Need Tips on Lightening the Load

10:56 a.m. on April 21, 2002 (EDT)
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a.k.a. Me Again, Patti

Okay. I am trying to shave ounces from my total pack weight this year, as to not end up on an over-loaded death march when I am out hiking.
I weigh 104 lbs, so I should be carrying about 26lbs. My pack weighs 6 lbs (Northface Vigor) and I am not willing to part with it. It distributes the weight to my hips better than any pack I have tried.
I need tips on lightening more....perhaps titanium cookware?

11:41 a.m. on April 21, 2002 (EDT)
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Quote:

Okay. I am trying to shave ounces from my total pack weight this year, as to not end up on an over-loaded death march when I am out hiking.
I weigh 104 lbs, so I should be carrying about 26lbs. My pack weighs 6 lbs (Northface Vigor) and I am not willing to part with it. It distributes the weight to my hips better than any pack I have tried.
I need tips on lightening more....perhaps titanium cookware?

Titanium is expensive for the few ounces that you will save. IMHO you will find more economy in weight savings with a lightweight sleeping bag and pad, a really light tent or bivy sack, ans by leaving out a lot of stuff. Stoves and fuel are heavy, but there are some really tiny compressed gas stoves and maybe you only need a 100cc fuel bottle for a weekend. Also wearing one pair of boots with no camp shoes will save weight as will extremely light rain gear - like a poncho vs goretex jacket and pants.

I think 26 pounds might be a bit too much weight unless you are in really solid shape. I weigh 172 and 25% of my weight would be 43 pounds but I NEVER carry over 35 and I don't like to carry over 30 pounds. I am comfortable with 26 pounds. You might reconsider that heavy backpack that weighs more than a tent.

Perhaps you can find a large friend to hike with who will carry some of the load?

Jim (:->)

3:45 p.m. on April 21, 2002 (EDT)
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As Jim S said, the first place to look is that 6 pound pack. There are a lot of other packs out there that, if you get a reasonably knowledgable pack fitter (not the ones at EMS and REI), can easily be adjusted to fit you well. For a summer weekend in the Presidentials, Sierra, Cascades, Tetons, etc, I take a 20 pound or under pack, including food, fuel, and water (Jim always includes his Thermarester chair and some other luxo items like his night-vision scope to watch the bears, which is why his pack is sometimes 30 pounds - his 35 pound pack is his winter pack). My pack is 2 pounds empty. I do use an expedition pack (at 7 pounds) when carrying the climbing gear in addition to the camping gear, or for a week-long backcountry ski tour, but if you limit your pack to under 25 or even 30 pounds, it doesn't take much in a pack to be comfortable.

In other words, you can cut _pounds_ by getting a lighter pack.

A second pound-saving place is your shelter. There are several shelters that are very light. Sharing a tent helps, of course. But consider something like the Sierra Designs Flashlight as a 2-person shelter (under 4 pounds). Also consider a bivy sack or even a light tarp that you can use as a ground cloth on dry nights or toss over you in case of rain.

Consider what clothing you are taking. Since you are in the woods, who cares what you smell like or if you have dirt on your face? You don't need changes of clothing (except socks, if the hike is more than a couple days long). Lots of people have found that a pair of nylon shorts, a pair of long johns (poly), a poly T-shirt, a fleece or Lite-loft-filled jacket, light wp/b pants and jacket, and fleece hat more than fill the bill.

For a cook set, a single pot is usually plenty. No need for titanium. And if you use black pots and a proper wind shield/heat director, you will use less fuel.

The thing I find people carrying that really adds to the weight are items that are not really need and just luxury. Ditch the cell phone, CD player, and other entertainment devices - enjoy the woods. Take no more than the smallest mini-mag lite, and ditch the 2 C-cell monster.

List every one of your items and then go over the list to classify everything into Use Everytime, Use Frequently, Use Occasionally, Genuine Emergency, Never Used, Amusement Only. Then throw out everything except the Use Everytime. Try making things multi-purpose (Swiss Army knife is great, but again here, how many blades do you actually use? When was the last time that hook thing was useful?)

You should also read Ray Jardine's Beyond Backpacking. The Ray-Way is a bit extreme, but there is a place for useful ideas for cutting weight. And yes, his packs are comfortable, especially when you are down to under 15 pounds for a week-long trip.

