Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Speaking of light; wouldn't sharing gear make our packs much lighter?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: on 03/28/2011 12:26:56 MDT Print View

"I don't think my posts jn this thread have really been very "strong or deep " or in your face."

No, Katharina, they're not. And apologies for my strong reaction. My bone of contention really isn't directed at you or any one individual (except maybe for Clelland whose name I mentioned) -- but really the notion in general that the weight of other people's gear or how they pack should be anybody else's business at all!!

My view is that hiking can be viewed as a sport or a hobby or anything else in between. If SUL quest tickles the person, then go for it. OTOH, if comfort is more important, that's fine too.

We are all free to give advice (I certainly do my part here), but we should then back off and just let the person do his own picking and choosing. I feel there is a lot of "hang up" about comparing, challenging and defending -- when really, these should be personal choices.

Edited by ben2world on 03/28/2011 12:43:08 MDT.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
thread on 03/28/2011 12:27:45 MDT Print View

Maybe this thread helped answer the other "When is light, light enough"
"When you can't go any lighter without having to share gear."

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Theory and Practice on 03/28/2011 12:27:47 MDT Print View

I think the idea of sharing gear is great but in practice it just doesn't always work for every trip, leaving people needing to make sure they have a self-sufficient kit as their planning standard. I think you need to really trust and know a partner to feel safe and secure about having shared items outside of your direct control.

BTW, I don't think Katharina's posts were in your face at all.

Edited by evanrussia on 03/28/2011 12:29:14 MDT.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Speaking of light; wouldn't sharing gear make our packs much lighter? on 03/28/2011 12:41:04 MDT Print View

Sorry to be the one to steer back to the original question, but in my experience I travel slightly lighter when solo. It's a personal thing for me but when I share gear (as I always do when traveling with my wife, sometimes with friends) I usually end up with a larger, heavier shelter, heavier stove, larger cook pot, more water storage. Some ounces lost by sharing, some gained with the heavier gear. I always end up with the shelter and stove/cookset in my pack.

The heavier gear isn't necessary of course but it just seems to work better for me/us when in a small group, especially when cooking for more than two and/or sharing food and water.

Of course the exception to this was at the BPL meet up when I was solor but sharing beer, duraflame log, candy, and couldn't find half of my solo gear the night before when I decided to go :) BTW Katharina, we love our hats. Will try to post a photo on your other thread soon...

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: re on 03/28/2011 14:24:56 MDT Print View

I don't think I am being defensive about our shared gear. I agree there may be a few ounces for me to save if we share a few things. There just isn't that much we could share that would save me any weight.

I figure I did him a favor by getting us a tarp we can both sleep under. Saved him 12lbs -- 6lbs for the tent we used to share and another 6lbs for the heavy pack he brought to carry the tent. I brought the tarp and carried it myself as incentive for him to try it. Then he liked the light load so much he bought a Lunar Duo so he could go back to having a tent AND still go lighter. Weight went up from the tarp but I only have to carry half the Lunar Duo so I broke even.

After the tent and the stove/fuel (where we'd have to add bowls or share a big pot and race each other through our meal) what's left? He carries the maps/GPS. We often share the Aquamira. I go without TP. Neither of us brings much in the way of first-aid and it's been nice in the past if I run out of bandaids if he's got some extras. Etc.

I also feel like my pack is pretty darn light enough. I'm to the point where I can toss in a 1lb musical instrument to have a little something to do or even a hard-back book and not really care.

