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UL Eye for the Overburdened Guy
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John Sabol
(Just_John) - F
UL Eye for the Overburdened Guy on 03/21/2006 14:30:11 MST Print View

Good afternoon.

I have been lurking on this site for about a year. After a really bad trip on a simple overnighter (caused mostly by poor decisions on my part), I have had to reassess my passion for all things backpacking.

In the past, I have lurked quietly here, taking in as much of the information on this site as possible. Still, I ignored your reasoning for persuing lighter loads, sure of the fact that you are all lying when you decree that you sleep like kings and queens with nothing more than a single sheet of Tyvek and 36 inches of 7 strand.

While my feet healed over a six week period, I came to the conclusion that I can no longer continue to punish my body, carrying 40-45 pound loads for a simple weekend trip. Further, I concluded that I have been extremely close minded, swearing on all that was holy that it was not possible to be comfortable in camp without bringing the kitchen sink.

Well, I have seen the light. I must either give up backpacking, or get serious about cutting some major weight.

So here is my proposal. I can irritate everyone on this board to no end by asking an endless number of questions which have been asked a million times


I can take pictures of my current gear, weigh everything, then throw myself at the mercy of the board for a complete gear makeover.

I do have a few preferences and some special considerations. Still, I am curious as to what can be accomplished with the forums' collective knowledge to convert an experienced novice (aka mere middle aged mortal) carrying way too much weight, into a happy BP'er again.

I'll create a gear list with weights. We can deal with each item, vote to keep it, alter it, replace it, or fling it. I'll add the new items to the list and we'll see how far we can take it, to lighten my load while remaining comfortable on the trail and in camp.

So how about it ? Is anyone willing to help and have some fun with this project ?

It's got to be better than yelling at me for not using the search function when I ask questions like,"What the best UL backpack ?" or " What's the best tent/sleeping system?"

Edited by Just_John on 03/21/2006 14:31:13 MST.

Laurence Daniels
(GNR) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: UL Eye for the Overburdened Guy on 03/21/2006 15:44:39 MST Print View

Sure, just post your gear list in the "gear lists" forum and you'll probably get some feedback...I'll check out the list if you post it. Welcome.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: UL Eye for the Overburdened Guy on 03/21/2006 15:47:23 MST Print View

Excellent! This is gonna be great. I was where you were 18 months ago, and it's a lot easier than you think. Going lightweight doesn't have to be uncomfortable, either. Honestly, I simply accepted that backpacking hurt, because it had always hurt since I was a kid. I just put up with it as the price of getting into the backcountry. But that has changed! I've cut my load significantly, found shoes that don't give me blisters, and I sleep the best I ever have in a hammock.

The search facilities on BPL aren't so great; you might have better luck using Google and adding "" to the search query. Also, read the BPL articles. Most of the gear discussions are still relevant, since gear doesn't evolve that fast. I'm still in the "lightweight" phase, and contemplating "ultralight". But there is certainly a lot of expertise here on BPL, and almost all of it is friendly. It's sure been helpful to me.

Be sure to let us know where you hike and in what season/weather.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: UL Eye for the Overburdened Guy on 03/21/2006 16:01:32 MST Print View

I was carrying 40 pounds a year ago. then for about 6 months I narrowed it down to 20 by myself, then found BPL. I cant beleive that I am now carring under 3 pounds for a summer fast pack. when less than a year ago I carried 40 and could not go more than 10 miles a day.

Of course, noone expects you to go as light as I have, or hike over 30 miles a day. but You can easially get under 10 pounds and hike near 20 miles a day.

once you post a gar list, it will be easy for us to give advice. But you can look over all the SUL articles on this site and others gear lists and you will learn alot.

John Sabol
(Just_John) - F
Thank you ! on 03/21/2006 19:23:00 MST Print View

Thanks everyone.

I just got done weighing evrything with USPS scale and I am astounded !

30 LB baseweight before food and water. Considering that serious water is carried (I hike in Arizona), 40-45 pounds shows up really quick.

I'll move this to gear lists as instructed and give some details about how and where I hike.