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Posted: 3/26/2009 7:48:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 7:49:23 AM EDT by DevL]
I have noticed a significant difference in the gear selction of members of this forum and other backpacking forums I read.

Here I have noticed that lots of people are way behind on their gear, use gear that is very heavy, focus on cheap gear, seldom actually use this gear and pretty much dog on the higher end stuff that is new or lightweight. Conversly I see the backpacking crowd using all the latest stuff, have packs that weigh less than half as much, can travel more than twice as fast and twice as far, have generally more experience in the field and have a totally different mindset when it comes to gear selection. I notice that most of the more experienced member here have the most gear and mindset on gear selection as the backpackers.

For example I notice a lot of people here dog on ultra light down sleeping bags "becasue they wont work when wet" yet they will have a sleep system that is not as warm, or light , or small but have not ever had down actually get wet... nor have the guys who use it. People here will want an external frame pack with MOLLE all over it that weighs a ton. A backpacker will get a lightweight internal, use gear that is lighter, and carry half the weight with over twice the utility. Why such a discrepancy over what seems to be such similar goals?

However, I have always looked at the really light weight stuff as kind of "fragile" and it just seems a little risky. My previous camping experience is with stuff I grew to hate... external frame pack, synthetic bag, heavy duty gear that just was not as warm, light, dry, or small as the new backpacking gear. I am at a point I have to pick one way to go or another with many gear purchases in the not too distant future. I know the hgih end backpacking gear is more costly, but to me it would be worth it if it turned long hikles from aggony into something enjoyable vs a huge pain in the ass... I am pretty much convinced I want a down bag, a larger tent with room and ventilation yet very light, and some other "backpacker" type things that are in opposition to what most here would suggest just becasue I found the "heavy duty" style gear so cumbersome.

My question is this... have any of you had very poor results with any of the light or ultralight backpacking gear that is out there? Is there any point you realised you made a bad decision going with something more expensive and lighter? I see guys in the cold with 9oz puffy fleece jackets that stuff to the size of your fist, rain coats that fold to the size of a fat wallet, etc but they all seem so fragile. Conversely something like my Danner boots were just WAY too heavy and large for me to enjopy but I knew damn well they would never have an issue with getting worn out, torn, or anything else.

Please relate any tales of lightweight gear failing... or conversely holding up much better than you expected.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 7:58:30 AM EDT
My light and fluffy 0 degree rate Northface Mummy bag kept my wife (who is cold in July) comfortable in 20 degree weather (snow on the ground). My 8 year old used my 20 degree rate Northface bag on the same 20 degree night and did not get cold. My Osprey internal frame pack in better than any mil spec pack for comfort and the thing is build like a tank.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:01:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:05:27 AM EDT
My fiance and I took up backpacking year before last, after going on a number of little single day trips. We didn't go all out with the best money could buy, but we spent quite a bit getting quality backpacks, sleeping bags, tent, ect. I was a bit worried when I got some of the stuff, because as you mentioned, the lightweight stuff seems more flimsy. I've actually been pretty impressed. We've done nearly a hundred miles of backpacking in the last year with the same gear, and it's all in perfect shape. I suspect it's because these items are expensive..and you really do often get what you pay for. I made sure to buy quality stuff that will last, not stuff that will fall apart in no time. Osprey backpacks. Katadyn Pocket. Optimus Nova multi-fuel stove. Nice tent. Most of the stuff would serve us well whether we were on a backpacking trip for a week, or bugging out.

All in all... I definitely think the cheaper stuff has a place, and i've seen soem amazing deals. Great pieces of gear for relatively cheap. But I do think that with a lot of this stuff, you're better off going for quality, fairly lightweight gear. Most of it is built pretty tough, or it wouldn't be popular. There are backpackers that spend more time on the trail than they do at home, and they use these things on a daily basis, all over the world. If the lightwear gear was prone to breakage, the backpackers would simply not bother bringing it along in the first place. If it fails on you 30 miles out, it's just extra weight.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:09:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Waldo:

Everyone has their own opinions. <shrug>

I'm a backpacker and use ultralight gear without any problems. That's pretty much all I have to say.


i am a backpacker and more than half of my gear would be considered heavy. diffrent stokes. see what works for you

Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:26:12 AM EDT
I don't really thing the goals are all that similar.

When someone goes "backpacking," they typically believe they will have a good time and come home. I do this. Probably a lot of us here do this.

I also have gear ready to "leave." This is when I'm not concerned with having a good time (although I might) and don't really think comming home will be an option. At least not any time soon.

Backpacking generally does not include more than one (if any) firearm and a crap load of ammo.

A survivalist probably would take a huge amount more than a backpacker. That's not to say we can't be both. I consider myself as several different types of outdoorsman. Camper (with huge tent or trailer), hiker (just for a day), backpacker (week or more), and survivalist (not comming back).


As for lightweight gear, I think it all comes down to personal choice and what seems to work. I was just reading a thread on tarps vs tents and didn't want to hijack the thread, but I shitcanned tarps a long time ago. If I'm backpacking or have to bug out, I'm using a poncho and bivy sack. Often when I go hunting, I have either my cabin tent or pop up trailer as a base camp, and often don't come back to camp at night if I think it's better to stay out.

