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. -------------------------------
"trashing a style of tramping based off once buying a shit jacket and meeting one person who was ill-prepared for their trip." That's overstating it by a long stretch. wayno just above puts it concisely, ultralight entails an extra level of risk that not everyone is aware of, nor skilled enough to manage. It can and does come unstuck, I've mentioned two minor examples I've personally encountered by way of illustration. (Incidentally I never went back to the big heavy trad raincoat, instead I found some medium weight Paramo style jackets and have been very happy with them.) At the same time I've made it clear that less weight is a good thing. When I started out the gear we had was dreadful crap that was often more a hindrance than a help. 20kg plus loads would have been commonplace for a 5 day trip in a party. Well the good news is that modern gear has improved enormously in both function and weight. Now I'd typically set out on a solo 5 day trip now with maybe 8 - 9kg base and 12kg total. I could lose a few kg by dropping the bivvy sack, some extra warm layers, go for running shoes, and carry a bit less spare food, etc ... but I experience has taught me that I'm shaving away at my safety margin. And that's invisible to me until I need it, it would be a better bet to lose those few kg off my own body weight. :-) Hell I could shave a few 100g by leaving the PLB at home. After all I did most of my longer, high risk trips before they were invented! Or maybe the need to be highly self-reliant is just ingrained in me and I've made enough mistakes to be a more cautious in my dotage. I'm not trashing ultralight style per se; it clearly has it's place. I'd definitely do the PCT ultralight. But what I don't buy is zealots overselling it as risk free and the only cool way to tramp.
This thread has become silly.
I'd say silly and illiterate as people seem to have a very hard time reading... Who ever said you don't pack more conservative based on the conditions? No one has suggested that. So some tourists carried water in the rain...why is this relevant? Someone bought the wrong rain jacket and got wet, so that's proof nothing else works? Every experienced person I know understands the limits and associated risks of going to lighter gear and methods. They understand that if a system is based on speed, and that speed is compromised - they have a problem. If a system is based on good weather, then they have limitations on where they can travel. It's called risk analysis and risk management. Just like fast alpine climbing has risks. This is very basic stuff. Reality Check - many people are stronger and more experienced than others. They can safely do things that others cannot do. It's ok, you don't have to be offended or threatened.
*"Someone bought the wrong rain jacket and got wet, so that's proof nothing else works?"* While it would be quite wrong to call you illiterate, you may want to slow down the speed reading a bit. You keep missing things; like: (Incidentally I never went back to the big heavy trad raincoat, instead I found some medium weight Paramo style jackets and have been very happy with them.) After a bit of trial and error I found a system that's highly breathable, good thigh length protection, reliably keeps me safe on the tops in nasty conditions ... but it weighs an unfashionable 200gm than more than an ultralighter would say it should. Yet on the other hand these jackets are exceptionally versatile and I can carry one less layer than I used to. *"Every experienced person I know understands the limits and associated risks of going to lighter gear and methods."* So why the fuss when I say exactly the same thing? The point is that not everyone is a supertramper like you who knocks off 50km days without breaking sweat and it's likely they should evaluate the risk differently. *"They understand that if a system is based on speed, and that speed is compromised - they have a problem."* And those of us who have been long term contributors here have lost count of the number of threads dedicated to people who have been lost in the mountains because a sequence of adverse events that compromised them. And none of them set off on that trip expecting to die; they all *thought* they understood the risks.
OK forgive me, you found a jacket you are happy with, I'm glad we got that out of the way. I have two requests from your last post: 1. I would love to hear your definition of the term 'ultralighter', please enlighten us as you seem to understand their views so well... 2. Show me where I claimed to hike 50kms a day? Take all the time you need... So you spend a lot of time posting online, that's great. Yes, people die in the mountains, in all environments and countries. That's why I call it risk analysis and risk management. Do you understand what those terms mean? I'll give you a hand mate... Risk - a situation involving exposure to danger Analysis - detailed examination of the elements or structure of something Management - the process of dealing with or controlling things or people Where does it say you can't fuck up and die? One can understand the risks and still get unlucky, make a mistake, get hurt, encounter deeper snow, harsher than anticipated wind, etc...
*One can understand the risks and still get unlucky, make a mistake, get hurt, encounter deeper snow, harsher than anticipated wind, etc…* And with a few kg extra gear to make a safe bivvy you may get lucky and *manage* not to fuck up and die. As I said at the outset, I really don't have any problem with UL as a style. But I do find it irksome when it's keen proponents aren't upfront about the limitations and extra risks it entails.
Ul/heavy aside. The real problem for me, is the fact that the guy who posted on YouTube, and has a well subscribed channel, has only been tramping for three/four years. That's the problem these days. If you have an ego big enough, to feel confident enough, to put yourself out there on social media, there is nothing stopping you. So some fat Nat geo fan gets a couple of years under his belt, feels like an expert and starts dishing out advice to other fat Nat geo fans. Oh boy. Recipe for disaster. Even though a lot of the posters here may be a bit past their use by date (sorry for any offense). There is real miles under the belt. So advice has come from experience in real conditions in real back country. Yes times change. Gear changes. But hard yards are hard yards. I can't stand guys like the you tube poster. I hate everything about them. But I love gear, and I love keeping up to date with what's out there. I wanna trim every gram I can. Who wouldn't. But I've done enough hard yards to know where to trim what and what not to trim. The core base here, I'm guessing, are just loath to dish out advice to people who haven't done the hard yards that may potentially put them in a life threatening situation. Hence the tenancy to lay a little heavily on the side of caution. You just don't know who is reading this shit.
Hi Guys Me again. I've just caught up this this thread, and was surprised to see it still going. Expressing myself on forums is not a strength, so I'm almost afraid to dip my toes back into this one. It seems that this thread has reached a point where people can agree to disagree about the pros and cons of UL tramping. It is probably best if we leave it at that. Thanks to all those who contributed, it's a great community that we have here. Cheers, Moh
andrew skurka puts out a lot of good into about lightweight tramping he doesnt like the term ultralight, he uses ultimate hiker... although a lot of what he does is ultralight advises to cherry pick your gear according to the conditions and be flexible and make sure you have the right skills to know how to use your gear within its limitations. he is talking about conditions in places that differ from NZ varying amounts.. https://andrewskurka.com/stupid-light-not-always-right-or-better/
He’s also possibly the most experienced hiker currently on the planet in terms of miles / days covered. And the guy has a PR Marathon time of 2hr 28min, that’s impressive.
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