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Thread: Printing error

  1. #21
    ‹bermensch
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    I just read that Trail article today - I needed a mag to pass some time & wish I'd bought Hello instead!

    Towards the end of the trip Matt states his sac weight is down to a "paltry 6kg". He wasn't carrying a stove/fuel or main meals - just lunches & his listed kit came to about 2.5kg. As he only had a few pork pies left what was the rest of his unlisted kit in his rucsac?

    6kg of kit should have given him plenty of scope to be comfortable - instead of bivvying!

    Talk of saving weight by getting fitter is fair enough to a point but I want to be thin & carry less as I want to backpack well past my free bus-pass. Rambling won't cut it for me.

    Another gem from a review of a sleeping bag in the same issue - with waterproof fabric in the foot & hood "..... and the waterproof areas kept me bone dry" - the bag was being tested in a BOTHY!

  2. #22
    Ultra King imported_Scott's Avatar
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    Snowy, I take the point about the article title, but to a relatively casual & reasonably interested reader it was, in my view pretty balanced/non judgmental.

    Mind you, my reading of it was fairly simplistic. He tried to go too "light" for the conditions & had a cold uncomfortable night. He's looking forward to trying the same gear for an outing in the summer. Fat folk - & I must declare a personal interest here - should maybe lose a bit of weight before they throw money at lighter kit in the belief that'll sort them.

    I don't see anything wrong with that, indeed the bit at the end of the article pointed out that his companion totally disagreed with his opinion. "Case for the defence" it said.

    My own feeling re this "responsibility to the readers" thing, which I see ptc* also mentions above is that I would rather novice/inexperienced folk read Matt Swaine's cautionary tale than one that Cameron McNeish did in TGO a few months ago when - as far as I remember - he was up Munros in non-summer conditions, shall we say, with no gloves (he used his spare socks) & no torch, other than the light on his keyring.

    That gives me a lot more pause for thought, & while I would never claim to be all that experienced, I've managed to struggle up a few hills over the last four years. I'd rather folk that were pretty new to hillwalking thought twice about cutting back on gear than thinking wild camping without a headtorch is the way to go.

    I'd have said all that earlier, but I was watching Eurovision, obviously.





  3. #23
    Goon Richie S's Avatar
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    I can't read the article - but the thing that from what I can work out, the author seems to miss is that the lighter you go, the more common sense you need to apply.
    1) Don't go out with a sleeping bag you're not entirely sure will keep you warm in the conditions you're likely to face.
    2) Don't go out with a shelter you haven't tested to see if it's waterproof. Most shelters need seam sealing anyway.
    3) If you're unsure about your gear, have some sort of backup plan - from not ranging too far from the car - to taking an ultralight tarp with you as a backup to a minimal bivi sack.

    I've not come across anyone, who, after making the right decisions, wants to go back to carrying the kitchen sink with them.

  4. #24
    ‹bermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    I'm reading "Beyond Adventure" just now, which goes through the 'reflective practitioner' side of things.

    Think about events before they happen.
    Think about things as it happens.
    Think about things after they happen.

    Without experience, I bought items based on magazine recommendations. Now, I get more information than just one magazine review.

    I'd never have considered the Southern Upland Way or the West Highland Way, nor bagging the paltry number of Munros that I have done if I had kept on the mainstream full-fat hiking approach.

    I met people who carried cans with them on the SUW, both food and alcohol. I heard someone being recommended an 80litre pack in Blacks recently - I didn't catch the start of the sales pitch, so maybe they needed it.

    I continue to take "Trail", and I like their fitness advice. As I'm not looking for new major kit just now, just waiting for Fast&Light to get in the 2007 season waterproof trousers, then I don't bother with the reviews beyond skimming them. I have reflected before, during and after the event, sought feedback and advice. Much due to the folk here at OutdoorsMagic.

    I'll be down in the lakes next month for the first time. I'll be carrying my idea of lightweight gear. To quote from the article:

    "If I'd been better equipped, my pack might have weighed more but staying out for the night wouldn't have been an issue." I'd like to have seen them go out with Ronald Turnbull, or anyone who has a common-sense approach to lightweight hiking.

    For example - the Cumulus 200 sleeping bag is either rated to 0'c or +3'c. Heck, I went for the Cumulus bag rated to -3'c and have used it for every overnighter since getting it. If someone gets cold sleeping in the wrong sleeping bag, don't try and blame the lightweight ethos, blame yourself.

    Hike your own hike.
    If you build it, they will come.
    Prosperity and long life.

