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UL Backpacking Presentation
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Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/18/2010 10:57:47 MDT Print View

This post can be moved if it's in the wrong spot. I think this fit's in the "Events" section, but there really isn't one on BPL.

Anyway, i was asked to do a presentation on UL backpacking at a local outdoor club. It's aimed at people who want to reduce their pack weight. I'm pretty excited about it. Originally, I thought it would be fairly small/short but now it's looking like it'll be long and fun of course (from my point of view). I'm putting together a full presentation and bringing along lots of gear (and I have a lot of gear!) from cottage manufactureres aswell as all my custom made stuff. I know there aren't many on BPL from my area, but I have met a few of you guys, so if you want to come, here is the link to sign up.

Should be a fun night!

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/18/2010 11:08:50 MDT Print View


Will someone be videoing your presentation?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/18/2010 11:26:06 MDT Print View

Indeed. That would make a great youtube series.

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/18/2010 11:40:00 MDT Print View


I am downtown during the week...I registered for the event and will wander over for the presentation. Will be good to meet you.

Joseph Scalia
(jscalia) - F

Locale: NorthEast
power point on 08/18/2010 11:45:40 MDT Print View

Does anyone know where I can get a powerpoint presentation on lightwt backpacking?

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/18/2010 11:45:49 MDT Print View

May your presentation be successful and your audience attentive. Let us know how it goes.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/18/2010 12:05:38 MDT Print View

Free refreshments? :)

Kidding -- best of luck with your presentation!

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
great! on 08/18/2010 12:38:07 MDT Print View

Thats a great opportunity, Steve! Good luck. Have you given many presentations on backpacking in the past? This should be an interesting experience. Do you know many/most of the people in this group?

At my university, I've given quite a few presentations on "how to give presentations." So, just a piece of advice: Prepare for possible questions. Even if most of the crowd is there to "learn," I've noticed that there's usually some resistance to the idea of lightweight backpacking and one or two "bad guys" can really get things off track. If you're prepared for the types of questions they may have for you, it's a lot easier to keep on topic. One thing you may want to do is go over to the "ultralight" section of that other non-lightweight backpacking web forum and review some of the questions/knee jerks that some non-UL backpackers have when they're exposed to these ideas. Just an idea, hope it helps.

I've been toying with the idea of developing a "Light AND Cheap" presentation for the outing club at my university. It's about half done at this point. I hate seeing college students in the fall struggling under 60+ packs on one-night trips and thinking that they need to spend $$$ to buy gear.

I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Best wishes,
Vino Vampire!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/19/2010 10:52:04 MDT Print View

Hey guys, thanks for the good wishes. I'll try my best.

Aaron: I'll see what I can do. I only have a popint and shoot camera, which does HD, but not really suitable for a long recording session. I'll talk with the organizers of the event.

Philip: Awesome! I got your PM, and glad to have you aboard. Let me finish up my presentation to see what would be useful. We'll keep in touch.

Thomas: Very good advice! I have never given a backpacking presentation and I don't know any of the attendee's other then the organizer who I have never actually met, and now Philip from the above post - also never met. I'm no professional, but I do presentations for work on maybe a monthly basis. Of course, they aren't on backpacking. I don't intend the presentation to come across as "this is how to UL backpack" because quite frankly, there is no right way to backpack. I see it as exposing them to various options and techniques. Wether or not they choose to use them will be there call. Probably a portion of it will be "this is what I do, and here are some other options". I also definitely intend to stress that I am on the more extreme side of the scene because they will probably think I'm crazy. :)

I'm still working on everything, so if you guys have any advice, I'm open to suggestions. Trying to keep it fun and light - don't want people to feel like there at a boring lecture.

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
cool on 08/19/2010 11:44:03 MDT Print View

Make a video, I'd love to see it. Good luck!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/19/2010 15:29:38 MDT Print View

I have found over the years that Q&A time is highly popular - even if you have to work at the crowd at first - people can be shy at first. Next would be the "touching the gear" - I always plan in at least 30 minutes to an hour after the presentation as I get people who want to talk more in depth and as well come up and handle all my gear :-)

Good luck and have fun!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: UL Backpacking Presentation on 08/19/2010 16:09:05 MDT Print View

Once about 25 years ago I did a UL backpacking presentation for my hiking group. At the start, I showed a few pieces of cooking gear, and then I handed those to my assistant (cook). By the end of the presentation, the food had been cooked, so canapes on crackers were available to the crowd. That was highly successful.

As a stage prop, I had a large dial spring scale with a bag full of lightweight gear.


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: power point on 08/20/2010 12:36:30 MDT Print View

There is one here.

I can give you this man's email address if you would like to contact him. Just PM me.