On the other hand, I also think of my cabin tent (10x20) and my pop up trailer as part of my survivalist gear. If I gotta go, together these make an awesome base camp or permanent camp for family. I know in the back of my head we may have to abandon them, or not take them at all.

So I think it comes down not only to personal choice, but objectives as well.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:29:49 AM EDT
I do 1-2 multi day backpacking trips per year. I have been slowly buying the high end light weight things simply because I wanted my pack to be light as possible.

Things i bought are the miox water purifier, msr water works filter, thermalite prolite 4 air matress, down sleeping bag, etc.

In my limited experience I have found that if you take care of your gear, even light weight stuff, it will be just fine.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:34:21 AM EDT
I think the goals are very different.
I have several packs, they are all old and heavy by todays standards.
one is packed and ready the others can be loaded when needed.
In my imediate AO I can only go into the woods 12 miles or so, then I start comming back out.
If I go into the woods I go with the intention of makeing a semi perminent camp so tools are a part of my equipment.
I would also count on many packs worth of food and would stash them just off of the road and the relay them in.
my miles/day is not important {after I get in the woods} because I have no set time frame to get back.
Two very different missions as I see it.

I also have a smaller car bag that is geared for overnight stays or long walks home that is light and can be lightend
by dumping toiletries if needed.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:35:04 AM EDT
I kind of go for a little of both schools of thought. I hunt, and have full intentions of doing backpack hunts out west in the near future. I also enjoy backpacking. You can't use a Go Lite pack to haul meat out of the backcountry easily without killing yourself. That's where heavier duty stuff like Kifary and Mystery Ranch come in. I will not skimp on my pack. If it can be lightweight, that's great, however I need something sturdy enough to pack into triple digit loads. That said, most of my other gear is lightweight stuff. Need to get a lighter bag, I've got small stove, fairly light 3 man tent (going to get a tarp or tarptent), lightweight clothing, etc. Currently I've using an Osprey Argon 85 as my pack, it's a bit on the heavier side of things. Eventually, I'd like to get a Mystery Ranch pack and wish I would've initially instead.

The main issue is durability/ruggedness vs. weight/speed, I think. Both proponents have valid arguments. If you're in a true on foot bugout, my guess is realistically you'll want to get as far as you can as quick as you can, thus the lightweight stuff. If you have full intentions of fighting your way to your BOL, you may want more rugged stuff. To each their own, different folks prefer different strokes.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:02:11 AM EDT
I like to haunt the UL forums and have picked up some good advice. 2 of the areas where I tend to overpack compared to most of the UL guys is knives and FAK. I am medically minded, so I probably way over-do the first aid kit, and I just like having a good multitool and a large fixed blade knife.

OK, concealed carry is also a difference, but I do think one needs to actualy USE their gear. An 80 pound pack stinks!!

I wonder how many folks have actually weighed their pack?

Doc
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:28:31 AM EDT

<––- Ultralight here.

Can't think of any light gear I've had issues with. I read reviews, buy carefully, and take the best care of my gear I can. I have no desire to pack more gear, heavier gear, or a combination of the two.

I've also backpacked a whole lot more than I've bugged-out. I think the score is something like 12,356 : 0 right now.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:51:07 AM EDT
Backpack hunting combines the aspects of lightweight gear and firearms. Check the links for more info.

Kifaru Forums

24 Hour Campfire Backpack Hunting
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 10:26:46 AM EDT
Ultralight here ...

Look at what people use on the Appalachian Trail. Six months and 2200 miles - do you need a better test than that ?

Think about it. That is 10, 15, 20 miles of hiking ever day - packing and unpacking every day - on the move - set up and tear down the tent every single day ...
If ultralight gear can survive that - it should work for you.

If SHTF and I bug out; I hope to find a place to stay within six months and 2200 miles of walking.

- just my opinion
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 12:29:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 2:48:58 PM EDT by Winn]

I'm typically hesitant to sacrifice quality for weight savings. Ideally, one would never have to choose between the two ... but if a choice does have to be made, I tend to prefer durability in most things, even if it might mean that they weigh a little bit more.

But what's as important a consideration as any is recognizing that everyone's situation is different. I have 3 small children, so if talking about a SHTF type scenario, I'm not about to head out on any sort of a 100 mile walking excursion with my family.

OTOH, if it were *just me* ... then lots of variables change with respect to gear selection, weight concerns, distances traveled, etc. - i.e. the ways in which the gear will be employed and the types of gear that are best for me at present.

And all of that can pertain to either survival stuff or recreational use as well.

Then add personal preferences to the mix and you've got a whole other set of things to think about. For instance, in terms of packs I've carried Kelty, Gregory, North Face and others, on day hikes, on 3-day fly fishing trips, and up 14,000' peaks. In general, I prefer Gregory packs ... but then again, things can depend upon "the situation" ...

Lots of variables.