8:31 p.m. on April 21, 2002 (EDT)
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I went through this process last year and ended up cutting my pack weight from 31 to 22 lbs. I basically took a look at every single thing I was carrying. I didn't really eliminate very much, but I replaced several items with lighter versions - stove, rain jacket, sleeping pad, tent, groundcloth, water bottles (1L soda bottle instead of Nalgene), and cook pot. I spent some money, but it was well worth it. That 9 lbs really made a big difference in my hiking speed and comfort. Go through all of your gear, weigh each piece on an accurate scale, then ask yourself first if you need it, second if there is a lighter equivalent, and third if you are willing to spend a little to shave the pounds. BTW - I agree with Bill and Jim, the easiest way for you to lose some weight is to get a lighter pack.

Quote:

Okay. I am trying to shave ounces from my total pack weight this year, as to not end up on an over-loaded death march when I am out hiking.
I weigh 104 lbs, so I should be carrying about 26lbs. My pack weighs 6 lbs (Northface Vigor) and I am not willing to part with it. It distributes the weight to my hips better than any pack I have tried.
I need tips on lightening more....perhaps titanium cookware?

2:38 p.m. on April 22, 2002 (EDT)
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I am constantly eyeing my gear to see if there is a way I can lighten my load. Like you, I am also unwilling to give up my heavy pack. I have used lots of packs and the one I have makes such a difference on the trail that I am willing to tolerate the extra weight. Until I find that miracle pack that feels as good as the one I have, I have made changes in other places. Other than your pack, you don't say what you have, but here are some changes I've made over the years to lighten up:
1. Substituted a 3/4 length ultralite thermarest (18 ounces for my full-length standard thermarest (2 pounds 11 ounces) (When I bring the Hammock, I don't carry a thermarest at all);
2. Substituted the Petzl Zippka headlight (2.3 ounces) for for Petzl Micro (5 ounces);
3. Substituted a Sno-Peek Gigapower stove (2.5 ounces) for my Coleman Extreme stove (11 ounces);
4. Substituted Marmot Precip jacket and pants (19 ounces) for my older Goretex raingear (28 ounces);
5. Substituted Marmot Driclime Jacket (11 ounces) and sidezip pants (13 ounces) for all my fleece (38 ounces);
6. Substituted a Hennessy Hammock (1.5 pounds) for an LL Bean Microlight below tree-line (4 pounds 9 ounces); and
7. Substituted a Mackenzie Ex-stream bottle filter (8 ounces dry weight) for my MSR Miniworks water filter (16 ounces).

You don't say what kind of cookware you have, but if you're using aluminum I'm not sure you'll realize a lot of weight savings buying titantium cookware if you're bringing only one pot. Although I have to admit that I have replaced my lexan utensils with a titantium spork and I like it a lot.

The changes I have made have not lessened my enjoyment. If I found that any of them did, I would go back to the heavier item just like I have done with the back. Just some ideas.

2:56 p.m. on April 22, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Ditch the top compression pocket (if detachable)

This is a pretty straight forward idea that may let you lighten your pack and still use the same pack. Whenever I take my Dana Terraplane on shorter trips, I detach the top compression pocket. I may lose a little convenience, but it saves about 10-12 ounces.

John

4:16 p.m. on April 22, 2002 (EDT)
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I'm all for trimming useless weight. I always buy the lightest things I can afford and then alter them as much as possible (cut off pockets, tags, and useless junk.) A kitchen scale ($12, Target) is very useful.

But for one thing, I don't see why you need a heavy frame pack if you're only aiming to carry 25 pounds. For another thing, I don't think it's necessary to limit yourself to 25% of your weight. I weigh 120, and comfortably carry 60. If you train carefully, you can carry way more than 25% of your weight without huge reduction in speed. Don't be intimidated by the gender-biased "guidelines" of the world. Find your own comfortable pack weight.

9:14 p.m. on April 22, 2002 (EDT)
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Here's a not to do

Similar to JF, I often modify gear to make it lighter as well. I've used a drill in the past to put holes in metal objects that don't need to be so beefy (spoon, pot holder, etc.). However, DO NOT drill holes in the aluminum feeder sleeve for your candle lantern. I made this mistake and the candle gets warm enough to seep out the holes. Once the candle hardens (as it cools), it won't feed like it's supposed to because it's jammed in the holes that some genious drilled in the sleeve. Of course, if you're really going lightweight, you probably won't have a candle lantern with you anyway.

