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Chockstone Forum - Gear Lust / Lost & Found
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|lightweight snow camping in Oz
What J-qui said.
I go lightweight both summer and winter.
You don't have to 'go without' or be in 'survival mode'.
Sure you will need to look at changing your gear out, but a lot of it (most) can be made. Think of your gear as a 'system' not just pieces of gear, learn and change-out items slowly as you perfect your system(s).
Make everything have a use, or two, or three. If no use, then don't take it.
Plan, plan, plan.
You will travel faster, not because of a marathon mentality, but because you are carrying half the weight and have better planned your trip.
Lightweight is very liberating in that you learn to do more with less and enjoy more of what the wilderness hands you - it also seeps into other aspects of life.
It is important to remember that when loading our backacks, for the most part, we pack our insecurities and we pack our ignorances. Knowledge, skills and new thoughts weigh nothing. You grow and your pack shrinks.
Lightweight is not unsafe, but its important to grow into knowing what YOU do and don't need for different places, seasons etc. Learn and lighten.
Some people just want to go lighter and lighter, so going light becomes a hobby in itself, thats fine. Others, like me, just want to get down to a sweetspot weight where they can move efficiently all day, and finish the day fresh and ache free. That feeling adds enjoyment to my time in nature. My lightweight journey started due to a bad knee which is now stronger than ever, but the pack still gets lighter.
www.backpackinglight.com will give you most of the info you need. It's mainly a yank website but there are a few keen Oz members.
Those names that J-Qui mentioned are all on the internet and will give you a start. Montbell Japan and Golite also do a host of more consumer lightweight goodies. However, there is a wonderful cottage industry for lightweight gear, the people are very honourable, have a passion for the things they make and a love for the nature they spend their time in. I have a Sixmoons summer tent and recommend them (bought at a better exchange rate).
Yes its addictive and you may well end up sitting in your loungeroom with yards of cuban fibre laminate attempting to make the lightest 4 season shelter in Oz.
I second that Roger's site is fantastic, a wealth of info from a local perspective.
Good luck with it. Have fun, be safe.
Oh... and for a climbing forum...
Remember Ray Jardine (invented Friends) well check out his site:
He's a lightweight freak now.
Yeah got his book for bedtime reading right now... He almost makes long distance trail walking look fun! (Almost).
The most appealing part of the book is his enthusiasm for people making their own gear. I find the constant mantra "buy more stuff" in ultralight discussions a bit nauseating. Ray makes a very valid point that the marketing departments of the big gear companies go out of their way to convince us that their product is somehow high tech and so sophisticated you better spend $$$ or you'll be suffering with inferior heavier gear. The materials used are readily available and methods of making gear not that complicated. Style & fashion is another matter, but I've never let lack of that prevent me heading into the outdoors.
I'll report back once I've actually dug the sewing machine out and made something.... A betamid style shelter could be a start.
Hey there - found my name here. In NZ if are in the alpine area without an alpine tent or if you lack the snowcraft skills to build a snowcave you are essentially reliant on getting to a hut - or down into the bush for shelter. If you don't (and it's happened to me) you have to bivvy out. If you have full storm gear and a bivvy bag or fly you can get through the night - even it's a bit uncomfortable. But those times that I have had to bivvy out have not coincided with a southerly storm - if those two events had lined up we would have been in trouble...
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