[at-l] But!

Michael Henderson MichaelH at ospreypacks.com
Wed Jan 20 22:23:28 CST 2010


I love that question, especially when, as Jim mentioned, I went to do my next hike of more than a weekend, and wondered how I managed a thru with a base weight of 30lbs.  I got to a certain point where things were working reasonably well for me, and didn't make any radical changes for 1500 miles (the one exception being water treatment - from the original MSR, to some no-name weird filter that was half the weight, to bleach, finally switching to bleach around CT).  For me, the comfort of familiarity and routine obviated any need to make a change.

But I don't think 2200 miles of weekend trips does much to improve your hiking skills either.  I have found that these trips, too, fall into a kind of routine, where I know just what I need for one or two nights, and stick to that.  Not to mention it's often late on a Friday when I'm dashing around throwing stuff in a vehicle and don't have time to think of that new trick to try out.

I think 2200 miles of serious section hikes of 5-7 days or longer is where a lot of learning happens.  You're out there long enough where you want to make a change to something that isn't working, and by the time you've got things figured out, the trip is over.  Then you start your next trip with some of those changes already in place, and go on to discover a new method for something else.  And so on.  Long enough to force a change, not long enough to settle into a rut.

Sadly, I've done very little section hiking, and very little of any hiking, since my LT thru.  I fear my skills have regressed - but I know I'd never start another thru with a base weight of 30lbs.  Too many oz-miles.



Ke Kaahawe
AT92 TYT94 LT01



-----Original Message-----
From: at-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:at-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of nightwalker.at at gmail.com
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 4:08 PM
To: AT-L
Subject: [at-l] But!

I did enjoy the long discussion about bags, loft, temp-ratings, down quality, etc. It was pretty wide-ranging, no one got mad and those on the sidelines might have got something useful out of it.

Here is another discussion I'd love to see: Does a single hike of 2,200 miles improve one's outdoor skills more than a number of hikes equalling the same miles? Does the series of shelters on the AT give some a false sense of security? Do days out count more for experiential improvement than miles walked?

All useful questions. All questions that might not be able to be discussed anywhere else without getting uncivilized.

We tend to get pretty crazy close to the even Novembers. But overall, this is the best place that I've seen to have a spirited discussion. Maybe that's just me.

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