Drillman

10:36 p.m. on April 22, 2002 (EDT)
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More Lightening the Load

Quote:

1. Substituted a 3/4 length ultralite thermarest (18 ounces for my full-length standard thermarest (2 pounds 11 ounces) (When I bring the Hammock, I don't carry a thermarest at all);

*** a "blue foam" pad ($5 at WalMart or Target) is about 8 ounces. It's comfortable enough for my ancient bones, but a Ridgerest (much more expensive) at 13 ounces should be comfortable enough for most anyone as light as "Me", compared to any Thermarest or other inflatable ***

Quote:

2. Substituted the Petzl Zippka headlight (2.3 ounces) for for Petzl Micro (5 ounces);

*** Get Jim S's favorite, a microLith at about an ounce. Longer life than the Zippka or Tikka, too. And plan your trip so you hit the sack shortly after sundown and get up at dawn - use natural light, no flashlights, no candles. ***

Quote:

3. Substituted a Sno-Peek Gigapower stove (2.5 ounces) for my Coleman Extreme stove (11 ounces);

*** The MSR Pocket Rocket is lighter, and better performing than the SnowPeak. But remember the weight of the fuel cannister. If you use compressed gas, you are pretty much stuck with the weight of the cannisters, and you do have to pack out the empties. Total weight of any of the cannister-top screw-on stoves, like the SnowPeak, MSR cannister, Primus cannister, or other Lindahl-valve stoves plus a weekend's worth of fuel and container is significantly less than the Coleman X-stoves or liquid fuel stoves (except the Svea 123 maybe). Then again, for a weekend, you could take non-cook meals. ***

Quote:

4. Substituted Marmot Precip jacket and pants (19 ounces) for my older Goretex raingear (28 ounces);

*** like my PreCip a lot, except it doesn't seem to breathe as well as my Goretex 3-layer gear. Lots lighter though. ***

Quote:

5. Substituted Marmot Driclime Jacket (11 ounces) and sidezip pants (13 ounces) for all my fleece (38 ounces);

*** if you have a windbreaker (the PreCip will serve), then a set of light or medium longjohns (depending on you and the season) will do as well and weigh less than the DriClime - much as my wife loves her DriClime. You can wear them as outer clothes with shorts (stylish among us climber and backcountry skier types) or under other clothing. ***

Quote:

6. Substituted a Hennessy Hammock (1.5 pounds) for an LL Bean Microlight below tree-line (4 pounds 9 ounces);

*** Only problem with hammocks is that they can be quite cold, with all the air circulating on all sides. I found them quite nice when living in Central America, but got very cold when trying them in winter above snowline. Also, had an experience one night in the San Jacinto Mountains being rudely awakened by being bumped hard from below. I looked to see who had been so rude and looked into the eyes of a 6-point buck. Turned out I had slung the hammock across a deer path. Lucky I hadn't gotten snagged by the antlers. ***

Quote:

and
7. Substituted a Mackenzie Ex-stream bottle filter (8 ounces dry weight) for my MSR Miniworks water filter (16 ounces).

*** Iodine tablets are much lighter. After letting the halogen do its action, add a bit of energy drink or lemon powder to kill the taste. But some people don't like the taste anyway, and if the water source is murky, you will want a filter. Depends on the water in your area. If you are in winter and melting snow for water, just bring the water up to boiling (160F is sufficient to kill the beasties, per the wilderness medicine books). You needn't filter the water you are heating for cooking in any case. ***

Quote:

... titantium spork ...

*** I discovered a slight problem with my Ti spork this weekend, when I took some freeze-dry for convenience - in stirring the water into the dried stuff, I apparently punched a hole in the plastic mixing bag. I soon discovered the sauce and a few veggies leaking through the hole. Other problem with a spork is that it is harder to eat your soup and oatmeal with a spork than with a spoon. Then again, some dishes are easier with the spork. ***

*** Again, though, the main thing is to look at whether you need (I mean, REALLY need) each item or can (a) leave it out with no significant loss of comfort or (b) substitute a multi-purpose item that combines several tasks at a lighter weight than you are carrying now (how many pots do you really need, use a bandana as a towel/bandana/sunshade /triangular bandage, use your foam pad as a chair/splint for a broken leg or ankle instead of the SamSplint in your 1st aid kit, and so on). Of course, if the multi-tool ends up weighing more than the seperate items it combines, go back to the separate items. ***