Link Posted: 3/26/2009 1:12:01 PM EDT
I think it comes down to what your used to and your budget. For example as in another post. If i bought a new ultralight internal frame pack to replace my external frame Kelty. I would have to replace all of my gear. Tent , sleeping bag , bed roll , stove and various others sacrifices in optional gear hauled into camp. While some people can justify spending thousands of dollars are the newest high tech light weight gear others cant. How does your average joe with good older gear justify replacing stuff at a high monitary cost to his wife ect.

Hardcore back packers do it because its their thing. Its their hobby and somthing they love. Bird watchers may have extreamly high dollar glass for bird watching , hunters have their beautiful rifle , new high tech bow ect. The avid fisherman may have a boat adorned with rows of gleaming golden Penn internationals ect( My 35ft Diesel boat included). Your average Joe shooter with a family and current gear just cant make that kind of investment to save 10 lbs especially when he doesnt own cheap junk. That old junk Was quality gear 10 years ago. If his family uses it a time or 2 a year then whats wrong with it?

As for the real cheap junk gear. To me buying anything other then quality gear is a waste of money. You might as well just throw the cash in a fire because its going to break when you need it most.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 1:21:45 PM EDT
My BOB is 25lbs. loaded up. That includes a shelter, 20 degree mummy bag, and enough stuff to survive pretty well for 5 to 7 days. The pack will loose about 1lb. a day in food. I do not think this is excessive at all for back packing or survival.

What that does not include is the stuff to defend myself if I am leaving the house on foot. If I am leaving my house under circumstances that force me to be on foot will be bad enough that I will be leaving wearing my pistol belt with drop leg holster, chest rig, and Rifle in my hands. That adds another 20 lbs. of gear just for me.

There is very little chance I will ever need to leave the house under fire fully decked out in gear. Just like my other preps, I have it in case I need it.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 1:22:51 PM EDT

I have hiked all 14 states on the AT, 30-60 miles at a time.
spend the extra money on high quality gear.
I bought all the heavy duty (or so i thought), built like a tank, when I started out ( rookie)
the lightweight stuff is the way to go.
Invest in one or two items per year, or more if you have the $$$
Get a subscription to backpacker magazine.
Never cut corners on
TENT
RAINGEAR
SLEEPING BAG
PACK
BOOTS
SOCKS
FLEECE
HOODED FLEECE
COMPASS
FAK
MAPS
WATER TREATMENT
STOVE
you get the idea
.................................PRACTICE








Originally Posted By DevL:
I have noticed a significant difference in the gear selction of members of this forum and other backpacking forums I read.

Here I have noticed that lots of people are way behind on their gear, use gear that is very heavy, focus on cheap gear, seldom actually use this gear and pretty much dog on the higher end stuff that is new or lightweight. Conversly I see the backpacking crowd using all the latest stuff, have packs that weigh less than half as much, can travel more than twice as fast and twice as far, have generally more experience in the field and have a totally different mindset when it comes to gear selection. I notice that most of the more experienced member here have the most gear and mindset on gear selection as the backpackers.

For example I notice a lot of people here dog on ultra light down sleeping bags "becasue they wont work when wet" yet they will have a sleep system that is not as warm, or light , or small but have not ever had down actually get wet... nor have the guys who use it. People here will want an external frame pack with MOLLE all over it that weighs a ton. A backpacker will get a lightweight internal, use gear that is lighter, and carry half the weight with over twice the utility. Why such a discrepancy over what seems to be such similar goals?

However, I have always looked at the really light weight stuff as kind of "fragile" and it just seems a little risky. My previous camping experience is with stuff I grew to hate... external frame pack, synthetic bag, heavy duty gear that just was not as warm, light, dry, or small as the new backpacking gear. I am at a point I have to pick one way to go or another with many gear purchases in the not too distant future. I know the hgih end backpacking gear is more costly, but to me it would be worth it if it turned long hikles from aggony into something enjoyable vs a huge pain in the ass... I am pretty much convinced I want a down bag, a larger tent with room and ventilation yet very light, and some other "backpacker" type things that are in opposition to what most here would suggest just becasue I found the "heavy duty" style gear so cumbersome.

My question is this... have any of you had very poor results with any of the light or ultralight backpacking gear that is out there? Is there any point you realised you made a bad decision going with something more expensive and lighter? I see guys in the cold with 9oz puffy fleece jackets that stuff to the size of your fist, rain coats that fold to the size of a fat wallet, etc but they all seem so fragile. Conversely something like my Danner boots were just WAY too heavy and large for me to enjopy but I knew damn well they would never have an issue with getting worn out, torn, or anything else.

Please relate any tales of lightweight gear failing... or conversely holding up much better than you expected.


Link Posted: 3/26/2009 1:27:21 PM EDT
well...

for the most part those with really heavy packs have them heavy for a few reasons. the two biggest is..

its part of their kit
they arent experianced enough to know better.

Now..it really doesnt matter on pack style internal vs external. Its the gear that weighs alot. Sorry but a 3-4lb 4-5000ci internal vs a 3-5 lb external isnt abig ordeal to sweat over 1 lb. Now 5lbs of sleepingbag vs 2 lbs thats alot!

