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  1. #1
    Goon java junkie's Avatar
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    great article on camerons sub 10 pound backpacking trip,interesting choice of ewquipment,how heavy was that cup a soup cameron?

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch tdave@walkeryri.org.uk's Avatar
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    What gets me is he's going to lower the weight by another kilo...

    Ok, lighter pack (500g saved) and bag to start with. What's the rest of it? Is Cameron going bivvy and tarp on us?

    BTW, i think a cup a soup is about 25g (according to my spreadsheet!)...

  3. #3
    Initiate Original Outdoors Guy's Avatar
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    Maybe he should start self-amputation? An arm must be a few kilos....

  4. #4
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    or leave his wallet at home..........oh hang on he's a Scot anyway ;-)

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    This is always an interesting area of discussion, so at the risk of sounding provocative I'll say what I think.

    When I read Cameron saying on here a couple of weeks ago that he'd been able to get his base weight down to not much more than 4kg I was very impressed, and keen to see how he'd done it. Having read the article, though, it seems to me that it's been done at the expense of leaving at home absolutely everything but the barest of essentials.

    Each to their own, of course, but I really wonder how many of us would want to go camping with that sort of minimalist kit list. No pack liner (what about rain?), no book, no music (I know not everyone takes it, btw, but quite a lot of us do), no mug to have a drink while the main meal is cooking, no pan grab (Cameron must have asbestos hands!), no spare clothing in case of a soaking, no torch, no first aid kit, no mobile or GPS (in case of disaster - maybe someone else's disaster). Most of all, though, I noticed no pair of gloves. Yes, it's possible to pull on a spare pair of socks if hands get cold, but I found myself asking why. For the sake of the weight of a pair of gloves, why use a pair of socks instead?

    I hope it doesn't sound as though I'm having a go at Cameron here, because I'm certainly not - he's a million times more experienced in this stuff than I am - but I think the discussion about where the line exists between sensible and obsessional, when we're talking about backpacking weight reduction, is an interesting one, and - to me, at any rate - leaving a pair of gloves at home and using a pair of socks instead crosses the line.

    I dunno what anyone else thinks...


  6. #6
    ‹bermensch tdave@walkeryri.org.uk's Avatar
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    Well, i reckon he could easily lose a bit more of his packweight.
    500g off his rucsac, 100g off his sleeping bag, 200g from his waterproof (from what i remember).

    But i agree that his pack was a bit spartan. I'd take gloves if i expected to need them, rather than risk getting my spare socks wet. I'd also have at least spare baselayers, but i'd risk the rest unless i knew it was going to pee down all weekend. Did he also leave his torch at home? (But note i say 'I', other people are comfortable with different gear).

    But, OTOH, you could argue that this is what ultralight is all about. I see it as getting the packweight down to an absolute minimum, but then i definately add luxuries onto that such as book, hip-flask.

    The lighter the packweight, then the more stuff you can afford to bring with you to make the experience more fun.

    I went a little too light on my last trip. I took printed maps that were a nightmare to navigate from. They were too floppy in the plastic wallet to lay the compass on comfortably. Dry bags i'd left out too, not this weekend i wont!

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch Andrew Terrill's Avatar
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    You are right, Peewiglet, it IS interesting to question the line between sensible and obsessive rucksack weight reduction.

    (And notice how I wrote 'rucksack' and not the American 'pack'! :-))

    In one sense Cameron's kit list is far from ordinary in that he's putting it before the backpacking public as an 'idea', to show what's possible. I'd bet that most people wouldn't take minimalist packing to such extremes (and I bet Cameron doesn't always either?!) but I'd also bet that many will find it helpful in that they can at least see what is possible. They'll compare Cameron's list with their own and probably think: "Hmmm, why the hell am I carrying so much stuff around then? Let's see what I can leave behind."

    Cameron's dedication to weight reduction could be considered obsessional, or... it could be considered enlightened! (Pun intended!) After all, the less you take into the hills then the less there is to get in the way of communion with them. I'm finding that myself. Leaving the tent behind more regularly has dramatically altered the intensity of recent trips and opened me up to a full 24-hour experience.

    FWIW, I haven't weighed my rucksack before recent trips (that would be obsessional!) but I know it would still seem far to heavy to some. And yet I can carry it comfortably. In the end, that's all that counts.

    So, the sensible thing is for each person to find the right balance that best suites them. The obsessive thing is to travel so lightly that you no longer enjoy your time in the hills...

    As you say, it's each to their own.


  8. #8
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    I'd also bet that many will find it helpful in that they can at least see what is possible

    Of course, and I certainly agree that it's a good idea to point out how light it's possible to go.

    FWIW, I haven't weighed my rucksack before recent trips (that would be obsessional!)

    Really? Put me down as obsessional too, then, and I think you can probably add a few others on here to the list. I wouldn't have called that obsessional myself, but hey...

  9. #9
    ‹bermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    Instructional, certainly. Read about the theories, and how people put them into practice and learn from their experiences.

    What was the line from my TQFE course, something like: "the theorists are like the mountains above the daily morasse. We who are stuck in the grind can look to the theorists to lift us out of the swamp." Or some such.

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Good point, Duncan

  11. #11
    Mini Goon John Manning's Avatar
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    A few weeks ago I spent a night on the Aonach Eagach Ridge in the compoany of Lorraine McCall ? we went up at 10pm, did the main ridge section (full moon and a headtorch helped), bivvied on the second Munro, and were back down by 10am.

