PDA

View Full Version : Another newcomer says hello



bodiak
2006-10-14, 18:29
Hi all! Just found this forum, and it seems like a good one. Allow me to introduce myself and provide my bona fides..................I'm a 47yo from Canada, been backpacking for about 34 years now, mostly here in Ontario, but also in the Adirondacks, and a bit out on the west coast. By my estimation, I've spent very nearly one full year of my life living in the woods. I still average about 2 weeks every year hiking, usually a 7 or 8 day trip at the end of the summer, and a couple shorter trips in the spring and fall. Winter hiked several times, most recently last year for 3 days up north, and the year before that I did a solo winter ascent of Algonquin Peak in the ADK's. I'm finally at the point where I'm satisfied with all my gear, but as all you experienced hikers know, the next "must-have" piece of equipment always seems to appear just when there's a bit of extra cash in my wallet! I look forward to hearing of other hikers experiences, and sharing a few of my own adventures (and misadventures). Right now I'm trying to dig up some pics of my hammock I built a few years back, as I see there's a thread on that subject.

Turk
2006-10-14, 20:48
welcome eh, man.
Good to see another hiker wander in from Ontario...
AND a hammocker to boot! with obvious symptoms of a gear head.

There is not just a thread here on hammocks, You will find
a die hard hammocking cult. Good to have you, hope
you will feel welcome and look forward to your thoughts and
contributions in the forums. There are a number of us Canadians
here, but it is good to see a local.

We have PKH, and Jak giving us some east coast representation .. but
they are so isolated way out there ....
past the "independant republic of Free Quebec":biggrin:

Just Jeff
2006-10-14, 21:40
Yeah, even Canadians are welcome here. Especially hammocking ones!

dropkick
2006-10-14, 23:26
We aren't prejudice! We enjoy having Canadians and other degenerates on the board.
Welcome.

bodiak
2006-10-15, 01:12
Well, it's great to be welcomed, although I sure hope I'm considered a hiker first, a lover of adventure second, and a Canadian, well, just about last! I've heard enough anti-american sentiments over the last few years which I don't share (although I know there's a lot of harmless ribbing here), and I'll save my political views for another forum.
Anyway, that said....I've found my hammock pics! I made it out of an old cycling tent and standard mesh hammock. Modified the tent by putting a zipper along the length of it, velcroed my sleeping bag to a Therm-a-rest pad, and added grommets to the tent corners to attach it to the hammock and the guy lines. Used it for 3 trips, and it worked quite well. What I really liked was that everything could be rolled up into one package, sleeping bag, pad, tent and hammock, but I finally gave it up and went back to my tent, mostly for the ease of getting changed and cooking inside when needed. Ironic though, as my latest tent is a North Face Solo12, a single-wall ultralight with about the same room!

bird dog
2006-10-15, 01:35
Bodiak, Good to have you here. Im sure that Turk will appreciate someone else to help him bare the brundt of the Canadian jokes thrown around here! There is alot of joking, but everyone here shares the same interests, including joking with one another. Great pics of your homemade hammock. We look forward to your input. BD

dixicritter
2006-10-15, 08:06
:ciao: Hi and welcome to the HQ!

peter_pan
2006-10-15, 17:38
Welcome to the hanging crowd...

Pan

n2o2diver
2006-10-15, 21:00
Howdy, looking forward to learning from your experiance.

bodiak
2006-10-15, 22:34
Thanks again for the welcomes, guys, but I've got to ask something, running the risk of sounding a bit dense in the process. This "base pack weight" refers to what? I've seen 7lbs, 9lbs, that sort of range.....if it refers to a fully loaded backpack sufficient for a weeklong trip into the interior, well, lets put it this way. My pack alone weighs 7lbs. I've heard of ultralight packers with a 30lb pack for 5 days, so I must be missing something here, right? I use an ultralight tent, all my gear is lightweight, yet I still carried 60lbs for an 8 day trek last month. So, please fill me in someone!!!:bootyshak

bodiak
2006-10-15, 22:36
sorry, that emoticon was a slip

Just Jeff
2006-10-15, 22:45
Base weight is everything you need to hike with, minus consumables. It includes pack, shelter, bag, clothing, water containers, stoves, etc. It doesn't include water, food, and fuel. AKA dry weight.