Im a little of both worlds.. I use light weight gear, make my own actually to save cost and bulk and build it the way i want it. I hiked many summers with only 15 lbs on my back ( thats with water ,food etc....on my back weight) and others wher eive humped 30-40 and sleep like a baby and had all the comforts and then some of home.
Normally folks find a happy medium that fits them,, for me its 20-25 in summer and 30-35 in winter for 3-4 days.

i think the big deal on the weight issue is that most do not use their "BOB's" as they should. I used to say alot BOBs are for backpacking. You'll scale down your weight untillyou have your basic needs then you'll packin what you need for "survival".... thats your final weight.
If you cant haul it,, you need to dump items or get in better shape.....

funny this thread coming up i brought home a large digital scale to weigh some of my silnylon tarps...
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 1:29:55 PM EDT
20 years ago when I graduated college and got a real job, I decided to 'upgrade' all of my backpacking/camping gear. I replaced my army-surplus sleeping bag, external frame backpack, fiberglass-pole tent, coleman stoves, water purification tablets and everything else with a Mountainsmith internal frame pack, TNF sleeping bags and tents, MSR stoves, PUR waterfilters, Vasque boots, and more- I must have spent several thousand dollars. I still have all that gear (unfortunately the PUR waterfilter no longer works, something about the FDA stopping production of the filter) and still use most if it on a regular basis. I tossed the original Vasque sundowners a couple years ago, after the seams finally giving out (these were the real Italian ones, I had them resoled a couple times.) It was a lot of money to spend back then, but considering the life I've gotten out of the gear, it was worth it.

That said, I still visit the Army-Navy surplus and buy gear, mostly that complements weapons and such. And with two young boys, I am having to look at making some more gear purchases, mainly tents and sleeping bags. I'll probably buy a high-end tent, but el-cheapo sleeping bags that the boys will outgrow quickly.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 1:34:59 PM EDT
I guess I am unconcerned that I might be forced to walk off into the woods and survive off the land for a few years. I am mostly worried about natural disasters and surviving for a few days or weeks until things get back to normal.

There is some concern beyond that time frame, but I am realistic enough to know that I am going to die if I have to try to live off the land. So is virtually anyone else that trys that approach.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 1:57:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ilbob:
I guess I am unconcerned that I might be forced to walk off into the woods and survive off the land for a few years. I am mostly worried about natural disasters and surviving for a few days or weeks until things get back to normal.

There is some concern beyond that time frame, but I am realistic enough to know that I am going to die if I have to try to live off the land. So is virtually anyone else that trys that approach.



Why? What makes you think you can't do it? Or learn to do it? And most of all, why would you project your weaknesses to anyone else? Just because you would give up does not mean I would. Just because you don't know how to live off the land, does not mean I can't. And it does not mean you couldn't.

During the entire history of the human race, most of it has been spent living off the land. Second largest portion of our time here has been spent living in conditions most would find deplorable compared to what we know today. It's only been very recently that we've (as a species) begun to be so "modern." It really hasn't been that long since we've become what you might call civilized. Just because I know how to use a computer, drive a car, use a cellphone, does not mean I cannot live without one. I can live without a grocery store as well. And the city water supply if I have to. A large number of people have had the skills for surviving passed on to them. And I am now passing it on to my children. Hopefully they will continue the tradition. And I hope even more that none of us will have to use it.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 1:59:26 PM EDT
IMO, there is not a durabliity issue until you get into the ultra-ultra light gear. Once your stove is made of a pepsi can, your pot out of a beer can, you are using a 5x7 tarp for shelter, and a taco bell spork, you need to worry. Even then, it is usable, it just takes much care to keep it in shape.

If you are buying Snowpeak, MSR, Primus, Marmot, etc., you are fine. They make very nice gear that is plenty tough for what is needed.

FWIW, with smart shopping and buying, a very nice kit can be put together for 6-700, less if you already have some of the stuff, or don't require low temperature stuff. While that can seem like a lot, it is also usable for various endeavors, as well as bugging in. Really, pass up on an extra Eotech, and then buy half your gear. Later, spend another few hundred on what you still need.

Heavy gear doesn't automatically mean better. If a lot of heavy gear is carried, a much tougher, heavier pack must be used, and heavier shoes or boots are needed. Lighter gear could mean that a pack that isn't necessarily bombproof could be more durable, because it won't be stressed as highly. It can also make your body a little more durable.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:02:22 PM EDT
sort of depends on what your goal is.

most hard core "ultra" light backpackers cover a lot of ground fast and spend little if any time in camp. they walk or jog at a brisk pace stopping only to top off their water bottle, until way after dark using their headlamp. pitch their tarp on their walking poles or roll out their bivy sack, boil dinner, sleep and are up in the dark with their headlamp moving again. they boil in the bag cook dinner and a hot drink. breakfast and lunch are eaten cold on the trail as they are moving. they are resupplied along the way so they don't cary more than a few days supplies. to compare this to a survival type this would be like using a get home/bugout bag to go to your already equiped home/location. just enough essentials to get you there.

the car/rv camper who does not have to carry the weight on his back will load the comforts of home if he can, including the kitchen sink. so he can use the stuff at his final destination.

