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Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Bunch o commies... on 08/21/2012 19:43:21 MDT Print View

"Unless it is your wife then it's just plain smart or survival!"

Indeed!

When on trips with friends, we are all self contained.

When I take Mrs. Mags...well, funny how my pack becomes bigger and weighs more. :)

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Bunch o commies... on 08/21/2012 20:35:42 MDT Print View

We have progressed past communism to the final stage where all material goods are available.

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
a commie response on 08/21/2012 21:59:15 MDT Print View

The response of a cynical communist to the OP is to add all the personal luxuries they want so they do as little as possible for the group.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Sharing Gear on 08/22/2012 06:32:08 MDT Print View

As the trip coordinator/manager of all of our group trips (usually the same 4-6 guys) I actually assign shared items to people. I supply all the food (everyone brings their own snacks) and I divide it up among everyone, with thoughts as to what will be consumed the first night, second night, etc. Food is normally equally divided by weight but the guy carrying the JetBoil (that the whole group will use) will find his food bag mostly empty after the first night. Likewise for the person carrying one of the group water purifiers.

It works out - I've never had any complaints. The other place the weight sharing often comes into play is when we know we'll have a dry campsite and have to load up with water and carry it (usually uphill) to camp. It's not uncommon then for people to volunteer to carry an extra three liters of water so that someone else only needs to carry one.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
The American Way on 08/22/2012 10:07:24 MDT Print View

Kevin, you must be a Scout Leader! Sharing the load, using group gear, stepping up to do one's share based on ability and care for one's brethren... "Hey, buddy, let me take the extra waters today." Very old school American Outdoorsman.

I don't know about them dirty rotten commies, but I done heard about them pinkos what won't carry no gear but their own titanium (made by commies, no less) jib jabs. Thems be "primacommiedonnas", ha ha!!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: The American Way on 08/22/2012 11:53:29 MDT Print View

"[S]stepping up to do one's share based on ability and care for one's brethren..Hey, buddy, let me take the extra waters today."

That is not just American, buddy. "From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs" was taught to generations of communist youths!

So what's the problem? The quickest way to turn any sweet gesture into an awful chore is to demand it. Now imagine having to repeat your 'sweet old school American way" every friggin' day -- or face consequences. Would you still stick your neck out and let folks know the true maximum of your abilities? I don't think so.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
tongue-in-cheek? on 08/22/2012 12:39:59 MDT Print View

Or foot-in-mouth if my read on the OP's tone was wrong, but the premise here is ridiculous. Joy shared is doubled; misery shared is halved. Presumably the overarching aim of any group trip is the maximizing of enjoyment for all participants. Whether pack weight distribution is equalized should depend on the stated purpose of the trip, the abilities of inidividual members, and a hopefully shared definition of "enjoyment." That's not "communism;" it's "rational." If someone is letting their pride or interpersonal politics dictate their willingness to carry more or less weight, then that's a person I don't want to be hiking with.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
I'm an Ameri-Can, not an Ameri-can't on 08/22/2012 15:35:54 MDT Print View

Spelt, I think you spalt it all out, nicely.

"Spaseeba"!

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re "Anyone Practice Trail Communism?" on 08/22/2012 16:06:37 MDT Print View

Spelt - Re your comment "Or foot-in-mouth if my read on the OP's tone was wrong, but the premise here is ridiculous. Joy shared is doubled; misery shared is halved. Presumably the overarching aim of any group trip is the maximizing of enjoyment for all participants. Whether pack weight distribution is equalized should depend on the stated purpose of the trip, the abilities of inidividual members, and a hopefully shared definition of "enjoyment." That's not "communism;" it's "rational." If someone is letting their pride or interpersonal politics dictate their willingness to carry more or less weight, then that's a person I don't want to be hiking with."

