Ultralight and the 10 Essentials
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Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
With Dale on 06/06/2013 10:31:03 MDT Print View

"
Au contraire! My point in starting this thread is that there are so many threads and even BPL articles that advocate using windshirts in lieu of rain gear, leaving out navigation gear and shelter, ineffective cutting tools and lighting, first aid kits stripped to uselessness, and so on. And there are thousands who read these forums without posting gear lists, so that is no measure of the knowledge and skills of the readership, aka "the choir.""



I am with Dale on this.

Edited by Kat_P on 06/06/2013 19:29:24 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 06/06/2013 11:02:32 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/08/2013 18:29:56 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 06/06/2013 11:08:16 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/08/2013 18:33:07 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sorry, this is what we do to a bully on 06/06/2013 11:14:48 MDT Print View

Just use the ignore button on your keyboard. Sometimes the nerds just get... nerdy!

The forums are more fun if everyone stays on message and polite. I've committed the same sin and regretted it.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: I'm advocating for gear choices... on 06/06/2013 18:39:07 MDT Print View

"But I'm talking about taking it to the next level. We keep hearing about folks getting lost out there. I could argue back and forth all day long about personal responsibility. But let's get practical. How much tax payer resources are spent bringing these folks in? How much $$ would be saved if they didn't get lost in the first place. Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would use common sense, research, prep, know what they're doing. But that's not happening and people on BPL seem to get discouraged. Like there's nothing we can do. They ( the lost hikers ) aren't listening. They ( the lost hikers ) can't be helped. Let darwin's rule fix it? That's an expensive solution. Maybe if we send them ( the lost hikers ) a message in a different way? hence, the compass whistle paper map idea."

Daniel - From the tenor of your rap, you've been smoking some bad sh!t. Maybe it's time to spend more of your hard earned cash on upgrading your weed and less on redundant gear for hapless hikers in need? ;0)

Peace, love, dove, you happy hiker, you.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re:The unprepared masses. on 06/06/2013 19:26:03 MDT Print View

I don't buy the "joy of helping others" as a backpacking goal or personal attribute. I am out there to HMOH, not to help others, teach others, introduce others to backpacking, spread the UL gospel, or enhance the common good of all who enter the wilderness. It is my responsibility to carry all necessary essentials to ensure I am safe. What others choose to do, or not do is none of my business. I will assist others who are in danger or hurt. If I meet someone on the trail I am not going to engage them to measure their level of preparedness. I am not going to talk to them unless they start a conversation, which I will cut short unless they need help. I go to the wilderness to enjoy solitude, not socialize with others. If I wanted to talk to a bunch of people I would go to Walmart. There are probably a lot of Walmart shoppers who need help too, so for those who want to help others, head on over there :)

A huge +1 Well said Nick. I could not agree more.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re:The unprepared masses. on 06/07/2013 07:50:03 MDT Print View

Another + to both ken and nick.

I help people for a living. It makes me feel wonderful, and very few things in life are as satisfying as that.

HOWEVER, I also have a major intolerance for incompetence, and the one time I had to call EMS on the trail only ticked me off, it didn't make me happy at all.

I had had hip surgery that spring, it was my birthday trip and I had taken 2 days off work to make a nice 4-day weekend to take my first hike since my surgery. I was thrilled!!

There were 5 of us going...including a 14 year old who was on her first backpacking trip.
And there was Margie. She was a 65-year-old retired school nurse who was also a diabetic. Apparently she had been in a car accident earlier that week when she accidentally accelerated her car into a bank wall, but never bothered to tell us. She also was carrying not only the 10 essentials, but both a tent AND a hammock (she wanted to try it out), and obviously a great deal else, all in a pack that was easily as big as she was. And nearly as heavy; I couldn't lift it out of the back of the van to get my pack. She wanted everyone to wait for her while she rested every 20 feet, to have people help pull her up steps that she couldn't step up (because her pack was so heavy)...

Long story short, she started having trouble right away - but didn't really say anything - I waited for her at the top of a climb (the others had hiked ahead), had a snack, read a book, napped...then a gentleman came up to tell me that my "friend" had fallen off the hill. She was ok, but needed help.

