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Backpacking with heavyweighters
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Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Simple mind of Grog like pictures on 06/27/2013 12:56:08 MDT Print View

Iceland Lake should be beautifully bug-free, probably. The only meaningful mosquitoes we found west of Emmigrant Pass were around Blackbird Lake. An old mountan man we talked to on our way out was headed to Ridge Lake right next door and he knew his business. Snow should be a non-issue.

John Taylorson
(heyjt) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Backpacking with heavyweighters on 06/30/2013 23:56:55 MDT Print View

I just finished writing a trip report on my blog http://www.heyjt.com/blog/putting-minimal-to-the-test/

Being a Boy Scout leader and UL enthusiast, at times, places me in the ring with "heaveyweighter" who simply like their old gear of the 80s, 4-lb boots and 5-lb tents in sunny California weather. They continue to defend their weight and "lightweight" REI gadgets to the death. Since I am into Scouting, and often lead trips with the same men, I have an opportunity to "model lightweight" rather than lecture it.

It's amazing how some people come around without having to force UL on them. I am beginning to see guys show up with home-made alcohol stoves, trail runners and half the clothes they've brought in the past.

I've also come to peace with the fact that you will not convert everyone.

Great report!

jt

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Backpacking with heavyweighters on 07/07/2013 13:28:36 MDT Print View

Eric,
Very nice commentary about your trip anf the various backpacker approaches. Too bad you didn't get a "throw-back" hiker with only wool clothing who cuts fir branches with a hatchet for a shelter.

I have a few "unsolicited" suggestions for you and others (most reinforce what others have already said):
- Enjoy your hike with your friends and set your expectations appropriately.
- Pack in more treats (including liquid)
- Find some new friends who have similar UL views to get your occasional fix
- Offer to swap your pack with one of your buddies partway through the hike so they can experience the benefits of UL backpacking. Glen van Peski (who is a really nice guy) has reported good success with that approach.

Comments on the photos:
- Great shot of the little snow bridge.
- Bad sign-- you can't see the person's head from the back becasue of the pack size.
- Good sign -- you can't see the pack from the front because of the person wearing it.

Alex, kudos to you for clarifying your original comment. That's what I expect from a tight community like BPL. We're a passionate crowd, but basically good.

Tom

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Backpacking with heavyweighters on 07/07/2013 13:55:25 MDT Print View

"...and one of my friends proceeded to loudly make fun of my dirty girl gaiters..."

Good! You don't want other people to "get it". Otherwise everyone will have them. My favorite ones are bright yellow with a honeycomb and bees on them. When I wear them I feel a little like Michael Jackson the trail. I also have the ones with the grinning fish!

I have have it on good authority they scare bears away as well - though I think it may be a toss up for the honeycomb ones.


To the OP, I pretty much agree %100 with Nick's point of view. However, just as an experiment volunteer to switch packs with them for a mile or two. One of the guys that teaches the UL classes (think it was Mike C.) posted his comment that he always asked people that converted to UL when they decided they wanted to do so, and he was surprised that most said "about 2 minutes after I put on the pack". Definitely no proselytizing. However, if the subject happens to come up you can always say, "well, have a try for a bit".

Still, I think you should learn how to have a good time with your friends regardless. It shouldn't be an either or situation. If you take the attitude, like some, that it makes you angry or frustrated not going as far as you usually go, remember it works both ways - someday YOU are gonna be the slow one in the group. Also, being the only fast one makes YOU the squeaky wheel in this scenario, not them. ;-)

Edited by millonas on 07/07/2013 14:09:03 MDT.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Re: Backpacking with heavyweighters without preaching on 07/07/2013 17:29:38 MDT Print View

Like John, I'm involved in Scouts where many times Be Prepared is interpreted to mean "Have a lot of stuff" rather than "Know a lot of stuff"

In that context, here is a good role model opportunity, that avoids any preaching and keeps to what Nick posted.
This approach is similar to what David & Tom posted, and apparently to what Mike C & GVP do.
Wait until you're into a nice long uphill slog , stroll up next to the heavyweighter, complement his/her pack in someway (plush hip belt cushion, construction, etc.)and ask to try it out for a bit. Swap packs. After two to three minutes (or so), repeat the complement of the heavyweight pack (plush hip belt cushion, construction, etc.), but make a quick non-judgmental passing comment - saying you personally prefer the comfort of being lightweight and signal it is time to swap packs back ... that many times opens up a lot of questions & dialogue ... and if not, well then so be it: no preaching, just enjoy your friends.

Edited by tr-browsing on 07/08/2013 07:29:51 MDT.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
backpacking heavyweight on 07/07/2013 17:49:44 MDT Print View

Been there, done that with the heavyweighters.

Some wont listen at all.

Some will listen, agree, get excited, but still revert to old ways because they are scared. They always get blisters with their boots and heavy socks/liner combos but they are still too brainwashed to try something different.

I also do remember though when I was in awe that anyone could go out and hike 100+ mile trip. That seemed so outrageously long. LOL.

The wilderness really does gets small when you can lay down 20-25 miles per day.

Edited by livingontheroad on 07/07/2013 17:52:19 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Backpacking with heavyweighters without preaching on 07/07/2013 18:40:17 MDT Print View

"Wait until you're into a nice long uphill slog , stroll up next to the heavyweighter, complement his/her pack in someway (plush hip belt cushion, construction, etc.)and ask to try it out for a bit. Swap packs. After two to three minutes (or so), repeat the complement of the heavyweight pack (plush hip belt cushion, construction, etc.), but make a quick non-judgmental passing comment - saying you personally prefer the comfort of being lightweight and signal it is time to swap packs back"

Are you kidding? I don't want to carry someone's heavy pack, even for a few minutes :)

If you are hiking with friends, they will probably ask questions.


If there is NO discussion about gear consider it an extremely successful trip. The focus will have been on much more important matters than gear.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Backpacking with heavyweighters without preaching on 07/07/2013 19:15:39 MDT Print View

"If there is NO discussion about gear consider it an extremely successful trip. The focus will have been on much more important matters than gear."

Like how much your friends feet are hurting them?

But in all seriousness, I agree.