You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Backpacking is more than just about gear. Here's a forum to talk about the "philosophy" of lightweight backpacking.
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shakeylegs
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You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby shakeylegs » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:14 am

This topic opens the door for endless "one-liners" (which I welcome) but in between, tell us when you knew you had transformed into an ultralite backpacker. My first sign was easy. I've been an avid photographer for a long while. There was a time I would carry 10 to 15 lbs of camera gear on high sierra trips. And these were not dedicated photo trips. On one non-photo trip I realized I was spending more time thinking about potential imagery than simply experiencing the beautiful surroundings. I felt like the camera was getting in the way of my experience. Next trip I took no cameras and I experienced a revelation of sorts. I "saw" thngs I'd never bothered to see before. Heard things I'd never heard before. And the emotional impact was powerful. I never felt more at peace in the mountains than on that trip. From then on I started paring away anything that got in the way of enjoying the journey. And that conveniently lightened my pack by a considerable margin. Not only was I enjoying my trips more, but my knees were much happier as well. I'll still carry a camera if my goal is to make images and I'll carry a "big rig" kitchen if glutony is tops on the trip list. I'll even toss in a paperback once in a while on long trips. But by and large, I pare away the dangling participles and enjoy the freedom of the wilderness.

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zelph
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby zelph » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:49 am

This year I came to the conclusion that I'm slowing down physically. My first outing this year My pack consisted of a "student" size backpack with a drawstring closure and 1/4" string used for the straps :lol: Seriously, I got it at the thrift store with the idea of attaching my binoculars to the string straps in the same fashion as a "harness" is used for binoculars that hold them to your chest for easy access. 90% of the time I take my binocs with me. They have a 5' focus feature that gives me off trail access to insects, flowers and plants that are nearby. A bee sucking down nectar up close is a sight you need to enjoy. My new backpack has room for food, water and rain gear. My rain gear consists of a 55gal size commercial garbage can liner. It is neatly folded in it's original form and takes up zilch space. I modified it by cutting slits in it's side for my arms to fit and one slit in the top for my head. It covers my entire body for those unexpected downpours that seem to follow me at times.
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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Ridgerunner
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby Ridgerunner » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:03 pm

zelph wrote:This year I came to the conclusion that I'm slowing down physically. My first outing this year My pack consisted of a "student" size backpack with a drawstring closure and 1/4" string used for the straps :lol: Seriously, I got it at the thrift store with the idea of attaching my binoculars to the string straps in the same fashion as a "harness" is used for binoculars that hold them to your chest for easy access. 90% of the time I take my binocs with me. They have a 5' focus feature that gives me off trail access to insects, flowers and plants that are nearby. A bee sucking down nectar up close is a sight you need to enjoy. My new backpack has room for food, water and rain gear. My rain gear consists of a 55gal size commercial garbage can liner. It is neatly folded in it's original form and takes up zilch space. I modified it by cutting slits in it's side for my arms to fit and one slit in the top for my head. It covers my entire body for those unexpected downpours that seem to follow me at times.


I use the same rain gear when I get caught in a rain storm leaving work on my motorcycle :lol:


As far as ultralight, I carry what I feel comfortable carrying. Do to some recent health issues with the ol' ticker, I may have to reevaluate what I take into the backwoods. :roll:
"Many of lifes failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up".....Thomas Edison

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zelph
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby zelph » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:17 am

and I'll carry a "big rig" kitchen if glutony is tops on the trip list


And what might that kitchen consist of? :) :hungry:
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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cadyak
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby cadyak » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:46 am

a few that I have to laugh at...
when you think your 20 oz shelter (or pack) is too heavy.....
my so and so stove is supposed to be 2 oz and it is 2.01 oz..dammit
"what is the lightest/best hat for the AT?

I feel like a carry a Really light pack but I cannot be considered an ultralighter. I always carry a full sized multi-tool. (leatherman wave) :shock: 8oz
No one was complaining when I cut-up a 6" dia pine tree to fireplace length in 1o degree weather with the saw or pull frozen stakes out of ice with the pliers.( pick up hot pots with no handles, removing hooks from fish, cutting your summersausage, etc)
I also carry a Maglite XL50 flashlight 4oz. (you have to try this light) No body made fun of me when I found a place to camp by shining it 5o yds off trail at 10pm when spirits were very low and folks were hammered.
I have read that items such as these dont get used enough to warrant bringing them but I find a way to use them on every single trip. I feel like my gearlists are fairly spartan but I use these tools and I am always ready should someone else need my help. I do use a headlamp or a LED ball cap but I find that I get a tunnel effect and cant see that well at any distance. With a really good flashlight like this I can look hundreds of yards away if necessary. It is light and fits in the palm of the hand.
Last edited by cadyak on Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zelph
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby zelph » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:41 am

