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Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/21/2011 13:27:37 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Ultralight Tip of the Week

Addie's note: Since we'll use the same URL for the tip each week, the forums will simply carry over from one week to the next. If you want to quickly see which comments are new since you last checked in, simply click "Watch this thread" to get email updates when new comments are posted.

Edited by addiebedford on 04/28/2011 12:40:35 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 04/21/2011 15:04:26 MDT Print View

Those are great tips

And great cartoons

Now I'm going to have to look forward to Thursdays asw ell as Tuesdays

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/21/2011 16:03:05 MDT Print View

I also will be looking forward to Thursdays! Even though I disagree with MikeC on a few issues (we all know what one of them is), we are still coming from the same place (or at least where he probably will be 40 years down the road, hee hee).

I love the cartoons and his lighthearted approach! I also appreciate that these are free to all so we can refer beginners to them! Thanks to both MikeC and BPL!

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/21/2011 16:04:20 MDT.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/21/2011 20:18:27 MDT Print View

I will be looking forward to these tips each week, Mike. The cartoons are fantastic and the tips are great, too! Thanks so much.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
P.S. on 04/21/2011 20:19:20 MDT Print View

I can't wait to get my copy of your new book, Mike!

Michael Haubert
(SoCalMike) - F

Locale: So Cal
Tip 6 on 04/21/2011 22:12:21 MDT Print View

~6. Try something new every time you go camping

I dig it, Mike. I don't get out very often, but Tip 6 is something I take to heart. I think of each trip as an opportunity to experiment with a new idea--a different style of stove, a new packing method, different fire starting techniques, etc. Until you actually put that thought into a real outdoor experience, it's just a hypothesis; it still needs to be tested.

Looking forward to the book, Mike.

(Edited for brevity)

Edited by SoCalMike on 04/24/2011 22:05:07 MDT.

pack nwcurt
(curtpeterson) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/22/2011 08:34:51 MDT Print View

Ordered the book 5 minutes ago. Thanks, Mike!

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/22/2011 10:26:13 MDT Print View

Great tips and toons! I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of your book in a few days.

T.C. Cromie
(yogru) - F

Locale: Land of too much rain!
nice! on 04/22/2011 22:21:31 MDT Print View

Really enjoy reading these Mike C! I'll be looking forward to this, along with the rest, each week.

Guy Laden
(GL) - MLife
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/23/2011 15:47:09 MDT Print View

This is great stuff Mike! Is the book going to be available in any electronic format?

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Plastic Bottle Ring on 04/23/2011 23:26:03 MDT Print View

Trimming that ring off of plastic bottles is genius. I wish I'd thought of this sooner.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Plastic Bottle Ring on 04/24/2011 05:53:17 MDT Print View

"Trimming that ring off of plastic bottles is genius."

The thing I love about the internet is that you can go online and see others who are as crazy as you, only now you are not alone and the crazy activity no longer seems crazy.

As I packed my PCT resupplies I used little 8 oz. water bottles. Of course, like any good ultralighter I removed the label. But I thought I took it a bit too far when I hid in the basement and removed all those little rings. (Luckily, the neighbors didn't see.) But now I know I'm normal!

If I bleach all my clothes will they weigh less? Hmmmm

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
the little plastic ring on the water bottle. on 04/24/2011 10:06:40 MDT Print View

Ha!

About the act of trimming off the little plastic ring on the water bottle.

Whew - I am deeply relieved that nobody is rolling their eyes - or at least addmiting it!

As I state in the text, it is less an act of weight savings (because it's so minimal) but more an act of mind-set.

Huge thanks for all the kind words!

peace from idaho,
Mike C!

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: Plastic Bottle Ring on 04/24/2011 11:05:52 MDT Print View

"Trimming that ring off of plastic bottles is genius." ...
now I know I'm normal!


You've come to the wrong place if normality is what you crave!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/24/2011 16:03:43 MDT Print View

Actually, trimming the plastic ring is not so much for weight-saving, but to make it easier to rinse the neck of the bottle, especially if you're using powdered drink mix. I get rid of the rings even at home because they inevitably work up into the threads for the cap, interfering with a proper closure.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Ultralight on 04/25/2011 10:04:06 MDT Print View

One of my ultralight friends suggested getting a haircut and trimming my nails before a backpack. He almost had an aneurysm when I pulled out my GobSpark firesteel to light my Caldera Cone on a recent trip. The only thing I can beat him on is clothing. Having grown up in a colder climate, (Upstate N.Y. near the Canadian border vs California), I don't seem to require as much as him. Yes sometimes I do roll my eyes at fanatic ultra-lighters. But still, I'm glad you do what you do. It makes us all a little lighter, and that's not a bad thing

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: fantastic book!!! on 04/26/2011 11:44:51 MDT Print View

Exceeded my expectations. More comprehensive than I thought it would be.

Love the humour and cartoons mixed in with the valuable and comprehensive information specific to lightweight backpacking.

Tip 117 alone is worthy of a prestigious publishing awards. : )

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Golly (i'm blushing) on 04/26/2011 17:38:38 MDT Print View

George - Do you wanna be my publicist?

Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: Re: fantastic book!!! on 04/26/2011 20:37:00 MDT Print View

I just finished the book last night, and then thanks to this thread, watched Mike's "poo poo clinic": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwmwxkD86Ec. Now I feel the need to read it again, only with Mike's animated voice in my head :-)

It's a thoroughly entertaining and helpful book! What struck me is how well a simplified cartoon can instruct. I've read pages and studied photographs here on BPL, but it was Mike C's pictorials that continued to deliver "ah-ha!" moments.

Great job!

john chong
(johnch) - F
fantastic book! on 04/27/2011 12:49:38 MDT Print View

Just read through this last night.

It really is a book of just tips that I think all ULers can learn from. For me the last couple of tips talking about PPPPD is great. I need to go back and read it thoroughly to understand it.

The illustrations are fantastic and informative.

Ben Egan
(benjammin21)

Locale: Bawstin
too cool on 04/28/2011 13:52:51 MDT Print View

ALRIGHT NICE JOB BPL AND MIKE/TOGETHER YOU'VE MADE ME GIVE IN

I'm buying the book. "for my dad". then I'll steal it from him.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/28/2011 14:00:45 MDT Print View

Ordered mine form Bookdepository, only to be told the next day that it was out of stock and my order was being funded ?? Will have to try Amazon.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Dubious -- But Now Ecstatic on 04/28/2011 14:11:00 MDT Print View

Mike C,

Your book is a masterpiece of well-explained, simple, and important tips (not all of them obvious). I didn't think I'd get much out of it but found exactly the opposite to be the case. I feel like having extra copies around to evangelize.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Tip #31 on 04/28/2011 15:48:53 MDT Print View

On behalf of all the folks like me who like to stop in mid-afternoon, I'd like to say there is nothing at all wrong with going light and doing what Mike calls "traditional" camping! Your backpacking schedule is a matter of individual preference, not pack weight, although definitely more comfortable with a light pack.

Some of us prefer to stop early before the afternoon thunderstorms get going (call it a safety measure to avoid lightning), especially if the next stretch of trail is exposed. Some of us want time to fish. Some of us want to stop early to explore an area close to where we camp. Some of us enjoy staying in an extra scenic campsite and will stop when we find it. Some of us are getting too advanced in years to enjoy hiking more than 6-7 hours a day, even with an "ultralight" pack. Many (unless retired like me) whose backpacking is limited to weekends and holidays may have to stop early to find a campsite at all (I'm thinking of some of the brushier areas of the Pacific Northwest where places to pitch a shelter are quite limited, resulting in cutthroat competition for sites on holiday weekends). Hike your own hike and don't let Mike convince you that it's wrong to stop early if that's what you want!

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/28/2011 15:50:34 MDT.

Rob Vandiver
(ShortBus) - M

Locale: So Cal
RE: Tip 31 on 04/28/2011 22:27:41 MDT Print View

I gotta say, Mike, I read this tip when you posted it to the forums some time earlier, and it really changed the way I will approach solo trips from now on. I have usually called it quits late afternoon, and after setting up camp and puttering around, would suddenly find myself a little bored. I have been stuck in a pointless routine since my 35-pound pack days when weariness would force a stop after X time and Y miles. Also, thanks to you I haven't had a wristwatch out in the back country for the last couple of months and I haven't even missed it! Or a headlamp, now that I think about it.

-Rob

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
bear country on 04/28/2011 23:14:40 MDT Print View

Mike, your eat-on-the-trail suggestion is what I do in bear country to keep food smells off gear as much as possible... and away from "camp".

Edited by Danepacker on 04/28/2011 23:15:18 MDT.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Ring thing on 04/28/2011 23:46:38 MDT Print View

Funny, I saw those rings and thought, "man, there's no need for that thing" and so I cut em' all off with a good pair of dykes. Based on the responses here, either we're all normal or...... ! Got two copies on the way, one for me and one for my hikin' buddy. This book looks fun. Can't wait for it. Mike, thanks. And lookin' forward to Thursdays like I used to for Tuesdays, like when the four-part PCT story was debutting. Really enjoyed that for sure.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Ring thing on 04/29/2011 00:00:31 MDT Print View

On a few shelters, you can use two trekking poles with the tips up and together. However, some shelters do not have a pocket to hold the two tips together. That is what the ring is for. A small ring won't make it, but a big ring will. The plastic ring holds the two pointy tips together.

--B.G.--

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 04/29/2011 03:31:10 MDT Print View

Ultraligh Backpakin' Tips had me laughing at every page turn. Either the text or the pics were getting to me... a really good little book.

But, I don't think the butt slide is for me. Somehow, the image evoked of a 60 year old man sliding down a hilloc with pants waving in one hand and shouting "YIPEE" sounded a bit undignified. But what the hey, ya' only go around once.




YIPEE....

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Tip #31 on 05/01/2011 03:15:11 MDT Print View

I don't find that my transition from hiking to camp or vice versa is faster with my UL pack. As a good UL hiker most of my gear is multi-use, this means that if it's raining I'm hiking in my tarp and I actually sleep inside my backpack since it doubles as a full size bivi! I own a full size Exped Auriga tent, which as Exped mentions on their site, literally sets up in two minutes. I fiddle a bit longer with my poncho before it is setup as lean-to or A-frame. I also find it faster to pull tent, mat and sleeping bag out of a traditional pack then taking my virtual frame mat from the bivi-bag-pack; taking the guy lines from the pack which in hiking mode function as pack compression strap; taking all the stuff out of the pack, taking the filling (which are spare clothes) from the shoulder straps and hip belts, turning the backpack inside out and putting mat and sleeping bag inside the bivi in sleep mode. Going from camp to hiking is just as cumbersome, since all the multi-use gear has to switch back from camping to hiking mode again.

Don't get me wrong though: I love my gear and wouldn't want to have it differently, but for me it does take more time to transition from hiking mode to camp mode with my UL kit then with my old traditional gear.

Eins

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/01/2011 03:49:49 MDT Print View

"taking the guy lines from the pack which in hiking mode function as pack compression strap" Great idea.

The Exped Bivy Poncho on your kit list also looks interesting.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/01/2011 05:19:31 MDT Print View

<>

Jason, actually my posted gear list on this site is not up-to-date anymore. My Exped poncho was replaced by the Go Lite poncho, most important reason was that the Exped weighs twice as much. I also like that the Go Lite is longer, so it covers better as a tarp. I do like the double sided buttons on the Exped though, so that it can be used as poncho, which I actually did on one or two occasions.

Cheers, Eins

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
"trad" vs UL on 05/01/2011 17:42:06 MDT Print View

Just so y'know, my definition of "traditional" backpacking is based on my work at NOLS. That usually means elaborate tents and equally elaborate cooking for both dinner in the evening and breakfast in the morning.

And - My definition of ULTRA-light backpacking usually involves no shelter at all (except as my pillow) because I'll almost always sleep out under the stars.

So - there is a profound difference between these two skills, at least from my set of experiences.

Peace,
Mike C!

Thomas Trebisky
(trebisky)

Locale: Southern Arizona
Right on target on 05/04/2011 12:53:18 MDT Print View

Tip 31 hits the heart of what I have realized about going light. My goal now is to be comfortable on the trail, not comfortable in camp! This is not a "gear revelation", but a "mindset revelation".
I want a copy of the book when/if it becomes available, this is good stuff.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
The book is NOW available! on 05/04/2011 16:04:58 MDT Print View

The book is NOW available!

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/clelland_ultralight_backpackin_tips.html

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F - M
It still shows "Out of Stock" and there is no "Add to Cart" button :) on 05/04/2011 16:20:52 MDT Print View

Mike,

I tried to order right away, but it it is still showing as "Out of Stock"

Manfred

Josh Newkirk
(Newkirk) - MLife

Locale: Australia
book on 05/04/2011 16:22:28 MDT Print View

Yeah I just ordered one off amazon cause bpl is out of stock.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/05/2011 12:52:17 MDT Print View

There are more books on order. I was expecting them yesterday so please sign up for a stock-alert to receive an email when they're back in stock.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week May 5, #89 on 05/05/2011 13:12:21 MDT Print View

Thank you, thank you, MikeC!, for your tip #89 on the plastic bags for feet. I now know that I am not alone in preferring this method, and that (unlike the opinion of some) I am neither silly nor stupid!

For those of us who live where there's a Fred Meyer store, the larger size plastic bags in the bulk health foods section work better than bread bags, IMHO. They're the same weight plastic (quite a bit heavier than produce bags) but don't have the hard-to-clean pleats in the ends that bread bags have. I've always asked if I can take a few extra and the clerks haven't objected. 2 pair are 0.6 oz. and $0.00. For those in other parts of the country, check the plastic bags in your local store's bulk section (the bags have to be heavy enough to hold several pounds of bulk almonds or jelly beans).

I swear my feet get wetter hiking through a dew-soaked meadow than they do fording a stream! It feels that way, anyway!

OK, I had to heap on some praise after my critical remarks on last week's hint, but I really do greatly appreciate this one!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/05/2011 13:18:36 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/05/2011 13:13:58 MDT Print View

Recommend using UPS plastic bags and cutting them down to "sock" size.

They are free and tough enough to be used repeatedly without getting worn down and full of holes.

They work great for me and have kept my feet warm and "dry".

(Dry is relative in this case because the plastic bag is a vapor barrier and traps foot sweat. While hiking, I find I am warm, but stopping for a prolonged time, I can get a minor chill from the sweaty, damp sock).

-Tony

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/05/2011 13:18:13 MDT Print View

I just received these books and have put them back in stock. Happy reading, BPL'ers.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
plastic bags with Gore-tex boots? on 05/06/2011 13:57:01 MDT Print View

So, I expect to be hiking at the end of the month, in what may be sloppy or wet snow conditions. My current boots are Inov-8 boots with Gore-tex linings. Gore-tex can fail eventually to be water proof. Would you use the plastic bags as a vapor barrier even in Gore-tex boots?

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
plastic bags is to help make your feet feel a little bit warmer on 05/06/2011 17:23:20 MDT Print View

REPLY to Diane:
-------------------

The reason to wear plastic bags is to help make your feet feel a little bit warmer. Even if you have gore-tex shoes, full immersion up above your ankles in a stream will make your feet totally wet.

And, wearing plastic bags in a camp setting will definitely make your feet warmer.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
Plastic bags with Gore-tex on 05/06/2011 17:37:02 MDT Print View

Oh, yeah, I knew it was to make your feet feel warmer. I certainly wasn't thinking it would keep my feet dry in the event of a deeper stream crossing, that would be silly.

I guess it was a question of having plastic under a (possibly) breathable liner, vs. having it under more permeable shoes as is often advocated on this list. I wasn't sure if I'd have to be dumping water build-up out of my boots that might be otherwise evaporated off. If my boots don't dry out for three days, I'd have to be wearing plastic bags on my feet the whole time---I definitely get cold feet easily. I'm a little surprised that having the vapor barrier doesn't lead to trench foot eventually.

Then again, if the Gore-tex liner is failing, time to get new boots! Possibly a good time to switch to more breathable runners.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
BagTex! on 05/09/2011 11:59:10 MDT Print View

My friends and I have called the bread bag liners "BagTex". :)

A poor man's VBL that works well in a pinch. I've used them for ski touring during particularly cold and nasty weather.

Long live dirtbagging!

Edited by PaulMags on 05/09/2011 12:01:41 MDT.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: BagTex! on 05/11/2011 15:20:29 MDT Print View

Not sure others do this, but I put a bag on my bare foot then my sock then another bag. Keeps my socks dry and my feet warmer. NOTE: I have sweaty feet. Feels kinda funny for 5 minutes, but then the vapor content of the inner bag and my foot equalize and its fine.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
bag - sock- another bag on 05/11/2011 15:25:11 MDT Print View

Reply to Brien:
------------------

Yeah! I like the sound of that system!

That seems like it would work GREAT!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
AHA! on 05/11/2011 22:11:02 MDT Print View

AHA! Now that you've recommended light neoprene diver's socks I feel a bit vindicated.

For over a decade I've been using them over a pair of thin polypro liner socks to keep my feltpac liners dry in winter. I've also used them with my leather 3 pin backcountry boots.

I take 3 pair of polypro liner socks to insure that I've always got a clean pair on week long winter trips.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Tips 80 & 84 on 05/12/2011 04:19:30 MDT Print View

#80 loose laces - For easy adjustment to laces, just use a pair of the small, spring barrel-type lace-locks that runners and triathletes use. just push down the spring end, thread your laces through the opening and then either tie them off to the front of your laces at the bite in the lace well or cut them off to fit so that you have just enough bitter ends to provide enough room to put yout shoes on or off. you can then "reeve" your laces in and out through the lace lock to adjuct without retying, etc like you have to if you just tie your shoe by the old-fashioned bow-loop method.

#84 - footbeds. best over the counter orhtotic is Superfeet. They are relatively cheap, lightweight and highly durable and last a long time. BTW, the things that come with most shoes are just psuedo-carboard type junk that do nothing for support, cushioning or stability, so it's just wasted weight. After countless marathons, half-ironmans and ironman and several pricey pairs of custom orthotics, i still use Superfeet in my trailrunners and other hiking shoes or other athletic shoes for gym work or events other than intense long distance endurance sports.

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/12/2011 13:06:29 MDT Print View

Really enjoying the series... but is there any way this could update with the rest of the website on Tuesday lol?

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
what I use on 05/12/2011 13:25:06 MDT Print View

bed

-

Spenco Jelly - PolySorb Cross Trainer Insoles

about $11
(as per tip number 84)

(and see here)
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/display_reviews?forum_thread_id=8664&cat=Footwear%20-%20Boots%2C%20Shoes%2C%20Gaiters&cid=53

Edited by mikeclelland on 05/12/2011 13:32:04 MDT.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
loose laces on 05/12/2011 13:29:02 MDT Print View

Great series. However, I have to differ here. I have foot/ankle issues and have found a super loose lace to be absolutely disasterous. Obviously everybody's needs will be different when it comes to feet. My mantra is: your boot/shoe is only as good as it's lace-up. What that means has to be discovered by each individual. Also of course for me at least terrain also dictates how I lace up my boots. FWIW.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: loose laces on 05/15/2011 06:14:57 MDT Print View

Feet are as different as fingerprints. Sometimes shoes need inserts. Sometimes they don't. Footbed design will effect that as much as lacing and inserts. Hiking in the ADK's, I mostly agree with your comments, though. With trail runners, you do not need a lot of lacing. In the High Peaks area's, you do, though. Up hills are OK. The long/steep downhill hikes are enough to mash my toes off, though. Stopping and tightening laces helps to prevent this, distributing pressure against the top of my feet. With two or three peaks per day, too much fiddling with laces to fool around more than once, tightening on the first 30 degree downhill (many are much more than that, at least for a about quarter mi.)

Inserts mainly serve two purposes. 1) Correct any walking problems (orthotic use.) 2) Comfort.
Supernating or pronating (most common) is a common problem for older hikers. Inserts can help correct these types of walking problems. Comfort is often focused around relieving impact pressures around feet, ankles, knees and through out your skeletal system. Arch problems are a common problem, too.

In contrast to using inserts and thin socks, I use a pair of extra thick wool hikers, sometimes two, and no insert. This seems to do the same job of cushioning impacts as inserts and allows me to completly fill the rear part of my shoe. (I have wider front feet than normal, narrow heels...)

Anyway, a little thought and analysis of your own feet will let you identify any problems, or potential problems, and apply suitable corrections before you head out. As I said, often, what works for one will not work for another...feet are all different. In fact you might find left foot/right foot anomalies that require a different aproach to each foot, not all that unusual.

Gabe Joyes
(gabe_joyes) - F - M

Locale: Lander, WY
I like mine snug on 05/17/2011 11:03:18 MDT Print View

I'm going to respectfully disagree about the loose laces technique. I mean, if it works for Mike, or anyone else, that is fantastic and ya'll should keep doing it.

I know as a hiker and a trail runner, I like my shoes to fit very snug all over my foot, except for around my toes, so that my shoes feel more like a natural extension of my foot. I feel much more confident with my foot placement in technical terrain, and I feel like I can take much quicker steps with out a sloppy fitting shoe. Also, if fitted correctly, having a snug shoe that minimizes friction can reduce blisters. To me, a loose fitting shoe encourages friction, and friction equals blisters. A snug fitting shoe tha doesn't fit "right" can be absolutely hellish too, but if you take your time and find the right pair it is great, at least from my experience.

Check out the Montrail Masochist, they have a nice lacing system that allows you to get a really customized fit.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
lose shoes on 05/17/2011 12:11:22 MDT Print View

I love the MOUNTAIN MASOCHIST! I wanna buy a second pair just because it's so perfect for my feet.

About the loose lacing. Don't ask me why, but loose shoes and super thin socks are magic for me. Just perfect.

I do lace 'em tighter when I scramble on rocks - and when I do long stretches down hill.

I don't trail run, but I walk sorta fast. I wrote about this because I have taught it to students (at NOLS and at BPL) as an option. And a lot of folks find it beneficial. They thank me because they would never have thought of it, they would have simply laced their shoes tight. I like this tip because it goes against the conventional wisdom.

And - this is a simple thing to test. If it doesn't work, then you just bend over and lace your shoes tight again.

I think my wording in the tip says to try this, because it "might" work well for your individual feet.

Peace from Idaho,
Mike C!

____________________________________

loose vs lose always confuses me, spell check doesn't help
(sorry if I mixed 'em up)

Edited by mikeclelland on 05/17/2011 12:12:32 MDT.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Loose shoe convert here. on 05/17/2011 12:20:36 MDT Print View

I'm a fan of loose shoes too, and I run trails. I started trying them loose only a few months ago, but it's honestly been great. Super comfortable, feels like my feet are better ventilated and dry faster. Just make sure the fit's right.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
No loose shoes here on 05/17/2011 12:34:50 MDT Print View

The only time I have ever gotten blisters on my feet on the trail( and they were bloody and bad) was when I left my laces loose on an Emigrant wilderness trip. Same trail runners, same socks I usually use. The only difference were the loose laces. Must be one of those individual thing.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/17/2011 13:15:50 MDT Print View

Me, too--heel blisters! I have unusually narrow heels. Also, I'm more apt to turn an ankle in shoes not firmly laced.

Everyone's feet are different, and any suggestion is worth a try!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/17/2011 13:17:17 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Loose shoes on 05/17/2011 17:53:40 MDT Print View

I'd worry more about loss of control off trail or on rough trails with my feet sliding around in the shoe. Or possibly trashing an ankle. As things stand, I lace my Roclite 370's farly tight around the ankle area for control/support and a bit looser below a surgeon's knot at the top of the instep, but still not what I'd call loose. Just enough to allow for foot swelling. Control is my number one priority.
YMMV, as always.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week 80/84 on 05/18/2011 11:38:23 MDT Print View

I, too, prefer loose trail runners. I began this a while back when the top of feet would feel sore (not injured) after long hikes. There is some slippage but I'm aware of this and therefore step lively yet surely.

I don't really like the foot beds although I agree they make sense and are worth a try.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
Shoes on elbows on 05/20/2011 01:03:43 MDT Print View

Hey Mike,

Nice tip about using your shoes as elbow rests. I am going to try that next summer with my inertia x-frame. It is really comfy but very thin and I have been wondering how to fatten it out.

Keep the good work up!

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Shoes on elbows on 05/20/2011 07:13:35 MDT Print View

Mike - the illustrations are obviously good looking, logically organized but relaxed and just... lightweight. I think that's the word I've been looking for. No extra details or text. Very fitting to the subject matter.