i fall somewhere in the middle. sort of just light weight. mostly concerned about weight but like some comfort also. my pack is heavier than 6-8 pounds. but never more than 20 pounds with food/water.

your question about sleeping bags is funny. i too have heard that you will freeze to death in a wet down bag. let me assure you that if you don't make a fire you will. but that is only half the story. you will be just as dead with the bag made out of man made materials. i have been wet in both and but for the fire i would not be typing now. i was just as cold in both. if you have to carry it you might as well get the lighter one. i now use a goose down quilt.

i have not found my ultralight weight gear to be less durable. i have been camping a long time. i find when gear gets replaced, it is usually because of new technology rather than durability. for example, i still have my 4.5 pound 2 person a frame tent that i used 25 years ago. this was considered light back then. while it gets less use now, it is still in great shape. i now use my 1.5 pound hammock (with fly, storm shields and bug netting). i dropped 6 pounds. how you say the tent was only 4.5 pounds. well, i no longer carry the ground pad and the liner that goes under the tent to protect the floor. all you need is two upright supports. i have slung between trees (once over a brook just to prove that i can), and even between a road sign and my tire carrier on my jeep. in a pinch it can be used like a bivy sack.

when i started camping i used cast iron cookware and cooked over a fire (this also meant bringing an ax or saw). now i use an ultralight titanium pot to boil water to rehydrate my food. my whole kitchen is just a few ounces. 28 grams for a stove, about the same for my spork, and just a little more for the titanium cup and lid. my dinner meal hot drink and wash water gets cooked/heated on less than a 2 tablespoons of alcohol. everything except the food fits in and is protected by the cup. all of this weighs less than one aluminum cup, never mind the cast iron pot, ax, saw, cups, utensils etc.

keep in mind. i also have added weight. i used to boil my canteen water. now i cary a filter and miox unit and the ever so heavy nalgene bottle (this thing is indestructable. sometimes i think it would contain a pipe bomb.).

some of the light weight clothing, including boots will get torn or wear out with use. some hikers on the applachian trail plan for when their boots will wear out and have a "broken in" pair ready for them at their resupply point. but your choice really depends on your mission. are you buying this stuff to be used for the rest of your life or to get you to a location? where you have a house with solar pannels, an oil well in the back yard, a wood burning stove, garage full of clothes, a warehouse full of food, a farm out back, a blanket factory, and a barn full of toilet paper?

oops i forgot the missle silo for defense.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:13:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ilbob:
I guess I am unconcerned that I might be forced to walk off into the woods and survive off the land for a few years. I am mostly worried about natural disasters and surviving for a few days or weeks until things get back to normal.

There is some concern beyond that time frame, but I am realistic enough to know that I am going to die if I have to try to live off the land. So is virtually anyone else that trys that approach.


Your first two sentences mirror my feelings.

Your last two I have some issue with. When I was in HS I spent my summers learning exactly how to live off
the land, a la Tom Brown (who was, along with Colin Fletcher, my inspiration at the time). I did pretty good at it
too. I went hungry a few times and lost weight, but it made me very sure of my abilities to take care of the
basics and to survive as long as I needed to.

As far as the OP is concerned, my hiking stuff tends to be lighter weight than my regular gear. That's because I
don't place the same demands on it. It is the difference between discomfort if something breaks, or an inconvenience
spending a few hours stitching stuff back up or duct taping it back together. When I am using the gear harder, I use
heavier equipment. I tend to use my gear hard.

As far as a down bag goes, I am all for them for cold weather use. For cooler weather use I like the synthetic bags.

Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:17:47 PM EDT
i use a mix. some stuff i just don't skip on the mil-spec side of things...

you have to look at it this way. Survivalist believe two is one, and one is none. Hikers on the other hand believe that everything needs to be multipurpose.

so this plays a lot into gear selection. I use a pleasant mix of everything. but it has to work. my ruck is an internal frame hiking pack, my tent is currently a Big agnes Elkhorn 2, soon to be a Hennessy hammock to lower weight even more. my mess kit is nothing more than a titanium cup and a jet boil. mean while things like my knife, compass, ect stay mill spec... sure they are slightly bulky but I know they won't fail me. My rain jack is a British military issue wet weather smock. Sure it doesn't fold up as small as I want. but i know it's not going to rip or tear on me if i'm in the woods.

a lot of it too (and i'll be the first to admit it) is one reason many people choose heavy military style packs is because it is cheaper OR because they can't find something they like that isn't SHOOT ME ORANGE or OVER HERE RED or my all time favorite SOUR APPLE SKITTLES GREEN...
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:23:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 2:30:42 PM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 2:27:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pira114:
Originally Posted By ilbob:
I guess I am unconcerned that I might be forced to walk off into the woods and survive off the land for a few years. I am mostly worried about natural disasters and surviving for a few days or weeks until things get back to normal.

There is some concern beyond that time frame, but I am realistic enough to know that I am going to die if I have to try to live off the land. So is virtually anyone else that trys that approach.



Why? What makes you think you can't do it? Or learn to do it? And most of all, why would you project your weaknesses to anyone else? Just because you would give up does not mean I would. Just because you don't know how to live off the land, does not mean I can't. And it does not mean you couldn't.

