Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality?
Display Avatars Sort By:
David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Re: Yes, my mother wears army boots, she finds them quite comfortable thank you on 07/22/2006 05:39:57 MDT Print View

Hey Mike... "feel bad" isn't really the right way to put it. I'm just saying that when you've all been through something with a group of people... whatever it may be... and they've all had a misserable time... and you've had a wonderful time... you just can't commiserate with them... you know... you can't "join in" on the group misery... and can't very well say "sorry you're so miserable... I had an awesome time! I feel Grrrrrrrreat! Wooo Hooo!!!!" :) Not unless you want to get punched in the mouth by a cranky backpacker with a sore back :P

Oh... and I've had people talk about redistribution of weight too. That would be one thing if we were all using the same type of gear... and it depends on who you're with I guess... but for the most part... I say... you packed it... you carry it. Everyone should carry their own gear... unless it's shared gear like a stove or tent. And besides... if I'm using an MLD Prophet 30 or something like that... no way in the world is anyone elses gear gonna fit in that small a pack anyway :) And with a GG Mariposa... I wouldn't want to carry much more than 20 pounds with that anyway. You can't really take traditional gear and use it with a 12 oz pack with low volume and little to no suspension.

Scott Ashdown
(waterloggedwellies) - F

Locale: United Kingdom
Backpacks. on 07/22/2006 05:55:10 MDT Print View

Well this has certainly been one of the most heated forum threads in a long time.

Ignoring some of less thought provoking - more provoking coments, some good points have been made. David Lewis I thought made a some good points, relating them back to the original question.

I also agree that the right pack and the way it distributes a load can have an enormous impact on your comfort level. Further, as has already been said, if your gear weighs very little, then you are unlikely to need a pack with all the whistles and bells on.

Lightweight loads don't really need a full suspension system do they, I mean, I wear a shirt to go to work, yep right next to my bare skin and I don't need a series of hip belts and shoulder straps to help me carry the weight either. Hell, I even wear a tie around my neck goodness knows how I manage to put up with the weight of that dragging my body forward!!!! :-)

I once carried a pack so heavy, (Don't know how much it weighed) that I couldn't even pick it up. I had to lie on the floor next to the pack, strap it too me, roll on to my stomach, push up onto my knees and then stand!!! What a man (Read Idiot) I was. That was many years ago and sure, while the pack was on my back I could walk pretty easilly. However, I can tell you, the next day, it wasn't my back that was aching (The pack had been really good at managing the weight) but my Knees were agony. Just walking, even without the pack, was painfull. So no matter how good your pack, that weight gets transmitted down your legs to your joints. I never really knew I had knees until that experience!!! I'm grateful for that experience though because it was the final driver that made me think, 'There has to be a better way.'

The internet and sites / forums such as BPL have given me the advice and the chance to reassess everything that I have. I can now carry everything I need with considerable less weight or if I chose, take along an extra luxury and still have lower pack weights than before. My packs are smaller in size and it is a real joy to hike that way. Sometimes, I will hike into a town or village for supplies and there will be some point of interest, natural feature, museum etc where you have to pay a fee for entry. Sometimes, that might have been the reason for hiking there. Lightweight backpacking has enabled me to blend right in with all the day trippers with my small pack on my back (Golite Breeze). Most people are oblivious to the fact that i'm actually backpacking, they probably think i've just got my sandwhiches and a flask in there because I don't have tin cups and sleeping rolls hanging off the side. The Breeze is small enough to stuff under the table in a cafe etc.

So there you have it, backpacking light, has saved my Knees, increased my enjoyment and given me a freedom that that old heavy pack would never have done. In fact that old bravado of how heavy is your pack is now replaced with getting a kick out of how light it is.

Anyway, talking of how light, I'm just on my way out to buy a pair of Brasher Supalites (Boots). Thanks everyone for your comments in this and other forums, the advice has been invaluable.

Edited by waterloggedwellies on 07/22/2006 06:05:38 MDT.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes, my mother wears army boots, she finds them quite comfortable thank you on 07/22/2006 10:39:38 MDT Print View

Agreed DL!
Now, how about that wine! <(;->)

Edited by eaglemb on 07/22/2006 10:40:23 MDT.

