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People are ruining backpacking.
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Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
People are ruining backpacking. on 07/14/2010 23:24:57 MDT Print View

Just saying a few people on this forum. When someone new posts a gear list, it seems like someone is going to tell them to ditch this and get a Tarptent and ditch that and get a WM bag. Cottage gear, cottage gear, cottage gear. Weird that all these mainstream brands that suck have actually been known to sponsor the worlds elite athletes. Hell even Andrew Skurka uses GoHeavy packs still. I understand the whole going light thing but not ever single person who gets on this forum wants to carry a piece of toilet paper, a shelter that you have to shift everytime the wind changes direction, and a ziplock bag with shoe lace straps.

And it's funny how it seems like a week after someone buys a Tarptent or a Z packs hexamid or whatever, it's up on the Gear Swap because "I need more room for my dog, my wife, my neighbor and his aunt". Maybe it's because you just realized you spent $350 and waited 4 weeks to get a piece of material about as durable as saran wrap. Like the Z pack bags saying they will only last a thru-hike. So you want to spend $250 on a bag that is only going to last 3 months with 10 lbs in it? Or the BPL UL Merino hoody that somebody mentioned they put their thumb through while taking it off. Seriously?

Back in the Army, we used to have to walk 12 miles in under 3 hours with a 60 lb, built by the lowest bidder rucksack. Metal frame, heavy nylon pack. I am starting to believe that there are some people on here who couldn't do 12 miles in 3 hours with a 15 lb pack on.

I have found some very helpful information on these forums. And a lot of you have been very friendly. But some of you...are starting to make UL backpacking sound trendy. And it almost seems like they are always posting on here. Maybe you should stop telling people their Marmot tent sucks and go outside for once and put all that high tech cottage gear to use.

And the worst thing...some people on here have over 6000 posts. And a lot of those people, the only gaps between posts are when they are sleeping. It's amazing how the outdoor world spends so much time online.

If you need me, I'll be in my North Face tent sleeping in my Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag. The sleeping bag with a full zipper in which I don't have to put on my down jacket, pants, booties, bear rug, and UL merino hoody so I will be warm at night.

Edited by DirtbagLiving on 07/14/2010 23:34:23 MDT.

William Johnson
(Steamboat_Willie)
Yarr on 07/14/2010 23:43:31 MDT Print View

"Back in the Army, we used to have to walk 12 miles in under 3 hours with a 60 lb, built by the lowest bidder rucksack. "

Yikes, shoulda went UL Service Branch. Navy has you throw it all into a seabag and then it hauls it and you the 12 nautical miles.

jk, thanks for the post.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: People are ruining backpacking. on 07/14/2010 23:45:07 MDT Print View

Choice is a good thing. Don't let me or anyone else "ruin" your backpacking experience.

I like the fact that we have an ever-increasing number of boutique, UL gear makers. I also like the fact that we've got REI and Campmor and, dare I say it, Wal Mart! I shop in all of them. Choice is a good thing. Different gear for different hikes. And different stores for different stuff.

Edited by ben2world on 07/14/2010 23:47:18 MDT.

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
As for my spending so much time online comment.... on 07/15/2010 00:03:42 MDT Print View

An open invitation to anyone in Colorado: Due to a doctors appointment, my 10 day Colorado Trail trip has been cancelled. And I'm pretty bummed about it. I love being outside more than most people do. The past 3 days I have put over 150 miles on my bike even though it's been 95+ degrees each day. So the second weekend in August, 6-8, I am free to go on a trip with anyone who wants to. I live in Denver. I don't own a car, but I will ride my bike up to 75 miles to meet up.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: As for my spending so much time online comment.... on 07/15/2010 00:08:35 MDT Print View

Sorry you feel bummed about your doctor's appointment. No excuse to be biitching at others about their online time. Seriously, bud, read your posts again. Whine, whine, whine.

Hope this will be the last of it. Peace.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Agreed on 07/15/2010 00:36:15 MDT Print View

This whole elitist attitude some members have sucks. Rich, I'm right there with you, I learned a lot from these forums because I know that if I can do 10 miles with a 60lb pack I can easily do 20 with a 15.

