Perfect is the Enemy of Good

8:39 p.m. on December 2, 2012 (EST)
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I'm starting this thread in response to the 600 v. 800 down thread and what seems to be an arms race to build the lightest, most expensive down jacket on the planet and convince everyone that if you don't have it, your gear is inferior and you should either stay at home or get out your credit card. This is bunk and it annoys me to no end. I know this attitude can and does discourage people from getting into backpacking because I see posts from people who say "I'd like to go camping, but it just costs too much." It doesn't have to be that way.

Yes, there is a lot of junk on the market that I wouldn't recommend to someone car camping in fair weather, but between that and stuff endorsed by Ed Viesturs or someone like him (who is getting it for free) there is a vast middle for the average person.

I am at best a casual camper. I am not climbing 8000M peaks, skiing across Antarctica or doing anything more than spending a few days in winter in a place like Yosemite. Maybe one of these days, I'll get to Yellowstone, but I really don't see myself at Everest Base Camp gearing up for an assault on the summit. Not going to happen in this lifetime anyway.

So, do I need the absolute best at any price? NO. They same way I don't need to work on the fastest computer I can find or drive a Ferrari on the 405 in rush hour traffic.

By example-

I have two down bags and two parkas. One of each I bought used. The bags have 650 down (I know one does for sure and assume the other does as well since it is mid 80's vintage), one is a Marmot, the other MacPac, two brands I know and respect. The two parkas are both TNF - an old nylon Nuptse, probably 600 or 650 down and a Baltoro which is Dryloft and 700 down. Sure, it would be nice if they had 800 down, but for what I paid for them, not worth it to me. A few extra ounces compared to what I saved was a fair trade off.

I got my Nuptse at a TNF outlet store for about $100, which is 50% of today's retail; paid just over 50% retail for the Baltoro on eBay a few years ago compared to $500 retail or $600 for the new version Himalayan; same with one of my bags - 50% retail of its original price; paid retail 25 years ago for the MacPac.

The bottom line is that not everyone needs top of the line gear. I am one of those people. I have some stuff that I think is pretty high quality, but not worth replacing just because something better has come along.

I'm not faulting anyone for upgrading or buying the best; what I am saying is that not everyone needs the best, that often good is good enough. So, in the battle of the down, is 650 "inferior" to 800? Not really, it just isn't as warm for its weight, which for many applications, is really irrelevant.

 

 

10:42 p.m. on December 2, 2012 (EST)
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Amen.  Thanks for putting it better than I did. 

11:29 p.m. on December 2, 2012 (EST)
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Thankfully the best backpacking gear doesn't cost $300,000 like a new Ferrari.  My North Face Nupste is a pitiful example of what a down jacket could be and I spent $199 on it several years ago.  Problem is, NF quality control is so poor that the jacket arrived underfilled and in my opinion had more shell fabric then down fill.


Had I slowed down and "bought better" I could've gotten something in the $400 range which I ended up doing anyway and saved myself the useless $199 for the Nupste.  This is called Buy Right, Buy Once.  This goes for sleeping bags and tents and all else.  We get nickled and dimed into inferior products because we're afraid to spend the big bucks.  Two years later we realize our mistake and buy the thing we needed to begin with. 

But there is no perfect piece of gear.  Take the Hillebergs.  I could write a book on their defects.  Or at least write a pretty good essay.  No piece of gear is perfect. 


I sort of divide it into trip frequencies.  If a person goes out once a year he doesn't need the best, heck he could get by with a shower curtain and a couple wool blankets.  Why spend thousands for one trip a year?  But if he's out all the time, well, the best gear helps his "head gear" and keep his attitude squared away, plus it makes more financial sense.

1:31 a.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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I suppose this is the reason I buy so much stuff on sale. I just can't convince myself that the extra price margin for full price on the top shelf item is worth it, for me. I can get by with less. But as Tipi notes, sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

1:45 a.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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I have a Kelty Light Year bag with 650 goose in it and it has kept me warm to its rating which is 20 degrees. On the other hand I could have saved 10 to 12 ounces in overall weight and bought an 800+ down bag which would have cost me a bit more, maybe even hundreds more for a really nice Valandre Bloody Mary. But, the Kelty is more than adequate. I have one of those Patagucci down sweaters with 800 FP in it but I did not pay full price for it. I was lucky enough to get it on sale for $99. Would I have paid full price to have the latest and greatest? Probably not. But if there is a sale on a higher end piece of gear, I don't see a reason why one should steer clear of it for a lower priced item using lower quality materials. Hunt for the bargains and get awesome gear that won't fail you. That's the name of the game, except for Hillebergs. They are in their own class.

