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The "I don't get it" thread
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Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 14:24:22 MDT Print View

"moving slow enough to find a rain jacket tolerable to wear as a wind shirt, I don't get it."


If the temps are right you can hike at a good pace with a thin shirt a light shell. Especially handy it the ol' 35*F and windy/rainy.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: I don't get it on 03/10/2013 14:36:02 MDT Print View

I don't get the "I don't get it" thread.
Different people, priorities, goals, activities, comfort levels, climates, and aesthetic values. What's to get?

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 14:49:01 MDT Print View

@ Aaron- I just don't understand why everybody brings sooo much crap with them when they go backpacking.

What specifically do you see on gear lists that people don't need.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
It's alive! on 03/10/2013 14:59:02 MDT Print View

Stephen - Thanks for your input on mitts. Seems like you really love them if you have so many pairs. Still not sure about them. I guess some people just really want dry and very warm hands all the time, or maybe have bad circulation, I guess.

Nick - You raise valid concerns. I was looking at my geargrams list of my new 1+ season list earlier today, doing some updates and such. I thought about the same things you brought up actually, about a lot of stuff being in my pockets, and that I wear heavy clothing for urban use all the time, etc. Because I tend to nerd out on things, I included in my gear list literally everything I plan on taking down to the last detail, other than consumables and clothing worn, and I am around 3.3kg/7.3lbs. Yet with a bit of "cheating" I could make this into a SUL gear list but stuffing a bunch of stuff in my pockets, or not counting things like my glasses, key chain, wallet items, rain jacket, minor consumables like lip balm and sunblock, etc. After I upgraded my clothing systems last year and did a few FSO weights, I feel much like you, that I am over it and will just stick to BW--but I just have to include everything that is not consumable or clothing. Plus I think it is fun to know exactly how much every little thing I carry weighs.

Ken - I am with you on Esbit. I think it's great as a back up or as a firestarter, but for me too many drawbacks for me to use. I am alcohol all the way, even in winter, though I must admit the gas users really shine in the winter.

Ike - Oh how delightfully post-modern of you. You will receive the fish as soon as my attorney gets "the" signal, and thank you for your "feedback."

EDIT: Yes.

Edited by PrimeZombie on 03/10/2013 15:02:57 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 15:01:38 MDT Print View

Alcohol stoves... slow, finicky, potentially messy... on paper the advantages can be nice but in practice i found mine annoying in the wind and slow even in good conditions.

give me my Optimus Crux any day.. 1 small fuel canister can last me 2+ weeks if needed and in 3mins i have boiling water enough for FBC. can be set up, boiling and taken down quick in any non freezing weather. i'll "spend" a few ounces for convenience.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: It's alive! on 03/10/2013 15:03:08 MDT Print View

Hi Cesar,

The MLD Mitts get used all year round, the fleece mitts from about 35f-20f, I use he other from 20f to about -10f, anything colder I would rather
be in the pub.

Cheers,

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 15:10:05 MDT Print View

"Alcohol stoves... slow, finicky, potentially messy... on paper the advantages can be nice but in practice i found mine annoying in the wind and slow even in good conditions. "

For one I will say that I mos def get using gas--as I just mentioned, in the winter they really are awesome. I somewhat recently wrote about why I prefer alcohol on my blog, forgive me for quoting myself:

(alcohol) is relatively cheap, very easy to find (virtually all gas stations and campgrounds in Sweden/Norway sell it), easy to use, easy to store (in various kinds of recycled plastic bottles), and when it burns it is quiet, nearly odor free, and only leaves small amounts of soot (if any).

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 15:21:58 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 23:08:00 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 15:22:59 MDT Print View

12oz bottle of HEET is $5 on Amazon.. 12 boils 4oz canister of isobutane is $4.5-5.50 and is 15+ boils. never leaks, never spills, boils 1.5c of water in 3 minutes.

I don't do overnights in winter so the cold disadvantages of canisters don't concern me

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
RE: skin out weight on 03/10/2013 15:25:07 MDT Print View

Travis and Aaron: Good points.

I also tend to count the actual backpack weight last, and it holds the least significance to me. I would much rather carry 30lbs that fells like 20, than 25lbs that feels like 25...

