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FannyPack Ultralight
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Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Re: Re: re:FannyPack Ultralight on 06/10/2007 16:22:50 MDT Print View

Nope, no navigational gear necessary. Two of the group carried park trail maps, I have good knowledge of the park having been there many times, exceptionally well marked trails and trail divisions make normal navigation tools such as a compass dead weight.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:FannyPack Ultralight on 06/10/2007 17:54:21 MDT Print View

Hmm. Now its my turn to respectfully disagree. I think everyone should carry The Essentials, and that includes a map and compass. At least a coin compass and map copy in a zip lock.. Returning to the mention of our ancestors I made earlier, we have lost most of the skills in land navigation and survival they once had.
Pete, I know you hike in groups, but each hike is a chance for each member to improve land navigation skills with the compass and map in their hands. I've been on hikes where people left that stuff in their pack and the leader actually got lost(uh.. me) I occasionally lead my own small groups of newbies here, and now I hand out a compass, map, and whistle, (etc as needed) for each hike. Doing so reinforces the basic survival skill-
Determine your location if possible, then hike out if possible. If not stay put and signal for help.

Well; I can't fault Pete for omitting a compass unless I try this exercise myself, so I will look at my gear closet list and post my opinion what I think should be in a 600cu in overnight list.

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: re:FannyPack Ultralight on 06/10/2007 22:59:16 MDT Print View

I agree with you partially Brett. However, the intent of my course is not to instruct basic outdoor competency. Rather, I aim to teach my two principles of lightweight hiking, and then teach the skills which allow them to be excecuted(tarp pitching, nature management, clothing, multiple use, etc).

Navigation is not something I stress, due to its nonrelevance to the practice of saving weight, which is the purpose of the course. I stress the buddy system as much as possible--usually assigning tarp mates as buddies. With frequent checks, the rest of the group will quickly find out if someone is missing.

I have assigned whistles to everyone in the past, and may assign them in the future as well. Its kind of a borderline issue though---if someone does not have the presence of mind to get themseleves unlost in our locale, then they probably will not have the presence of mind to use that whistle effectively. I guess I have just been getting lax in this department because the buddy system works so well.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
buddy system on 06/11/2007 00:04:07 MDT Print View

Great point about the buddy system. Used it in the military, and still do.
And I see your point about location specific gear lists. Thanks for replying.

Edited by Brett1234 on 06/11/2007 00:17:27 MDT.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: re:FannyPack Ultralight on 06/11/2007 04:08:43 MDT Print View

would any of these folks feel comfortable enough to strike out on their own using these skills you have taught them? It might be a fun thing to have everyone pack UL and then hike as a group and one day split off and hike as solo for a day or two, meeting together on day 3. This way, they can decide for themselves what they need to tweak for future hikes elsewhere and solo. That false sense of security would certainly change while on their own and realize what you've been saying all along that each area dictates what to bring.

One person taught me something even being in a group: don't trust your guide. Be prepared for anything.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: FannyPack Ultralight on 06/11/2007 08:08:08 MDT Print View

And Roman didn't even get worn out when he brought up no map in a place never hiked : )

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
RE: group travel/groupthink/group safety on 06/11/2007 10:12:35 MDT Print View

A scout leader taught me their method for understanding group decisions such as "let's go out on the ice" or "let's put just a bit of white gas in a can and light it and play around with it". He said you take the IQ of the smartest person in the group, and divide it by the number of people in the group. This will give you the IQ of the group as a whole.

Granted, a group with a conscientious, thoughtful, and experienced leader like Pete will make good decisions. But in my experience, the maxim "safety in numbers" isn't always true. Sometimes it's "stupidity in numbers" and "safety in someone who knows what he's doing and can take control!"

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: RE: group travel/groupthink/group safety on 06/11/2007 11:43:05 MDT Print View


Too true. And group mistakes notwithstanding, far too often, groups get separated as well.

Folks who join up for these training courses are newbies or near-newbies by definition. The philosophy that certain gear can be life saving and carrying them trumps "UL bragging rights" any day should be emphasized and re-emphasized.

I really think that only after a few years of experience and real-life mishaps -- can newbies truly develop "field smarts". Until then, it's all theories inside their heads. Only after, can they discern intelligently what to bring and what to leave behind.

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Re: Re: re:FannyPack Ultralight on 06/11/2007 13:43:59 MDT Print View

Donna---The main thing I try and ingrain within the participants brains is to have a legitimate reason for each and every piece of gear. This prinicple alone saves pounds and pounds within the packs of most participants. After the adoption of this principle, we being the replacement of all items in the pack with ligher items. If a replacement requires a new skill to use, then we discuss it and practice until proficient. This takes longer than one would expect, as what I think the hardest skill to learn by far is tarp pitching.

Everyone who finishes my course is capable of carrying a sub 10 pound pack in typical 3 season conditions without extra training. Further refinements will require more research on their own and also have not been firmly established as solid, working ultralight techinques.

Solid Working, Easy to master technique---Pitching 8X10 tarp

Advanced Skill---Poncho tarp camping WITHOUT bivy

The participants bring minimal personal gear. We construct tarps and packs with duct tape and 3 mil plastic at the parking lot. Participants are thrown out of there comfort zone immediately and are forced to use a gear kit that often weighs 30 pounds less than they are used to. The course gives a steep learning curve to ultralight techniques. I try and choose weekends of expected rain(using, to maximize participants trust in the system they are using to stay comfortable which was constructed by their own hands out of minimal materials.

