Just thought I would sum up my philosophical mind set re: UL and this site and its many wonderful travellers.
Without UL ... concept, practice, gear, and fellow travellers ... I wouldn't be hiking, camping, kayaking like I am ... I wouldn't be here ... its that simple.
With a bad lower back and neck, age setting in, and the general lack of exercise and strength that goes with an indoor job for years I couldn't be climbing the trails, carrying the gear, and enjoying the experience of the great outdoors here in the Western US ... I just wouldn't make it or have made it like I have.
Things like the titanium cannister stoves and a small fuel cannister, a UL down bag, one titanium pot with a lid for everything, and my beloved 1/2 liter Platypus with a pop up drinking spout, tent and light weight poles of a Tri-Lite or tarp tent ... oh, and my more than beloved "framed" REI UL 45 2 lb. 6 0z. pack (medium with some junk cut off, tried completely frameless and back hurt after 100 ft. so bad I had to turn around) ... and the dehydrated gourmet meals, boiling H2O to add only ... and, perhaps most importantly the encouragement of a whole buch of others adding their 2 cents ... I could not be carrying a total of about 15 lbs. of stuff for a 2 - 3 day overnightwith my partner (my lightest pack last summer for an overnight for partner and myself was 12 lbs.) ... add to that the new light weight hiking shoes and other clothing, obviously produced because of the growing market encouraged by all of you (or us) ... and trekking into the wilds is a real pleasure ... not a painful, miserable, and body and brain bashing competition to see how much misery I can inflict on myself (I have a friend who scoffs and continues to carry at least 50 lbs. of junk for an overnight and nobody in our age group wants to go camping with him or, if they do once, never returns) ... so thanks. b.d.