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#111247 - 11/03/07 01:22 AM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: Hikin_Jim]
verber Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/02/07
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By: Hikin_Jim

Still, I think even 30 mile days are fairly rare (in backpacking, not talking about Ultras here), particularly as an average.


The thing that was remarkable about Brian was more about doing all the trails that his speed. His speed was high, but there have been numerous thru-hikers who have done the PCT at approx the same rate Brian did. 20-30 miles on the long trails is not an uncommon pace for ultralighters. Check of some the trail journals from past years to see numerous examples of people putting in this sort of on their 2000+ mile treks. But I see this sort of millage (or higher) from weekend warriors who run off for a quick and fast weekend. When you have 16 hours of light, mostly spend you time walking, take short breaks, that is something like 14 hours of hiking. If you are slow (like me), that means you can get in approx 28 miles in a day. If you are a faster walker like some of my friends, you can get 42 miles in. This sort of millage is not uncommon with ultralight backpackers.

Of course when it's winter, I am using snowshoes rather than ski, and the days are shorter... I don't get 20+ miles in during the day.

Originally Posted By: Hikin_Jim

10 mile hike is a pretty good hike with 40 - 50 lbs on one's back. If you're routinely doing 15 - 20 mile days, my hat's off to you. Anything over 15 in a day with an overnight pack is an accomplishment in my book. The ultralight thing seems to be paying off for you.


One of the key advantage of ultralight backpacking is that you are carrying a lot less weight. Until hard winter hits, my 3 day backpack is less than 20lbs. When I am really trying to go light and decide to give up my comfy air mattress (alpine summer in the sierras, lows to 30F) my 3 day pack is down to just over 10lbs. So think about my milage as you would a day hiker rather than a backpacker. In fact, my standard 3 day weekend backpack including food and water is typically lighter than my day hike backpack because I am not carrying 8 lbs of camera gear, other family members's clothing, etc.



Originally Posted By: Hikin_Jim

Well, with a tarp only, how does one prevent one's down quilt from becoming wet in a serious rain storm.


Depends on the person. My approach is that I use a shaped tarp which can be pitched in a locked down configured. Most of the year I used a 9oz gossamer gear spinnshelter. In the winter I use a 2lb GoLite Hex. You can think of these as single walled tent structures without floors. There are two other approaches. One which is popular with quilt users because it helps lower the impact of side winds are smallish tarps with bivys. The other approach is using tarps which are large enough to provide adaquate protection.

I have used tarps or tarptents in fairly serious conditions. Winds that I measure at 50mph (I love my Burton ADC Pro WeatherStation) and pouring buckets. So far my quilts been fine except for the one trip that I didn't take the time to stake down the tarptent properly and the wind pulled up the stakes leaving me exposed until I restaked the shelter.

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#111506 - 11/05/07 06:00 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: verber]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
This spinshelter seems very interesting. The shape seems really ideal; it wouldn't be open at the ends. I don't know if you'd have the time to answer a few queries, but if you do:
  • How do you prevent water from getting in under the sides?
  • The tent material doesn't look water proof. Is the fabric intended simply to conduct the water down itself to the ground? Does one get wet if one touches the fabric when the fabric is wet?
  • How's the breathability? I've had serious condensation problems in single wall tents.
  • It appears as though one trekking pole is used inside the tent and the other outside the tent. Is that correct? How badly does the interior trekking pole interfere with lying straight inside the tent?
  • How much does this particular model help with bugs?


I've also thought of using a bivvy sack in conjunction with a tarp. The bivvy would prevent water from soaking in from the bottom and would be good bug shelter. The tarp would protect from rain as one enters and exits the bivvy and might protect some gear as well as provide a bit of a work area in the rain.

Addenda I just read your review as well as the reviews of others which answered most of my questions. I'm still curious about how you keep water from flowing in under the sides. In hard rain, I've had trouble with pooling or flowing water.


Edited by Hikin_Jim (11/05/07 06:37 PM)
Edit Reason: addenda
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#111529 - 11/05/07 07:15 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: Hikin_Jim]
verber Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/02/07
Posts: 8
As you noted... most of your questions are answered in my (and others) spinnshelter reviews. Something I didn't specifically address is what to do about pooling / streaming water. There are three effective ways to deal with standing water in a tarp.