The real surprise: shoes under the elbows. Never would have thought of that. I'll have to give it a try. :)

Thanks for these.

Bradford Childs
(Ford22) - F
Hip pad on 05/20/2011 11:59:10 MDT Print View

I'm a side sleeper and my hip bone was digging through my Ridgerest foam pad on the CT so I cut a piece of foam (~8"x12") for my hip. Helped tremendously, but I'll have to try the lighter donut shape! I'm not sure I could stay put on such a small piece but who knows.

+1 on loose shoes. Mine are maybe a little too loose (sound like flip-flops at times) but haven't had a blister in years and it's so nice to not untie your shoes every time there's a little rock in there. Just pop em off and keep walking.

JASON CUZZETTO
(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
Hip Pad... on 05/20/2011 12:15:46 MDT Print View

You know, I will try the hip pad and just stuff one at my hip in the inside of my pants... <---I had to write that a few times... it kept coming out wrong! Then I will switch it when I need to. Shouldn't be to hard. Then again at .2oz, maybe I should have two... Nah, what am I thinking!

Mike - You are fantastic. I would love to have these drawings printed up in poster size for teaching. Talk about getting the point across perfectly! Thank you!!!

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Side sleepers? on 05/20/2011 14:22:35 MDT Print View

So Mike, how about a similar set of tips and drawings for UL side sleepers?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Shoes on elbows on 05/20/2011 18:27:59 MDT Print View

I can see a problem with some of the recommendations. They will work quite well under benign conditions for some people, but there are many cases where they won't.

Shoes under elbows: and if the shoes are soaking wet and muddy? Happens to us, and happens in some parts of America too.

Side sleepers: some people can't sleep on their backs. They may have snoring problems, they may have spinal problems, they may have breathing problems, ...

Moral: what works for one person may not work for others. First requirement is to think!

Cheers

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
soaking shoes on 05/22/2011 16:40:39 MDT Print View

Hi Roger,

I was thinking exactly that yesterday, most of the time my shoes are wet/muddy and I am also a side/front sleeper. I am going to try putting them in glad bags (if they are not too wet) to keep the muck off of the mat/ sleeping bag. As for front sleeping, I still really need an inflatable.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/24/2011 18:26:41 MDT Print View

I suspect that when Mike hits his late 60's/early 70's, he will also be in agony if he tries to sleep on no more than a CCF pad and rubber donut. With nice, thick, cushiony insulated air pads getting lighter and lighter, there isn't a lot of weight difference between what he takes and what I take. Not enough to be worth a sleepless night, anyway!

I'm gonna try his pillow idea, though!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Ziplock on 05/24/2011 23:54:01 MDT Print View

Interesting idea with the ziplock baggies. It seems like you could just nix the pillow case though and use the stuff sack for your shelter instead since that's always just laying around when the shelter is pitched. 7 zip lock baggies can't weigh much.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
pad and pillow on 05/25/2011 10:22:41 MDT Print View

Reply To Mary D:
-----------------
I do take an inflatable pad! It's a BPL torso length pad, with 5mm evazote glued to it so I get 100% padding below me. I will occasionally use just a thin closed-cell foam pad, but I much refer the inflatable version.

See this article:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/make_your_own_gear_multi_pad_ground_sheet.html

*NOTE:
I cut off the TYVEC ground cloth thing, I found it unnecessary after a few nights on it.

- and -

Reply to DAN:
---------------
I don't carry a stuff sack for my shelter, and I'm presently using the mesh grapefruit bag as my pillow stuff sack.

And - I gotta say, I am suer proud of the ziploc pillow concept. It is close to perfection!

Lee Fields
(RevLee)
Pillow cover on 05/25/2011 11:39:28 MDT Print View

I wear a Buff during the day and slide it over my clothes bag at night for a pillow case. As a side sleeper, I could never go for a plastic pillow cover.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Pillow cover on 05/25/2011 12:16:30 MDT Print View

Wearing the buff as a balaclava, it wouldn't matter if you side slept on plastic. You always would have buff against your skin.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
pillow on 05/25/2011 12:23:16 MDT Print View

My reply to John & Lee:
_____________________________________

These tips all come from a book, and the book is devoted to Ultralight skills. I advocate wearing all your layers to sleep as insulation. That said, there isn't any extra gear (like a clothes bag) left when it's time to sleep. So, the pillow becomes an issue.

I position my plastic mesh bag UNDER my - and I'm wearing a hood and hat, so my head would never touch the pillow directly.

If I carried a BUFF, I would wear it to bed and take advantage of that insulation.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: pillow on 05/26/2011 06:15:53 MDT Print View

Mike,
After reading your book, I had to try the pillow idea. I am usually against taking so many unused plastic bags on a hiking trip. But, I figured I would give it a try. It was GREAT!
Thanks, Mike!

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
pillow R & D on 05/26/2011 08:39:34 MDT Print View

Reply to James:
------------------------

Yeah - this pillow tip is really is great!

As silly as this might sound, I was SO proud of myself when I finally figured this one out.

I've used the same 7 bags since last summer. So, they get used over and over, and it works perfectly.

As I was playing R&D technician, I tried about 9 bags and a bigger stuff sack, that was GLORIOUS! But, I didn't need the larger size, so I took it down to 7 with a smaller stuff sack. Any fewer than 7 and I found it was too small (for me).

I haven't come up with anything lighter or more comfortable - or cheaper!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: pillow R & D on 05/26/2011 09:59:27 MDT Print View

Yup. A really good idea. I was using 4 baggies in a small stuff sack from my night cloths and suplimented with my muddy pants. Thanks Mike, one of those tips that costs next to nothing, maybe an ounce in weight for the baggies and is mostly a matter of technique. I loved it... Far better than shoes! (Bag is turned inside out, of course.)

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: "Ultralight Tip of the Week" on 05/26/2011 12:49:33 MDT Print View

Hey Mike,

Just wanted to chime in and let you know how much I enjoy reading your tips each week. I'll be ordering your book for sure. The cartoons are great too. I can't wait to try your pillow idea.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Pillow on 05/26/2011 18:40:36 MDT Print View

Neat idea with the pillow. Seems like a bit of a hassle to set up, but maybe that's just because I haven't tried it.

I usually do one of the following, depending on what I have with me and what's dry:

-Ball up my pack.
-Partially inflate an empty 1 liter Platypus bottle (it's okay if there's a bit of water in there)
-Use a shoe

All of these have worked fine for me, with no weight penalty or extra hassle since I already have the items with me. Then again, I sleep easily and heavily, so I've got that working in my favor.

The ziploc idea admittedly sounds more comfortable. ;)

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Poof - Zip - Stuff (repeat times 7) easy! on 05/26/2011 19:18:42 MDT Print View

Ken,

It's easier to set up than you might think. Poof - Zip - Stuff (repeat times 7) easy!

I've used my shoes PLENTY! They are pretty good, but imperfect.

I once filled my backpack with pine-cones. THey were crunchy and all dry. I was fortunate to bed down right next to a tree that literally had then piled up under the tree. It was magical!

Peace,
Mike C!

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Poof - Zip - Stuff (repeat times 7) easy! on 05/27/2011 10:52:24 MDT Print View

>> It was magical!

lol - i can hear robert duvall saying: i love the smell of crunchy pine cones in the morning

P.S.

Really am enjoying your book. Excellent!

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
A Better Pillow!! on 05/27/2011 12:24:50 MDT Print View

I can go you one better than ziplock baggies!

BPL used to offer inflatable pillows used by EMTs. About 4 years ago I found a website that offered them in bulk and a bunch of us BPL members bought a box of them and shared them out at cost. They come in a box of 50 for $25 and if partially inflated are supremely comfortable. I kept 5 and I have used one for over 24 nights. They have a flocked cottony surface. I have had to replace the inflator straw several times because I have either lost it or it has bent and leaked air. Simple to replace with any drinking straw. They weigh a hefty .20oz!! I don't use mine uncovered (hence the reason it has lasted so long and isn't a dirt mess). I use the flocked pillow case cover that you ucan get at REI for about $9. Adds a small bit of weight but...

Here is the site:

http://www.quickmedical.com/bed-sheets-pillows.html

The 14 inch size is perfect. The larger 19 inch is just too big and your head rolls around on it.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
PILLOW (multiple zip-lock baggies) on 05/27/2011 12:38:50 MDT Print View

Reply to Mitchell:

Iv'e used these white inflatable pillow that you recommend. I thought these were pretty good, but I found they were small, and my head would sort of roll off. The only version that worked for me was the DUAL-CHAMBER version, but these are no longer available on the BPL site.

The version (with the multiple zip-lock baggies) is a smidge heavier but (for me anyway) much MORE comfortable!

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: A Better Pillow!! on 05/27/2011 12:39:56 MDT Print View

BPL has them in stock now http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/new_backpacking_gear.html not the dual chambered ones

Edited by annapurna on 05/27/2011 12:41:22 MDT.

Al Nichols
(everready) - F

Locale: Sh!^^% Ohio
I use these....... on 05/27/2011 12:47:42 MDT Print View

http://www.ultralightdesigns.com/products/sleeping/sleeping.html

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: I use these....... on 05/27/2011 20:04:44 MDT Print View

just hoping i don't dream about a Poop-in-a-ziploc pillow tonight

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: "Ultralight Tip of the Week" on 05/28/2011 00:50:19 MDT Print View

LOL @ George

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Ziplock Pillows on 05/31/2011 10:32:51 MDT Print View

Tried this out down on the eastside of the Sierras this past week. Great tip! Thanks Mike.

Al Nichols
(everready) - F

Locale: Sh!^^% Ohio
George, I don't get it.......... on 05/31/2011 11:06:59 MDT Print View

"just hoping i don't dream about a Poop-in-a-ziploc pillow tonight"


What????

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
re: George I don't get it. on 05/31/2011 11:26:30 MDT Print View

Al, check out WAG Bags... You might be sorry you asked though! ;)

Edited by AaronMB on 05/31/2011 11:27:26 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 05/31/2011 15:45:51 MDT Print View

You might want to check out the Kooka Bay inflatable pillow at only 1.3 oz. http://kookabay.com/pillows.html
It's lighter than Mike's!

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
Aqua Mira on 06/02/2011 19:17:57 MDT Print View

This latest tip is awesome! I think it'll save me a lot of time and hassle in my backpacking as I grab water from beaver ponds and streams in the bottom of valleys.

my favorite part: prepare the mixture at the beginning of the day and have only the one bottle to worry about while hiking. Bril!

-Dan

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Katadyn Chlorine Dioxide tabs on 06/02/2011 19:47:16 MDT Print View

Good idea for Aqua Mira users Mike!

I prefer the ease of use and strength of Katadyn chlorine dioxide tabs over Aqua Mira for my hydration bladder.

BTW, if I need faster tablet purification I crush them in my spoon before adding them to the hydration bladder.

For quick purification for my energy drink bike bottle I use a SteriPen Adventurer.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/02/2011 19:50:22 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Aqua Mira on 06/02/2011 20:55:31 MDT Print View

Pre-mix AM at your own risk.

Related thread.
"The reason that the instructions call for a reaction wait time of 5 minutes is so that the mixture can be added to the water at the peak of ClO2 production. If a person adds the mixture too early or late, the final concentration of ClO2 in the water can be significantly less than the required 4ppm."

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Reply to Michael Ray: on 06/02/2011 21:31:02 MDT Print View

Reply to Michael Ray:
_________________________________

Yes, I agree, one should use this system with a bit of your own personal insights.

The "MIX" has a time of effectiveness that has a lot of variables. It is my understanding that the YELLOW color is an indication that the MIX is effective. The system of the small MIX bottle has long been used by ultra-light hikers.

The safest way to use this system is to be careful with the MIX (avoid heat and light) and to use the mix soon after creating.

Also - I feel am cautious about the water source. I try to get my drinking water from the cleanest source i can.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Reply to Michael Ray: on 06/03/2011 06:01:29 MDT Print View

"The "MIX" has a time of effectiveness that has a lot of variables. It is my understanding that the YELLOW color is an indication that the MIX is effective. The system of the small MIX bottle has long been used by ultra-light hikers."

Pre-mixing is generally OK. If you have any immunity, a good mix will likely work. To be 99.9% sure, just double the dosage. All of this is pretty good advise. But, some people will take it as gospel and think they are the words of absolute. Not true. Even following the instructions somone will likely get sick...that is the nature of statistics. 99.999% still means that 1 in 100000 will get sick with Gardia or Crypto. And, AquaMira does NOT work that well against tapeworms. It does, but slowly and it only takes one egg, not 6-7 cysts, to aquire the disease.

As with a LOT of UL techniques, it takes a knowledge of what you are doing and the terrain you are doing it in to be safe. From warmth, shelter, walking, water and food...it all requires more from an ultralight camper than the average car camper.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
reply to James on 06/04/2011 19:30:24 MDT Print View

James wrote:
-----------------
"As with a LOT of UL techniques, it takes a knowledge of what you are doing and the terrain you are doing it in to be safe. From warmth, shelter, walking, water and food...it all requires more from an ultralight camper than the average car camper.

-

Mike C's reply:
-----------------
Yes - I agree completely. But, that extra knowledge isn't really all *that* much. I feel it takes just a little bit of extra dedication to solve most of the key differences.

This tip on AQUAMIRA was a tricky one for me to write and share in a way that I feel is fair to the user. If you read the text, i am very clear that this change from the directions involves a high level of personal responsibility. I chose my words carefully.

I'll also say it again. I myself (yes me) choose my water sources VERY carefully. And for the most part, I travel and camp in places with VERY clean water. When I can I don't treat my water at all. I feel that this is connected to the way I use aquamira.

I highly recommend that everyone READ the article below:

Sipping the Waters: Techniques for Selecting Untreated Backcountry Water for Drinking
by Michael von Gortler, MD
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/sipping_water_drinking_untreated_backcountry_water.html

This excellent essay helped me a lot to define when and how I choose my water. I love NOT treating my water at all, and this is a great starting point. In my book I share my own "checklist" of when and how to drink un-treated water. I was inspired by this article by Dr. von Gorter.

Rodney Mruk
(rodney_mruk) - M

Locale: Northeast Oregon
Ultralight Backpacking on 06/05/2011 18:21:13 MDT Print View

Mike,

I just finished reading your ultralight tips book. I must say it is the best how-to book on backpacking I have ever read and I've read most of them. Thank you for your work and your love to share with others.

By the way, I read your book on my Kindle. For 10 ounces I can bring literally hundreds and hundreds of good books on the trail with a battery that lasts 30 days!

Blessings,
Rodney

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: reply to James on 06/06/2011 06:15:11 MDT Print View

"But, that extra knowledge isn't really all *that* much. I feel it takes just a little bit of extra dedication to solve most of the key differences."
Ha, ha...of course. I agree it isn't *that* much. You really enjoy being out there, striving to keep things light and still be comfy, as do I. You are really interested in all that stuff. You even wrote a book (and a good one I will add) on the subject. I tend to think you might be minimizing the effect your book will have on so many other campers, that is to say on lightweight, SUL, XSUL backpackers. As an author, you know that choosing your words can carry a big impact on a reader. You choose your words very well!

I will be bringing your book, Don's book and several others up to the Cedarlands BS Camp this summer. These are for the mostly younger scouts with a thirst for hiking, generally. But, I worry that they may take things a bit too literaly, without thought.

Unfortunatly, or maybe fortunatly, there is very limited access to the internet and phone services for the scouts. While I have read Dr. von Gorter's artical, I do not totally agree with him in spots and he has clearly spent several years hiking at least one area to develope his writing. My concern, to reiterate, is that one of the scouts will pick up on it and decide this is "How to do it" with no real thinking ... something they will have little practice with doing ... both the thinking part and the selection of a good water source.

Anyway, don't let my poor words disrupt your meanings...just keep them coming!

Wesley Witt
(weswitt) - M

Locale: Northwest
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/06/2011 08:54:17 MDT Print View

Where did you buy the black mini dropper bottle?

Ben Smith
(goosefeet) - MLife

Locale: Georgia
Re: Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/06/2011 09:14:02 MDT Print View

You can get them at US Plastics.

Travis Naibert
(outwest) - F
An added aquamira note on repackaging on 06/06/2011 17:02:49 MDT Print View

Great advice Mike C!

I would like to point out two points to those who have never repackaged aquamira before.
1) If you backpack a lot or are planning a thru-hike, you can buy AqMira in larger sizes, used for treating whole household water tanks. I think you get about 4 times the product for about twice the price of the normal hiker size.
2) If you repackage your aquamira drops in smaller droppers like many people do, you should get a teaspoon out and count how many drops it takes to fill the teaspoon with the original bottles and your repackaged bottles because some dropper bottles let out larger or smaller drops and you may have to adjust the directions. My dropper bottles take 8.4 drops per liter as per the directions and some recalculating. I still use 7 per liter, but it isn't really following the directions.

The tip of the week and the illustrations are quickly becoming one of my favorite BPL features.

Paul Bates
(pjbates3) - F

Locale: Southeast
Just bought my copy! on 06/08/2011 13:37:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great tips Mike! The cartoons are priceless.

robert mckay
(rahstin) - F

Locale: The Great Land
nap time bandana on 06/11/2011 17:03:59 MDT Print View

Yet another use for a bandana... Cover for eyes while napping!
naptime
On a recent thru hike of the Denali Highway. Funny how quickly the dreams arrive...

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: nap time tip on 06/11/2011 17:50:19 MDT Print View

Never taken a nap during a backpacking trip, but it does sound good. Rahstin's picture confirms it. I might give it a try next time.

I love you book. Every time I look through it I find a great tip. Your cartoons are perfect. Funny but very informative.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Nap! on 06/11/2011 20:06:46 MDT Print View

I may have rested in my tent before, but never a nap while on the trail. That's a great idea. I'll have to give it a try.

Finished my book this last and enjoyed it quite a bit. Thanks Mike!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Napping on 06/11/2011 21:21:21 MDT Print View

I love your tips, Mike, and many of them have come in very handy, but I find it really strange that people need to be tipped on taking a nap. It's the most natural thing in the world. All the animals do it. It's hard for me to believe that there are people here who've never even contemplated it.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Napping on 06/11/2011 21:58:23 MDT Print View

Mike -- your best tip ever. Nothing like a nap. Even President Truman knew the value of a nap.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: kNapping on 06/12/2011 10:41:03 MDT Print View

You know I just thought about this:

Is the tip suggesting we take a nap using our knapsack?

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/12/2011 13:04:49 MDT Print View

Better get some baggies on those feet if you want to keep the bears away! ! ! ! !

JASON CUZZETTO
(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
Nap... Thanks Mike on 06/13/2011 10:02:55 MDT Print View

Naps. Mike I love my trail naps. Even my kids roll their collective eyes as I does off and they toss rocks at me. I don't flinch when they hit. I just snore louder. It helps keep the bears at bay!!!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/14/2011 15:04:37 MDT Print View

I have to feed my dog (very sensitive stomach) a part of his daily ration at noon so he won't barf up his breakfast and dinner. As a result, I get to rest an hour while he digests his lunch. Even if I don't sleep, just relaxing with my shoes off leaves me as refreshed as though I had just started the day!

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
clelland on 06/15/2011 12:52:46 MDT Print View

As an owner of Mike's book I have to recommend it. I used to lug 25lb base weight around with a ton of "just in case" items, I'm now down to 7.6lb. Granted this took the motivation of an upcoming JMT and some expendable income. Honestly though the book itself would have shaved a good 10-12 pounds off.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Thanks Michael! on 06/15/2011 13:21:14 MDT Print View

Right on! I really love hearing this kind of stuff - and that was my goal when I wrote the book! Huge thanks!

Mike C!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Framesheets on 06/17/2011 05:54:59 MDT Print View

Good tip! Some packs are designed to handle a frame sheet externally to the pack. I think Gossamer Gear inovated this with a few others picking it up. Using a modified closed cell foam pad can net a good weight savingings this way. A full Nightlite pad can be cut into 10" sections, nesting the dimples, and taped together for a 50" pad/framesheet.

With a little modification, closed cell pads can be made into a box in a pack's body. A piece of duct tape will tape it back together, once you have the pieces cut to fit in your pack.
Example: 12", 7", 12", 7", 11" will give a 49" length pad. In a pack, this will give two layers of 1/2" foam back, a 1/2" piece of foam along each side and a piece across the front. This is more rigid (by a good 50%) than a simple inflatable framesheet and less weight by a couple ounces. It really holds the pack body stiff for up to two weeks of food (22lb) and your base gear (around 10lb.) Fuel makes up the 35lb maximum.

I have found that the NeoAir series do not lend themselves all that well to frame support, though. A more standard Thermorest works better, generally. None of the true inflateables really do a good jod with support(Pacific Outdoors, Inertia, X-Frame, etc.) I never tried the DAM's though.

Will Webster
(WillWeb) - M
Re: Framesheets on 06/17/2011 06:24:48 MDT Print View

"With a little modification, closed cell pads can be made into a box in a pack's body"

That's what I've been doing with my Z-lite. It's cut down to torso length (6 sections) and I put it in the pack like this:
/\_ _/\ then fill the channel with my gear.

My current pack is an REI Flash 50 with the framesheet removed (I know - too heavy; I'm holding out for the rest of the SOTM to be released). With the Z-lite "frame" all the weight is on my hips, but it does pull away from my back some.

Colin Parkinson
(parkinson1157)

Locale: Ontario Canada
Cloud Packing on 06/17/2011 21:00:47 MDT Print View

I did the cloud packing thingy on my last back packing trip, it worked great knocked at least ten minutes of my morning packing ritual.

And best of all no fighting to get the last bit of the sleeping bag into the too small stuff sack.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
semi-cloud? on 06/17/2011 22:17:44 MDT Print View

I do a sort of semi-cloud when packing my sleeping bag. I have a GG cuben dry bag with eVent larger than actually needed for the sleeping bag. Once closed, the eVent lets air in or out, depending on the pressure of the down trying to expand vs the pressure of other stuff on top. The bag is less confined than in a regular stuff sack, but still safe from any water entering the pack. It also conforms very nicely to the pack's shape, as it does in the cloud packing method.

James Winstead
(James_W) - M

Locale: CA
Also Semi-Cloud on 06/17/2011 22:40:48 MDT Print View

I am also of the semi-cloud variety. I loosely stuff my sleeping bag in the bottom inside my compactor bag liner. I leave the liner open at the top like a chimney/snorkel to evacuate the air as I pack on top of it. Then most everything else is piled on top within some sort of bag. Who cares if my mess kit gets wet! It's really only in a bag to keep soot/esbit gunk off everything else. Insulation layers and rain gear is loose on the very top. Then last thing I twist the snorkel around a few times and stuff it back along the side of the pack. No sweat.

And let me be +1,728 or whatever on how great this book is. So simple. It really sends the message that UL isn't some odd special technique or something that only hardcore adventure racers do. Carrying less is fun, easy, can be cheap and is really just a mentality. Bravo

nick beaudoin
(nick_beaudoin) - M

Locale: Palmy
ANother semi cloud on 06/18/2011 16:43:27 MDT Print View

I find the best compromise between stuff sack and cloud method is using a large cuben drybag. I can stuff quilt big or small taking as or as little room as trip dictates. It also affords me a bit of peace of mind having it in a drybag.
Nick

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
reply to folks on 06/18/2011 16:53:03 MDT Print View

I agree with the comments above. No need to create a bowling ball using a "traditional" compression stuff sack. And, using an easily stuffed lager sized stuff sack is a great option.

It the book I advocate using the BIVY-SACK as a non-waterproof way to stuff the sleeping bag (in full cloud mode) in the bottom of your pack and INSIDE a white plastic trash COMPACTOR bag.

The bivy sack adds a slight bit of water protection, but the primary waterproofing is the COMPACTOR bag.

peace,
Mike C!

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
The cloud on 06/19/2011 18:59:31 MDT Print View

I've been using the pack liner technique for several years now, but still kept my shelter in a stuff sack (oversize). A quick test at home this weekend showed me that packing my shelter loose will offer much more flexibility in packing.

Bought the Kindle version of the book -- it's great. It challenges you to think about your choices...

Curtis Blair
(curt1007) - F
Cloud packing on 06/19/2011 19:08:39 MDT Print View

I like this idea, I am going on a short trip next weekend am will do this. The pad and the sleeping bag inside instead of in my compressed roll outside.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Pack Sleeping Mat Frame on 06/20/2011 09:24:02 MDT Print View

When I use an inflatable torso pad what I do is fold it length-wise in half, then line the inside of the pack so that the pad forms a "U" shape from the back down to the bottom of the pack and back up the front. I make sure to leave the inflation valve accessible. Then I pack the pack as usual. When everything is inside I blow into the valve to inflate the pad as much as possible. It tightens the pack up and creates quite a stiff frame, plus provides a soft padding against the back.

