[pct-l] On the Dangers of the UL Mentality

Edward Anderson mendoridered at yahoo.com
Wed May 5 17:00:48 CDT 2010

 " - - - given the anticipated conditions"    That's the problem - you can't always anticipate the conditions.  They can - and do, sometimes change.  And the unexpected will happen on any long journey on the PCT.  That's why, since I ride alone, and mostly live on the trail and try to avoid towns, I try to be ready for pretty much anything.

--- On Wed, 5/5/10, Herb <herbstroh at charter.net> wrote:

From: Herb <herbstroh at charter.net>
Subject: Re: [pct-l] On the Dangers of the UL Mentality
To: "Pacific Crest Trail List" <pct-l at backcountry.net>, "Steve McAllister" <brooklynkayak at gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2010, 8:20 PM

I agree with Stevie. Getting lighter is best done as a process. It is only with experience that one can make intelligent decisions about what gear can be trimmed down or eliminated given the anticipated conditions. My sense is that sometimes hikers see or hear of experienced hikers with exceptionally low base weights and assume that is what everyone should do for every hike. It can be dangerous to start your backpacking career "UL" without knowing what you personally need to survive in varied trail conditions.

---- Steve McAllister <brooklynkayak at gmail.com> wrote: 
> "Gear is “appropriate” only if a hiker has
> the acumen and experience to utilize it effectively and with confidence."
> Many people should not hike UL and many should not even get too far
> from their cars:-)
> Experience doesn't always mean good judgment nor outdoor skills.
> I have seen many thousand plus mile backpackers that seem to be
> compelled to pitch their shelter in depressions that to me look like
> an area that will become a pond when it rains. I have heard multiple
> times about the people who rely so much on the bathtub floor on their
> tent that they often wake in a puddle. They would never consider a
> shelter without a good bathtub floor.
> Or have you seen people pitch camp in areas that look like a landslide
> waiting to happen, or areas with lots of dead trees ready to fall.
> I have seen experienced backpackers pitch freestanding tents without
> ever pegging them down.
> I have seen experienced backpackers who freak out when their stove
> doesn't work for one reason or another as they don't know how to
> prepare a meal without the stove and now have to eat cold food.
> What about the knowledgeable experienced hiker who always suffers form
> condensation issues and thinks the cure is to close off all the vents
> in her shelter.
> When people say UL is unsafe, they are coming from their own
> experience. A lot of people don't care to learn outdoor skills. For
> them, the extra weight to cover their asses is probably a good thing.
> stevie
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