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#203030 - 06/06/10 04:54 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: hikermor]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Originally Posted By: hikermor
If I may add to an interesting and insightful post, I would comment that the next step from car camping would be to venture into overnight trips and backpacking, where you face definite weight constraints. Realistically, for most normal mortals, forty pounds is the heaviest weight one can manage well. Living safely and comfortably, as well as maintaining mobility, within that constraint is both a physical and mental challenge.

The advantage is that you have several options in an emergency situation that are not workable for the non-backpacker. And you will be in better physical condition. You also get to visit some pretty nice places that the general public never views.

Backpacking gets down to the real fundamentals, and you develop a sense of what you, individually, find indispensable and what is superfluous.


That might be true if one was separated from their vehicle. While in earlier year Iíve gone on extended horse packing trips and actually know something about the back country and living off of what you take in. However, the world has changed and women also have to worry about their own safety more today than 20 or 30 years ago. Today, I want either numbers or the safety of a vehicle or trailer with locked doors.

Iíve taken great pains to make-sure that my vehicle is stocked at all times and there are packed bags and plastic crates also at the ready for extended trips outside of my local area with different gear for either the destination or the season. My dogs also have provisions in the vehicle including food for 3 days, and more pre-packed gear minus the additional food for extended trips.

With that in mind, Iíd be very hesitant to set off on foot minus my vehicle unless I knew the area and exactly where I was going. As my vehicle would have far more provisions than I, and even my two dogs with backpacks could possibly carry, as well as some protection from exposure and the other elements that might be out there, especially for women. Plus in a search and rescue operation any vehicle is easier to spot for those searching.

For instance, look at the Kim family tragedy in the Southern Oregon mountains a few years back. He died only because he set out on foot! Plus at all times, even going the 4 miles to the grocery store my vehicle is stocked much better than that family was, and for a trip through the mountains in the winter it would be really stocked. In most cases a person, especially a woman, is far better off staying with a well stocked vehicle, at least in my opinion.

Regarding skills that can be done with car camping or heck I practice fire building techniques on my acreage with either bonfires on the beach or just cleaning up fields after the winter storms. So can I really build a fire with what I carry with me on day hikes--yes--and even when it's pouring down rain. I'm somewhat doubtful that I could actually eat from the fishing kit--in a pill bottle--but let's face it most succumb from either injury, exposure or dehydration issues. While I agree that we all should actually practice fundamental survival skills it can be done without backpacking.

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#203033 - 06/06/10 07:22 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: rebwa]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Dagny,

Love those pictures of Miss Gidget, she looks so pleased with herself up on the tailgate and in the hammock with the pup delegated to the ground! I can see she has the proper pecking order well established and she looks very pleased with herself. Rex (typical male) would just let Tara run rampant as a pup, and I had to enlist a friend with an older female to teach her proper dog etiquette! Rex and Tara both have hammocks too, they are so nice for outdoor situations.

Wow, those are awesome shots of Mama Bear and the cubs, thanks for sharing.

And dinner looks delicious!


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#203039 - 06/06/10 11:35 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Dagny, great photos! Gidget: Queen of All She Surveys... Naturally.

When you have run across bears, esp with cubs, did you have Gidget with you? If so, how did she react? Both times that I had a bear in camp with a dog, the dog went totally crazy, literally screaming to get at the bear.

Sue

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#203041 - 06/07/10 12:42 AM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Susan]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1908
Loc: Washington, DC

Hi Sue!

Gidget was with me for the entire two hours that we watched these bears. She could not have cared less about them. If they'd been deer she'd have been yapping. Bears bore her. She literally turned her back on them and sat down.

The first time she ever saw one she was one year old, we were hiking and she stood on her hind legs to yap incessantly at the bear (who after one look ignored her). We've seen many bears since and at some point she just wasn't interested. Unlike deer who dart, bears she's seen just lumber around.

I theorize that she thinks they're Newfoundlands.