Add in consumables and it's total pack weight.

Add in what you're wearing and it's from skin out (FSO) weight.

8-10 lbs base weight is pretty light. Crazy lightheads have 4 lbs. Most folks on the internet forums are probably ~15 lbs b/c they carry some conveniences (just a guess).

Here's my gear list:
http://www.tothewoods.net/GearList.html

Take-a-knee
2006-10-15, 23:29
Bird Dog WANTS a Macat, TAK HAS a Macat (deluxe), it is very nice!

toddhiker
2006-10-15, 23:33
Welcome!

By simply asking how to lighten your load, you're on the right path...Some of the other forums have useful info, too, but the members here, while yes, love to joke, truly are a respectful, helpful bunch.

Ask for help w/your gear list and you'll be surprised at the cool advice.

...toddhiker

KLeth
2006-10-16, 01:55
Wellcome to the forum.
Our trip this year (12 days in the wildernes w/o resupply) we carried a total of around 60kg (two persons), hereof 19kg of consumeables.
Our tent is not lightweight and I always drag along my old trifold.

bodiak
2006-10-16, 06:43
OK, thanks for the info. Does this system of measuring weight have something to do with all the military training of you guys? (I noticed I've stepped into a heavily militarized zone! God bless you guys) In my 34 years of wilderness hiking, I've only cared about my total pack weight. I've never been a lightweight fanatic, but as I age, I've bought lighter and lighter gear. I carried 98lbs for a 16 day wilderness expedition w/o resupply when I was 19. Now, 60lbs feels real nice for a week long trip. I carry a lot of non-essentials (tripod, camera gear, a small quantity of liquor, camp shoes, lightweight chair, heavily stocked first-aid and survival kit, etc), and while I know I can get down to 50lbs without sacrificing too much, that's about the limit of what I'll require. By the time I'm too old to carry that much, I'll have my son trained as a yak and he'll carry the old mans stuff!!!

SGT Rock
2006-10-16, 07:04
Naw, most of us military guys have had to learn to start paying attention to weight. In the military that is about last on the list of concerns, but when trying to enjoy hiking it sort of becomes apparent that the less weight you carry, the easier it is.

john pickett
2006-10-16, 13:08
"Bird Dog WANTS a Macat, TAK HAS a Macat"
Take-a-knee! Shame on you! Play nice or Bird dog will start crying again.
Hate to see a grown man cry.

Bodiac, welcome.
John Pickett

Just Jeff
2006-10-16, 13:29
Not military training, but it makes sense for a resupplied trip. Food and water weight changes based on length of trip, resupply options, etc - so it's not a good weight for comparing your weight from trip to trip, or comparing with other folks' weights. But base weight stays the same regardless of resupply options or trip length (except for seasonal changes), so it's a good factor for comparisons.

So it's really only important if you're trying hard to reduce your pack weight, so you can isolate the weight that isn't affected by which trip you take - because it's on every trip. Or if you're comparing with other folks, but that's not important beyond a topic of conversation.

If you're happy with a 50 pound pack, great...it's your hike and it doesn't matter what anyone else says about your pack. But what if, by choosing gear more selectively, you could be just as happy in camp by carrying 30 lbs?

bodiak
2006-10-16, 20:52
Yeah, that's well put. I think most of my weight is with the little extras I carry. After all, I use an ultralight single wall tent w/footprint (North Face Solo12), Asolo tarp (med), light Whiskeyjack bag, Whisperlite stove with no dishes, just the pot/canister I carry it in, dehydrated food always, one of the lighter Therm-a Rests (with chair sleeve), 1 Nalgene bottle, ultralight tripod for my digital camera.......my pack is a 90+15L Lowe Contour IV however, and it weighs over 7lbs....and I insist on a fully stocked first aid/ survival kit, which I carry in my North Face fanny pack for travelling away from camp on day hikes. I can comfortably carry 50+lbs all day on rolling terrain, but since this is a site with people who have the extensive experience that I do, I'm going to figure out my base weight, get together a list of what my peripherals weigh, and see what suggestions come of it. I just don't want to sacrifice durability and preparedness for the sake of 10 or 15lbs, which is what I suspect some people do.

dropkick
2006-10-16, 21:24
As a heavy supporter of ultra lightweight packing (just ask the other board members) I recommend the purchase of edible panties and then covering the rest of your body with crisco. With this system you'll be combining shelter and edibles therefore cutting your base pack weight considerably.