3:20 a.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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Tipi, I agree completely with you, but that is my point. If you are out all the time, get the best, even if used, because it will last. My Patagonia base layer has lasted for years and even right now, I am wearing a Patagonia top I picked up at their last sale, half off. I expect it to last years as well.  As you saw above, I have a Nuptse, but there's nothing wrong with mine. It is about as puffy as I could expect and the quality is pretty good. Again, I got it about half off at a TNF outlet store.

Don't get me wrong, I like having the best I can afford, which is why I will often buy used gear rather than something new for the same money. Whatever it may be is usually designed better for one thing which to me is just as important as how it is manufactured

12:31 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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Tom D is right of course.  Diminishing returns are quickly reached in today's realm of equipment.  A lot of the discussion here is really nit-picking.

It is always interesting to keep the historical perspective about the equipment that can get the job done.  People used to depend much less on equipment and more on skill.

 

2:37 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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Tom, I could not have said it better.  The down fill thing really grates on my nerves.  650 was exotic down in it's day and is still very good.  The only difference is weight, and outside of a -40 bag, the weight is often not that great for comparable items.  The cost of saving a pound of pack weight is a lot of money.  Sometimes good enough is good enough.

4:03 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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well said. the 650 jacket I have is more than adequate for the hiking/camping I do. I am not going to fork out for 850 just because someone says it's cool. I don't need it. period. that goes for the rest of my gear...sure a bag that weighs only two pounds and is good down to zero would be nice...but I don't need it. I got the -5 bag I have (that weighs four pounds) on sale at rei - a good deal. I used it for snow camping on san jacinto a few times, that's what I got it for. but if it wasn't on sale I wouldn't have got it- I would have rented. it was a good deal at the time, I think 99$. now I have a winter and summer bag...but I didn't get the one that all the ads say to get. I got what I needed. get what you need - all the rest is not necessary.

4:35 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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A while back, a British expedition recreated the clothes that Mallory and Irvine wore on their climb of Everest. While we all know they disappeared in 1924 and Mallory's body was found in 1999, their fate does not appear to have been due to inadequate clothing.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5076634.stm

While it is true that modern technology is making everything smaller, lighter and more efficient, as ppine says, the law of diminishing returns applies to outdoor gear as well as most other things.

As I have mentioned before, I belong to a winter camping website that emphasizes old school technology, which for some applications cannot be matched by newer clothing and gear. For example, in sub zero weather, according to those far more experienced than me, a canvas anorak is a better outer garment than Gore-tex or any of its competitors because it is not only breatheable, but lightweight and relatively immune to things like sparks from a fire or thick brush that will easily rip open a lightweight nylon shell. They also use old school wooden showshoes that don't look much different than ones made by the Indians or Eskimos a hundred years ago.

 

5:08 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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Old school technology:


Entry273a.JPG

(Doug Scott's fleece jacket, Everest 1975)

I guess clothes do not maketh the man; though this doesn't stand in the way of what General Motor's research division called, "the organised creation of dissatisfaction".

I believe orange is back in.

5:21 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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I understand the point perfectly and have come from homemade and surplus gear as a pre-teen to better stuff and for a period to the high end gear. I’m back to the good stuff in the middle, not the highest end and the more expensive offerings anymore. I spend a lot of time outdoors and in canyon country the gear wears out in time. Zippers fail and holes get eaten in nylon. They wanted a couple hundred bucks plus shipping plus time delays to replace the zippers on my Hilleberg Katium 3. Yes, I have already replaced the sliders, it’s the coils that are damaged after hundreds of nights. I got an REI Halfdome 4 on sale recently for about the same money with better zipper design imo. It does not have the tight curve that does the most wearing.  I’ll see how it sheds wind. There are no snow issues, it’s the occasional high winds. We have more room now too with little weight difference.

I thought that was a good review from leadbelly on the Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero Parka. I got one year before last in July or August when they were trying to get rid of them. The zipper and the fabric are definitely more robust than my WM Flight jacket. They did replace the zipper in the flight jacket after seven years for free though so WM has it benefits other than ultra light weight for the warmth. But, I wanted a parka that would cover the pelvis and head for those colder windy days. It is a big puffy coat and I paid far less than Walter did for his Nuptse.

