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Thread: what is with ultra light backpacking

  1. #21
    Scout ROCK6's Avatar
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    There is a point of diminishing returnsÖtoo little weight and you may suffer the lack of some comfort items; too much weight and your body will be beat too much to enjoy your comfort items.

    Iím still active duty and have done my share of rucking and duffle-shuffles, but I try to keep the weight down in my recreational packs. It does depend on your activities. Weíre actually doing a short three day backpack trip tomorrow; itís only about 4-5 miles in to the planned camp site and then some fishing, swimming, exploring and day hikes. Iím looking at around 40 to 45 poundsÖIím packing my favorite chair, fishing gear and a smaller day bag for essentials. Iím comfortable with 45 pounds, but if Iím creeping up to 60-65 pounds, I really try and scrutinize what Iím taking verse my planned activities; especially if that distance is more than 8 to 10 miles. Your knees are good now, but over 40, youíll pay the price for ground-pounding too much weight too often. I do pack along the extra weight of a couple of cans of Guinness for my evening relaxation drills

    The good news is that my son is now 13 years old and will become my personal pack mule. I can still pack along some fun-tools/toys and comfort items at his expense Itís only fair, as our first family of four backpacking trip had me packing 100 poundsÖI have no desire to do that anymore!

    Also, the less you take, the more you think and the more you can improvise. Typical ultra-lite hikers want to go long distances quickly; ultra-lite bushcrafters want to leverage off their primitive skills, and most just want a comfortable hike with a few comfort items where they can relax and enjoy the outdoors far enough away from civilization to have the peace of mind. It's all a balancing game with what you intend to do.

    ROCK6
    Last edited by ROCK6; 07-18-2012 at 11:54 AM.

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  3. #22
    GoodOlBoy
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    Everybody has to choose their own path. By ALICE belt gear rig (no backpack buttpack instead) weighs in around the 25lb mark currently and gives me 72 hours pretty comfortably with the possibility of extended stay so long as there is running water and fish or small game to be had. I have been considering doing a ultralight 24-48 hour rig just because I am a overweight 37 year old with a bad knee. If you want to hump a 100 pound pack and SAW into the woods because that is what you are use to then more power to you, but this kid ain't doing it. I am certain you will be able to kick your feet up and be more comfortable than me, but then again I am pretty danged comfy on a bed of pine needles in a sapling thicket. Doesn't mean either of us is wrong.

    Each man has to cut his own path, and has to follow it. IE to each their own.

    My 2 cents.

    GoodOlBoy

  4. #23
    Scout Code Red's Avatar
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    Hey Devil Dog, I humped everything in the USMC inventory including a HMMWV tire (Don't mouth off to your Company Gunny). If you really did too, and you're smart enough to tie your own boot laces, then you understand why someone would want a lighter pack. Maybe its not your "thing", but don't pretend that you don't understand it.

    Don't drop the Corps into your resume and then act like a troll. There are too many vets here to be impressed by how hard you think you are, and you make the rest of us look bad.

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  6. #24
    GoodOlBoy
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    Oh and since I forgot to say it. Thanks to you and all the other vets for your service. This military brat appreciates it!

    GoodOlBoy

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    Scout wingryder's Avatar
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    Thanks for your service Wonderboy. The "Mumbo Jumbo" about UL backpacking is that I can't physically carry 60lbs of gear anymore. I am recovering from my SECOND spinal surgery (from an injury I received on active duty), and I have to travel as light as I can... or not go out at all. 30 years from now, you will understand... and 30 years from now, UL gear will be made from carbon nanotube and your loaded pack will weigh 60 oz... lol

  8. #26
    Scout The Hunter's Avatar
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    +1 with the ex vets. Injury and life makes it impossible to do what I once was able to in the mil, however now that I am allowed to think for myself and make my own loadout I no longer need to suffer.

    The toll somethings done in in your youth can come "back" to haunt you if your not careful.

  9. #27
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    Nessmuck was a sort of early on ultra-lighter. On one trip he describes coming across parties that to him carried unnecessary extra duffle and went on to describe his load for that same trip including canoe, extra clothing, blanket-bag, two days rations, pocket axe, fishing rod and backpack never exceeded 26 pounds. That is pretty light with the canoe added in. I know his canoe was light but still, for the mid-1840s and on when he was really doing this thing that was ultra-light.

    It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Truth is, I am not even close to ultra-light but we have to carry all of our water on many of our trips. That means there will be in the least, 24 pound of water in my pack on top of my other gear. Girlfriend likes a good strong 4-season tent and I carry that as well along with other comfort driven gear. With photo gear my load can get up to 60 pounds.

    There are times when we need to travel far to get to an objective. We drop a lot of that load and walk out with no tent, no Sling Light chairs, etc. We leave a lot of things in place and carry on with minimal gear and the load of water. We always miss the tent and chairs, not to mention other luxury things but we make do and get to places most will never see.

    So, its good to keep an open mind about these things if one wants versatility and the means to do more than the average accomplishments.

  10. #28
    Scout Supporter Bushmonkey85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    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.
    QFT.

    I have definitely learn alot from the UL'ers around the net. Just looking at their loadouts and tips helps me to rethink what I'm carrying in my pack. If I can cut out a pound or 2 by using a few of their ideas, then great! I'm definitely not a UL hiker, but that's what sharing the knowledge is all about.

    As an aside - I know cutting down pack weight definitely can help some of us fellas who carry around a little extra "insulation" in the midsection. Makes a hike more enjoyable and enables us to do it more frequently too!

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  12. #29
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    Never was a member of the "Corps", truthfulluy, never wanted to be. Was raised by a 30 years of service Army Sgt/Maj and then was in myself for 4 years. Answered "US" in the chow line. Many of you will understand the reference. Once I got in country and was prepping for my first patrol, I loaded out just as the manual said I should and sure enough there was 40-50 pounds of gear. A seasoned Plt Sgt started removing and throwing out most of what I was carrying while laughing and cussing me at the same time. Just because it says to do it that way, don't mean you need too. let your situation be your guide. I just can't resist quoting one of Pop's favorite Marine jokes at this point. Listen up--this is HUMOR. "How do you get a good Marine?............Take a perfectly good soldier then beat his brains out. Please laugh with me, as I served with and worked with many good men.

  13. #30
    Guide joe305's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    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.

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