A common sense approach to gear weight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVuJoZfMXi0 "Dan Becker In this video I discuss ultralight backpacking, ultralight gear, and lightweight gear and why I decided not to care as much about any of the weight any longer when I backpack" Found this on YouTube, and thought it was worth sharing. Cheers, Moh. -------------------------------
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You guys just broke my passive-aggression meter, designed by Professor John Frinks! Old sales proverb: the one who speaks last loses.
Cld you explain the John Frinks reference?
@madpom Simpsons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professor_Frink
This thread is fascinating. I tend to be on the quicker side although I'd not be surprised if I struggled to keep up with @madpom. The weird thing is that I can look at a map and estimate how far I should be able to get in an allotted time, but by the end of the day I don't have much of a clue of exactly how far I've gone and it doesn't always seem relevant to me depending on terrain. Each to their own on that, though. The GPS usually has an opinion, but as it measures from point to point (or I'm fairly sure mine does), those distances can stretch with every slightly inaccurate point.
Your GPS measures : From here to a waypoint, that's a straight-line distance. If you're recording a tramp, that's a distance along your track (not straight-line) - but be aware that the distance shown can be longer than reality because ; 1. Inaccurate points (from reflection in valleys, rogue satellites, etc) add to distance 2. When you stop (eg for lunch), the GPS will show a wandering position that can add a km or so to the total distance. As well, a setting in the GPS determines how frequently a position is measured - the amount the frequency setting impacts distance measured is variable.
It seems a lot of folks are projecting their own experiences on to others here. Not sure why it even matters if someone can walk 50k in a day or not. At the end of the day it is just an arbitrary number.
I was thinking of starting a thread with a similar title, decided to stay in the closet at that time. 'Lightweight' seems such a polarising topic. I have a tendency to go lightweight when I can, but I'm no evangelist. I have also dragged 36 kg of food and alpine gear up the Waipara and along the Haast Range. I remember my first weekend tramping trip with the HVTC in the mid '80s. I'd made a pack out of an old sugar sack by sewing a couple of shoulder straps and a waist belt onto it, shoving a piece of snow foam down for padding against my back. 45 L or so, weighed less than a kg empty and about 7 kg full when standard was a steel framed Mountain Mule (3-4kg empty?) and 12 -15 kg all up. Eyebrows were raised, they made me empty it out and check everything against the gear list on their trip card. I got the choice of carrying the club fly or a large billy and 8R primus. (I had everything on their list, and the large fly fitted in). They had a regulation amount of meat you had to contribute to the communal stew. I'd weighed mine out then cooked it to reduce it's weight to half and save blood leaking through my gear. More eyebrows raised. I think there is a sensible approach that works in NZ conditions. Some of the North American gear works and some doesn't. For me: Shorter trip: - Lightweight homemade pack made of ripstop nylon. Won't last long bush bashing but didn't cost much or take long to make. - Shorter piece of zRest foam mat for padding back of pack and sleeping on. - Lightweight sleeping bag - 500 - 750 g, depending on whether it's winter camping or aiming for a hut. - Plenty of warm clothes appropriate for conditions. Camping out in the cold it will all be on in the sleeping bag. - Bivi bag and small cuben fibre tarp for valley camping. Extra mylar survival bag to cover an injury or stuck on the tops emergency situation. Reasons for (me) going lightweight: Being able to go for it when the conditions are good, do some big days at a reasonable speed in spite of not being 18 any more. In some ways conditions in NZ are easier than elsewhere, such a widespread hut network. It's seldom you wake up at first light in a nasty camp and can't be in a nice warm hut in under 18 hours. I recall being in such a situation in North America and looking forward to at least 8 more days of tops camping in adverse conditions. The thing that cracks me up about some of the lightweight brigade is how much the spend on their gear to save weight, and then they carry water. In Fiordland! The going rate seems to be a dollar a gram. $100 more expensive gear saves you 100 g. I saw a couple of hikers in Mintaro Hut. They had all the fancy lightweight gear, carbon fibre poles and all. They were filling camelbaks with water for the climb up to Mackinnon pass. The rain was drumming so hard on the hut roof I could hardly hear myself speak... By my calculation those two litres of water were costing them $2000 each.
"In some ways conditions in NZ are easier than elsewhere, such a widespread hut network." That is definitely a good point about the hut network. It routinely saves lives; and the fact that it does tells you something about the weather. It's the combination of high winds, rain and freezing damp that can strike anytime of the year, at low altitudes often with little warning which I think characterises the challenge. I don't care how fit or fast you are, if you cannot sustain 3 -4 hours in bad conditions on the tops, long enough to make an emergency bivvy and survive the night, then eventually you are going to get bitten. Yachties have a "Rule of 3" which is pertinent here. The idea is that if you have three adverse conditions arise ... say for example, lee shore, poor visibility and then a stuck sail ... you STOP and don't proceed until you've sorted it out. In a tramping setting it could easily be ... high winds, bluffed out and then a twisted ankle. You have to be able to stop and stage a recovery somehow, get to level ground, make a shelter, get warm and then work the problem. It's my strong sense that ultralight works just fine until things start to go wrong and then you lack the safety margin to cope. I carried a traditional heavy rain jacket on dozens of trips, and barely used it. So I decided to ditch it and go with something a lot lighter. Well sods law kicked in and my first trip out with the flash new fantapants it bucketed down. I coped but it was bloody miserable and if for any reason I could not have kept moving, I would have been in trouble. As I said above, it's smart to keep a close eye on your load, there is no merit in carrying more than you have to. The trick is understanding what 'have to' really might entail if it all goes wrong.
@PhilipW So from what I am reading you are trashing a style of tramping based off once buying a shit jacket and meeting one person who was ill-prepared for their trip. If I was to operate off those principles I would have given up on humanity as a species fit to venture off the couch years ago — given the routine incompetence I have ran into in the outdoors from all "types" of trampers over the years — all the while still slogging it out with my oilskin, giant woolen jersey and 2kg+ sleeping bag because they never let me down. I am not an ultra-lighter by any means but I am also not so closed-minded as to completely denigrate another's form of tramping. What works in other countries may no work or be best practice in NZ but I believe it also doesn't mean there is not merit in some of their ideas.
going ultralight requires a higher bushcraft skillset to stay safe thats where people can come unstuck... you need to know the limitations of your gear and yourself for the conditions you're in..
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Forum Gear talk
Started by Moh_Oz
On 26 May 2019
Replies 60
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