So, I hiked back down the hill, goaded her back up (the closest road was ahead of us), and after much argument just ended up calling 911. She was having a stroke. By the time I called, it was 6pm...we had been hiking for 10 hours and had only covered 4 miles.

Needless to say it was a huge damper on our trip, the 14 year old was pretty upset, and the whole thing pretty much ruined my birthday weekend. Of course I was going to help, but wow she should have never gone with us.

Moral of this story?
A) be VERY careful about who you let join you for trips
B) some people need to find different hobbies

A few years later do I feel good about this? Not at all. I'm still angry at her for putting me in that situation, and now I can no longer just go on any hiking trip that comes up...I've become a hiking snob and now I'm very, very picky about who my companions are.

And I really, really need to just make myself go on a solo trip. Just me and the pooch........

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re:The unprepared masses. on 06/07/2013 09:22:46 MDT Print View

Jennifer,

I just learned the hard way about having an open and honest communication with new hiking partners as well. Last weekend I went on a 22 mile (total) there and back hike with a couple guys in the North Cascades. I've hiked with one of them before but not the other. The new hiker had previously suggested hiking the Hoh River Trail so I made the assumption that he was up for hiking 11 miles into the woods.

Since we were in the N. Cascades NP, we had to reserve our campsites at the time we received our permit. We looked at the options and I casually asked if camp such-and-such looked good and received a mumbled affirmative. Since we were all nursing mild hangovers I didn't read too much into it.

Six miles into the hike, he explained how he previously had knee surgery and that a shorter hike into the woods would have been a better fit for him. We had a climb of 1200' in less than a mile which got everyone's heart rate up (first trip of the year so cut me some slack) but was really bad on his knee. We made it to camp with a dark cloud hanging over our heads and some resentment. An hour later, we had a campfire going, hot chow in our bellies, and everything was once again ok in the world.

So lesson learned. If I ever find myself in that position again, I'm definitely going to make sure that everyone voices their expectations and limitations. I expect some mild suffering from time to time when backpacking but I now understand that other people have different expectations.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Apples and oranges on 06/07/2013 09:33:39 MDT Print View

Helping someone out on the trail is a completely different issue than choosing the wrong backpacking companions. One is as much to blame for heading out with a problem hiker, as the problem hiker him/herself; part of being prepared and doing the homework.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Apples and oranges on 06/07/2013 09:43:48 MDT Print View

I completely agree with you Kat which is why I shared my experience. I spent my time worrying about my gear/capabilities and failed to do my homework about my hiking companion. I made a mistake and have learned from it.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Apples and oranges on 06/07/2013 09:53:24 MDT Print View

Normally I would agree with you...but this person had been hiking with us before, she was bragging about all the weight she had lost, what great shape she was in, and had just come back from a rim to rim hike with her grandson and said she felt great.

This was someone who I knew should have known better, but because she didn't want to back out of the hike she just kept all the other stuff to herself. She had a massive blood clot in her leg from the accident (which she told no one about) and that is where the stroke came from.

I was angry with myself for not recognize her issues sooner in the day, but I was also trying to enjoy my own hike...and was reluctant to pull the plug on the trip for everyone...and selfishly myself.

Needless to say, this trip did change the way I choose my hiking partners.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Apples and oranges on 06/07/2013 09:54:03 MDT Print View

I prefer hiking solo. Walking to someone else's pace is not my cuppa tea. Hiking with my wide is fine, but I have 29 years practice :) Going with a group would make me crazy.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
Re: Re: Re: Apples and oranges on 06/07/2013 10:44:15 MDT Print View

I prefer hiking with people but the people I go hiking with are typically much faster than me so I end up hiking solo. I have many injuries that slow me down. but hiking solo is about a thousand times better than no hiking at all.

BTW Daniel I told you many people feel the way I do about having to help people on the trail. Most of us are out there on what little free time we have and though it might be selfish we do not want or find pleasure in cancle/changing a trip we have been looking forward to and planning for weeks/months because other people decided to be irresponsible.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
UL and the 10 Essentials on 06/07/2013 11:29:36 MDT Print View

I used to be gung-ho about helping people, when I was younger.

