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We need a SUL Thread PLEASE
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Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
We need a SUL Thread PLEASE on 07/14/2011 20:18:45 MDT Print View

I have been a member for at least 7 years and I am one of the biggest SUL guru's here.
I am one of those weirdo’s that considers a 100 mile run no fun because it is just a sprint or a warm up for a real run.
The problem is, over the past 2 years or so, there has been so much redundancy on this site that all I ever feel like is a Troll here.

There is a vast community here plus a group of about 50 dedicated SUL junkies like me that have been members for well over 5 years. There insight to getting down right and dirty when it came to getting down to even beyond SUL, (Uberlite) has been priceless.
These members are still here and still posting, but there wisdom just gets washed away in the crowd of the UL community.
I’m sorry but I want more than just "Intelligent conversations about lightweight backpacking technique, gear, and philosophy from the most passionate backpackers in the world..."
The worst is having threads that get washed away in about 3-4 hours if no one replies to them when they used to stick around for 3-4 weeks. And I do not want the 101st person to tell me to “hike my own hike”, or how saving 4 ounces off my tarp is no big deal when they don’t realize that my current tarp weighs 8 ounces. YES, IT IS A BIG DEAL!!!

What I want is true tried and tested SUL gear and list and the discussion to take it to even the next level. Having the super geeks unite and spread there ultimate wisdom.

There is a Biking Forum that has 33 total posts, yet there is no place for a SUL form??? Com’on.

I tried arguing this fact to Ryan 2 years ago and his reply was that there is a place for SUL post in the UL community. Two years later and I still continue to disagree, and I’m completely bummed out by this.

If you are one of the many Bill Fornshels out there please stand up and join me in the quest to have a SUL Thread.…

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: We need a SUL Thread PLEASE on 07/14/2011 20:25:16 MDT Print View

Aaron, I stand up and join you.

Ryan, please give us a SUL Thread.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: We need a SUL Thread PLEASE on 07/14/2011 20:29:07 MDT Print View

I would think that you would want a forum, not a thread.


a b
SUL forum PLEASE! on 07/14/2011 20:30:29 MDT Print View

I third the motion.
I am on the verge of reaching SUL status after hiking the triple crown I evolved my system from 10lbs down to 7.5
I would really like a dedicated forum to talk to those who are like me or have gone even further.
I agree that too often, bless their hearts, the "Heavy truckers" dilute the SUL threads.
It must be human nature because when i was on the AT this year I had the smallest pack by far. Though I never spoke a word about it beforehand, other hikers would meet me and immediatetly get defensive about their own gear. The same phenomenon seems to happen on the forums.
SUL tends to be dismissed as "unsafe" or "not fun" or "not a high enough caliber bazooka for my taste".
I think a dedicated forum would be a ridicule safe zone for us to develop our ideas and practices.Heavy trucker

Edited by Ice-axe on 07/14/2011 20:45:56 MDT.

Stephen B Elder Jr
(selder) - M

Locale: Front range CO
Or better yet a forum... on 07/14/2011 20:31:06 MDT Print View

really, it wouldn't be that much of a burden...

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: SUL forum PLEASE! on 07/14/2011 20:46:58 MDT Print View

I find most of the information right now is how to get people from traditional to lighter weights. Then after that it goes no where. back in the day, pushing the bounds was the best part, like the Arctic1000 or what ever Skurka was up to.(Did anyone know Justin Lichter hiked across Nepal and India in a few months at 10000-19000feet?)

Now its all the same thing, 5000 threads for the same thing like what "sleeping bag?" for the same place, and "recommend me a tent" threads every day. yes the search forum function sucks, but That's what Google is for. And most of the time threads take the same swing, here's the standard stuff, what has become cult popular.

The last round up of SUL gear was in 2006. there's the occasional piece reviewed(Zpacks blast 18, now discontinued, and the HMG tarps). There are so msny Cuben products on the market, this seems like the best time to review(scientifically and from multiple people) to provide a memberships worth in articles. Does anyone really care about trail runners reviewed by ONE tester. Backpacker Magazine provides more people to test a shoe.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
devil's advocate on 07/14/2011 21:10:17 MDT Print View

If you want SUL thread, all you have to do is ask good questions and start some new threads in the Gear or Philosophy forums. Otherwise, people are going to ask the questions that they have on their minds and members will answer them in the way they see fit.

If you're already SUL, share your ideas and gear lists. If you're not, ask questions about how to get that that place. The forums are already available for these types of discussions.

