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Backpacking Light @ REI = LOL
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>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Backpacking Light @ REI = LOL on 06/14/2010 22:50:35 MDT Print View

REI Ultralight Backpacking Article I found this quite entertaining!

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Re: Backpacking Light @ REI = LOL on 06/15/2010 00:05:53 MDT Print View

That's pretty bad... Although, some of the gear they mentioned wasn't bad.

Nothing wrong with a MH Phantom 32, NeoAir is good and CS UL2 isn't bad.

But why throw that in to a 65liter pack? Stovewise REI does sell Vargo Ti stoves, or even the Soto OD 1R will work...

LOL @ tent stakes = rocks.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
lol on 06/15/2010 00:43:54 MDT Print View

I'm pretty sure the author bypassed base weights and went straight to total pack weight for the definition of "minimalist," "lightweight," etc. Still, it's very poorly written.


Locale: South West US
Re: Backpacking Light @ REI = LOL on 06/15/2010 00:51:07 MDT Print View

Seems like they've made their own definitions of ultralight just to make their product offerings more appealing. Marketing at its finest.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Backpacking Light @ REI = LOL on 06/15/2010 00:51:33 MDT Print View

I love how some guy left a comment telling the author that his weight categories are "incorrect." I can't believe people take this crap so seriously. It's backpacking, not boxing. There are no official weight categories.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: lol on 06/15/2010 00:59:16 MDT Print View

"I'm pretty sure the author bypassed base weights and went straight to total pack weight for the definition of "minimalist," "lightweight," etc. Still, it's very poorly written."

Don't be silly, Larry. That article was probably written by someone who has actually gone backpacking before!

Strangely written by a spin doctor.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Backpacking Light @ REI = LOL on 06/15/2010 03:58:25 MDT Print View

Of course, REI wants articles that will spotlight their gear. I do see mention of soda can or esbit stoves.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
An Introduction on 06/15/2010 06:36:34 MDT Print View

"If you prefer a full-enclosure shelter, the lightest 2-person tent we know of at the moment is the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2, a freestanding design with a trail weight of 2 lbs. 2 oz."

REI meet Henry Shires from Tarptent. Now you know!

Mike S
(MikeyLXT) - F

Locale: Maryland
Re: An Introduction on 06/15/2010 07:56:54 MDT Print View

Honestly what do you expect? They dont contract with TT/MLD/SMD...they aren't going to promote those products. This is a retail organization not a magazine/news organization that claims to be unbiased.

I don't see much wrong with this article. Until I found this website I didn't know much about "ultralight" backpacking. That article is rather realistic to me. There aren't many people that are willing to spend $300 on a tarp just because it weighs 5oz less then one that cost $100.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
article on 06/15/2010 08:23:17 MDT Print View

There is a decent article IMO. While it may not be ultimately correct from the ul perspective on this site, it is a decent starting point for people with no concept of lightening their loads. UL is just not that applicable to most hikers, as the poster above stated the pricing issue, there is also the comfort issue. UL is a niche market, thats why the average company is not making UL products, just not a large enough segment of the market. Most products are sold to campers anyway, or people who take small hikes from camp, not long distance hikers. To go from traditional straight to ul can be a big mistake, you have to gradually lighten so you don't compromise your safety or have a terrible trip.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Backpacking Light @ REI = LOL on 06/15/2010 08:51:34 MDT Print View

Uh, REI sells gear. Obviously any article they have on lightweight gear will focus on what they carry, not what any SUL might have wet dreams about.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Backpacking Light on 06/15/2010 09:06:52 MDT Print View

I would say the author gets it pretty spot on. And yes, 30 lbs is the new "sweet spot" IMO - folks used to carry 45 lbs or so on average, so 30 is a good start for the average packer.

And the advice is solid for someone starting out on the road to being lighter.