If I really want to save weight I could throw it all in a garbage bag and just carry it over one shoulder...

This is a big reason I am getting more and more interested in external frames. Especially now that I've realized they don't weigh any more, and sometimes less than internals, and carry more comfortably.

And, yes, what's the point of a 5lb base weight if you carry 25lbs worth of food, water, and alcohol. I think a good standard would be to compare the backpack trail head weight for a 3 day trip. I think that would be the most accurate way of comparing yourself to others, and establishing UL, SUL, and XUL definitions.

In fact, I would go on to say that the "standard" should be you skin out trail head weight for a 3 day trip minus your urban EDC weight. For arguments sake, we can say 2liters of water would be standard for calculation purposes.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 15:38:08 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 23:39:29 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: RE: skin out weight on 03/10/2013 15:40:50 MDT Print View

lol why should there be a standard days, water etc?

baseweight works well to compare because it is simple and universal. your baseweight is the same regardless of trip length, food preferences, water requirements, base clothing. The point is the compare minus variables.

this summer most of my gear was the same when i did a 2 day weekend trip as it was for an 18 day thru-hike

Edited by JakeDatc on 03/10/2013 15:43:55 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 15:54:40 MDT Print View

"I don't get it" often just means "I have not experienced that"
Quick example " I don't get why some complain about condensation in..." can simply mean " I hike where it is dry and windy or possibly I am much smaller/shorter sweat a lot less than the guys that complain".
To address the mitts thing, I use water proof (early Gore-tex) thin mitts by themselves or over my wool gloves because at just over freezing , say between 33 and 38f, rain is very cold . At those temps in the rain it is much more difficult to remain warm than at 25f.
(my wool gloves are part of my sleep system so I don't want to get those wet)
Wind jackets I don't use because rain is more of a problem for me than wind, so a wind jacket only, does not take care of rain (real rain...) whilst my rain jacket is good enough for me in the wind, however I am aware that others hike where rain is not much of an issue but wind is.
I have often addressed this point arguing at different times for the opposite point of view.
That is not to be contrarian but just to explain the different situations count for different solutions.
For example wood burning stoves.
Some don't get why not everybody is using them ( well you can't burn wood if it isn't legal or there is no wood to burn...) others don't get why they are used at all (that is because they hike (or camp) in forested areas where fires are not likely to take hold )
My point is that if you have only hiked in a somewhat similar climate (or under particular laws or lack of) all your life you will find it difficult to understand why others do it differently.

BTW, in Australia we get 95% Ethanol for about $3.50 a liter . Any supermarket will have that. So it works for me and my 550ml Caldera Cone kit...but no I don't use alcohol to melt snow.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: on 03/10/2013 15:55:22 MDT Print View

Well played, Cesar.
Seriously though, isn't it enough to have found the gear that works perfectly for you? There is no universal truth, and rarely is there common ground. We like what we like, period. Personal aesthetic is very much at the heart of gear selection. Unfortunately, some (not you) never get past the "this works well for me so it must work for everyone" mentality. This intolerance is usually covered up with the inevitable "Hike your own hike", which near as I can tell means, "your way is dumb, but whatever.."

That's why I say "Don't get it". You don't have to. Only the person carrying the gear needs to.

PS- Windshirts are da bomb

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Esbit on 03/10/2013 16:03:44 MDT Print View

Esbit is a good compact and stable fuel that can be used in many ways. You could use three rocks an an Esbit tablet if you needed to. I use a tiny Ti wing stove, aluminum foil winscreen and a small Ti cup for my most minimal kitchen.

The easy way to start Esbit is to put a dab of alcohol gel hand cleaner on it and give it a spark.

I carry several tabs in an aluminum can with a screw cap. Keeps the smell at bay

Esbit soot comes of easily with a good old steel wool Brillo pad. I carry my pot in a ziplock and clean the soot at home.

I don't get why someone hasn't made a better Ti stove to use with Esbit. Esbit has marketed some hard anodized aluminum pot and stove combos, but they walk away from the simplicity of the stamped steel stove design from WW2.