Mike, just got your book. Looking forward to reading it on my iPad!

Edited by butuki on 06/20/2011 09:24:35 MDT.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/20/2011 11:25:05 MDT Print View

I have two of Mike's previous books, "Alan and Mikes Really Cool Backpacking Book," and "Lighten Up," and I must say that they are my two favorite backpacking technique books. Simple, funny and to the point. I read both of them cover to cover. Now I just skim through them and look at the drawings to refresh my memory.

I don't always agree with everything, for example the cloud method of packing a sleeping bag didn't work for me, but I haven't found anything better as a guide for ultralight backpacking. You really can't go wrong with any of Mike's books.

Noel Tavan
(akatsuki_the_devil) - MLife
can't wait on 06/20/2011 13:59:41 MDT Print View

Should receive my copy of your book in Wednesday! Can't wait for it!

Michael Reagan
(MichaelReagan) - F

Locale: Southern California
A worthy investment on 06/21/2011 13:48:01 MDT Print View

I just bought Mike Clelland's latest book (the Kindle version for my iPad) after variously enjoying/learning from/disagreeing with/fully agreeing with/being entertained by so many of his posts and articles here. I must say that I find this book to be an absolute gem that's hard to put down. Now I can't wait to get my hands on his two previous books. Thanks for putting together a thoroughly enjoyable read!

Michael

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Don't Forget on 06/21/2011 20:05:14 MDT Print View

Don't forget about Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book. One of my personal favorites!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Great tip about sleeping under the stars, but not in the ADK's! on 06/22/2011 08:48:03 MDT Print View

Mike, I have no doubt that sleeping under the stars is great. Many times I have set up the tarp and simply laid down to take a nap only to wake up at midnight to hang the bear bag and dig my bag out. Many nights we get a heavy fog or light rain in the mountans of the north east. Usually about 50/50 I would say. My last trip (8 nights) was typical...rain some part of every day. Well, it IS spring...

I misread a storm (actually 3 lightning storms and 1 rain storm) one night and set up the tarp a bit off center. The wind shifted and dampened the bag and shoes. But yes, never sleep in wet cloths. My sleeping cloths are *not* pj's. They are my insulation layer if things get really bad. One extra pair of wool socks, one mid weight smartwool shirt, one mid weight long john pants. If I do not need these for the morning, they get packed with the sleeping bag. These are *always* as dry as is possible. My pants, shirt, and rain jacket may be soaked, but, I will be sleeping comfortably. If needed, I can wear these for a while...they dry farly quickly. After several days of rain, they can get quite damp, but still do the job.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Spelling Police! on 06/22/2011 09:37:41 MDT Print View

Third paragraph of Tip #95"
" the potential for FOWL weather "

fowl = birds, particularly chickens and other domestic birds raised for food

foul = nasty, gross; in relation to weather, stormy, rainy, etc.

Though I'll give you that rainy weather while hiking is for the birds, and if you've ever lived near a chicken or turkey farm, you'd have a great argument for claiming that fowl are indeed foul!!!!



p.s. Great book! I have both a hard copy, and a copy on my Kindle!


*Note from Addie: this has been fixed. No harm, no... uh... fowl. :)

Edited by addiebedford on 06/22/2011 12:50:34 MDT.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Astrobivying on 06/22/2011 10:14:25 MDT Print View

Astrobivying looks mighty nice and easy to emplace, though tempting to bring a star chart and iPod. A bivy w/a taller entrance, yet lighter than the OR advanced bivy to avoid the stuffiness when sealed up would be nice.

Edited by hknewman on 06/22/2011 19:30:08 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Astrobivying on 06/22/2011 11:24:18 MDT Print View

I had a GoLite Utopia tent that was great for stargazing as the door was like a Gothic arch and I could open it to see a lot of night sky. I've seen meteorite showers and satellites. It didn't provide bug protection while open and that door let in rain while getting in and out in a shower, but it could be zipped up in a second if it started raining.

I've seen tunnel tent designs that allowed unzipping/rolling back the fly for a star gazing view.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Sleeping bag crunches on 06/22/2011 15:31:00 MDT Print View

Doing crunches to keep warm in your sleeping bag only works if you're just slightly chilled. I speak from experience that if you wake up shivering in the middle of the night doing a few minutes of crunches 'aint gona' do diddly to warm up / keep you warm until morning.

As usual your results will vary. ;)

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Don't Forget on 06/23/2011 10:16:18 MDT Print View

>> Don't forget about Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book. One of my personal favorites!

Yeah...I didn't make that connection until a few days ago, and I have a couple Allen and Mike books. And I've been hanging in the forums for months now. Feeling a bit sheepish.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/23/2011 12:38:14 MDT Print View

Mike's tips for finding a warmer campsite are the same tips used to avoid condensation in your shelter! They are also useful to find a "stealth" campsite or just one that is more LNT.

Unfortunately, in those areas where bark beetles have decimated nearly all of the trees, a meadow site is often the only safe place to be. It should be the last resort, though.

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/23/2011 13:58:17 MDT.

Anne Speck
(Gneissisnice) - F
Cartoons on 06/23/2011 15:55:33 MDT Print View

Mike -- I love your cartoons! I got the Kindle version of your book because I'm trying to lighten up in the rest of my life and the zoom function does not work for inline graphics. I'm sure Amazon is getting flack for this and is promising authors they're working on something... but is there any way you could give readers a work-around until Amazon is done? Maybe ask for some identifier in the book to unlock a pdf on your site?

Thanks for your time.

Darren Bagnall
(dbagnall)

Locale: El Portal, CA
Tip #99 on 06/24/2011 11:13:47 MDT Print View

Hello - Greats Tips.

Regarding tip #99 'wearing all your clothes to bed'. How do you get around your hiking clothes being wet from sweat or rain? I usually carry "pajamas" (light base-layer top/bottoms, hat, gloves, and extra dry socks) because my hiking clothes are always too wet from sweat when I go to bed. Also they are very dirty and wearing dirty clothes in my sleeping bag will dirty the bag (which I believe will eventually reduce its ability to keep me warm). One thing to note is I generally hike 'thru-hiking style' (long miles, hike all day and jump into bed). I would love to reduce my weight by leaving the pajamas at home but I am not convinced thats a good idea (for me). Any additional insights or ideas?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/24/2011 11:32:28 MDT Print View

Would you take a base layer anyway? I do! Ditto the hat and socks. I therefore don't consider my base layer (which I wear to bed at night) as extra clothes or "pajamas" but as an additional layer for cold nights and mornings. On a frosty morning, I'll put on my hiking clothes (plus all of the rest of my gear) over the base layer and not remove the base layer until I am ready to start hiking for the day. It has to be really cold (like well below freezing) for me to hike in my base layer, but I definitely need it around camp as well as in the sleeping bag. Like you, I don't want to crawl into my sleeping bag with wet or grubby clothes. Even if I did, though, I'd add the base layer!

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/24/2011 11:33:48 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tip #99 on 06/24/2011 11:59:37 MDT Print View

I would draw the line at wearing rain gear and I wouldn't wear muddy/dirty pants unless it was really cold. Soft shell pants are great in that case.

I do work silkweight long johns into my shoulder season clothing list and I use a Power Stretch hoodie or vest for mid-layer insulation, which all make excellent sleep clothing. The Power Stretch hoodie plus my windshirt is equal to something like a Thermawrap jacket, although it is a bit heavier. I do like the versatility and I get a hood (read fleece beanie) and some hand coverage in the bargain. I've always railed at carrying something like a Thermawrap plus a windshirt--- too many shell layers. The Power Stretch provides highly breathable insulation and it works well in wet conditions. Patagonia Cap4 or R1 would do the same trick. They are excellent in conjunction with a rain shell too. Silkweight long johns and rain pants are the only way to fly in all-day cold rain.

You can certainly sleep in insulation layers like light synthetic or down jackets, along with something like a bottom base layer and wind pants. It makes more sense to me to have the option of the insulating clothing and count on that as part of the lower temperature for my sleep system. You can't wear most sleeping bags on the trail or around camp (there are some quilts that can be worn in camp).

If you carry a 20F bag for actual 20F sleep plus insulating clothing for the same temps, you have needless duplication and weight--- the combined system could go to much lower temps. You could dial back to a 32F bag and wear your insulation, saving a pound or more. You end up with more trapped air layers and you don't feel the air leaks in your bag with the extra sleep layers on.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
baggies on 06/24/2011 12:18:48 MDT Print View

the problem with using a lighter bag is how you prepare for a "20F" night ...

is that 20F the lowest expected temp? ... or just the "average" ...

if its the average you may well end up cold if the temps dip ... especially at the end of the trip when yr bag is losing loft

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/24/2011 12:26:21 MDT Print View

Those of us who sleep really cold add extra clothing at 25-30*F in that 20*F bag! And what if it does go down to 10*F? I've had that happen several times, and I want to be prepared!

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/24/2011 12:28:10 MDT.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Salt? on 06/24/2011 14:53:43 MDT Print View

Mike - I'm really enjoying your book. I even got Mr. B to look at it. His interest picked up when he saw your line about it's ok to stink. Not the tip I would have picked for him to focus on, but I'll take what I can get.

I just made the spelt breakast, spicy olive oil, polenta-couscous, and dried pesto. In the dried pesto sauce recipe 1 teaspoon of sugar is listed twice. I guessed the extra sugar should have been 1 teaspoon of salt, so that's what I did. 1 TB of pesto powder and 1 TB of spicy oil mixed up into a small bit of heaven. I put it on the couscous-polenta.

I plan to make the other recipes early next week when I get to civilization so I can buy the ingredients I don't have here in Whoville.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: under the stars on 06/24/2011 19:01:29 MDT Print View

The only thing that comes close to sleeping under the stars is Peeing under the stars

Peeing while Peering upwards at the starry night skyses,
high, high on the hill
as my stream's steam rises,
surreal,
quite a thrill

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
spelling police 2.0 on 06/26/2011 03:32:02 MDT Print View

Ensure: make darn certain something will happen
Insure: set up a contingency plan in case something adverse happens.

Sorry Mike, but the English Major in me cringes far too often when I read your otherwise excellent books/tips.

I'm still reading them though! =)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: under the stars on 06/26/2011 07:23:34 MDT Print View

"The only thing that comes close to sleeping under the stars is Peeing under the stars"

Reminds me of the joke about the guy who walks up to a urinal and begins doing his business when he notices "look up" scrawled on the tile in front of him. He looks up along the wall and sees another scrawl - "look higher." He continues to look up the wall and sees - "higher still." Finally he looks straight up at the ceiling and reads - "quick, look down, you're peeing on your shoes!"

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
Re: spelling police 2.0 on 06/26/2011 10:58:37 MDT Print View

Oh, Dan! As a fellow picky English Major I must point out--in good fun, of course--that Mike did indeed spell the word correctly. In this case, as you actually show above, it's a case of the "wrong word." ;) I can't help but smile a bit when reading students' papers and they don't realize they've done this because Microsoft's spell checker liked what it sees!

Admittedly, as a writer, I sometimes do this when I've been at it for a stretch. It happens, which is why good editing is good!


Great book, Mike. Thanks!
(If you have any say or are able to give feedback to Amazon/Kindle/Falcon, have them make sure your pictures are placed appropriately within the [Kindle's version] text in your next piece. FYI, there are quite a few pictures that seem to be misplaced by a paragraph/section, if you will, so the picture context doesn't quite fit in with the text. It's close and easily figured out but it's not something that would be acceptable in a traditional paper text, and so, IMO, should not happen in an electronic version either. This is just a nitpick and no reflection on you or your work; I appreciate your book, I'll reread it, and suggest it to others!)


Peeing under the stars is great; the early-morning field of stars is sublime. I often find myself lost in it all.

Doug, you might try a little back and forth turret action to help prevent going on your feet while getting lost in space. :)

Edited by AaronMB on 06/26/2011 11:07:00 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Spelling/word usage police on 06/26/2011 19:11:59 MDT Print View

I think spell-checking software is responsible for most of the errors like this.

We get typing in too much of a hurry and unintentionally type the wrong word, but spell-check of course doesn't pick it up because it doesn't know what word we intended to use. It has happened to me a lot.

IMHO, here's no substitute for a good human proofreader! Or preferably, several of them!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Spelling/word usage police on 06/26/2011 19:27:58 MDT Print View

There are computer programs available which will check spelling, punctuation, and usage. You can even set the checking rules or intensity that you want applied.

--B.G.--

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Spelling/word usage police on 06/26/2011 19:44:59 MDT Print View

For what it is worth, I don't care about spelling, IMHO. That being said, YMMV on spell checkers.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: under the stars on 06/26/2011 20:27:28 MDT Print View

""The only thing that comes close to sleeping under the stars is Peeing under the stars"

Some of us older folks have been known to do both at the same time. :(

Michael Reagan
(MichaelReagan) - F

Locale: Southern California
Spellcheckers on 06/26/2011 20:27:48 MDT Print View

Yep, I agree with Mary. I've caught a number of usage errors in things I've posted over the years (always after the fact, sigh).

Spelling, grammar, and junk like that is important. Otherwise we are just one hundred monkeys at one hundred keyboards. Or something like that. :o)

Michael

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Spellcheckers on 06/28/2011 19:37:35 MDT Print View

Speillng is way ovrreated

If you can undrestnad waht the syombls maen tehn the msseage is succsseful.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week--#32 on 06/30/2011 11:49:13 MDT Print View

Mike, that was truly beautiful! That's exactly why I go out in the wilderness and will continue to go as long as I can put one foot in front of another!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week--#32 on 06/30/2011 12:10:11 MDT Print View

That's why I don't get 25 mile days on the trail--- too busy dodging rocks and roots to enjoy the scenery. Many of us live a hectic urban lifestyle and we need to leave that at home and take the time to enjoy the awesome-ness of the outdoors.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
flower on 06/30/2011 14:10:02 MDT Print View

you can it flower ... i call it UL salad ;)

Scott Engles
(scottbham)
Better yet, try this on 06/30/2011 17:47:26 MDT Print View

The flower technique is great. But instead of focusing on a flower, consider trying what a guy once did sitting under a tree in the forest a long time ago: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: flower on 07/01/2011 11:09:38 MDT Print View

>> you can it flower ... i call it UL salad ;)

some call it tp

kidding, only kidding - this tip is among my favorites

i've practiced this tip not only on a flower but on an insect and even fuzzy things growing on rotting wood. it's good for the soul

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 07/01/2011 12:04:54 MDT Print View

I agree with Dale that getting out there away from the cares of everyday life and immersing oneself in the wild is far more important than mileage! That's why I hike what used to be called "banker's hours" (9-3) and generally end up doing 5-7 mile days. Of course my age has quite a bit to do with that, too! At least that's as good an excuse as any for spending more time enjoying my surroundings!

Serge G.
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
the present on 07/03/2011 04:22:02 MDT Print View

Loving post #32. Moments like that are definitely a big draw to the mountains. I try to take some time on each hike to just relax and let my imagination wonder around the landscape a bit--picturing geologic time at viewpoints etc.

People often associate moving fast with rushing, which somehow excludes it from the present. Its definitely possible to get carried away or preoccupied with mileage goals, but I find that moving fast can also be a point of connection to the present. If I can bring a loose awareness of hiking rhythm and propreaception, a greater awareness of the passing environment usually follows.

(I realize that the level of earnestness is fodder for trolls, but hey, we're not actually out there just to test gear are we? ;)

On that note: I think my gear-fectionism might be getting in the way of just plain old enjoying myself in the mountains. I just finished a section of the colorado trail where I found myself paying attention to things that I never would have thought twice about before, like if the swing weight of my trekking poles is too much, or what the perfect volume hipbelt pockets would be. Silly huh?

Not to hi-jack, but anyone else have this experience?

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: the present on 07/03/2011 19:24:38 MDT Print View

"I think my gear-fectionism might be getting in the way of just plain old enjoying myself in the mountains...anyone else have this experience?"

Yup, but this will likely fade. For me it has. When you first go UL, the new gear is so neat/strange/exciting/worrying etc that it can draw a lot of your attention. This will fade though as your gear closet overhaul slows and you'll get back to just enjoying nature.

Edited by dandydan on 07/03/2011 19:25:44 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Maybe bordering on obsession. on 07/03/2011 19:30:07 MDT Print View

I have that feeling *BEFORE* I head out into the mountains, and it can be sorta ridiculous at times. Maybe bordering on obsession.

But, I mellow out a LOT once I'm immersed in the wilderness.

At the same time, my mind is always ticking. I see new tricks, and realize how I want to tinker with gear and techniques. This mind-set isn't at all oppressive, it can be really nice. I try not to judge it, it's just the way my mind wants to tick along. And, I feel i do my very best 3D R&D along the trail.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: Maybe bordering on obsession. on 07/03/2011 22:18:36 MDT Print View

That's me. I fuss a lot with the gear at home. Once I get out on the trail, I'm too busy enjoying myself and my surroundings. I just use the gear and don't worry about it, unless it's something serious like a leak in the tent (happened once; I missed a tiny spot when seam-sealing). Then when I get home I reflect on what worked and what didn't and think about improvements.

M W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
TIP # 32: Being present on the trail on 07/04/2011 11:17:27 MDT Print View

I like this one and I think it should extend to everything we do. Just be present. Don't be distracted. Don't view the trail from entirely behind a camera. When visiting with a friend, put your phone away.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
tutorial videos on 07/05/2011 12:24:49 MDT Print View

Here's what I've been doing this summer. These short videos match the content of the book.

http://ultralightbackpackintips.blogspot.com/2011/07/video-tutorials.html

Lotsa tutorial videos.

Thomas Trebisky
(trebisky)

Locale: Southern Arizona
Great tip, great book on 07/06/2011 13:20:02 MDT Print View

I have been enjoying these tips online so much, I finally got busy and bought the book.
A great book, I can't say enough good things about it.

This particular tip "be here now" as I like to call it, is a great one.
I'm sure I'm not alone in that I can "live in my head" way too much.
It is a fine thing to turn all that off and fully tune in to what is around
you at a given moment. I find myself doing this more and more and this "tip"
just echos this discovery. It is great to do this many times each day!

The book is really a special work. Mike has a unique way about him that makes
the book great fun, and full of all kinds of valuable information.
My hat is off to Mike - a great work at many levels.

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 07/06/2011 13:29:32 MDT Print View

Yes, Mike, thinking can get in the way. Naming that flower can put an end to really knowing it. The flower is our teacher and silence is our connection with it.

Backcountry Buddhism at its finest.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Ultralight Tip # 116 "Butt Scuff" on 07/06/2011 15:28:48 MDT Print View

Mike,

What about LNT? ;-)

Party On,

Newton

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Spelling/word usage police on 07/06/2011 17:04:17 MDT Print View

"IMHO, here's no substitute for a good human proofreader! Or preferably, several of them!"

A thousand monkeys will do, if you've got the time. ;)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: flower on 07/06/2011 17:06:57 MDT Print View

"you can it flower ... i call it UL salad ;)"

If it moves and it's back is to the sun....... ;)

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Tossing the old pack around... on 07/08/2011 06:13:17 MDT Print View

Okay, I'm sure there's a place for the idea of taking off a hat, and shirt, and throwing it in a pack while hiking. Wouldn't it be a good time to stop and enjoy your surroundings (tip from a previous week)? I think it's a neat tip, and could move a UL'er from Nerd to cool (okay, maybe it would take more than one cool move) but I can't think of a time I'd NEED to not stop to take off a shirt and stuff it in a backpack.

Warning, what follows is potentially thread jacking, proceed at your own risk:

Mike, the book is outstanding. I'm going to admit something. You have tips about natural toilet paper. Towards the beginning to the tip you talk about being disappointed with UL'ers that go and use TP. When I first read this I got indignant. Who are you to say... Long story short. You got me. I realized it's a book of ideas (excellent ones) not a rule book. I'll stick with TP (maybe only for now, who knows). Point being, thank you for expanding my mental tool belt so that I can make do in the woods. The day may come that I try it without TP.

Until then you'll just have to be happy knowing my BPW dropped from 47lbs (all that excellent military training), to just over 8 (retraining). My weight dropped from over 200 to under 180. Your books got me back on the trail, living. I look forward to even one night out under the stars. It's the best sleep I get.

Before anyone goes on about, "not a real UL'er if you use TP..", I'd like to point something out. When I go out, I don't bring the following: anything that requires electricity to operate (GPS, kindle, cell phone, radio, etc). In order to do it right to me, I have to leave the digital world behind. I have to. No watch. I militantly do not want to know what time it is or even what day it is.

I do bring a camera (Rollei B35). It is a fully mechanical film camera. Yes, film. I may bring a book. Without a flash light I read by the glow of light sticks, firelight, or during the day. This won't work for some/everyone, but it works for me.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
To me the issue is education, thus my zeal. on 07/08/2011 07:51:40 MDT Print View

Reply to Everett:
------------------------------------------------

Just so you know, you are not the first person to get indignant about my views on toilet paper in the backcountry. This topic, more than anything else, provokes an emotional response. So don't worry about hurting my feelings.

Here's where I'm coning from, I've worked for NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) for 17 years. I have logged over 3 entire years of time in mountains with students. During that time, I have NEVER carried toilet paper into the mountains, and neither have my students. And this is the standard practice at the school. And - Let me add - that absolutely nobody has ever complained, just the opposite. Once you learn how to perform this very simple duty - the students are proud and seem to enjoy their new found expertise (as they should).

NOLS is an institution that teaches skills at a very advanced level, and I'm super proud of my work there. And lemme add that the instructors teach a natural toilet paper class on the first day, the students have no problems, and it's not an issue for the remainder of their 30-day expedition. The outcome is that there is a rather large population of folks that are not carrying toilet paper, and then leaving it behind as litter in the mountains. And I had a small hand in that.

From my direct experience of over two decades of zero toilet paper - and teaching to students and peers - This isn't even an issue for me. It's something so simple that I don't worry about it. And I'm quite certain that every NOLS grad feels the same.

The reason I might sound so preachy is that each summer deal with a LOT of other peoples used toilet paper. This means I pick it up, and find a way to dispose of it properly. To me the issue is education, thus my zeal.

I'll also add that I feel quite alone in the lightweight camping community, because TP is always part of their gear list. (and often, soap is missing from that same list). I'm trying to change that, at least a little bit.



_____________________________________________
Here's a link to an article I wrote in 2006:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/toilet_paper_free.html

Note the long list of emotional reactions this article generated!
_____________________________________________

Edited by mikeclelland on 07/08/2011 08:08:28 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Changing your shirt on 07/08/2011 08:02:46 MDT Print View

Re: Changing your shirt

Interesting, but I don't see the weight advantage :) I was reminded of watching a girlfriend changing her swim suit top under her tee shirt.

My question is WHY? Are we so busy we can't stop and take a shirt off? If you can't stop, change your shirt, have a sip, smell the flowers, take a stretch, you might as well stay home. I would probably trip and go head over heels anyway :)

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
(No watch, GPS, kindle, cell phone, radio, etc) on 07/08/2011 08:04:22 MDT Print View

Reply to Everett:
------------------------------------------------


You wrote:
"I don't bring the following: anything that requires electricity to operate (GPS, kindle, cell phone, radio, etc). In order to do it right to me, I have to leave the digital world behind. I have to. No watch. I militantly do not want to know what time it is or even what day it is."

Mike replies:
Right-On! I feel very strongly about this too! (alas, I do bring a headlamp, but often in the summer it never gets used). I refer to this aspect of the wilderness experience as a "media" fast. It's the reason I go into the mountains. I also nix my wallet, money, credit cards and car keys. It's a philosophical ritual that I truly love. I do everything I can to separate myself from THIS world, so I can more fully immerse myself into THAT world.

Also - The reason for the instructional cartoon with the hiker NOT stopping when removing his wind-shirt is because it's FUN! Also, with a UL pack-weight, there is really no issue at all when it comes to walking and changing layers at the same time. It's a benefit of the super light pack.

Will Webster
(WillWeb) - M
TP on 07/08/2011 08:45:54 MDT Print View

I definitely agree with Mike about TP litter; it's an unsanitary eyesore. I've tried using snow (cold) and leaves (uncomfortable) to reduce TP usage. I'm willing to continue experimenting. I backpack with my wife, who has in many ways drunk the UL koolaid but draws the line at this, so we will probably always bring TP into the woods with us. It doesn't have to be a choice between leaving it at home or leaving it on the trail, though: We carry the same amount of TP out (double bagged) that we brought in if there isn't a proper privy.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 07/08/2011 09:05:22 MDT Print View

Ah heck - why wear a shirt? Save some weight and the hassle.