I understand those who want the top shelf stuff but coming from surplus Korean War issue pack and a couple of wool blankets pinned together to a canvas covering for my bedroll, the modern middle of the road stuff seems good to me. Sales are the time I get things now that I’m retired and live on a more fixed budget. A little upholstery thread goes a long way too.

I like middle of the road stuff, high end stuff and old second hand stuff. High end does not mean in particular that it lasts longer though and it does not always mean that it works better either.

6:03 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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this may be a tangent, but what are the advantages of wood/laced snowshoes over those with aluminum edges and neoprene lacing & deck? i still use a pair of Sherpa snowshoes that are almost 30 years old.  i would like to understand the differences.

 

my new/old school shoes:
snowshoes-2.jpg

the steel claws i riveted to the bindings when i replaced them a few years ago:


Snowshoes-20Ice-20claw.jpg

10:44 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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I tend to (or at least try to) buy the "best bang for the buck."  Sometimes that's the best product available - sometimes it's not.  It was a lesson hard learned.  Hard on my wallet, that is.

11:26 a.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
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Tom D,

Can you devulge the name of your winter camping site? Thanks.

Hello ghostdog.

1:53 p.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
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ppine,

Tom's photo is in Yosemite, on the north side of the Glacier Point road, toward Dewey Point IIRC. When I go to that area, I generally go south of the Glacier Point road, through the Bridalveil Campground, Ghost Forest, and on toward Ostrander Hut (I usually camp in any one of a number of places out there, but don't stay at the Hut - it used to be a Sierra Club Hut, but now belongs to NPS).


Tom - the original question was simply is there a difference between 600 and 800 fill down. The simple answer is "yes, there is a difference." What you addressed above is a different question, which in essence is whether one or the other is appropriate and/or necessary.

Appropriate? - depends on what you are doing. I train adult Boy Scout Leaders to take the youth in their charge on everything from day hikes to 50 milers to winter camping. In those situations, the answer is No! The answer even varies over that range of activities. For winter in the Sierra, the old adage "Cotton kills!" is true. But if the day hike is in Montebello Open Space in summer, then cotton is the best choice, for the very property that makes cotton inappropriate for winter in the Sierra - cotton holds moisture, promoting evaporation and lots of cooling great for hot, sunny weather, deadly for soggy wet snow conditions or freezing rain.

For the 50-milers and winter in the Sierra, the Scouts should have gear that is waterproof and wicks well - which means no cotton, but using polyester fleece and sleeping bags with synthetic fill. Young scouts tend to get everything wet, and the synthetics (1) hold less water (down becomes useless, since it takes so long to dry and it loses all insulating quality when wet - maybe the "dry down" now available will partly overcome that problem) and (2) can potentially be dried in the field if you get a sunny day.

Another important point is how long are you going to be engaged in the activity? Is this just a couple years at most (as it often is for the growing boys in scouting)? Then durability is less important. I usually suggest to beginners to get inexpensive, entry-level gear and clothing, "get your feet wet" (so to speak, not literally), observe others, then decide if (1) you are going to continue and (2) what gear is more appropriate to the next level of involvement. When I go on some of my expeditions, I see people in other groups who are on their "once in a lifetime" trip (usually men in middle-age crisis). They got the gear for that one trip, and will never use it again. In that case, don't spend the money on the fancy stuff.

One post noted that in Mallory's time, they wore wool. And the Inuit wore seal skins and reindeer hides. I participate from time to time in re-enactments, where we include buckskin and wool jackets and buckskin pants, with oiled canvas for rain gear. That works just fine, even in snowy conditions (I am always surprised at how well my brain-tanned elk pants and jacket shed water).  People got along fine with these when that was what was available. But it was heavy. The old mountain men used pack animals and set up base camps (packing a dutch oven gets a bit heavy, although I have done it a few times - much better for cooking than this modern titanium and aluminum cookware).

Personally, when I head out in spring-summer-fall in the Sierra, Ventana Wilderness, or Santa Cruz Mountains, I take a synthetic bag that is "warm enough", often with a poncho for rain protection (doubles as a tarp for camping), with an old wool sweater for warmth. But for Antarctica or the Andes where I have to carry enough for a week to a month, I go to my down gear.

