Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution


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Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/08/2010 09:58:19 MDT Print View

Backpacker Mag, July 1982

Download the 2.7 mb PDF file stored atmediafire.com (link will open in new window).

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/08/2010 10:11:28 MDT Print View

Great stuff. Interesting for me is that many of the shelters, from obviously mainstream manufacturers of the time, are reasonably light compared to today's mainstream offerings. In many cases, lighter! May have something to do with the current lifetime warranties - manufacturers have to build heavier, more durable gear (?).

Ben Smith
(goosefeet) - MLife

Locale: Georgia
July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/08/2010 12:47:45 MDT Print View

I want one of those 14 oz Marmot 25 degree down bags for $229...

How is that even possible?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/08/2010 13:16:36 MDT Print View

I have to comment!

That article was the one that got me started into UL backpacking in 1982. I must have been a tiny child at the time.

That download file was strange for me. Every time that I tried to print it, the first three pages would print, and then it blew away my printer spooler. The only way I could get it to print was to keep restarting the printer spooler, and then printing the article two-up. Strange.

--B.G.--

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/08/2010 18:45:15 MDT Print View

Wow a blast from the past! I was a sophomore in high school when this came out. Printed it out just fine. A lot of companies not around anymore. When was the last time you had a 7 and 7?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/08/2010 19:05:12 MDT Print View

I noticed the add too

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Re: Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/08/2010 19:08:52 MDT Print View

Of course you would!

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Another culture on 06/08/2010 19:29:35 MDT Print View

I especially liked the beginning where Nepalese and Mexicans were discussed. When you visit the Great Wall in China villagers in their 60's attempt to escort you for half a day just hoping for a chance at selling you a book at the end. Watching the loads of pop and water carriers gives you pause. Easily 60-80 lbs.Hardscrabble is barely adequate to describe the things I saw in China. I also think that the first attempts at lightweight gear benefited from a first take on the problems. There was light gear even in the early 70's. And I'll never forget Ray Jardine's discussion of plastic tarps which he was exposed to when he worked as a guide or instructor.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
wow we need that revolution again in the mainstream on 06/08/2010 20:19:49 MDT Print View

the weights on that gear is the same or lighter than gear that is almost 30years new. its all the features that the brands tell us we need. the blue kazoo on that is 2lbs, now its 3lbs. the tents are in the 4lbs range, now there all 5lbs. imagine if the people who owned all those companies back then didn't sell them off. All the gear might be like that but lighter. but I guess making money from features and add on items was more important than anything else in most cases.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
They will buy it anyway on 06/08/2010 20:44:16 MDT Print View

I confess this is an analogy ,but 20 years ago I plunged into a different but analogous realm with lots of human labor. The audience didn't know what they were buying. Had I continued the next gen would have been the cheapest and easiest. Overtime it is clear that monopolists eventually dominate . Mostly inertia and a failure to challenge the models. But it costs nothing to shake it up.

will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
The Superlight Challenge on 06/08/2010 21:14:04 MDT Print View

anybody know a bit more information on this? season, exact route? it would be cool for someone to do this again.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: The Superlight Challenge on 06/10/2010 09:43:29 MDT Print View

Who still has gear that is on those lists? I still have my North Face Gold Kazoo. Anybody else?
As an aside, I was working in the outdoor retail business at that time - used to know Fred Williams, had a friend who cut fabric for Moonstone - and the shops I worked in could never sell any quantity of the lighter packs that came out then. Sleeping bags, yes; tents, to some degree; but the light packs just wouldn't move - everybody thought they were too flimsy.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: The Superlight Challenge on 06/10/2010 10:00:35 MDT Print View

A lot of the gear on those lists was some prototype made specifically for this purpose. So, it is unlikely that you are going to find much of it still floating around.

Immediately after reading that article, I purchased my Feathered Friends Swallow sleeping bag, and it still looks almost like new.

--B.G.--

Zack h
(want2belite) - F
Blue-wing on 06/10/2010 14:06:18 MDT Print View

That airlift got me thinking...granted its only 42" long...but 11oz for something with a modular feature doesn't seem bad for the materials available at the time...I mean heck...the NeoAir small is what...46" long and about 9 oz...i have no knowledge of the materials integrity but hey....

reminds me of something my uncle used to say. He pretty much specialized in Model A restoration and well vintage customization (not like new crate motors, but say custom parts that were available in say the 50s and 60s). Anyway, he would tell me about other car manufacturers who had air ride, power steering, advanced wiper systems years and years ago but were virtually forgotten about....'Nothing is new under the sun' is what he'd say...