During the entire history of the human race, most of it has been spent living off the land. Second largest portion of our time here has been spent living in conditions most would find deplorable compared to what we know today. It's only been very recently that we've (as a species) begun to be so "modern." It really hasn't been that long since we've become what you might call civilized. Just because I know how to use a computer, drive a car, use a cellphone, does not mean I cannot live without one. I can live without a grocery store as well. And the city water supply if I have to. A large number of people have had the skills for surviving passed on to them. And I am now passing it on to my children. Hopefully they will continue the tradition. And I hope even more that none of us will have to use it.


We quit living a nomadic subsistence form of existence because it is hard as hell and sucks ass. That was back when the population of the world was smaller than California. If we run out of food in the supermarket, the people of this country will devour everything edible like locusts destroying crops. Everything you think you will forage for will be wiped out entirely in months if not weeks.

If the majority of your plan is to forage, you will die, horribly. If you don't, you will end up trying to steal food from me and mine because foraging is only a tiny portion of our preps.

Foraging is should only be a small portion of your plan.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 5:28:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 6:03:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By pira114:
Originally Posted By ilbob:
I guess I am unconcerned that I might be forced to walk off into the woods and survive off the land for a few years. I am mostly worried about natural disasters and surviving for a few days or weeks until things get back to normal.

There is some concern beyond that time frame, but I am realistic enough to know that I am going to die if I have to try to live off the land. So is virtually anyone else that trys that approach.



Why? What makes you think you can't do it? Or learn to do it? And most of all, why would you project your weaknesses to anyone else? Just because you would give up does not mean I would. Just because you don't know how to live off the land, does not mean I can't. And it does not mean you couldn't.

During the entire history of the human race, most of it has been spent living off the land. Second largest portion of our time here has been spent living in conditions most would find deplorable compared to what we know today. It's only been very recently that we've (as a species) begun to be so "modern." It really hasn't been that long since we've become what you might call civilized. Just because I know how to use a computer, drive a car, use a cellphone, does not mean I cannot live without one. I can live without a grocery store as well. And the city water supply if I have to. A large number of people have had the skills for surviving passed on to them. And I am now passing it on to my children. Hopefully they will continue the tradition. And I hope even more that none of us will have to use it.


We quit living a nomadic subsistence form of existence because it is hard as hell and sucks ass. That was back when the population of the world was smaller than California. If we run out of food in the supermarket, the people of this country will devour everything edible like locusts destroying crops. Everything you think you will forage for will be wiped out entirely in months if not weeks.

If the majority of your plan is to forage, you will die, horribly. If you don't, you will end up trying to steal food from me and mine because foraging is only a tiny portion of our preps.

Foraging is should only be a small portion of your plan.


LOL, Spoken like a true survivalist with his ground wire on his tin foil hat!

Going into the boonies to live is not a good plan.....................................................but you can't discount it.


Oh, no. I took the ground wire off because the ants were trying to recruit me to fight against the grasshoppers.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 6:21:36 PM EDT
I use different gear for different things. When I hike the AT or the Florida Trail, I'll probably carry high tech, lightweight tarps, tent and clothing.

When car camping, the stuff I take will weigh more, be heavier duty, and often costs less.

For my obligatory 'bug out bag', its a combination of the two, with the emphasis on durability and ability to perform several tasks if possible. I use the same cooking gear, food selection, hydration gear for both hiking, camping and the BOB.

Whatever firearm I carry will more than likely be more 'robust' with the BOB gear. :)
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 7:28:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

We learn from the hikers and military but neither really are our guide for both are application specific and survival is scenario specific.

]



You kinda nailed it TJ.

A bug out may be a hike or it may be an Infantry manuever.

You never know. Most will bug out with a firearm so they understand it can get real bad. I think I'd rather carry the extra lbs of 1000denier cordura just so I don't end up wishing I had.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:29:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KrazyL:
i use a mix. some stuff i just don't skip on the mil-spec side of things...

you have to look at it this way. Survivalist believe two is one, and one is none. Hikers on the other hand believe that everything needs to be multipurpose.

so this plays a lot into gear selection. I use a pleasant mix of everything. but it has to work. my ruck is an internal frame hiking pack, my tent is currently a Big agnes Elkhorn 2, soon to be a Hennessy hammock to lower weight even more. my mess kit is nothing more than a titanium cup and a jet boil. mean while things like my knife, compass, ect stay mill spec... sure they are slightly bulky but I know they won't fail me. My rain jack is a British military issue wet weather smock. Sure it doesn't fold up as small as I want. but i know it's not going to rip or tear on me if i'm in the woods.

a lot of it too (and i'll be the first to admit it) is one reason many people choose heavy military style packs is because it is cheaper OR because they can't find something they like that isn't SHOOT ME ORANGE or OVER HERE RED or my all time favorite SOUR APPLE SKITTLES GREEN...


If you've still got that tent next time we hike, I am going to be very disappointing with you!
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:36:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

If you haven't noticed this is a gun forum and about the biggest complaint I have on the latest greatest hiking gear is its totally 100% not gun friendly. I can say the same thing about Military Gear which is geared all around the gun and not hike friendly.


