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OKYDKY
20
Jul 15, 2018
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I have been backpacking since 1959 and I cannot once remember the old guard community jumping on each other. Products from Kelty, Stephenson, Sierra Designs, Dolt, Gerry, Early Winters, and many more are still working for me and some of them will even call you back or email you if you need some help (I got a call back on a "just visiting" message I left at Stephenson's, their sleeping bag made for me is now 50 years old and apart from some delamination of the reflective coating is a top notch performer - it even has a removable pad and two tops). I used a Sierra Designs tent for over 20 years and a Stephenson tent for that long or longer. I read that folks will accept a Cuben tent, pack or stuff sack only lasting six months and will pay huge bucks with no complaint. I still use my Kelty B4 pack in classic red, only failure is a critter ate a hole in the bottom compartment. I carry the same MSR XGK and Sigg pots I have had forever. I am down to two full treasured Hand Roberts/Gerry/EFI canisters and that stove operates as a regulated burner (one the snow!). I will soon buy it one of the $30 adapters to run the $1 butane canisters or MSR gas cans. Someone stole my Optimus 8R that I bought in 1968 - no one will steal my BRS3000, brass and steel are more attractive than titanium. In later years I bought from the new guys; North Face, MSR, Chouinard (later Patagonia), Marmot, Nalgene, Katadyne, and many more but I cannot remember one ever saying nasty stuff. My suggestion, give your ultra light gear the real test, come camping with me in 50 years (I will be 121) and only bring what you own today (you can cheat and bring new boots though I have cross county Merrells that I bought in the very early 70's and still use). I bet you end up sleeping in my then 70 year old Marmot tent and eating out of my 100 year old Sigg pots (I have four - they nest and the big two feed an army and make lots of water from snow - the XGK boils water in two minutes or so on white gas). I may even let you drink from a 121 year old stainless steel Sierra cup and use my Army surplus steel spoon. Bet your $175 Neolite will not hold air but we can share my 1970's Early Winters EVA foam pad, it has hosted three butts for dinner more than once. This is not intended to be snarky (where do these words come from) but wish to add to your joy, it is not about the gear, being a triple crown hiker, having a better base weight than you best friend, or worrying about someone stealing your ideas. It is about the outdoors and having time in nature, experiencing what was prepared for you long before you knew you were a you. Read about some of the folks who went before you in this grand adventure. Are you going to be able to mix your passion with your career? Here is a snip from Rick Ridgeway (you know - the guy who climbed K2 and roped with Yvon) “Make the best product, and make it with no unnecessary harm.” ! Look for me in the food isles of the local market trying to buy 3500+ calories of cold soak food for less than $3! I am the old guy with gray hair wearing hand made to order strap sandals bought 40+ years ago at Mule Days in Bishop that Teva copied (but who cared), with a saggy butt pair of old StandUp shorts that everyone copied, and a Patagonia red/orange coat that you can see through it is so threadbare (worth three times what I paid for it on eBay). On top of my truck (I bought the racks in 1968) you may see a Tom Johnson Bronco WW kayak, a Joseph Sedivec Seda sea kayak, and a "first year of issue" Windsurfer. May your cell phone always have power, you cell signal be strong, your Squeeze filter not freeze, you pad not leak, your Guthook app never crash, your Cuben fiber last the full year of the warranty, your bear can actually keep out bears, your reflective guy lines glow in the dark, and your hammock not let you down! Bob Jarrard
Jul 15, 2018
You know - and this reply is also not intended to be snarky - the Massdrop product discussion forums here are not Facebook. They are for discussing the items for sale and helping people navigate purchase, suitability, use, troubleshooting, etc. This is also the Ultralight portion of Massdrop communities, so although I can relate and sympathize somewhat with your general comments, you won't find much audience for it in the ultralight circles, much. If you post that on a general backpacking group or forum somewhere I'll bet you could get a lot of back-pats, however. On that note, no, many ultralight items will not last decades with regular use but if many wear out in six months then someone is either doing it wrong or having a very good time outdoors. You may have been out of the game for the last 15-20 years, but in the early 2000s as the ultralight "revolution" was forming and gaining hold, people started to enjoy lighter gear weight and lighter overall pack weight and it stuck around to the point where most people can walk into an REI now and pretty much put together a mainstream product kit and reach ultralight base weights with ease except maybe a couple items. The tradeoff in enjoyment and long term physical health is worth it for many people vs. carrying the much heavier and bulkier gear from the almost 50 years prior. We still have great companies that treat us just the same as the ones you've mentioned. It's a great time to be a backpacker. Gearwise, it was exciting but far less enjoyable in the 80s (somewhat, and my opinion/recollection only).