;)

Rick Cheehy
(kilgoretrout2317) - F

Locale: Virginia
N0 TP for you, one week! on 07/08/2011 10:33:11 MDT Print View

My wife and I have both converted to natures own TP, on the advice of Mike. We dig it. Packing out TP sucks and leaving it is just not an option. Besides wet moss is quite soothing, and it exfoliates!

a b
(Ice-axe)
TP or not TP.. whether it is nobler in the heart to wipe.. ugh! on 07/08/2011 10:55:29 MDT Print View

The composting privies on the A.T. were a revelation to me as a western hiker. For years I have hiked in the Sierra and seen the ridiculous pollution of used TP in places like Rancheria Falls in Northern Yosemite.
It is very un-Edward Abbey of me, but sometimes i wish there were Privies in some of the more popular locations of the Sierra.
One slightly humorous/slightly sad and totally sick story for you: I was summiting Mt Whitney on my PCT thru hike. On the way through Crabtree meadows I noticed a bear locker full of wag bags. Now Crabtree has a privy so it struck me as odd why there would be these wag bags. Anyhow when i passed the ranger station I noticed a pile of wag bags, presumably "loaded", laying all over the front porch!
I don't know it the dry Sierra climate would support the composting privy idea or even if folks would use them.
Anyhow, way back when i was a bury and burn TP user I met Kristin, a fellow hiker in Yosemite. She infomed me that i would not be going to Laurel lake with my uncle but rather going to lake Vernon with here.. naturally I obeyed. While hiking with Kristin the TP subject came up and she produced a squeeze bottle and stated: "This is my solution to pollution." Likewise my Friend Sage also uses the wash the bum teqnique rather than TP saying: "If you got "it" on your hand would you rather merely wipe it off or wash it off?"
Well obviously women are smarter than us.
So I am now a bum washer. The trick is to always carry hand sanitizer and be sure to bring enough water with you away from any water sources to "do the job".
Not carrying TP means i have eliminated 100% of it's weight, 100% of it's pollution, 100% of the fire danger of burning it, and 100% of the worry of it getting wet in my pack.
But all that being said the moral superiority i should feel is quelled by the humbling fact that I am wiping my bum with my hand.

Thanks Mike! I will check out that article. I would have mentioned that sphagum moss makes excellant TP but that would surely bring the wrath of god on top of me.

Edited by Ice-axe on 07/08/2011 11:35:37 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
...more on 07/08/2011 11:12:25 MDT Print View

Matt,

Well said.

But, please know, I don't advocate wiping with one's hand. Instead I advocate using any number of wonderful and easy to find natural alternatives.

That said, I do teach the skill of washing ones butt in the backcountry, and I don't feel the need to do it daily, but every once in a while it's nice. Read the article, I include both the natural TP alternative and the butt-washing skills (and both are in the book too).
_____________________________________________
Here's a link to an article I wrote in 2006:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/toilet_paper_free.html
_____________________________________________

AND - Your friend Kristen carries a squeeze bottle, correct? This is known lovingly as the Backountry Bidet. Some folks advocate that system, and more power to 'em. But, it involves bringing one extra piece of gear. Or, if you use your water bottle, BE CAREFUL!!!

ALSO - I would advocate to you adding a tiny bit of soap to your arsenal of tools. I've worked with some medical researchers and they all say that soap is preferable to hand sanitizer as a meathod of keeping your hands clean. Also, it is my understanding that to use hand sanitizer properly, you need a lot of it (A dab roughly the size of a peanut m&m). If you take only one hand cleaner, I would strongly advocate taking only soap over only hand sanitizer.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
? on 07/08/2011 11:48:45 MDT Print View

i second that dale.. not sure how this pertains to UL...



"Re: Changing your shirt

Interesting, but I don't see the weight advantage :) I was reminded of watching a girlfriend changing her swim suit top under her tee shirt.

My question is WHY? Are we so busy we can't stop and take a shirt off? If you can't stop, change your shirt, have a sip, smell the flowers, take a stretch, you might as well stay home. I would probably trip and go head over heels anyway :)"

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
the shirt changing cartoon on 07/08/2011 11:54:38 MDT Print View

Reply about the shirt changing cartoon:
---------------------------------
As I said before, if the pack is truly light, there is no reason to set it down, and (most importantly) it's FUN!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week-shirt changing on 07/08/2011 13:05:51 MDT Print View

I agree with Dale and others--what in the world is so important that we can't take a 1-2 minute break to stop and remove a wrap? For those of us who use trekking poles, Mike's contortions wouldn't work anyway. I'd undoubtedly end up taking a fall if I tried that!

What I generally do instead is to strip down to shirtsleeves just before heading out on the trail in the morning. Yes, I get chilly and may even start shivering, but in 5 minutes of hiking I'm warmed up! In the meantime, I'm wide awake!

I go out to the wilderness to get away from horrid concepts like efficiency and increased productivity with their accompanying ulcers, high blood pressure and sleepless nights! Actually, I retired 11 years ago to get away from such things and haven't missed them at all!

Edited by hikinggranny on 07/08/2011 15:03:24 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: N0 TP for you, one week! on 07/08/2011 15:33:52 MDT Print View

"wet moss is quite soothing, and it exfoliates!"

Never thought about that. I have LOTS of wet moss. MILES of it! It even comes on a stick :)

CLELLAND! Do you see what you have reduced us to? [Colonel Kurtz] The horror......

Wallace Falls State Park May 2011

Edited by dwambaugh on 07/08/2011 22:00:17 MDT.

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Great tip on 07/08/2011 15:49:32 MDT Print View

I love this tip. I do this all the time when I'm backcountry skiing and want to shed a layer without stopping. You have really mastered this tip when you can do it while riding a bike...

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Great tip on 07/08/2011 15:52:56 MDT Print View

"I love this tip. I do this all the time when I'm backcountry skiing and want to shed a layer without stopping. You have really mastered this tip when you can do it while riding a bike..."

And not wearing a helmet :) Make sure your organ donor card is filled out completely, eh?

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
right on! on 07/08/2011 15:53:08 MDT Print View

Right on! Just so y'know - I can do it on a bike, and using trekking poles.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: right on! on 07/08/2011 19:27:33 MDT Print View

rich man, poor man
beggar man, theif
dropped a yam?
wipe with a leaf

leaf


P.S.

The book is fantastic and very inspiring
GET IT if you haven't yet
It will change your life

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Daniel on a bike on 07/08/2011 20:21:00 MDT Print View

All I will add to this particular discussion is that Mr. Paladino should keep his eyes on the road while biking.

Hey Daniel: Got a cool scar yet?

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Daniel on a bike on 07/11/2011 12:49:42 MDT Print View

Haha yes I do Addie. I also have a nice little bald spot on my chin.

Evan Parker
(ecp12) - F

Locale: Upstate NY
Praise for Mike on 07/12/2011 08:28:40 MDT Print View

I picked up your book while I was across the country and read through the entire thing while still on the plane back to the East Coast. I'm in the process of reading it through a second time and all I can say is wow. This is probably the most comprehensive and definitely the most fun UL book I've read. It's given me tons of ideas to try and I'm urging my girlfriend to read it and subscribe to the UL mindset. I just wanted to thank you for such a great book. Also, I used this current shirt tip yesterday as I was walking back from work. I felt pretty cool about it.

Evan

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week #125 on 07/15/2011 12:17:47 MDT Print View

Thanks, Mike, for the very clearly illustrated directions on removing the child-proof thingy from the mini-Bic! I've been doing it wrong, and ruined a couple of them. The illustration is very clear even for a non-mechanical klutz like me!

Dan Montgomery
(theDanarchist) - F

Locale: Hampton Roads, VA
"Thumb-friendly" Bic on 07/16/2011 16:04:23 MDT Print View

I don't know how long these have been around, but I just got some "Thumb-Friendly" Bic lighters. They're 2.5 inches tall and weigh .6 ounces, but I can accept that weight penalty for fire-starting ease and comfort, even with gloves on.Thumb-Friendly Bic

Great book, BTW. Second only to the Golden Book of Camping and Craft Crafts in my pantheon.

Edited by theDanarchist on 07/16/2011 16:05:31 MDT.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
And furthermore on 07/16/2011 18:45:15 MDT Print View

By prying off the metal top when the bic mini is out of juice, you can turn the thing into a pretty good firestarter/ sparker. As I always say, the best backup firestarter to a Bic Mini is the bic Mini itself (and another Bic mini).

+1 on the great, well illustrated instructions, Mike. What a great book you've written.

Stargazer

Scott Haddon
(rebeldawg63) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: "Thumb-friendly" Bic on 07/17/2011 00:03:17 MDT Print View

I also have these, 1 in cook kit & 1 in first aide kit. I also like that if you keep it lit for any extended period of time, you don't burn your thumb when you try to relight it. Have read the book 3 times and have lost a lot of weight. We owe many thanks to Mike.

Scott

Rodney Mruk
(rodney_mruk) - M

Locale: Northeast Oregon
Question about Groovy-biotic recipes on 07/17/2011 22:17:58 MDT Print View

Mike,

I have a question regarding your recipes in the book. I cannot find where the number of servings is indicated. Could you enlighten me as to how to determine how many servings are made as per your instructions. I can't wait to try these recipes. A great book!

Blessings,
Rodney Mruk

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Tip #125 Save Even More Weight on 07/19/2011 16:47:28 MDT Print View

All my mini bics get the extreme version of Mike's tip which I posted here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=43084&skip_to_post=366504#366504

You can save another 2 grams with the same needle nose pliers.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week #92 on 07/21/2011 18:22:18 MDT Print View

Another really good one, Mike! This is what I try to do for more privacy and to avoid dusty, trodden down, often garbage-strewn overused camp sites. Also, in many wilderness areas, it is required that you camp 200 feet (at least 2/3 of the distance you recommend) from the trail and from water sources. I take it a step further by not camping at popular lakes, often following the inlet or outlet for a quarter mile or more to a more secluded area and then getting well away from the stream.

One thing I hate to see is a meadow full of bright-colored tents! I love "silnylon gray" because it is hardly visible in most places. I dearly wish that shelter makers (even some "cottage" ones) would stop using bright yellow, bright orange, bright green, bright blue.

It's a bit harder to stealth camp in areas where the bark beetles have run rampant. Sometimes the only place that's safe from "widow-makers" is out in a meadow! In those cases, I don't set up my shelter until almost dark, even when I've camped early, and strike camp as soon as I wake up, so my shelter is on the vegetation only during the time I'm sleeping.

There was a recent thread here (I'm pretty sure it was here and not on another site) that tried to equate stealth camping with illegal camping. I always thought that stealth camping was what you illustrate here, being secluded and unobtrusive for others' sakes as well as our own. Nothing illegal about it; in fact it's in line with both wilderness regulations and common courtesy!

Besides, this style of camping really cuts down the problem of snoring neighbors! :-)

Thanks again for promoting a camping style that all too many people ignore!

Edited by hikinggranny on 07/21/2011 18:24:25 MDT.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Hunting season on 07/21/2011 18:33:48 MDT Print View

I agree fundamentally with this advice about stealth camping -- except during hunting season. Then, I want every off-trail gun or bow hunter to know that I'm there. If I could set up, spinning lights and fog horns, I would (having been aimed at a few times too many. ;-)

Stargazer -- the guy with the bull's eye painted on his chest, apparently

Edited by nerdboy52 on 07/22/2011 04:34:37 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: Hunting season on 07/21/2011 18:54:32 MDT Print View

Usually it's the hunters who are camped in those dusty, overused spots next to the trail! That being said, I hang a good-sized hunk of blaze orange cloth on my silnylon gray shelter if I backpack during hunting season. I still get well away from the trail, but I camp more out in the open!

One nice thing about living in the Northwest is that Washington state has a 2-3 week break between "high buck" season in mid-September and the opening of general firearm hunting season in mid-October. This gives those of us seeking the elusive Alpine Larch a chance to get out and see it in all its golden glory!

Antti Peltola
(anttipeltola) - F
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week: Stealth Camping on 07/22/2011 03:28:35 MDT Print View

This is great tip as long as the rules of the area allow it - but why whoud the pack size or cooking make a difference?

I've done stealth camping as long as I remember, even 20 years ago with very heavy backpack and I have never felt the need to start the day without a good breakfast either. I mean, if you don't find a space to cook, it's likely that you don't find a spot big enough for sleeping either.

Waterless campsite could be a problem if you do not prepare yourself at all, but waterless areas can be seen on the map beforehand so you can take the water from the previous source.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Hunting season on 07/22/2011 09:47:02 MDT Print View

Thomas, judging by your pic, it isn't hard to see why you have been aimed at!

Alanna M
(muledog19) - F

Locale: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Re: Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week: Stealth Camping on 07/22/2011 13:43:19 MDT Print View

Hi Antti, in the book Mike has other tips that tie in and explain his cooking-on-the-trail bit. Don't worry, he isn't advocating skipping breakfast!!! From what I've read I'd say Mike is passionate about good food and eats some hearty & delicious stuff on the trail.

As for pack size making a difference, where I live almost all the big-old growth trees have been logged, so the forest here is relatively young and densely packed with trees. This makes moving off trail a real challenge (and sometimes down-right miserable), especially with a big traditional pack on my back. I have been working on shrinking my pack size, and this is already making off-trail travel noticeably easier.

And lastly, traveling light allows you to sleep in some pretty small spaces. All you need is level earth in roughly your body shape. And as I recently discovered with hammock camping, now I don't even need level ground...

Anyway, hope that helped make the tip a little clearer! Alanna

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Re: Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week: Stealth Camping on 07/24/2011 11:43:39 MDT Print View

Antti,

The issue with the cooking in camp is a entirly different mindset. The initial reason I was exposed to this technique is aggressive bear avoidance. For some areas (Yosimite Valley for isntance), this was paramount to a safe trip. Some in the UL community have adopted the same technique (not all of us mind you) but for a different reason(s).

The primary reason I use this technique is that you can choose your campsite with completely different criteria than your cooksite, so you can enjoy your meal on an exposed ridge line with a view while camping in a more protected area.

Mileage is the second reason, you can often eat on the trail at a excellent cooksite when your hungry, not necessarily when you are ready to bed down. That way after you've finished dinner you can still tick off a few miles before dark if you've still got some energy and aren't desiring a prolonged campsite atmosphere. This is a big deal during the winter months as the nights can be much longer in some areas and you simply may not need that much time in camp and instead can be skipping down the trail in the dusky light.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
stealth camping / dinner on the trail on 07/24/2011 11:55:08 MDT Print View

Reply to Joe -

I just got back from a nice trip in Yellowstone.

Me and my pal Erika cooked during the hike, and then stealth camped. So many wonderful benefits, both practical and philosophical.

A - You can cook near water, and clean-up is easy.

B - I always find a renewed energy burst after dinner on the trail.

C- We hiked right until sunset. Our campsite was based entirely on a nice flat spot.

D - we were in grizzly bear terrain, and it just "felt" safer with no kitchen area nearby.

E - It was easier to hang the food because it was all in a few stuff sacks, because we were really tidy when we packed up after dinner.

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Eating on the trail... on 07/28/2011 16:00:04 MDT Print View

Mike,

You brought up something I've been wondering about. It sort of violates the bowling ball tip. I like to put all my food in a bear hugger. It's basically a 7 liter ditty bag that is contoured. It hangs easy. Point being, I've added weight, AND made a "bowling ball." However, eating on the trail is easier (for me, your mileage may vary). Is there something I'm missing?

Second, somewhat loosely related question. I've never seen a UL backpacking list that includes Bear Spray and/or its weight. Is it considered a consumable and not added to bpw?

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
spelling on 07/28/2011 23:19:33 MDT Print View

Whoa. I just read through this thread and I have to jump back a couple of pages:

I find it INCREDIBLY annoying when I find egregious misspellings in a published book. Confusing their/there and then/than in particular annoy me, and I'll tell you why:

I don't move my lips when I read.

What I mean by this is that, unlike some, I don't "sound out" what I read and then interpret the sounds. I just read. And I am a voracious and lightning-fast reader. When I run into a sentence that uses "then" when it should be "than" I actually mentally trip up a bit and have to waste 3 seconds of my life re-reading the sentence and trying to puzzle out what the cretin who wrote it is trying to say. I have actually abandoned books that make this mistake consistently. It is simply too painful to go on reading them, and I will gleefully thrash them on my Amazon reader reviews. Thus I disagree with George when he claims that "If you can undrestnad waht the syombls maen tehn the msseage is succsseful." Does that mean that as long as my patients survive then I'm successful, no matter what other complication they have? Obviously not.

If you are WRITING A BOOK then you are a PROFESSIONAL WRITER and should WRITE WELL. Actually, to be fair this is the editor's job, but I'll hold authors accountable to some extent, too. (Obviously this does not apply to forum posts- just published works. And, actually, I'm more lenient with fringe self-published stuff, too.) I agree that spell-checkers are a crutch and that editors who rely upon them should be flogged. It also doesn't help when the spell-checker tries to "help" by automatically changing a word that I spelled correctly into the wrong word. That really chaps me because it makes ME look like an idiot, and since I have a love of obscure words and complex sentence structure it happens to me quite a lot.

Colin Parkinson
(parkinson1157)

Locale: Ontario Canada
Stealth Camping on 08/01/2011 18:44:32 MDT Print View

Hey Mike I just did the stealth camp thing last night as the Bruce Trail Association only allows you to camp at designated spots that are on average 100k (60 miles)apart. Nice!

P.S. I love stealth grey for illegal camping

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
stealth on 08/01/2011 18:48:36 MDT Print View

I feel strongly that as long as you are clean, tidy and don't build fires, no ranger (or land manager) would ever complain. When I do "cheat" and camp in a non-designated site, I make a very real effort to camp using all my skills and insights/

Jim Arzigian
(Renais) - M
Thursdays tip on 08/01/2011 19:50:42 MDT Print View

Was there a tip of the week last Thursday (7/28)? The last one listed on the BPL homepage is 7/21. I'm wondering if the URL didn't get updated.
Jim

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: hammocks and stealth on 08/01/2011 23:32:17 MDT Print View

That's one thing I'm lovin' about hammocks-- you can camp where no one in their right mind would pitch a tent: 45 degree slope, rocks, running water? No problem! And you leave nothing but your footprints.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
eBook on 08/01/2011 23:45:13 MDT Print View

Is there a way to buy an eBook of this? I don't like to buy physical books because of the shipping costs and because they just sit around after I've read them once or twice. I see there is a Kindle version but I'm not sure if I could read that on my computer. I'd love to buy a nice pdf that I could just read on my computer.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: eBook on 08/02/2011 00:51:42 MDT Print View

You can download a free Kindle application for your computer and even you iphone or android. I have a Kindle and sometimes read the books on my computer or iphone. And what is really neat is the application will sync to the last page you read on a different electronic device.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Thx on 08/05/2011 00:10:24 MDT Print View

Thanks Nick. I'll do that.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Why eat off trail? on 08/05/2011 14:02:16 MDT Print View

Hey Mike,

Why is it so important for you that other people don't see you eating close to the trail? You really don't offend me is you're eating some cereals or trail mix, sitting on a rock on the trail. Is that an American thing? On some trails here in Europe you almost trip over other hikers on the trail. It doesn't bother me on my hike.

Eins

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
Tip 152 + @Eins on 08/05/2011 15:00:03 MDT Print View

Hi Mike,
I just sent you an E-mail regarding Tip 152 [I didn’t know whether this tip has been opened for public (yet??), so I preferred to send you a “privy”]. If this has been discussed and you’d like others to chime in as well, just let me know and I’ll copy/paste the text here.

@Eins
I’m Dutch as well (although I live in Spain) and I feel about the same. Maybe you’re right about it “being an American thing”. Nevertheless, Mike! has addressed this subject in the book (dunno whether you have same or not - if not, I’d strongly recommend it); he actually says, in Tip 92 where he writes about “stealth camp”: “Stealth means ......... To me this is very important, because (and this answers your question) it allows other campers (in this case, walkers) to enjoy the sensation of solitude in the wilderness."

Having said that I understand your feeling about being seen or not being seen from the trail, I must admit that, when we "finally" got here (we'd been walking for hours XC - there were no trails at all), I loved the feeling of having all the nature (in this case a high-altitude meadow near a lake) all for ourselves:
Lavaderos de la Reina

The lake at sunset:
Lavaderos de la Reina - laguna

Edited by theflyingdutchman on 08/05/2011 15:20:41 MDT.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Tip 152 + @Eins on 08/06/2011 00:11:29 MDT Print View

Henk,

Sure I agree that with camping it's a whole different story. Actually camping on the trail is not really polite indeed, so sure it helps others wilderness experience if you camp away from the trail and out of sight. Next to that in most European countries it's illegal to make a wild camp. I still make wild camps though and using stealth techniques helps me not to be found by a forest manager and it significantly reduces my impact on the environment and wildlife. Nevertheless, as I said, I can't imagine that if I'm sitting on a rock next to the trail eating a Snickers and another hiker passes me by, that I've just ruined his wilderness experience. I'm only taking a trail side break and I don't think I need to walk 200 meters off trail for that. In fact, going off trail for every break actually increases close to trail country side erosion IMHO.

Eins

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Tip 152 on 08/06/2011 14:04:05 MDT Print View

Anything that fits in the category of Tip 152* is one of the best parts of backpacking to me. I process this tip while hiking.

I believe the tip about cooking away from the trail relates to the stove set up and spreading out of gear that usually accompanies that activity. IMO it depends on how busy the trail is that you are on.

On a recent trip my wife and did not see anyone else for hours before and after we cooked our lunch. There was a perfect spot near a nice stream. A nice sitting rock. It was a few steps from the trail, but no one knew we were there. So it depends.

* If you don't have the book, then you don't know #152 : )

Of course, 153 is the best tip.

GET THE BOOK!

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
#105 on 08/11/2011 20:52:08 MDT Print View

I liked all your tips so far except for this one. You can't tell if water is good unless you test it. You can only hope your luck holds out. I continue to see these unscientific testimonials on this site and frankly, I think it's editorial irresponsibly to print them without a disclaimer if at all.

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Disclaimer on 08/11/2011 21:04:29 MDT Print View

I thought this was a pretty good disclaimer, personally: “Explosive diarrhea with a foul sulfurous odor.”

But in all seriousness, you can't be 100 percent sure of safety without first testing the water. If people are willing to take a little risk to drink fresh delicious spring water, Mike's tip should help them assess the source.

Edited by dtpaladino on 08/11/2011 21:07:08 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Disclaimer on water sources on 08/12/2011 12:07:27 MDT Print View

Mike, I agree. But drinking water right from the source is NOT for the inexperienced nor careless. I think this should have been a little more in depth, though. Including the main symptoms for the main two pathogens and the various bacterial diseases aquired by having a dead animal upstream from you would have made people a bit more cautious. Even as an appendix to the book to keep the tips flowing in a neat, informal way, this info would have been valuable to the new comer (perhaps to more than new comers...)

In the spring especially, this often requirs a good knowledge of the terrain. Indeed, winter snows can be contaminated if gathered too close to the ground, let alone runoff streams (often rocky but no water come summer) and artesian wells (water bubbling out of the ground may simply be runoff from a slightly higher elevation in spring.)Anyway, such experience is usually gathered through hiking the same area several times.

That said, I have been known to partake of untreated water. With a partner?? Well, I think I will zap it with the new fangled glowing thingy. Ya gotta keep the wife happy.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 08/12/2011 14:27:31 MDT Print View

I wish the tips were in separate threads so they could be followed easier.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Book on 08/12/2011 22:32:55 MDT Print View

I got the eBook (for the Kindle App on my Mac) about a week ago. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through and I've really been impressed. I've been reading a few other hiking/ultralight books at the same time and this one is the best. You might not agree with everything, but it's full of fresh thoughts and it'll get you thinking and mulling stuff over.

I'm at a time where I feel that my gearlist and techniques are getting pretty mature (ie. not changing a lot from trip to trip) and this book has added a bunch of fresh ideas/techniques that I'm stoked to try out.

