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Stephan Guyenet
(Guyenet) - F
Simplicity on 12/07/2005 22:22:09 MST Print View

I love simplicity on the trail. Having less gear is not just about weight for me, it's also about being able to enjoy my surroundings without having to fumble with my gear all day. The less I have between myself and my surroundings, the more connected I feel.

One of the things I've done recently is stopped cooking on trips less than 5 days. It's so liberating to me not to have to cook and clean in the backcountry, plus I lose the weight of cookware. Another thing that's helped a lot is organizing everything carefully in stuff sacks.

Does anyone else have ideas about how to simplify on the trail? I'm not a hard-core minimalist and I do like to have gear to handle any reasonable situation comfortably. I usually bring a tarp, quilt, foam pad, bug netting, minimal clothing (including one insulating piece for most of my body) and raingear, first aid and other emergency supplies (duct tape, rope, knife, etc), and miscellany like sunscreen and *BEEP* trowel.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Simplicity on 12/08/2005 10:09:38 MST Print View

Leaving cells, iPOD's, PDA's, etc. will go a long way to simplicity.

For those who always bring their cameras, lenses, tripods, etc. -- leaving ALL of them at home from time to time can help focus more on appreciating the scenery, rather than always looking for the next Kodak moment.

John Chan
Simplicity... horses 4 courses. on 12/08/2005 10:22:19 MST Print View

I like backpacking simple because it simply means I take less (weight).

For the up-coming ice climbing season though...

with a pulk sled I'm not afraid of taking some extra TENS of pounds in "creature comforts" like a Honda EU1000is portable generator, 5 gallons of 92 oct, Coleman Pro Cat catalytic heater, boot dryers, 2 100 W lamps, various rechargers, a 20 lb propane tank (full)... "creature comforts" to hardy Northerners @ -30 F, "borderline necessities" for others. ode to lightweight winter camping... a Golite Hex 3 and a 32 F bag (Arc Ghost).

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Simplicity... horses 4 courses. on 12/08/2005 10:32:20 MST Print View

What No Wide Screen HDTV? How un-civilized…

John Chan
No HDTV on 12/08/2005 11:49:21 MST Print View

Nope, entertainment is provided courtesy of the solar radiation hitting the atmosphere.

Channing Sze
(eeyore) - F
Re: Simplicity on 12/08/2005 11:56:16 MST Print View

I love simplicity on the trail.

not just the trail, simplicity at home, at work, in life in general, can be rewarding too.

Edited by eeyore on 12/08/2005 11:57:38 MST.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Re: Simplicity on 12/09/2005 21:19:38 MST Print View

A recent cover of Real Simple magazine said "ten things you need to keep your life simple". I didn't get much further.

Terry Bauer
(Flyman10) - F
Simplicity on 12/10/2005 15:15:26 MST Print View

Stephen - you mentioned no cooking. What menu do you have for this? I might try the same thing.


Craig Shelley
(craig_shelley) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Going Solo on 12/10/2005 16:54:16 MST Print View

As I thought about this, it was from a different perspective. I think going on backpacks alone leads to simplicity.

It is easy to make decisions. The lack of conversation focuses your attention on your surroundings. Sounds. Sights. You're quieter and, I think, see more wildlife as a result. I frequently don't bother to cook (at least for 3-season backpacking, in winter hot food and especially beverages are a treat and you need to at least get water from ice or snow). I never use a tent when I solo.

However, I don't like leaving the camera. I like to look for shapes, textures, interesting lighting, record water sounds, birds, animals, etc. My camera lets me record these sights and sounds.

Ultimately, I guess all of us are individuals and simplicity means very different things to each of us.

Craig Shelley

Stephan Guyenet
(Guyenet) - F
Re: Simplicity on 12/11/2005 16:17:14 MST Print View

Terry- I bring whole wheat pitas, almond butter, prunes, dried figs and mixed nuts. It's healthy and complete. If I ate meat, I'd bring jerky. I actually don't miss cooking at all. I usually supplement with fresh foods I find in the backcountry: mushrooms and greens in the spring and summer, and mushrooms and berries in the fall. Just be careful which mushrooms you eat raw.