If we go to the Sierra we'll definitely figure out a way to share the bear canister, though. Whatever it takes so I don't have to carry it is my thinking, even if I have to carry the whole Lunar Duo plus all his pills, potions, pillows and things. :)

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Speaking of light; wouldn't sharing gear make our packs much lighter? on 03/28/2011 14:45:42 MDT Print View

When out with others I am completely self sufficient and would not have it any other way. Even if some think it is redundant ie extra stove, first aid, shelter etc. I hike my own hike and I am self sufficient. As for others that I hike with, they are the same. The only time when I share gear is when my wife hikes with me. She might take the tent, and I take all the food, bear cannister, water treatment, cooking stuff etc. In fact that is usually all she will carry and I do the rest. Turns out our baseweight for a trip is around 10 pounds each.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
sharing gear on 03/28/2011 16:20:21 MDT Print View

Well, I for one always share gear with my boyfriend, who is my hiking partner. We share tent, water filter, stove, cook kit, first aid kit. I do make him carry his own toilet paper, I'm not sharing that! We always hike together, and wouldn't consider one going out if the other had to stay behind anyway. The one time I went out on an overnight without him, I did share the tent with my friend, but everything else we brought duplicates of.

Both my boyfriend and I just got started again hiking after years and years away, and it was a natural extension of our togetherness to share, as we were purchasing all new equipment anyway. You just make up your mind that you are sharing and part of a team, and that's that. The one time I went with a friend without Bill, she is *not* a lightweight hiker, and carries way heavier gear than I. If she wants to carry her heavier stuff, fine, but I already carry too much weight by anyone's opinion on this list, so I wasn't willing to share her heavy stuff, and she thinks my lightweight stuff can't be as good or as sturdy or reliable. I think a lot of people on this forum get used to other people not jiving with the lightweight philosophy. But when you are depending on what you carry to keep you healthy and safe, you want stuff you trust. And if you don't carry much anyway, who wants to share the partner's heavy stuff?

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Sharing on 03/28/2011 16:50:43 MDT Print View

When I hike solo my pack weighs less than when hiking in a group of two or more and sharing gear. I typically hike with a partner and share gear for 80% of my time outdoors. One supplies and carries the shelter and the other supplies and carries the kitchen/stove/fuel. We each carry our own breakfast and lunch and share dinners.

When solo I prefer not to cook and get by with much less shelter so my pack weighs less - about 1 to 2 lbs. I can see why others would like to be self sufficient but I haven't ever had a problem sharing equipment with someone else and I like the long night time conversations or "tent talk" that are a result of sharing a shelter.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: Speaking of light; wouldn't sharing gear make our packs much lighter? on 03/28/2011 18:32:21 MDT Print View

I hiked with the same partner for 15 years. We shared water filtration, shelter, first aid, stove, food bag, food, navigation, knife, fire lighting, spare batteries. It was great.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: sharing gear on 03/28/2011 18:57:17 MDT Print View

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?

Edited by butuki on 03/28/2011 19:05:11 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: sharing gear on 03/28/2011 19:22:40 MDT Print View


I think I would just stick to a "here's how" approach -- versus pushing and incessantly asking "why not". The first approach is educational and might even be an eye opener for us. The second approach gets burdened with emotions / judgments and gets nowhere.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
re on 03/28/2011 19:25:53 MDT Print View

A few people understood what I was saying.
I did not even go so far as to advocate sharing or telling people what to do. I pointed out that if minimizing weight is the goal than sharing should at least be looked at with honesty and an open mind.
ps In my 500 posts I have not once told someone they don't need to bring something or to leave some gear at home. A few that have protested my suggesting to take a look at this, have very recently told others :" This is all you need ", " You don't need that" and more.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
re on 03/28/2011 19:29:42 MDT Print View

" burdened with emotions / judgments and gets nowhere."
It does not have to be that way, particularly in a situation where no one tried to make themselves look any better, or wiser or smarter. I thought I made that clear almost ad nauseam.

Edited by Kat_P on 03/28/2011 19:31:16 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: re on 03/28/2011 19:33:57 MDT Print View


Again, not directed at you. I think what I am saying is this: for those who want to explore how they can shave weight by sharing gear, perhaps they should simply state so, type out their gear list, and ask for real life, practical suggestions. Or simply just ask people for ideas. My two cents...there is no need to get into the "philosophy side" of things at all.

