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Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster on 01/20/2009 20:37:06 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster

Michael Gonzales
(dynomo01) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Lightweight Diet on 01/20/2009 21:18:07 MST Print View

After a 5 day 4 night backpacking trip I realize that my 35 - 40 lb backpack with all my creature comforts can be summed up in one phrase, "The enjoyment of backpacking is proportional to the weight of your backpack."

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster on 01/20/2009 21:59:21 MST Print View

what is the "patented sit pad"?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster on 01/20/2009 22:21:03 MST Print View

no sit pad in gear list..hmmm

Scott White
(sdwhitey) - F

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster on 01/20/2009 23:05:06 MST Print View

the gear list is his

the sit pad was his buddy's

Steve Hinkle
(sjhinkle) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster on 01/21/2009 03:56:37 MST Print View

Busted. We all carry one. A long time ago (30+ years) my other buddy Danny cut up a blue pad and "patented" it. It's great for sitting on mossy logs, damp ground, snow and standing on while changing clothes. The pad weighs 1 oz on my scale.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster on 01/21/2009 06:40:10 MST Print View


Great article -- you captured one of the main reasons I (soon to be fifty) lightened my load. That feeling of gliding along the trail is addictive...

Bill Ferriot
(bferriot) - F

Locale: Ohio
Sit Pad :: Double Duty on 01/21/2009 06:57:01 MST Print View

I've found that a few pieces of Velcro can turn a sit pad into a freezer bag cozy. Not patented, though... ;)Freezer Bag Cozy | Sit Pad

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Sit Pad :: Double Duty on 01/21/2009 07:42:43 MST Print View

Steve, good article. Bill,great idea of making the sit pad multiuse. I do like my sit pad for those cold/wet stops.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
UL on the AT on 01/21/2009 08:17:56 MST Print View

Enjoyed the article. I'd just add that very few AT thru-hikers go UL. I've done half the trail. With an 18 lb. base weight (this was before I went UL), I had a lighter pack than nearly every thru-hiker I met. Base weights of 20-30 lbs are typical on the AT, even though the shelters and the frequent resupply options make UL very easy and even comfortable. It's too bad that more AT hikers don't go UL--I suspect heavy packs are a major reason why so many people who attempt thru-hikes don't make it.

Edited by sschloss1 on 01/21/2009 08:25:13 MST.

Robert Bryant
(KG4FAM) - F

Locale: Upstate
Re: UL on the AT on 01/21/2009 08:42:04 MST Print View

A UL pack weight doesn't have a major correlation with finishing the AT. The people that finish are the ones that want it. A heavy pack will knock out those who casually thought hiking the AT would be fun quicker than those who have UL packs. If you want to finish the trail a few extra pounds on your back is not going to stop someone.

Also looks can be deceiving. I was hiking in Maine this summer with my dad. One girl that we hiked with was carrying a vapor trail and all kinds of UL crap. My dad was carrying a Kelty Trekker monster external frame and his total pack weighed less that hers. We both went into the 100 mile wilderness with 29 lbs (w/food, wo/water) ready for 10 days. My dad with the Kelty and me with a Dana.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Sit Pad :: Double Duty on 01/21/2009 09:39:35 MST Print View

Dang it. You beat me to the punch. One of us better jump on getting this idea to the market so we can earn our millions. I'd just like to say mine is thinner and manufactured with bigger butts in mind.

Seat Pad Cozy

Edited by regultr on 01/21/2009 09:44:19 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Sit Pad :: Double Duty on 01/21/2009 10:40:12 MST Print View

Pffffttt! If you were truly UL you'd use baby Velcro and put the other half on your pants rear. Then you'd have your sit pad ready to go :-D Just rip it off at dinner time.


Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Re: UL on the AT on 01/21/2009 14:01:10 MST Print View

Scott, it amazes me the things that AT hikers carry. Last summer I was hiking in Shenandoah with a ULA Circuit. Pack weight with 5 days of food and 2 liters of water was less than 25 lbs. A thru-hiker with a ULA Catalyst asked one of my hiking partners if I had every thing I needed. He was shocked to hear I was carrying even a tent.

Since that trip I attended WT1-RM and have gone to a ULA Conduit. I've cut my base weight to less than 10 lbs which would put me under 20 lbs. for the same trip.

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: UL on the AT on 01/21/2009 14:09:16 MST Print View

Robert, three years ago I meet a number of those hikers who thought they could casually hike the AT. One I remember made the decision a week before departure. The last time I saw that hiker was somewhere before Tray Mountain.

My son and I are planning a thru hike in 2010. I am 56 and train daily to make sure I'm in the best condition I can be when the trip starts. I evaluate every hike I go on to lighten my pack and gear.

You are right that you have to want it, but a light pack sure makes it a whole lot easier!

Robert Bryant
(KG4FAM) - F

Locale: Upstate
Re: Re: Re: UL on the AT on 01/21/2009 15:16:39 MST Print View

Hiking the AT casually is fun as hell. Plenty of people finish the AT who started with a weeks notice. I have done 4 long hikes on the AT and never had more than two weeks serious though beforehand (its always in my head). Most of the folks that I enjoy hanging out with on the trail are the casual type(they usually end up being potheads). I had a buddy (this one was not a pothead) that I hiked with this summer who quit a engineering job with less than a month notice and started SOBO. He finished fine and is bumming around the country right now because he is going to hike the PCT later this year.

I have also seen plenty of people who have trained every day and carried the perfect gear and had their food planned down to a T who have failed.

You can't look at people who finish the trail and find any common ground between them except loving what they are doing and wanting to finish.

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Re: UL on the AT on 01/22/2009 11:34:31 MST Print View

Robert, I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Especially planning to a “T” part. There is no one thing that will guarantee successfully completing the AT. However instead of hijacking this thread let’s start another and invite both section hikers and thru-hikers to list things that made their hike successful.

Hope you will continue your comments there.

The thread is under General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion;Looking for Help on How to Succeed on the AT

Edited by CaptainJac on 01/22/2009 11:39:57 MST.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster" on 01/22/2009 12:50:10 MST Print View

Who on earth needs a sit pad if you already have a sleeping pad. I can understand if you would'nt want to damage your inflatable pad, but for closed-cell foam users???

You REALLY don't have an excuse to bring a sit pad if you are using a torso pad!!!


Dave T
(DaveT) - F
sit pad. on 01/22/2009 13:44:34 MST Print View

yes, listen to evan. he will tell you that you are wrong to carry one, and there is no possible reason to do so.

oh wait, one reason might be that a longer sleeping pad might be packed into a tube shape in your pack withe everything else packed down inside, therefore not too fun to remove (and repack your whole pack) when you want to take a five minute break. another reason might be not wanting to get your sleeping pad muddy, dirty, covered in pine sap, etc. also, if it's only 1 oz, perhaps that really doesn't matter much, or is multipurpose as padding for a pack back. i am sure there are other reasons too. i don't use one, but i see little value to telling people that there is NO REASON to bring one and WHY ON EARTH would you do that, etc.

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Re: "Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster" on 01/22/2009 13:46:45 MST Print View

I'm gonna have to disagree with you here, Evan. First, if you use your pad as a virtual frame it would be a pain in the ass to have to take it out to sit on at rest breaks and then have to fit it back in your pack. Second, even if you don't use your pad a virtual frame, it is much easier to pull out a small, conveniently packed sit pad than to dig out your sleeping pad. Also, your normal sleeping pad can be supplemented w/ your sit pad to increase the warmth and comfort of your sleep system.

EDIT: sry to repeat many of Dave T's points...i posted this before i saw his post

Edited by pedro87 on 01/22/2009 13:52:41 MST.