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The "I don't get it" thread
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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Windshirts and mosquitos; another use? on 03/10/2013 16:56:15 MDT Print View

Mary, you got me thinking with your comment on bugs and wind shirts...

One of the problems with some bug nets is that they are often small by design, whether it is to save weight and/or to fit under a tarp. So on those warm nights where you're not covered by a sleeping bag or quilt, you may have exposed skin that is touching the netting. Inevitably, mosquitos will find that spot and chomp away.

I'm thinking wearing a wind shirt to bed could prevent this along your arms and shoulders, which is where you're most likely going to be touching the netting.

Can mosquitos bite through wind shirts?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Windshirts and mosquitos; another use? on 03/10/2013 17:02:49 MDT Print View

"Can mosquitos bite through wind shirts?"

This one might be able to:


Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 17:06:20 MDT Print View

I don't get why people think it's so weird that I poop in my cook pot..... ok that one might have been too much.

What I don't get is down pants. I must have inherited some freakish genetic trait where my legs don't ever get cold, even in camp, but I doubt I'll buy a pair with the possible exception of boosting a sleeping bag's performance. I haven't been below -20* but to be honest, I don't really want to.

I'm also an Esbit fan. I find that I can heat up three cups of water with one tab sufficient for rehydrating food in my cozy and my morning coffee. There isn't anything to mechanically fail or leak. Altitude and ambient temperature do not appear to affect it from a heat source perspective. It's only .5 oz per tab and makes for a great emergency fire starter. The only ding I can give it is the residue (not a big deal), the smell (seems that people overreact to this), and the cost (expensive compared to Heet.) What I don't get is LNT! Why can't I clean the Esbit residue off on a marmot or a chipmunk..... ok that's probably out there flapping as well.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Esbit on 03/10/2013 17:15:38 MDT Print View

"I don't get why someone hasn't made a better Ti stove to use with Esbit."

Trail Designs has the Gram Cracker, which is an Esbit burner made of titanium. The wing stove is an Esbit burner and pot support. The Gram Cracker doesn't need more pot support since it is intended to be used within a Caldera Cone.


Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 17:16:04 MDT Print View

Anyone from da Yoop will tell you trolls live south of St. Ignace.

(ardavis324) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 17:17:58 MDT Print View

I don't get why so many are so disgusted with using Dr. Bronners as toothpaste. Considering all of the other ways we "rough it", this seems so peculiar to me.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 17:22:02 MDT Print View

'cause it tastes like soap. Made me wretch. No so great on grease either. I don't like how it thickens up when cold. All that ABC script is weird. Need more reasons not to go with Dr. B.? The tiny amount of toothpaste needed fo a trip is no burden.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Hand sanitizer/Esbit on 03/10/2013 17:29:06 MDT Print View

As usual, Dale has great technique:

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

As for the Everclear, there's yet another use--fill a small ethanol-based hand sanitizer (eg, Purell--70% EtOH) bottle half full, and add Everclear to fill up the bottle. Shake it well, and you have beefed up the ethanol concentration significantly (from 70% to over 80%), which adds extra firepower.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 17:30:16 MDT Print View

Don't bathe in the woods or need to wash dishes so might as well use real toothpaste.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 17:53:55 MDT Print View

I don't get why people take toothpaste.

I don't get why people can't just sleep on their back on a teeny torso length bit of foam.

I don't get Swiss army knives and their ilk.

On the other hand, I don't get fixed blade knives either.

I don't get tarps.

I don't get Aarn packs. Or LuxuryLite.

I don't get people who don't get windshirts.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 18:10:27 MDT Print View

Windshirts really hit home for me on one trip in the Alps in Switzerland when it was freezing and raining and my Montane Superfly eVent jacket started wetting out and leaking, even though I had recently washed and reproofed it. I was close to getting hypothermic. It got so bad that I decided to take it off and change to my Montane Lightspeed windshirt. It didn't repel the rain, but I immediately felt warmer. I walked for the rest of the day in the rain, wearing just a wool baselayer shirt, a microfleece midlayer, and the windshirt. Though I was wet, I was warm and the walking dried off any moisture next to my skin. And it dried so fast when I finally got into my shelter, that I was able to sleep in it. A wool t-shirt and windshirt are usually all I need when walking hard in the higher reaches, even when it is quite cold and windy. Just don an insulation jacket over it when taking rest breaks. That thin film against the leeching effects of wind makes a huge, huge difference. I now take a windshirt on every trip. I hardly ever use a rain jacket anymore, even in heavy rain, unless it is really cold. As long as I can can stay warm, and can dry fast, I'm okay.

The new Neoshells (I have a Rab Neo Stretch Jacket), look very promising, though. If they can be designed to be light enough, they could replace my windshirt and be waterproof at the same time.