My L.L. Bean ball cap with LED embedded lights is nice. Really nice.... :D I remove it and use it like a flash light when I get the tunnel vision effect. It has a spare battery compartment sewn into the cap also. The switch is embedded also. It has a a two position switch, forward long beam and close up for reading etc. The Maglite has 3 position switch,that's one too many compressions to go through to get it turned off. :o
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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Ridgerunner
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby Ridgerunner » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:31 pm

After a hiking buddy pulled out his Coast flashlight with light as bright as it gets for its size. It also has a separate switch for a red led which is nice around base camp so as not to bother others. I discovered that Coast made one for Eddie Bauer and found one on eBay for a fraction of the $50-60 retail of the Coast model. That was a few years back and Coast has dropped its price in half recently. As far as a hat, I either use a visor or an OR Seattle Sombrero or another rain ball cap I have.
"Many of lifes failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up".....Thomas Edison

"Live Life....Love Life....Ask More !

shakeylegs
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby shakeylegs » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:08 pm

And what might that kitchen consist of?


Depends what's cookin'. Could involve multiple Sigg aluminum pots, Svea 123, whisperlite or sierra zip stoves, thin flexible hdpe cutting board, something like a ginsu knife, home made soft sided cooler with dry ice for keeping stuff frozen several days, telescoping aluminum fire grill (fresh burgers the 4th night in - that's about how long they took to defrost), of course with burgers we need BEER - a sixer per person can be carefully rationed over a week-long trip (I didn't say everyone would be happy) tupperware, mixing bowls, mini pepper grinder, spice pantry in 35mm film cannisters, Ice Cream maker - the round ball variety (winter and spring only), 10 inch heavy aluminum crepe pan, rectangular comal (flat metal sheet for over fire cooking), home made oven (size and weight depend upon items to be baked - once did a birthday cake for ten in two mated disposable aluminum turkey roasting pans). Then of course if we are "gourmanding" we've got fresh veggies like onions, garlic, peppers - maybe some fresh fruit, definitely some lemons and limes, perhaps some cabbage or brussel sprouts, artichokes, avocados packed in foam cushions, a bin of bagels, a deli of meats . . .Of course any well provisioned kitchen has some cooking sherry for the chef, champagne vinegar, and good olive oil. Oh, did I mention watermelon? You get the idea.

The kitchen can explode in size quickly. Size can be kept down If you are in an area that permits campfires - a fairly simple setup of comal and fire provides a large platform for all kinds of gourmet and otherwise cooking. Supplemented by local fish and game, meals can be grand without the grandiose. One of the most useful things I've ever lugged was a small aluminum pressure cooker that made cooking anything a breeze - Jerky came out like grandma's pot roast - I'll let you all decide if that's good or not. Extreme kitchen inflation happens only when I can gather like-minded gluttons willing to share the load.

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zelph
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby zelph » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:24 am

Extreme kitchen inflation happens only when I can gather like-minded gluttons willing to share the load.


Count me in! :D Campfire and lots of good food is a good welcome sign......come on in and join the fun!!!!!! :hungry: :chop: :cheers: :fuel:

home made soft sided cooler with dry ice for keeping stuff frozen several days,


Cool idea. My last outing away from home I picked up an insulated grocery bag at wallyworld, a six pack of dew and a bag of ice. On the way out the door I emptied the ice into the grocery bag and then stuffed the 6 bottles down into it......it kept them cool for 2 days while I was camping in Ohio. While I was camping there I sprayed some insect repellant on the ground right along the edge of a picnic table bench seat that I new I was going to be using when I returned to camp in the evening. Well, it killed the grass within 2 days time :( :shock: I'm glad I don't use the stuff on my skin....use it only on my shoes and pant legs when in the woods.
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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RonM
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Re: You know you're an ultraliter when . . .

Postby RonM » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:17 pm

[quote=
I also carry a Maglite XL50 flashlight 4oz. (you have to try this light) [/quote]

I have found these -
http://www.tomtop.com/7w-300lm-mini-cree-led-flashlight-torch-adjustable-focus-zoom-light-lamp-h4846.html $6.36 (although when I bought the first one from their ebay store it was $5.88) - 3.0 ounces - one AA battery. I've been carrying one on my belt for the last year - use it everyday (looking into recycle bins ;) for useful things). I've replaced the battery twice in the last year. I bought 30 or more - to give as gifts. Gave one to a co-workers son - he took it to a sleep over - she said it was the hit of the sleep over. They are very well made - of the 10 I've given away only had problem with one - the switch wasn't quite right - but was easily fixable. The first ones I bought - the belt clips were a bit "bendy" and would tend to lose their stick to it've ness. So I made a new one out of stainless shim stock. Works beautifully. Later ones seem to be better in that regard.

For the ultra lighters -
http://www.tomtop.com/3-watt-torch-led-flashlight-lamp-light-outdoor-h1310.html 1.1 oz - one AAA battery (no zoom, but throws good light), $3.43. I just recently found these so haven't had the opportunity to really give it a work out.

Free shipping too.
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