Bottom line is - pick the gear that works for your particular activity. It does not have to be the top-end, top-dollar gear. It only needs to be "good enough" for the conditions and your style. Match the tools to the task at hand.

"Perfection" is a goal. Getting out there in the woods and hills is about the journey, not the goal.

5:09 p.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
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ppine - the site is www.winterrekking.com The members are mostly Canadians or Americans who live in places like Minnesota. I found it through a member on another site I belong to devoted to lightweight backpacking - the two opposites.

Bill is right, that photo was taken near the trailhead to Dewey Point along Glacier Point Road.

Bill, I realize the original question was "is there a difference" and I'm not doubting that. But the question raised a separate issue, which is why I started a separate thread.

BTW, I saw an 800 fill jacket at Costco yesterday for $70. If it had more than two ounces of fill, I would be shocked. It was so thin that I can't imagine it being warm in anything near freezing. My Nuptse has to be warmer than that thing.

Leadbelly, I have not used the traditional snowshoes, just modern ones. I have a new pair of Atlas 1225s and had a pair of 1025s a while back.

Look at the shoes on the wintertrekker site. The old style are different shapes for different conditions - open ground, forests - and based on different tribes' designs. I think the old school shoes are much bigger (some are 4 ft. long, lighter and relatively easy to repair using simple tools. They tend not to have crampons since the original designers were not living in mountainous areas and crampons may break through ice while crossing lakes from what I read.

A company called Chaltrek sells all kind of the wooden shoes. Faber and others still make them or make a hybrid shoe.

http://www.chaltrek.com/snow.shtml

7:09 p.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
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leadbelly2550 said:

this may be a tangent, but what are the advantages of wood/laced snowshoes over those with aluminum edges and neoprene lacing & deck? i still use a pair of Sherpa snowshoes that are almost 30 years old.  i would like to understand the differences.

 I will start with a few disadvantages - the wood/laced rawhide snowshoes need maintenance that the newer high-tech shoes do not need (refinishing with marine spar varnish from time to time, for example, and treatment of the leather bindings), they tend to be heavier for the floation, and many of them do not have crampons.

Big advantage is that they are, as Tom pointed out, available in a wide variety of designs, suitable for a variety of terrains. If they have been maintained with a little care, they rarely break. Plus, they are easy to repair out on the trail if you do break something (I have to do makeshift repairs on certain brands of the high-tech modern ones every snowshoe hike that Barb and I lead for the Sierra Club out of Clair Tappaan Lodge, and the modern ones are often difficult to jury-rig something on the spot so the user can get back from the hike without postholing in the soft snow every step or two). Best thing is the wonderful classic designs - something about them gives me a very warm feeling.

You can readily make a pair yourself, given just a small amount of skill (ok, I know, people today mostly don't have any craftsmanship skills or tools). There are some kits available. You can improvise them out in the backcountry from a number of different materials. I watched a program on the Donner Party on one of our local PBS stations last night, where they showed the snowshoes that they rigged in one of their escape attempts (warning before you watch that program - the descriptions of the privations and depths to which members of the group went as they were starving to death are pretty graphic - it still surprises me every time I see one of the programs about the group that as many survived as did - and the fact that a number of the survivors went on to become prominent well-to-do citizens of the new State of California over the following years, some of the families still being prominent in the state).

7:41 p.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
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Tom D said:

... I don't need to work on the fastest computer I can find or drive a Ferrari on the 405 in rush hour traffic

 

 What?!?!!? You have never known the thrill of driving a Ferrari on the 405 during rush hour past LAX? You just don't know what you are missing!

I drove a Ferrari once (a neighbor of my in-laws had a beautiful red classic Ferrari and rode with me as I drove it up and down Topanga Canyon - low-traffic time, of course. That was fun!)

I understand your point, and I agree. And that's a point I try to make with Scout leaders, and especially parents outfitting their sons (remember, I live in Silicon Valley where there are a lot of parents cashing in their stock options and can afford to buy the "latest, greatest" gear and clothing - none on my street, though). That's also what I am trying to say when I say "good enough" to do the task at hand.

I do have to point out, though, that the "latest, greatest" thing and the poseurs in TNF and Pata clothing who never see Dewey Point in winter has been going on for at least 30 or 40 years. The "arms race" as you put it, is nothing new. When I was a professor at Boston University in the 1970s, students would show up at class wearing Bauer down parkas ("just like the American Mount Everest team" - remember that Eddie Bauer was a Big Name in the 1960s and 70s), carrying their books in Kelty packs (Kelty was THE big name in packs then). I will admit that the wind off the Charles in January can feel just as cold as anything I ever encountered on Denali. But still, did they really need that level of gear just to get to class? Well, the poorer students wore EMS gear (the nearest EMS was just a couple blocks from my office).