Most people assumed the definition of communism in the communal sense, not the political sense, based off the responses. I did. It doesn't change the fact that I believe in personal responsibility. I'll help someone if they are injured or ill, but I'm not going to carry their load for them if they exercised poor judgment on their packing. That would merely be enabling them to do it again next time. Better they learn not to do that again. To me, that's rational. Conversely, if I'm the one who overpacked, I don't expect anyone to carry my load. I'll learn from it, and do better next time. If that means there are people that wouldn't want to hike with me, I'm good with that, because it doesn't sound like we would have compatible personalities.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Ego on 08/22/2012 17:04:05 MDT Print View

I have no problems carrying some extra gear or food if others are struggling. But then my trips I go on are comnumal tent and stove and food sharing trips. On the last trip I went on this summer my buddys pack for a trip must have weighed 50lbs. He was struggling for the last half of the day. We didn't really realalize what was in there until he got to camp that night and pulled out is heavy sandles, 4 shirts, a few pairs of shorts, a pair of underwear for each day, etc, etc, Nothing in his pack was ridiculous he just had mulitples of everything. The previous day we had offered repeatedly if he wanted us to carry more weight. My pack was around 20 and my brothers 25 but he refused. I think ego was the main reason he didn't want us to carry his gear. So the next morning we stole his food and portion of the group gear taking around 10lbs out of his pack. He didn't realize it until lunch but wasn't too happy about it but it did improve his hiking pace.

On a group trip you want to keep the group moving and happy so you do whats best for the group. If that means I carry a little more food or gear to lighten the loads of everyone else thats fine.

To get my wife to come backpacking we agreed that all she has to carry is her food, water and clothes and I will sherpa the rest. So if my pack ends up at 30 and hers is less than 10 and we have an enjoyable trip that is all that matters.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Ego on 08/22/2012 17:18:56 MDT Print View

"On a group trip you want to keep the group moving and happy so you do whats best for the group. If that means I carry a little more food or gear to lighten the loads of everyone else thats fine."

Of course, setting realistic expectations ahead of time and ensuring no one in the group is carrying a significantly heavier load than the rest (unless they simply choose to) works too......

Pete Acker
(pka45) - F
Wow! on 08/22/2012 17:33:13 MDT Print View

I'm surprised this bunch or granola-eaters contains so many hiking capitalists! ;) No, I don't frequently carry others' gear (except my wife's), but with my UL elk hunting buddies, when we hunt together, it makes sense. We can be more effective as a group, and they understand not to overpack, and we share a strong common goal (meat!).

When my brother-in-law struggled up to camp with a 50-lb load of pots and pans, crazy creek chair, and 4 changes of clothes, I in no way felt obligated to share THAT load.

Also, I certainly don't mean to make this post political. Just wanted to make that clear - these references to communism are absolutely tongue in cheek. I know on the internet sometimes one just has to come out and say that.

Pete

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Communists on Our Trails!! on 08/22/2012 19:39:16 MDT Print View

Pete:

I certainly didn't think you were espousing communism. I know it was 'tongue in cheek'. I am sure we all do. But some of us (me) can't help pitching in a couple of two-cents anyway. :)

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re "Anyone Practice Trail Communism?" on 08/22/2012 20:13:31 MDT Print View

Dena--Most people assumed the definition of communism in the communal sense, not the political sense, based off the responses. I did. It doesn't change the fact that I believe in personal responsibility. I'll help someone if they are injured or ill, but I'm not going to carry their load for them if they exercised poor judgment on their packing. That would merely be enabling them to do it again next time. Better they learn not to do that again. To me, that's rational. Conversely, if I'm the one who overpacked, I don't expect anyone to carry my load. I'll learn from it, and do better next time. If that means there are people that wouldn't want to hike with me, I'm good with that, because it doesn't sound like we would have compatible personalities.