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Why Take the Chance??? on 08/13/2011 09:56:05 MDT Print View

I'd say if you must experience drinking from puddles, do it on day hikes when the consequences may not be so dire as when out for several days. Or hope that it doesn't strike until you get home. In an emergency, do what must be done and follow all sensible tips to assure (almost) a decent source. Some folks have a built in immunity to the bugs and some have built it over time. Why take the chance, use your filter or tablets. The water tastes just the same coming out of my filter as it does directly from the stream. There is a certain subjective pleasure that comes with drinking directly from the creek, so do so if you must.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
How did our ancestors manage to survive? on 08/13/2011 10:17:00 MDT Print View

I always drink straight from mountain streams here in Scotland. The water might have the odd dead deer in it upstream. Adds to the taste.

I have to laugh sometimes when i meet some walkers boiling water. If only they knew the water they were drinking in their hotel the night before, came straight from a mountain stream, piped directly into the hotel. :)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: How did our ancestors manage to survive? on 08/13/2011 11:21:11 MDT Print View

Yeah, well your body is used to it. Laughing at others boiling water shows how ignorant you are from your own personal experiences. If you told someone in your group to drink the water, and they got sick, you would probably change your mind and they would be very angry at you. You can get sick from the freshest looking high mountain streams. It can happen if you don't drink it every week.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Pure water. on 08/13/2011 11:30:10 MDT Print View

I've introduced many 'foreign' friends to pure mountain stream water. None of them have ever been sick.
Modern man is too worried about 'what if'.

Research here in the UK points to modern societies infatuation with 'cleanliness' being a factor in the huge increase in asthma amongst the population. Everything seems to be cleaned with anti-germ this, and anti-bacteria that. Kids don't get a chance to build up immunity to anything.

I didn't mean to come across as poking fun, but sometimes i think we worry too much.

Eric Jahn-Clough
(ejcfree) - F - M

Locale: off grid
it just tastes better on 08/13/2011 11:41:31 MDT Print View

I can only speak from my own experience over the last 12 years. I drink lots of untreated water in the Rockies. I treat more in the North East, but by no means all. Evaluate the source to your own satisfaction and accept responsibility for any potential difficulties. For treatment I've used only Aerobic O7, a sodium chlorite solution sold as a dietary supplement that has no approval as a purifier. About 300 nights out and not sick yet. Excellent book, it's helped me go further in my enlightening.
Best to All, Eric

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: it just tastes better on 08/13/2011 12:25:21 MDT Print View

It does taste better, and I do it myself in areas I know well. I would never recommend a destination backpacker to fly in and do a trip in a new area and not treat their water. As Mike mentions, experience is key, and that includes not just judging the quality of the water in situ, but also knowing enough about the environment it came from to make as informed a decision as possible.

Craig Gulley
(cgulley) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Tip of the week. on 08/13/2011 20:04:43 MDT Print View

Mike,
I thought perhaps the only thing we differed on was how to potty in the woods, LOL but last weeks tip of timing your actions is the last thing I would want to do. my life is meeting after meeting, get on a plane, have a meeting, drive to next meeting. I certainly don't go into the woods to worry about spending a few extra minutes to eat or break down camp.... still what a fantastic collection of useful ideas and great art work

Ron Cooper
(Skraeling) - F
Taking your tips to heart on 08/13/2011 21:45:38 MDT Print View

Ever since I bought your book, I have dropped 6 pounds from my skin-out weight. Thanks for the tips!

Ivan Sharichev
(ivanchous) - F

Locale: Moscow
I would like to order your book! on 08/14/2011 22:52:58 MDT Print View

Please tell me what some online shop which provides delivery in Russia!

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
RE: "Ultralight Tip of the Week" on 08/18/2011 17:12:15 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips, Mike!

I like this one because it solves for the excuse of 'oh I can't pack ahead of time because that would mean putting my sleeping bag and camping food in the pack and you can't leave it like that for long'. Well, one can still be that much closer.

Recently after a camping trip I reorganized my gear, which over my years of Scouting has grown to the total of 3 Rubbermaid tubs not including sleeping bags, pads and other items too big to go inside. From experience I was able to adopt something similar to what you recommend. I put all my most frequently needed stuff in the 'top-of-the-stack bin'. The rest is organized accordingly in order of priority. Works GREAT to not spend eternity packing.

Edited by edude on 08/18/2011 17:15:32 MDT.

Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
Mike on 08/19/2011 16:08:27 MDT Print View

Love these tips. I read "Lighten Up!" awhile back and it really got me in to lightweight backpacking. Thanks Mike.

John L Collins
(WVCubDad) - MLife

Locale: Not too far off the Tuscarora Trail
For Ivan on where to get Mike's book on 08/27/2011 17:02:26 MDT Print View

Hi Ivan,

If you have a Kindle or other electronic reader you can get it that way. I actually got my copy of Mike's book specifically for my Kindle as my dear wife has really started putting her foot down about "more books and more camping gear and more Scouting stuff" in our house.

The cartoons are still great, the info is fantastic and you can also get Lighten Up and Lightweight Backpacking on the Kindle as well as a host of other interesting outdoor related titles.

Hope this helps.

John

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"Ultralight Tip of the Week" on 09/02/2011 02:20:32 MDT Print View

Mike, Your gear lists are excelent! Last week Hurricane Irene really hammered the High Peaks and Northville/Placid Trail forcing closures of the eastern trails. Hopefully, they will be opened back up by the end of the month. Till then the western regions are open.

Ivan Sharichev
(ivanchous) - F

Locale: Moscow
Re: For Ivan on where to get Mike's book on 09/04/2011 12:07:57 MDT Print View

O! its realy easy way! =) I did not think about it/ thanks!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Spreadsheet on 09/07/2011 10:52:20 MDT Print View

One of the things I have with my spreadsheet is a column for "amount". In other words, if I carry two pairs of (identical socks) then I will put two in that column. That makes it really easy to calculate weight. I just put in zero for stuff that I don't count. It's still on my spreadsheet, which means it can be included next time (e. g. winter stuff). Since my spreadsheet doubles as my checklist, I don't have to worry about forgetting something (the list has everything, even though the weight of everything isn't calculated). It's very easy to check something off, even when it isn't brought ("tent, over there, check; snow shoes, not bringing, check; etc.").

Brad Bryant
(birddog) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 09/07/2011 11:11:15 MDT Print View

Just finished the book and it was great. Now I will get my scouts into bringing thier pack weight down...thanks Mike

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 09/07/2011 11:17:16 MDT Print View

I also use the zeroes and ones in my spreadsheet. There's supposed to be a way to print the thing out (to use as a checklist) omitting the zero lines, but after being retired (and away from my Excel course books) for 11 years, I've forgotten!

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Being stinky on 09/08/2011 19:05:20 MDT Print View

As much as I admire and try to follow Mike's tips, this may be one I disagree with, depending on one's definition of "stink."

If by "stink" one means not taking a full shower each day, not using perfume or after shave, and having a mortal fear of sweat drying on your body, then I agree.

But if one means ignoring personal hygiene to the point that one positively reeks with that sweet-sour overripe stench, then I have to disagree (I suspect we all have come across such a human chemical warfare device).

Being somewhat prone to rashes and skin afflictions I have to maintain a fairly high level of cleanliness while backpacking, so maybe I go overboard a bit. Even if I didn't I would never get to the point that it is extremely unpleasant to be anywhere but upwind of me.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Hey! This is BPL! on 09/08/2011 19:57:16 MDT Print View

What does stinking have to do with ultralight? I'd prefer this guy sticks to useful tips, and not subject us to his personal choice to let himself go when he's on the trail.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Hey! This is BPL! on 09/08/2011 20:10:32 MDT Print View

"What does stinking have to do with ultralight? I'd prefer this guy sticks to useful tips, and not subject us to his personal choice to let himself go when he's on the trail."

This IS a useful tip. Don't bring soap and other smelly toiletries - it is okay to stink.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Re: Hey! This is BPL! on 09/08/2011 21:52:55 MDT Print View

Those clean shirts start to get pretty heavy when you're out for more than five or six days!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: Hey! This is BPL! on 09/09/2011 10:22:48 MDT Print View

Yeah, that is why this is an ultralight tip. Don't bring a "camp shirt" or other niceties, even if it means you will be stinky. Of course, like everything else, you can always bring the camp shirt -- the point is, don't assume that bringing a camp shirt is standard. Depending on where you hike, you can sometimes jump in a lake, which helps reduce the stinkyness quite a bit.

I would say that I clean my hands and feet quite a bit. My hands for hygiene reasons, and my feet to prevent blisters. I've found that it doesn't take much dirt (which somehow sneaks in through the gaiters) to cause blisters.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: extra clothing on 09/09/2011 10:42:08 MDT Print View

It's pretty easy to wear you windshirt or other top while cleaning your base layers if they are that bad. Use a gallon zip lock for your sponge bath sink and a "washing machine" for socks and base layers.

Use very little soap, as the rinsing is the hard part. Of course your wash water should be dumped well away from any water source.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
stinky! on 09/09/2011 10:42:39 MDT Print View

The reason i wrote that tip, saying it's okay to be stinky, is because of some of the gear lists I've looked at on this site.

A lot of people will take special sleeping clothes, or several t-shirts into the mountains with them. I just wanted to point out that (from my experience) these items are un-necessary, you'll be fine without them.

Some people will add things like special camp buckets, towels and wash cloths to their list. These might be niceties that can be enjoyed, but they aren't needed.

So, I added this tip to the book as a way to give people permission to leave that extra t-shirt at home.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: stinky! on 09/09/2011 13:01:49 MDT Print View

So much for getting Paris Hilton on the trail. You really need to foster some diversity, Mike ;) No toilet paper, no pajamas--- much too primitive :)

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Stinky! on 09/09/2011 13:10:21 MDT Print View

Mike, yeah, you stink! I love this tip, and, I must admit to being downright bad smelling sometimes.

Extra clothing weighs a lot. I almost never bring any. My concession is midweight long johns for sleeping in. On a few occasions, I have needed to wear these, too. Solution? As you say, "Dont carry it!"

How do I stay reasonbly clean? Well, In the ADK's there is a LOT of water, and not too many people. A pot of warm water, a bandana, and a drop of soap will get me reasonably clean, when I start smelling myself. If I must, I can do my base layer or pants, too. All while wearing long johns, of course. I would not do this in town, but it IS the woods, right? Nobody takes offense. 'Corse, I never see anyone, either... Maybe because of the smell before I wash up? Hmmmm . . .

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I have to admit, Mike has a point on 09/09/2011 16:38:52 MDT Print View

Regardless of what Mike says about TP, he's onto something here, IMO. Wash the hairy regions when they start to really reek or get uncomfortable, and as for the rest, it's usually pretty mild, so get over it. You're not gazing into some young chick's eyes over cocktails; you're out in the boonies. Nobody's keeping score. My 2 cents.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: stinky! on 09/09/2011 17:42:50 MDT Print View

excellent tip - your book is fantastic!

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The sweet stench of nature on 09/10/2011 05:32:18 MDT Print View

>Regardless of what Mike says about TP, he's onto something here, IMO. Wash the hairy regions when they start to really reek or get uncomfortable, and as for the rest, it's usually pretty mild, so get over it.

+1 on this. Furthermore, before longer hikes, trim the hairy regions short so that they don't absorb so much stink. A bit 'o baking soda helps, as well (and it's useful for a number of other purposes).

On longer hikes, the only other clothes I carry is a spare pair of sock liners and a a set of seam-sealed Tyvek pants and top (available from US Plastics), and I only wear them on laundry day and occasionally in the rain.

Stink away, my friends. It's the real smell of humanity, not the artificial, chemically induced stench necessitated by the close quarters of industrialized civilization. That's what, in part, you're on the trail to get away from.

Stargazer

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: The sweet stench of nature on 09/10/2011 08:17:17 MDT Print View

">Regardless of what Mike says about TP, he's onto something here, IMO. Wash the hairy regions when they start to really reek or get uncomfortable, and as for the rest, it's usually pretty mild, so get over it.

+1 on this. Furthermore, before longer hikes, trim the hairy regions short so that they don't absorb so much stink. A bit 'o baking soda helps, as well (and it's useful for a number of other purposes)."

What the....?

You mean, you guys don't shave your hariy parts before heading out?

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The sweet stench of nature on 09/10/2011 08:32:24 MDT Print View

>You mean, you guys don't shave your hariy parts before heading out?

If I shaved all my hairy parts, I'd have to shave everywhere except the top of my head. Besides, there are some locations, like my back, that are unreachable by razor without the possibility of serious joint dislocation.

Ah, the effects of age. You get more hair every place but where you want it.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: The sweet stench of nature on 09/10/2011 09:39:46 MDT Print View

You CAN reach the hair on your back - all you need is a roll of newspaper and a lighter. Don't ask me how I know that.

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
It's okay to stink on 09/11/2011 18:53:48 MDT Print View

This discussion got weird real quick. I'm shocked no one mentioned the potential weight savings of pre-trip manscaping! I think that deserves a tip all its own.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Smelly on 09/12/2011 09:05:39 MDT Print View

That's why we have fires in the back country. So everyone smells like smoked BO.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 09/12/2011 20:29:44 MDT Print View

I don't mind being smelly; it's part of the backpacking environment! However, I do mind when I develop fungus in various skin-fold areas after several days of not washing. I also have to clean my nether regions daily due to a couple of medical conditions that would become serious if I didn't do so. I therefore carry diaper wipes. If used daily, a single wipe suffices to clean both the skinfold areas and the nether regions, and prevents both the fungusamongus and infections due to the medical conditions. Of course the used wipes are packed out!

I also have been known to take a quick sponge bath in the tent if I get uncomfortably sweaty. I'm just not brave enough to jump into a COLD mountain lake or to endure the bug bites I receive while trying to work up sufficient courage!

Feet, of course, are a special case, and I do dunk them in the creek every evening!

I do leave water, a washrag and hand towel and more wipes in the car at the trailhead so I can remove the worst of the dirt/stink before heading back to civilization.

Re shaving body hair--not a good idea! As any woman who went through childbirth in the bad old days can tell you, it itches like crazy when it's growing back in!

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/12/2011 20:34:37 MDT.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Hair down there on 09/16/2011 11:57:51 MDT Print View

I know a local esthetician (body waxer) who's had entire troops of forest fire fighters visit her before going on assignment for weeks to months at a time. A full "down there" wax (male and female) cuts down on what she called "dingleberries," reducing the need for TP - or as much of it as usual.

I still haven't quite recovered.

Edited by addiebedford on 09/16/2011 11:58:56 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Ultralight Tip of the Week" on 09/16/2011 13:25:31 MDT Print View

"dingleberries".... that made my day.

Personally, I think I'd take the 'berries' over the itch of new hair growing back in.... not that I would know anything about that.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Hair down there on 09/16/2011 13:29:47 MDT Print View

lol at Addie post.

Rodney OndaRock
(RodneyOndaRock) - F

Locale: Southern California
Wilderness hygiene - white Smoke bath. tip from Les Stroud on 09/16/2011 13:59:52 MDT Print View

On the Survivor Man show, he suffocated a campfire with juniper or pine branches. The claim was that the white smoke would kill the BO bacteria, and you smell like a smokey campfire instead of malodorous stink.

Smoke bath.

Edited by RodneyOndaRock on 09/16/2011 14:18:19 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Hair down there on 09/16/2011 14:01:07 MDT Print View

This is for all you English/poetry nerds out there.....

(My apologies to Mr. Longfellow)

I once got the Itchie Goomies,
I should have washed in Big-Sea-Water,
To avoid the dingleberries
The harsh red dingleberries
Dark behind me rose the forest,
Rose my hairy, smelly nether region,
Rose my cojones with rash upon them;
Smelly before I scrubbed them in water,
Scrubbed them in the clear and sunny water,
Scrubbed them in the shining Big-Sea-Water.
There my wrinkled old nether region
Housed my little "Hiawatha,"
Wrapped in his woolen cradle,
Made soft with moss and rushes.
Safely bound with shockcorded sinews;
Stilled my fretful wail by thinking,
"Hush! Next time wax those nether regions!"
Lulled myself into slumber, singing,
"Ewa-yea! my little ow-let!
Let thy cool cream soothe the "wigwam"?
With baking soda, soothe the "wigwam"?
Ewa-yea! my little ow-let!"

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Re: Hair down there on 09/16/2011 14:16:36 MDT Print View

Doug!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: Re: Re: Hair down there on 09/16/2011 14:28:56 MDT Print View

Same here! If laughter is the best medicine, Doug has delivered an awesome dose!

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: Hair down there on 09/16/2011 17:52:42 MDT Print View

Was enjoying am ice cream sandwich when I read Doug's "poem" ... anyone know how to clean ice cream off a display and keyboard?

regarding:
"Scrubbed them in the shining Big-Sea-Water.
There my wrinkled old nether region


Scrubbing in the Big-Sea-Water (Lake Superior) will most cause your nethers to shrivel as well as wrinkle! Cold, that lake is!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: Re: Hair down there on 09/16/2011 18:44:08 MDT Print View

I nominate Doug as Poet Laureate of BPL!

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Stinky on 09/16/2011 19:31:12 MDT Print View

Healthy people with a good diet don't smell as much. To me the 12 grams of dried/cut baby wipes are well worth their weight. I don't mind getting dirty and I appreciate what a luxury it is to be able to get in my shower and turn on the hot water, but why be stinky if you don't have to...

Clayton Black
(Jivaro) - MLife
Archtek toothpaste tablets on 09/17/2011 20:49:45 MDT Print View

Not as fun as DYI toothpaste dots but handy. Don't know about the ingredients though. Great book and fun reading.

Toothpaste Tablets

http://www.amazon.com/Archtek-Travel-Toothpaste-Tablets/dp/B005EZZO6Q/ref=pd_sbs_hpc1

jennifer ross
(jenhifive) - F

Locale: Norcal
a good toothpaste to dry on 09/18/2011 00:49:10 MDT Print View

I've been trying to dry colgate total for two months in the arid central valley of california. Its sill sticky and not hardening at all.

What's a good brand to make the dots?

Kristin Fiebelkorn
(kushbaby)

Locale: South Texas
Sensodyne on 09/18/2011 05:36:19 MDT Print View

After reading another thread on this, I did a "head to head" of Colgate (the one suggested - I already used it and had some on hand) and Sensodyne Pronamel (I had a sample from the dentist). I just put lines of each on wax paper and dried in room air (don't have a dehydrator). I'm in San Antonio - not really, REALLY dry, but not soggy either.

The Colgate was all spready and took weeks (and is still sort of sticky now). The Sensodyne was mostly dry by 24 hours, and curling up off of the wax paper in solid little "ropes" that you could pick up like sticks within 48 hours. This is even after moving the plates into the bathroom for convenience (where it's more humid). The OP of the other thread (also trying different brands for a trip) also found that Sensodyne worked very well (not sure what "type" of Sensodyne he used).

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
Re: a good toothpaste to dry on 09/18/2011 09:18:13 MDT Print View

""I've been trying to dry colgate total for two months in the arid central valley of california. Its sill sticky and not hardening at all.
What's a good brand to make the dots?""

When I made dots in a dehydrator I tried several kinds. The regular old looking Colgate (plane-looking label, travel size, $.99) did the best and was ready after several hours. I tried the Colgate, Arm&Hammer Whitening and Crest ProHealth. Try to avoid stuff with "gels."

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Archtek toothpaste tablets on 09/18/2011 09:26:00 MDT Print View

Those are kinda cool. Little on the spendy side compared to a tube of paste. But they are already ready.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Stinky on 09/18/2011 17:41:19 MDT Print View

"but why be stinky if you don't have to..."

It's a guy thing, Kat. You know, snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, and all that stuff... ;=)

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
reply to Jennifer & Clayton on 09/20/2011 18:35:07 MDT Print View

Jennifer --- I used Colgate TOTAL recently (it's chalky and white) and it dried fast and perfectly.

I might have that wrong, I don't have the tube anymore so I can't be sure.

Clayton --- I love the pre made dots!!! THanks for the heads up!!!

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Highly recommended. on 09/20/2011 18:46:29 MDT Print View

I may regret admitting this, but I've shaved "there" for hygiene and ease of use.

I spent ten years in a row working 30-day trips on glaciers in Alaska for NOLS. The itchy factor was minimal, and the benefits of "no hassle" was worth it. I will do it again for my next big trip. Highly recommended.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Highly recommended. on 09/21/2011 12:33:48 MDT Print View

I regret it :) Too much info!

Re: toothpaste

I use Colgate liquid gel type toothpaste in a small wide-mouth vial so I can get it all.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Baking soda, not toothpaste on 09/21/2011 12:44:54 MDT Print View

Baking soda is a LOT easier on the environment--no white spots on the ground or foliage where you spit it out (you don't even need to spit it out!). Dentist recommended, multiple uses--what more do you want?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
LATS on 09/23/2011 21:12:57 MDT Print View

Thanks Mike!

I had never heard this acronym prior to this article; I'll be using it now.

To be honest, I'm a little surprised that the simplicity of this recent tip has not sparked outcries of "DUH!" or "You're going to get people killed by telling them not to check the satellite forecasts!".

That said, I think it's a totally spot-on and relevant post, especially in this age of electronics, smartphones on the trail, and spreadsheet micromanagement/preplanning of every aspect of a trip.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Baking soda, not toothpaste on 09/23/2011 21:49:05 MDT Print View

"Dentist recommended, multiple uses--what more do you want?"

For it not to feel or taste like baking soda, blech.

Though it is amazing stuff.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
LATS on 09/23/2011 22:51:44 MDT Print View

It's surprising--and unfortunate--how many people are dependent on modern technology and don't learn to observe!

Mountains often make their own weather, and weather forecasters forecast for the cities, which are mainly in the plain.

Rarely, I've known thunderstorms to arrive in the middle of the night after a cloudless sunset. However, they usually announce their coming. One night a few years ago, I started dreaming that a big group of berry pickers was shining flashlights on my tent. That's probably because the night before a couple of jokers really were shining lights on my tent, ostensibly looking for a campsite about 11 pm, and because I'd been "grazing" on huckleberries all day. Finally, the thunder woke me up.

One time the bad weather didn't announce itself. In the Wind Rivers in August 2009, the evening I exited the mountains was cloudless and turning cold, seemingly indicating a clear night. About 2 am I woke up and heard gurgling in the motel's gutters--it was pouring rain outside in Pinedale! I was told by people who were up in the mountains (in a foot of snow) that up there the storm was preceded by thunder and lightning, though.

Out here in the NW, we often get some spectacular lenticular cloud formations when a storm front is moving in, especially around our large volcanoes:
http://www.komonews.com/weather/blogs/scott/130313053.html

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/23/2011 22:56:42 MDT.

jennifer ross
(jenhifive) - F

Locale: Norcal
Baking soda to dry up my sticky colgate dots on 09/24/2011 00:57:05 MDT Print View

Maybe i could shake the dots up in a bag so they don't stick and meld back together.

I just bought a tube of tom's so I think I'll try drying that but it's whitening too and maybe that's why the colgate's not drying? The weather is dry here and it's been months so I don't think putting it in the dehydrator will help.

Next time I run out of toothpaste I'll get sensidyne.

JASON CUZZETTO
(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: Tip of the Week on 09/26/2011 20:11:30 MDT Print View

Mike's book is fantastic. I start teaching an outdoors skills class to 12 middle school boys and girls next week. I will be using his book as my assistant teacher/companion. I have had the book for two weeks and am on my third read. Thank you Mike!!!

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: Baking soda to dry up my sticky colgate dots on 09/27/2011 02:07:22 MDT Print View

I've read a bit of baking soda as a "dusting" works well to mitigate the dot's stickin' together :D

Edited by tacedeous on 09/27/2011 16:05:59 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Speed, distance and time on 10/13/2011 17:46:50 MDT Print View

Good tip. I enjoy keeping track of my mileage, pace and time. It is interesting to consider the relationships of speed, time and distance.


speed table

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Right ON! on 10/13/2011 17:48:09 MDT Print View

George - My main MAN!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"Ultralight Tip of the Week" Milage on 10/19/2011 13:55:35 MDT Print View

Great tip Mike. This jives almost exactly with our hikes.
About 2.5mi/hr generally. Climbing steep grades is closer to one, downhill is closer to 3 and a bit. Thanks for the confirmation!

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
tarp direction on 10/25/2011 12:50:13 MDT Print View

Why does Mike advise aligning the tarp ridgeline with the wind, while Ray J. says to pitch the tarp broadside to the wind? Maybe by "wind" Mike means gentle breezes that provide ventilation, not strong cold WIND...?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: The sweet stench of nature on 10/25/2011 17:12:41 MDT Print View

"What the....?