As the crisco acts as a weather shield you can do away with that pesky rain gear, tent, tarp, and sleeping bag. Plus if you need more protein while hiking you can just lick your arm.

bodiak
2006-10-16, 22:35
Been there, done that....I think it should be off my record by next year

bird dog
2006-10-17, 00:28
If you're happy with a 50 pound pack, great...it's your hike and it doesn't matter what anyone else says about your pack. But what if, by choosing gear more selectively, you could be just as happy in camp by carrying 30 lbs?


Jeff hit the nail on the head. Hike Your Own Hike. Ive lightened my load in the last few years but Im nowhere near some of the others on this site, but Im comfortable with MY list. BD

bird dog
2006-10-17, 00:29
Been there, done that....I think it should be off my record by next year

So you were the guy I saw on the news! BD

bird dog
2006-10-17, 00:33
:bawling:
Bird Dog WANTS a Macat, TAK HAS a Macat (deluxe), it is very nice!

:bawling: Yes, BD still wants a MacCat. I think TAK is buying me one for Christmas. BD

Just Jeff
2006-10-17, 01:27
So you were the guy I saw on the news! BD

Yeah - and it was MY couch he was on! Just glad we had taken the cat to the vet...

I spent a lot of time looking at how to lighten my pack. Once I saw that I could safely get it below about 10 lbs, I started slowly adding stuff back in...the reason I lightened up on the big stuff is so I can comfortably carry a few luxuries.

I could carry a 15 pound pack, but for me there really isn't a difference between 15 and 25. That's 10 lbs of luxuries I can carry. Like fresh fruit, more water so I stop to refill less often, a bigger tarp, etc.

dropkick
2006-10-17, 01:27
On the serious side I think you should consider moving back to a hammock.
I moved to one this summer, am very happy and much more comfortable.

I built my own hammock out of inexpensive nylon material I got at Walmart ($1 yd.).
I don't have a big problem with bugs where I hike for most of the year, so while I built a bug net I made it independant of the hammock and normally I leave it behind. I do carry a 3' x 3' swatch that I can put over my face in the hammock if worst comes to worst - I can also use this with my hat for a face shield while hiking if needed (dual use - weee!)

I carry a lightweight 9' X 9' nylon tarp for overhead protection, though sometimes I don't bother putting it up.
(I have no idea where I got this tarp - was looking through my equipment this spring and found it.)

I am currently using an open cell foam mat stuffed into a pocket I built on the bottom of my hammock for underneath insulation. It works fine but is slightly bulky to pack so I'm looking for something else to replace it.

Overall my sleeping equipment is lighter than it was while using a tent and much more comfortable.


P.S. I sleep with a black lab between my legs in my hammock - don't know why I added this but thought you might like to know.

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 01:33
Yes, a lot of my weight reduction has come from simplifying my gear and getting rid of multiple redundancies. Things like getting rid of a two person free standing tent for solo use and getting down to a solo shelter, getting rid of a full cook set with a 2 Liter pot and fork, knife and spoon to just one pot and one spoon, getting rid of extra clothing, and other things like that. I remember about 9 years ago trying to figure out how to get my base under 30 pounds, now I would never dream of carrying a base anywhere near that.

bird dog
2006-10-17, 01:37
Yes, a lot of my weight reduction has come from simplifying my gear and getting rid of multiple redundancies. Things like getting rid of a two person free standing tent for solo use and getting down to a solo shelter, getting rid of a full cook set with a 2 Liter pot and fork, knife and spoon to just one pot and one spoon, getting rid of extra clothing, and other things like that. I remember about 9 years ago trying to figure out how to get my base under 30 pounds, now I would never dream of carrying a base anywhere near that.