    For that super quick over night my load was 3kg/7lb though I had no cooking gear.

    Just a Henry Shires Tarp Tent and a PHD down bag jammed into a ULA Relay pack. I did have phone, gloves, hat, spare clothing (microfleece), headtorch, toilet kit etc, and on top of the base weight were food, chocolate and whisky.

    I was able to get that weight down by checking the weather forecast - I knew it was going to be fine so left waterproofs, packliners etc at home. Didn't even put the Tarp Tent up that night, just used it as a ground mat and slept on top of it.

    So, 3kg pack and 3 hours sleep. But a beautiful way to spend one of the shortest summer nights and much more enjoyable because I wasn't encumbered on the scrambling sections by an unweildy pack weight.

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch Andrew Terrill's Avatar
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    BTW, the comment: "FWIW, I haven't weighed my rucksack before recent trips (that would be obsessional!)" was only a joke. :-)

    It's not for me to accuse anyone of being obsessional...

    ... because when it comes to mountains I'm possibly as obsessional as it gets! You should see how much time I spend in them, and how much time I spend thinking about them when I'm not in them!

    :-)

  13. #13
    ‹bermensch jonno's Avatar
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    everything in moderation .
    lightweigth kit is good but the point of kit is actually having it cos its useful so too much cutting down defeats the object.

  14. #14
    Goon
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    Thanks for the comments everyone. Just back from climbing Mount Ararat and searching for Noah's Ark so a bit late getting onto this thread. Forgive me.

    I don't believe I'm obsessed, only very interested. Interested in seeing at what base weight I can still retain comfort, and interested in how ultralight gear will perform in the Scottish mountains.

    One of the posts suggested that I could go a lot lighter. Correct. The Terra Nova Competition tent is lightweight but a bivvy bag or a tarp would be lighter. I compromised on comfort. I could have used a much lighter pack but again, compromised on comfort. I could have taken lighter waterproofs, but this trip took place at the end of May and, as it happened, it snowed on me!

    I don't carry music into the hills - the natural sounds are what I want to hear and I don't want to compromise that. Because of the light nights I tend to walk on into the evening ( a lightweight pack allows you to do that), camp and cook a meal. After that I fall asleep so no need for a book. I mentioned in the article that I have a little LED light attached to my car keys. That was all I needed - at the end of May it doesn't get very dark.

    Rarely carry a mobile phone in the hills and I don't need a GPS - I can read a map and use a compass. The warden at the entrance to the NNR knew where I was going. If I didn't turn up to collect my car he would have come looking for me.

    Didn't burn my fingers on the Tri Lite pot/mug because it's got handles and as my supper was cooking I drank tea from my trusty Sierra Cup which I mentioned in the article.

    I wouldn't normally carry extra clothing for a two-day trip but I did carry an extra microfleece sweater and I'm glad I did, because my one gear failure was my sleeping bag which wasn't up to the unexpectedly cold night.

    I probably would have carried gloves if I'd known it was going to be so cold but using spare socks (I carried the spare socks because I wasn't sure if I'd keep my feet dry wearing trail shoes. As it happened my feet remained completely dry thanks to the TNF Hedgehogs) as gloves did the trick. Only had to wear them for a short time anyway.

    I used to go backpacking with camp comfort as a major concern, even if the load slowed me down during the day, but as I get older I want to walk longer and easier and modern lightweight gear allows me to stay comfortable at night. It's little to do with any skill of mine, just the fact that gear has become more lightweight. Long may it continue. Let me finish by agreeing with Andrew's point - hike your own hike. All I'm trying to suggest in these articles is that you can get by, in reasonable comfort, with sub-10lb loads or lighter - I'm not suggesting everyone would want to go that lightweight. Having said that there are those who go even lighter than I do, adventure racers, mountain marathoners etc.

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch
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    How much do you weigh Cameron?

  16. #16
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Sorry, Cameron: I could have expressed myself better. I wasn't really suggesting that you're obsessed - after all, pot, kettle, black etc

    Nor was I suggesting that you should have carried the additional things I listed. What I was getting at is that it seems to me that most people won't be able to go that light, because it would mean leaving behind things that most people need to enjoy the experience or make it (feel) safer. Nor was I suggesting that most people would necessarily carry all - or only - the additional items I mentioned, but rather suggesting that those items are fairly representative of the sorts of things that many peeps would want to take.

    As someone pointed out above, though, the weight you achieved is a timely reminder of how light it's actually possible to go whilst still taking a tent.


  17. #17
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    er, I don't suppose you found Noah's Ark while you were at it?

  18. #18
    Mini Goon
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    Curiously enough....

    Across the valley from Mount Ararat there is an earth formation that could (might) represent the fossilised remains of a large vessel, more or less the exact dimensions of the ark as described in the Old Testament. Ancient stone anchors have been found nearby but it appears the Turkish government is reluctant to have the formation properly examined by scientists just in case it undermines the Koran, which states the Ark was found elsewhere. Of course I don't believe a word of it, but...

  19. #19
    Mini Goon
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    ALove Supreme

    At the moment I weigh about 190 lbs

  20. #20
    ‹bermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    However, in a bid to go quantum-lightweight, Cameron only took one of everything, so was turned away by Cap'n Noah.

    ;-)

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