Hey Tapon, great article. You are always pushing the envelope. I remember that rock canopy shot from your Yo-yo hike. That's a great example of doing more with less and is where the philosophy of going lighter comes into play.
For myself, and I think for you too, there is a significant added value to being industrious and creative on the trail. Finding ways to use our skills and less gear to solve the challenges of enjoying a long hike with a very light pack. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but from talking to you and reading your articles that's my impression. You can correct me if I'm off base.
As many of the replies to this thread illustrate, there are lots of different types of backpackers. However, when you get down into the super ultralight weights (5lbs for avg male, +1-2 lbs for larger humans), it becomes more about the philosophy, the challenge and the minimalism approach that dictate our decisions. Using skill and ingenuity as opposed to relying more on gear. There is some irony here, funnily enough, because we do obsess about our gear even though there is less of it! Especially because if you are taking less, it better be well selected. Again, that's just my feeling and what makes going outdoors enjoyable for myself.
A backpacker without an sul mindset would find most of the SUL tactics absurd, because the choices and whole approach is so different, and so finding a consensus among that wide swath of a genre is unlikely.
In regards to umbrellas, if you use a poncho tarp, and it is deployed as shelter during rain, the umbrella is a life saver for those midnight bathroom runs; unless you use a pee-bottle while in your sleep system.
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