Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?!


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Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 11:44:23 MDT Print View

I ran in to a "that guy"... you know the one who's cutting toothbrushes and filing down his teeth to save weight.

He was up there with what I would call a fanny pack and a water bottle. Giving me some crap about me having a tent and a pad and how I carry too much weight.

The dude had a beer gut with about an extra 60lbs in it.

So here's what it made me think... Is it even worth it for an overweight person to go UL? Wouldn't they be just as happy joining a gym losing that extra weight and carrying a pack with a Coleman car camping griddle out in to the backcountry?

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 11:46:28 MDT Print View

Everyone has their own way, and that's cool with me as long as it is not harmful (Don't be too literal here).

Should have been cool with him too. As far as something is worth it or not, people just do what makes them happy :-)

Edited by arichardson6 on 07/30/2009 11:49:20 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 11:57:27 MDT Print View

I can't remember if I read it on these forums pre-membership or somewhere else, but someone made a similar comment wondering why people would obsess about packweight and ignore the 10lb spare tire they were carrying around their middle. It was a lightbulb moment for me, as I had reached the age where I couldn't just eat whatever I wanted, not do any extra exercise, and maintain my college weight.

Your knees/ankles feel the extra weight whether it is on your back or in your middle. I say this as someone who's watched his Dad have both knees replaced after too many years of carrying around 50-60 extra pounds.

It's definitely 'worth it' to cut your pack weight even if your BMI isn't perfect, but body weight is definitely another place to look at trimming some 'base weight' pounds.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 12:17:39 MDT Print View

Don't be so hard on people.

Say you're horribly out of shape- no strength, no cardio, overweight, skinny, bad knees, whatever.

Let's say your physical condition is such that hiking only 4 miles with a 30 pound pack is all you can handle in a day.

Wouldn't carrying a 15 pound pack possibly enable you to hike 6 or 8 miles instead, thus creating a gain in your personal performance?

Sure, everyone should try and get in great shape; you'll have a better, longer life.
But that doesn't negate the benefits of a lighter pack.

It's all relative.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 12:19:48 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by huzefa on 07/30/2009 23:06:19 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 12:42:06 MDT Print View

"IMO UL is all about numbers, gear and technique. UL is not necessarily about minimalism or simplicity."

You're right. It's certainly not about simplicity/minimalism when the average member here has at least 3 sleeping bags, 6 stoves, 5 shelter systems, a different pack for every season....oh, and then you've gotta sell it all off to get the newer stuff next year.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Agreed! on 07/30/2009 13:10:44 MDT Print View

UL Has benefits for everyone. Agreed! - How can it not?

If anyone I know starts backpacking I always tell them to borrow my things instead of just bying a cheap sleeping bag and a 20 dollar 14lb tent. This way they can enjoy it a bit more by having less weight and nicer gear before commiting to the expenses.

Let's face it nothing can ruin a beginners trip like a crappy overweighed (soaked) pack in a bit of rain. Then they lay there in a Spunge Bob sleeping bag in their Scooby Doo tent and freeze while the water trickles on their head Chinese Water Torture style.

To me UL just means getting the best quality gear for my system I can afford to remain within my comfort zone both in terms of weight and luxury. Luxury being a loose term because I think a sleeping pad is a luxury and I enjoy it every night.

To me it was a light bulb moment is all. Yes the guy may have had all of 6lbs of things with him but he was still carrying more weight up the hill than I was. So I guess I just wanted to share that and say... I need to cut a few more oz off my base weight :) ...ok ..o I can probably trim off lbs. :)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 13:12:26 MDT Print View

OK, so if you ran into me on the trail would you tell me that? I carry too much weight on my frame with a small pack.

I go to the gym faithfully and work out with a trainer twice a week on top of that. Yet, I am still F-A-T to most people.

Just loosing weight does NOT make you strong. Strength training makes you strong. Telling a fat person they need to "work out" is self serving, patronizing and quite frankly, RUDE.

Do you realize just how hard it is to lose weight? That to gain strength for hiking you have to gain muscle, which simply put means you gain weight in muscle as you loose fat. Loosing weight doesn't make you any stronger!

So if the dude was giving you crud, just ignore him and keep walking. Big whoopee. Just a blowhard.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 13:26:04 MDT Print View

He was probably just new to UL and psyched up about the whole deal.

I can tell the difference in an extra pound on my back, although I'm at least 60 lbs. over the ideal weight. Some people just have different genes. I know plenty of people with "beer guts" that don't drink beer at all, and they often do manual labor all day. Now, I'm not going to say they are vegetarians either. Wearing XXL, I can't compete on skin-out weight with someone that was blessed with true ULer body and wears smaller clothing sizes.

Now, I can understand the whole Aarn weight balance craze. I can walk better with about 15-20 lbs on my back than w/o anything. I'm not sure if I would ever want to get my pack weight down to less than 5 lbs. :)

A. B.
(tomswifty)
bah on 07/30/2009 13:27:47 MDT Print View

'Loosing' weight is simple. Just intake fewer calories then you expend. It really is that simple.

I guess losing gear weight is the easy way out.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Handicapped System on 07/30/2009 13:31:38 MDT Print View

I keep thinking that some other fat guy that is smarter than myself is going to come up with a system to handicap weights. Kind of like golf, but based on physical size instead. Maybe they already have and I just haven't seen it. But how can I compete with a serious ULer on weight, if my clothing weighs twice as much?