You mean, you guys don't shave your hariy parts before heading out?"

I don't have any left. :(

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: Swiss Alps / Southern Appalachians
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 11/02/2011 01:41:48 MDT Print View

Mike C! Thanks for making the book available in Kindle format. I just got it! Thoroughly enjoyed the reading while travelling this past weekend.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tip # 108: Waterproofing the Gear on 11/02/2011 14:33:22 MDT Print View

+1 on the trash compactor bag. It is also a great way to keep your clothing dry and organized in your shelter, or to waterproof everything while camped by putting your *dry* pack inside the trash compactor bag overnight. No dew or rain-soaked pack to put on at sunrise {{{{{{shudder}}}}}}}

victoria maki
(crazyhikerlady) - F

Locale: Northern Minnesota
re:Ultralight tip of the week on 11/03/2011 05:09:08 MDT Print View

I have a suggestion about how to pack in the morning. How about putting the wet tarp on top of everything, so if it's a nice day you can take the tarp out during a break and dry it out.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: tarp direction on 11/03/2011 07:08:37 MDT Print View

A lot of pitching a tarp has to do with wind direction and the way the ground slants. Within these two constraints, is how I pitch my tarp.

Anyway, I suspect that using a RayWay tarp (A-Frame), it would be best as shelter against a side wind. Here is the address to Jardine's web site: http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Tarp-Kit/index.htm
Note that his ridge line is set up level, or close to it. This means that set up with the wind at your feet, it will blow through with no effect on the wind...well, he does use beaks to compensate. His tarp is also wider with little space against the ground.

Mike uses a tapered pitch...About "belly" height down to a "few inches above knee height" at the tail. It will deflect more wind and still provide protection. But with a smaller tarp, his sides are more open, hence his recommendation, at a guess. It is smaller and lighter, but more finicky about setups... Typical of UL gear.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Super-Spackle on 11/09/2011 05:39:57 MST Print View

Mmmm -- looks highly yummy. One could use a pastry bag to mix and then shoot it in to a platty.

Eddy Walker
(Ewker) - M

Locale: southeast
Re: Super-Spackle on 11/09/2011 10:52:52 MST Print View

I like Joe's Moose Goo but this is something different. I know with the Moose Goo it is hard to squeeze when the temps get below 40°. I wonder if this super spackle is the same way

Edited by Ewker on 11/09/2011 10:53:28 MST.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes)

Locale: Midwest
RE: Clelland's Super Spackle on 11/09/2011 13:33:05 MST Print View

I whipped up a batch of this and wow, it's delicious!

I ended up using the entire 11 ounce containers of the almond and cashew butter which measures out to just over a cup each. The recipe ends up making ~28.7 ounces of Spackle and averages 153 calories/ounce (Fats=12.9 gram/oz, Carbs=8.3 grams/oz, Protein=3.8 grams/oz).

What I ended up with was too thick to pour into a platypus but as Mike says, you can thin it out with more almond oil. I ended up repacking it into 7 snack-size ziplock bags containing 4 ounces each. I'll work out the storage container later. I ate the residual on Ritz crackers, yum...

I tossed a pack in the freezer to see what happens to it (i.e. is it a winter food candidate?)

My grocery receipt totaled $32, so this batch cost me $1.10 per ounce. However, I have enough agave nectar, almond oil, and extracts to make a few more batches.

Trevor Conrey
(thevor) - MLife
Super-Spackle below 40 on 11/09/2011 14:56:13 MST Print View

All my experience with various homemade "energy gels, pastes, etc" is that they all tend to slow down when it starts to get chilly. Nothing like tilting a gel flask upside down and slowly watching your goop trickle down for 45+ seconds before reaching your mouth to let ya know that a) it's probably a little chilly or b) maybe you should have made it a little thinner or maybe a combo of both. In the end it still all works and you can always pre-warm under an armpit, in warm water while melting snow, etc.

Brian, I'll be interested to hear how the super-spackle fares in the freezer.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Super-Spackle on 11/10/2011 08:58:39 MST Print View

How about using it in Coghlan's squeeze tubes?

http://www.coghlans.com/products/squeeze-tubes-7605a

David Smith
(flatfoot)
I use a spoon. on 11/10/2011 09:44:15 MST Print View

Wow! Can't wait to try this! This is surely a huge improvement over my plain ol honey and peanut butter mix. I've never put it in a squeeze tube. In the winter, its convenient just to put it in a lightweight throwaway container with a screw on lid and just use a spoon.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes)

Locale: Midwest
RE: Squeeze tubes on 11/10/2011 10:28:20 MST Print View

Dale - Good idea regarding the squeeze tubes.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: RE: Squeeze tubes on 11/10/2011 14:55:28 MST Print View

We've carried peanut butter and jam in them for decades (not the same peanut butter and jam). I don't trust them and always put them in a ziplock, although I've never had a problem. My wife's hiking favorite is PNB&J on a Sailor Boy pilot bread cracker. Or you squeeze a little PNB in your mouth, followed by jam, and then a bite of bagel or whatever. Shades of Animal House! http://www.hulu.com/watch/26014/animal-house-im-a-zit

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Squeeze Tubes on 11/11/2011 08:55:57 MST Print View

I've used the squeeze tubes as well and also put them in their own quart-ziploc for safety's sake. The only problem I've ever had was with the plastic "tube closer" piece cracking.

FYI - Campmor sells just those pieces so if you ever lose one or it cracks you can buy replacements.

I've migrated to individual serving packets (I get my PB&J from PackIt Gourmet) because it makes it easier to distribute the weight and the packaging weighs less when empty. There's also nothing to clean up when you get home...

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes)

Locale: Midwest
RE: Clelland's Super Spackle - Freezer test on 11/11/2011 20:19:11 MST Print View

So the super spackle spent two nights in the freezer and it does indeed freeze solid but I'm able to snap off chunks of it with easy and they quickly melt when eaten. At the consistency I made it (think peanut butter thickness) there is no way it would be delivered via a squeeze tube when temps are frigid.

Edited by brianjbarnes on 11/11/2011 20:21:49 MST.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Fritos Corn Chips on 11/14/2011 09:54:20 MST Print View

I also want to commend Frito-Lay for offering a lower sodium version of Fritos. They have 80mg of salt per oz as opposed to 170 according to the Frito-Lay web site. I believe 1 oz of Fritos is equivalent to one of the smaller bags. I am on a sodium restricted diet due to a family history of high blood pressure and my doctor recommends no more than 1500mg per day. Some of the fancy freeze dried meals at REI have more than that in one serving which is the main reason I do freezer bag cooking. The lower price is another reason.

Some of my friends tell me not to worry about sodium while backpacking; that I will sweat it out. Maybe, but I'd rather not have a stroke while doing the Clouds Rest ridge line, for example. Rolling down 4000ft. over near vertical rough granite with one side or the other paralyzed does not appeal to me.

Lois Austin
(javlav10250) - F - M
Fritos tip on 11/14/2011 18:51:05 MST Print View

Nuts are densely nutritious,better fats, more protein,compact,and > 160 calories/ounce.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Fritos are NOT health food on 11/14/2011 20:30:46 MST Print View

Oh don't get me wrong, I love nuts, and the book sings their benefits! The recipes are full of nuts!

Fritos are NOT health food, but they are tasty on a break.

cashews = 156 calories / oz
dry roasted peanusts = 166 calories / oz
walnuts = 183 calories / oz
almonds = 163 calories / oz

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Fritos vs. nuts on 11/14/2011 20:45:26 MST Print View

Glad you agree! Personally, I'd rather eat nuts any day of the week. Fritos, IMHO, are disgusting! Of course, YMMV applies here!

The one thing that could be said about potato chips (unlike Fritos) is that they contain potassium. I still can't stand to eat them, though!

a b
(Ice-axe)
Fritos = Corn, Corn Oil, Salt on 11/14/2011 20:54:00 MST Print View

The classic Fritos are three simple ingredients: Corn, Corn Oil, and Salt.
Since when is Corn unhealthy?

Original Corn Chips (Fritos)

Serving Size: 1 oz, Calories: 160, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 16g, Protein: 2g

They can be found for $3 per 12 ounce bag in gas stations and convenience stores near trail heads and at almost every single town resupply point.

Thats 1920 calories for 3 dollars.
They are high is carbohydrates which fuel working muscles and their oil content is super for skin and hair health.
The sodium replaces salts lost to perspiration during heavy activities.
They don't have much protein though.
Personally i find that using the Fritos for a Carbohydrate fuel source during the day and loading up on Protein rich foods like nuts and nut butters at night to rebuild muscle works magic for recovery times on multi thousand mile long distance hikes.
I suppose they could be said to be "Healthy" for people burning 5,000 calories a day such as those on a long hike.
For the pyromaniac crowd;
Fritos also make an excellant fire starter; they burn like a candle wick.
Hey, that makes them dual use!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Fritos on 11/14/2011 21:51:59 MST Print View

As a bonus, they come in Chili flavor.

a b
(Ice-axe)
Re: Fritos on 11/14/2011 21:53:15 MST Print View

LIKE!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: RE: Clelland's Super Spackle - Freezer test on 11/18/2011 18:24:00 MST Print View

I'm trying to figure out a way from converting this into finger food. In other words, it needs to be firm and a bit dry. The basic flavor is good, but the consistency needs improvement.

--B.G.--

Eli .
(Feileung) - F
re: Clelland's Super Spackle - Freezer test on 11/19/2011 00:30:28 MST Print View

Add flour, reduce oil, freeze, coat in chocolate or cocoa powder?

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: re: Clelland's Super Spackle - Freezer test on 11/19/2011 01:53:53 MST Print View

Right now, my leading coatings are either sesame seeds or crushed pecan pieces.

I might need to add some cornstarch to the gooey mixture, then heat it.

--B.G.--

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Socks on 11/19/2011 11:37:18 MST Print View

I'm glad I now have Mike's permission to take more than 2 pair of socks on a long, potentially soggy trip! And even sleeping socks! There are some times/places, especially out here in the NW, in which you can't expect wet socks to get dry!

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes)

Locale: Midwest
RE: Clelland's Super Spackle - Finger Food on 11/19/2011 15:23:11 MST Print View

Bob - Have you tried backing off on the almond oil? I found that the product's stickiness was heavily influenced by the oil amount added. Also, I like the idea of nut coated mini-cheese ball-like serving sizes. Another thought is the powdered peanut butter you can purchase in the organic sections of supermarkets. I also tried crushing up 1 to 2 Ritz crackers and coating a tablespoon of the mixture for a 100 cal snack bite. Worked well and tastes great.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: re: Clelland's Super Spackle - Freezer test on 11/19/2011 16:01:07 MST Print View

"I might need to add some cornstarch to the gooey mixture, then heat it."

A more nutritious alternative might be non fat powdered milk.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Super Spackle? on 11/19/2011 16:08:01 MST Print View

The super spackle isn't meant to be a finger food.

It is made of runny ingredients.

But - the GROOVY-RIFIC bars are a better alternative, and these can be eaten like a cookie!

______________________________________


Home-made no-bake groovy-rific bar recipe

A calorie dense alternative to purchasing expensive store bought bars. Easy to make and delicious.

2 cups spelt flakes (or rolled oats)
1 cup dates (finely chopped)
1 cup almonds
1 cup cashews
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon hazelnut (or almond) extract
1 teaspoon salt

Put almonds, cashews, walnuts and spelt flakes in a food processor. Pulse briefly, until the mix is granular, with minimal chunks. Place this mixture in a big mixing bowl. Add the raisins, cranberries.

In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over very low heat. Add brown rice syrup and almond butter. Stir until a smooth consistency, and add the chopped dates. Remove sauce pan from heat and add vanilla extract and hazelnut (or almond) extract into this mixture.

Add the oily mixture into the large mixing bowl and stir the contents with a wooden spoon until it’s completely mixed. Add the tapioca flour and salt and continue mixing with your hands.

Press this mixture into glass baking dishes or cake pans. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture hardens.

Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars into squares.

Put a small amount of tapioca flour in a large plastic bag. Put the squares in the bag with the flour and gently shake, this creates a dusty covering to keep the bars from being too oily or sticky.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: re: Clelland's Super Spackle - Freezer test on 11/19/2011 16:08:31 MST Print View

Hmmm. Powdered milk sounds good. I'll have to try that.

I had already deleted the almond oil. The natural almond butter that I purchased already had oil floating on it.

What I am trying to end up with is the peanut butter equivalent of a cheese ball.

Although peanut butter is very common here in the states, in some countries it is kind of weird to have nuts dug up from the ground.

--B.G.--

Lois Austin
(javlav10250) - F - M
Super Spackle Cookie- Feet Problems on 11/20/2011 18:29:18 MST Print View

Delete the extra oil. Drop by spoonfuls on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes. It will be a cookie. Any nut butter will do. You can add spices and molasses for a ginger spice cookie or almond butter, almond flavoring and poppy seeds for a delicious almond poppy seed cookie. Use peanut butter for a peanut butter cookie.

Tend to your feet at the first sign of trouble or your hike is dead.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
GROOVY-RIFIC bars on 11/21/2011 05:40:54 MST Print View

Hello Mike!

Nice to see you brought up Tip 152. I sent you an E-mail about this tip last August but I'm sure you must have missed it (probably hiking somewhere) :)

I'll copy and paste same here, because some other people might have come across the same *problems* I encountered.

-o-o-o-

The reason for this e-mail is to ask about Tip nr 152 and, more specifically, the part about the “Homemade No-Bake Groovy-rific Bars”.

Where I live (in Spain) it’s not always possible to get all the items mentioned in recipes and this particular one wouldn’t be an exception. I’m fully aware of the fact that any recipe can be altered to meet the specific taste and needs of whoever is going to make the food (bars in this case), but I’d like to do the utmost to not change anything at all – at least the first time.

Having said so, “vanilla-”, “hazelnut-” and “almond-” extract is only available at an extremely high price-ticket (as much as € 14 for just a few mls.). For just doing an experiment once it might be feasible, but making these bars more often if these turn out to be palatable (and I have no doubt about this – with all these ingredients they’ll be more than delicious), there is no way I could afford this kind of money for “just” bars – no matter how energy-rich and delicious these are.

Another thing I’m having trouble with finding is the tapioca flour. Is there a certain reason tapioca flour is better (or at least more recommendable) than any other type of flour? Almond-butter is another problem, but peanut-butter and hazelnut-butter are both available (although the latter comes -again- at a rather high price: € 8,00 for 325 ml).

All the rest is readily available over the shelf – having said so, the “spelt flakes” here are called “copos de espelta” and, although it might seem pretty obvious (once you know), it took me quite a while before I found out (the only thing the Google Translator could come up with was a form of the verb “to spell”.

One last thing: I’m a bit puzzled about the fact you mention coconut oil. I’ve always understood olive oil was far better – correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe it’s because of the taste???

OK. Let’s get to the point.

Since I haven’t found the tapioca flour and almond-butter (yet??), and I wouldn’t like to part with the amount of money involved with the different extracts, I thought of doing the following:

1. Change the almond-butter (which I can’t find) for hazelnut-butter (which would give me the taste of hazelnut, instead of using hazelnut-extract) or maybe even peanut-butter, which is quite a bit cheaper, although I’d follow your advice about hazelnut- or peanut-butter.

2. Forget about the vanilla-extract (maybe there is something else that could be added to give a bit of a vanilla taste???). I believe the extracts are only in the recipe to give the taste required – or not??

3. Change the tapioca-flour for any other kind of flour (whichever you’d advise).

4. Change the coconut-oil for olive-oil (unless its taste would be too dominating, which I’m afraid of) and use dried or raw coconut flakes or chips (the small ones) to create the dusty covering for the finished bars (instead of the flour); this would give at least some kind of coconut taste to the bars, if the coconut-oil was meant to give a bit of a coconut taste.

All the rest would remain completely unaltered. What do you think about these changes?

Best regards,

Henk Smees aka TFD
(The Flying Dutchman)


BTW. I ordered your book thru’ BPL on April 26st. I’ve read it at least 4 times since. Great stuff - I learned a lot.

Pit Martin
(Pit5785455) - MLife
socks on 11/21/2011 09:44:51 MST Print View

I always carry two pair for hiking, and one pair for sleeping, no matter the length of the trip. Another great tip: Take boots and socks off the feet every 3 hours, and let the feet breathe for 5 minutes - it really helps fight off blisters, and rejuvenates the feet. Saved my feet on the Colorado Trail in 7 days of nonstop rain in 2010 (Thanks, Wolverine, and to Escalater and Hamster, for the advice). Socks dried quicker by hanging them up inside the tent or vestibule. Pit Martin, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: GROOVY-RIFIC bars on 11/21/2011 13:43:26 MST Print View

Henk,

When experimenting with recipes like this, it's best to make no more than a quarter of the original recipe, or maybe less. Some of the alterations you suggest (and that I suggest below) will definitely alter the taste. Make up tiny batches and taste-test until you get the result you want.

I would want to use another oil than coconut anyway, because coconut oil is a saturated fat. Canola (rapeseed) or safflower oil would be less flavored than olive oil. My daughter in law makes cookies and pie crust with canola oil, and they taste just fine.

As I recall (it has been a while), in Europe most cooks use dried vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. You'd need only a tiny piece of bean, pulverized. If you're using almonds and almond butter anyway, no real need for the almond extract. I suspect that leaving out the extracts will be no big deal, although the almond taste will be less strong.

You can grind almonds in a food processor to make almond butter, and I'm sure that's a lot cheaper than almond or hazelnut butter. You could do the same thing with cashews, walnuts or hazelnuts if you want the finished result to taste more like those nuts. Using peanut butter would be fine, too, except that the result will taste more like peanuts than almonds. With peanut butter, you might want to substitute peanuts for one of the other nuts. Again, experiment with tiny amounts until you get the taste you prefer.

I would think that wheat flour would be fine for the thickening instead of tapioca, and honey instead of brown rice syrup.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
REPLY TO - Henk: on 11/22/2011 09:33:26 MST Print View

REPLY TO - Henk:
================

1) Hazelnut butter sounds awesome. Go for it!

2) Ignore the vanilla extract, it's such a tiny amount it should impact anything,.

3) Any kind of flour should be fine. The reason I use tapioka flour is that is is sweet and it acts as a thickener.

4) DON'T USE OLIVE OIL! THe coconut oil gets stiff unless it's warm, so it acts as a binder. And olive oil is too strong of a taste. You could just NIX the oil altogether and add a little more brown rice syrup.

Just so you know, i am totally content to "wing it" in the kitchen. I love tweeking recipes like this, and encourage you to do the same!

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
Already tried the recipe on 11/22/2011 12:12:49 MST Print View

Hi Mary & Mike,

Many thanks for your advice.

Last August I made a spreadsheet with all the ingredients (changed some because -as said before- I couldn’t find everything here in Spain) and their specs regarding nutritional info (calories, proteins, carbs and fat), cost and quantity (according to the information on the store-bought item); then it calculated the nutritional info per used amount and, last, the same information for 2 bars of 50 grams each. Liked the result, because the proportions of Proteins (12.56%), Carbs (55.09%) and Fat (32.35%) were very close (if not exact) to the recommended amounts. So, I was really pleased.

Then I did do a sort of first intend to make my own Groovy-rific bars. I didn’t use any of the extracts and changed the tapioca for wheat flour (like you said Mary); I also used hazelnut butter instead of almond butter (as Mike just said), but the rest was as Mike recommended in his book. BTW. I did find brown rice syrup (melaza de arroz) and coconut oil (although the one I found is not stiff when cold). See next picture of all the ingredients (+ the spreadsheet and the book):

Bars 1

I followed all Mike’s instructions (although, since I don’t have a food processor, I chopped the walnuts, almonds and cashews separately):

Bars 2

Then I mixed the different chopped nuts with the spelt flakes, raisins and cranberries:

Bars 3

After heating the coconut oil, I added the brown rice syrup, hazelnut butter and chopped dates, mixed everything in the same large bowl I used for the first *operation* and then pressed the whole bunch in two glass baking dishes, put these in the fridge and after an hour, this was the result:

Bars 4

Well...... it didn’t work out as well as I would have liked. When I tried to cut the bars, the whole mixture resulted to be too crumbly:

Bars 5

What went wrong? After a lot of thinking, I realized I made several mistakes when converting imperial measurements to the metric system. I went by weight instead of volume, so I didn’t use enough rice syrup and hazelnut butter. I could’ve “killed” myself. (After Mike’s last recommendation: >The coconut oil gets stiff unless it's warm, so it acts as a binder<; this might be another reason, “my” coconut oil isn’t stiff at all). Anyhow, although the end result wasn’t satisfying (because the bars don’t stick together – nothing to do with the recipe) the taste of same is really delicious, so I’ll definitely try again (making sure I’ll use the correct amounts) and maybe changing the coconut oil for canola (rapeseed) or safflower oil, like Mary suggested. I won’t use olive oil.

With regards to tweaking the recipes, don’t worry; I’ll surely do so (once I’ve got my first batch figured out according to the instructions). Thinking of adding coconut flakes as a dusting, for instance.

Can't wait to try again.

Many thanks again.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
dedication to documenting visually! on 11/22/2011 12:34:52 MST Print View

Wow! That was some dedication to documenting it visually!

Y'know what also might help, bump up the finely chopped dates a little more. The date "paste" is sticky and makes a good "binder"

The other option is to add a few eggs and then bake it for a little while. That'll turn em into bars.

Keep me posted as to yer progress!

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
I’ll do so on 11/22/2011 13:24:47 MST Print View

Hi Mike.

I’ll sure keep you informed about progress. Thanks for the advice regarding chopping the dates a little more or adding eggs and baking. I never asked my wife (my culinary knowledge is almost nonexistent), but I’m sure she’ll be able to come up with ways of thickening the mixture as well. I suppose the old saying: “there are many roads that lead to Rome” will be applicable here (with regards to binding the bars).

Are there any natural thickeners (I suppose they’re called starch or pectin) that could be used as well? If so, which are more calorie-dense? If I’m going to add other ingredients, apart from being healthy, they might as well serve other purposes.

BTW, I just realized you said the coconut oil is stiff (unless it’s warm), does that mean you can’t pour it? If so, I suppose it isn’t sold in bottles and if that’s true, how is it presented? As a block, like some fats? Maybe I could try to look for coconut fat? Or am I completely lost?

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
recipe on 11/22/2011 14:25:08 MST Print View

Coconut oil in the USA comes in a jar, and it's hard like cold butter at room temperature. It is white and foggy looking on the shelf at the store.

It will turn to liquid if it gets warmed up. Low heat in a pan will make it a clear liquid.

I would NIX any oil, the natural oil in the hazlenut butter will be plenty. And - Adding more dates finely chopped and added to the warm hazelnut butter during the creation should be enough.

bon apetiit!
Mike C!

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Coconut oil on 11/22/2011 14:28:11 MST Print View

Henk: In the States, coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, similar to (though firmer than) butter or vegetable shortening, though sold in jars that you just scoop out of. Seems to me you'll want a fat that is a solid at room temp for the binding you're looking for.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
Re: Coconut oil on 11/22/2011 14:45:11 MST Print View

@Mike

Merci beaucoup! Once again!

Same to you Addie.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Socks on 11/23/2011 11:15:54 MST Print View

Make sure your shorty socks are at least ankle high. The really low cut ones let dirt and pebbles get in under the sock (there is an opening between the ankle bones and Achilles tendon). That hurts and slows you down while taking the junk out.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: Socks on 11/23/2011 11:56:55 MST Print View

Another issue that I discovered the summer I switched from boots to trail runners: Unlike boot tops, sock tops are not mosquito proof! It's worse when you are sitting because the pants bottoms ride up. I discovered this after a trip in Wyoming's Wind Rivers, discovering that itchy ankles are a bit of a distraction while driving back to the Pacific NW!

Alternatives: use repellent (especially in camp), spray sock tops with permethrin or wear shorty gaiters. The last works best for the bugs and also for keeping junk out of the shoes.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Socks on 11/23/2011 12:19:07 MST Print View

TFD,

That made me hungry. Good documentation. I also rely upon my wife for all things culinery. She did give a thumbs up to Mike's treats in his book when I showed them to her.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Socks on 11/23/2011 12:25:19 MST Print View

Mike, thanks for the sock tip. I read it in your fantastic book a while back, but was glad to feel that it was OK to wear more than one pair. Been wearing a thin liner (that I used to wear by itself) with a slightly thicker light sock. That combo makes a significant difference low 30ish F temps for me.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: I’ll do so @ Henk on 11/23/2011 18:01:16 MST Print View

"Are there any natural thickeners (I suppose they’re called starch or pectin) that could be used as well? If so, which are more calorie-dense?"

