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

Rod Belshee rbelshee at hotmail.com
Wed May 5 21:24:08 CDT 2010

For youth training, I like to describe it as trading knowledge for ounces. 
The more skills you learn, the more you can lighten your load. You cannot 
lighten it without the skills.

-  If you can stay dry during consecutive days of downpours with a down 
sleeping and simple tarp, go for it.  If not, carry a tent and synthetic 
bag.  If you get wet and hypothermic, that's your problem.
-  If you can safely operate a homemade alcohol stove, go for it.  If not, 
take a canister stove. If you burn down the forest, you should pay.
-  If you know can take care of a sprained ankle, lacerations, and other 
basic injuries with duct tape, go for it. If not, then carry a bigger first 
aid kit.

Again with youth, this is a great framework for training.  They eagerly 
practice and learn new skills to be able to reduce their pack weight, 
accepting the premise of trading knowledge for ounces.

I disagree with the concept of depending on others if things go badly. 
Hikers are fundamentally on their own regardless of the weather or injury, 
and need to be able to deal with situations.

Now obviously this is tempered with concern for fellow hikers.  If I 
encounter someone in trouble, of course I help them out.  But that doesn't 
change my basic opinion that they are responsible for their own well being.


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