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#278745 - 01/11/16 06:33 PM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: wildman800]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 925
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Cherry picking for sure.

No one is climbing trad 5.15 in klettershoes or EB's with pins or hexes.
No one is doing a first ascent of el cap in a day. Drilling the bolts alone, even with a cordless drill would take too much time.
The were records of close to 3 minute miles in the 1800's, but watches were not
as accurate nor could these be authenticated.

What we do have today is depth and specialization. Lots of people participating in formerly esoteric activities.

As Newton sarcastically said,
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."


Edited by clearwater (01/11/16 06:40 PM)

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#278746 - 01/11/16 07:49 PM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: wildman800]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5641
Loc: southern Cal
"No one is doing a first ascent of el cap in a day."

That wasn't the claim. The speed record for El Cap, off the top of my head, is somewhere around three hours, and routes on El Cap have been done free (by very exceptional climbers, to be sure)for several years, even by ladies! Equipment plays a role, but contemporary climbers train and prepare to an extent unknown in the old days.

Exploits of the past are certainly worthy of our admiration, but that doesn't mean that nothing worthy is happening today.

As far as "iron men" are concerned, the most astonishing accomplishment of old, as far as I am concerned, is this:

US troops were escorting Geronimo's band (men, women, and children - about thirty in all) back into the US after the final surrender in Mexico. Suddenly one of the women veered away from the group, heading toward a nearby creek. "What's up" asked one of the soldiers. "Wait! You'll see" was the response.

Forty-five minutes later the lady rejoined the group, carrying a new born baby.

There were some pretty tough ladies around, back then, as well...
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#278747 - 01/11/16 11:18 PM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: Tom_L]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Originally Posted By: Tom_L
But realistically, I fail to see what benefits it has to offer over the more modern solutions. A modern sleeping bag provides better protection from the elements overall. As far as a means of load carrying, I'd much rather haul my gear in a proper backpack, which allows me to carry more weight more comfortably, in a more organized, easily accessible manner and in a pretty much waterproof package.

An ultralight backpacker may disagree with that. They are reducing the weight on everything, including the backpack. If you look at their typical UL backpack - it does not provide much in terms of comfort or organization, quite contrary these features are cruelly sacrificed to the weightlessness god. A horseshoe (Rrussian "skatka") backpack would allow to reduce the backpack's dead weight practically to a zero, as a sleeping bag and/or a tarp or/and a tent can be easily rigged into a good backpack. That will definitely require some new skills polishing, and not only in the packing art, but also in an efficient carrying and using such a thing as well. That's nothing even close to the traditionalism, as all that gear is super-modern, we just organizing inert matter in a smarter way wink

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#278748 - 01/12/16 12:34 AM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: Alex]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5641
Loc: southern Cal
The ultralight cult is interesting, and while it is true that some carry it to extremes, there is a lot of value for less rabid practitioners. Packs are lighter, with less padding, etc., primarily because they are carrying less. It is a feedback loop - the lighter your load, the fewer features you need in your backpack to pad and protect.

I have one such pack and it is fine for purely recreational, non-technical excursions. I have others which I carry when the job requires additional, usually relatively heavy, items.

The idea of a bedroll vs a backpack is interesting, but I wonder how the bedroll would work when scrambling in steep, rocky terrain and in dense brush, compared to a well loaded back pack...
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#278752 - 01/12/16 02:59 AM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: wildman800]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 992
Loc: North Carolina
Trying to go "ultralight" is an educational experience. You can learn what you really need, and what you can live without. I do recommend it as an experiment, though that is not what I normally choose to go camping with. I do find that I can be pretty comfortable with far less than most would consider necessary. Learning is a process, you have to try it to learn it.

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#278755 - 01/12/16 11:03 AM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: Alex]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
The debate so far has focused on woolen blankets, bedrolls and heavy winter coats - I don't think that has a whole lot to do with ultralight backpacking. Apples to oranges...

Originally Posted By: Alex
A horseshoe (Rrussian "skatka") backpack would allow to reduce the backpack's dead weight practically to a zero, as a sleeping bag and/or a tarp or/and a tent can be easily rigged into a good backpack. That will definitely require some new skills polishing, and not only in the packing art, but also in an efficient carrying and using such a thing as well.


YMMV, but you're not really going to rig a sleeping bag or tent into a *good* backpack. A bedroll slung over the shoulder horseshoe-style is a convenient, compact method for carrying stuff like tarps, blankets or clothing. Note that this was the way soldiers carried (rain)coats, blankets, shelter halves, etc., even when they were issued a backpack (knapsack/haversack). In that case, the horseshoe roll was attached to the top and sides of the backpack. But do note that the rest of gear was still carried securely inside the backpack.
http://www.forgottenweapons.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/1945q-450x277.jpg

As a stand-alone means of load bearing though, there are serious limitations as to what can be carried comfortably inside a makeshift bedroll "pack". Certainly no larger, bulkier items such as pots, larger cooking utensils, water containers, food, etc. Also, a bedroll is not nearly as secure as a proper backpack. Easy to lose small items without noticing. And any time you need to get something from your pack, that will mean taking apart the entire bedroll, then carefully tucking it back together before setting off again.

So where's the point? A small military surplus canvas backpack weighs nothing. Speaking of the Eastern Bloc stuff, the old Soviet veshmeshok is dirt cheap and extremely lightweight.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Soviet-Russian-A...W-/251763539549

Plenty more comparable (also better) designs out there, too. Now that I think about it, I must be an ultralight hiker myself because I prefer a shoulder bag to a rucksack for easier day trips. A lightweight canvas gas mask bag (Indiana Jones style) suits me just fine and still allows me to keep my gear organized and instantly accessible. As for my sleeping bag, I'd rather carry it stuffed safely inside the waterproof compression bag until needed...