Jul 16, 2018
OKYDKY
20
Jul 16, 2018
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Good balanced response, you are right on several points, I did not pay attention to the forum divisions. I see the benefit of ultra light, I have updated over the years in several areas. I have a quilt/bivy and would not buy a 5 pound single person tent or a six pound pack today. Guess my comments should have been more focused on realizing that there is never anything really new and on being willing in very thin markets to just see someone participate, even to the point of sharing tech. The DIY alcohol stove group seems to play well together. Most folks there go out of their way to acknowledge the shared concepts. This tent is a prime example of how few ways can you deal a limited deck of concepts. I follow several YouTubers every hiking season, I get a kick out of their trips even though at times I wish they could hang in really pretty places for a bit longer than just passing through. I do not see much posting on the ultra light ethic getting hikers two+ weeks at a time or more on the trail not to cover more distance but to gain a better connection with the trail. My first pack was a Boy Scouts model with no frame and shoulder straps that turned into twisted torture tubes. Not much fun and a poor way to intro a 12 year old to hiking/back packing. One good thing about me being 71, I cannot hear my Neolite and Tyvek keep everyone else awake (to say nothing of my altitude induced snoring). Thanks for the reply, you helped me get a better grip on the state of my thoughts. Fair weather and open trails to you. Bob
Jul 16, 2018
schifferj
16
Jul 17, 2018
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Hi Bob, Like you I started backpacking in 1959 and like you I've been at it for 59 years. My first backpack was something sold by the Boy Scouts of America. My first tent was a canvas army surplus shelter half; heavy as hell, no mosquito netting, no floor and no collapsible poles. Each scout in my troop had their own half and one pole -you would buddy up with another scout to have a complete tent. My buddy, Steve, has gone on to the great camp site in the sky. My first stove (I still have it) was a Svea 123 as loud as a jet engine, stinky, and hard to light. Somewhere around here I still have an Optimus 8R. Can't remember where I got my first sleeping bag but it was a surplus from a military survival kit. Aside from those two stoves I have none of that gear. Unlike you I embrace the technology that allows me to carry less weight and keep on hiking and climbing. I have a Cuben Fiber one man tent that I've used now for four years and it's still going strong and weighs only one pound. I have a down quilt that supposedly is good to 0 degrees but that would be for some young stud in his early 20's. It weighs slightly less than two pounds. I would never even attempt to camp in zero degree weather these days but I need that baby to stay warm when the temps drop into the 20's. I hope I'm around to go camping with you when we're both 121 years old. If I can't bring along the stuff I have now I'll buy a new tent that makes its own heat in the winter and cools in the summer and weighs six ounces and never has a problem with condensation. I do eat a lot of Nutella and peanut butter on the trail - hopefully they'll still be making those in 50 years. I'm not to worried about the Nutella though; that stuff has a shelf life of about 75 years. I almost forgot. Like you I can't stand all the chipping that goes on in forums like these about who came first with what. I did sign on for the X-Mid and hope to bring it along for our camping trip in 50 years.
Jim
Jul 17, 2018
OKYDKY
20
Jul 17, 2018
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Jim - remember the stink of those tent halves? Enough to gag a moose when it got wet! I should have not ranked on the Ultra Light stuff, it is nice and if you can spend the bucks, good gear. Like you it was only the chipping that I did not like. I use a first Gen Marmot Gortex Bivy with a North Face FP Mica FL1 tent footprint if the weather threatens, otherwise I cowboy camp on a piece of plastic sheet. I also had a Svea 123 , they are collectible now. Too tippy for me and that is why I bought the 8R which was flawless for many years and trips including my annual triple peak climb of the three White Sisters Mt. Baldy, San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto which I did at Thanksgiving (I cheated on San Jacinto and went up the Tram and ate the prime rib special and then hiked half way to Little Round Valley. I used snow shoes on the way up and metal edged cross country skis on the way down - lots of nice crashes). Since I do not own any Cuben, perhaps that gear lasts longer than I thought. Dixie Chick and Darwin both say that one through hike or 180 days in sorta of what you get but then $4-6 a day for tent and pack is cheaper than a hotel. The quilts are way cheap. I just bough a Marmot bivy sleeping bag with arm holes and a draw string foot, it is not down but I have tried it out and especially for cold weather horse camping will work great at the dinner and breakfast fire when it is below 32. I can just pass out in place from a long day, too much food, and old age. We have a house near Joshua Tree and another near Lake Mead. If you come either way (or both) send me a note and come visit. Email is bobjarrard@gmail.com - I don't worry about posting my contact info, no one calls most of the time anyway! Bob Jarrard PS: I likely will sign up for one of the tents also - I think it is a great design and Dan seems like a nice guy who has been very up front and communicative. I do not like single walls, nylon flys, too many stakes and poles with bungee cords. The outside protected storage is great and I do not cook inside a tent so I think the entry area is safe for most stoves. I also use an over sized pad or two pads in cold weather so being able to use one 25 x 78 is a plus for me, I like my elbows on the pad and not the tent floor. BJ
Jul 17, 2018
I hear you on the 25" pads! I'm replacing my 20" with a 25"... but I'm 5'3" so I'll be cutting down the length... whenever I get the courage! Btw, I don't know if you ever do regular camping (not backpacking), but if you do, check out the Exped MegaMat 10 if you haven't already... pure luxury! I've never been horse camping, but I think that would be a great use for it. I plan on putting it in my pulk for winter camping. I bought mine for $144 last Black Friday and it finally arrived in April. Worth the wait!
Cheers!
Jul 19, 2018
OKYDKY
20
Jul 19, 2018
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Thanks for the hint on the pad. Here is a YouTube of a Neolite that Chris cut down, does not look too hard. We used several kinds of sleds for gear and kids but the best had runners, the worst where poly tubs - all over the place. The very best where the ones that big dogs pulled for us!! Bob
Jul 19, 2018
wintermutt
52
Aug 1, 2018
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My brother has backpacked with the same 30 year old Marmot down bag since he bought it. He says there is nothing better. It looks new.
Aug 1, 2018
Raggs
25
Oct 1, 2018
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Ultralight hiking for me means light AND cheap! I never have much money invested in hiking gear and the gear I have does multiple duties. I have done the PCT with only a poncho for rain, pack cover and shelter.
Oct 1, 2018
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