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Bas Hommes
(BHommes) - M

Locale: Europe
UL positive feedback system on 12/13/2013 14:39:48 MST Print View

I started going ultralight only 2 months ago: I bought a light pack. Shortly after that trailrunners. And soon also I started leaving a lot of things out. Then I discovered how the getting lighter itself makes more getting light (in this first phase at least). One can get rid of even extra weight; some extra weight loss because of the weight loss. It is like a Positive Feedback system.

I suspect this to be known within BPL. Still I like to show the rudimentary picture about UL backpacking that came into the noob mind. The picture is not in any way complete; it shows the concept. I wish I had better drawing skills. Please feel free to expand / improve / make nicer / tell me it is nonsense.

UL positive feedback

(edit: improved readability of items in picture and made URL work)
(edit2: removed the less food part as well as light clothing)

Edited by BHommes on 12/26/2013 09:35:46 MST.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Positive Feedback System on 12/14/2013 11:46:45 MST Print View

I believe Ray Jardine comments about this way back when.....

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: UL positive feedback system on 12/14/2013 12:45:25 MST Print View

Have you read this?

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/decision_making_lightweight_pack.html#.Uqy1MJFd0m0

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: UL positive feedback system on 12/15/2013 10:54:53 MST Print View

It's definitely a cascading effect. People often remark on here that the numbers are arbitrary (and that we talk too much about gear) but I can say that the increased distances I can hike with my lighter backpack are not.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: UL positive feedback system on 12/15/2013 12:44:46 MST Print View

And to make Ian's example of light weight = more miles more explicit:

light weight - more miles - fewer days between resupplies - less food weight - more miles - wash, rinse, repeat.

And then's there's the shorter cycle of less weight - work less - sweat less - carry less water - back to less weight

Depending on the setting, the great mobility can let you get out of a high-elevation stretch or otherwise find a good setting to camp in which your lightweight shelter and sleep system work well.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
UL positive feedback system: the dark side!!! on 12/17/2013 18:04:47 MST Print View

it sounds like a uncontrolled feedback loop...

I leave this as a warning for those who come to this website in the future and find no one here. We all started down the UL path and kept getting lighter and lighter until we ceased to exist!! There is a dark side to carrying less weight on your back. We leave this here as a written record of how it all went wrong. Read with extreme caution!

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Dog Saliva on 12/17/2013 21:04:37 MST Print View

Of course there's positive feedback, just look for the drool ha ha ha. Pavlov reference. Sorry, let's get serious.

** A light system produces "warmth" or more "warmth"?---just because you can move faster? Warmth in the winter comes with more weight, period. Heavier bag, beefier pad, gloves--hats--parkas--more fuel, etc.

** Ergo a light sleep system and light clothing may look good on the gear list or spreadsheet but may be cursed in real world conditions at -10F. In fact, the biggest winter problem I see with backpackers is their unwillingness to carry enough clothing and enough bedding/pad. It reminds me of Jordan's Arctic Trek when he had to wear his foam sleeping pad around his torso for warmth as he hiked. Why not just carry some extra fleece and merino?

** More miles? This seems to be an UL mantra and part of the fast and light mindset. Seven mile days are perfectly acceptable. What's the rush?

** "Fewer days between resupplies" is to me the biggest drawback of a light kit. I just left a town and cars and folding money and traffic and roads to go into the woods so why the heck would I want to interrupt my trip with near constant resupplies? So, I carry more food weight and stay out longer w/o interruption.

** You say you have better site selection because you can do more miles to find a site but to me this means a UL kit dictates camp selection, a negatory in my opinion. Maybe some of us want to sleep in a windstorm on a high open bald in a blizzard.

So, the positive feedback loop might only be relevant to a narrow group of individuals.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Lighter Pack, Doesn't Always Mean More Miles on 12/18/2013 17:17:58 MST Print View

Tipi,

Good to point out that going UL is not always about putting in more miles per day.

Perhaps it is simply better to say that going lighter gives you the OPTION of hiking more miles per day.

That said, having a light pack and putting in a leisurely day of few miles and just enjoying the scenery along the way is not a bad thing either.

Synergy of sorts, the lighter weight pack CAN give a number of other advantages discussed above.

HYOH.

Tony

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Dog Saliva on 12/18/2013 18:06:20 MST Print View

"** More miles? This seems to be an UL mantra and part of the fast and light mindset. Seven mile days are perfectly acceptable. What's the rush?

