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Lessons learned in 2006?
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Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Lessons learned in 2006? on 12/29/2006 19:40:12 MST Print View

What did you learn or figure out in 2006?

I learned that double ended stuff sacks make it easier to get at the stuff on the bottom. And that putting stuff sacks directly on things like tarps, ponchos, hat covers and pack covers means not having to fish for the right sack all the time. And that dual alcohol/hexamine stoves are a good idea. And that wicked tea light cups make very efficient alcohol burners. And that turning poncho/tarp reinforcements into pouches to hold pull-outs and lines keeps the lines handy and neat and keeps the pull-out loops from catching on brush.

What did you learn?

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Lessons learned in 2006? on 12/29/2006 19:59:40 MST Print View

I learned that I should not have quit my job on a trail crew and moved away from the mountains to work in an office.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
learnt on 12/30/2006 04:29:50 MST Print View

I came here and learnt I have a lot to learn
and here's a good place to start.

I learnt that if I think about designing something
I can make, like a stove, I come up with too many
ideas and drive myself nuts !

I learnt that my design for a tent had some great features
but much easier and better to go out and buy one.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Lessons learned in 2006? on 12/30/2006 13:55:32 MST Print View

1. You can carry the lightest shelter/pack/whatever but when you finish a trip with over 5 pounds of extra food and fuel it's all a bit pointless.

2. COMMIT! Put it on the calendar! Get your permit and go! Start training! Talking, dreaming, plotting, and hoping have nothing to do with DOING!

3. I don't need toilet paper!

4. On a trek through the Sierras I was told by 4 different parties that Forester Pass was unpassable- too icy, too dangerous, turn back. Worried, I went on to see for myself- walked right across, no problem. Had I listened: trip over. Trust YOUR OWN judgement!

5. Keep going! Refuse to let books, movies, TV, or other people be your only source of stories and "adventure". Continue creating your own!

6. Gear is great fun, but if you think it will make you "better", you seriously underestimate the value of eating less and training more!

Happy New Year, get out and do twice as much in 2007!

Edited by xnomanx on 12/30/2006 13:56:26 MST.

Benjamin Tomsky
(btomsky) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Lessons learned in 2006? on 12/30/2006 16:12:48 MST Print View

1. Loosing 15 lbs from my gut was easier than loosing 15 lbs from my base pack weight, and much less expensive

2. Once my base pack weight was below 6 lbs, the most important issue to focus on was nutrition in general, and especially caloric density

3. Fishing is a fantastic way to increase one's protein intake on a long trip

Erin McKittrick
(mckittre) - MLife

Locale: Seldovia, Alaska
Lessons learned in 2006? on 12/30/2006 16:37:25 MST Print View

A new appreciation for traveling in topographically unremarkable landscapes. Flat can be beautiful.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Lessons learned in 2006? on 12/30/2006 18:30:14 MST Print View

Short answer: trust the people here at BPL to give good, solid, experience based, and scientifically validated advice -- many special thanks to pj, Bill F, not so Crazy Pete, Roman Dial-up, Nicholas, JR (the last two the wizards of mukluks and snow weather), Mr. Vines (inventor), and of course hisself Dr.J., and Brett and all the rest of you -- including staff, owner/managers, and members.

Things I never thought would work or that I could not do, do work and I can do them. Big thanks to all of you, very big thanks. 2007 is looking like a real good nature fest, based on UL / SUL / and L technical concepts, gear and abilities.

I never thought I would like "land sailing" on my feet compared to being on the water under sail power. NOT. Thanks double again.

Bill Davis

Edited by bdavis on 12/30/2006 18:49:43 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Lessons learned in 2006? on 12/31/2006 04:25:29 MST Print View

I learned that Florida has it's own beauty, even without mountains surrounding me.
I learned that my meds dehydrate me horribly, even in winter-and I have to watch my water consumption carefully now.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Lessons learned in 2006? on 12/31/2006 21:52:07 MST Print View

2006 is the year I finally learned a good use for goretex, the year I accepted I have a few limitations and also, hmm, managed to go a whole year without an epic. It is the year in which I let go of my TR [time remaining] theory of life and actually did more outdoors then in previous years.
Said goodbye to a couple of more climbing friends,geez, this life of ours can turn on a dime
Bought some crap, got rid of some crap, ended the year with the same amount of crap.
2006 is the year I decided to curb back my posting and pay better attention to what others are saying.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Lessons learned in 2006? on 01/05/2007 10:38:14 MST Print View

Thanks to Ray Jardine and BPL, I learned that multi-day backcountry camping does not have to end as you reach the end of middle age.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
lessons learned on 01/05/2007 12:52:15 MST Print View

2006 was my first year of serious backpacking - i did some trips in college and scouts, but they were more of social adventures in the woods using backpacks to carry the goods 2 miles into the wild.

