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  1. #31
    aka 'Extra' MikekiM's Avatar
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    Bungzy offers an excellent perspective on the UL addiction (which is often referred to as S-UL).



    Can't say I have been uncomfortable at any point, other than when my Monolite hammock disintegrated. However, he makes a great point when he suggests figuring out the weight you saved on omitting a particular item, then envision yourself in the middle of the worst possible uphill.. one that has you suffering.. and then ask yourself.. At this moment, would my hike be noticeably different if I had those few extra ounces in my pack?? If adding that six ounces you 'saved' wouldn't make that moment any more miserable, then you made a Stupid Lite Compromise..

    I've gotten my BW as far down as it can reasonably go and am ready to adjust a few items that might add back some weight. For instance.. I have been using a UL cook kit based around Esbit and a 550 Toaks UL pot. I used to carry an 850 pot (and still might in winter). I can get my meals done with the 550, but I think I would be a little more comfortable with a 650 or 700.. Add back an ounce for that? Yes, I think I will. I switched to a ridiculously small ground sheet. Move up to a larger sheet that can double as a rain skirt.. Add back two-thirds of an ounce for that? Maybe I wouldn't notice it.
    * The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing to find it.

    * I can lift all the weight I want at the gym. Walking shouldn't be a workout. ~ Just Bill


  2. #32
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    ***To me, this overwhelmingly applies to backpackers and bikepackers and some canoeists/kayakers... people who provide their own propulsion... ***

    One nice thing about UL ó or, if you dislike labels and number targets, 'going light' ó is that there is actually an end in sight.

    For the recent UL convert there is typically a flurry of interest in new gear that lasts 2-3 years as the kit is tweaked and lighter items are purchased and field-tested in different seasons, and as skills and confidence are developed to do more with less. And learning to do all this without compromising comfort and safety. Once this level is reached, the fascination with new gear fades very quickly and in the 'want-vs-need' battle, 'need' wins nearly every time. Any rationale for further gear changes is very well defined and purposeful. Any honing of the kit involves ounces or grams, not pounds, as you are finding with your current kit.

    On the other end of the spectrum, all manner of new gear is invented on a regular basis and there is literally no end to the introduction of stuff that promises more convenience and comfort for the camping experience. So for car campers or backpackers who are not interested in minimizing weight, there is potentially no end to gear acquisition or upgrades.

    My own kit changes by the season. In just one area, stoves, I go from my 125g Esbit setup to my 188g alcohol combo (plus 102g GSI Infinity coffee cup) to my 488g JB Minimo kit when snow melting is needed. Fuel weight (for 3 night) also goes up, respectively, from 3oz to 8oz to 16oz (230g canister). Summer base weight can be as low as 7lbs and winter can be as high as 13lbs. I pack what I need for the conditions.

    This discussion reminds me of one of my favorite signature lines, from Greg "Malto" Gressel on Whiteblaze... "enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry" ..... Yeah, that's the ticket!
    Last edited by cmoulder; 09-23-2019 at 08:04.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  3. #33
    OneClick's Avatar
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    ^^ Well said! It just recently hit me...I haven't bought anything in a long time! Practically nothing! Everything is dialed in and has been for a while. Even then I still unnecessarily bought new stuff. But I feel like that is finally at an end as I look at my shelf full of stuff I'll never use.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Tyroler Holzhacker's Avatar
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    I think the quote of "we pack our fears" applies to me. Being "stupid light" may work for the hardcore highly experienced hiker, but for less experienced, comfort oriented hikers doing way fewer miles and less technical trails, can opt for a base weight that allows for more "luxury" items. That being said, Nobody ever asked how can they may make their pack heavier, that is unless they forgot to pack toilet paper for a hike in the desert! A base weight of just under 20 lbs is what I usually carry with my backpack setup. Could it be lighter...for sure. Is it worth it to be lighter....for me I am happy with the base weight....haven't fully fallen into the desire to be under 10 lb base weight, because I am a base camper/swap to a lighter day pack for summit bagging.

  5. #35
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneClick View Post
    ^^ Well said! It just recently hit me...I haven't bought anything in a long time! Practically nothing! Everything is dialed in and has been for a while. Even then I still unnecessarily bought new stuff. But I feel like that is finally at an end as I look at my shelf full of stuff I'll never use.
    The feeling of being "there"! It's good.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  6. #36
    Senior Member TallPaul's Avatar
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    Cost of Going Lighter

    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    ***To me, this overwhelmingly applies to backpackers and bikepackers and some canoeists/kayakers... people who provide their own propulsion... ***

    One nice thing about UL ó or, if you dislike labels and number targets, 'going light' ó is that there is actually an end in sight.

    For the recent UL convert there is typically a flurry of interest in new gear that lasts 2-3 years as the kit is tweaked and lighter items are purchased and field-tested in different seasons, and as skills and confidence are developed to do more with less. And learning to do all this without compromising comfort and safety. Once this level is reached, the fascination with new gear fades very quickly and in the 'want-vs-need' battle, 'need' wins nearly every time. Any rationale for further gear changes is very well defined and purposeful. Any honing of the kit involves ounces or grams, not pounds, as you are finding with your current kit.

