Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

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AAdamsPDX
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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by AAdamsPDX » October 28th, 2015, 12:49 pm

The "real" goal of lightweight packing is just to better enjoy the trip, not necessarily to reach a specific weight. I think others have said this in different ways but it bears repeating.

A few thoughts: lots of great information (and some unintentional entertainment!) on YouTube. For example, how to make an alcohol stove from a cat food can and a cooking pot from a beer can, etc. Some people even make tarps from duct tape and those plastic window covering kits you can buy at Home Depot. (Not sure I'd trust that for more than an overnight.)

Also, check Craigslist and the Goodwill's active wear section before you look for anything new. I've found a Patagonia down sweater, a Columbia Sportswear rain jacket, an ExOfficio button-up hiking shirt that I adore, etc., etc. We also found a Montbell ultralight down jacket for my husband on Craigslist.
"The world begins where the road ends." ~Eddie Vedder
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Aimless
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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by Aimless » October 28th, 2015, 4:36 pm

Just to reinforce some points already made:

- you can go backpacking with any pack weight that you are capable of carrying from the trailhead to your destination and back and with any equipment that will serve the purpose of keeping you warm, dry, fed and hydrated. Staying away from the backcountry because you can't afford specialized gear or clothes would be a shame. Most backpackers I know started out with really bad cheap heavy gear, got hooked, and gradually invested in better stuff. It's like a tradition!

- the lightest things in anyone's pack are the things they left at home because they didn't need them, so a very big part of getting a little bit closer to that lightweight pack 'nirvana' is figuring out what not to bring. The first time you backpack you won't have a very clear idea of what you ought to have left home. The second time you'll have a much clearer idea. Third time, even more so. If you are typical, you'll keep on refining your ideas about your gear and clothes every time you backpack, but at a gradually slowing pace as you develop the wisdom that comes with experience.

- even the best gear almost never helps you have any fun. Fun comes from bringing a light heart and an alert, open mind. Good gear is much better at warding off various kinds of misery that can interfere with your fun, like a crappy night's sleep or sore muscles. Even then, you can still have enough fun out exploring in the woods that you'll come back for more.

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AAdamsPDX
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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by AAdamsPDX » October 28th, 2015, 6:22 pm

^Aimless wins the internet today, in my book! Especially this:
Aimless wrote: - even the best gear almost never helps you have any fun. Fun comes from bringing a light heart and an alert, open mind. Good gear is much better at warding off various kinds of misery that can interfere with your fun.... Even then, you can still have enough fun out exploring in the woods that you'll come back for more.
"The world begins where the road ends." ~Eddie Vedder
http://www.hriggsphotography.com/

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Guy
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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by Guy » October 29th, 2015, 5:37 am

Image

Great Photo :)
hiking log & photos.
Ad monte summa aut mors

greenjello85
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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by greenjello85 » October 29th, 2015, 12:00 pm

It's an individual decision but I've started to upgrade my equipment and it's worth it for me :) It makes a big difference over 20 miles. I wouldn't buy expensive gear for the kids. I've cut 9 pounds off by switching to a ula catalyst pack and enlightened equipment quilt. As others have noted, think about anything you can leave at home. I dropped several more pounds of junk I didn't need.

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retired jerry
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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by retired jerry » October 29th, 2015, 12:11 pm

harder to justify replacing an expensive sleeping bag, tent, or pack

if you're going to buy a new one, it's crazy to buy a 5 pound tent, sleeping bag, or pack

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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by Lurch » October 29th, 2015, 1:06 pm

A 10 pound max for a multi-day all-condition sort of pack is ridiculous...

My model may be a bit skewed. But rule of thumb should be pack weight doesn't exceed 1/3 body weight.. If you want to be kinder to yourself say 1/4. A 160 pound adult should keep their pack under 40 pounds. That's on the high end. Beyond that and you start having potential for injuries if there aren't legitimate things taken into account.

What you don't want, is to be in a position where you need a critical piece of gear, and find you left it behind due to weight, or in favor of a non-essential fun/comfort item.

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retired jerry
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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by retired jerry » October 29th, 2015, 1:30 pm

I agree you don't want to leave survival items

But my 1.5 pound tent works better for me than my old 5 pound tent, for example.

You don't need two layer tent. Since I take care of my gear fairly good, I can use lighter materials. A mass marketer will use extra heavy materials to satisfy even the most abusive customer. Like, if you have teenage kids, you need heavier materials, and even then they'll get destroyed.

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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by Aimless » October 29th, 2015, 2:20 pm

it's crazy to buy a 5 pound tent, sleeping bag, or pack

I'm more in the school that says everyone will make mistakes at the beginning, but the most important thing is getting them out on the trail. You never know who will take to backcountry camping like a duck to water and who will decide it is not what they thought it would be, it's dirty and buggy and sweaty and smoky and the food is bad and it's not for them.

Making a big investment in gear before it is settled which side of the fence you'll fall on makes little sense to me. A five pound pack that allows you to get out there is x100 better than not going at all. Cobbling together as much of your kit from what you already own or can borrow is often the best way to begin, even if it is heavy. However, if I were to emphasize one place not to skimp and scrounge and make do if you can afford to spend some money, it would be the sleeping bags. A too cheap bag is worthless.

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Koda
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Re: Trouble justifying the cost of "lightweight" backpacking

Post by Koda » October 29th, 2015, 2:57 pm

Lurch wrote:A 10 pound max for a multi-day all-condition sort of pack is ridiculous...
to clarify, the 10lb max is only the "baseweight" max not the total load.

I think the baseweight is just the pack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and shelter and stove (sans fuel). Still a stretch but doable I find the clincher in cost vs. weight is a good sleeping bag... hard to find a super light yet warm bag thats cheap. In fact, I think its impossible to find one.
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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