You might try powdered full fat milk, like Nido. It's calorie dense and when added as a powder makes a good thickener. The fat in it will also help bind the other ingredients.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
@ Tom & George on 11/24/2011 03:16:29 MST Print View

Hi Tom. Good idea. Sure gonna try that.

Hi George. Wife asked what I was up to when she saw all those bowls&dishes coming out of the kitchen cupboards. I explained and she laughed (didn’t believe I was able to do something that *difficult*. When I finished she didn’t laugh anymore (kitchen looked like a battleground), but she sure liked (LOVED) the taste of the bars; well, the crumbs. (Be assured I, obviously, did all the cleaning up).

OFF TOPIC: Every time I use the Huaraches I get a bit more accustomed to them but they’re definitely NOT comfy.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
Fritos vs. nuts on 11/28/2011 08:08:10 MST Print View

I think it's a mistake to compare Fritos to nuts based only on calories per ounce. The calories in nuts are mostly fat, while Fritos are a nice mix of complex carbs and fat. Fritos are superior to nuts for steady energy.

If you can't find the reduced sodium Fritos at the store, another option is the Fritos "Big Scoops". For some reason these have less sodium per serving (110mg vs. 170mg) and are available in big family size bags at Wal Mart for cheap.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Cowboy Coffee on 11/28/2011 17:59:56 MST Print View

Excelent tip. Note that chewing a few beans allows the flavor to keep for quite a while. Since I grew up in an old italian family, I was pretty much weaned on hot, right from the roster, coffee beans. A bean or two in your cheek will hold flavour for about an hour while hiking.

Jeff McWilliams
(jjmcwill) - M
Philosophical questions about picking a spot to camp on 11/29/2011 13:19:44 MST Print View

I own Mike's new book and recently read it cover to cover. I really enjoyed it. I'm not a UL backpacker yet. We're hoping to adopt many of the techniques described in Mike's book this coming season.

One of the tips I found intriguing was the recommendation to choose a camp spot somewhere other than established tent pads.

I certainly see the advantages as described in the book: There is added flexibility in being able to hike longer and picking a site at the last minute, you can find a softer spot, a more secluded spot, a spot with better drainage, or better protection from the elements, etc.

However, this advice seems to go against traditional "Leave No Trace" philosophies. I belong to a outdoor club in Southeast Michigan, and I'm not sure how I would defend such a practice to staunch supporters of traditional LNT camping.

It's also unclear to me how various park services view this practice. Is it frowned upon or completely banned outright in some areas? How does one find out? I did some Google searching for National Parks policy on camping but didn't find anything conclusive.

Can others help shed light on this topic, or point me to some previous discussion threads that may enlighten me?

Thanks,

Jeff

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Reply to Jeff: on 11/29/2011 14:34:17 MST Print View

Reply to Jeff:
-----------------------------

1 - The idea and ethics behind STEALTH camping mean you will ONLY sleep at your camp. Both cooking and eating will be done along the trail. So you will have a minimum impact on the site where you will sleep.

2 - This is a technique for wilderness environments without the prescribed rules one might find in a busy national park.

3 - Some places (like Yellowstone National Park) require that you camp in a designated campsite. These rules were made for "traditional" campers. Other places (like Grand Canyon National Park) will issue the user a special bivy permit if folks are choosing a route in terrain without established sites.

4 - An impacted site that one might find along a trail in a well used environment is set up for BIG tents and lots of people. These usually have trash, used toilet paper and habituated animals around. I avoid these sites.

5 - I feel strongly that a skilled camper (ore a small team) can camp for one night in a hidden spot in the woods, and they should have almost zero impact. They can carefully pick a small spot to sleep, and if they need to set up a UL shelter (like a tarp) they can do it with almost ZERO impact. The stealth technique requires that the campers leave their site in a way where nobody would know they camped there. This is an excellent LEAVE NO TRACE technique, and I advocate it strongly.

6 - Wilderness areas (like the Wind River Range in Wyoming) allow camping with pretty much no rules. They ask that you camp a certain distance from lakes and rivers, and that you don't make campfires during certain seasons. This is the environment where STEALTH CAMPING can be done without worrying about permits or federal rules.

Edited by mikeclelland on 11/29/2011 14:37:58 MST.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Real Reason to Stealth Camp on 11/29/2011 16:14:41 MST Print View

The Real Reason to Stealth Camp, especially in the National Parks is that all of the camping sites in said NP's are all stuffed in copses of trees where there aren't views. True, the NP's in the SW you WANT the shade, but everywhere else, you want the SUN and the Views. Nearly everyone in NP's are in tiny corridors. Get outside of the corridor and you won't see a soul.

Yea yea, I know said NP's 'thinking' is that no one wants to see your tent. The fact of the matter generally is that it is all of you and maybe 2 other folks and "seeing" your tent is not a problem at all. In the National Forest its far more likely to be you, and ONLY you unless in a VERY popular spot like Image Lake or name your favorite spot... << HERE >>

If folks would eat/wash at lakes and then camp on ridges, not only are the views better, the sun rises sets earlier/later making it more enjoyable, the bugs fewer, but humanity is non existent as well.

The true fact of the matter for the predominant vast majority of the places anyone goes backpacking, walk a 200 feet off the trail and you can leave as many traces as you want and NO ONE will EVER see it. Just to put leave no trace in perspective. Its 99.99999% Wilderness and a TINY TINY TINY portion where everyone goes. No, its not OK to destroy, but most folks get to their "destination" and plop down literally and figuratively speaking in the same spot that EVERYONE else does and that is why the environment gets "ruined" around said spots.

stephan q
(khumbukat) - F
RE:Stealth Camping on 11/29/2011 20:30:22 MST Print View

Most parks maintain designated camp sites to reduce impact of the hordes. Yosemite rules require your campsite to be a proper distance from roads, trail, water and use only existing fire rings below 9600 ft. Beyond that, you are free to camp as you please.
"Stealth" only applies to camping in an off limits area. Many persons feel "safer" camping in designated sites with bear boxes. Places like Yoho or Jasper, with very short seasons, would be hashed were it not for the quota system and designated sites. stephan

Edited by khumbukat on 11/29/2011 20:33:15 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
"STEALTH" on 11/29/2011 20:55:45 MST Print View

"STEALTH" is used to define a *hidden* campsite.

If you hide your camp you won't impact other hikers who would want to have a wilderness experiences. It's NOT to break rules or be sneaky.

If you have a small low-impact site away from a view corridor and well away from the trails, then other visitors will be able to hike along and enjoy the feeling of solitude.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
Stealth campsite on 11/29/2011 23:01:06 MST Print View

BTW, when we camp in a previously unimpacted spot, we make sure to replace any stones or pinecones we may have moved to make a sleeping pad. That way the next guy who comes along won't be able to tell we camped there...and can have the same experience we did.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Stealth campsite on 11/30/2011 00:58:59 MST Print View

If you stealth camp with a hammock, all you leave are footprints and maybe a couple stake holes.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Stealth camping on 11/30/2011 12:23:00 MST Print View

Wondering if stealth includes a small enough pack so you get mistaken for a dayhiker. A big honking sleeping pad strapped to the outside of a pack may give the plan away to an alert ranger. Ditto with a large pack.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Stealth camping on 11/30/2011 12:24:53 MST Print View

Ditto with the car left at the trailhead or parking lot overnight :)

Jeff McWilliams
(jjmcwill) - M
Stealth Camping on 11/30/2011 12:40:16 MST Print View

HK Newman - I prefer Mike C's definition of stealth camping, which is to preserve the feeling of solitude in the wilderness, NOT to break rules or be sneaky.

In that case, it should be of no concern to me whether a fellow hiker or park ranger sees my sleeping pad and realizes I intend to spend the night sleeping somewhere in the back country.

If I have to worry that my actions could get me ticketed, fined, or expelled from a wilderness area, I shouldn't be doing whatever it is I'm doing.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Stealth camping on 11/30/2011 12:44:56 MST Print View

Yeh yeh- car at the TH. That the one, man.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Stealth camping on 11/30/2011 13:37:01 MST Print View

@ Jeff: Yeah, I see what Mike is saying, though (for example) climbing out of the corridor of the Grand Canyon will likely require a last night camp at the usually packed Indian Gardens to get to the Rim by 10AM-ish (and Flagstaff with beer by high-noon). I could also see bring a subdued color shelter to a highly impacted area like the highly-visited California parks/wilderness areas, so I was more thinking out loud. Heck, maybe even a camo-colored tarp, like multicam.

stephan q
(khumbukat) - F
RE:Stealth Camping on 11/30/2011 17:29:53 MST Print View

Howdy, I think there needs to be a distinction made here. OB camping(out of bounds) is sneaky and against the rules. Stealth camping is legal and refers to a higher level of LNT camping. One sets up camp and leaves no trace, and also strives to remain out of view of anyone else in the area. stephan

Edited by khumbukat on 11/30/2011 17:32:05 MST.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: RE:Stealth Camping on 12/01/2011 23:01:40 MST Print View

So, being considerate is stealth camping? Ok.

Just type be considerate; not a selfish egotistical a$$.



I know, a word with more than 3-5 letters in it...

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Stealth vs Commando on 12/06/2011 01:34:26 MST Print View

I've heard sneakily camping in prohibited areas called "commando" camping (especially by the kayaking community when camping on privately-owned land) so I use that term to differentiate from the "stealth" camping that Mike is describing.

UL hikers are the sorts who often find themselves in remote wildernesses where there isn't much cumulative impact to campsites simply because almost no one goes there except a few UL crazies. In such a situation I'm all for stealth camping, but I will certainly follow the rules in any National Park I visit. The thing is- many National Parks will issue back-country permits that allow at-large camping, if you can get them, so I always try to.

Anytime that I am allowed I prefer to do it Mike's way. It's much more enjoyable and certainly less destructive than the mud-wallows that most designated sites turn into. Of course, if there was no such thing as designated campsites in high-use areas and EVERYONE tried to camp at-large then a lot of the most convenient spots would get thoroughly trashed instead of just the one designated spot. So I'm all for designated spots in high-use areas. I simply avoid high-use areas whenever possible.

Does that make me a hypocrite for stealth camping any time I can legally get away with it? (And don't get me started on the difference between "legal" and "moral".) Yeah, probably. But I'm just enough of a snooty elitist to not count myself among the mob of "common" campers with their Coleman tents, lawn chairs and beer coolers. As with most avocations the people who are true enthusiasts are usually in a different league from the more typical recreational user. I would challenge you to identify any of my camps after just a couple of days or a decent rain, so it's rather hard to argue that I'm not adequately LNT.

I mean- seriously- I'm a low-impact fanatic. For instance I am aghast any time I see someone cutting trail corners or otherwise contributing to "social" trails, and I NEVER use them except maybe when it gets impossible to differentiate them from the main trail. But I acknowledge that LNT are guidelines for the populace at large and I'm confident that my own standards are actually HIGHER than that, so my conscience is clear.

Edited by acrosome on 12/06/2011 01:36:03 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
stealth camping on 12/06/2011 10:51:05 MST Print View

I try to obey the rules in National Parks and such.

But - I have had some situations where I chose not to once I was in the backcountry.

One example was in Yellowstone. I had a permit for a high ridge line camp, but there was a scary lightning storm as I was ascending up toward the high country. I chose to STEALTH camp lower in a valley. It just seemed dangerous to go up that high for reasons of a permit.

I did a very tidy job of being hidden from other users, and i kept a fastidiously clean camp.

Mike C!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"Ultralight Tip of the Week" on 12/07/2011 15:11:56 MST Print View

Mike, these tips really require a book, ya'know...as in another one???
Well Done!!!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 12/12/2011 14:16:53 MST Print View

A lot of wilderness areas (such as Wyoming's Wind Rivers) require you to camp 200 feet from established trails and 200 feet from water. This is fine, but there are some places where there is no way to do this if you want to avoid being too close to bark-beetle killed trees which are liable to fall in the next gust of wind. When I've been in such places I feel it is far more important to keep the required distance from water than from the trail, if I can't do both. If I have to be too close to the trail, I at least try to put my shelter where it's inconspicuous.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Pulley.... on 12/12/2011 16:41:51 MST Print View

Mike,
Many years ago I figured out the pulley system as you describe, cept I also used a small 1/4" pully that weighed about an ounce, each. For full food bags, it sure helps. Especially with two or three people. The small Ti D-links were a BIG boon. Note that the dual links, Nitize #1, tend to avoid tangles a bit better making clipping/unclipping food bags easy on day hikes out of a base camp.

Also, a larger stick, around the size of a broom handle, makes a good haul stick without pinching off the blood supply to your hands.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Mike's Bearbag Diagram (two rope system) on 12/12/2011 16:43:29 MST Print View

Maybe this is that silly climber perspective, but in your diagram you have two individual ropes - one to serve as an achor w/ carabiner at the top of the limb and another to serve as a makeshift pulley that is joined at the carabiner.

An Alpine Butterfly to hold the carabiner would make a bi-directionally suitable knot that would allow a single length of rope to be utilized while not changing any other part of the system. While not common, I mostly associate the alpine butterfly when climbing with groups of three, it's plenty of strong for the job.

Michael Matiasek
(matiasek) - F - M
Mike's Bearbag Diagram on 12/14/2011 10:41:12 MST Print View

I like this idea, the use of pullys or even just a simple carabiner or ring sounds like a great way to prevent the string from sawing into the limb. On several occassions this added enough friction to my system that i had a heck of a time getting the bags down. While I really like the elegance of this system isn't the major drawback that there is still a line on the ground that a bear could cut? It would seem that the PCT method would be more full proof. Anyone who has used both care to comment? thanks!

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
big bear hang loads on 12/14/2011 10:49:02 MST Print View

Here is an image of the PULLEY system for lager loads that might cut into a branch.

bear

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: big bear hang loads on 12/14/2011 10:57:28 MST Print View

Mike's method shows two hanging ropes near the ground. The bears would get those in an instant.

The correct two-rope method leaves no hanging ropes near the ground.

--B.G.--

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: big bear hang loads on 12/14/2011 11:30:10 MST Print View

"Mike's method shows two hanging ropes near the ground. The bears would get those in an instant.

The correct two-rope method leaves no hanging ropes near the ground."

Bob, I don't believe a straight bear hang will be as effective in well used camping areas. I have used them a lot in the ADK's, but I have seen bear hangs that are simply a matter throw it in a tree and pray. A head height hang is worse than useless. The PCT methode is a waste of time and complicates things in the ADK's. But, my question is how do you retrieve the line if there is nothing near the ground?
Anyway, not to argue this point, but, it *seems* like two lines is two lines, however you do it...even the PCT methode leaves two lines down.

Well trained bears, of course, know to look for a line. I often avoid this by wrapping the line as high as possible, around a tree 3 or four times. Anyway, In more than 30 year of camping, I have never lost my food. Basically, it depends on where you hike. So, as Mike says, YMMV depending on where you go.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
bears on 12/14/2011 11:43:33 MST Print View

I've camped a lot of places.

In the tundra of Alaska there are NO trees and REALLY BIG Grizzly Bears - and I've never carried a bear canister.

You just pile the stuff someplace near camp and hope for the best. No trees, no cords and I've never had a problem.

In Yellowstone NP they provide bear hang poles in each campsite and the rope is ALWAYS within reach of the bears, and I know of no problems there.

There are habituated bears in "some" places, but not everywhere.

The comment: "Mike's method shows two hanging ropes near the ground. The bears would get those in an instant." might be true in some high use sites, but certainly not everywhere.

KEN LARSON
(KENLARSON) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
ROPE on 12/14/2011 11:51:04 MST Print View

ONE or TWO 50 foot ropes?
OR
TWO 25 foot rope pieces?
OR
????

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Ultralight on 12/14/2011 11:53:57 MST Print View

> "One of my ultralight friends suggested getting a haircut and trimming my nails before a backpack."

By cutting her hair before the round-the-world flight of Voyager in 1986, Jeana Yeager added 11 miles of range. A few ounces carried 24,986 miles adds up.

But seriously: Cut your toenails several days BEFORE a hike so the tender exposed skin underneath toughens before the hike. GCNP Hiking 101 stuff.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
cord lengths on 12/14/2011 11:55:06 MST Print View

I only advocate the TWO cord system for teams with REALLY BIG LOADS of food.

Like a team of 3 for a 10 day trip.

All other hanging can be done with ONE cord and NO carabiners.

THe BIG LOAD system:
-----------------------------
A) 2x cords at 45 feet each
B) 2x tiny steel 'biners

-

The LIGHT LOAD (or standard) system
------------------------------
a 45 foot cord!

Edited by mikeclelland on 12/14/2011 13:10:50 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
the two-rope counterbalance on 12/14/2011 12:13:04 MST Print View

two-rope method

I hope that this diagram is large enough to understand. Two ropes. Two bags. No rope is tied off to a tree or hanging down within reach.

This is the system that we used in Yosemite from 1978 until about 1999, when bear canister rules starting to come around. Based on the size of the trees, the size of the branches, the size of the bears, etc., I found the best length of rope to use for the A rope was about 60 feet. The B rope could be shorter, like 40 feet.

The extra length is what keeps you from having to pull the weight _down_. By getting out at an angle, you pull the weight out. That takes slightly less effort which is important with heavy loads.

I can still remember watching three guys trying to hoist-away on an army duffle bag that was filled with over 70 pounds of group food. First of all, a duffle bag hangs down so far that you have to have a very high branch. It takes a tremendous amount of effort.

--B.G.--

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: the two-rope counterbalance on 12/14/2011 13:08:07 MST Print View

Thanks, Bob! I was thinking of a cable system of some sort. I would still have trouble with a stick that reached 10' into the air, though.

Most of my bear bagging for the last couple years has been easy, 12-20 pounds for up to a couple weeks out. With the kids it was more like 7-9 pounds a day, though. My two and a friend or two. Teenagers can EAT! So a 40 or 45pound load for 4-5 days was not all that uncommon. 70 pounds!!!!! Why didn't they split it? I have had branches come down, broken off, with less load than that....

45-50' feet is enough. I cannot really throw a rock with any accuracy much higher than that anyway. I *try* to make tis one of my first camp chores, find a tree and set a bear line...I really HATE doing this after dark.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: the two-rope counterbalance on 12/14/2011 13:35:58 MST Print View

In California, the only grizzly bear is the one on the state flag. Therefore, all we have to worry about are black bears. Worst case, a huge black bear can stand up and reach about as high as a man can, so if you can get the whole works up to eight or ten feet off the ground, you are good. Part of the problem is that some food bags hang down to far below the main rope.

If I have a small loop of rope hanging down from a food bag (the pull-down loop), then I generally need a stick of three or four feet long to reach it from where I stand on the ground. Bears obviously can't manipulate a stick or a rope, except for biting a rope.

Assign the teenagers to throw the first line up over the tree limb. That's what they ought to be good for.

--B.G.--

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
bear bagging on 12/14/2011 13:45:01 MST Print View

Don't underestimate the bears in the Sierra. Yosemite and environs is MIT for bears. They WILL leap through space, break off branches, stand their cubs on their shoulders and do a variety of other things to snatch your hung food. I'm just sayin'.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: bear bagging on 12/14/2011 13:53:37 MST Print View

Jeffrey, the best example of smart black bears was something that I watched in Little Yosemite Valley one time many years ago. A buddy and I had our sleeping bags stretched out on the ground as it was getting dark, and there was a tent not too far away with three people in it. They chose not to hang their food and they were not using a bear canister.

The bear came by and was sniffing around the outside of the tent, and my buddy and I watched this unfold. The three people sensed that there was a bear, so they suddenly emerged from the tent to scare the bear off. As they chased the bear away, suddenly bear number two shows up out of nowhere. It ducks into the tent, grabs up the food bag, and runs off in the opposite direction.

My buddy and I were laughing pretty hard when the three people returned to the tent.

Hey, that's what you get!

Now you know why the park service advocates bear canisters.

I still say that we need to ship some of them down to Roger Caffin so that they can have a fight with the wombats.

--B.G.--

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: Re: the two-rope counterbalance on 12/14/2011 14:00:52 MST Print View

I have used this system Bob, and it rocks. Successfully dozens of times with large groups of people's food including with Bub's creek bears in Kings Canyon. I leave the doubled retrieval cord in, since I put hangs even higher, out of stick range. Just separate the two cord ends so worst case the bear grabs one end and just pulls the retrieval cord out of the system. Cord can be re-tossed over the bags to pull them down if this happens.

The second part of this system is defending the territory, big pile of rocks to throw, no cooking nearby etc.

Wouldn't use this system now with habituated bears when the canisters are less prone to
user error and they save a lot of time.

Still use this system with wild bears when doing my own trips. Keep em wild.

We had students wear climbing helmets when doing bear hangs, as both the limbs and
throw bag can become unpredictable projectiles.

Edited by oware on 12/14/2011 14:19:53 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: the two-rope counterbalance on 12/14/2011 14:08:01 MST Print View

"Assign the teenagers to throw the first line up over the tree limb. That's what they ought to be good for"

Ha ha, that was 15+ years ago...my kids are in their mid 30's.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: the two-rope counterbalance on 12/14/2011 14:10:26 MST Print View

Yes, David. The first time or two that somebody uses this method, it seems complex and problematic. Once you learn the subtle tricks, it goes pretty good. If you have a small weight of food, then you can do it solo with just your two hands. If you have a large weight of food, then it helps to have more hands.

I was a bear-bagger up until around 1999. One trip I went on had a requirement for a personal bear canister for each participant, so I had to go out and buy a Garcia (which was the only game in town for a while). After a while, I got used to it. Now I own about five different models.

The only extra part is the decoy system. I string up some empty paper bags with bright white cord, and it gives the bears something to go after until I get up to start throwing rocks at them.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: big bear hang loads on 12/14/2011 17:38:16 MST Print View

"even the PCT methode leaves two lines down."

Not the way I learned it. Could you explain how it leaves 2 lines down? I'm confused.

"The PCT methode is a waste of time and complicates things in the ADK's."

How?

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
bear hang art on 12/14/2011 17:42:53 MST Print View

The PCT method is (very) clearly drawn in the book.

-
pct

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: big bear hang loads on 12/14/2011 18:04:01 MST Print View

Sorry, it was NOT the PCT system, some sort of hanging system I did not consider because of the wrong leverages. It just didn't make much sense to my mind. Hmmm....I don't seem to find the video offhand, but, I did find an approximate diagram at http://www.backcountryattitude.com/bearbagging.html
(removed the period...damd punctuation...)

Been a long time since I looked at that stuff. The pulley system Mike described is actually a Marrison system and documented at Princton.

Edited by jamesdmarco on 12/18/2011 07:34:17 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: bear hang art on 12/14/2011 18:04:59 MST Print View

"The PCT method is (very) clearly drawn in the book."

Precisely my point. Thanks for the visuals, Mike.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: big bear hang loads on 12/14/2011 18:12:11 MST Print View

James' link will work if you delete the .html. at the end.

Try...

http://www.backcountryattitude.com/bearbagging

...instead and you'll see the info that James was referring to.

Party On,

Newton

BTW the PCT method rocks! ;-)

Chris Conway
(LNTpunk) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: big bear hang loads on 12/16/2011 20:55:14 MST Print View

John, I'm guessing the bear bag link didn't work because of the period at the end of the .html was copied with the link text, the correct link is http://www.backcountryattitude.com/bearbagging.html but oddly enough what you posted works too.

bear bagging

Enjoy, Chris

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 00:16:33 MST Print View

I prefer the Skilman bear hang technique seen here on the Down Works website (great store btw!.. located in Santa Cruz, ca)


http://www.downworks.com/downworks/Bear_Hitch_files/Skilman%20Bear%20Hitch.jpg



It uses part PCT method and part pulley method with out having to worry about the bear taking out a tied off line..

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 00:20:30 MST Print View

Jason, there is still a dangling rope that the bear can bite and pull on.

--B.G.--

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
yes.. on 12/18/2011 00:27:54 MST Print View

yea... but its just dangling... theres no tension. If he bit it it might just break the the last few feet off your line. IF he pulled it would just pull your food up to the top biner but it wouldn't release it.. The only way is if 2 bears worked as a team and one lifted the bag and one crawled out on the branch and grabbed the bag. but the idea is to use a branch that wouldn't support a bears weight..

its essentially the same as the PCT method but using pulleys too

pct method here
http://cache.backpackinglight.com/backpackinglight/user_uploads/1323909768_53775.jpg

Edited by JasonG on 12/18/2011 00:32:04 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 04:26:28 MST Print View

The Skilman hang seems to not allow the food bag to be hung as high as with the PCT method because the jam stick must travel all the way up to biner 1 just below the tree limb? You may also need longer rope than what you might be able to get by with using PCT method.

