Roger writes >> Yes, I know this goes against the establishment line that using a mat as a pack stiffener against your back is 'the thing', but quite frankly, I don't care. Stupid is stupid. <<
I read lots of comments on various forums that I find to be pretty absurd. For the most part I simply ignore them and go on with my day. However given the author of the comments posted above, I felt some response is warranted. Roger is, I believe, a member of the editorial staff of BPL and written numerous article and countless posts on these forums. As such his comments bring with them a certain amount of gravitas.
However, his comments on packs that utilize pads for pack frames displays a great deal of arrogance that in my mind runs counter to the whole ultralight philosophy. This philosophy calls for seeking a balance between the individual, the gear and the environment though which they travel.
Ultimately it’s a balance that only the individual can make. As individuals, we all differ in our wants and needs and our travels vary wildly over vast differences in terrain and environments. The gear we select to take us safely and comfortably through our journeys will vary significantly from person to person. What may well work for some may be painful for others.
As educators for people entering the world of ultralight, it is our duty to enlighten and inform people of the possibilities. We must undertake this task with a degree of humility and understanding. That despite the number of miles under our shoes and the number of nights spent sleeping under the stars, we do not have all the answers.
It is perfectly fine for Roger to have an opinion about where these kinds of packs work for him. Stating flatly that the whole idea of using a pad as structure is stupid, is an opinion and not a fact. Thousands of users use them quite successfully each summer.
I would hope that in the future Roger takes more care in his choice of words. If he chooses to enlighten us with what gear makes his backcountry adventures more meaningful and exciting, we are the all the better for it. However, simply dismissing an idea simply because it fails to fit his needs, only serves to limit our choices and diminish our horizons.
Six Moon Designs