I'll play Devil's Advocate and say that I don't see any need to create a sub-group of a sub-group. There's simply no reason why the techniques of SUL backpacking can't be discussed in the current forum structure. It's an open forum. If they're not being discussed, it must be that nobody has anything to say.


PS: A few minor points that I feel I must add:

Minor Point #1: Crowning yourself "one of the biggest SUL Gurus" is pretty arrogant;

Minor Point #2: A 7.5 lb base weight is pretty far away from SUL. Do you have any ideas on getting your weight down some more? Now we're having a discussion; and

Minor Point #3: Why would someone who's SUL wear trail runners or care about a trail runner review? If you're SUL, go barefoot. Anything more is dead weight, period, end of discussion.

Edited by vinovampire on 07/14/2011 21:11:11 MDT.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
SULers inspire ULers as ULers inspire Lightweights as Lightweights inspire Trads. Let them push the envelope and give them a place to do it. on 07/14/2011 21:20:54 MDT Print View

I'm fairly new to this scene, but in my few very active weeks I already agree.

Like Formula 1 is to racing, the SUL extremists--those lunatics who want lighter simply for lightness' sake--are what move this community forward. And posts are really easily drowned out.

Want to see a post stick around all week? Ask for ways to lighten a hand grenade for backcountry protection to complement the mp3 player you can't live without. (tip: grind down the casing and trim the spoon length and swap in a titanium pin)

General principles are great, but the obsessive thought that produces posts not just about clipping the cap holder on a plastic bottle to save weight but actually GRINDING EXCESS THREADS OFF THE LID with a Dremel or using fewer stitches of thread for a seam are what open my eyes to the sort of details one can think about.

Obsessive? Yes. Practical? Almost definitely not. Awesome? Like a Dragon-Winged Mace-Huffing Grizzly Bear.

(Here's my own SUL contribution: attach a small cuben fiber helium blimp to your pack. Now lets debate at what point in duration and average hiking speed carrying extra helium to sustain lift is less efficient than simply adding airfoils. Extra credit involves making this blimp multi-use as a packraft and attaching it to the pack with a Tenkara Rod)

Adventure Alan's sub-5lb FSO article was a revelation to me after I'd applied the general knowledge to get myself to a sub-10 base. Same with the thru-hike record attempts that showed a Perpetuem exclusive diet and the like. Will I ever apply those things? Umm... actually, I plan to, but that's besides the point. It's the mindset such practices illustrate that's inspiring, not their widespread practicality.

I want the SULers to have a clear destination to inspire me as the ULers did when I was Lightweight and the Lightweights did before that when I actually got shorter each day from the pack I was hoisting.

In rebuttal to the Devil's Advocate: a subset to a subset is exactly what the mountaineering, biking, fishing, etc. forums are. There may be less to say, because there are fewer people involved, but less is not nothing, and nothing is being said because these threads are being lost in the deluge of other threads caused by the growth in this community that this forum back end is ill-equipped to handle. Finally, SUL is as often about speed as about weight. Dare you to beat me at anything without shoes. If you say swimming, I'll wear flippers. BOOSH!

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 07/14/2011 22:00:22 MDT.

a b
SUL Forum on 07/14/2011 21:21:04 MDT Print View

Hey Vino.. you forgot minor point #4:
We are PAYING members of this forum asking for a few electrons.

AttaboyBrad +5

Edited by Ice-axe on 07/14/2011 21:23:27 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
agree on 07/14/2011 21:28:24 MDT Print View

stuff em in some remote deep dark corner

maybe then they can stop bugging the rest of us about toilet paper and other such things ;)

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
We need a SUL Thread PLEASE on 07/14/2011 21:36:54 MDT Print View

Aaron's got some good points folks.

Even just a few years ago, to go SUL meant a drastic loss of comfort, and the ability to endure Spartan like conditions. With the new technology, the feasibility of SUL has risen dramatically, and one can enjoy the comforts of UL, with the weight of SUL, albeit with a price tag attached.

Times have changed, and the forums should reflect this.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: We need a SUL Thread PLEASE on 07/14/2011 21:40:55 MDT Print View

What spartan conditions or suffering was involved a while ago?

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
SUL Thread on 07/14/2011 21:50:49 MDT Print View

Spartan Conditions:

CCF pads. No pillows. Poncho-tarps. To name a few.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Re: SUL Forum on 07/14/2011 21:51:38 MDT Print View

"Hey Vino.. you forgot minor point #4:
We are PAYING members of this forum asking for a few electrons."