Edited by jshann on 12/18/2011 16:12:47 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 15:26:59 MST Print View

"Jason, there is still a dangling rope that the bear can bite and pull on."

That is always the case with the PCT method, Bob. Bears can bite all they want to no practical effect, and it is hard to envision how a bear could pull on a strand of rope since they do not have opposing thumbs and fingers. Could you describe to me how that might happen?

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 15:41:26 MST Print View

"Could you describe to me how that might happen?"

The bear bites the rope until it has a firm grip, then it walks away, pulling the rope down as it goes. A smart dog could do the same thing. The bear just has more muscle.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 15:54:27 MST Print View

"The bear bites the rope until it has a firm grip, then it walks away, pulling the rope down as it goes. A smart dog could do the same thing. The bear just has more muscle."

That is hard to imagine with the thin ropes used in bear bagging. It would simply slip through their teeth like dental floss. In any case, if that had happened, I'm fairly certain we'd have heard of it by now. I haven't heard of anything like that. Have you?

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 16:05:13 MST Print View

"That is hard to imagine with the thin ropes used in bear bagging."

Thin ropes are not required for bear bagging.

Years ago, when the first bear canister policy was posted by the NPS in Yosemite, lots of folks continued on with their old bagging techniques. Then, little by little, the bears were successful some of the time. However, the illegal backpackers were not willing to report the incident to NPS, even though that is required. The rangers would arrive much later to survey the debris, so they figured out most of what was going on.

No, I don't have the video.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 16:45:16 MST Print View

"Thin ropes are not required for bear bagging."

OK, I should have said relatively thin ropes are generally used by ULer's for bear bagging, and would be especially recommended for the PCT method where a strand of rope is within reach of Yogi. My point stands that there are no reports that I know of where a bear has taken that strand of rope between his teeth and reefed on it with enough force to bring the bag down. Nor have you provided any evidence to the contrary, so far. I will keep an open mind pending presentation of such evidence.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 17:03:58 MST Print View

Tom, I don't owe you any evidence.

My bear techniques were from two sources. One was my own experience from Yosemite black bears over about thirty years. More importantly was what I learned from a Yosemite ranger. One individual had been a ranger-naturalist working in the Tuolumne Meadows area, and he had done a lot of trail patrol (which means taking corrective actions where he found improper methods in use). He eventually got kicked upstairs and became the head ranger-naturalist for one Yosemite district. Most of what I heard from him came around the period of 1983-1999.

Now, you can say that Yosemite is only one area along the PCT, and that the bears outside of Yosemite are different. I believe that is fairly accurate.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 17:15:24 MST Print View

"Tom, I don't owe you any evidence."

When you make an assertion that a bear can foil the PCT system by grabbing the dangling strand of rope in his mouth and reefing on it until something gives and the bag comes down, you should be able to back it up, particularly since there are no published reports that indicate this has actually occurred. At least not to my knowledge. If you can point to either such reports or your own personal experience it would go a long way toward convincing me, not to mention alerting the community to a weakness in the PCT bagging system. Otherwise, your statements lack credibility.

"My bear techniques were from two sources. One was my own experience from Yosemite black bears over about thirty years. More importantly was what I learned from a Yosemite ranger. One individual had been a ranger-naturalist working in the Tuolumne Meadows area, and he had done a lot of trail patrol (which means taking corrective actions where he found improper methods in use). He eventually got kicked upstairs and became the head ranger-naturalist for one Yosemite district. Most of what I heard from him came around the period of 1983-1999."

What does this have to do with our conversation about bears foiling the PCT bear bagging method?

Edited by ouzel on 12/18/2011 17:27:49 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 18:25:31 MST Print View

"What does this have to do with our conversation about bears foiling the PCT bear bagging method?"

Tom, I wish that you would try to understand my posting before you asked these sorts of questions.

My bear techniques come from two sources. I led Sierra Club backpacking trips in Yosemite for twenty years. It is difficult to do that much and not learn something. The ranger-naturalist that I referred to had spent a lot of time on trail patrol in Yosemite National Park, and the PCT goes right through there. He observed some good behavior, and he also observed some bad behavior, and that is what he had told me about and showed me. There were several techniques for bear bagging, but several of them feature a dangling rope. While on trail patrol, and coming upon a scene with backpackers running around one way and the bears running around the other way, sometimes with the food bag in mouth, a ranger can make some assumptions about who was doing what. When he thought he had a particularly bad example, he had the backpackers describe exactly how they had bear bagged the food, and that is what he had formed his opinions about as to which techniques were good and which were not. Often, the bears had not quite reached the food, but the ranger's observations of ropes and bags meant a lot to me. You can chalk that up to just one ranger's observations. However, if he had been some crank, then I doubt that he would have been promoted to be the head ranger-naturalist, so I accept his stories at face value. Ranger-naturalists do not have to be specially trained as wildlife biologists, but they do tend to see the interactions between park visitors and the park wildlife. This next part may be legend, but the black bears in Yosemite were once thought to be the most skillful at stealing food from humans. It seemed that there was a generation-to-generation skill learning going on with the bears, so the mother bears taught the cubs. The bear canister program that went into effect more than ten years ago had intentions of breaking that learning among bears. The solitary bears who live farther out away from people don't seem to have that skill going so well. Maybe it was only Yosemite bears that were smart enough to bite and pull a rope, but I doubt it.

I did a six-day trip in the park with the ranger. Each night, sitting around the campfire, we discussed the topics such as proper techniques to use for bagging.

Alas, now with federal budget cutbacks, there isn't so much trail patrol going on, so there are fewer rangers with the time to observe how effective the various techniques have become on a more current basis.

--B.G.--

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: hang technique, new/old information on 12/18/2011 19:33:11 MST Print View

On an unrelated matter, I was browsing the web site for Inyo National Forest. As we know, Inyo butts up against the national parks in land adjacent to or else right along the JMT section of the PCT. First and foremost, Inyo promotes the use of bear canisters. On the righthand sidebar, I noticed graphics for the alternative food storage method for areas that have no canister requirement. That food hanging technique that they show has no dangling lines, and somewhere at the bottom, they give credit to Yosemite National Park (which does not currently find food hanging to be sufficient).

How do you spell federal inconsistency?

--B.G.--

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique on 12/18/2011 19:36:34 MST Print View

I highly doubt there are fewer rangers than 10 years ago. If there are its because they are all busy placing parking tickets and collecting fees instead of actually helping people and the environment. Or conversely filling out paperwork on how many fees they collected. At least this is what has happened here.

Personally, I believe the bear stories. Have seen or been told by people of bears doing similar things or coons or squirrels or chipmunks.

A little judicious bear hunting goes a long ways to curtail the problem. Used to have bear problems getting into garbage cans locally. Some local folks got fed up by the inaction of the morons in the bureaucracy and took matters into their own hands and did some judicious bear hunting. Killed one bear and spread their carcass for the other bears to sniff and see. The rest of the bears got shotguns loaded not with slugs, but shot, with a backup guy with a slug in the chamber ready to fire. We still have the bears, but said bears are now circumspect and limited in their pilferings.

Wounded bear teaches best. Teaching fear of humans teaches best in the animal kingdom.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: skilman/pct hang technique@ B.G. on 12/19/2011 17:32:33 MST Print View

"Tom, I wish that you would try to understand my posting before you asked these sorts of questions."

Bob - Our discussion began with your comment to Jason that the modified PCT hanging system he referred to left a strand of rope dangling within reach of a bear, with the implication that this rendered the system vulnerable. I asked you to explain your reasoning. When you replied that all a bear had to do was grab the strand in its mouth and start pulling, I expressed skepticism and asked you for supporting evidence. You replied that you didn't owe me any, which turned my skepticism to outright disbelief. Now you ask me to try to understand your posting and then digress into one of your trademark expositions on your many years of experience, complete with anecdotes about a ranger/naturalist's experience of undefined sloppy bear bagging that left a strand of rope dangling down, but without any reference to the PCT BAGGING SYSTEM we are supposed to be discussing. What is there for me to understand? You continue to evade my requests for supporting evidence for your assertion that the single strand of rope dangling down in all variants of the PCT bagging method renders it vulnerable. Instead you lapse into vague generalities, intermixed with anecdotes about the "good old days" and your extensive experience that have nothing to do with the PCT method. It is frustrating, to say the least. If you have solid evidence that the PCT method is vulnerable, I sincerely request that you share it with those of us who regularly use it. Otherwise, why not just let it go and stop wasting our time?

"My bear techniques come from two sources. I led Sierra Club backpacking trips in Yosemite for twenty years. It is difficult to do that much and not learn something. The ranger-naturalist that I referred to had spent a lot of time on trail patrol in Yosemite National Park, and the PCT goes right through there. He observed some good behavior, and he also observed some bad behavior, and that is what he had told me about and showed me. There were several techniques for bear bagging, but several of them feature a dangling rope. While on trail patrol, and coming upon a scene with backpackers running around one way and the bears running around the other way, sometimes with the food bag in mouth, a ranger can make some assumptions about who was doing what. When he thought he had a particularly bad example, he had the backpackers describe exactly how they had bear bagged the food, and that is what he had formed his opinions about as to which techniques were good and which were not. Often, the bears had not quite reached the food, but the ranger's observations of ropes and bags meant a lot to me. You can chalk that up to just one ranger's observations. However, if he had been some crank, then I doubt that he would have been promoted to be the head ranger-naturalist, so I accept his stories at face value. Ranger-naturalists do not have to be specially trained as wildlife biologists, but they do tend to see the interactions between park visitors and the park wildlife. This next part may be legend, but the black bears in Yosemite were once thought to be the most skillful at stealing food from humans. It seemed that there was a generation-to-generation skill learning going on with the bears, so the mother bears taught the cubs. The bear canister program that went into effect more than ten years ago had intentions of breaking that learning among bears. The solitary bears who live farther out away from people don't seem to have that skill going so well. Maybe it was only Yosemite bears that were smart enough to bite and pull a rope, but I doubt it.

I did a six-day trip in the park with the ranger. Each night, sitting around the campfire, we discussed the topics such as proper techniques to use for bagging.

Alas, now with federal budget cutbacks, there isn't so much trail patrol going on, so there are fewer rangers with the time to observe how effective the various techniques have become on a more current basis."

I include the above for emphasis. The fact that the PCT runs through Yosemite NP does not do much to support your implication that the PCT method is vulnerable, and there is nothing else in the post that specifically refers to ANY bear bagging system, let alone the PCT method.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique@ B.G. on 12/19/2011 18:16:41 MST Print View

Tom, I've given this some thought. I think it would be best if you use the PCT technique everywhere.

As for anybody else, there is the suggested method on the Inyo NF web site.

The PCT runs though Yosemite. Therefore (I would assume) that some backpackers have been using that PCT method in Yosemite. That's probably what my friend the park ranger had referred to, but he was anti- any method that left a dangling rope. People picking up a wilderness permit in Yosemite used to be given a brochure that illustrated the same suggested method. People coming from elsewhere, like hiking the entire PCT, would never see that suggestion since they didn't need to get a permit right there.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: skilman/pct hang technique@ B.G. on 12/19/2011 19:38:35 MST Print View

"Tom, I've given this some thought. I think it would be best if you use the PCT technique everywhere."

Bob - Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I will certainly give it the weight it deserves when deciding how to hang my food, on those rare occasions when that becomes necessary.

"As for anybody else, there is the suggested method on the Inyo NF web site."

Listen up, Junior Woodchucks. The PCT method has definitively been consigned to the dustbin of history. ;=)

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 12/20/2011 15:08:05 MST Print View

If a post involving a naturalist, a rope, bears, food, the PCT trail, and the bonus paragraphs doesn't convince you to stop using the PCT method, try asking for first hand accounts of failure.

You won't find any. Not only does the pct method let bears get your food, it also teaches them to get you.

100% of unsuccessful PCT method hangs resulted in the death of the camper. This is why you never hear of failures, only vague stories of carnage told by rangers relayed second hand thru the Internet.

If you value your life, avoid the pct method.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 12/20/2011 17:15:07 MST Print View

"You won't find any. Not only does the pct method let bears get your food, it also teaches them to get you.

100% of unsuccessful PCT method hangs resulted in the death of the camper. This is why you never hear of failures, only vague stories of carnage told by rangers relayed second hand thru the Internet.

If you value your life, avoid the pct method."

;=)) LOFL

C Nugget
(nuggetwn)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Weekly Tip... Get the book it's a great read. on 12/21/2011 06:13:22 MST Print View

I love this book!!! Could no longer be teased by the weekly tips. There are just some things that you don't think of... Hot sauce lid.. really really awesome!! I read it cover to cover then started all over again. It's great if you want to pick at your pack weight and contemplate the reason's behind going lighter.. and lighter... and lighter....

About bears...
We should not be putting the scare of bears in the forum, they have enough problems having to deal with us on the trail. A fed bear is a dead bear even if it's a humans fault. Be pro-active. Get informed and do your part to keep bears (and yourself) safe. Each regions regulations are different and so are the bears in them. I think this fits with Clelland's ultralight philosophy... even if it means carrying a bear canister. Don't argue educate... and don't just read a great ultralite tip (book) for bear guidance.


BEAR SPRAY should never be a replacement for alertness and avoidance.


If you haven't read it yet... get it.

"Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance" Stephen Herrero.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Weekly Tip... Get the book it's a great read. on 12/21/2011 10:35:02 MST Print View

"BEAR SPRAY should never be a replacement for alertness and avoidance."

+1 to Christy-Lynn

Making a lot of noise weighs nothing and all the data I've seen, such Herrero's, suggests noise from a group or individual is the biggest factor in avoiding bear incidents. Big groups are FAR safer. (I think) because big groups are far noisier than individuals and pairs.

While there's no objective data suggesting guns help the human's outcome, bear spray does seem to be a help.

Okay, now to kick off a debate: We bring lightweight tents, stoves, clothes, packs, etc. None of which are as roomy, tough, or high-performing as their heavier-weight counterparts. We accept those limitation, sometimes even revelling in them. So why bring a 12 ounce item that does not keep you warm or fed? When there are 2 ounce jogger versions? Yeah, not effective at as large a distance, but if that made you be a little more aware of your surroundings and make a little more noise, you'd be safer as a result.

I'm not arguing for that - I make noise myself rather than carry seasoning - but it seems consistent with our other gear choices.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
this weeks bear spray tip is flawed. on 12/21/2011 12:15:25 MST Print View

my op.

bear spray is best mounted on the upper section of the packstrap, NOT on the packbelt.
it wants to be on the side of your major arm (right .. left.. ?), and high enough you can pull the safety with your teeth.
mount aiming it outwards at about 60°. to keep it secure, it takes a couple of straps with sticky stuff sewed inside of them to make sure it's still there when you need it.

packstrap mounting, in my op, gives one the best access to this vital item even is one is knocked over by a bruin.
in that event, your hands would almost by necessity be near your face, and you could deploy the spray, even at the ground, sufficiently enough to fog the area.
close your eyes and deal with it. is better than getting ate ! eh ?

besides, things on the packbelt hang up and get knocked off in the brush.

that bearspray may not serve one best hanging on the back of the pack,, is yes.. perfectly correct.

cheers,
v.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
sizes on 12/21/2011 20:17:11 MST Print View

Reply to Thomas
===========

About the size of the bear spray can. I have recently seen a slightly smaller sized can, so you would save a few ounces.

I would be very concerned about the small sized jogger spry cans in certain terrain. It might be appropriate, but I simply don't know.

I know two people who have been mauled by Grizzlies, and for both of them it happened right outside their homes. Both are lucky to be alive, and both have scars on their heads.

I love living near a big Wilderness (Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP) and I love that it is WILD. There is a different feel to being out there in a place where there are big predators.

8 fl. oz = 11oz. weight (230 gm)

10.2 fl. oz = 15oz. weight (290 gm)

? fl. oz = 7.9 oz. weight (225 gm)

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
tip #116 on 12/28/2011 06:11:53 MST Print View

And we finally get to Mike C's true, hidden agenda. I propose that this entire book is really just an pretense to perpetuate this meme. (Mike C is secretly a memetic engineer.) I find myself fighting a nigh-uncontrollable urge to stockpile Douglas fir cones and slightly pointy river rocks.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M
tip #116 on 12/29/2011 08:00:52 MST Print View

I like the sequence of the weekly tips. This week shows us how to clean ourselves up after last week's bear encounter.

C Nugget
(nuggetwn)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
materials on 01/02/2012 15:54:25 MST Print View

What would you use in a dessert environment like the Grand Canyon?? I guess smooth somewhat pointed rocks if you can find them in the creek beds? Everything there seems to be quite pointy and sharp.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
In the Grand Canyon on 01/02/2012 16:11:06 MST Print View

There is a lot of sandstone in the desert southwest. This is pretty good. Smooth stones will show up in the natural washes.

That said, many of the pants tend to be prickly and not at all appropriate.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: tip #116 on 01/04/2012 00:37:59 MST Print View

Holy crap Mike.

I've been a zero TP devotee for many years now...but I've never considered "The butt scuff on dewy tufts of grass". I always did love how my dog does that one on the carpet.

Rest assured, I'll be anxiously looking for my first opportunity...and hopefully not interrupted by a troop of scouts.

michael rankin
(michaelb41) - F
Waste on 01/04/2012 15:17:27 MST Print View

He said, "waist."

joseph king
(skinup) - F
moohie grande on 01/04/2012 19:38:27 MST Print View

#116 best tip ever

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
No TP on 01/09/2012 10:19:58 MST Print View

Yes, I have been a no TP hiker for the past few years. Some of my fellow hikers just don't like the idea. My toilet kit is soap.

Anyway Mike, I have been wondering about one thing. Your book along with the video that's floating around showing the process shows you throwing the pieces of sticks, rocks, leaves, grass away from the cathole. I think you use the term "get it out of the system" or something like that.

My question is why? Wouldn't it be better to bury it in the cathole?

Just a wonderin' what the reasoning behind that was.

Scott

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Do the best you can! on 01/09/2012 10:44:53 MST Print View

REPLY TO SCOTT:
===================


What I usually say is to put the first few wiping "stones" into the hole, and then toss the other ones "out of the system" I try and toss these under a bush.

I am NOT at all worried that this minimal amount of suspect matter will contaminate anything.

THe biggest issue with the cat hole is that it is near impossible in some places to dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep. With or without a trowel, it's hard to accomplish!

So - I simply espouse; Do the best you can!

Mike C!

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
TP on 01/09/2012 12:56:29 MST Print View

Thanks Mike.

My sister asked me what to get my brother for Christmas and I told her to go online, type your name and get a few of your books. He was quite pleased and I now have MY books back.

Scott

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Do the best you can! on 01/27/2012 09:11:47 MST Print View

Mike...would you recommend this book as a companion to Lighten Up or could one get as much info by just purchasing this book? Thanks.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
LIGHTEN UP / ULTRALIGHT TIPS on 01/27/2012 15:11:44 MST Print View

LIGHTEN UP by Don Ladigan is an excellent primmer to ULTRALIGHT TIPS.

They are sort of meant to be purchased together, but they certainly stand alone too.

ULTRALIGHT TIPS is dedicated to more advanced tips and techniques. If you are already a seasoned backpacker with a little bit of lightweight experience under your belt, you might not need LIGHTEN UP.

LIGHTEN UP has a really good chapter on bear camping.

Let me also add that I love Don Ladigan! He was absolutely wonderful to work with, and I consider him a true mentor.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: LIGHTEN UP / ULTRALIGHT TIPS on 01/27/2012 16:25:44 MST Print View

you should watch Mike's free instructional videos also

http://ultralightbackpackintips.blogspot.com/2011/07/video-tutorials.html

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
The Manifesto on 01/27/2012 17:38:54 MST Print View

Recognize this tip? That's because you've seen it before! Don't worry readers, Mike Clelland is working hard to provide some fresh new tips for the months to come.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Ahh, the top ten, Great Tips! on 01/30/2012 04:58:38 MST Print View

Mike, you really nailed it with the top ten. These should be posted as the UL'ers commandments from a god to his chosen people.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Ahh, the top ten, Great Tips! on 02/01/2012 12:07:57 MST Print View

Left out my favorite :)


Commandments

Mike, I want to thank you for your efforts to help people enjoy their hiking experience with humor and creativity. Well done!

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
tip on 02/09/2012 01:11:57 MST Print View

"Recognize this tip? That's because you've seen it before! Don't worry readers, Mike Clelland is working hard to provide some fresh new tips for the months to come."

lol. i was gunna ask if this is ultralight tip of the month now.. :)

Austin Haidinyak
(AustinJames77) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Great book on 02/10/2012 09:43:57 MST Print View

I love these books, informative and fun! No matter how much I think I know UL, there's always some tips that I hadn't thought of. Thanks for posting these guys!

Jean-Francois Fortier
(jffortier) - MLife

Locale: Québec
Help on 02/13/2012 18:13:52 MST Print View

How can I access previous "tip of the week" ?

Is it me or what ? The information is so hard to
find on BPL.

Please help the search engine is driving me crazy ;)

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Help on 02/13/2012 19:31:41 MST Print View

> How can I access previous "tip of the week" ?

Buy the book! :)

The webpage that has the tip itself only shows the current tip. There is no archive of what they have shown already though if you go through all gazillion pages of this thread, you'll get a good idea of what was covered.

Michael Stancato
(michael7177) - F
Great Cartoons, who did them? on 02/23/2012 07:00:40 MST Print View

Great Cartoons, did Mike do them?

Here's my more mysterious ultralight criteria:

My criteria goes in this order:
1. Pick the right tool for the job
2. The tool must be dual purpose or used regularly.
3. Pick the lightest possible tool.

Price is not part of the equation because it could adversely affect quality. Resources and money will be saved if all the criteria are met.

Heavier items such as homes and furnishings divided by multiple users would equal something light or dual purpose.

Each step is recursive. Upon considering each step I will then reconsider the previous step. For example:

1. Pick the right tool for the job. I must consider whether the job really needs doing in the first place

2. The tool must be dual purpose or used regularly. Upon picking the the right tool I must consider whether I really need anything at all or can make do with what I already have or borrow to accomplish the task.

3. Pick the lightest possible tool. Lightness emerges from careful engineering combined with end user testing and redesign.

Eric Botshon
(Ebotshon) - F
Update?? on 03/15/2012 16:06:43 MDT Print View

Is anyone else wondering when this will be updated?

In the past it was 2x a week. It has been on the same set of tips for almost a month now.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
update on these TIPS on 03/15/2012 16:09:36 MDT Print View

We've covered ALL the tips with illustrations. THere are LOTS more tips in the book, but they don't have a cartoon.

So - We can either REPEAT the tips with cartoon, or just post tips without illustrations.

Mike C!

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: update on these TIPS on 03/15/2012 16:23:36 MDT Print View

So we've reached backpacking nirvana? No new tips ever. It's all been covered.
Let's shut down the computer and go backpacking!

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Update on these TIPS on 03/15/2012 16:25:54 MDT Print View

Mike,

Loved reading your book and think it is a much better way to intro someone into UL/Lightweight backpacking vs. the older and out of date BPL book.

I would vote for having your Illustrations rotated continuously because there are always going to be people visiting BPL who are new to the whole UL/lightweight thing.

Plus, it has to help with book sales. :)

-Tony

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
fear not on 03/15/2012 16:26:03 MDT Print View

Oh fear not - I have GOBS more tips - just tips without cartoons!

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: fear not on 03/15/2012 17:40:50 MDT Print View

Yeah!

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Ultralight Tip of the Week on 03/18/2012 18:14:47 MDT Print View

I wish the tips were in separate threads so they could be followed easier.

+1 the resulting conversations make no sense at times.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim)

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
No more "Ultralight Tip of the Week"? on 09/06/2012 13:54:58 MDT Print View

I guess the tips are all used up now?

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/17/2013 07:06:51 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:29:58 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim)

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Top 3 for me... on 04/17/2013 09:52:55 MDT Print View

Is it just me or are posts in random order this morning on BPL? In other words, things aren't sorted by date as I read a thread.

EDIT: Never mind. Seems to be fine now. Dunno what happened.  [shrugs]

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Edited by hikin_jim on 04/17/2013 10:03:34 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/17/2013 11:23:06 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:24:06 MDT.