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Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
BackSliding on 06/26/2012 20:28:58 MDT Print View

What gear are you backsliding on? Mine is sleeping pads. I worked so hard to get my gear weight down but could not give up my inflatable mattress. I remember the day I met someone on the trail with their 2.5 inch thick Big Agnes pad while I was hauling my heavier 1" thick thermarest. I bought one the day after I got off the trail. I used my REI dividend to get the lighter Exped Syn Mat 7. Then I started to sleep colder and several people here advised me to get a warmer pad for colder weather. I bought a Stephens Warmlight DAM..same weight as the Big Agnes. The Stephens pad was fantastic. I realized how much I liked the wider pad at the shoulders. So now I have the NeoAir Xlite large pad for warm weather camping even though I am short because it is 25" wide at the weighs 16oz. What do YOU backslide on?

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
backsiding on 06/26/2012 23:29:08 MDT Print View

Oh man. Where do i start: women, alcohol, wild hippy partys, and a copper spur 2 ul all to myself.excess

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts) - F

Locale: Nashville
RE: BackSliding on 06/27/2012 05:28:44 MDT Print View

Previously, like you, it was sleeping pads for me. Now it is a camp chair. I am miserable without one so I have reduced weight in other areas to compensate. Seems like I always find another configuration that I want to try :)

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
RE: BackSliding on 06/27/2012 07:04:44 MDT Print View

Shelters, definitely shelter. I don't want to fuss with tarp and lines and poles and.... So back to a tent.

I'm waiting for a Moment/Notch hybrid.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: BackSliding on 06/27/2012 07:14:35 MDT Print View

The pursuit of going lighter should not come at the cost of being comfortable, so I wouldn't say you're backsliding at all. In fact, the ultimate goal of going lighter is to increase comfort; whether that applies to time on the trail or time in camp depends a lot on the trip itself and your personal goals.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Luxury pads on 06/27/2012 08:32:22 MDT Print View

Definately pads for me. I have been through everything out there and currently have settled on an Exped UL downmat... Love the pump sack! I have been sleeping on this even in warm weather (50 to 60f nights) and have been very comfortable and not too hot.

I have wanted a light compact camp chair for decades but have been resisting so far. Most likely will try something in the myog variety and I have a weight limit of 16oz but hoping to come in around 10-12oz.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Padding on 06/27/2012 09:15:36 MDT Print View

Exped Syn Mat 7 UL here. One pound of sleeping luxury. Plus the pump bag. I cringe at the weight, and smile as I fall asleep!

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Oz Creep on 06/27/2012 10:04:31 MDT Print View

In my quest to tweak my kit for ease of use, I've noticed I've added almost a 1/2 pound of stuff.

Thicker (easier to pull) bear bag cord
better pack liner (Nylofume vs Hefty bag)
added Opsak bag for food trash
swapping to Darn Tough socks from Smartwools added 1oz
relenting to my oh-so-convenient canister stove added 4oz
added .75 oz to 1st aid kit.

Sadly, I'm now no longer at a sub-10 lb base weight.
I could get back under 10, but it'd require purchase of expensive things like new one or more of the 'big 3'.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Oz Creep on 06/27/2012 10:16:42 MDT Print View

Daniel, I find that I go through alternating periods for base weight. For a while, I will be making small weight improvements and I'll save a couple of ounces. Then things shift, and I start making reliability improvements that force me up a couple of ounces. Then it continues, fluctuating around the ten-pound point, but that includes a bear canister.


Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Re: Oz Creep on 06/27/2012 10:36:41 MDT Print View

Two items especially were poor choices and really hamper my base weight total:
my Pack: Jam 70L (29oz)
my pot: GSI pinnacle soloist set- pot/lid/cup/spork (14oz)

Changing those two items alone could net a weight loss in the 18-20 oz range.

I really like the way my Jam carries, but wish it weighed 8-10oz less.
My pot I'm not attached to, but no one local has a 'grease pot' and the shipping for a pot and gripper is as much as the pot it self from many places. I'll re-assess over the off season.

So as to not completely derail this thread:

My backslide is really a two-in-one: I intended to go UL when replacing my gear, and made a nice list, then opted for some heavier stuff when purchase time came.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: BackSliding on 06/27/2012 10:57:30 MDT Print View

My gear changes for each trip depending on time of year and conditions. I always have an eye on keeping it as light as possible, staying warm & dry, and of course safe. There are two areas of comfort that I have moved back up in weight. The first is packs. Any trip with much over 10lbs total pack weight is going to include an internal framed pack. The second is a Neo Air or a BA insulated Air Core. The mattresses are a concession to the aging process, but I still sometimes just take a foam pad. I do not consider any of this "backsliding" but ongoing refinement.