That's a pretty weak argument. I bought an iPhone. I guess that means Steve Jobs should take my advice about reducing the weight of the iPhone 5, right?? The structure exists to have these types of conversations already. If they're not being had on this site, it's because the MEMBERS aren't having them. It's pretty simple.

Also, if being a PAYING member was so important, then that would be a requirement of membership, but it's not. As with most things online: we're not the customers, we're the product being sold to advertisers (paraphrasing Anonymous). If you want a private forum where only SUL gurus are allowed and everybody must pay for the privilege, create a new website and see how it does in the marketplace.

Again, I was playing Devil's Advocate. I would LOVE to have some serious SUL discussion on this forum. I just don't see why there would need to be a ghetto created to have them here when we already have the space. If that's what you want, start a real SUL discussion instead of this whining thread.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: SUL Forum on 07/14/2011 21:56:00 MDT Print View

@Vino, What have all these Straw Men done that makes you attack them so?

We don't propose a ghetto for a minority. We propose a haven for the specialist.

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 07/14/2011 21:59:13 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
SUL and XUL Challenge! on 07/14/2011 22:00:15 MDT Print View

Hear Hear!

And why not also make this a friendly REAL WORLD challenge to one another? Instead of merely talking gear and numbers ad nauseum, let's ALSO get out there with said SUL/XUL lists. I'm hardly absolving myself of guilt here, but I'm really tired of endless spreadsheets and numbers without the accompanying trip report with that gear. Anyone can build a hypothetical XUL kit in a day on a spreadsheet with endless cash, hell, just copy Alan Dixon's.

But what can I do with what I've already got?

I feel two or three nights with some bad weather is really the test of any kit, but I've got semi limited time right now.

That said, I'll do my best to put up an overnight trip report within the next week.
On this overnight, a minimum of 30 miles round trip, I'll carry an XUL load.
Full skin-out, not including food or water (but I will count fuel if I carry any), I'll go under 5 pounds.

Any other takers?

Let's see what we come up with. I'll post my gear and TR when I'm back...On the new SUL forum (or at least thread).

So yes, lets get an SUL/XUL thing going here.

Edited by xnomanx on 07/14/2011 22:00:47 MDT.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
XUL Challenge: You're on. on 07/14/2011 22:12:18 MDT Print View

I don't think I can get sub-5 FSO at my size (6'5", 17stone), but I'll hit a near 3 lb base and do Skyline to the Sea Trail and back next week (60 miles over two days). Actually, the weather will probably be ideal, so maybe I'll go for sub-5 FSO after all.

Man, I sure hope I can find this thread again to post my TR. If only there were a particular place I could go to find it and those like it...

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 07/14/2011 22:25:44 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: XUL Challenge: You're on. on 07/14/2011 22:15:21 MDT Print View

Right on!

Curious to see what you carry.

Hey, I'm 6'2, 14.5 stones...
I'll be pretty spartan, but I know I can go XUL.

By the way, is the official (or Alan Dixon) definition of XUL FSO sub5 (not including food and water)?

Edited by xnomanx on 07/14/2011 22:16:33 MDT.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
i like on 07/14/2011 22:26:12 MDT Print View

I like the direction this thread has just taken. I'd love to see more real-world trip reports of SUL trips.

My major point is that I'd like these ideas shared among the entire UL community and defended on their merits. It seems that creating a safe haven just hides these ideas away for no good reason.


PS: I guess I still don't understand why SUL trip reports can't just be posted in the TRIP REPORT Forum.

Edited by vinovampire on 07/14/2011 22:41:29 MDT.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Topic Trees vs. Recent Posts. on 07/14/2011 22:41:03 MDT Print View

You have a point Tommy. I come here often enough that I just click "recent posts" to see what I've missed out on, but if I only went through the topic trees to find threads it's possible I wouldn't go into the XUL forum just as I don't (often) go into the Fishing forum because I never fish. I wonder what the percentage breakdown is between these two strategies.

It's a shame a post can't have multiple tags, but that's a weakness of the forum software, I'm guessing.

I think SUL is agreed(ish) upon to be base weight sub 5. XUL doesn't have enough crazies to have a proper definition yet, but 5lb FSO sounds about right to me.

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 07/14/2011 22:47:55 MDT.