  5. #25
    Widdler Snowy's Avatar
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    Scott, that's exactly what I mean about a missed opportunity to shed light on a subject that to the inexperienced can be baffling. As you know going light isn't an extreme sport where comfort and safety is sacrificed, which is how the 'philosophy' can come across from the zealots. Alternatively, a middle way is enjoyed by many more and it is this that got lost in the Trail feature. Btw, I know what you mean about body weight; buying lighter gear was my reward for losing 11kg )

  6. #26
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    Some fresh evidence has been submitted over there )

  7. #27
    Ultra King Mikel el Bastardo's Avatar
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    Was that a few back issues of Trail in the Tesco's bag?

  8. #28
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    He wasn't the only one. There was a poor lassie who got her brown cord flares all wet at the bottom in the snow.
    The amount of people with no rucksack at all was frightening.
    It's a hell of a place the summit and tourist path.

  9. #29
    ‹bermensch John Burley's Avatar
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    Being a little cynical here, I have to wonder whether we have all been thoroughly played by the marketing folk in the outdoors brands. Having saturated (no pun intended) the UK with waterproof-breathable outerwear and fleeces, they needed to find ways of prying more cash out of their target market. So they compartmentalised their product lines to persuade us that the kit we bought last year won?t do for the new activity we are doing next year. Softshell, Fast&Light etc. are new bait for the same fish. I can fully understand that there?s a place for kit designed to be simple and light in order to allow users to save weight. A lighter pack-weight will undoubtedly have some benefits to comfort and perhaps what can be achieved by the elite in competition, but for the majority of us it is of very limited gain.

    Don?t get me wrong - I like the fast&light concept, and have a few items that would fit into that category for certain uses. But if a novice asked me for advice, I would generally steer them away from it. In my opinion, it is not where the value-for-money lies in the outdoors market and just as car manufacturers make the largest share of their profits from SUVs & 4x4s, with much larger profit margins than on their family hatchbacks, I believe that several of the outdoors manufacturers take the same attitude towards fast&light kit. They delight in the fact that they can sell it for an inflated price - and better yet, it will need replacement much sooner than sturdier equivalents.

    I am neither fast nor light ? though I am reasonably fit, strong and robust. I have tended to choose kit that fits the same profile! At over 82kg, I?d need to save 900g in my pack for a 1% lightening of total load. If I am heading into a dry environment and must carry six litres (i.e. kilograms) of water, I am unlikely to notice whether my empty pack weighs 1.3 or 1.8kg ? but I certainly will notice if the weight distribution is poor, if the back system is uncomfortable or if the fabric tears on a rock. Fast?n?light has its place, and the philosophy is going to spin off benefits to all product lines, but a magazine like Trail targeting the UK?s hillwalkers is probably not the forum to promote it.

    John


    (p.s. I don?t read Trail so I am not commenting on the article ? just on the whether they should be promoting fast&light kit).


  10. #30
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    No.

    Read all my other posts on the issue to understand why.
    My typing abilities are too minimal to cover all the ground again here )

  11. #31
    ‹bermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    Let me throw something into the mix seeing as companies are being mention - one of the sponsors of Trail is Blacks.

    If lightweight gear is bought from niche shops (often online), then a mainstream shop like Blacks will lose part of their business. High street punters want big and clunky - it was what they were brought up on in the Scouts, and the like.

    70 litre rucksacks for a weekend hike to name but one recent example overheard.

    Trail seems to have hung its colours to the mast, and until Claire Maxted is given equal rights, or her own low-fat column, then this knocking will continue. I feel sorry that Mr Turnbull was dragged into it, and wonder if he'll have something to say in next month's issue.

    Oh, and as to a big conspiracy - nah, I don't believe it. Punters want materials that are as heavy as tweed, it feels secure, shops sell what the public buy (eg Columbia, CragHoppers). Not enough sales in lightweight - fine in the USA where there are the numbers, but not in a backwater like the UK.

    The status quo allows people like F&L, BPL.co.uk to have a friendly customer following instead of catering to the unwashed masses. People will see the light if and when they want to. They'll start asking questions. They'll look to lighter options. The niches will still be there, but the highstreet shops probably won't as they have to turn over larger volumes of goods to maintain their overheads.

    I'll need to stop wasting my breath, as we're all happy bunnies here on OM, and I can't be bothered posting on CW/Trail's forum. May all be well and happy.

  12. #32
    Widdler John M's Avatar
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    I subscribe to Trail & TGO - both are good magazines - bear in mind the market they are aimed at. Its clear Trail is written in part for a readership that isn't regularly hitting 1000m hills e.g. article on Arran as good preparation for tackling intimidating Munros.

