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King of Denial
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Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Philosphy on 01/04/2013 14:11:48 MST Print View

I have always thought that the value in the BPL "Philosophy" was the thoughtful evalution of what you carry and challanging the sacred cows of things you need to bring.

This approach can be calibrated to your goals be they more comfort in camp or more miles on the trail. But the approach of evaluating your needs, finding the lightest version that meets you needs, and find multiple use items where possible.

For me the biggest change in mindset was going from "This doesn't weigh much so I might as well toss it in" to "I will use this item for this purpose so I have chosen to add this much wait because it is worth it." That mindset is independant of your goals.

My latest addition to my gear kit when I am not cranking out miles is a 24 oz REI folding chair. It has officially brough me over the 10lb mark again but on trips where I will be doing more sitting it is fantastic. But it is the lightest 4 footed seat with a back rest that doesn't rely on a sleeping pad so in my mind fits in with the UL mindset even though it is a pure luxury item.

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
The "Light" Experience on 01/09/2013 00:08:28 MST Print View

To me backpacking light and the progression of change that I go through as a result of the changes in my mindset is what is most important to me, and not what is in my pack. It makes me reevaluate how different percentages of "things", "experiences" and "knowledge" either improve or make my life worse.

Through backpacking light and the philosophy behind it, I feel that I can improve my life by adjusting my perception of what is really important. Ultimately it's about looking inward. Sure, I change and acquire new things along the way...but I now make sure they have a purpose, if not multipurpose that is clearly defined, understood and applied. Living without purpose is not living at all.

Life is about choices. Be they good or bad...we must learn along the way and always adjust, so that we do not do ourselves, others and our short time here a disservice.

I live "light" so that I may experience "heavy". It is myself that I should be happiest with...not the opinion of others. The things in my pack (or lack thereof) are only a means to a better life experience.

KJ

Edited by f8less on 01/09/2013 09:32:38 MST.

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Re: The "Light" Experience on 01/09/2013 08:36:07 MST Print View

So what would you call the "philosophy" of "backpacking light"?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Add on 01/09/2013 08:58:11 MST Print View

Addiction to cool gear, but mainly for me it's about finding the right tool for the job.

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: The "Light" Experience on 01/09/2013 09:29:50 MST Print View

Harrison

Looking inward to challenge ones self to question how knowledge and things affect ones life experience, then learning to adjust to be more with less of the physical things that demand so much of our time and attention, so that we may direct more of that attention to the overall experience that we are capable of.

KJ

Edited by f8less on 01/09/2013 09:30:30 MST.

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Add on 01/09/2013 09:37:06 MST Print View

Michael

Yes, it's it about the right tool for the "job". But what is the overall goal of said "job"? What is it you are looking to achieve? In my mind, that is what should be steering your choices.

KJ

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Not philosophy, but... on 01/09/2013 17:35:47 MST Print View

I like "learning to adjust to be more with less of the physical things," but that's not so much a philosophy as an educational goal. On the other hand, "be more with less" has an intrinsic value in it.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Add on 01/09/2013 22:09:03 MST Print View

Kenneth,

I think the right tool for the job depends on hiking conditions. If im doing my usual fastpacking then I probably dont need to bring my 3 man dome tent. But if were just hanging out and car camping then the heavy tent is fine. I think its fine to be super picky with weight, my body will thank me for it (im only 25 though).

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Backpacking? on 01/17/2013 19:34:03 MST Print View

Huh, I don't know what you guys are quibling about. I've watched enough Bear Grylls to know that you don't really even need a backpack to go backpacking. Instead of reading a book, you spend your spare time building shelter, fire, and finding food. And I'll bet he has more 'bag nights' (minus the bag) than even TiPi. However, I will point that Bear rarely appears to be enjoying himself.

I like it all. I like camping, as long as it's somewhere remote and away from other people. I like zero days. I like challenging hikes where you get to camp, eat and fall into bed. I like long winter nights where there is plenty of time to read a book. I like long summer days where there is enough daylight to stop and enjoy a soak in a cool lake, or have a mid-day siesta out of the heat of the sun. Sometimes, I like to just sit and contemplate the wilderness. I like to botanise, listen to birds, hunt for cool mushrooms to photograph. These things are best done at a slower pace and in fine weather. If the weather is terrible, I like to get to somewhere I can set up a tent and take shelter as fast as I can. I certainly don't care what others call my activities. They can call me a lightweight (though not UL) backpacker, call me a camper, call me a dawdler, call me a superfluous Kindle carrier, or whatever. I also like day hikes, where I still carry a backpack, it just has less weight in it. I do what I enjoy, and mostly enjoy what I do, and that is absolutely all that matters. Honestly, the move to a lighter pack has made no difference to how far or fast I hike. It makes no difference to the number of bag nights I score. It just makes my pack more comfortable, which enhances my outdoor experience no matter what mode I am hiking in. I don't know why TiPi likes to hang out on this board, but if he really feels that lightening his load would not in any way enhance his outdoor experience, then just ignore him. I'm sure there are plenty of guys left in this pursuit who like their perceived machismo of carrying very heavy loads. Makes them feel like a real man or something maybe. If that's what enhances their outdoor experience (feeling manly) then I have no problem with that. However, it is not the kind of bravado that would impress this chick, as I prefer a guy with brains AND brawn, not just brawn, so carrying 8 books when one e-reader would do the job for much less weight would just seem dumb to me, and I would snicker behind that guys back at how dumb he is. There are much lighter sources of fire-lighting than books!

