[pct-l] differentiation by weight only

Diane Soini of Santa Barbara Hikes diane at santabarbarahikes.com
Sat Sep 4 10:11:12 CDT 2010

On Sep 3, 2010, at 7:02 PM, pct-l-request at backcountry.net wrote:
> I would think that PCT hikers would want the lightest version of  
> something and still retain
> --comfort
> --durability
> --ease of use
> --safety
> Isn't that what we're really saying? To select something based on  
> weight alone is asking for serious compromise somewhere...
I would also add that comfort and ease of use are secondary reasons  
to choose a lot of things. Sometimes discomfort can also be turned to  
your advantage, too, but I'm not going to go there and risk giving  
the inexperienced any ideas.

Sacrificing a little comfort in one area can translate into greater  
comfort in areas that matter. Naturally a big thick air mattress is  
going to feel great, but if you can sleep on blue foam you will be  
more comfortable carrying the smaller weight during the day. You have  
to add these little sacrifices together for them to make a real  
difference. I went without a cup and drank from my pot. Then I did  
without drinks that needed a cup altogether. I did without toilet  
paper and used leaves. I washed my underwear and wore them dry rather  
than carry extras. I did lots of little exchanges like that until I  
got to a weight that was easy to carry, and once I was there, the  
walking was so comfortable and joyful that I was able to walk nearly  
30 miles every single day.

Now that I've done away with a lot of stuff designed for my  
"comfort", I have been adding weight in other areas. Last trip I  
brought a small guitar. That was a lot of fun to have. I'd much  
rather have a guitar than an air mattress and a four season tent.

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