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    Senior Member Kankujoe's Avatar
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    Gear Selection: Old School vs. New School...

    I have been bicycling camping, tent camping. hiking, kayak/canoe camping (and yes, trailer/teardrop camping) for almost 50 years since I was a kid. Even with all this other experience I am new to hammock camping & lite weight backpacking. Most of my experience has been Old School when weight was rarely a major factor, you bought quality, rugged equipment that would take abuse and last, and you were not as concerned with going lite weight verses camping/exploring in comfort. Definately not going to the point of counting grams/ounces...

    My heros have always been "Lewis & Clark" and their "Corps of Discovery." What a camping/backpacking/canoe trip! This expedition carried/moved tons of supplies & equipment on their 2-3 year camping trip.

    Today it seems that most of the New School wisdom is to carry as little weight and stuff as possible. I can see some benefit to this mindset for long-distance - long-term adventures but what about comfort/utility during these adventures? Most of my adventures are by necessity "mini-adventures" since I have to maintain my employment & family life. If I lug something heavy it is usually only for a weekend and not six months or so.

    So where is the trade-off? At what point is the New School really wisdom and the Old School not wisdom?

    As an example, one of my favorite pursuits is cycling... it can get really ridiculous & expensive in a hurry... I've seen men like me (who carry 15-25 pounds in extra weight around our bellies) debate spending hundreds of dollars more on bicycles & equipment to shave off a few ounces or a pound. Seems rather foolish when you could/should drop a few pounds off your body instead of worrying about a few ounces on a bicycle... Of course this translates to almost all outdoor pursuits today...

    So back to hammock camping... where's the trade off? Comfort vs. weight? I like my gadgets & gizmos... I like fiddling with things on the trail & in camp... I like a clean pair of socks & underwear... I'd prefer to have an axe or stout knife with me verses cutting firewood with toenail clippers...

    I'd also like to hear the opinions & experience of those on this forum about this Old School vs. New School debate...
    Last edited by Kankujoe; 09-21-2009 at 01:09. Reason: spelling error
    KJ

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