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weight etiquite
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John Ben
(aristotle_man) - F
weight etiquite on 07/31/2009 14:31:29 MDT Print View

I was just wondering if people discussed one of the easiest ways to drop hiking weight. Body fat. I know people can be sensitive about this subject but I see some people that are 260+ lbs trying to shed ounces from their sleeping pads. This seems rather silly to me.

It would be really cheap to cut 60lbs of that and you wouldnt lose any gear.

Shawn Wandell
(stwandell) - F

Locale: Too close to lights
Ouch! on 07/31/2009 14:58:21 MDT Print View

Hey... I'm the guy! :)

Granted, I'm working from a 65lb pack trying to get a pack less than 20lbs total.

Yes, I've been spending some $ to do it. Heck, I've even stayed up into the wee hours of the night doing research. Just need a big bag of Doritos Sweet & Spicy and a Diet Pepsi and I'm set. ;)

Ok, this stuff is addictive... the gear search and quest for lightweight. And you've got my number. I'm 6'1" and easily 235lbs.

I don't eat out, but I do eat too much too late.

I can see this leading to a thread on how to reward your gear closet only when certain weight loss goals are met...

And to go with that, keep a time log making sure time spent in the gear "research" is less than time spent on the trail.

Thanks for the poke to the midsection... I needed it :)

A. B.
already on 07/31/2009 15:01:38 MDT Print View

There's already a topic on this subject. Basically, losing gear weight is the easy way out. Gear is easy to control while fat/fitness is not. I wouldn't suggest to an overweight/out of shape person to change this as they will most likely become defensive and no good will come from it.

Best to keep it to yourself and appreciate the irony internally.

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: weight etiquette on 07/31/2009 19:19:17 MDT Print View

Captain Obvious says: a heavy backpack feels heavy on anyone's shoulders. Let's leave at that, with the Captain's wise words.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: weight etiquite on 07/31/2009 20:17:04 MDT Print View

Ask yourself this:
Will asking a question get yourself punched, cause hurt to other people or other wise be pointless? Would you ask your wife about her weight? Your daughter? (If you say yes, you need to think that one out!)
If yes, then think it in your head. Social filter!!

Talking about others weight is something akin to religion and politics: it is never in good taste. It does not make for good company.

Some of us here have fought with weight issues their entire lives and while heavier than should be according to BMI charts still hike more than many skinnier folk.

I for one will never be skinny unless I starve myself, as I did when I was younger.

And men? Please, please take this seriously if you have daughters: talking about weight negatively is one of the easiest ways to have a daughter develop eating disorders!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
not the place on 07/31/2009 23:00:38 MDT Print View

The internet does not do itself well on this subject, it would seem.

There is certainly some truth to light gear being easier to acquire than a lighter body weight. There is also truth to weight being hard to loose.

It does no one any good to assume some one else is doing either.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re. Weight Etiquette on 08/01/2009 00:32:03 MDT Print View


"This seems rather silly to me."

That right there can be pretty inflammatory, as evidenced by some of the responses up above. It all goes back to: HYOH.

Edited by ben2world on 08/01/2009 00:52:18 MDT.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: weight etiquite on 08/01/2009 01:37:34 MDT Print View

"And men? Please, please take this seriously if you have daughters: talking about weight negatively is one of the easiest ways to have a daughter develop eating disorders!"

That goes for women and moms too! I think talking about weight can be done with sensitivity, respect and come from a helpful place. Rarely it's even effective. I don't think that we (as a society) should just shut up about it.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: weight etiquette on 08/01/2009 03:56:27 MDT Print View

"I was just wondering if people discussed one of the easiest ways to drop hiking weight. Body fat. I know people can be sensitive about this subject but I see some people that are 260+ lbs trying to shed ounces from their sleeping pads. This seems rather silly to me."

Given that there is currently a thread on this, was this a deliberate troll?

Edited by Arapiles on 08/01/2009 06:22:43 MDT.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
weight etiquite on 08/01/2009 08:00:36 MDT Print View

Losing weight is easy, just a few mouseclicks. The first few pounds are no problem, it just gets harder after that. I still manage to shed a few ounces now and then, but it takes some effort between mouseclicks.