9:42 a.m. on April 23, 2002 (EDT)
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Me - Hard to advise without seeing your complete pack list of contents. My suggestion is to mention that there are several sites that focus on the subject of lightweight hiking:

http://www.backpacking.net/bbs.html#top
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackingLight/messages
http://www.backpackinglight.com/
http://golite.com

Lightening your overall pack weight is a work in progress. you should consider starting with a light shelter and sleeping system. Of course taking an inventory of the balance of gear will result in more ounce shavings which eventually adds up to pounds. When you get the contents in order, your pack will eventually be replaced because the weight distribution will not rely on a heavy duty suspension system. The extreme example is the GoLite Breeze backpack only weighs around 14 oz. Obviously, many others are a few pounds but a 15 - 20 lb load will not need a 6 pound backpack. - John Macri

11:30 a.m. on April 23, 2002 (EDT)
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Weigh 120lbs and can comfortably carry 60 lbs? Absolute Baloney!

Ain't no way you are ever gonna convince me of that, even if you were hitting up the steroids. Ain't no way a mere mortal is gonna do it!! How far can you comfortably carry it - 2 feet? I would believe 40 pounds.

11:56 a.m. on April 23, 2002 (EDT)
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Some things I have used in the past....

Mini hammock - only 8oz. Sierra Zip wood burning stove. Don't carry fuel - pick your fuel up off the ground. Forget headlights and lanterns, stick a lightstick or a krill lamp on your head. Use a 2 AA powered flashlight. Boil your water, leave the filter at home. Plastic bowls and mugs. Just use an 8 cup coffee pot for everything. Unwrap everything in packages and put them in ziplock bags.

I am 150lbs in weight and can comfortably carry 40 lbs.

11:57 a.m. on April 23, 2002 (EDT)
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Come on, Ed

If the Old Greybeard can struggle up the trail with 100 pounds of climbing gear, camping gear, and food in my 60s and at 150 pounds, surely a youngun can carry more than 5/6 of their body weight. I don't do it regularly, but still do it 2 or 3 times a summer when I want to do something challenging in the Sierra. That's 8-10 mile approaches and 2-3000 ft to the campsite. Of course, I use the next day as a rest day/acclimatization day, and it does take quite a few hours to crawl up the trail. But I am far from the only one doing this sort of thing.

In winter, when playing Scout leader and hence carrying an extra sleeping bag, tent, and clothing for the youth who inevitably gets soaked plus extra food and fuel for those who goofed on the meal planning, I usually have 45 pounds in the pack and 80-90 in the sled

Also, look through any year of National Geographic and at the climbing expedition reports - porters in the Andes, Himalayas, and elsewhere regularly carry close to their body weight, often in bare feet or flipflops, using a tumpline (none of your fancy internal frame packs).

Then again, if we are talking about the usual city-dweller who just gets out on the trail once in a while, then the 1/4 body weight rule is a pretty good one. And if I am just out for a weekend campout, my pack is in the 15-20 pound range, depending on how well I want to eat (and, yes, I confess that Jim S is speaking truly when he mentions my carrying my view camera, tripod, and a few dozen film holders into the backcountry on occasion, although more commonly, it is 2 Nikon bodies, 5 Nikkor prime lenses - 24, 35, 55 Micro, 135, and 300, some macro gear, tripod, and some other assorted goodies).

I do not say this to brag, but rather to note that there are a lot of people out on the trail regularly carrying more than half their body weight. Few carry as much as Norman Clyde did (only met him a couple times, but he carried a pretty complete library of hard-bound books, plus a heavy weapon). And also, most carrying heavy loads are carrying unneeded and undesirable extras. If you are climbing, the ropes and hardware add a lot that is needed. Or if you are on a photo mission, top-quality camera gear suited to the purpose of the images is vital. But if you are just heading into the hills to enjoy the solitude and beauty of a mountain lake, then the 15 pound pack is plenty to keep you safe and comfortable.

12:24 p.m. on April 23, 2002 (EDT)
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Sorry Doc, this is a case of seeing is believing....

I'm sure I'll never see it, so I'll never believe it. Just sounds like a little "creative internetting" to me.


As an Industrial Photographer (U.S. Navy & General Dynamics) with 23 years experience....I have carried my share of camera gear - in multiple formats at once. We don't really need to go there.

