Backpackers as astronauts
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Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Backpackers as astronauts on 10/26/2009 11:03:02 MDT Print View

Some time ago I went to a lecture given by a guy who teaches wilderness survival. He was sort of contempuous of backpackers, comparing us to astronauts, with our packs being the equivalent to space suits. His point being that we act like we are entering an environment that humans could not live in. He of course believed that this wasn't true.

After thinking about that I have agree a little bit. Obviously we are not choosing to merely survive in the mountains. We bring along a lot of "civilized" comforts. A flashlight is a luxury, for example.

But the truth is no one should be living off the public land anymore, at least in the lower 48. The environment couldn't handle the impact. If we tried to survive on the land in any numbers we would destroy it.

I do a lot packing above tree line. That really is a hostile environment to humans. I worked in the High Sierra for the USFS and got to know the archelogists. No people lived above tree line. The Indian sites were all in the montane zone, and those were summer only camps. Like us, they appear to have only visited the high regions. So maybe our packs are space suits.

Just something that has been rattling around in my mind for awhile.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Well, maybe Gaianauts on 10/26/2009 16:54:06 MDT Print View

So-called 'wilderness survival experts' aside, wilderness visitors should leave no more trace of their sojourn than a ranger patrol in enemy territory.

The only way to leave no trace is to bring all you need and take it all out when you go. Simple.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Backpackers as Astronauts-Above Treeline on 10/26/2009 17:03:26 MDT Print View

039

Not too many things can live in this environment..When I am above treeline I feel like I am not welcome at times.

Edited by Creachen on 10/27/2009 20:19:39 MDT.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Backpackers as Astronauts-Above Treeline on 10/26/2009 17:07:01 MDT Print View

Jay,
I know what you mean. It ain't called the High Lonesome for nothin'.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Backpackers as Astronauts-Above Treeline on 10/26/2009 20:21:50 MDT Print View

> Not too many things can live in this environment..

Marmots!

Cheers

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
astronauts. on 10/26/2009 21:05:42 MDT Print View

rosy finches!

pikas!

fish!

frogs!

arthropods of all description!

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Backpackers as Astronauts on 10/26/2009 21:19:16 MDT Print View

058

All those creatures mentioned are survivalist--Its amazing how they can "Make a Living" up there at that high altitude and extreme weather conditions.. Evolution is a cool thing. You would have to add Bears to that list with all there trekking around and eating moths at high scree fields.

Seems like man should only visit this region from time to time. Moonscape

Edited by Creachen on 10/26/2009 21:31:58 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Backpackers as astronauts on 10/27/2009 20:17:09 MDT Print View

Maybe that's not so far off to think of us as astronauts. We are evolved to live in certain conditions. But we also evolved to make tools and clothing and things. So we spread out to live in igloos in the arctic and adobe homes in the desert, among other places. So even the eskimos are "astronauts."

When we carry a pack into the woods, we're just traveling. All kinds of nomadic people carry their things with them.

If we lived in the wilderness, we'd build a house and start hunting and planting things. If we tried that up in the alpine regions, we probably wouldn't survive long. So we are travelers who don't stay very long.

John Paul Reid
(Reid) - F

Locale: SouthEast
astronauts on 10/28/2009 10:31:46 MDT Print View

Wasn't John Glenn the one who said that the closest thing to being an astronaut was wilderness camping?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Backpackers as Astronauts-Above Treeline on 10/28/2009 14:59:38 MDT Print View

Sometimes, you need your vacuum suit and backpack ...
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GeehiDawnS\
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Cheers