Is there a backpacker on here that has had liposuction? Seriously.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Weight Etiquette on 08/02/2009 07:05:11 MDT Print View

I have a friend who went through liposuction -- I think he spent $6,000!

Prior to the procedure, I told him NOT TO waste his money. If he could get on a sensible eating and exercise routine, then he wouldn't need liposuction. And if he couldn't, then he will simply get all the weight right back again -- so lipo would still be a waste.

Did he take my advice? No. He spent the money... and now, he's even heavier than before liposuction!

Who's the guy who said "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"? I'm sure my friend had all the intentions of eating right and exercising regularly after liposuction -- but he failed to realize that whatever factors were keeping him from eating right and exercising regularly before liposuction were all still there after liposuction.

Moral: Don't try to treat the symptom -- but treat the underlying factors that are causing the symptom.

Edited by ben2world on 08/02/2009 07:07:10 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: weight etiquite on 08/02/2009 14:06:16 MDT Print View


I think that what you are asking and observing is a fair question to ask.

When I first started out on my light weight quest for the lightest kit that I could, a friend half joking said that I might be better off getting into better shape vs. obsession about the weight of my pack.

I don't think that it is so much about someone's weight, but the more important question is, "Are they enjoying the backpacking trips that they are doing with the weight they are carrying on their back and with their bodies, are they getting out to the places they want?"

Also, your statement of "It would be really cheap to cut 60 lbs of that and you wouldn't lose any gear" seems to reflect a common misunderstanding of UL backpacking principles.

Going light weight does not necessarily mean going without gear, but simply finding lighter gear to replace heavier gear. For example, my old white gas stove kit was about 1 lb with a repair kit. My 3 oz MSR Pocket Rocket is 3 oz and serves the same function.

Going lighter does not mean that I am depriving myself of gear that would like to take, but in the name of going light weight I am doing without....for me, it has been about a process of self discovery and the beauty of simplicity as I have educated myself about lighter weight alternatives to heavier, traditional gear.

That said, sure, if all of us could lose a few more lbs in the process of getting more physically fit, it could not hurt...who wouldn't want to be more physically fit?

Each of us has to be happy with ourselves and as such, we all "hike our own hike"- whatever our body weight is.

To me, it is all about trying to get some time out on the trail to enjoy the outdoors...having a lighter pack is a nice intellectual exercise in between trips and I get the satisfaction that my kit is lighter on the trail, which allows me to be less fatigued on my trips whether I travel 20 miles a day or 5 miles.

Lastly, cheaper is not what any hobby/passion/sport is all about.

Have I saved money by going light vs. buying traditional, heavier gear....maybe, but I doubt it.

It life was all about saving money, people would never buy sports cars. How many people are told, "Hey, if you love sports cars and going fast, you should think about losing 60 lbs of fat on your body before you are allowed to buy that Corvette!"

Anyway, I am not hear to beat you up about your question, because I think that it is a fair question to ask, but the answer to the question is going to be different for everyone and it is not anyone's place to judge another about it.

With that, get out and enjoy the trials with your gear, no matter what your weight is....otherwise, what is the point of buying all this gear if you don't use it?


Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Weight is weight on 08/02/2009 14:18:41 MDT Print View

I might have to side with John here, but only in a frugality mindset. I also bike race, and I get a real kick out of seeing old guys who are easily 50 lbs overweight shelling out an extra $1000 to get the bike frame that is 100g lighter than their current set up. What's 100g? Like less than 4 oz? They could lose that weight in a few days without even thinking about it. Same goes for John's example of the person carrying around 60 extra pounds who is trying to lighten up their sleeping pad.

However, I am also of the mindset that anyone who is overweight and is out exercising/hiking/biking is already doing the right thing and you then have no right to criticize them. Who cares if they want a lighter bike or pack? Maybe if they didn't have a light bike or pack they wouldn't be out at all.