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#203055 - 06/07/10 11:05 AM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: rebwa]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5999
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: rebwa


Regarding skills that can be done with car camping or heck I practice fire building techniques on my acreage with either bonfires on the beach or just cleaning up fields after the winter storms. So can I really build a fire with what I carry with me on day hikes--yes--and even when it's pouring down rain. I'm somewhat doubtful that I could actually eat from the fishing kit--in a pill bottle--but let's face it most succumb from either injury, exposure or dehydration issues. While I agree that we all should actually practice fundamental survival skills it can be done without backpacking.


What I was trying to say is that backpacking is an exercise in minimalism in which you learn what is truly important and what is unnecessary and simply extra weight. A backpacker is comfortable with far less because what is carried is truly essential gear.

I would never suggest leaving a well stocked car and striking out on foot unless you are very certain of the situation. I can guarantee that cars are much easier to find in a SAR operation than individual bodies.

The thing that concerns me about cars is being stuck in a traffic jam during a mass evacuation. One of my options would be to unload the bike and start pedaling. That is essentially backpacking on wheels, and gives you much greater range and flexibility. I doubt I could backpack much more than 100 miles, taking at least four, more likely five or six days, depending upon terrain and weather. I could cover 100 miles on a touring bike in a day, camp and rest, and repeat the next day.

One of the essentials for backpacking is an adequate map or maps. I believe that was Mr. Kim's basic problem, or at least a major contributing factor.

With respect to safety, I think we show a basic east vs west difference in perspectives. In most western areas (not all!), get a mile from the trail head and human interaction is no longer a factor.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#203061 - 06/07/10 01:19 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: hikermor]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1908
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: hikermor
[
What I was trying to say is that backpacking is an exercise in minimalism in which you learn what is truly important and what is unnecessary and simply extra weight. A backpacker is comfortable with far less because what is carried is truly essential gear.


I'd quickly discover that what is truly important is my car. And backpackers may be comfortable with far less because they're willing to suffer deprivation for the adventure, isolation and views.

I've had this discussion with a few AT thru-hikers who I've given lifts to from the wayside to the lodge restaurant. Their packs rode nicely on my Yakima Loadwarrior.

;-)

I get what you're saying. It's all relative. Car camping is minimalist compared to being at home. Backpacking is more minimal.

Within backpacking, there's subdivisions between "super-light" backpackers and those who prefer the amenities that a 40 lb pack allows. Some want to carry the whole toothbrush, others just the bristles. Tent or just a tarp? Spork? Or separate spoon and fork? Extreme minimalism is taking nothing but the clothes on your back into the woods. No thanks.

Within car camping, there's the differences between tenting and RVers. And within RV-ing there's us teardroppers at one end of the spectrum and the enormous motor coaches at the other. The biggest divide is between those with noisy generators and those without. The latter would like to shoot the former. It's amusing on camping forums to witness discussions of what constitutes real camping.


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#203062 - 06/07/10 01:25 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1908
Loc: Washington, DC

I saw "The Road" this weekend. Perhaps my views on camping are reflected in my belief that the wife was right.

Great film, by the way. I'd hesitated to see it because the book was so grim. But the film is 111 minutes (as opposed to several hours of immersion into the book's darkness) and the grim backdrop is relieved throughout by the love, humanity and grace of the father and son.

Highly recommend.


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#203064 - 06/07/10 01:44 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: hikermor]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Originally Posted By: hikermor
[quote=rebwa]

With respect to safety, I think we show a basic east vs west difference in perspectives. In most western areas (not all!), get a mile from the trail head and human interaction is no longer a factor.


I don't know, the linked article rattled the PNW hiking community to the core, and this is about as west as it gets. Plus reports of illegal growing operations being spotted in the backcountry is another concern of many. The world unfortunately has changed in many ways for women.


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003128479_hikersslain15m.html?syndication=rss

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#203065 - 06/07/10 01:58 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: rebwa]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1908
Loc: Washington, DC
I'd forgotten about that, Rebwa. Read about it when it happened. Was anyone ever arrested?

I've done 10 mile hikes in Oregon and Washington and have never been alone on the trails. The best trails are popular and populated.




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#203066 - 06/07/10 02:02 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Nope, unfortunately it hasn't been solved.

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