Guys? Who cares what the final numbers are - as long as the load is lighter, that is the goal.

chris kersten
(xanadu) - F

Locale: here
REI on 06/15/2010 12:26:00 MDT Print View

Why does everyone take shots at them? Most people here have been to one and spent some money there. They have to sell items that appeal to a larger group of people and be reliable and stand up to abuse that new campers will put the products through. It's hard to make a profit if the customers rip their new ultralight tarp in half the first time they set it up.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: REI on 06/15/2010 12:54:43 MDT Print View

I do not begrudge REI their marketing. I shop there and will continue to do so.

What I find annoying generally about these sorts of articles are the statements that to be comfortable in camp more weight is required. One can have bug protection, warmth down to freezing, a book, and spare socks and still have a light pack. Look at the 1982 Backpacker Mag "superlight challenge" article posted last week. With modern materials a lot more is possible.

People don't carry 30-40 lbs on a 3 day trip in the Rockies during the summer because they need it to be comfortable, they carry because they're frightened. The wilderness rightly makes us feel as small and puny as we are, and in our very human way we bring lots of stuff along to counterbalance that. For most backpackers the comfort they find in gear has little to do with not getting mosquito bites.

As Roman Dial said, we pack our insecurities.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: re: REI on 06/15/2010 13:51:02 MDT Print View

"As Roman Dial said, we pack our insecurities."

And sometimes I pack my partner's insecurities too. Her pack is always lighter.....

Rakesh Malik

Locale: Cascadia
Re: re: REI on 06/15/2010 14:53:01 MDT Print View

"People don't carry 30-40 lbs on a 3 day trip in the Rockies during the summer because they need it to be comfortable, they carry because they're frightened."

Or simply don't know that they can get the same level of comfort, if not more, without the weight.

I can't honestly bring to mind how I found this site, but without it I wouldn't know about Henry Shires, Ron Bell, Ron Moak... therefore, I wouldn't now HAVE a Grace Duo in Cuben and awaiting a quilt.

Until this past weekend, I hadn't attempted tarp camping, and if I hadn't discovered BPL, honestly I wouldn't have had any reason to believe that it could be comfortable. (And I intentionally chose a spot in a valley alongside a raging creek full of ice-cold water because I was after a cold night, because I'll be doing a fair bit of my camping in the North Cascades at higher elevations.)

We pack are ignorance right alongside our insecurities.

shane sibert
(grinder) - F

Locale: P.N.W
REI on 06/15/2010 15:00:27 MDT Print View

They should have said one of the lightest double wall 2 person tents. Different class then Tarptent.

Edited by grinder on 06/15/2010 15:01:04 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
REI is helping on 06/15/2010 15:04:32 MDT Print View

Judging from the people I see in Colorado and VA this article is pretty good. If these folks applied whats in the article they would be way better off.
You can go light with whats available at REI people aren't even taking advantage of that. Its an ignorance problem not REI's problem. I did a mental exercise a while back and came up with an idiot proof gearlist for a ten to twelve pound baseweight that included a tent an internal frame pack and used gear that was entirely available from REI. For whatever reason people don't pay attention to the details of weight so they're out in VA in warm weather with a towering 50 pound pack.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: REI is helping on 06/15/2010 15:29:34 MDT Print View

On the whole, I find REI's UL write up quite insightful and helpful for traditional hikers looking to shed weight -- or those who simply didn't know there are alternatives out there.

Compare and contrast this to the marketing materials of many gear manufacturers who preach heavy gear for any outdoor venture -- because Mother Nature is unforgiving and survival is at stake!! Kutenay?

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Backpacking Light @ REI = LOL" on 06/15/2010 15:35:11 MDT Print View

"Under 12 pounds: Hard-core minimalists..."

"Around 20 pounds: This is "expert class" territory..."

really? I don't consider myself a hard-core person or an expert.

The Big 4: Pack, Shelter, Bag, Pad


Edited by edude on 06/15/2010 15:41:10 MDT.