Andrew Hedges
(alhedges) - F
Wine on 07/22/2006 13:01:02 MDT Print View

Re: wine - I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. :)

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Wine and Goat Cheese on 07/22/2006 15:15:27 MDT Print View

Mike... I actually have a Platypus Lil' Nipper and a 500mL Platypus just for those times when I decide to bring along a little red wine. I will also bring some locally made (from a small farm) cayenne pepper or garlic flavored spreadable goat cheese in a small Nalgene jar with some bagels or something to spread it on.... mmmmmm :) Nothing like it.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Wine and Goat Cheese on 07/22/2006 18:09:07 MDT Print View

Now that sounds goood!!! For me a Lil Nipper full of Single Malt Scotch of the Highland variety makes me quite happy one night out of a 5 dayer or so. Nothing better than watching the sun's glow on a mountain at sundown with a little Scotch!

Edited by kennyhel77 on 07/22/2006 18:09:47 MDT.

William Wright
Re: Re: Re: Ultra-light packs = a bag with two straps sewn onto it on 07/23/2006 11:16:17 MDT Print View

Dick raises a point I've pondered.

I realize one can't legitimately treat the reader reviews as valid statistical samples, but it sure seems as though users of heavy internal frame packs are more satisfied than are users of lighter frameless packs, and users of heavier external frame packs are even more satisfied than are users of heavy internal frame packs. The technical article evaluating user satisfaction vs. varying load in a pack with and without its internal frame seems to go a long way in explaining this observation--suspension works and is appreciated.

The idea of carrying trekking poles is a bit odd at first--why do the extra work to carry more weight? However, the extra work pays off because the poles distribute some of the load from the legs to the arms.

I get the impression that most ultralight backpackers haven't forsaken the extra weight of the trekking poles; rather, they've focused on developing light, less flexible (e.g., one-length vs. adjustable length) versions. But, most seem to tout the frameless pack.

Wouldn't the sport be better advanced through the development of lightweight external frame packs? Sure, they'd weigh more than frameless packs, but if they're well designed the extra weight would be worthwhile by transferring the load from the back to the hips.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Re: Re: Ultra-light packs = a bag with two straps sewn onto it on 07/23/2006 14:42:13 MDT Print View

William: Personally... I find my "bag with two straps sewn on it" extremely comfortable (and MLD Prophet 30)... as long as my load is under a certain weight... but I'm always open to new innovations! LuxuryLite makes a lightweight external frame pack. And there is a DIY thread on this site about making a lightweight external frame pack. I guess it depends on your needs. For most of my trips... I'm quite happy with my 4 oz sack with two straps :)

Bob Woodard
(UltraLightisRight) - F
Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/23/2006 18:54:07 MDT Print View

Someone mentioned this guy has a blog he posted on usenet a month back. I was searching for it and found it.


Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/23/2006 19:23:02 MDT Print View

Took a look at his site and I have to say, wow. Very interesting. He definately has his opinions on backpacking. I really enjoyed his part on physical fitness of backpacking. Oh boy, does he get it wrong with the lightweight community. One reason that I tend to go with the lightest gear possible and hence a light load is that I have a bad back and my knees sometimes don't feel all that too well. With keeping my weight down, I am able to hike PAIN free. This is not a matter of trying to cheat by not being in shape. I am in shape. I have seen many of my friends pack it in for the day after 8 miles because of soreness and being just plain tired. Hmmm. Heck I knock off 7-8 miles by 10 am or less (I like to hike as soon as the sun starts to come up). I have the advantage of seeing more and traveling more miles because of the way I like to hike, and that is directly related to a lighter load. With my schedule it is very hard for me to leave on a trip for no more than 5 days tops. I have work commitments that take up alot of my time unfortunately. He complains about getting out from behind the computer and do some hiking. We all do in varrying degrees, but......He has a blogspot that he blogs on, he has been on here and probably other sites proclaiming to be the saviour of hardcore hiking..whatever....calling a spade a spade. Hypocrite. I come on here to ask questions, find new cool gear, and to even give advice myself. He laughs at those that wear trail running shows and such. Complains that they are dangerous and would rather have aset of boots any day. Good for him. Me? NO WAY. I like how my feet feel at the end of a day hiking. My load that I carry does not require me to have boots, so why use them? Masochist hiker or hardcore dude...whatever. Hike your own hike. I will be doing this in my 70's and you won't.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/23/2006 19:30:49 MDT Print View

Cool!!! My favorite quote:

"Backpacking has always been...and shall always remain...a physically strenuous outdoor sport that will always appeal to rugged individualists. No amount of pansy weight cutting will ever change that most basic fact. Backpacking is a "he-man" sport...a lot like the logging industry.

