What an utterly surreal thread. Katharina asks a practical question about the possibility of going lighter by not bringing along duplicate items that can easily be shared, and in response you get mostly answers that seem to reflect a strong aversion to being challenged about going alone. How weird. Katharina's question is a very legitimate and classical example of the original UL's rigorous approach to looking at what you are carrying. That means challenging your personal notions of what is "standard" and "right" and, without letting your emotions dictate how you will lighten your load, you cut everything out that is unnecessary. Katharina is asking if it is possible to go even lighter than what has now become the conventional UL thinking in terms of what to bring. If we are to be true UL enthusiasts don't we owe it to ourselves to reevaluate the comfort zone we've now made into the de facto technique? The question is, and that all of us asked VERY rigorously when UL first started, how can we go lighter still? What about my gear, my methods of traveling, my attitude is hindering the process of going as light as is safely possible? I think we are honest and allow Katharina's original query to soak into our brains and make us think: is it possible to go even lighter than we've done until now as solo walkers by sharing with others?
I don't see how this question has the slightest thing to do with whether or not you love to go solo. If you prefer solo, more power to you! But without properly dressing down a solo gear list compared to a shared gear list we can't know for sure which is ultimately lighter. I mean, doesn't the rule that you weigh everything before making assumptions still apply here? Or do our emotional hangups somehow magically change the steps we apply to a newbie's gear list?
mountaineers have shared gear for ages ... no 2 person climbing team that ive heard of brings up 2 stoves or 2 tents ... at least not if they are going fast n light
This is what I was trying to highlight with my original reference to mountaineers. In high altitude mountaineering, when you go in a team of two or more, you don't have the luxury of thinking only of yourself. Everyone in the group must think of the others in the group or you put everyone in danger. You cannot bring anything superfluous and so you very rigorously cut down anything redundant or unnecessary. You don't carry two tents when one can do... you just change your attitude about being in close quarters with people you wouldn't normally be in close quarters with. This is a cultural thing, too, and one that American males, in particular, (but far less American females) have a very hard time overcoming... the idea of touching another male makes them extremely uncomfortable, let alone sleeping in close quarters with each other. Japanese men don't have this problem, and I'd venture to say that a lot of southern European men also don't have this problem. This makes it much easier for them to share things like a small shelter in comfort, without feeling their space is being invaded or their sexual identity is in question. Other things like stove, food, fuel, sleeping bag, emergency and repair kits, larger water container, and yes even items of clothing can all be shared (I think any many cases, but not all of course, women tend to have less problems with sharing things like clothes). And by reducing the redundant and superfluous, more weight can be eliminated.
Thing is, how many of you can step beyond your present comfort zone and back away from cultural taboos and consider learning to look at your attitudes and seeing how they contribute to the weight in your pack? As Eric said, mountaineers have long done this. Why not us UL walkers, too?