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Thread: what is with ultra light backpacking

  1. #11
    Scout Hugin's Avatar
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    We go ultra light with 20lbs packs so that we can carry 40lbs of axes, saws, and knives.

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  3. #12
    Horned Toad
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderboy0817 View Post
    I keep seeing all this mombo jumbo about ultra-light backpacking what happened to the 45 -60 lb pack and sucking it up. ( I don't mean to come off as a tool) My pack in the Marines was that much every time we went any where and that didn't account for ammo or all that so is it a fad or is it the evolution of gear. I understand minimalist packing but why suffer, now don't get me wrong i would say I'm a bit of a pack rat. Any input would be great cause I'm not getting it.
    Let clear up some mumbo jumbo then.

    Scary to say now, but 20 years ago when I was in the military we also carried ridicules amounts of weight. The heaviest ruck I weighed, not the heaviest one I carried, was 117 pounds. I did this while weighing a whopping 150 pounds.

    Funny thing about all that gear I was carrying, if you subtracted military mission specify items from the list all I was left was

    Poncho
    Poncho liner
    Poly pro top (weather dependent)
    Gore tex top
    Spare pair of socks
    Stripped down MREs
    Muliti tool
    Fix blade
    Canteen cup
    Heat tabs
    There are probably a few items I am missing but not many.

    If it was going to get way below freezing then you would add a sleeping bag and some more snivel gear, but all in all my actual comfort items were no more or less than what people are now carrying for so called ultra light trips.

    So the concept really shouldn’t be a big mystery for anyone that spent time in the field. Now I have almost the same gear, its better quality and I am more comfortable when I go out. There is also the fact that now because of the things I did 20 years ago, if I didn’t pack minimalist gear I might jot get anywhere.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugin View Post
    We go ultra light with 20lbs packs so that we can carry 40lbs of axes, saws, and knives.
    Yup LOL

    You got my number!

    Ed

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    I'm not 20 anymore. Years of humping heavy packs have wrecked my knees and back. Age has taught me that just because you can, say carry 60#, doesn't mean you should!!

    Save the displays of vitality for the gym. Camp/hike in comfort. If that means 35-40# pounds for you cool. It happens to mean 27-28# pounds for me. It's not "mumbo jumbo" it's frankly, common sense. The Native Americans went as light as possible.

    One would think after being forced to hump 60#, you would want to lighten up a bit.

    Oh, and how about introducing yourself in the Introductions section so we can get to know you a bit.

    And thank you for your service Marine!

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    I, too, suffered under the military's version of backpacking. So much so, my knees are shot (13 years "light" infantry will do that..). The day I got out, I vowed never to suffer under that weight again. To a large degree, I havent. But, that doesnt mean I went ultralight.
    My backpacking experiences have been varied. I LOVE trying new gear. I have backpacked with military equipment, civilian equipment, the latest and greatest, and some hand me downs. This by NO means makes me an expert, but, here is what I have concluded:
    The military requirements are largely for missions. I can get better gear that is FAR lighter-will never go back to that setup again (personal preference).
    I tried the Ultralight for a season (May to September up here), and decided it wasnt for me. Sure, I had ultralight EVERYTHING-pack, stove, sleeping bag, tent, clothing-my base weight was somewhere around 12 lbs. With water & food, for 3 days, I was about 16-17 lbs. This, I will ALSO never do again-I gave up too much comfort, for mileage. Not really a great tradeoff.
    I have found my happy medium. I have a couple different setups-my hiking setup, that, although I have no idea what it weighs, is comfortable, and thats what I want. I also have a bushcrafting setup-different tools, different backpack, different idea. When I take THIS setup to the woods, its for pure enjoyment-and, the weight STILL doesnt matter to me. Its heavier than the hiking setup, but, I have more toys to play with too. And, again, its COMFORTABLE. Which, ultimately, is what matters to me.
    I also thank you for your service. Please feel free to post in the introductions, so we can get to know you a little better

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    I used to wonder why the UL crowd did what they did too, but then I learned that it's just what they enjoy and it's not my business to question or criticize. I just enjoy something different that they do and have the utmost respect. Ultralighters are welcome here and there is always something we can learn from everyone.
    King Nicholas approves of this message.

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    Why carry all of that weight. I can make it comfortably with 30 lbs for 3 days and that includes food and water. I can carry more weight but why would I want to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horned Toad View Post
    Let clear up some mumbo jumbo then.

    Scary to say now, but 20 years ago when I was in the military we also carried ridicules amounts of weight. The heaviest ruck I weighed, not the heaviest one I carried, was 117 pounds. I did this while weighing a whopping 150 pounds.

    Funny thing about all that gear I was carrying, if you subtracted military mission specify items from the list all I was left was

    Poncho
    Poncho liner
    Poly pro top (weather dependent)
    Gore tex top
    Spare pair of socks
    Stripped down MREs
    Muliti tool
    Fix blade
    Canteen cup
    Heat tabs
    There are probably a few items I am missing but not many.

    If it was going to get way below freezing then you would add a sleeping bag and some more snivel gear, but all in all my actual comfort items were no more or less than what people are now carrying for so called ultra light trips.

    So the concept really shouldn’t be a big mystery for anyone that spent time in the field. Now I have almost the same gear, its better quality and I am more comfortable when I go out. There is also the fact that now because of the things I did 20 years ago, if I didn’t pack minimalist gear I might jot get anywhere.
    thats exactly what I was going to post....

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    Though I wouldn't call myself ultra-light I see no reason to have to suffer under a 60lb pack (more than 1/3 my body weight!!) to "enjoy" the wilderness. A lot of modern equipment is nice and light, and it's not all as fragile as the weight would suggest. I can safely backpack for a few days with under 35lbs of gear, food included, and be very comfortable for the duration of the trip (up to 5-7 days if in a group sharing gear, or that'll do me about 3-4 days solo save for winter).

    The "ultralight" spirit is old... think of the kit Nessmuk described for his summer trips!

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    LOL............I remember going on a weekend backpacking trip to the Smokies once years ago and I was almost bragging about how my pack weighed 65 pounds. Wow, did I have a lot to learn! Heck, if I could do that same trip today and carry everything in an Altoids can, I'd do it in a heartbeat!!! Nothing wrong with taking less stuff....

    Everybody is different and I don't care if you are an ultralighter or want to carry the kitchen sink, the important thing is for EVERYONE who loves the outdoors to get outside. Whether they are ultralighters, bushcrafters, tent campers, RVers, or anything else is irrelevant. We need them ALL because together we can keep public lands public, and help fund National Parks, State Parks, campgrounds, etc. Once we start bickering among ourselves and criticizing those who choose to carry more or less than we do, we are only hurting those of us who like to enjoy the outdoors.

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