    Lighweight vs 'heavyweight' debate misses the point completely as far as I am concerned. Individuals need to find the gear that works for them, bearing in mind the season. Personally I would never wear trail shoes - I am concious the boot cuff has protected my ankle when I've tripped. I would never criticise someone who wears them - probably have better balance than me. Having said that I try to use light as possible gear e.g. Rab event jacket, photon jacket instead of fleece. These work for me.

  13. #33
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    I think it was Duncan who earlier said "Hike your own hike."

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with going out with a 40-lb pack if you enjoy the trip. Likewise, many backpackers like to push their own horizons a bit and travelling ultralight allows them to do that. Perfectly justifiable. By pushing the limit of ultralight backpacking you tend to get breakthroughs in fabrics and design that eventually filter down into "mainstream" gear and helps everyone. That's got to be good.

    On TGO we're into ultralight - that's obvious, but we've stated time after time that's it perhaps not for everyone. I've written several times that it's not for beginners, that the risks involved have to be properly evaluated and you can only do that with experience. Research tells us that TGO readers tend to be more long-in-the-tooth, that's our market.
    Trail's market is different and I wouldn't expect them to push ultralight as we do on TGO. Indeed, although I haven't spoken to him about it, I reckon Graeme Thomson is very uncomfortable with ultralight backpacking but perhaps that's because he's predominantly a day-walker who spends a lot of time on the Lakeland fells. That's not to knock him, far from it, but we all have our different likes and dislikes. Also, bear in mind that Trail's parent company, Emap, would probably be rather unhappy about promoting an activity that had very little advertising potential. The big manufacturers don't particularly like what's happening at the "cottage industry" level and tend to be very resistant, although some are changing.
    On TGO we've been pushing the industry towards lightweight and ultralightweight for 20 years and more. We have a much less advertising conscious editorial than Trail and it appears to work OK for us, but that wouldn't necessarily work for Trail. I could go into the reasons but don't have space here.
    At the end of the day I think it's great that Trail and others are nodding their heads towards the ultralight movement - whether they want to get involved is up to them, but it's all part of the great and varied activity we call backpacking. There's room for us all, the slackpackers and the ultralight freaks. Let's celebrate it all.

  14. #34
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    I think Trail is as you say Cameron, disinterested in the whole lightweight idea.
    Their readership apparently is interested though, the thread I started on their forum criticising the acticle in question is now the second most read item on the site.

    That says something, not sure what, but something anyway.

  15. #35
    ‹bermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    Kudos on ptc* (and Craig/F&L) for organising a mini-meet for some Trail readers. [link]

    If you build it, they will come.

  16. #36
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    It's kill or cure )

  17. #37
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    > That says something, not sure what, but something anyway

    Probably says that their site has been invaded by hoardes of OMers reading your linked thread...

    ;-)

  18. #38
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    Bugger.

  19. #39
    Widdler guy osborn's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. I NEVER go on mountain or hill without:

    Hip flask of brandy and cigars for the summits

    Cafetiera for making espresso (and the ground coffeee to go with it)

    A lightweight fly rod and tackle for those mountain lakes/streams (and a spinning reel to attach if flies no good)

    A book or three to read by the light of the wind up LED torch

    Movie camera and still camera

    Wind up radio

    ...and this weekend was up with my son in the Lake district, Saturday and Sunday, Striding edge, huge packs (16kg each) and we slept like babies. There were many"hardcore geezers" who overtook us on both days, but we felt that WE were the pros, not the lightweight guys. We actually ENJOYED ourselves - (sadly I'm 52 and not fit at all, puffing and wheezing both days) but we were SAFE an, I think, sensible, and, dare I say it "cool" - we felt we were the rolls royces, they were the boy racers (a little unfair - I am absolutley sure they could knock the pants of me, no problem)...but why go light? I love the relaxing luxury at the end of the day, even if I've only done 2/3 of the distance....

  20. #40
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    You may well have enjoyed yourselves, but I don't think you can really truely honestly say judgementally that the lightweighters did not either. I think you will find that they in fact almost certainly did too enjoy their experiences tremendously. Welcome to the forum there anyways, Guy.

    'Sadly I'm 52 and not fit at all, puffing and wheezing both days.' - Wrote Guy.

    By the way there, try cutting down on the whisky outdoors and the cigars, as you will find it helps you out there on the health front outdoors immensely! I know, as I speak from prior experience of cutting down on the whisky, and in giving up the smoking!

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