1. it's going to rain, regardless of what NOAA predicts
2. top off you white gas canister before the trip
3. don't force yourself to go on a trip because you will have a horrible time.
4. just because it's dark doesn't mean you can't hike
5. high iron content water does not quench thirst
6. talk to the Park Ranger when he drives past - you might get a free soda.

looking forward to this year - already planning a week long adventure in PA.


mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: lessons learned on 01/06/2007 14:08:48 MST Print View

I've taken a bit of a different perspective on 2006.

In 2006, My brother's wife passed at the tender age of 46 of a 40 year old undiagnosed liver illness, my Father fell in his own dining room and broke his neck, passing 12 days later, my Grandmother passed of a long illness, My Mother collapsed on New Years Eve of Pnunomia, and is not doing so well, my former Mother in law passed of a long illness and a former sister in law passed of Cancer at Thanksgiving.

The lesson learned is simple ... make today, this week, this month, and this year count. There may not be a next year for that trip you've always wanted to take, so make it happen this year.

And never miss an opportunity to take time for those that you care about.

Happy new year to all on BPL .... and may your journeys lead you to ever more challenging trails.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: lessons learned on 01/06/2007 16:28:35 MST Print View

"The lesson learned is simple ... make today, this week, this month, and this year count. There may not be a next year for that trip you've always wanted to take, so make it happen this year."

I couldn't agree more. Very well put.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Re: Re: lessons learned on 01/06/2007 16:41:48 MST Print View

Shawn and Mark, et al.,

You have captured my new years thoughts ... no more putting off the taking of time off and getting out the door ... there is always something "else" to do that stands in the way of investigating this wonderful place that we live -- near several wilderness areas (designated by the gov't.) and our environment. So, thank you for the summarized zen like formulations. It inspires me to follow through this year, and take a weekend or odd day off that would otherwise be spent puttering around and goofing off spent out 'there', to see others doing or expressing same.

That kind of encouragement and inspiration flows from what the BPL mission staement calls recognizing or creating a "core group" .... thanks for the thought and motivation. bd

Edited by bdavis on 01/06/2007 16:42:43 MST.

Stephen Nelson
(stephenn6289) - F

Locale: Sunshine State
newbie on 01/07/2007 19:55:12 MST Print View

2006 opned my eyes to the pain of heavyweight backpacking. I did 100 miles in 8 days (a feat for me at the time) on mountainous terrain with a 50lb pack. I was sore the entire trip. Afterward I pldged to never hurt like that again on a trip. I then converted ultralight backpacking. Today my summer base weight is just over 8lbs including my 2 lb digital slr camera. Thank you for all of your help and insight. It would not have been possible without the BPL website and you people.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
What I learned on 01/07/2007 22:02:12 MST Print View

I learned that the four-wheel drive of a brand new Jeep can only go as fast as the Ford Festiva in front of you!

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: What I learned on 01/07/2007 22:22:21 MST Print View

Do I really need that?
Is there something lighter?
Take a chance, enjoy life!

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
What I learned on 01/12/2007 16:34:33 MST Print View

That a GPS is cool technology but in the Sierra mostly extra weight. That my nano IPOD which seemed to be just the thing to have on a solo trip ended up living in my pack after the first night. I just didn't have any desire to share the mountains with artificial music, as much as I love music.

In fact most high tech stuff isn't all that useful in the mountains, except for my new dSLR :)

You can't beat an air mattress for comfort, even with the weight. Though I wish someone would produce one in which each tube is separate from the rest.

I learned that I really need to rexamine the tradeoff between bombproof and lightweight. Not having to worry about stuff that is fragile may just make up for the extra weight. Oops, that's blasphemy.

I learned that I hate mosquitoes, wait, I already knew that.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: What I learned on 01/12/2007 18:05:45 MST Print View

That mother nature is still the boss. Found out early one morning at Trail Camp on Mt. Whitney. Respect her. I also learned some important lessons in Yosemite dealing with mother nature again. She is the almighty ruler of everything mountains!!

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: What I learned on 01/12/2007 19:39:18 MST Print View

Sounds like there's a story or two behind your lessons.