i leave lots of things at home and instead take tons of food !
Lots of good points. Then there is: "Things often do not fail according to plan." There is a natural tension between "enough" and "too much."
i leave lots of things at home and instead take tons of food !
One more reason to paddle a canoe.
I don't take much anymore either. Just a few basic items. My knife is a puukko (SUPER lightweight), I carry a little folding saw, and if i need a chopping tool- tomahawks are much lighter than normal hatchets.
People on here don't usually carry all that gear, occasionally you see post where someone lists their loadout and it's just like DAMN some chiropractor is going to be busy, but we are on bladeforums: meaning people like to take extra toys out to play with. Nothing wrong with that to me. It's just not needed.
I find that when I'm out with a few people, I pack extra gear that I know nobody else will. I hike/snowshoe year round, sometimes in temps around 30 below Celsius. Invariably, I am the only one who has fire starting equipment, a first aid kit, a tarp in case of shelter needs, at least 2 litres of water, etc. We're all in our 50s, and an injury such as a torn knee or badly twisted ankle could be a problem in an isolated an cold environment outside of cell phone range.
Even still, I'm trying to cut down on the weight of my gear.
"We do not go into the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home... with the necessity always present of being on time and up to our work; of providing for the dependent ones; of keeping up, catching up, or getting left" - Nessmuk
I carry a little less every year, don't worry too much about long term survival in the woods. I don't need to carry snare wire and a fishing kit to keep from starving anywhere that I spend time in the woods, I am less than a few hours walk from a hard ball road in any direction. Lots of downed wood for fires so I have plenty of room for comfort items, I really like my thermarest and a nice tot of bourbon at the end of the day. I do enjoy practicing woodscraft skills but most of the practice is in my backyard and the woods behind my house. Anytime I am deep off the beaten path it is usually in my jeep or my canoe so I have plenty of space. Although my dream is to do a long wilderness trek like the one that Nessmuck describes in "Woodcraft", nothing but my shotgun, fishing kit and 15 or 20 pounds of gear and 60 miles or so of wilderness, I think I might try to plan it next fall. Chris
I think alot of times we may think about the "what if" and end up with a pack full of unnecessary gear just in case of "what if". I like to carry items I need depending on the hike. I took a hike the other day with nothing but what I normally EDC which isn't all that much.
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The heaviest thing I carried on the last hike was water.
On person, I had a Leatherman Kick, a SAK Outdoorsman plus, my .38 special, wallet, a 4sevens Mini CR2, and my camera. I did have a small backpack that held the water, compass, map, altoid tin with FAK in it, Bic lighter, a nano striker......very lightweight.
I have found that I take less and less when I go. Axes, large fixed blades and all that stays at the house. I should have taken a walking stick though.
I used the map and compass once when I got off the trail (they have since re-marked it). Used the camera most of all.
I hiked the High Sierra Loop in Yosemite about 20 years ago. We planned (as suggested by the Park Service) to allow about 10 days or so. I don't remember how long it was, or how long we took, but I was glad to allow all we needed to acclimate to the altitude changes, the climbing, and the ton of time needed to shamelessly gawk at the landscape.
It was not the most difficult trek (my pedometer showed +/- 80 miles when finished with all the extra climbing and side trips for scenic views) but I carried a lot of gear since we packed in almost all of our food, our tents, and our bags. Along the way, there was abandoned equipment everywhere. Tents, giant inexpensive Walmart style sleeping bags, iron frying pans, canned goods, etc. We even saw a small folding wood cot! We saw folks that were on the same trail that looked like the opening of the Beverly Hillbillies! There was enough equipment between them to establish a permanent colony.
My pack was at about 65 pounds for all 10 days with all food and gear, including my bag and tent. We were able to pump filter our water as there was plenty of fresh water that was easy to get to so I never carried more than a couple of liters.
Hiking back in S. Texas where I live, I don't carry one thing I don't have to. If it is a full day hike, I carry an inexpensive pack with a camel bladder in it, a couple of protein bars, a small first aid kit, a whistle, a compass, a couple of BIC lighters, a 5X7 tarp, and usually a medium sized folder and a peanut. I would bet I am under 8 pounds with water, pack with all that stuff. I easily forget about the pack.
If I am going on an afternoon hike and know the park, I might take a fanny pack with some snacks, whatever knife I left the house with that day, and some water. And the camera. Always, the camera.
