Forum Index » Chaff » Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth?


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Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/10/2012 23:51:07 MST Print View

All things considered, I'm a reasonably hairy man. For many years, I've touted this as one of my many strengths and as part of the allure that has attracted many women, including my wife. Where I grew up, real men had chest hair--and mustaches, but that's another story.

Now that I'm part of this lightweight backpacking thing, I'm not supposed to care what I look like on the trail, and it has me rethinking some old assumptions. I figure if I removed some body hair, I could save 50-60 grams, maybe more. That's a freaking Clif Bar.

But is it worth it? I would certainly lose the insulating properties of said awesomeness, so it's a no-go in the winter. But what about summer? It can get chilly in the mountains at night. What's the better side of the trade-off here--weight or warmth?

Any experience shaving your chest, shoulders, back, etc. for 3-season hiking? Was the weight worth losing the warmth? Or does the awesomeness on your pecs make you more awesome at other things, kind of like Samson?

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/10/2012 23:57:24 MST Print View

Coup from Go Lite shaved himself before his Colorado Trail hike. Said the itching of it all growing back negated the less than 2oz shaved off. He was pretty sparse on top to begin with.

Less sticky clothes on your back with back hair.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/10/2012 23:58:23 MST Print View

I clip my toenails, fingernails, get a haircut, shave, and exfoliate before hiking. I'm saving some grams right there! I'm not a hairy guy, so I shave weight where I can. Pun definitely intended.

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Shave? Nah. Wax! on 02/11/2012 01:53:15 MST Print View

If you're wanting to shave off grams then you should definitely get a full body wax job. All of those little follicles (which are missed by shaving) do add up...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/11/2012 07:32:47 MST Print View

2 ounces of chest air? Wow!

Reading that more carefully less than 2 ounces : )

Edited by retiredjerry on 02/11/2012 07:33:21 MST.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/11/2012 07:35:05 MST Print View

Now there's a question I certainly don't have to wrestle with. Not much weight nor warmth provided by both of my chest hairs ;)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Shave? Nah. Wax! on 02/11/2012 07:43:21 MST Print View

"All of those little follicles (which are missed by shaving) do add up..."

ROFFL!

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Wax on 02/11/2012 08:03:35 MST Print View

I would go for the 'dripped wax from a candle held by a strict woman method'.
I definately lost a few ounces that night, and also learned a few knot tying techniques.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
if... on 02/11/2012 19:07:47 MST Print View

If you have enough body hair, you can bring less insulation layers. Thus, having abundant body hair may actually SAVE weight.


:)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/11/2012 20:43:45 MST Print View

"Now that I'm part of this lightweight backpacking thing, I'm not supposed to care what I look like on the trail, and it has me rethinking some old assumptions. I figure if I removed some body hair, I could save 50-60 grams, maybe more. That's a freaking Clif Bar."

60g = 2oz. I believe a Clif bar is closer to 3oz. Hopefully, you've got hair on your head that can also be shaved?? :)

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/11/2012 21:21:00 MST Print View

Haha that is a funny question and I have considered it with my self mostly in jest but also out of curiosity on how much I could save, shaving my chest and head.

I imagine it is a case of diminishing returns, cut to short and you deal with the itch. Cut your head hair to short, run the risk of sun burn with out a hat

Going in the opposite direction, does hair help you cool down at all?


That said I have seen some people hiking with full dread locks, awesome thru hiker look for sure, but we are talking multiple pounds potentially saved right there in some cases.

Thru hiker beards have to weigh a bit as well, but that is a badge of honor. We should try and get thru hikers after they are done with there hike to weigh there beards when they cut it off to get an idea of the weight savings. Anyone want to take on that project? :)

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/11/2012 21:34:48 MST Print View

I am joking but...does not having a beard give you better aerodynamics?

Less weight means less energy used to carry it, more aerodynamic means less energy expended as well, which means less food to carry, which means less energy used which means less food carried which means......

If there are savings Im sure it is ridiculously minimal. Like cutting off the ring of your bottle top minimal or probably even less. ( Yet I still cut the ring off sometimes)

Plus a beard is kick ass and worth the penalty on a long hike.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Disclaimer on 02/11/2012 22:43:19 MST Print View

Disclaimer
If you are just joining us here at BPL and think "Oh my goodness these people are crazy!" let me assure you that all (most?) of our members are quite sane.
Discussions of shaving off chest hair in order to save weight are academic (probably). No one here is really so concerned about their weight that they would shave off their chest hairs or beards in order to save a few micro grams (okay most of us).

In other news... According to BPL spokesmen reports that Ryan Jordan is hiking with a helium filled balloon to give him a "negative baseweight" are purely speculation and BPL cannot either confirm or deny the existance of such a project.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: if... on 02/12/2012 09:41:12 MST Print View

Paul,

I think your are correct on this one.

Field Experience
I tried tight fitting panty hose on a couple of trips. They compressed the hair on my legs. My legs were cooler with them on than with them off.

Daryl

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: if... on 02/12/2012 09:44:42 MST Print View

Paul is correct. I call it my fur suit.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/12/2012 10:21:06 MST Print View

Are you one of those "missing link" guys who could pass for an animal with the sheer volume of body hair? No need for sweaters then ;-)

Don't forget to cut your ear and nose hair. I hear it is VERY heavy.

Lol.....

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/12/2012 10:33:02 MST Print View

Never hike barefoot and naked lest I get mistaken for a Sasquatch, especially with size 15 feet!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: Shave My Chest--Weight or Warmth? on 02/12/2012 12:30:41 MST Print View

I don't quite have the fur suit thing going. I like to think of myself as the perfect median between Sasquatch and Voldemort.

@Clint--I'm positive that a beard actually has buoyant properties. The longer it gets, the more it defies gravity. It's a scientific fact--look it up. Apparently it also allows you to tame grizzly bears. No need for bear canisters or spray.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 02/12/2012 12:33:01 MST.