water, if I read that right . . . I had to get up and go fill/weigh my main water bottle and it's 48 oz . . . weighing about two pounds, full. Sure, you can carry five pounds of water if you like, but you really don't need to, as there are plenty of places to get water along the trail and even in those stretches where there isn't a totally convenient source, I would say you should easily be able to get by with half as much water.And then again, maybe you're a big drinker and stay super-hydrated and need five gallons just to be safe (and then again, I'm standing in the kitchen, slightly full from dinner and trying to chug out of my regular Nalgene and the thought occurs to me that I could guzzle this in a minute on a hot trail day)Still, I think five pounds of water is not needed for any stretch of the JMT, other than if you plan on spending the night on Whitney, where there isn't any water and you need to both, cook and drink.I've snagged this off wikipedia:
Ultralight backpacking is a style of backpacking that emphasizes carrying the lightest and simplest kit safely possible for a given trip. Base pack weight (the weight of a backpack plus the gear inside, excluding consumables such as food, water, and fuel, which vary depending on the duration and style of trip) is reduced as much as safely possible, though reduction of the weight of consumables is also applied.
The terms light and ultralight commonly refer to base pack weights below 20 pounds (9.1 kg) and 10 pounds (4.5 kg) respectively. Traditional backpacking often results in base pack weights above 30 pounds (14 kg), and sometimes up to 60 pounds (27 kg) or more. Enthusiasts of ultralight backpacking sometimes attemptsuper-ultralight backpacking in which the base pack weight is below 5 pounds (2.3 kg).
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 19:43:09 -0800
Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] So for those of you who have gone ultralight
I guess I should know this but I don’t. What is in “base weight” and what is not? My total pack weight leaving MTR for Whitney is 41lb (9 days of food) and includes water for the day (2.5 qts –5 lbs). I have no idea if this is light (I suspect not) but it is the max I can carry. What’s in the base weight or not in?
Well put Stu and similar to my story without the "other sports and marathon running" angle. I'd like to think what I'm doing today will give me some extra injury free years on the trail. I came back to backpacking after many, many years. A trip to an unnamed major backpacking supplier resulted in the purchase of a basic, and highly expensive kit. Off I went on test run, gear shake down, that was a real wake up call. Heavy, uncomfortable, over sized etc. I dumped a lot of what I had bought--pack, tent, sleeping pad, stove, fleece top, shoes and found better choices that were certainly lighter but also more functional. A second trip resulted in some more changes as did consequent short and long range trips.
I'm currently down to about a 12lb. base weight for a JMT trip with bear canister. In the end what I carry today cost a lot less than what some UH (ultra-heavy) backpackers have spent. It's kind of humorous when I hear a generalization regarding ultralight gear--expensive, uncomfortable not safe etc. Throw out a price for a piece of gear and we'll compare. Listening to what some say it's a miracle I can even set up my 14oz shelter and survive the bugs trying to get to me through the bug netting. I wonder how my little pellets (esbit) manage to ever boil water or even how I get my stove to light every damn time I fire it up. I must be blessed that my trail runners dry out so quick at the end of a day wet stream crossings and mushy snow. I should freeze at night under my 21oz quilt on top of my 2.5" sleeping air mattress but I'm not sure if I have since I'm sleeping to comfortably to know.
I'm not quite sure where others find all these UL folks they talk about. I seem to run across a steady stream of UH folks and many don't look that happy. Unfortunately people hit the trail without much experience and without knowing there gear. I am prone to think when people move towards lightweight gear they have already done the heavy route and are more likely to have trail experience and confidence in the their gear and capabilities. I'm still looking for someone who says I'm going to start backpacking and goes UL off the mark.
But that's just my opinion.......
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 22:29:48 +0000
Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] So for those of you who have gone ultralight
I will bite as well.
I came late to serious hiking after many years in other sports and marathon running and I decided that I was not going to carry lots of weight and risk incremental damage and cumulative trauma (ie the damage doesn't show up for years) Damage to joints that would stop me getting out there in later life
My base weight is 13lb but I still don't do massive mileage days.
Hi to Bob.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, "Allen C" <acurrano@...> wrote:
> Good advice for sure!
> --- In email@example.com, 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.