There are a few members on here who make a great point that as you get older or are dealing with injuries UL helps them get out.

However, there are a few armchair quarterbacks here who really need to pipe down sometimes.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
People are ruining backpacking on 07/15/2010 00:44:59 MDT Print View

The forums have changed over time. I can name several that no longer post here that seemed to be the voice of reason with respect to UL and lightweight packing. It was situation specific, not full of generalizations. Several years ago we also had a lot more of the BPL staff post, including Ryan Jordan, which provided exceptional perspective for newbies. This lack of involvement is one of the reasons that I won't be renewing my membership next month (there are other reasons but not for this thread).

Jeff Antig
(Antig)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: People are ruining backpacking. on 07/15/2010 00:55:42 MDT Print View

I'm afraid to say it but I like external framed backpacks. They're comfortable...even when I'm only carrying like 15lbs and the pack makes up for a third of it.

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: People are ruining backpacking. on 07/15/2010 01:08:50 MDT Print View

But you can only like it if it costs $450 and takes 3 years to get to you because it's made in Johnny 12 oz base weight trail runner/hiker's tin shed in a remote spot off the JMT.

I'm sorry, I had to.

Jeff Antig
(Antig)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: People are ruining backpacking. on 07/15/2010 01:17:55 MDT Print View

As long as Johnny has a good source of mithril and can forge the frame out of the fires of a volcano, I have no complaints.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
People are ruining backpacking on 07/15/2010 01:24:56 MDT Print View

>> The forums have changed over time. I can name several that no longer post here that seemed to be the voice of reason with respect to UL and lightweight packing.<<

+1

>> This lack of involvement is one of the reasons that I won't be renewing my membership <<

+1

... and so it goes.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
People are ruining backpacking. on 07/15/2010 01:47:46 MDT Print View

Well this is Backpacking Light so I would imagine that the idea is to discuss "light" stuff.
Not sure how Rich finds some suggestions on how to switch to lighter gear offensive when he himself calls "crap" gear that through hikers (one to six months on the trail...) buy specifically to allow them to do what they do.
As far as I am concerned, anything that works for even just one guy is good, regardless if it does not work for "you" or even most.
As an ex retailer I also find kind of bizarre the idea that buying gear , trying it out and then selling it is confined to certain brands and that it turns them ,somehow, into a "crap" product.
Might be new to you Rich, but a lot of hobbyist regardless if they are into cameras,cars,bikes, or whatever , do exactly that.
I had many customers that bought the latest Canon (or whatever) every year. Some switch from one brand to the other just to play with them. Yet most took pictures, many very good pictures...
And of course others had the same camera for 30 years, so what ?
BTW, Rich, about the best way to put someone off Backpacking is to load them up with 40lbs of gear...
Franco

b willi jones
(mrjones) - F

Locale: best place in the world !?
people are ruining backpacking on 07/15/2010 01:50:20 MDT Print View

yeah, you tell em Rich S.

i first started looking at the forums on another site, the backpacker magazine i think, people there always seemed to be bitchn at each other, i thought some of those guys sound like jerk-offs. i was thinkin... do these guys even go anywhere, do they even sleep?

i searched around and found this site, & straight away, people seemed more friendly & helpful, with some constructive criticism thrown in for good measure.

sure, some people can head off thread on some strange rant, post 50 times & not actually get anywhere, but i still think this is a great site. i smile from time to time, sometimes i think... wtf

hike your own hike as they say.


p.s so, are you goin to post a gear list?

Wayne Wagner
(wagnerw) - F

Locale: NorCal
easy advice on 07/15/2010 02:00:09 MDT Print View

This is the internet. I think everyone here is an adult.

If I read somebody blasting a product I use, what's that to me? If they don't like it, they don't have to use it. If you want to use product x, I don't care. If you ask what I think about it, I will tell you the truth. I appreciate it when others tell me whatever they may think about my gear or gear I am interested in. If they think it is crap, I am glad they will tell me that.

