backpacking (a slight detour) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-18-2006, 11:40 PM   #1
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Add money, that's the secret. But all this stuff can be snagged on sale, or online, and it seems pretty cheap compared to RV accessories. The next time I go out for some intrepid 2-mile expedition with my kid, I'll have a 3-pound Osprey Atmos 50-liter pack ($90 online, a killer one-time deal from steepandcheap.com), a downfilled air mattress worth one pound and 2/5 inches thick ($60, same source), a Tarptent Double Rainbow (2.5 lbs and 2.5 hundred dollars, sold factory direct only- sounds familiar?), and my old 2-lb down bag. That adds up to a base weight of nine pounds. The carbon fiber hiking poles (REI garage sale, $30 each) will help carry that crushing burden. Then I start packing cameras & food, and I'll top out about double that. Twenty pounds on your back ain't bad...

I read that the numbers of active backpackers in the US has dropped severely in the past decade, with half as many folks walking the AT as before. (But look at the busy forums on the sport and you'd barely know it.) I certainly never plan to carry a 40-pound pack again. It would be a smaller proportion of my body weight now, but that hardly makes it easier! I'm in my 50s, and I need all the aid and encouragement I can afford. Anyway, I'm about to sell two or three of my surplus tents, each under 5 lbs. Let me know if you want details. If, like me, you haven't shopped this gear in a great long while, there are some happy surprises in store.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:10 PM   #2
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I never was a ground sleeper but my hushand was. A few years ago we got rid of "the tent", but up in the garage rafters is his backpack. We have intagrated most of his other backpacking stuff (MSR stove, sleeping pads, down bag, light weight cooking set, candle lantern.....) to our trailer and "car camping" stash.
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:08 PM   #3
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I'm past 66 and Still enjoy being "out there" when I can. I still use a three or two man tent but for light weight I use a "Hennesy Hammock" at 1.5 lb and a synthetic bag at 2.5 lb. As for age ..it,s in the mind. That is when the arthritis doesn't kick in.
Had a great ten day back country trip this past summer but took two months for the knees to re adjust. Still, I'd do it again in a minute. Keep the gear and keep it in use.
Besides the kids can use th stuff as starter equipment for themselves.
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:36 PM   #4
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I'm pushing 65 and still like to get out. My wife just got a Osprey pack, so we're going to have to give it a work out this summer and/or fall.
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:23 PM   #5
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Still hiking the AT in spurts as time allows. Still carrying around 40 lbs and yes arthritis
does kick in from time to time. Still like some of the old equip. I have had for some time and use a 2 lb. one person Kelty Dart tent and North Face bag and lots of dried food to save on wt. Keep on hiking while you still can. Camper is nice when other famly members want to come along.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:25 PM   #6
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Didn't realize there was some many of us old folks still on the trails. The wife and I often use the Scamp as a base and wander out from there, usually just day hikes but sometimes we stretch it to a night or two. Next week we'll be at Big Bend NP where we're planning an overnight hike to the Rim.

John, we haven't gotten down to your weight yet but can usually keep mine under 40 lbs and the wife's around 25 for a 2-3 day outing. Water often comprises a significant part of our load. At BB, even in winter, you need to carry at least one gallon of water per day for each person so that works out to nearly 30 lbs for a two day trip for us. At least the load gets lighter along the way.

Hope to see some of you on the trail one day.

Al & Cindy
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
I never was a ground sleeper but my hushand was. A few years ago we got rid of "the tent"...
I did the backpacking thing with my church's youth group when I was in my 20's (during the Reagan Administration). We spent one week at the Havasupi Indian Reservation and camped below the Mooney Waterfalls. The following year we spent a week on C atilina Island.

While enjoying the group activity, I never went on my own, and later sold my equipment.
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Still hiking the AT in spurts as time allows. Still carrying around 40 lbs and yes arthritis
does kick in from time to time. Still like some of the old equip. I have had for some time and use a 2 lb. one person Kelty Dart tent and North Face bag and lots of dried food to save on wt. Keep on hiking while you still can. Camper is nice when other famly members want to come along.

I'm not comfortable going much lighter than I am. I could probably, if spent a bit more money, take our 3 to 5 pounds. Beyond that for this part of the country it can be a safety issue. I know those that do go very light, but I've seen the weather change so dramaticly. A few years ago we backpacking in the Sisters Wilderness Area (Oregon) hiked in with sun shining, shorts and t-shirts were the uniform of the day, slept well with pleasant night, not too cold not too hot. Next day same thing, traveled a few more miles. Set up camp, about 6 pm it started to cool off rapidly. Woke up to sleet, snow, and very cold rain and was very cold. I put every bit of clothing I had on and packed up. We walked for about an hour in the rain with a pancho on before I got warm enough to think about removing any clothing. The pack weighed close to 60lb heading in. I'm sure it weighed a bit more by the time we reached the safety of the car. I learned that the extra weight for extra warmth is well worth that extra weight. Also in wet climates and changing weather conditions, down my not be a good idea unless you can be absolutely sure you can keep it dry.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
I did the backpacking thing with my church's youth group when I was in my 20's (during the Reagan Administration). We spent one week at the Havasupi Indian Reservation and camped below the Mooney Waterfalls. The following year we spent a week on C atilina Island.

While enjoying the group activity, I never went on my own, and later sold my equipment.

Hey Bryon, Agree on being prepared as you never know when you may get hurt or have inclement weather. Here in Va. we have over 500 miles of the AT going thru our State so its pretty convienent to get to a section that I haven't done yet. My longest haul yet has been 6 days and I'll tell you I was glad to get home. This was in Feb. of last year. I had rain, sleet and light snow and footing in those conditions are quite hazardous. Will try for a few more miles this spring. Keep hiking. Bill
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