I have a brother in law, who is into weight lifting. He even plays the characters Hercules and Captain America here in Orlando at Universal Studios. He weighs close to about 250 lbs and is all muscle. Once in a while he will go backpacking with me. He can easily carry a 75 lb pack if he HAD to. To him on a trip, 45 lbs is comfortable.


Key words the 120 lb person used was "COMFORTABLY CARRY". Even you aren't going to convince me that he can comfortably carry a 60 lb load for a few miles - without proof.

Hell, I can struggle with a 100 lb load for a few feet and I can run a Marathon in under three hours (or is that more creative internetting - no one will ever know for sure!).

In conclusion: because someone on a bulletin board says it's true - doesn't mean I am gonna take it as the gospel truth. I even have my doubts about the validity of the gospel!

4:36 p.m. on April 23, 2002 (EDT)
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60/120, ditto to that!! Ain't no Bull or Baloney!

I too is 120lb and have carried close to 70lb half way up Baker. That was back in the days when I did know better and didn't have money to buy lighter gear. Now, I'm just aiming for 55lb in my weeklong mountaineering pack and about 18lb in my weekend solo backpacking pack.

Like I said in the "You Again??" thread above, it all depends on your physical condition, style, and experience. If one like 40/120, that's fine with me. I won't sweat over it whether it is Bull or Baloney! Cheers, :-))

8:24 p.m. on April 23, 2002 (EDT)
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Lighten up Francis...

To think that we believe everything that we read is a stretch. Give the guy some credit as we do you and everybody else and let everyone interpret it on their own. If they think it's BS, let them, but no need trying to sway others opinions on fact vs fiction stories on a BBS.

Cheers

adam g

12:50 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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a.k.a. Bill Amidon
Re: Sorry Doc, this is a case of seeing is believing....

Just thought I would throw in my 2 cents - I have a friend who has carried 50 to 60 pounds on some pretty long hikes and he weighs 112. I weigh 160 and have carried 90 pounds on more than one occasion on 12 mile hikes, with 3000' gained and lost, into basins in the Wind River Mt.s on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. I've seen some pretty small people carry some impressive loads over the years and some of them were women with 60 pound packs. I usually know what my pack weighs because I like to weigh it before heading out.

6:31 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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You guys are missing the point here!..........

You all state you CAN carry this weight or that weight. Fine - that's wonderfull and good for you.

No one has backed up the claim that the 120lb person can hike with it COMFORTABLY!. That's the point - comfortably carry.

Hell, even I can drag a 200lb pack across a vinyl floor.

8:01 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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describe 'comfortably'

Everyone has a different confort level, so it's an intangible that really can't be measured. So why dispute intangibles?

8:14 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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You are asking the wrong person!

I am not the one who initially said comfortably carry. Therefore I cannot describe the intended meaning. Actually in my opinion, the two words used together is an oxymoron.

At this point all we can do is agree to disagree.

8:52 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

but you're the one that brought it to issue n/t

n/t

8:58 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
Ray Gardine Ray Gardine

If you REALLY want to read some stuff about lightening a pack weight, check out the book by Ray Gardine. Forgot the title, but I think it is his only book. Great stuff in it.

9:00 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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wow, that was wierd...

Do I need to repeat myself???

9:36 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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Ok. to me Comfy means..........

comfy is not struggling to lift the pack up and put it on. comfy means you can walk five miles without needing to take a break cause the pack is too heavy. comfy means one can walk upright without staring at your shoes the whole time.

11:38 a.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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60 - 90 lbs?! Backpacking or car camping w/o the car?

..........I have a friend who has carried 50 to 60 pounds on some pretty long hikes and he weighs 112. I weigh 160 and have carried 90 pounds on more than one occasion on 12 mile hikes, with 3000' gained and lost, into basins in the Wind River Mt.s on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.


Willy - Geez, no disrespect but would love to know the contents of a 90 lb backpack. I'd also suspect hoisting it onto ones back could cause a couple of grunts. I think I will stick with 18 - 30 lb, summer thru Adirondack winters. Really, if you could, please post a gear list. - John

1:43 p.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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gear list

2 - 60 meter 10 mm ropes - that's about 15 pounds right there

assortment of cams, stoppers, slings - 15-30 pounds

So we're already up to 30-45 pounds, and haven't even gotten to the camping gear.

Need I go further?

Oh, photo expedition - 20-25 pounds of 35mm bodies and lenses, 5 pounds of tripod (I like solid tripods).