What aspect of hiking gear is not gun friendly? Look at Kifaru, for example. Their hunting packs are really as light as any other (outside of ULA or Golite or Gossamer, the choice of ultra-ultra-lighters who think that carrying noodle balloons for a ground pad is a good idea. But I digress) and capable of taking a long gun in a ready-to-go position.

I guess I'm not seeing what about having a lightweight kit makes the gear less suitable for survival.

Or, to put this in another way... I challenge someone to come up with an ultralight piece of gear that not compatible with survival techniques and goals.

My caveat being that you can't point to something like a Golite backpack and say "It's not bombproof!" ... 'cuz it isn't supposed to be, and the manufacturer admits that their lightest packs are likely to disintegrate with more than 25lb in them.

(Sit down Protus, we can debate whether or not a hammock makes a good bug out shelter. I still maintain that it does, you're free to disagree... but you're wrong! all wrong I say! )
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:00:26 PM EDT
i see this a a matter of degrees. i like lightweight stuff, but i still see some of the shit the super light people use and at some points its retarted. people over react short term and underreact in the long term. theres no point in weighing the difference between a lexan spork and one from dairy queen. theyre both plastic, use the durable one.

also, as a backpacker, i believe we tend to see the durability of our gear based on how we use it. hiking the CT or AT places different, lesser demands on your gear than bushwacking in southern alaska or south texas, thorns and brush will abraid the ul grear. i wouldnt use my filson tin cloth chaps on a backpacking trip just as i wouldnt wear UL backpacking pants while cutting wood or doing heavy trail work because they wont hold up.

I do support lightweight backpacking and thats generally the route i go if i can afford it. i see bugging out and long distance hiking as two different things.

multiple bob's for diff situations. i consider it this way.
1. work/out and about to home - your smallest bag, lightest, little food, very basic. durability no a problem as i consider mine to only need to sustain me for 24-48hrs

2. Home to out- no BOL (also my traveling BOB) - heavier but still making good use of extra lightweight gear, not really designed for more than a week. it all fits into what would be considered a day pack, internal plastic frame.

3. home to BOL- Heavy, long lasting gear. im driving to this bitch, i aint carrying stuff for a long term stay. ive got food preps, lots of guns, ammo, more food, traps, tools, lots of clothes. more tools. comms, lots of heavy shit. basically all my hunting, fishing and ranch tools. also an aluminum boat.

I dont see the ultralight gear as nessecary for home to BOL. that move needs to look towards long term sustainability.

im assuming a number of things
1- this is for situations where the threat is localized and small, active shooter scenarios ect. unlikely to spread. in that event, i have my other bags. its not this bags purpose.

2- this bag is for some reason i can get to my bol and i have to leave the city where i live. this is my most survival /campimg oriented bag because the stopping place is variable. i have a place in mind but it could change based on situation.

3- this is there some serious shit has gone down and the danger in the city will stay high for an extended length of time. ive got ton of stuff with me because im assuming anything i leave will be looted or inaccesible in the future. gear weight matters little in my truck bed. ill still have all 3 bags so i can still BO from my vehicle if needed. if the planned route is blocked, ill exit another way, my city is big enough.

match the gear to your demands, a golite rain jacket will get fucked up wayyyyyyy before an arcteryx alpha jacket or a indestructible filson tin cloth jacket.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:03:04 PM EDT
As for day long to week long hikes for fun, the ultralight new age gear is great and makes your life a lot easier, so go for it. But if you're also concerned with needing to do this to save your life, learning how to do things the manual way with failproof, rudimentary gear cannot be beat. For bugout gear, I prefer nice heavy milspec stuff. In a life or death situation your ultralight pack strap might break, a pocket rocket's arm hinge might break or your fancy katydin bottle may fail.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:05:58 PM EDT
Its a never ending arguement. I mean hell somone hardcore could head into the woods with a .22 pistol , wool blanket , tarp , knife , flint and steel and a water filter bottle and feel like hes living the good live. Somone else might feel they need to be more high tech then star trek and yet another feels he wants the gear he likes.

The real issue is knowing how to use it! My cousin , racing partner and I talked about this tonight. Trooping it , bugging in , bugging out , degrade of society ect ect. We found ourselves feeling advantaged even with I horrible old over weight useless gear. That we have the clothing , firearms , bows , knives , fishing gear , trappng gear , tractors , 4x4s , campers , tents , generators , welders and what ever else u can think of. Yet we didnt feel the gear was the advantage we felt having the knowledge and years using thoose impliments was the real advantage.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:22:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 9:37:36 PM EDT by MonkeyGrip]
I started going ultralight for backpacking last year when I got back into it after years off. Lugging massive packs up and down rough grades is hell, especially if you're just sightseeing. I Just bought a few more pieces of UL gear for this coming season, and am boning up on UL tricks. I use a lightweight fiber bag though. I had a down bag, but it always gave me too much stress worrying about keeping it dry. Amongst those times was when that plane dropped us off for a week above the arctic circle and it rained quite a bit. My SIG P228 is kind of UL, but not the extra ammo.
UL backpacking is like being a scout. You travel light, far and fast, but you are limited in what you can do.