(1) Avoid standing water grin ... Site selection makes a big different. In many locations it is possible to find spots that are not prone to standing ground water. Ideally you want a slight slope away from the tarp, vegetation, and porous soil. Ideally with overhanging trees and a good wind break. This does mean that you will want to avoid setting up a tarp in the middle of a high traffic (packed down) campsites than are in the bottom of a bowl. This works well for one or two people... but isn't so reliable with larger groups.

(2) Bathtub floors ... Some tarp users bring a ground cloth which has a fabric lip around the edge like a bathtub floor of a tent. The "floor" is typically smaller than the tarp footprint so outside water and any condensation that accumulates will end up on the ground, outside the floor.

(3) Raise above the water ... use something like a Hennessey hammock or sleep on a thick air matress.


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#111573 - 11/05/07 11:14 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: verber]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Interesting. I'm going to check out those other forums as well. I really need to lighten my load. I routinely carry 40+ lbs.
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#118253 - 12/31/07 04:06 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
WTF indeed. Dorn has some really screwy ideas about how to save weight, but depending on finding another hiker with a first aid kit for you to bum from was the final straw for me...



What if the only other backpackers you find are following Dorn's advice too?
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#118254 - 12/31/07 04:10 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: norad45]
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
Originally Posted By: norad45
These guys stress over a few extra ounces? Sounds to me like they need to invest in a stair-stepper.


I'm guessing their thinking is the same kind that drives the Altoids tin PSK group of us. Some people probably think we're crazy for trying to cram adequate kit into a small tin box.

I'm guessing the the weight issue has nothing to do with inferior physical ability...it's about scraping by with the least amount possible.

Anyone got that 3 feet of floss into a toothpick yet?
_________________________
Ors, MAE, MT-BC
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

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#118256 - 12/31/07 04:25 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: benjammin]
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
[quote=benjammin]I dunno, it just seems to me folks are trying to find a way to bring their hustle and bustle work life mentality to the hills. Why would anyone want to hike 50-60 miles a day?/quote]

I have never tried this myself, so I don't know from experience, but it could be that for them it is a kind of moving meditation...being so completely focused on moving that much distance a day may induce a meditative state that they find to be useful.

I think I prefer a candlelit room and chanting "OM" personally.
_________________________
Ors, MAE, MT-BC
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

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#118257 - 12/31/07 04:32 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: Ors]
wolf Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 329
Loc: Michigan
Maybe a type A kind of person for whom everything is a competition.

"Ha ha! I hiked farther and faster than YOU!"
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#118258 - 12/31/07 04:39 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
"...look at RVers, UGH..."


Hey, I resemble that remark smile smile smile


You're one of those with the satelite dish out front, aren't you OBG? grin
_________________________
Ors, MAE, MT-BC
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

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#118264 - 12/31/07 05:36 PM Re: Backpacker Magazine and wild suggestions... [Re: Ors]
jaywalke Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 172
Loc: Appalachian mountains
Originally Posted By: Ors

I'm guessing their thinking is the same kind that drives the Altoids tin PSK group of us.


Exactly. Below a certain point it's just a hobby. I find a real diminishing point of return below fifteen pounds of base gear, but it's still fun to find a lighter item to substitute or something to cut. You start wondering how low you can go, and you test the limits on familiar trails with a bail-out plan.

There is always someone crazier. Check out www.backpackinglite.com for the real gram weenies. I've hiked with the founder of that site, and he seems normal enough until you see his pack. He hikes Yellowstone in winter and serious Alaskan treks without a lot of weight. Gossamer Gear is another site run by a weight freak. Glen is a nice guy who's done the Pacific Crest Trail and thousands of miles on other trails with a tiny pack. They avoid hairy situations, have back-up and bail-out plans and in general use their heads rather than kit. It's hard to argue with success.

Backpacker mag really went downhill when Dorn took over. Substantive articles went out the window, to be replaced by sidebars and sound bites. Welcome to the thirty-second attention-span theatre.

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