:adore:

BD

sailingsoul
2006-10-19, 00:19
Bodiak said "Does this system of measuring weight have something to do with all the military training of you guys? (I noticed I've stepped into a heavily militarized zone! God bless you guys)". Well, when I was in the army we said " How the army makes anything portable, is to put two handles on it" Like an office safe! sailingsoul :captain:

sachsmark
2006-10-22, 22:42
Aye Bodiak:
It looks like you've already gotten a lot of good advice. I'll throw my two cents in.

Like yourself, I used to carry a lot more weight. Over the last year I decided to reduce both my body weight and my pack weight. Besides joining weight-watchers, I put a spreadsheet together with all of my equipment. Then I sorted it in descending order (heaviest stuff at the top of the list) and looked for methods to impact the big stuff. A titanium spork is no substitue for reducing your actual pack weight by 3 lbs., or modifying your sleep system.

For me, the biggest impacts were a lighter, smaller pack, a hammock and a lighter sleeping bag for warmer weather. I also ditched the cookware and went with a titanium pot, msr pocket rocket and 1 plastic cup. No more mess kit, multiple pots, etc.

I lightened my load over 7 lbs., give the spreadsheet method a try. If you need me to email you an example I can (it uses oz's not grams).

Mark

Turk
2006-10-23, 00:46
Funny thing about weight reduction. I joined this forum only year and a half ago, and much like Bodiak I was a little bewildered by the jargon and attention and terminology given to pack weights. I believe I was slinging around the 35-40 lb mark when I walked in here.. hmm somehwere in that range. Some here have watched my rather speedy weight reduction as it has progressed.

Truly it is not at all about sacrifice. I am down to a 9lb 9oz base weight summer. and come in around 12-15lbs total pack weight for 3-7day trips.
I can say with complete conviction. My gear now is more substantial,...
of infinitely better quality and function than anything I was using before I found this place. I haven't sacrificed anything, In fact I have gained more comforts and luxuries simply by doing my homework, and keeping a completely open mind to anything the old vets around here have to say, no matter how strange it may first seem.

Last comment... There arent too many SUL radicals to be found around here. At least they don't voice themselves overly. Nobody here will try and take you from your 7lb, 4 billion litre pack to a 12litre spinnaker bag with dental floss suspension system. Rather you get alot of refined thinking on the whole ultralight scene. Now maybe because Rock draws a large military crowd... you also get another crucial consideration.. durability. Alot of stuff guys around here promote, is BIG on long term use and durability. Something painfully lacking from places like BPL. So while the gear that is often so heavily praised and promoted around here is not at the very cutting edge of ultralight... it IS almost always a good representation of the very lightest 'practical' gear.

As everyone says ..... your hike, your pack. I WAS completely happy and to be honest somewhat proud of my 35lb pack. But getting to <20lbs was almost no effort at all, nor was it expensive. Getting <15lbs starts to hit the wallet a bit... and mistakes are made easier. Going <10 is just plain painful. Basically have to look at sites like Pans, Jeffs, Risks, etc and basically adopt them as a new religion.:biggrin:

KLeth
2006-10-23, 08:49
On our first long hike we brought too much food, a lot of junk that we did not need, fancy equipment and redundant gear (but only two books).
For the next hike we had too little food, fancy equipment, less redundant gear and almost only what we needed (but four books).
Now we are walking with enough food, a few luxuries, four books, DV-cam and no redundancy but sturdy and simple equipment and still managed to shave 35kg off the total combined weight (base and consumeables) compared to our first hike.
And that was without skinning the pocket-mole :biggrin:

bird dog
2006-10-23, 08:53
Turk, I cant find your thread for the ultralight pack system you introduced a few weeks back. Maybe you should share that with the new guys if you can find it. BD

Iceman
2006-10-23, 09:48
"skinning the pocket-mole" :biggrin:

Sounds like a great addition to the Lexicon if you ask me....