I get so frustrated when I look at a windshirt that weighs 3 oz, but I know that if I order one in XXL it is really going to be closer 6 oz!!!

A. B.
(tomswifty)
yes on 07/30/2009 13:35:01 MDT Print View

Tom, the solution for you is midriff shirts and daisy dukes.

You're welcome. :P

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Don't Get Me Wrong on 07/30/2009 13:37:40 MDT Print View

Sarah,

I understand forums as a medium make it difficult for one to express themselves so perhaps you misunderstood the nature of my post.

I was simply stating that I had a realization; here we are counting grams in our gear and forget to count the grams we bring with us in our butts, love handles etc. Myself included.

Clearly you are dealing with some weight issues and projected the frustration you felt in my direction. But I do not appreciate being called self serving and rude.

Let me start by saying "I'm not saying I do not believe you". However, most people that work out as much as you mention do and are not losing weight, fall in to two categories. They are simply not honest with themselves about their daily caloric intake and at the end of the day are simply not creating a caloric deficit or have an underlying medical issue. For example a Thyroid problem etc... I'm not an MD nor do I play Greg house on TV but it couldn't hurt for you to go visit a specialist in these fields.

Again, I want to reiterate that I was not slamming the guy (or anyone) for "being fat". It was simply a light bulb moment for me and I wanted to share it with others.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Handicapped System on 07/30/2009 13:37:48 MDT Print View

I guess the broader point would be that there's a lot more to enjoying backpacking that just having the lightest possible pack. Cardio fitness as well as fitness of the appropriate muscle groups surely does a lot more than switching from a 3 lb backpack to a 1 lb pack. Not that the two ideals are mutually exclusive. So long as I have the time, I'll happily do a some shoulder flys with handweights and some basic core work and be able to comfortably carry my 2lb DSLR than not do those things and carry a 5 oz point and shoot.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Yep! on 07/30/2009 13:40:09 MDT Print View

>Tom, the solution for you is midriff shirts and daisy dukes.

- hahah awesome!

I've been experimenting with banana thongs and a steady diet of crystal meth

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: Re: ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 13:43:39 MDT Print View

"Do you realize just how hard it is to lose weight? That to gain strength for hiking you have to gain muscle, which simply put means you gain weight in muscle as you loose fat. Loosing weight doesn't make you any stronger!"

No one said anything about strength or getting stronger.

You make a good point in the sense that in the process of losing fat, most people build muscle so it's not cutting the weight off completely. However, an overweight person is most likely going to weigh less after building the muscle and losing the fat than they did before.

The fact of the matter is that excess fat is dead weight unless it's cold or you are without food for a really long time.

Muscle, on the other hand, is useful for general backpacking purposes (and other activities).

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Yep! on 07/30/2009 14:02:48 MDT Print View

">Tom, the solution for you is midriff shirts and daisy dukes.

- hahah awesome!

I've been experimenting with banana thongs and a steady diet of crystal meth"

HaHa. I'm too modest about my beautiful bod to show it off!

There are regional differences in ancestral lines and body types. You will find more largish people in my area than you will in the Pacific Northwest. We also happen to have a lot of walking skeletons around here due to meth. I've seen a few addicts that got off the stuff and turned into their true fat selves within the first year!

Honestly, one of the reasons I backpack is because I'm poor and fat. Losing weight and keeping it off would be a full-time ordeal, and I get bored with repetition easily. If you are motivated and disciplined to spend several hours a day exercising in a gym and taking a run, good for you. Backpacking is one of the things that motivates me to get out there and get some exercise.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
someday more will be known about body shape on 07/30/2009 14:15:55 MDT Print View

losing weight isn't easy at all for some of us

the more we learn about genetics, the more we learn that many earlier assumptions were wrong - there is already a lot of new evidence in the last several years pointing to genetic factors making it easier for some and harder for others to gain/lose/maintain weight.

when i was running 50 miles per week and eating the same amount of food as my wife, who didn't run, i was still having trouble getting my weight to a reasonable level - even when I ran the Boston Marathon, I was about 10 lbs overweight per "ideal" weight guidelines and 20 lbs overweight per "ideal runner" guidelines (on a 5'5" frame), and meanwhile my wife was often having trouble keeping her weight from dropping.

i'll say it again: generalizations are always wrong ;)

i'd also say when making a point about something, it's better to point at oneself than someone else as much as possible (generally speaking)

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Yep! on 07/30/2009 14:18:28 MDT Print View

Backpacking is one of the things that motivates me to get out there and get some exercise.

I played sports in high school, and intramural stuff in college, but I always hated the idea of just running for no apparent reason, until started running in the mornings last summer specifically because it made backpacking easier/more fun.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: ULers Carrying an Extra 20-40 lbs - WHY?! on 07/30/2009 14:19:18 MDT Print View

I gained the spare tire when I hit my 50s (and after a severe ankle injury that took me out of exercise for a long time). I had three choices: 1) Naturally I tried to lose the weight. I found this do-able, but it made me feel miserable (always hungry and fixated on food), and just wasn't sustainable long term; 2) Give up backpacking because, the combo of weight gain and stuffed ankle meant I could no longer do the miles, or 3) Lighten my pack to compensate for my deteriorating joints and excess bodyfat. #3 seems the best solution for me.