Here I am leaving my yard for a day hike in 1982,

leaving for day hike

carrying the bare essentials needed to support a small village attacked by a fire breathing dragon.

Provided the dragon has left the area of course. Obviously, because of brave explorers that have raided the dragon nests for the gold, I don't need to carry quite as much these days, and I am very thankful for THAT !

In any case, the older I get, the more I feel like providing assistance to the non-injured, or barely scratched robs them of the experiences that made me feel like providing assistance to the non-injured, or barely scratched is the wrong course of action.

Being very scared that death is close is a beneficial experience that takes the invincibility out of a person. 99% of the idiots in the backcountry have not been close enough to death to know better, and don't know anyone that has been.

Experience and success are the greatest teachers, jumping in too early robs people of both.

--G.B.--

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Re: Apples and Oranges on 06/07/2013 11:33:21 MDT Print View

"And I really, really need to just make myself go on a solo trip. Just me and the pooch......."

There you go. But don't make the mistake I made this morning. I said "Wanna go backpack?" and he was bouncing off the walls. Then I tried to explain that we weren't actually leaving for 6 hours. He knows a lot of words, but isn't so good with sentences.

I prefer to go with just my dog but also enjoy the company of others when the occasion arises. But the dynamic of the two types of trips are sure different.

A long time ago on a trip to Yosemite with two friends, one of them broke through the snow and stepped into a small stream as we were getting close to camp. He didn't mention it and after dinner went into his tent right away. The next morning he mentioned that he had done so because he was shivering and it took quite a while to stop after he was in his bag. My other friend and I both said that was information he should have shared when it happened, not the next day. And we agreed to share such information in the future. 2 days later he slows way down and when I asked if he was OK, he said his pack, which he had not used in a long time, was not fitting properly and it was rubbing his hip raw. Again, this was something he should have brought up right away so we could possibly have dealt with it. Swapped packs or fashioned additional padding, etc. Now it was a significant issue. In the end, all was fine, but I'm a stickler for discussing any known issues before going with a group. ANd making sure everyone will share info the group should be aware of on the trip and not worry about being a burden or thought of as a complainer.

As for the original topic. I carry the 10 essentials on any significant day hike and always while backpacking. Even if I'm going to someplace I really know well, I bring a map. One reason is, I just like maps. And I do bring extra paper copies and have given them out often. I consider people asking questions like, how far is it to xyz, is the the xyz trail, where are we, to indicate they want help. :) I offer to show them on their map. And when they say they don't have one, I show them on a copy and give it to them. Hopefully, that drills home a lesson that they should carry a map in the future.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Apples and Oranges on 06/07/2013 15:10:28 MDT Print View

The tough-guy-he-man attitude gets guys in trouble. It's okay to ask for help with a load rather than injure your back, or as in this example, letting others know you are injured. And then there is the classic, not asking for directions :)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Who is 'SnapJudgment' ? on 06/07/2013 15:32:01 MDT Print View

Me.

The more I hear about Jennifer, the more I like her.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Apples and Oranges on 06/07/2013 17:27:02 MDT Print View

So here are the two images stuck in my head after reading this thread:

There's the one image of the BPing do-gooder skipping down the trail in a tutu and wand who approaches any hiker experiencing any level of discomfort to sing them songs of rainbows and gumdrops.

Then there's the other image of the cantankerous hiker with the Marlboro hanging out of the corner of his mouth who is constantly screaming at birds and squirrels "quit making all that effing racket I'm trying to enjoy my effing hike" who then passes by a hiker who is holding his intestines in his hands following a vicious marmot attack who then screams "Sucks to be you mofo!"

While I can only speak for my small neck of the woods, I suspect (and Nick confirmed) that backpacking isn't quite this bi polar.

Back to whatever this topic has evolved into.... have a nice weekend folks. It's probably nice outside.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Apples and Oranges on 06/07/2013 17:39:22 MDT Print View

I must be a tough audience, because rarely do I find posts to be funny (even when they attempt to be). But Ian, you got a laugh out of me. Nicely put.
+1

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Who is 'SnapJudgment' ? on 06/08/2013 09:06:02 MDT Print View

Thanks Ken :)

And to think that's your judgemental take. I'm honored....