Craig- I agree, going solo makes a trip much simpler. I've been doing that lately as well.

Stephan Guyenet
(Guyenet) - F
Filter on 12/31/2005 13:19:57 MST Print View

Here's another idea. What is one of the things we spend the most time fiddling with during the day while on the trail? Water purification/filtration. We either have to pump, mix solutions and wait 30 min, or both, several times a day. Some of us also have to stop and fumble through our packs every time we want a drink. Or maybe that's just me.

So here's my new lightweight, hassle-free, instant gratification system: a 2L platypus big zip with a seychelle filter spliced in-line.

It weighs about 6 oz total, probably a couple oz more than the lightest purification system possible, but still much lighter than your average dude's system. Plus, it couldn't get any easier: scoop dirty water into platy, suck. Plus, with the hose I don't have to put my pack down and rummage through it to get water. The flow is good; it's even fluid enough to use as a gravity filter.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Filter on 12/31/2005 14:10:29 MST Print View

Try looking in the Make Your Own Forum
3.6oz Gravity Water Filter

Edited by bfornshell on 12/31/2005 14:18:07 MST.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Filter on 12/31/2005 18:28:56 MST Print View

>a 2L platypus big zip with a seychelle filter spliced in-line.

That, along with a small in-line UV sterilizer, would really make my day.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Filter on 12/31/2005 18:33:07 MST Print View

Camelbak inline filter

you guys might be interested in this.

it is not platypus, but still cool


sorry the camelbak site is weird. the web adress dose not change when you go to dfferent pages on the site. so my link takes you to the home site

click the link then...
go to
1. Military
2. Accessories
3. Tactical Components
4. Hydrolink In-Line Micro filter

Edited by ryanf on 12/31/2005 18:47:38 MST.

Stephan Guyenet
(Guyenet) - F
Re: Re: Re: Filter on 01/01/2006 15:28:25 MST Print View

Wow, that looks pretty cool. Expensive though. I wonder how much it weighs and how many gallons it filters. The filter pore size is smaller than the Seychelle. I'd be willing to bet it's sturdier and better quality than the Seychelle filter.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Filter on 01/02/2006 02:59:58 MST Print View

Sechelle is aimed at cyst removal. That's why its pore size is larger. Bacteria can get through the Seychelle; viruses through any mechanical barrier filter. If viruses are anticipated, also employ either UV-C or a chemical means of purification.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Filter on 01/02/2006 14:31:44 MST Print View

Looks like it's also available directly from Innova:

Stephan Guyenet
(Guyenet) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Filter on 01/03/2006 00:00:51 MST Print View

Huh, that's odd. Doesn't Seychelle claim their filter removes 99.9 % of bacteria?

I wonder how much that innova filter weighs.

Michael Wands
(walksoftly) - F

Locale: Piney Woods
Frontier Straw on 01/16/2006 08:28:38 MST Print View

Has anyone tried one of these?

Once my Safewater Anywhere filter bottle wore out, I hunted for a satifacory replacement. Found the frontier straw in a little shop in Colorado and have used it twice with a 7-11 Big Gulp Bottle (Yum). Seems to work OK, but haven't seen any discussion anywhere on this product. Is there something I'm missing?

Weighs only a few ounces or a 20-Gallon life. Would think this is ideal for a weekend out if water is prefiltered through a bandana.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Frontier Straw on 01/16/2006 08:40:00 MST Print View

keep in mind that the Frontier filter is primarily a cyst/spore filter aimed more at protozoan (and larger organisms) removal, not bacteria or viruses.

if you suspect bacterial or viral contaminants then you will want to employ either a chemical (e.g. AquaMira) or UV-C method of purification either instead of or in conjunction with the filter.

basically, retaining filtration as the second step in purification, in the case of the Frontier filter or a "drink-on-the-go" in-line filter (other filters would normally be the first step in a two-step purification process), with the chem. and UV-C means of purification is only necessary if certain larger parasites (e.g. certain tape worms) are suspected to be present in the water which chems & UV-C are largely ineffective against at the dosage levels used by the hiker.

Edited by pj on 01/16/2006 08:40:36 MST.