One way or another, it's all a matter of individual preference. But if you want to go absolutely ultralight, the best way would be to dispense with that sleeping bag, bedroll, tent... altogether. It is perfectly possible to make an improvised shelter in most kinds of terrain that will keep you alive through the night. But I don't genuinely think caveman camping is for everyone... Neither is the ultralight cult. smile

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#278756 - 01/12/16 12:44 PM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: wildman800]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 992
Loc: North Carolina
More like a McIntosh to a Granny Smith. As the bedroll pack is a form of ultralight camping (from days gone by). The idea is to go out and use it to understand how well (or poorly) it works.

Going ultralight can teach you what is really essential. While there are some people who take ultralight camping to the extreme, most of us can learn something from it. Camping with such a bedroll is a learning experience.

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#278758 - 01/12/16 01:54 PM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: Montanero]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Montanero, you make a lot of good points and I really enjoy reading your posts. Maybe I'm nitpicking, it's just that I'm not at all convinced a bedroll is lighter per se than a sleeping bag. More like the opposite. My go-to 3-season sleeping bag these days is nothing out of the ordinary. An older compact sized Ferrino, synthetic, weighs about one pound. With an extra liner (which weighs literally next to nothing) it's plenty good enough for temperatures below freezing. Also, the exterior is water-repellent/pretty much totally rainproof.

To achieve the same amount of comfort and protection from the elements I'd need to carry at least two good sized woolen blankets and some sort of waterproof cover, poncho, bivy bag or equivalent to keep me dry (the blanket itself isn't going to do that).

All of the above combined weighs a lot more and takes up more room than my sleeping bag (with or without the additional liner). For the amount of weight saved, I can easily afford to take along a medium sized backpack too, and I'm still carrying less weight than the improvised bedroll thingy.

Now, I do agree that old-school camping can be a lot of fun. I've spent many a night under the stars wrapped in nothing more than a woolen blanket. Most memorably back in North Africa. Those woolen blankets reeked of diesel and motor oil (no wonder, being kept in the back of a beat-up Toyota), never managed to get rid of the smell. smile But for "serious" outdoor expeditions, give me a decent sleeping bag instead.

Oh well, maybe I'm just getting old and soft! wink

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#278759 - 01/12/16 06:07 PM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: Tom_L]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 992
Loc: North Carolina
See my second post in this thread. I do not advocate that wool blankets are either lighter or better than current technologies. I am saying that they work, at one time they were the historical equivalent of "ultralight" camping and that experiencing the capabilities and limitations of that type of bedroll is educational.

I have some very good down and synthetic sleeping bags, along with some very comfortable sleeping pads that I use. I am old, have broken my back and neck in the past, and have some arthritis. I like my comfort.

When I was a young paratrooper, my commander did not think we should use rucksacks as they would overload us and slow us down. I could not find a way to attach the sleeping bag to my Load Bearing Equipment, and the bedroll was the best system I could devise that I could carry and jump out of airplanes with. It kept me alive in some bad weather, but I would not claim to have slept comfortably.

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#278761 - 01/12/16 06:25 PM Re: Historical Camping Answers [Re: Tom_L]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Originally Posted By: Tom_L
The debate so far has focused on woolen blankets, bedrolls and heavy winter coats - I don't think that has a whole lot to do with ultralight backpacking. Apples to oranges...

I don't think so. As Montanero has noted already "the bedroll pack is a form of ultralight camping (from days gone by)".

Quote:
YMMV, but you're not really going to rig a sleeping bag or tent into a *good* backpack.

Read above the post from clearwater, which is not about a theory, but about the real life experience. I doubt you have tried the horseshoe already (I do plan to try that soon), your gas mask/shoulder bag carrying experience does not count, as that is exactly what can be called "comparing apples and oranges".

Quote:
A bedroll slung over the shoulder horseshoe-style is a convenient, compact method for carrying stuff like tarps, blankets or clothing. Note that this was the way soldiers carried (rain)coats, blankets, shelter halves, etc., even when they were issued a backpack (knapsack/haversack). In that case, the horseshoe roll was attached to the top and sides of the backpack. But do note that the rest of gear was still carried securely inside the backpack.

That was just one of the many configurations of the soldier's equipment. The backpack (Eastern block veshmeshok) was never a permanent issue gear for EDC (it was issued and carried in certain set of circumstances). Also, a lot of bulky stuff (like a kettle, pot, shovel, flask, hatchet, steel helmet, gas mask bag... was carried outside of the pack or horseshoe, either attached to them or to the belt for convenience of access. The horseshoe bedroll content was used only during long breaks (2-3 times a day when on a march). Special tricks (like the one described in the clearwater's post above) were used to make packing and unpacking more efficient.

Quote:
As a stand-alone means of load bearing though, there are serious limitations as to what can be carried comfortably inside a makeshift bedroll "pack".

It was not a "makeshift pack", it was the military researched (at the cost of blood and lives) and approved way of carrying gear, which was included into the official soldier training program. They knew what and how to pack, how to not "lose small items without noticing", and how to carry and use it comfortably on the march and on the battlefield. By the way, it is well known that during the WWII it was even used as a bulletproof vest substitute (soldiers carried thick pieces of steel in the front of it).

Quote:
So where's the point? A small military surplus canvas backpack weighs nothing.

Sorry, but only "Virtually nothing". Read about the UL backpacking weight numbers involved, when speaking about the UL backpacks models. The bedroll solution provides that the backpack weight is physically = 0 (zero).

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