To me backsliding is letting life get in the way of hiking; that is -- not getting out as often as I want. Good news on this matter is that each year I find more and more time to hike, since the kids are grown and on their own.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: BackSliding on 06/27/2012 11:17:07 MDT Print View

I think backsliding is a common process with UL kits. People are converted to the new religion and go at their gear list with the zealot's fire in their eyes, get as light as they can afford, and then swing back a bit to find a happy medium. If you have a 5 pound kit, adding 8oz doesn't feel like much and you still have a very light load. Even a 50% increase in weight still leaves you with a very respectable 7.5 pound base weight.

Just about any kit can afford *one* heavier item and my guess is that sleeping pads and shelter top the list for "unorthodox" entries into otherwise SUL kits. Seeing your base weight shrink on the spreadsheet is great, but reality sets in about 3am on hard ground or you are being eaten alive by insects. It's all about rocks and bugs :)

I "backslid" on my pack, changing out a frameless model for one with a frame. It came down to ease of loading as much as weight transfer. I don't have to consider what will be poking me in the back or how the items are packed effect the weight transfer and load stability. I can concentrate on convenience and load balance instead. I can afford the extra ounces.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
No Guilt on 06/27/2012 12:42:34 MDT Print View

6 pounds...10 pounds....12 or 15 pounds...Everyone on this site carries a ridiculously light load, regardless of whether you're SUL, UL, LW, or whatever other monicker you want to identify with. But ultimately, what's the difference unless you're racing the clock or backpacking through your spreadsheets?

If adding weight makes you more comfortable, safer, or giggle quietly in your shelter at night, more power to you. Save running or trying to race the clock, I cannot think of any backpacking trip that I couldn't have done with an extra 5-10 pounds just as comfortably. If anything, the extra weight- maybe a few more creature comforts, might have made the trip easier in some ways.

There's something to be said for stoicism, the sufferfest, for getting close to the edge (wherever that may be for you), or pushing minimal gear to the limit. I get that. But I've never been turned back on a trip due to excessive pack weight. I've only been turned back on trips due to not having adequate gear, mostly because I was trying to push a philosophical boundary and travel very minimally, only to find that my limited gear selection and personal knowledge wasn't up to task- unless I was willing to embark on a real unplanned sufferfest. Sometimes these are great learning opportunities...sometimes these are real bummers that simply end trips.

I think too much nonsense is attached to this pack weight thing around here. I've been there. As if weight indicates skill level, ability, manliness, passion, or something else. As if guilt should be associated with adding weight back into a pack.

Once again I'm struck by good ol' John Muir. Of everything I've read by him, I'd be hard pressed to find a place where he talks about his gear. So maybe it's not about a 6 pound pack vs. a 20 pound pack- because that would still be using your gear as some sort of benchmark.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
BackSliding on 06/27/2012 13:11:02 MDT Print View

Nicely said, Craig.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
backsliding on 06/28/2012 00:39:49 MDT Print View

I'm reminded of an excellent scene from the movie There Will Be Blood: "you've brought your bad habits as a abandoned your child!"
....never mind.

i think weight definitely matters, else we wouldn't be here, but agreed it can preoccupy when its really all about the experience. There are big mileage days, and trips with technical scrambling/bushwacking that I wouldn't want to do without the lightest pack I can put together.

I've just recently started using a stove again after a few years going cold. Main advantage: jetboil french press coffee. So worth it. Hot food is nice too, but I may still prefer the simplicity of stuffing my face with trail mix and beef jerky before bed.

I also went from using a GG nightlight to a neoair xtherm due to some back issues. I wanted the xtherm as my do it all 4 season mattress, and so far I've been happy with it. I can take my 40 degree quilt way lower and still be plenty warm (sometimes too warm)

This is a new thing, but I just bought some shoes that are more built up after using the merrell trail gloves for a majority of hikes over the last year. While I love the trail gloves I developed some painful bruises after some long night hikes where foot placement was a challenge. Ground feel is great, but suffering is not, so I just bought some altra lone peaks. They are tanks, but I have a feeling my feet will be happier.

"....I am a sinner...I'm sorry lord."

Mike Feldman

Locale: SE USA
Thanks Craig on 06/28/2012 14:55:45 MDT Print View

Could not have put it better Craig, thanks!