    On the other end of the spectrum, all manner of new gear is invented on a regular basis and there is literally no end to the introduction of stuff that promises more convenience and comfort for the camping experience. So for car campers or backpackers who are not interested in minimizing weight, there is potentially no end to gear acquisition or upgrades.

    My own kit changes by the season. In just one area, stoves, I go from my 125g Esbit setup to my 188g alcohol combo (plus 102g GSI Infinity coffee cup) to my 488g JB Minimo kit when snow melting is needed. Fuel weight (for 3 night) also goes up, respectively, from 3oz to 8oz to 16oz (230g canister). Summer base weight can be as low as 7lbs and winter can be as high as 13lbs. I pack what I need for the conditions.

    This discussion reminds me of one of my favorite signature lines, from Greg "Malto" Gressel on Whiteblaze... "enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry" ..... Yeah, that's the ticket!
    Yep well said. Thatís how it is for me - the number of purchases decreased and anything else really gets a lot of scrutiny.

    Iíd add itís also nice once you have all this to not weigh everything for each and every trip. If itís a short trip then I just grab stuff and go. Itíd be tough for me to grab enough for say 25 lbs - not a brag - just illustrating the end is in sight.

  7. #37
    Senior Member FLTurtle's Avatar
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    Well, I'm glad there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I started to think about my purchases over the past year or so, and every single one has been to shed weight and bulk.

  8. #38
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TallPaul View Post
    Yep well said. Thatís how it is for me - the number of purchases decreased and anything else really gets a lot of scrutiny.

    Iíd add itís also nice once you have all this to not weigh everything for each and every trip. If itís a short trip then I just grab stuff and go. Itíd be tough for me to grab enough for say 25 lbs - not a brag - just illustrating the end is in sight.
    A great side benefit... Packing is so much easier! And without even weighing you know that your kit is going to be pretty light ó you have what you need and it weighs what it weighs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyroler Holzhacker View Post
    I think the quote of "we pack our fears" applies to me. Being "stupid light" may work for the hardcore highly experienced hiker, but for less experienced, comfort oriented hikers doing way fewer miles and less technical trails, can opt for a base weight that allows for more "luxury" items. That being said, Nobody ever asked how can they may make their pack heavier, that is unless they forgot to pack toilet paper for a hike in the desert! A base weight of just under 20 lbs is what I usually carry with my backpack setup. Could it be lighter...for sure. Is it worth it to be lighter....for me I am happy with the base weight....haven't fully fallen into the desire to be under 10 lb base weight, because I am a base camper/swap to a lighter day pack for summit bagging.
    From my perspective "stupid light" only applies if a necessary item is omitted, intentionally or otherwise. Some might say I'm stupid light because I don't carry a saw or ax for "wood processing" yet I have easily and quickly built many a fire with only my hands, a ferro rod and a PJCB (petroleum jelly cotton ball). Some might say I'm stupid light because I don't have a chair, yet I'm perfectly comfortable using my foam sit pad and leaning up against a log or a rock. Some might say I'm stupid light because I don't employ a handy gear sling, yet I'm totally fine putting my stuff in the backpack and hanging it from a hammock CL. This list can apply to any comfort or luxury item you can name. My luxury items are a cigar and sometimes whisky, on the rare occasion that I'm not mooching some of MikekiM's.

    Quote Originally Posted by FLTurtle View Post
    Well, I'm glad there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I started to think about my purchases over the past year or so, and every single one has been to shed weight and bulk.
    Sounds as if you're rapidly working your way toward no longer being an "ideal" REI customer!
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  9. #39
    OneClick's Avatar
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    I want to do a stupid light trip someday. For me that involves only candy bars, no hot meals/drinks, no change of clothing whatsoever, no rain gear (maybe a $1 poncho), grocery store bags instead of stuff sacks (if any) and an inappropriately-rated quilt set. Good clean family fun!

    On the drive home, I'll only be thinking "was saving 5lbs worth it?"

  10. #40
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneClick View Post
    I want to do a stupid light trip someday. For me that involves only candy bars, no hot meals/drinks, no change of clothing whatsoever, no rain gear (maybe a $1 poncho), grocery store bags instead of stuff sacks (if any) and an inappropriately-rated quilt set. Good clean family fun!

    On the drive home, I'll only be thinking "was saving 5lbs worth it?"
    Indeed, I will never be SUL (Super UltraLight, <5lb BW) because I won't do no-cook (gotta have hot dinner and big cup of strong, hot coffee in the morning!) and the clothing compromises are not compatible with my preferences. Sometimes I carry both fleece and down jackets because that's what my experience in some weather conditions tells me I should... (and I am right!) Many times I have used plastic grocery bags as stuff sacks for trips up to a week. I carry Ti shepherd hook stakes because I don't want to look for rocks or sticks... not that I haven't done so in a pinch, however.

    For an overnighter or 2-3 nights I never carry extra clothes or socks. Used to carry 'em, didn't need 'em. For a longer hike I carry a "backwoods washing machine" which consists of a 2-gallon Ziploc and some Dawn liquid detergent. A couple of times I've even used it when the smell got so bad I couldn't stand myself! Another reason to use only synthetic clothing... wring it out and put it on and it dries surprisingly quickly.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

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