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First things first!
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Paul Martin
(bearded1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
First things first! on 03/03/2009 08:28:02 MST Print View

Sometimes life hands you the answer you didn't want ot hear, but you know is right.

I made the realization that the gear-buying frenzy that I'd hoped would happen in order to lighten my load will not do as much good as taking off the excess weight I'm carrying around my torso daily. Also, economics being what they are, gear is not in the immediate future.

But this is okay. I need to build up my endurance and strength anyway, and taking off spare weight will always provide a good return on imvestment. So, I have started running again and hope to build myself up to where I can do some serious trail running. I am also looking at what I can do to reduce pack weight without spending money. As well, I am on my 3rd UL backpacking book, thereby educating myself first before spending. All-in-all it's a workable program that I'm sure I will be happier with in the long run (pun intended).

A couple questions with this in mind...

Any trail runners out there? What is your best free weight-saving tip?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: First things first! on 03/03/2009 08:51:31 MST Print View

Kinda hard to answer that question without knowing what you already have...but I think you're on the right track by starting with a focus on yourself. Get out there and run, get strong, lose weight...spending lots of money to shave 5 pounds off your pack won't matter so much if you're really fit.
I used to be pretty into racing road bicycles...I'd see this all the time; someone gets the idea that a $2000 wheelset will make them faster when they could be training so much smarter for much better returns....
I almost got caught up in this with the 40% off frenzy at backcountry.com...I was about to lay down $135 to get a GoLite quilt to shave 8 oz. off my current, perfectly good bag.
But why???
What's 8 oz.? I figure I'll try and commit to stepping up my running mileage instead. 3 months from now it'll pay a much greater return than 8 oz.

As for free ways to lighten your pack, start with a look at each item in your kit and ask yourself the following:
1. When, if ever, was the last time I used it? If you're not sure, dump it.
2. Is there something else in my pack that serves the same purpose? If so, take the better/lighter one. Don't carry a bunch of spare stuff.
3. An UL kitchen is really easy/cheap/almost free to make. Go get a Heineken can for a pot, make a cat can stove, get some esbit tabs, etc. Dump lids and use foil.
4. Look at other people's gear lists.
5. Go buy cheap alternatives! You don't have to have a super-duper spinnaker tarp to go camp- go buy a plastic tarp and get out there...

Edited by xnomanx on 03/03/2009 09:03:14 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: First things first! on 03/03/2009 18:16:15 MST Print View

"What is your best free weight-saving tip?"

Skip the stove, fuel, pot, cup, spork, etc and go cold food.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: First things first! on 03/03/2009 23:14:16 MST Print View

Makes me wonder if Tom ran a prison camp in his former life...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: First things first! on 03/04/2009 18:16:20 MST Print View

"C'mon, Ben. You know how skinny I am. I was one of the inmates. The sick part is, I got to like it... ;-} But, ya gotta admit, it's cheaper.