I also appreciate that people post 6000 times and buy a 5 new tents a year. These folks are a great source of information for me. This means I do not have to test all these tents. I do not have to do this (although it is 1am right now, ha!), but I can benefit from this.

If somebody's post bothers you, ignore it. Otherwise, take it as their perspective on things. We all have different priorities and do things slightly differently. This forum is where we offer our ideas. I am thankful for that, even if I do not always agree with everything I read or even love the attitude people display. Why would I let that ruin my day? Why are you letting it ruin yours?

Edited by wagnerw on 07/15/2010 02:01:23 MDT.

Anthony Green
(antgreen) - F

Locale: Reading - UK
Not ruining on 07/15/2010 04:24:37 MDT Print View

A few years ago I hiked the GR20 in Corsica. It is one of the toughest hikes in Europe, it follows the mountainous ridge of the island, and is very steep and rugged.

At the end of the first day I was exhausted, ditching stuff from my backpack - it was my first proper hike, and I had taken what I thought I needed, but I had done very little research - I must have carried well over 50lbs that day.

A few years have passed, many more successful treks, and a much better understanding of what I need to be comfortable in the field, have helped me reduce my pack weight.

I have been reading this website for at least 3 years, but I only subscribed recently to ask some theoretical questions, as my backpacking style is changing somewhat to accommodate the girlfriend.

Overall, I have no doubt that people on here have helped me. Thank you.

I hike 3 seasons in the UK and Europe, mostly 3 day durations, anything from 10-25 miles a day.

I am very comfortable with my 14lb base weight - it will only get lighter when I have need to replace a worn or broken item, and I don't see that happening any time soon.

I don't think I'd ever be interested in going sub 10lbs, although I realise my choice of torch and toiletries wouldn't make it onto most folks gear lists. I am happy being Light, rather than Ultralight.

What baffles me is the slightly more zealous side of gram counting, which I expect prompted your post.

Wiping your butt with your hand to save carrying toilet paper - that's just wrong.

Full Skin Out weight - might be relevant if I spent my days naked, and needed to plan for the shock of wearing trail clothes and carrying stuff in my pockets.

Sadly, I spend my days in jeans and a shirt or a suit, both of which weigh more than my trail apparel - plus I normally carry a laptop and sundries with me in a bag.

Advocating ultralight and SUL gear to newbies - the gear is not cheap - +$200 for a backpack, for example. These specialist items, by their very nature, are not as durable as mainstream equivalents, and require experience and care to last the distance.

I too have visions of folks sitting, round the clock by their computers, ready to rip into someone who posts a gear list weighing more than an envelope. But I know it's not really like that.

Lists are very "bloke" things to make, and I've made a few lists in my time. But there are two sides to backpacking, the theoretical and the practical - I vote for the practical - getting out there, seeing deer, birds, streams, breathtaking views etc, etc.

This website is here for a reason, and it's a good one. Dip into posts, use the search function, consider the many different opinions and decide what works for you - as someone said, hike you own hike - if you take everything literally, then yes, I suppose it could ruin backpacking.

Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
Sure, sure on 07/15/2010 04:40:08 MDT Print View

@OP - Amen, brother. That was my initial thought while reading your post. At one point in the not so distant past, I had to check to see if I accidentally typed www.backpackingultralight.com. But that being said, to each his own. I have to say the most impressionable thing to me since starting my own lightweight backpacking quest was the graph in Ray Jardine's book displaying their proven 'packweight versus daily miles' data. That really opened my eyes.

While there is lots of great information on these boards, you certainly need to adapt all of it to what works for you. This is usually stated by someone in almost every thread. I have learned that I like a two-walled freestanding lightweight tent as opposed to some of the other often-commented alternatives. It led me to find the lightest one that I was comfortable affording. But it took me through about 100 different threads here and plenty of buying, testing, and reselling to get to my comfort zone.