** "Fewer days between resupplies" is to me the biggest drawback of a light kit. I just left a town and cars and folding money and traffic and roads to go into the woods so why the heck would I want to interrupt my trip with near constant resupplies? So, I carry more food weight and stay out longer w/o interruption.

** You say you have better site selection because you can do more miles to find a site but to me this means a UL kit dictates camp selection, a negatory in my opinion. Maybe some of us want to sleep in a windstorm on a high open bald in a blizzard.

So, the positive feedback loop might only be relevant to a narrow group of individuals."

Words of wisdom, Tipi. It's an approach to backpacking that is often overlooked on this site in the rush to rack up the miles. Personally, the goal of achieving a lighter base weight has always been so I could carry more food and stay out longer. Since I got down to ~11# base weight, I have been on a number of trips in the 9-11 day range with a total weight of ~22-25# total weight, food = 1#4oz/day. On none of those trips did I cover more than 85 miles. Could I have? You bet, but the whole point was to get back into some really remote country and just hang out, day hiking or sitting by a stream lost in the beauty of it all. Lots of ways to approach our shared passion, IMO.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Dog Saliva on 12/18/2013 18:12:17 MST Print View

"Words of wisdom, Tipi. It's an approach to backpacking that is often overlooked on this site in the rush to rack up the miles."

Don't forget than as we get older, we don't have to slow down if we don't want to.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Dog Saliva on 12/18/2013 20:02:49 MST Print View

"Don't forget than as we get older, we don't have to slow down if we don't want to."

Up to a point, which neither you nor I have reached yet, at least not so's it gets in the way of our respective styles. ;0) I was talking more about a conscious choice not to go for the big miles. My own preference, as stated above, is geared to a more leisurely approach that covers less miles but perhaps sees the territory I do cover in more detail. That said, I do maintain the ability to cover 18-20 mpd for a few days should the situation require it. I just don't find it very rewarding, but that is strictly personal and I'd be the first to admit there are trade offs involved.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
"Re: Dog saliva" on 12/18/2013 22:41:27 MST Print View

"** More miles? This seems to be an UL mantra and part of the fast and light mindset. Seven mile days are perfectly acceptable. What's the rush?"

What am I supposed to do with the other 22 hours in the day???

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "Re: Dog saliva" on 12/19/2013 16:22:57 MST Print View

"What am I supposed to do with the other 22 hours in the day???"

The question answers itself.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: "Re: Dog saliva" on 12/19/2013 16:29:12 MST Print View

Well I think we can all agree that a lightweight pack allows for more choices and more opportunities to go exploring, fishing, reading, lounging around at camp and whatever. What you do with the extra time and energy is your choice.

Desert Dweller
(Drusilla)

Locale: Wild Wild West
Extra time? on 12/19/2013 18:45:56 MST Print View

I paint landscapes!Desert wash in Fall

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
RE: Extra time? on 12/20/2013 12:05:02 MST Print View

Rock ON, Dru! Wish I had the talent... :~)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: RE: Extra time? on 12/20/2013 15:42:46 MST Print View

"Rock ON, Dru! Wish I had the talent..."

+1

Bas Hommes
(BHommes) - M

Locale: Europe
Re: Dog Saliva on 12/26/2013 10:01:59 MST Print View

"Warmth" I put in because I always had a lot of difficulty sleeping warm. Now with the light pack that has suddenly changed. I suppose the main problem was exhaustion.

Btw I find myself walking slower; not faster. Also I'm not into training dogs.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Dog Saliva on 12/26/2013 17:37:19 MST Print View

ahhh.. Tipi's back to tell us how to hike 4 miles in the Smokies in the dead of winter by himself for a month at a time.. for those who don't know.. Tipi thinks that everyone lives in the same place and only hikes through 10' of snow in the winter.


if you have lighter gear you can have room and energy to carry more food and have less resupplys on a thru hike.. ie doing JMT with 3 stops instead of 5.

fewer days between but the same mileage. OR you could do the same amount of food and stay out longer. like easily doing the 100mi wilderness in 5 days versus carrying the "recommended" 10 days of food

7mi days lol.. like other said.. what would you do after 10am?

Tipi maybe you should wander back over to slowblaze where they enjoy being pack mules eh?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Dog Saliva on 12/26/2013 17:59:39 MST Print View

"Tipi maybe you should wander back over to slowblaze where they enjoy being pack mules eh?"

Maybe a little less mocking of a different way of being in the outback, and a little more live and let live? There is, or should be, room in this community for a diversity of opinions and approaches to backpacking.