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: The Superlight Challenge on 06/11/2010 17:40:20 MDT Print View

Bob - Not thinking of the lists for the "Challenge" - I know that stuff was mostly custom, since the guys were in the biz. I meant the lists in the main article, of tents, packs, etc.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/12/2010 09:25:41 MDT Print View

Reading this makes me want to grow out a "Magnum" stache :)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/12/2010 10:07:50 MDT Print View

A lot of that article read like it could have been written last week. I depth and informative, and intelligent. Too bad they don't adhere to this model anymore.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/12/2010 14:03:57 MDT Print View

Yes, Ken. That article was written back in the day when Backpacker still had its credibility. That was back when I still subscribed.

--B.G.--

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/12/2010 14:12:34 MDT Print View

I remember reading that article when it was originally published, and thinking "What a great idea".

Reading it again made me wonder whatever happened to Sierra West?

Adam Kramer
(rbeard) - F

Locale: ATL, Southern Appalachia
great cover on 06/13/2010 06:18:19 MDT Print View

time to change mine

Edited by rbeard on 06/13/2010 06:19:16 MDT.

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - MLife

Locale: New Zealand
Does anyone have the Backpacker July 1982 Superlight Revolution article? on 02/19/2013 16:07:14 MST Print View

I just tried to download the backpacker article from Mediafire, but the article has gone. Google Books has a large number of Backpacker issues but not the July 82 edition.

Could someone please email me a copy of the article.

Bradley Thomas
(bthomas) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Mediafire down? on 02/22/2013 02:54:48 MST Print View

Or share a working link to download?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Does anyone have the Backpacker July 1982 Superlight Revolution article? on 02/22/2013 12:38:43 MST Print View

I believe that is copyrighted material.

--B.G.--

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Does anyone have the Backpacker July 1982 Superlight Revolution article? on 02/22/2013 13:11:28 MST Print View

Not sure how far back their stock goes or if they reprint but here's the info from backpacker.com

"If you know the exact month and year of the issue you want, call our customer service department at (800) 666-3434 to order it. Back issues cost $7.00 each."

Bradley Thomas
(bthomas) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Back issues on 03/04/2013 14:56:11 MST Print View

Apparently Backpacker's available issue for back order only goes back to 2009. Image to try contacting google next.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Does anyone have the Backpacker July 1982 Superlight Revolution article? on 06/18/2013 06:47:00 MDT Print View

I have it as a PDF PM if you want a copy.

Edit: include your e mail address.

Edited by kthompson on 06/18/2013 20:10:03 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: July 1982 Issue of Backpacker Magazine - Superlight Revolution on 06/18/2013 21:23:12 MDT Print View

Sam, Thanks for posting this!

JJ Willcoxon
(H2Oboy) - M

Locale: Midwest
What a blast from the past on 06/19/2013 13:53:16 MDT Print View

Special thanks to Ken Thompson for the assist on the *.pdf. It was nifty to return to the past, if only for a brief read. Where do the years go?

kevin campbell
(rockymtbiker) - F

Locale: Michigan
f on 06/21/2013 10:16:51 MDT Print View

I had a friend from highschool go into this industry in the early 80s. I saw him in about 88 or so, and he was all jacked up about this movement of light weight packing. Funny to think about it now...

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - MLife

Locale: New Zealand
The more things change, the more they stay the same on 06/21/2013 16:51:34 MDT Print View

Thanks Ken for forwarding on the article, it was a very interesting read.

What particularly struck me was that 30 years ago the gear solutions for going lighter are pretty much the same as we have now, and the only real advances made in the 30 years since has been the selection of materials available now is greater.

The superlight challenge gearlist in the article stands up well compared to my own UL gearlist for 3 season tramping and is lighter, my only justification is I don't tramp in the Sierra's ;-). If we compared the same gearlist to that shown in pt.3 of Will's recent articles on Mountain-Superlight, the only real difference is in the choice of materials used, i.e. Cuben wasn't around 30 years ago.

Another thing to strike me was (and it should of been obvious) is that (some) people have been trying to reduce packweight long before Ray Jardine made the ultralight concept popular.

Ultimately the take-away lesson for me is that gear doesn't matter so much, it's the skills, techniques and altitudes that allow you to be ultralight, and those have never changed, and are as old and important as the hills are.

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - MLife

Locale: New Zealand
Re: The more things change, the more they stay the same on 06/21/2013 16:54:18 MDT Print View

Article available here:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3QSQU2xVN0XekpkZEZVTTBSRjQ/edit?usp=sharing

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: '82 Backpacker on 06/21/2013 21:33:39 MDT Print View

Don't forget to log in or it will look blank. Thanks Barry.