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#110498 - 10/29/07 02:00 PM Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions...
cedfire Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 659
Loc: Orygun
I was reading through the Dec. 2007 copy of "Backpacker" magazine and came across an article on ultralight hiking. Some suggestions are to "Swap your knife for a razor blade; which is just as effective in most medical situations", also to, "Ditch the map" and to "Empty your (water) bottles". It goes on to say "Along many mountain trails, you rarely need to carry more than a liter -- if any."

I guess being prepared doesn't carry over to the trailhead for some.

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#110500 - 10/29/07 02:09 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: cedfire]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
Well, maybe they are secretly trying to thin the crowds out in the woods.

Truely though, they are frigging insane!

-Blast
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#110507 - 10/29/07 02:21 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: cedfire]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1838
Loc: MINNESOTA

ya--thats the "run the trails in your underware" crowd..
eat green algae tabs and sleep under a 3x4 plastic sheet..
mock-heroic's are right up there with body mutilation as "art"

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#110508 - 10/29/07 02:25 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: CANOEDOGS]
teacher Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 697
Not much room for error...along mountain trails.

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#110511 - 10/29/07 02:29 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: cedfire]
Jeff_M Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
People discovering they can spend a night in the woods without toting 50 pounds of gear is a good thing. But the ultralight backpacking trend has become something of a fad that is being carried too far. Some of the techniques aren't for neophytes.

Jeff

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#110521 - 10/29/07 02:53 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: Jeff_M]
simplesimon Offline
Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 133
Back in the 70s I was at a college mountaineering club weekend when we had a party with another colleges club. So there were about 30 climbers and backpackers there. We had all our gear with us because it was our cottage. As the only non-drinker I was on bottle opening duty with my fist and the edge of a table because we didn't have a bottle opener between us.
Not what you'd get now, with everyone bristling with multi-tools (which didn't exist) and swiss army knives (which I'd never seen). But shows how none of these are essential to backpacking.
If a trail is well marked and in well watered country do you need a map and water bottle? I had neither on day hikes on the appalachian trail.
simon


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#110534 - 10/29/07 03:21 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: simplesimon]
RobertRogers Offline
Survivor
Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 198
In many areas the hiking is more what I might call an easy stroll through the forest. If you're just going for a little walk, traveling this light may be fine. But in the age of the cell phone, too manyrely on a 911 call to save them rather than making plans to depend upon themselves when something does not go according to plan. To ditch proper gear and supplies for a cellphone is just not right.


Edited by RobertRogers (10/29/07 03:22 PM)
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#110538 - 10/29/07 03:45 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: cedfire]
Katie Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 85
While I think not bringing a map is foolish, I can see Xeroxing the pertinent areas or cutting down the size of your map. I Xerox the pages of the guidebook that I care about, and leave the rest at home or in the car. I wouldn't go anywhere without water, but you can shave a little weight by reusing a 20 oz. plastic soda/water bottle from the cold case of the convenience store instead of bringing a giant Lexan Nalgene. Personally, I prefer the robustness of the Lexan.

Some of the ultralight crowd do go overboard -- by the time you're sawing the handle off of your toothbrush (as I've seen recommended), you need to reevaluate what shedding an additional gram or two is really going to accomplish.

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#110542 - 10/29/07 03:58 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: Katie]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
We've been reading about several incidents lately where the hiker left his/her gear in camp, and "just went for a day hike", and they didn't surface for several days. Some have never been found.

"The best laid plans of mice and men..."

That's why we frequent this forum, to be ready when Ms. Karma or Ma Nature change the game plan.

Can you imagine if any of us here ended up in the newspapers as getting lost and being underequipped, how much jeering and fingerpointing there would be?

Sue

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#110553 - 10/29/07 04:43 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: Susan]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Well, Les shows that it is quite doable to go without most supplies and make do for at least a week in most conditions. I've considered mature ultralight expeditions to be planned survival trips most times anyways. As a kid we'd call it hitting the woods.

You might get away with that in the Appalachians, but I wouldn't try it in the Cascades, the Rockies or most of Alaska without being suitably prepared. If you do, you better be darned sure what you are getting into.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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