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Murphy's Laws of Backpacking
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Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Murphy's Laws of Backpacking on 11/22/2011 09:36:21 MST Print View

Waaaaay back in 2003, Brawny and I came up with a series of Murphyisms surrounding our favorite pasttime. Feel free to add your own.

(1) "Need is directly impacted by Scarcity.
(in other words, the more scarce it is, the more you need it)
and its natural corollary: If you bring a gob, you won't need it.

(2) Record cold will follow if you send home winter gear.
which correlates to: Record heat will follow if you decide to keep your winter gear
another week.

(3) Pretending you don't hear (or just plain ignoring) a Park Ranger that
is using his/her loudspeaker can get your butt thrown out of
Yellowstone National Park.

(4) No matter how light you think your gear is, Brawny has just designed
something infinitely lighter and more functional, and she will make a
small fortune off it too.

(5) Leaving your ice axe and crampons at home in order to save weight is
the surest way to get a mid-August snow storm in the high Sierras.

(6) Observing National Hike Naked Day assures one of meeting a lost,
frustrated TV camera crew at a remote road crossing. They will be
facing a deadline and have so far found nothing of interest to

Corollary: At least three of your blabber-mouthed friends will see
the pictures of you on the 6 o'clock news. At least one will call the
station to ID you.

“Bob – I love your backpacking Murphy’s How about some food Murphy’s?”

FOOD MURPHY'S? Hmmmm...........OK

1. The dehydrated dinner you prepared after a long 25 mile day on the
trail will not look or taste anything like what the packaging
described and will be inedible - even by a hungry hiker.

2. Only after irretrievably throwing your inedible dinner away will
you discover that your pack is now devoid of food and it is still 34
miles to your re-supply point.

COROLLARY: 26 of those 34 miles will be up-hill

3. Sadly, there is no such thing as dehydrated water. You still have
to carry those eight liters at 2 pounds each on your desert trek.

4. The sugar you just stirred into the group's evening tea turns out
to be tooth powder or baking soda. While trying to avoid the rocks
and insults hurled in your direction, you make a mental note to
properly label everything before loading your pack.

5. The watched pot never boils. The unwatched pot carbonizes its
contents solidly to the bottom in the blink of an eye.

6. In your haste to get to the trail, you neglect to test-fire your
stove. Only AFTER your support vehicle leaves and you begin to
prepare dinner do you discover that one of the fuel connections leaks
under pressure. Unfortunately, you have already lit the match.

COROLLARY 1: In your rabid pursuit of ultralite Nirvana, you left
the special wrench needed to tighten said connection at home.

COROLLARY 2: You learn to love slightly crunchy, cold re-hydrated
food over the next 125 miles.

7. The packaging called the dinner "spicy". Out on the trail you find that the manufacturer has discovered a process to dehydrate
molten lava.

COROLLARY: You have three more of these dinners in your food bag.


Edited by wandering_bob on 11/22/2011 10:03:27 MST.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Murphy's Laws of Backpacking on 11/22/2011 09:56:34 MST Print View

Upon entering bear country you will no longer be able to eat without spilling saucey meals all up in your fleece jacket.

Corollary (I've never used that word before)- Its too cold to do laundry.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Murphy's Laws of Backpacking on 11/23/2011 13:44:56 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 06/17/2015 16:19:02 MDT.

Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: Murphy's Laws of Backpacking on 12/12/2011 09:34:26 MST Print View

The one time you try to go without your extra stakes is the time you break one, or it's the wind storm of the century.

Also true for fuel and the extra snack bar.

Sabine Funk
(SabineFunk) - F
Re: "Murphy's Laws of Backpacking" on 12/12/2011 13:01:08 MST Print View

The sugar you just stirred into your evening tea turns out
to be salt......

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Re: "Murphy's Laws of Backpacking" on 12/12/2011 13:12:07 MST Print View

the sugar in the tea reminds me of my first backpacking trip, which was also eugene smith's first backpacking trip.

He brought some powdered milk for coffee and some powdered scrambled eggs for breakfast. He stirred those eggs over the stove for like 30 minutes before he realized that the eggs were the milk.