8:07 p.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
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Bill, I do see the Ferraris every now and then, along with the Lambos (my neighbor sells them at some posh place in Newport Beach), but they usually aren't going any faster than me; they just look a lot cooler. :)

I remember Eddy Bauer back in the day and the Kelty packs. When I was in school, there was a lot of surplus stuff around (Viet Nam era) so field jackets and pea coats abounded. I had a great pair of French para boots (speed laces and a sole about two inches thick) that were great in winter, plus I actually did wear them sky diving, so I wasn't a total poser in them.

A friend of mine used to have an XKE. The one and only time I drove it, we were at a restaurant at the edge of Hollywood and he let drive it a few blocks to a friend's house. I hadn't driven a stick in years, so when I inadvertently ripped out of the parking lot, he just about had a heart attack. What a great car.

11:17 p.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
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Bill S said:

When I was a professor at Boston University in the 1970s, students would show up at class wearing Bauer down parkas ("just like the American Mount Everest team" - remember that Eddie Bauer was a Big Name in the 1960s and 70s), carrying their books in Kelty packs (Kelty was THE big name in packs then).

A lot of our consumer behaviors are driven by vanity and keeping up with the Jones's.  Necessity becomes a secondary consideration.  In my more austere days I was once mistaken as the hired guide of our self-guided group on one Denali trip, because I used Helly Hanson brand shell garments.  (For those unaware, Helly Hanson was (is) a "value" brand of the era, often the choice of financially challenged dirt baggers and pro guides; while their well heeled clients were costumed in Eddie Bauer and TNF.)

The epitome of this ego driven consumer vanity that always makes me chuckle whenever I see it are not the co-eds with their wannabe packs and parkas; rather it is the legions of their parents out on day hikes one sees, usually all within three miles of the trailhead, sporting the latest and greatest in trekker apparel, all looking like modern day Dr. Livingstons - I call them expeditionary picnickers.  In my eyes, however, they appear more like refugees from a Banana Republic blowout sale.  I have several theories why these folk are compelled to spend so much on clothing for a stroll to drink a little wine, eat some cheese and make some romance; perhaps these costumes are the preferred tree hugger mating plumage, equivalent to Brook's Brothers and Coach brands of their urban counterparts.  A cigar is only a cigar unless it is a Cohiba, in which case it is whatever the owners imagines it to be.  Dream on suckers.

Ed

11:54 p.m. on December 4, 2012 (EST)
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Unfortunately Helly Hansen has turned into a "must have at any cost" brand and that has led to some vicious crimes, including murders of kids wearing a HH jacket. Kind of like the craze of the past few years for the old TNF parkas.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/helly-hansen-jacket-craze-sparks-violence/2012/11/30/14eb8cbc-38d1-11e2-a263-f0ebffed2f15_story.html

BTW, if you are in BH (Beverly Hills), be sure to stop by the North Face store on N. Beverly, just a block over from Rodeo Drive and no I'm not kidding, it's been there a couple of years. I cannot imagine what the rent is or what they are actually selling. The stock was almost all clothes when I was in there; might have been a tent way in the back and a few bags, can't remember.

 

6:53 a.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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Tom D said:

Unfortunately Helly Hansen has turned into a "must have at any cost" brand and that has led to some vicious crimes, including murders of kids wearing a HH jacket. Kind of like the craze of the past few years for the old TNF parkas.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/helly-hansen-jacket-craze-sparks-violence/2012/11/30/14eb8cbc-38d1-11e2-a263-f0ebffed2f15_story.html

Interesting article Tom. I am very familiar with Allentown Rd/PG County. I lived if Ft. Washington for quite some time.

On the "exotic car" subject...

The only one I would be interested in was the Lambo LM002:

 https://www.google.com/search?q=LM002&hl=en&tbo=u&rlz=1C1SKPL_enUS443US443&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fzW_UJCpHIH68QSWnoCwBQ&ved=0CDkQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=933

12:35 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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advantage to arcteryx, feathered friends, western mountaineering, outdoor research, mammut, vaude, valandre, and countless other purveyors of high-end outdoor gear: it may cost an arm and a leg, but you probably won't get robbed at gunpoint for it.   