I don't get wearing shoes without proper treads. Have the people who wear them ever slipped on wet rocks or trudged through mud?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 18:11:50 MDT Print View

I don't get 'it.' But I'm working on it.....

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Esbit on 03/10/2013 18:23:30 MDT Print View

I like esbit because you don't need a stove for it. You can just rig up something with rocks. I carry a few esbits as backups when I am mostly cooking over wood fires. If everything is wet and I don't want to deal with making a fire, I will just pull out an esbit. They also work well as firestarters.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Mitts again on 03/10/2013 19:46:59 MDT Print View

I don't get why people prefer them over gloves. Except in extremely cold temps, I haven't noticed any difference in warmth, and for everything else mitts just sacrifice dexterity.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Cameras on 03/10/2013 21:11:58 MDT Print View

I don't get viewing the scenery through a viewfinder. In the time it takes to compose and shoot a picture, I'll reflect on the scene, my thoughts, and feelings about it making it more memorable. I bring all my neurons with me and back again anyway, so there's weight penalty for memorizing things.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Cameras on 03/10/2013 21:20:44 MDT Print View

When you do it right, either with a camera or with a pen and paper (they are very different in execution), photography and drawing can bring an incredibly rich "seeing" of the world around you, mainly because you are intensely focusing on that. Good photography is not just snapping the camera. That's why great photographs don't depend so much on the camera, but on how the person with the camera is looking at things.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Cameras on 03/10/2013 21:28:13 MDT Print View

Plus it is nice to share your experience with others who did not go. or to look back and remember and relive it again. With experience you can start being selective with what you shoot. There are only so many mushrooms, "neat little waterfalls", flowers, ferns etc before you need to just let it go ;) but nice landscapes, portraits, fun summit photos etc

This shot sums up a lot of my Long Trail experience in one shot.

Edited by JakeDatc on 03/10/2013 21:29:55 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Cameras on 03/10/2013 22:04:59 MDT Print View

I flip flop on this one all the time.

First 10 years of my travel trips, I never took a camera. Very similar to what David Thomas wrote a few posts above.

Then the last few trips, I started bringing my camera. On some of them, I was really snapping away -- and glad to have it with me. On another one (two months' duration) -- I took exactly 3 photos.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Cameras on 03/10/2013 23:53:56 MDT Print View

I enjoy being able to look back at a trip through pictures, but I noticed that taking pictures constantly can kinda ruins the fun. Mostly I like to share the photos with others. It works well when you have a good photographer hiking with you that will do all of the work.

Edited by justin_baker on 03/10/2013 23:55:38 MDT.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
@ Jake Re: skin out weight on 03/11/2013 01:25:05 MDT Print View

How dare you question me!
Haha, just kidding.

Seriously though, here is my reasoning behind the idea:

1) Standard days - makes it easy to calculate your consumables, and since, as you pointed out, a 2 night trip will use the same base gear as a 2 week trip, it will be easier to base the standard on a shorter trip length, and one that is probably the most common.

This also helps account for weights that otherwise go unaccounted for. Say your baseweight is 10lbs, and my baseweight is 10lbs. But, you use esbit and carry 6 ounces of fuel for a 3 day trip, and I use a canister stove and carry 1 pound of fuel for a 3 day trip. See, right there is unaccounted for weights that are a big topic here, but don't find there way into baseweights. Same for guy who uses efficent alcohol stove vs. someone who uses super fast but fuel hog alcohol stove.

2) Water - while this won't be relevant to me and you comparing weights, since the water will be the same, it will help people who are new to backpacking, or just new to BPL compare to us. It will also be helpfull to those that don't own a gram scale, and don't know about

The whole idea behind my "standard" is that anyone and everyone can compare there "BPL standard" weight to someone else, and be comparing apples to apples. As it stands right now, you have people listing "baseweight", "skin out weight", "trailhead weight", "bone out weight", etc. etc.

With the "standard" any Joe Schmoe can step on a scale right before he leaves for a trip and have a good idea of how he compares to others, and where he falls in the traditional, UL, SUL, XUL scheme of things.

Another thing it would do is help account for different food preferences. Jimmy only eats olive oil and peanut butter and thus only carries 3lbs. of food for 3 days, while Rebeca brings two steaks, and a repackaged bottle of wine on a 3 day trip, and wonders why her trail head weight is 35lbs. despite her 10lb. baseweight. Well, with this system, she can better figure out where the extra weight is coming from.

Anyways, it's just an idea I had that would make things easier for people to get a better understanding of what they are actually carrying on the trail.

Maybe I should give this topic its own thread, if there is interest in discussing it further.