Tim Heckel
(ThinAir) - M

Locale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
technique on 08/24/2010 12:41:41 MDT Print View

I teach backpacking and UL hiking/backpacking in the Colorado Mountain Club.
Most people who teach UL Backpacking focus just on the gear. And that is what most of the audience wants to know about.
Sure, the gear in important and interesting, but I believe it is the >process< of going UL, and the >techniques< and >principals<, that are the more important factors.
I spend time talking about the importance of weighing and recording every piece of gear. This gives the student a baseline for comparison with alternatives. If they know their rain jacket weighs 19oz they are better equipped to evaluate the alternatives.
Always I mention >multipurpose< gear. Can you use clothing as part of a sleep >system< ? Can you use tent stakes as a pot holder? Alcohol as hand cleaner and fire starter.
Technique and planning are important. For example, if the student determines that water is available throughout the trip then they can plan to carry less of it.
Safety. The margin of safety may be less if you don't have extra stuff. What happens if your insulation is part of your sleep system and a piece of it gets wet or blows over a cliff never to be seen again? The students need to think about these things.
The last thing I want students to do is go out with a bunch of new gear and get themselves into trouble. Keep them safe.

Edited by ThinAir on 08/24/2010 12:46:10 MDT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: technique on 08/24/2010 14:38:05 MDT Print View

Great advice. I have not finished it yet, but my presentation broken into sections. I think it goes along the lines with what you mention, so it reinforces my thinking and helps ease my uncertainty. I'll post it when I'm finished with it, but I'm off hiking for 5 days starting thursday so it'll have to wait.

Piper, the art in that presentation look suspiciously familiar (Mike C!?). Can I use one of the images for my presentation? Just for the record, I'm not getting paid and I believe the TOC is a volunteer based center - if that helps sway the decision for using the pics. Thanks!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: technique on 08/24/2010 16:09:42 MDT Print View

Steve, make sure that when you finish your draft presentation, have it reviewed by somebody else who is not an expert. You are so close to the subject material that you may take certain things for granted, and the attendees might be left behind.


Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: UL Backpacking Presentation on 09/10/2010 09:48:42 MDT Print View

Well everyone, thank you for the tips, the presentation was last night and I think it went very well. There were 58 people signed up, I didn't count the final numbers but it was clear that the majority showed up.

There was definitely a learning curve, and in future I think a more intimate group would get more out of it. We even tossed the idea around that doing it at a park/backyard would be even better as you could actually cook and set up the shelters. Of course, most likely no powerpoint then.

I definitely saw that the "show and tell" was a big hit. That is when the audience was really into it. The presentation itself was probably 30-40 minutes (I think) and that really isn't alot of time to cover everything but it is a good way to EXPOSE someone to all the theory, techniques, and gear choices available.

A big thanks to Philip for bringing a bunch of his gear, which was a big hit. He also participated in the presentation when there was an exceptionally high interest in some of of cooking gear - in particular the bushbuddy and alcohol stove seemed to be in high demand. His participation actually worked out very well as it was sort of showing the audience that I wasn't the only person who camped like this - that there were other "crazy" guys out there. ;) It was also helpful at the end of the night when people were coming up and asking questions or discussing stuff. Kinda shared the load. Anyway, big thanks for that.

I'm working on getting the presentation up on my website for people to look at. I have no doubt that it will evolve over time, but for the most part the concept will stay the same.

Only pic of the night...

Presentation Pic

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
UL Backpacking Presentation on 09/10/2010 10:41:31 MDT Print View

Thanks Steve. It was a great evening and I felt you did a awesome job on the presentation. It was definitely a group that was interested with some really good participation and questions. We talked about it afterward...but even I was a bit nervous when you passed your cuben quilt around the room for everyone to poke and prod. The gear show and tell was definitely a highlight for the group and the concepts certainly got people thinking about what they bring along on their own trips.

Couple of great quotes or moments of the night....

crowd: "what do you do about a change of clothes..."
Steve: "I have gone as long as 16 days wearing the same pair of underwear...."
crowd: in some cases shocked silence at the thought and someone wondered aloud if Steve could possibly have a girlfriend/wife.

lady in crowd: "can I see your flashlight?"
Steve: passes over his Photon Micro
lady in crowd: looks it over closely
Steve: "It's perfect...I normally just stuff that thing in my mouth to hold it if I need my hands free"
lady in crowd: disgusted look and quickly drops the light.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: UL Backpacking Presentation on 09/10/2010 11:28:48 MDT Print View

Awesome! I am glad it was a success.

I gave an ultralight presentation and I think I lost them when I was asked what about first aid. When I said I didn't bring a lot of first aid and figured I could use a lot of my gear for stanching blood or splinting, I think I lost some respect. It's hard how you have to be so careful what you reveal in order to help people see the light. A lot of them are just looking for a reason to say no.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
fear on 09/10/2010 12:04:21 MDT Print View

i think that most people are afraid of 3 things when going light or UL

1. comfort
2. safety
3. money

if you can demonstrate that such is not the case then people would take it up more easily

if you can't its possible theyll look at u like some crazy bear

just my opinion ... not everyone is meant to use leaves for TP ,,,,