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some elitists, but I just find some of their posts humorous. Go watch some Nutnfancy on Youtube to see the other non-UL perspective when you need a break and a good check on your UL or lightweight quests. Great guy, but he is not going to be criticizing any gear lists around here anytime soon.

All I can say is just use what works for you. Everyone else -- keep tossing out those crazy UL and SUL ideas, I actually end up using some of them :)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: People are ruining backpacking. on 07/15/2010 05:27:39 MDT Print View

Only because you're letting them.

>When someone new posts a gear list, it seems like someone is going to tell them to ditch this and get a Tarptent and ditch that and get a WM bag. Cottage gear, cottage gear, cottage gear.

That is one of the main reasons to post a gear list; to have people tell you where you can shed weight and redundancy. Cottage manufacturers are a key player in the concept of backpacking light, as well as some mainstream ones.


>And it's funny how it seems like a week after someone buys a Tarptent or a Z packs hexamid or whatever, it's up on the Gear Swap

So what? This harms no-one in any way.

>Back in the Army, we used to have to walk 12 miles in under 3 hours with a 60 lb, built by the lowest bidder rucksack. Metal frame, heavy nylon pack. I am starting to believe that there are some people on here who couldn't do 12 miles in 3 hours with a 15 lb pack on.

Again, so? This is a lightweight backpacking site, not the Army. Or an Ironman competition.


>And the worst thing...some people on here have over 6000 posts. And a lot of those people, the only gaps between posts are when they are sleeping. It's amazing how the outdoor world spends so much time online.....Maybe you should stop telling people their Marmot tent sucks and go outside for once and put all that high tech cottage gear to use.

Sorry these people bug you. However, your critique of them is no different than the very thing you accuse them of. There are some very legitimate reasons why people have a lot of posts. I've worked a seasonal job the last few years. I don't work in the dead of winter, so I've got a lot more time on my hands. Others have been down for surgery, and BPL offers something to do. Some are retired. Some just like it.


I'm really not trying to be an Ass, but your post is exactly what BPL is not. We dive into the fine details of UL gear because that's our niche. It's exactly what you make of it.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
It hasn't ruined mine on 07/15/2010 06:18:41 MDT Print View

I wouldn't call it "ruining backpacking" per say but I understand your point. I've often thought about how much the quality of posts have gone down. This hasn't ruined my backpacking experience (I still glean from these forums) but it has matter it harder to sift through the noise.

>The forums have changed over time. I can name several that no longer post here that seemed to be the voice of reason with respect to UL and lightweight packing. It was situation specific, not full of generalizations. Several years ago we also had a lot more of the BPL staff post, including Ryan Jordan, which provided exceptional perspective for newbies.<

This is also evident from spending a lot of time searching over the last couple of years. Normally when I have a question I still dig back into older posts of older members for what works and what doesn't. I don't need someone in the Gearlist forum to list off a few $300+ items to lower my packweight - it's easy to solve a problem by just throwing money at it. If I ever get around to posting a gearlist I hope I get creative responses and am not told to just spend another thousand dollars (okay that may be a little over the top but you get the point).

A question for you lifetime members: I seem to recall a specific subforum being mentioned that's accessible only to those with lifetime membership status. Is that where the staff is posting for the most part these days?

And a personal rant: What is it with all these posts about tents? It seems like there are only a handful of people still posting who use poncho tarps and the like, yet, the poncho tarp and bivy is generally accepted as one of, if not the, lightest gear choices a person can make.

Michael Williams
(qldhike)

Locale: Queensland
BPL still a good forum on 07/15/2010 06:37:09 MDT Print View

I have found the posts about cottage gear useful because it isn't discussed on other forums. It's the reason I felt confident to purchase a Tarptent Contrail and a Caldera Cone.

To the OP, you sound happy with the gear that you have and that's great. But there's no reason to insult everybody who uses lighter gear. I'm not sure if you realise how offensive and inflammatory your comments come across as.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: BPL still a good forum on 07/15/2010 06:42:19 MDT Print View

Chaff, Definitely Chaff. +1 with Travis

Edited by kthompson on 07/15/2010 06:44:29 MDT.