For Ed, though - I guess I am rarely comfortable. To me, comfort is lying in my cozy down sleeping bag on my nice foam pad, with my lovely spouse serving delicious libations as I gaze up at the stars in the crystal clear skies. Since that is the reward for that day on the trail, the rocks I stumble over, the dust I breathe kicked up by the passing horseriders, and the sweat dripping off my brow are easily ignored and forgotten. In the case of the climb, the view from the summit and feeling of accomplishment in completing a hard technical route more than wipe out the 30 pounds of climbing gear and 20 pounds of camping gear and food I had to haul in over 20 miles of rocky steep trail. Comfort in that case is a rock to lean against on the summit.

De gustibus, and all that ...

2:40 p.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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I'll be thinking of you Thursday evening........

I'll be camping on a sub tropical island, swinging in my hammock eating a T-bone steak and fresh cut fries cooked in butter and sipping shots of tequilla while listening to the soft croaking of alligators eating ferrel pigs in the distance.

Get a Bogen tripod and get rid of that whimpy five pound one. Carefull though - I think Lester died from rectal cancer caused by all the sitting on them.

Oh, and speaking of making new trails. Last saturday was my volunteer day to create the new trail that I had asked you for info about. Twas no big deal. They showed me where points "A & B" were, and asked me to create the trail inbetween and create way points of the new trail. Was a lot of fun (I did draw some blood from a machette). I cleared a trail .27 miles long and 50" inches wide. Even marked it with reflective tacks for night hiking. It's fun to be a State Park Volunteer! Great fringe benefits - I prefer to do my hiking and bushwacking at night, so all I have to do is let the Park Ranger know that I am there and I have the park for my own use all night long.

11 more miles of trail making to go!

3:06 p.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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"Now any of you homos touch me, and I'll kill ya.

"lighten up Francis" - great quote, made me chuckle!

3:08 p.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
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Glad you saw the humour n/t

n/t

11:23 p.m. on April 24, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Me, Patti
It's ME again

Quote:

n/t


I seem to have created s tir with my initial posting: "How to lighten the load"
Perhaps some of you supermen who can carry 60 to 90 pounds could serve as pack animals for my trips. We will star by climbing the Grand Teton. Any takers?

Cheers!
Patti

9:44 a.m. on April 25, 2002 (EDT)
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Ok..

Quote:

I seem to have created s tir with my initial posting: "How to lighten the load"
Perhaps some of you supermen who can carry 60 to 90 pounds could serve as pack animals for my trips. We will star by climbing the Grand Teton. Any takers?

Nicer to just do in a day. I'll carry all the group gear (rope and rack).

Yeee haaa!

Brian in SLC

7:52 p.m. on April 29, 2002 (EDT)
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Sure Patti (:->)

I'm game. leave out your 6 pound pack and tent and I can carry the rest... err that is if you carry the ropes and climbing gear.
Jim S

6:22 a.m. on May 1, 2002 (EDT)
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I see all those who claim they can comfortably carry 60 lbs took up your offer! n/m

n/m

12:14 a.m. on May 9, 2002 (EDT)
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a.k.a. Bill Amidon
Why is the word "comfortably" so important?

One carries a 90 lb. pack for a reason - certainly not to show off. If one is to establish a basecamp 12 miles in and 3000' up one would prefer to do it in one trip. In my case I was not only carrying my usual camping gear, some of which I admittedly could have left behind, but also photo equipment, fishing gear, climbing gear, extra boots, art materials, and enough food for three people for three weeks. I suppose I'm a strange person - I actually enjoy carrying a heavy pack. I always carry a pack when I hike, even if I don't really need it. It's more than just having a place to shed clothes into when one heats up, or for carrying binoculars and water and so on - it just feels good on my back.

12:59 a.m. on May 9, 2002 (EDT)
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a.k.a. Bill Amidon
Why is the word "comfortably" so important?

One carries a 90 lb. pack for a reason - certainly not to show off. If one is to establish a basecamp 12 miles in and 3000' up one would prefer to do it in one trip. In my case I was not only carrying my usual camping gear, some of which I admittedly could have left behind, but also photo equipment, fishing gear, climbing gear, extra boots, art materials, and enough food for three people for three weeks. I suppose I'm a strange person - I actually enjoy carrying a heavy pack. I always carry a pack when I hike, even if I don't really need it. It's more than just having a place to shed clothes into when one heats up, or for carrying binoculars and water and so on - it just feels good on my back.

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