BTW, I used to work in the hardwood lumber industry. Pain and suffering is my middle name."

Love it :)

Edited by davidlewis on 07/23/2006 19:36:01 MDT.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/23/2006 19:34:34 MDT Print View

Too bad he doesn't allow for constructive comments to his posts. Unless they're of exceptional quality, monoblogues with no community feedback are a bit boring.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
woah on 07/23/2006 21:02:08 MDT Print View

woah... that is one angry dude.

The rambling, repetitive, redundant nature of his posts seem to indicate that his frustrations go beyond what other people do and don't carry when they go backpacking. This is probably an expression of something much deeper and more serious that is happening somewhere else in his life.

James Yancey
(jyancey) - F

Locale: Missouri
Ultralight vs old school on 07/23/2006 22:52:01 MDT Print View

May as well throw in two pence here. I agree that this is one angry dude. I'm guessing that he is coming to the realization that he is getting older and that it is becoming harder and harder to be "hardcore." He has to convince himself that by carrying a 50 lb pack he is still young and tough. Well, that's his hike, and more power to him (he'll need it!) As for me, I have been backpacking since the late 60's (Scouts) and I have progressed through the evolution of the sport. My first "backpack" was a canvas rucksack; horrible to carry, but, oh, the places it took me! I then got serious and bought a Jansport external frame pack of about 5000 ci. and a synthetic mummy bag (ca 30 years ago, and I still have them!) I carried 50 lbs or so and suffered accordingly, but I thought (ala "Hardcore") that that's what backpacking was all about. Well, I'm older now, and perhaps a bit wiser, and I have accumulated a number of packs, bags, pads, stoves, tarps etc. etc. I don't obsess with ultra-ultra weight savings, but I read the posts on this site, buy some of the gear, make some of my own, and I now carry a pack with a base weight of an estimated 12 to 14 lbs. I haven't actually weighed it, and I don't use a spreadsheet to shave off every gram, but I certainly benefit from those of you who do. I generally carry a MountainSmith Phantom pack, use a 2lb North Face bag, sleep under an Integral Designs silnylon tarp, and use a Snow Peak cartridge stove or a homemade alcohol stove and an MSR Ti kettle. It works for me. I think that's all that any of us who love this sport can ask for. I don't backpack to impress crowds of people with my prowess or to prove anything. I just enjoy walking in the woods, and if my lightweight gear makes it more enjoyable, good for me! If someone else wants to lug around an anvil in their pack, good for them! There are most certainly people out there who do obsess with having the absolutely lightest gear and lightest skin-out weight. Hurrah for them, because they lead the way for the rest of us who don't have the time or wherewithal to do the R&D. There are also people who long for the "old days" and wish life was simpler (e.g. do I want the green Kelty or the brown Jansport?) I think there are probably a whole bunch of us in between who are simply grateful for modern materials and designs, and use them to make our time out on the trail as enjoyable as it can be.

Summit CO
(Summit) - F

Locale: 9300ft
Light for me.. on 07/23/2006 23:50:38 MDT Print View

Masochism was for me repeatedly hefting 75+lbs with skis and boots in an ungainly a-frame while trudging through steep scree and thats the load of a single night.

Simply backpacking to me is no masochist sport... for me it is luxury and relaxation. Views, solitude, beauty, why suffer for it?

What can I gain with lightweight? If I eliminate 15lbs of weight from my gear without compromising comfort or function, that is 15lbs less for the luxury of simple backpacking, OR it is 15lbs out of the way so I feel much better about throwing in 25lbs of ski gear or more often, 10lbs of photo gear that I might have left out of the trip!

