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Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
I want to be inspired . . . on 06/27/2012 16:57:45 MDT Print View

I really want to be inspired to post more often, and to get more excited about threads, thoughts, and posts here on BPL. But for some reason it's not happening.

With that in mind, I'm searching for a piece gear, idea, or other backpacking thought to inspire me to be a more active member of the BPL community.

Why, because you guys (and gals) are pretty great and have fun and insightful things to say (most of the time).

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: I want to be inspired . . . on 06/27/2012 17:27:24 MDT Print View

Same here.
Even Kimi Raikkonen gets "used to it".
The Law of Diminishing Returns?
Kind of a bummer.



Is that a Haiku?

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: I want to be inspired . . . on 06/27/2012 18:04:19 MDT Print View

Just know you are not alone Evan. I was really surprised at how many"lurkers" there were at the last GGG. I'm sure I post more than some would like. So I'm at the other end of the spectrum. Of course in Chaff you don't need inspiration, just an opinion. If it's an unpopular one, even better!

Two topics for you.

What inspires you to go backpacking?

What you take and why.

I never get tired of seeing what people in other parts of this huge country take with them and their reason behind their choices.

So please post away. I get tired of seeing the same 20 names.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Why I Backpack on 06/27/2012 19:27:26 MDT Print View

Thanks, Ken. I'll throw some thoughts out and would love to hear (read) from other folks.

Over the years I've backpacked for many different reasons. When I was posted to my first assignment with the State Department in Tajikistan, I backpacked because I was surrounded by gorgeous mountains and there really wasn't anything else to do on the weekends.

When I returned to DC to spend a year learning (some) Arabic, I first started backpacking as a primary and beloved hobby with a great friend who introduced me to going light.

When the State Department next sent me to Iraq for 18 months, I sat in the desert, cooped up on a little forward operating base, dreaming about green woods and the absolute freedom of movement that comes with hitting the trail and leaving work/people/everything else at the trail head.

When I returned back to DC, something finally snapped for me and backpacking became one of the happiest things in my world. Going to work in the morning at the State Department's main building in Foggy Bottom often felt like joining the Borg and strolling mechanically to the mother ship with 6,000 other cyborgs. The works is really interesting but darn, being a federal bureaucrat in DC is a bit of a slog. Backpacking changed my personal paradigm and had me walking in with a smile, thinking about my last trip or planning my next one.

Sure, the mid-Atlantic isn't quite as wild and scenic as many other areas that many of you frequent. But I'm here for work and happy to make the most of it, hitting trails in PA, WV, and VA each month. I've ensured that I get to hike at least one full weekend a month and have religiously kept to this pattern for three years. Over this period, I've gone through new gear and explored many new trails, but most importantly I've met dozens of fellow backpackers whom I've come to befriend and admire. The community of backpackers (the UL ones often being the most committed) has made the trail and accompanying gear even more worth it.

Now I'm heading off to Latvia for a three year assignment and I'll miss my DC-area companions and terrain. Now I'm looking to Northern Europe for new adventures, new gear, and my next phase of backpacking.

This is an incredible hobby, populated my great people. My life is better in every way with backpacking as part of it.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Re: Why I Backpack on 06/28/2012 10:44:37 MDT Print View

I think at first you come to this site to lighten your load, and there are many questions. At some point there aren't many questions left, and then you lose a bit of site interest. I think it's normal.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Re: Re: Why I Backpack on 06/28/2012 14:42:53 MDT Print View

"I think at first you come to this site to lighten your load, and there are many questions. At some point there aren't many questions left, and then you lose a bit of site interest. I think it's normal."

+1

It's true, isn't it? The question from a content/interest point of view might better be stated as, "What type of content and/or forum discussion will most attract and interest the quasi-experienced UL backpacker?"

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: Why I Backpack on 06/28/2012 16:45:09 MDT Print View

For me its less about the gear now and more techinique.
Im not even 'actual' UL, and I am a huge gearhead... I obsess over gear and could still drop weight, but the things that get me most excited are technique ideas rather than physical gear.

After learning how to see through marketing its hard to be really excited about gear anymore. Even something as fun as a new tent- I'm kinda like, "Well this other one could do this, or, that other one is 1/2 pound lighter" Takes the "be all-end all' feeling of supremacy away.

So for me its technique kinds of things- especially for clothing when dealing with hiking in the cold rain.