If we were hiking together and you overpacked and didn't want help, I certainly wouldn't push the issue. But if you said to me you exercised poor judgement and were struggling, or if I asked b/c you seemed to be having difficulty and you admitted your error, I would absolutely offer. If a person is miserable from too much weight I think they've learned the lesson. I don't see where it's teaching personal responsibility to let someone else's trip be significantly compromised or ruined from something that is easily remedied. The only exception would be if this person were a repeat offender, in which case I still offer, but afterward decline to hike with that person again and tell them why if they ask.

If I'm with a group it's for sharing the experience with others (if I don't want that, I just go by myself) and it's no fun if someone is miserable.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Wow! on 08/22/2012 20:14:59 MDT Print View

Pete, I did suspect it was tongue-in-cheek, but it's a loaded word and can prime the responses a bit. :)

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: on 08/23/2012 11:28:30 MDT Print View

Some folks are cold blooded! If I'm hiking with my friends and someone has a heavy load for whatever reason, if I can help, I will. Who cares if it's their own fault, ignorance, or poor decision making. They're my friend. What kind of friend would I be if I couldn't do this small thing for them? Heck, even if it's a stranger I meet along the trail. Do unto others...yada yada.

Ryan

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Anyone Practice Trail Communism? on 08/23/2012 12:27:49 MDT Print View

Interesting question.

If someone were deliberately slacking or taking inappropriately taking heavy gear, then I'd probably let them suffer, but if it's a friend and I know they are being self responsible, heck yes I'll take on some extra gear to help them out and get everyone's pace matched. I've also helped out noobs in the middle of nowhere who were in over their heads (with a Thunderstorm bearing down on them at 12,000'/3650m elevation)

With my wife, we have a simple division of labor: I carry everything. :) But my wife is 98# (45kg) and 4' 11" (150cm) whereas I'm 220# (100kg) and 6'0" (183cm), and I hike somewhat regularly whereas my wife does not.

Some good friends of mine have stopped hiking with me because I've gotten so slow. Sigh. No "trail communism" there.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Hey Ryan on 08/23/2012 15:27:52 MDT Print View

Since you feel so strongly you have an open invite to carry my 30+ lb 2 year old on your back (him and his pack are around 45 lbs) and my 20 lb 6 month old on your front at the same time. Please, don't hesitate!

What? No takers? And yes, I have carried them both on my 5 foot 4 inch body. I don't expect anyone to carry them but me or my husband. It isn't being cold blooded, it is sheer reality. I chose to have large Scottish-descent children with a man a foot taller than me, rather than sire a couple of small, waif-like children with a tiny man. So .... to me it is like that - if you like heavy gear, carry it. Don't expect others to haul it. ;-)

Footnotes:
Expect for in the case of handmade fudge and other items. I am happy to make it, someone else is carrying that 2 lb brick for me ;-) For some reason I have no issues finding takers to do just that. Although wether or not there will be any left in camp is never known.
I nearly strangled Hoosierdaddy in 2009 when we got to camp and I found out why my pack felt heavier than I thought. In my quest to pee before we started he took the time to shove a freaking 6 pack of beer in my pack that I then carried the whole way. He thought it was hil-a-rious. I hate beer and was pregnant. Lol........

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Hey Ryan on 08/23/2012 16:37:24 MDT Print View

"I chose to have large Scottish-descent children with a man a foot taller than me, rather than sire a couple of small, waif-like children with a tiny man."


Wow.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Hey Ryan on 08/23/2012 16:38:16 MDT Print View

Hi Sarah,

Of course, you shouldn't *expect* anyone else to carry your load. That's not really my point. Sometimes people make mistakes or misjudge their capabilities. That doesn't make them stupid, that makes them human. It's gonna happen and "teaching them a lesson" doesn't somehow make me a better person. To me, carrying 5 lbs for someone is not a big deal. Opinions vary obviously.

So to answer your question - Yeah, if you're having a hard time, pass the kiddos. I'm one of those Scottish-descent kids all grown up at 6'4" 220lbs. That's my 5'5" wife in my avatar who was lucky enough to sire our two healthy 9lbs kids. She's a trooper.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 08/23/2012 16:42:06 MDT.