Two nights of this sort of activity requires hands on instruction, as some might need to pitch a tarp 20 times before getting the hang of it. I am with the group at all times to assist, and they usually need it. The group is using anywhere from 15-20 completely brandnew techniques that require a huge mental shift. Around evening the second day, we return to the cars to enable the participants to take any items they wish from their old packs. By this time however, the paradigm has been shifted, and very few, if any items, are added to the participants packs.

This single step reiforces the participant's confidence in gear decisions as they now have the option of preparing, with the addition of their old gear, for a night out in the woods.

I may not be around in the future, but the participants have already made the first, and hardest step to an ulralight way of thinking. The course gives me the opportunity to oversee this step, which results in success for the participants and does not allow them to make incorrect decisions that may result in ultralight failure.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: re:FannyPack Ultralight on 06/11/2007 14:07:33 MDT Print View

Mark Cole wrote: "I think Dale and especially Benjamin need a time out. A little too much criticism flying around."

I think I made a very straightforward statement of my opinion. Irrisponsible is a strong word, but to the point. I think it is very different when acting as a commercial entity rather than an individual. Once you go commercial (as in charging fees), then you enter into a realm of liability. As an indivual, it is just your opinion. I wouldn't allow Pete any more slack than I would Ryan Jordan. If Ryan wants to take off into the Arctic for an unsupported pack trip, so be it, but if he takes others on that trip for a fee, he would open himself to critical analysis and some consumer liability. Let me say too, that being critical is very different than name calling or questioning his personal integrity. Pete did present his kit in a forum designed for critque.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Re: re:FannyPack Ultralight on 06/11/2007 18:14:43 MDT Print View

Thanks, Pete. While I was out hiking the other day I was thinking about this entire topic. Because of where I live, a fanny pack for an overnighter wouldn't work, but...that's not to say most of what you had in yours wouldn't work either. My regular kit pretty much is close to that, with a few more 'comfort zone' extras, mostly for my slight fear factor being out alone as a woman.

As for learning about tarps, I pretty much had to teach myself. I figure I could do it in a pinch but not much more than that. Forget trying to use a rain poncho. The old style floorless Virga works much better for me. It would have been nice to fall upon a class such as yours, just to initiate newbies..and I consider myself one compared to the likes of Ryan and others in this forum. I generally read about it from others and then try it for myself.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: FannyPack Ultralight on 06/12/2007 11:18:43 MDT Print View


I hear what you're saying. Let me say you've made me see ways to lighten up, & most importantly, SHRINK, my kit.

I also hear what others are saying - and maybe I'm reading between the lines - but I truly gather from your posts that you ARE responsible and I can almost hear you telling your attendees what is good, bad, imcomplete about your kit for other conditions/locales/unknown trails,expereince level, etc......And I think you're saying your attendees get it beforehand or you wouldn't take them. Again, maybe I read too much between the lines - if so then everyone please forgive me.

Living in hot FL, I can't wait to try it in the fall.

Thanks Pete!

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: FannyPack Ultralight on 06/12/2007 11:49:47 MDT Print View

I borrowed my brother's MS fanny pack. Its the "Day" pack. According to Campmor, its 850 ci and 1 lbs 7 oz. I'll weigh it when I get home after work. (I see a whole bunch of things that could be modified to save some weight but will hold off since its not mine) I also made a Speer-style hammock this weekend and slept in it for a few hours Saturday night (I need to get some practice rigging it and getting into it). I'm going to try doing some trips with it and see how it works over the summer.
I played around with the fanny pack the other day and really liked not having any weight on my shoulders. My brother has used it on a number of day hikes and canoeing the boundary waters for a week. He says that it carries really well and doesn't bounce around nearly as much as he thought it would. It has the same hipbelt as my MS Phantom, which I love it for.


Michael Wands
(walksoftly) - F

Locale: Piney Woods
Come Hike in Texas!!! on 06/18/2007 14:25:50 MDT Print View

You folks need to come down to Texas and do a little 3-Season Hiking. Here is what you will find:

When it says that it is going to get down to 80* at night - that means that it will be in the mid-90's when you go to bed. You don't need ANY insulation. I sleep in shorts and short sleeve shirt with no sleeping bag or pad. Sometimes I wake up at 3:00 a.m. a little chilled. Then I sit up and smile!!!

I have a G6 pack and love it. Seldom get to use it because I can't even begin to fill up 2,000 ci unless it is the dead of winter. I normally go out for a long weekend with a 700 ci fanny pack and an over-the-shoulder one liter bota. Think about how much space you can save with no insulation - no sleeping bag, no jacket, no ls shirt, no fleece hat, gloves or socks.

The down side is that it does get warm and dusty. Warm even in the shade. Warm even in the water. Still, the Piney Woods of East Texas, the Hill Country of Central Texas, the Caprock areas of West Texas can be heaven on earth when you are on the trail.

Michael Mangold
(mkmangold) - F
Paring down the weight on 07/08/2007 15:41:20 MDT Print View

I've got the same lumbar pack and how I stock it is on other posts. However, I still carry a full size pack but have recently considered using just a day pack plus lumbar pack for all seasons. This means that my sleeping bag, pad, food, and spare clothes would go in the day pack. I like your attempt at getting down to basics but I think my basics are more extended.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Paring down the weight on 07/08/2007 17:37:08 MDT Print View

I'll be going out tomorrow night for a 2 day trip, with my lightest load yet to date/ 8.0 lbs with food + (2) 20oz bottles of water. This includes a 20oz BMW Cocoon 180 quilt, and a 9oz Titanium Goat Bivy.

Edited by mfog1 on 07/08/2007 17:39:34 MDT.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Re: Paring down the weight on 07/09/2007 06:36:29 MDT Print View


Let us know how your trip went!

Thanks, Todd