I challenge Mr. Hardcore Masochist to add a masochistic pro photo setup or serious ski setup to his pack (no foam core/carbon fiber skis for you!) and then see how it feels to have to safely ski hairy narrow exposed terrain while still having 50lbs on his back because that is how much his general backpacking gear weighs!

Mr Hardcore, thank you for your concern, but you care too much! Though I live at 9,300ft and am out enjoying the mountains almost every day of the week in one way or another, you can keep on thinking that everyone here just sits in front of their computer all day. You should stop complaining and smile. Why should you care if our gear isn't right? You should be happy that we aren't out hiking on your trails interfering with your solitude and your enjoyment of your suffering.

All that aside, I said it before and I'll say it again, weight cut from the suspension of a pack may save on your on-paper total, but it might not save so well when it comes to how heavy your pack feels (too an extent).

Edited by Summit on 07/23/2006 23:52:11 MDT.

Jeffrey Kuchera

Locale: Great Lakes
Gear plus a case of brew on 07/24/2006 02:32:38 MDT Print View

These packs rock balls! They are made for durability and hauling heavy loads in comfort. They are a bit on the heavy side though. If you want something you can haul your gear and a case of beer in comfortably which is also bombproof... cheers you have found your pack.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Ultralight vs old school on 07/24/2006 09:33:36 MDT Print View

James wrote: "I just enjoy walking in the woods, and if my lightweight gear makes it more enjoyable, good for me!"

Amen. I'm the same. I'm not much for camping... but I've always LOVED walking in the woods. So when I got into backpacking at first... I thought... this SUCKS... because the 40+ pound pack completely ruined the part of being outdoors that I love so much... walking in the woods! So now I can walk in comfort as long as I want... sun up to sun down if I want... and I just make camp so I can get some hot food into me and some sleep so I can do it again the next day :)

As for the blog... it's so over the top as to be almost ridiculous. No point in addressing it.

Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Ultralight vs old school on 07/24/2006 11:01:55 MDT Print View

I remember my first love...a Dana Design Terraplane..I tried it on in the outfitters store and was hooked!!! It was awesome. It did make a 50 pound load feel like 20. It was so easy to pack. I was amazed. At that moment I became a gear addict. I must confess I got a huge rush from hauling a heavy load over the mountains in that backpack. AND I especially remember the flack I got from all the vetran backpackers when I showed up on the trail with an INTERNAL FRAME backpack :O ...I usually refrained from telling them what it cost because I did not want them to have a heart attack. The contempt usually stopped once they tried the pack on :)..they loved it because now they could haul even more stuff. Unfortunatly I cannot do that anymore. A collision with a drunk driver has left me with wire feet, artificial achillies tendons and permanent spinal cord damage. I still love the outdoors and am still a gear addict (there is no cure) Lightweight gear has gotten me back on the I get that rush from just getting over the mountain. I am still thrilled when I discover cool gear that helps me get there. There is a purpose and place for both old school and ultralight backpacking. HYOH. I am just happy to be OUT THERE. happy trails everyone.

Scott Ashdown
(waterloggedwellies) - F

Locale: United Kingdom
Hardcore on 07/24/2006 13:09:59 MDT Print View

Well, I went and looked at Hardcores Blogg, what a joke! He freely admits that it's only within the last 6 months that he got back into backpacking after a FIFEEN YEAR hiatus. Who is he to be criticising everyone on these forums for lightening their loads & communicating with those with similar interests.

He claims he is 37 years old and started backpacking when he was a kid. Well, when you put the two together, it looks like he jacked it all in and lost interest when he was about 22.

Well, i've never lost interest in the outdoors or backpacking for that matter and don't need 'Hardcore' basically comletely disregarding everyones right to take part in a lawful interests / activities in the way they deem best. This guy is abusive and full of his own fifteen year old, out of date, bravado.

He has been posting items in other forums under the name of hardcorebackpacker37, basically directing people back to his own Blogg.

Blah Blah Blah, whatever Hardcore! Save your energy, the enlightened are not interested. Yawn!

Edited by waterloggedwellies on 07/24/2006 13:19:20 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
OK-- we know we're cool. What's next? on 07/24/2006 13:20:32 MDT Print View

Hardcore has left the building. Please not to troll the troll.