Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » How long have you been a lightweight backpacker?


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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: How long have you been a lightweight backpacker? on 03/13/2012 11:47:43 MDT Print View

Since 1982.

--B.G.--

--------------------------------

Bob, are you really suggesting that some of us have been lightweight backpackers since before Ray Jardine INVENTED it in 1996? Next, are you also going to tell us that Al Gore did not invent the Internet?








P.S. My base was below 20 lbs in 1982 too.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: How long have you been a lightweight backpacker? on 03/13/2012 13:40:26 MDT Print View

"Bob, are you really suggesting that some of us have been lightweight backpackers since before Ray Jardine INVENTED it in 1996? Next, are you also going to tell us that Al Gore did not invent the Internet?"

No one claims Jardine invented UL (he doesn't, nor does Al Gore claim he invented the internet). It is true that Jardine helped bring it into the mainstream more than just about anyone else I can think of, by a long shot.

I had a friend who packed lightweight in 1973 and we all thought he was crazy and foolhardy...in those days you bragged about how much your pack weighed (more was better!) and how safe you were in doing so. My friend bought into multiple-use gear and we though he was cheap and/or weird.

Amazing how times change. I haven't seen him since then...if I did I'll tell him he was way ahead of his time and I should have listened to him long ago. Instead I bought into the "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it" philosophy.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: How long have you been a lightweight backpacker? on 03/13/2012 13:59:25 MDT Print View

I started on the UL path in 2001 ... about 10 minutes after finishing my first backpacking trip in about 20 years, a trip I fondly recall as "My Near Death Experience". It turned out that I was no longer the pack mule I once thought I was!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: How long have you been a lightweight backpacker? on 03/13/2012 14:01:09 MDT Print View

"P.S. My base was below 20 lbs in 1982 too."

I remember doing a three-day Yosemite trip in 1983, and my total pack weight was 14.5 pounds.

Shelter was about 3 oz., total cook gear was about 2 oz., sleeping bag was 1 lb. 15 oz., which was radical back then. Food was only 2 pounds for three days!

It was that original article in Backpacker Magazine that got me started.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: RE: How long have you been a lightweight backpacker? on 03/13/2012 14:16:04 MDT Print View

"No one claims Jardine invented UL (he doesn't, nor does Al Gore claim he invented the internet). It is true that Jardine helped bring it into the mainstream more than just about anyone else I can think of, by a long shot."

Elliott,

It was just my attempt at satire :)

I don't think lightweight is in the mainstream yet. Actually the only thing I have read that was not in common use that Jardine highlighted were quilts. Everything else I had seen or used. Rivendell sold frameless packs in the 70's, tarps were really common in the 70's more so than tents in the backcountry. My first backpacking shoes were Converse sneakers, etc.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
light on 03/13/2012 15:27:09 MDT Print View

In 1967 in the boy scouts we did our best to have light gear. We used to use tarps and hammocks (Nylon rope nets that weighed about a lb) in Harriman State Park in NY, even so our packs were heavy.

Currently I have about a 6lb base weight, dropped the most weight about 2007.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
its been gradual on 03/13/2012 21:05:39 MDT Print View

My first big gear purchase was in 1967, an REI McKinley down bag, which only lasted 40 years. I did the JMT in 1971 with a tube tent (no tent), no water filter, no bear canister, and no stove. We were not trying to be light, but those were not even available then. I thought I was being quite innovative by having a nylon shirt.

I was always interested in photography and climbing, so a 10 lb rope and a 12 pound hardware rack abd a camera, tripod and tele lens made light weight impossible. I kept up backpacking and climbing for 35 years, not worrying too much about weight. In mountain rescue work my pack got heavier, and doing nordic ski patrol my first aid kit got huge.

With my pay for teaching a college backpacking class and a winter camping class, I got a Western Mountaineering Megalight about 8 years ago, and replaced my Kelty Tioga with an Acteryx Bora 65, which weighed 6.5 pounds.

I got an REI Flash 65 about 4 years ago to replace the Arcteryx, and about 5 years ago I got a Tarptent.

I was always a skeptic of alcohol stoves, thinking how much weight could really be saved over a GigaPower stove and a 4 oz canister? Then I tried a Caldera Cone, and I was sold mostly on the silence and lack of mechanical parts, and versatility in cooking. I guess I've been at a plateau for 3 or 4 years, at 14.5 pounds before camera and fishing gear.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
another Ray Jardine on 03/14/2012 13:15:55 MDT Print View

Another Ray Jardine conversion here, circa 1997.

I can't remember which angel-friend found and lent me Jardine's (first) book, but I'll be forever grateful.

There is a photo of me in camp along the High Sierra Trail in 1991, pre-Jardine. Jeans, cotton t-shirt, and...BIRKENSTOCKS for camp shoes! And somehow I never made the connection between all that stuff and my desperately aching back, hips and feet.

- Elizabeth