7:00 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

...The only one I would be interested in was the Lambo LM002:

 https://www.google.com/search?q=LM002&hl=en&tbo=u&rlz=1C1SKPL_enUS443US443&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fzW_UJCpHIH68QSWnoCwBQ&ved=0CDkQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=933

 Sr Lamborghini made his fortune manufacturing farm implements, including tractors and such (so now you know why the Lambo symbol is a "raging" bull). So the LM002 is right in the factory's specialty. The Lambo cars were Lamborghini's answer to Ferrari ("I can make fancy sports cars better than you!").


220px-Lamborghini_22PS_1951.jpg

a 1951 Lamborghini tractor

7:59 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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I think my old TR3 had a tractor engine in it. I've seen a few of those Lambos around.

8:56 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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Bill S said:

Sr Lamborghini made his fortune manufacturing farm implements, including tractors and such (so now you know why the Lambo symbol is a "raging" bull). So the LM002 is right in the factory's specialty. The Lambo cars were Lamborghini's answer to Ferrari ("I can make fancy sports cars better than you!").


220px-Lamborghini_22PS_1951.jpg

a 1951 Lamborghini tractor

I am somewhat of a gearhead(some exotics but mostly GTOs, Chevelles, etc.) and I do recall the history of Lambo but don't recall ever seeing an actual tractor photo. 

Thanks for the photo. 

I wonder what it's 0-60 time was... ;)

8:58 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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Tom D said:

I think my old TR3 had a tractor engine in it. 

Maytag maybe? (applies palm to face chuckling.)

Sorry Tom, I just had too. ;)

 

9:52 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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Really, that's what I was told-the old TR's had tractor engines-straight 4 with two sidedraft carbs.

10:04 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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Tom D said:

Really, that's what I was told-the old TR's had tractor engines-straight 4 with two sidedraft carbs.

Ferguson:

http://www.oocities.org/wallaces_23/fergie_TR.html

10:06 p.m. on December 5, 2012 (EST)
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Helley Hansen.  Since when has that been the jacket to have?

6:18 a.m. on December 7, 2012 (EST)
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Helley Hansen.  Since when has that been the jacket to have?

Since the eighties, and then when the scallies/chavs started wearing it, the brand was trendy - in the UK, at least. The brand name and logo ended up being measured in feet on the back of some jackets.

It used to be top notch: the first bit of 'real gear' I ever owned was a helly hansen fibre pile jacket; all my friends were jealous. Then I lent it to someone and they ripped the back out of it skiing through the woods. I miss that jacket.

I still use helly hansen undies. If they ever get ubertrendy again I might consider wearing them outside my trousers, like batman.

8:00 p.m. on December 7, 2012 (EST)
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Cool! Thanks Rick. It's amazing how much esoteric information is out there if you look hard enough.

8:01 p.m. on December 7, 2012 (EST)
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Pathloser said:

Helley Hansen.  Since when has that been the jacket to have?

Since the eighties, and then when the scallies/chavs started wearing it, the brand was trendy - in the UK, at least. The brand name and logo ended up being measured in feet on the back of some jackets.

It used to be top notch: the first bit of 'real gear' I ever owned was a helly hansen fibre pile jacket; all my friends were jealous. Then I lent it to someone and they ripped the back out of it skiing through the woods. I miss that jacket.

I still use helly hansen undies. If they ever get ubertrendy again I might consider wearing them outside my trousers, like batman.

 Or Madonna.

9:07 p.m. on December 7, 2012 (EST)
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Tom D said:

Really, that's what I was told-the old TR's had tractor engines-straight 4 with two sidedraft carbs.

 A little off topic, but I used to have a pair of TR7's. A blue one and a red one.

They both had dual Webber Carb's, a real PITA to keep adjusted. Every time the seasons changed I had to re-adjust both carb's.

It was like driving a high maintenance Go-Cart.

Not good bang for the buck gear I'm afraid.

 

I do agree with Tom's perspective on gear, I have some really nice gear, but a lot of "that'll do gear" as well.

My goal is to have fun in a safe maner.

Mike G.

1:37 a.m. on December 8, 2012 (EST)
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I spend money on nice gear.  In comparison to other hobbies I could have, backpacking is comparatively cheap.  I may never own a Ferrari, but a Mchale pack is within my reach.

December 25, 2014
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