Peter Evans
(NLslacker)
New forum member... hi! on 02/14/2013 22:59:30 MST Print View

"However, it is not the kind of bravado that would impress this chick, as I prefer a guy with brains AND brawn, not just brawn, so carrying 8 books when one e-reader would do the job for much less weight would just seem dumb to me, and I would snicker behind that guys back at how dumb he is. There are much lighter sources of fire-lighting than books!"

I just joined this site... now I wonder why I did.
There seems to be a lot of snarky elitism and a kind of orthodoxy that really surprises me.
I thought it was free spirits who go for long treks in the woods... chill out folks!

I am as guilty as anyone else here of fetishizing the gear too much, but at the end of the day, isn't it about getting out and seeing more of the world? If someone else's hiking philosophy irks you so much, you probably need to get out for a walk.
I've carried many books into the wilderness and burned their pages as I go, this is old-school ultralight.. respect that.
Kindles didn't exist when I started doing it, and I don't think the world is a better place now that they are here.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: New forum member... hi! on 02/14/2013 23:27:39 MST Print View

>"I just joined this site... now I wonder why I did."

There is a seasonality to the snarkiness. People have been inside too long, not taking enough trips, and not getting enough sunlight. I joined last winter and sometimes had the same reaction. In a few months, moods improved as more people get outside.

Also, as you learn your way around the threads, you'll learn that certain threads go in predictable directions ("What to carry for bear protection?") and you can read, contribute, or ignore the whole thing - whatever works best for you.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: New forum member... hi! on 02/14/2013 23:46:55 MST Print View

Yes, these forums definitely have a personality. Or many different ones...

The snarkiness usually surfaces when new people extol their knowledge and opinions as if they wrote the book on backpacking. Or they are shady in a Gear Swap transaction. Or they have a big pointy bug up their butt for no reason than to stir up an argument on the forums.


There's a sense of seniority, mostly unspoken, but people know. Some people also know who they can talk to in a certain way without offending them. Lots of us often "berate" or make fun of others, knowing full well it will be taken in jest. It just matters who. There's also a lot of well intended sarcasm. A lot.


All in all, this is a great group of people. There's just a lay of the land, so to speak.


(this entire post is my own personal opinion)






Oh. Just don't talk to Douglas Ide. Nobody talks to him.

;)

Edited by T.L. on 02/14/2013 23:51:22 MST.

Peter Evans
(NLslacker)
All good :) on 02/15/2013 00:29:08 MST Print View

I'm a bit stir crazy myself... Long old winter. I've learned a few good things on this site already.
I'm gearing up for a bucket-list summer of backpacking (revisiting a passion from when I was younger).
Trying to come up with the ultimate kit is what we all seem to be trying to do, but is there really an ultimate kit?
There are so many trade-offs and preferences, and we all hike in different conditions. Weather can be appalling where I live so my UL kit is going to weigh a bit more than someone in sunny So-Cal.
Ultimately this is the internet, feathers will be ruffled, nature of the medium I guess.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: All good :) on 02/15/2013 00:48:59 MST Print View

There IS in fact, an ultimate kit.


The one that makes you happy. And no one can tell you differently. Seek advice; but recognize your own needs and contentment.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: All good :) on 02/15/2013 11:28:37 MST Print View

"There IS in fact, an ultimate kit. The one that makes you happy."
--T-Funk, 2013

But what if the only thing that makes me happy is knowing my kit is lighter than your kit?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: All good :) on 02/15/2013 11:59:32 MST Print View

Mommy!! Erik is being mean again!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: All good :) on 02/15/2013 12:11:50 MST Print View

"Erik is being mean again!"

Again? When did it stop? ......

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: All good :) on 02/15/2013 13:19:07 MST Print View

"There IS in fact, an ultimate kit. The one that makes you happy... "

Not when our happiness is continually being whipped around by new gear, fantastic sales and all that...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: New forum member... hi! on 02/15/2013 16:19:50 MST Print View

"Oh. Just don't talk to Douglas Ide. Nobody talks to him.

;)"

Except Doug. ;0)

Nelson Sherry
(nsherry61)

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Re: Light is smart, it's superior. on 02/17/2013 11:28:32 MST Print View

There are two big reasons I rebelled against and condemned church throughout much of my life:
1) Most horribly, it takes up a weekend day that can otherwise be spent hiking or climbing or skiing or bicycling.
2) Any time there is a group of people all in the same room (or internet forum) that share similar values, they tend to get arrogant and righteous about their views, thinking that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

I have no use for either of the above two listed impediments to my spiritual growth.

THANK YOU BPL for being a caring and encouraging community that has managed to temper their righteousness and encourage weekend adventure . . .

Now, quit spending so much time focused on and chatting about gear, go truly ultra-light, get naked and go out and experience the wilderness like God intended. ;)

Edited by nsherry61 on 02/17/2013 11:32:33 MST.