Speaking for myself, phrases like "I want to challenge others..." or "the Japanese do it so why shouldn't you" are non starters.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
re on 03/28/2011 19:39:03 MDT Print View

Ben, I think that if anyone re read all my posts on this thread, in sequence, they might actually get where I am coming from.

And this IS the Philosophy and technique thread.

edited to substitute "anyone" for "Ben".

Edited by Kat_P on 03/28/2011 19:48:58 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Let's try this on 03/28/2011 19:42:45 MDT Print View

I think perhaps this thread started as a challenge toward lighter by all means, which was a "challenge to the stautus quo". The issue is that many of us are no longer concerned by lighter weights, there are individual reasons that keep us from going even lighter. I have a heavy mat because I value a good night sleep more than 8 fewer oz. Or I add bottle pockets to keep from having to stop during the day. We all make trade-offs and I suspect that many of us are comfortable with where were at weight wise. The shared gear is no different. Having a slightly lighter pack in order to share gear has no benefit to me and several negatives. But then again..... I usually hike alone and have my pack sitting waiting to walk out the door.

Kat, keep challenging the status quo!

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Let's try this on 03/28/2011 19:52:57 MDT Print View

I think perhaps this thread started as a challenge toward lighter by all means


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: re on 03/28/2011 20:03:42 MDT Print View

"Ben, I think that if anyone re read all my posts on this thread, in sequence, they might actually get where I am coming from."


I just re-read every one of your posts. The only thing factual that I gleaned is this: A group can reduce its total gear weight by sharing certain gear pieces than if everyone carries his her own gear, all to the point of individual self sufficiency.

I agree with that. It smacks of good, practical sense. And yes, I also agree that if members of a group are in true pursuit of absolute minimalism, then sharing gear to pare down even more weight makes perfect sense.

Where you (and Miguel) lose me is your "missionary phase". Having introduced the philosophy, why not then introduce (or solicit) practical techniques -- to the potential benefit of all? Whatever reason(s) that keep people from actually sharing and squeezing out that last bit of weight -- who really cares?? And if their "reasons" sound like "excuses" to you -- so what??

I compare this to TP evangelization (I can use this example because I myself got carried away and am as guilty as anyone here for "pushiness"). It's one thing to post the advantages of not using TP -- just as it is for posting about the advantages of sharing gear. What really isn't OK (and this is where I got carried away) is to incessantly pound the advantages into other people -- and when they still recoil at the idea -- to then belittle their reasons as "excuses".

If people don't wish to share gear or to leave their TP at home, why ask why? And why push? And why tell them it's just excuses or cultural hangup's that they need to overcome if they truly see themselves as UL minimalists?

EDIT: I should add that if people decide not to share gear at the end -- it doesn't mean they don't see the advantages. They probably do. It's just that per their calculations, they see even more advantages (whatever they are) by continuing to carry all their own gear -- including a good supply of TP. I remind myself that I need to respect all that. And so what if they are not "true" minimalists?

Edited by ben2world on 03/28/2011 20:14:42 MDT.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: re on 03/28/2011 20:13:04 MDT Print View

No incessant pounding of any advantages was done. Period. I continually premised my dismissing any excuses ( not belittling, as I pointed out I feel very much the same about being independent, probably more than most here, on a daily basis), as merely adopting the language and and method used when critiquing gear lists.
I have no hope that you will get this now, but my point was, if you are among those that tell others to leave gear at home and not get comfy and all that.......then how do you deal with the fact that merely weight wise, you might be better off sharing.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: re on 03/28/2011 20:17:32 MDT Print View

"my point was, if you are among those that tell others to leave gear at home and not get comfy and all that.......then how do you deal with the fact that merely weight wise, you might be better off sharing."

I get it, Katharina. No one is 100% logical and 0% non-self-contradicting. Your pushiness is that you really, really, really want them to admit this self-contradiction. And I guess my questions are, "why and who cares, and why be so intent on beating this out of them"? To me, it took away almost all usefulness out of this thread. My two cents.

Edited by ben2world on 03/28/2011 20:18:26 MDT.