David Walls
(tbird911) - F
My .02 worth . . . on 09/20/2009 18:01:08 MDT Print View

Hi All,

I wanted to add here that I am the big guy . . . I am 5'10" with 52" chest but I also wear size 48" jeans and currently weigh 275. I've always had weight issues, I'll admit, but I'm not the couch-sitting, cheeburger gobbling person that alot of thin folks assume all ovreweight people to be. My problem has been portion control and rgularity. I used to go all day and not eat, then eat a huge dinner. In addition, I used my incredibly busy work schedule and family as a pretty good excuse not to get regular excercise.

In the last 8 months, I have made some changes that are having a positive effect on all of this. We bought an active breed dog (Golden retriever/poodle mix) and I started Kayaking and day hiking. I have also started drinking alot more water and eating alot less irregularly and watching portion size. I think that I have dropped aroun 45 lbs. I feel better and I plan on dropping another 45lbs, plus I've found a rekindled love for the outdoors which led me to this forum. So finally, here's the point . . .

I'm a big guy, overweight and not a world class ultralite hiker like some on this forum. Compared to the outdoor prowess that some have, I am certainly a newbie. It seems to me that going lightweight on the gear isnt taking a short cut as hinted at earlier in the post, but rather an additional step in the right direction. If someone is having a difficult time with their body weight and trying to change or if they have no intention of losing body weight, doesnt the lower weight gear compliment either situation?

Just thoughts . . .


Edited by tbird911 on 09/20/2009 18:02:54 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: weight etiquite on 09/20/2009 18:46:23 MDT Print View

This spring/summer I hiked 25-30 miles a day for 3 months and I was still chunkier than most other women hikers. I wish I was a skinny little waif, but there seems to be not much I can do about my shape. Having a lighter pack did make it possible for me to hike so far for so long.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Weight etiquette on 09/20/2009 19:16:44 MDT Print View

This will offend some, but in most cases (if not all) it is a simple fact that if you ingest more calories than you burn , your body will store the rest ...
(you can only fill your tank with more gas than you burn if you get a progressively bigger tank..., overfilling and later going on empty does not work)
Here in Australia a DJ got into trouble recently by making the unfortunate comment that a certain local comedian could only lose weight in a concentration camp. As distasteful as that can be for some, the point is that that particular person was morbidly obese because she ate too much, nothing to do with "big bones/genetics", and that is why she is losing weight (now) by eating less and better food.
Some points that are not always considered.
People that overeat are usually not conscious that they are doing so.
Often they will quote "I have smaller portions than..." but forget about the various snacks/soft drinks they have in between.
Since leaving work, I went from 74 kg down to 68kg (150 lbs, I'm 5'7") by eating more (bigger breakfast and lunch) but also at more regular times as well as moving a bit more. My daily exercises used to be going up and down the stairs, now is long walks or a 15 km or so bike ride.
I almost never eat in between meals (including chips/biscuits/nuts ...) and again having meals at a regular time (IE dinner at 6PM and NOTHING after that) helps a lot.
Eating at 10PM is not a good way to manage your weight neither is skipping breakfast ( people that do that inevitably eat sweets or drink sugar loaded soft drinks before lunch)
Last point :try sleeping "cold" IE, leave the window open. That way you are burning calories during your sleep.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: weight etiquite on 09/24/2009 09:08:53 MDT Print View

Here's my bit on weight. If you are fit enough to go backpacking, I don't see the extra weight as a problem. Actually, the extra fat can insulate you and you could need less clothes, a lighter sleeping bag, a thinner pad, less food to take along etc. As a small light woman who easily gets cold and needs quite a bit of calories to keep going, I can see the advantages and disadvantages on both sides of the scale.

(wentworth) - F
yes on 10/03/2009 19:12:48 MDT Print View

Maybe I'm coming to this a little late, but I agree with Franco. Unless there is a medical condition, like polycystic ovarian syndrome, it is that simple.

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: yes on 10/03/2009 19:33:48 MDT Print View

Yes you came to this a little late.

(wentworth) - F
re on 10/03/2009 19:54:43 MDT Print View

Thanks Art!