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/10/2013 16:08:15 MDT.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: re: on 03/10/2013 16:13:04 MDT Print View

"Seriously though, isn't it enough to have found the gear that works perfectly for you? There is no universal truth, and rarely is there common ground. We like what we like, period. Personal aesthetic is very much at the heart of gear selection. Unfortunately, some (not you) never get past the "this works well for me so it must work for everyone" mentality. This intolerance is usually covered up with the inevitable "Hike your own hike", which near as I can tell means, "your way is dumb, but whatever.." "

Good points. I suppose I am just always curious about how other people do things, and always looking to learn from different perspectives.

I always work from the position that I don't know anything, even with things I am familiar with, as it forces me to re-evaluate things.

I have a friend who is a hardcore bushcrafter type guy. We will meet up several times a year for excellent overnighters, did one just last month. He has this massive pack, must be like 80 liters, and he takes lots of stuff and lots of weight. Yet we learn from each other, always. His camp coffee is the best I have ever had out in the wild, and the best I can do is tea (which while not bad, is nothing compared to his freshly ground gourmet coffee).

The moment you think something is perfect is the moment that learning and experience stops for that thing or idea.

:)

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 16:17:17 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 23:47:36 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 16:35:44 MDT Print View

Sometimes an "I don't get it" situation can be a challenge to try something new!

The wind shirt, for me, was a case in point. I never figured I'd need one until I spend an unusually warm day in Wyoming's Wind Rivers fighting off horseflies and deer flies, which gleefully chomped me through my Permethrin-sprayed shirt as though it were an appetizer. (I since read the fine print on the Permethrin label and discovered it's not supposed to be effective for flies.) What I really wanted after that experience was a suit of medieval armor, but I figured that would be a bit too heavy. I noticed the critters weren't biting through my closer-woven nylon pants, so I decided to try a wind shirt, an item I had always thought was completely unnecessary. I got one, and lo and behold, it kept the flies off--no need for that suit of armor!

That was almost 5 years ago. Since then my wind shirt has become the most versatile garment I own, and I'd never, ever go out without it. It's the garment I most often put on during rest stops--in summer it's all I need, although I do take a puffy jacket for cold evenings and mornings. It's what I wear around camp when the temp is in the 60's, a little cool for shirt sleeves but not warm enough for a puffy. When it's cold and windy but not rainy, it's the layer i wear for hiking. Just the wind shirt over a baselayer top (plus lightweight liner gloves and a headband) will take me down to 20*F as long as I'm actively moving. It has to get below 20* before I need even a lightweight mid-layer. Out here in the PNW we occasionally get days that are foggy with a bit of drizzle, not enough for a rain jacket. The wind shirt is just right for those conditions, too.

I can say the same thing for trail runners instead of Goretex-lined boots and for trekking poles. I had to go through a kicking-and-screaming protest (mentally, anyway) before I could be persuaded to try either of them. Once I tried them, I was sold and never went back.

Of course if you try something and it doesn't work for you or still seems unnecessary, then there's certainly no reason to use it. Not everything works for everybody. I'm that way with a quilt instead of a sleeping bag. HYOH and YMMV and all that!

You don't have to spend a bunch of money, either. If you don't own a nylon windbreaker, look for one at a thrift shop. Ditto ski poles if you want to try out trekking poles. Try them on dayhikes or overnighters, where a little extra weight is no big deal. If you like them, then buy the lightweight versions. If you don't, just donate them back to the thrift shop (tax deduction).

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: I don't get it on 03/10/2013 16:46:42 MDT Print View

It's the new Chaff, kinda.

Could have called it the This don't work for me, but you seem OK with it thread.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Thanks dale! on 03/10/2013 16:50:39 MDT Print View

"That's a great idea for starting the esbit. Plus the hand sanitizer is dual purpose now."

Everclear is even more multi-purpose :)

I count the hand cleaner as part of my emergency supplies for fire starting. You can set it off with a dead Bic lighter that still has the spark wheel operating or *one* match. The weeniest spark from a firesteel will set it off. Could save your bacon if your hands aren't working well.

Alcohol swabs from your first aid kit can work the same way.