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Anyone Practice Trail Communism?
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Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Anyone Practice Trail Communism? on 08/31/2012 08:59:25 MDT Print View

I guess that depends on my oral hygiene while hiking..... :)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Anyone Practice Trail Communism? on 09/01/2012 17:57:45 MDT Print View

"I guess that depends on my oral hygiene while hiking"

I'm not gonna touch that one, Ken. ;0)

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
Anyone Practice Trail Communism? on 09/06/2012 14:56:54 MDT Print View

The thread has served to remind me that solo hiking is the best.

Paul Blamire
(blackmud) - F
Sharing Weight. on 09/19/2012 10:38:33 MDT Print View

I swapped packs with my BPing mate on a difficult uphill off piste very slow and very wet section of forest during a trip in Wales. His pack was much heavier than mine, he is much stronger than me and would usually be fine, but he was very ill, too ill to eat, and did the whole day on a few apples. He didn't ask, I offered, and he accepted thankfully. I was worried he'd lose his balance into an overgrown-with-moss partially hidden stream and never reappear.

Usually, though, we carry our own stuff, but we always stick together as where we usually hike is hardly visited by anyone, so paths are non-existent or often very difficult to find and a certain degree of winging it is required.

Bryian Sheets
Sharing weight on 09/23/2012 19:54:37 MDT Print View

I have a friend that I have backpacked with a few times, usually only for two nights out. On one of these trips, I was in peak shape and also at my lowest base pack weight, sitting around the 8lb mark. I try not to preach the light weight gospel to my friends(too much anyways), realizing that they can only work with what they have and what they can afford. So he ended up carrying between 45 and 50 pounds of gear and food.

On our second day of hiking, it rained for the entire 13 miles we covered, and upon reaching our destination for the day, my friend told me that he had decided if it was going to be any longer he was going to throw his pack down and just camp wherever. Luckily, we made it to our destination. He never mentioned his discomfort before we reached camp, but sang it loud and proud when we arrived.

Luckily, he still likes to backpack and he recently went on a 5 night/6 day trip with me. This time I felt obligated to bring my scale to his house and go through some gear choices. Oh what eye opener that scale was for him...

Jordo _99
(jordo_99) - MLife

Locale: Nebraska
Situational on 09/24/2012 11:56:34 MDT Print View

I don't have a problem so much with sharing weight and usually encourage it because I like to push myself and go quickly...Grabbing a few pounds from someone else allows me to push hard(er) without ditching my group.

It only gets frustrating when I go with someone who's clearly fit and takes advantage of my generosity so they don't have to carry as much...I have a friend who carries the same weight as the women when we go out (he carries a tent and food for 2 and that's it). At any point he'll be found dragging at the back regardless of being the strongest in the group...I'm pretty sure he just doesn't like to hike and comes along to humor his girlfriend who enjoys "couples hikes" with us.

Also, gets a bit frustrating with my dad who's got a bad back but is too stubborn/proud to accept my help until he's kept up the 2nd night because he can't get comfortable thanks to his back.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
The Virtue of Selfishness on 09/24/2012 16:31:23 MDT Print View

Like Ike, on almost every trip I've taken since 1965, I have carried everyone's gear. On the few exceptions the group size has exceeded 1, I practice the virtue of selfishness.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Anyone Practice Trail Communism? on 10/04/2012 09:19:27 MDT Print View

Yeah, I do. But, in the end, I think it all boils down to self-interest anyway. Watching someone struggling and not having fun ruins my fun. And if someone should get hurt or become incapable of going on, my trip would obviously be impacted. And I will do anything to avoid having to listen to whining. From my perspective, doing what I can to keep everybody happy and moving is well worth it.

Joe Bancks

Locale: Midwest
To each according to his ability? Wait, no... on 10/21/2012 01:21:13 MDT Print View

I skipped over pages 2 and 3, so apologies if this has already been covered.

Hm. Communism. It depends on how one views "communism." Pack weights (i.e., misery) distributed equally? Weight to each, according to his ability, weight from each according to his need?

For my part, I think communism isn't a helpful metaphor. Compassion at gunpoint isn't compassion. But since I travel backcountry primarily with family, we've found that the stronger carrying more, and the weaker carrying less, only fits.

The note about keeping one's own weights down, that you're able to help if needed, is a good word.

I grew up paddling the BWCAW with groups ranging from 2 to 10. We only ever had one food pack (a *gorgeous* Duluth Kitchen Pack, which I lost in one of my many relocations) which also contained the stove and fuel, and it sucked to be the guy schlepping the food pack on portages. Until the last couple days, then it was a coveted position.

I've carried two packs, one in front, one behind, many times. Life is a constant stream of opportunities to serve one other. Do I love my base weight more than I love you?

Lighting fires, making friends.