I am long past anticipating a nuclear holocaust that could occur while I am out strolling the woods, or the much anticipated zombie apocalypse. My knees are, too. My knees have told me that if the zombies don't get me, they will if I carry all that garage load of stuff again.
But as said above, to each his own.
I'll throw in my 2cents with the other older guys.Seems every year that ticks off on the calender finds me with a lighter pack.I've gotten to where I look for things to leave instead of looking for things to take like i did 20 or 25 years ago.I used to pack a 50# + bag for a weeks hike back in those days,now "if" I can get out for a week in the woods the pack tops out at 30# max.While I,like many here I'm sure,have an abundance of gear from yesterday and today,most of it stays in the garage when I load up to head out for some woods time.I've got to say though,God bless technology.The tools get more and more efficient and the packs get lighter and lighter and more comfortable too. Keeping us old heads out in the woods longer and our wallets thinner from all the new lightweight goodies.I can remember when my water kit weighed 5# or more required boiling and purification tablets and big pump filters.Now it weighs a pound and will produce 100 gal of 99.9999% filtered water from ANY source short of salt water.I remember axes and hatchets and hawks and machetes and huge choppers,etc. Now I carry a military wire saw and a 6" fixed blade and a little folder.Packs whose frames alone weighed what my whole pack does now and were nowhere near as comfortable. Bags of rice and cans of food that weighed a ton and produced enough trash to make packing it out hell.Now we have nice instant lightweight meals in foil bags that fold up and pack out in the top pocket of the pack,a weeks trash weighing almost nothing. It's not just the tools and toys progressing with technology,it's us getting better at what we love to do and realizing the best tool we have in the woods is the one toting the pack. Hike on brothers,there's a lot of the world to discover yet,and a lifetime of knowledge to pass on to those who hike with us.
It's all situational for me. Yes, I am slowly downsizing over time with a smaller main bag etc. But I will not compromise in some locations.
I never have carried much,always a knife though. All of what I need is in my noodle. If I get into a situation where I'm gonna die. cause I didn't bring a bunch of stuff, they can talk about what an idiot I was on some forum. All the gear buyin is good for the economy and I aint much help in that department.
Best thing for me to keep the load light is to pack at the last minute, otherwise i get to thinkin to much.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Interesting thread. I never carried much more than a decent 4" knife, my EDC matches and water. Now after being on this forum I have a compass, multiple methods to start fire, a tarp/shelter and more paracord than I could ever use, first aid that I never carried. Some of this is coming from having a child, the rest realizing some of these items are more comfort as I am getting to old to have to go native to make it.
My pack comes in at 23lbs and I can be out for a week without foraging, But I only carry the full pack for overnighters. A day hike doesn't require that gear set unless I am just trying out new gear to see how it performs. Technology has allowed for a lot more with a lot less weight.
I don't subscribe to the I just need a pen knife and paint tarp school of thought. There's enjoying your hiking and being in the outdoors, or being sol because of a change in weather and trying to bang rocks together for a fire and tree bark soup. Sure I could if I had to but why would I want to? You will never be prepared enough for the end of the world.
The day I can't haul 20 pounds around for a few days is the day I retire and start playing checkers or something.
Most of what I take is like a seat belt I have it hoping I do not need it. Also a day hike on a loop at the state park is not the same as scouting new hunting land. If i am off trail i take some just in case if I am on trail I take water, mole skin, and a Barlow. It is about practical expectation and being old and worn down enough that it is not worth the hassle to carry all that stuff, that I have not needed the last 500 times I was on this trail.
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Well, it really does depend on the activities and what you plan to do. As you mentioned, if you’re heading out to test out some new equipment or you want to play with a variety of toys, you pack weight will more than “normal”. I too have been slowly (over the years), adjusting my pack weight to balance between weight and comfort during a backpacking trip. As to knife sets, I’m more than happy to just pack along my Mora 510, Gerber collapsible saw and SAK…altogether weighing less than ¾ of a pound (I think they all came out to 10.5 ounces). I can’t say that pack weight is inversely proportional to one’s experience, but that does seem to hold true and has for me in the past
I’m pretty comfortable with my standard packing list for a 3-5 day trip and pack weight (last trip) was just under 40 pounds and that was me packing the majority of the food and a backup stove that really wasn’t needed but necessary if the conditions change and put open fires off limit. My son will be splitting that on the next trip and that will be me in the low to mid 30’s which is my goal and a very comfortable weight for m.
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