For car camping, I like the iron dutch oven, lots of brought firewood, and some heavy junk.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 9:44:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 9:48:22 PM EDT by SamD]
I like external frames. They carry better, are more flexible and it is easier to stow stuff. I don't have the impression that there is any weight difference between quality internal and external frame packs.

I have a down bag, and I just don't let it get wet. If you let your bag get wet, you did something stupid. I understand the best synthetic bags are just as light now.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 10:28:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheHangman:
Ultralight here ...

Look at what people use on the Appalachian Trail. Six months and 2200 miles - do you need a better test than that ?

Think about it. That is 10, 15, 20 miles of hiking ever day - packing and unpacking every day - on the move - set up and tear down the tent every single day ...
If ultralight gear can survive that - it should work for you.

If SHTF and I bug out; I hope to find a place to stay within six months and 2200 miles of walking.

- just my opinion


One big difference––-the guys hiking the AT are not caring everything they need to survive for six months––they can go to stores to buy food (no need for snares and ammo) buy fuel for the stove, new filters for the water purifier, another box of matches, and replace gear. They are on a trail so now need for stuff to make one. Plus when they get to the end they do not have to continue to survive out of what they have on their backs.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 10:44:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By pira114:
Originally Posted By ilbob:
I guess I am unconcerned that I might be forced to walk off into the woods and survive off the land for a few years. I am mostly worried about natural disasters and surviving for a few days or weeks until things get back to normal.

There is some concern beyond that time frame, but I am realistic enough to know that I am going to die if I have to try to live off the land. So is virtually anyone else that trys that approach.



Why? What makes you think you can't do it? Or learn to do it? And most of all, why would you project your weaknesses to anyone else? Just because you would give up does not mean I would. Just because you don't know how to live off the land, does not mean I can't. And it does not mean you couldn't.

During the entire history of the human race, most of it has been spent living off the land. Second largest portion of our time here has been spent living in conditions most would find deplorable compared to what we know today. It's only been very recently that we've (as a species) begun to be so "modern." It really hasn't been that long since we've become what you might call civilized. Just because I know how to use a computer, drive a car, use a cellphone, does not mean I cannot live without one. I can live without a grocery store as well. And the city water supply if I have to. A large number of people have had the skills for surviving passed on to them. And I am now passing it on to my children. Hopefully they will continue the tradition. And I hope even more that none of us will have to use it.


We quit living a nomadic subsistence form of existence because it is hard as hell and sucks ass. That was back when the population of the world was smaller than California. If we run out of food in the supermarket, the people of this country will devour everything edible like locusts destroying crops. Everything you think you will forage for will be wiped out entirely in months if not weeks.

If the majority of your plan is to forage, you will die, horribly. If you don't, you will end up trying to steal food from me and mine because foraging is only a tiny portion of our preps.

Foraging is should only be a small portion of your plan.


Ummm you are right but only too a point. If you live/have your BOL far enough from a major metro area foraging is actually doable. if the route to your bol is 120 miles with a a town of 500 at one end a town of 1000 96 imiles into it, a 4000 pop town 12 miles later and then a 12 mile hike to your bol well, foraging might be a little better there than in the Denver city park. A dozen or so snares carried with you might give you the oppurtunity to catch a bunny for breakfast. Keeping your eyes open might score you some wild asparagus or other edible along the way. Not everyone lives or plans to go to a metro plex. Largest town close to my BOL at 70 miles is around 40K. And that 64 miles is full of ranchers rednecks and more than a couple hillbillies and in the opposite direction of which most people tend to go.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 10:50:45 PM EDT
Ultimately, like TJ said most on here from what I have seen take a get both approach in true arfcom fashion. For now I do not have much light weight stuff. Other priorites for the money. Would it be nice to have cool ultra lite stuff? Yep. I am not in as good a shape as when I humped 80 pounds doing 15 minute miles 12 miles at a time for fun/working out. But does that mean I have to ditch all my older heavier gear to survive? Not hardly.

Another thing to keep in mind––-Way to much emphasis by the lighter is better crowd on speed. If you are bugging out on foot unless you are racing a shemical cloud or something 15-20 minute miles are generally spelled S-U-I-C-I-D-E.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 11:00:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 11:03:44 PM EDT by Wolfcri]
tag
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 12:43:23 AM EDT
Just go hiking w/ what you got


You'll make your own decisions based on your own experiences

Ultra light gear is a bit of a trade off as far as durability goes, but not as much as some may think.


And just because one is Capable of hiking long distances w/ heavy packs doesn't mean it's a good idea. N one wants an injury out on the trail.




Speed
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 1:49:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DevL:
I have noticed a significant difference in the gear selction of members of this forum and other backpacking forums I read.

Here I have noticed that lots of people are way behind on their gear, use gear that is very heavy, focus on cheap gear, seldom actually use this gear and pretty much dog on the higher end stuff that is new or lightweight. Conversly I see the backpacking crowd using all the latest stuff, have packs that weigh less than half as much, can travel more than twice as fast and twice as far, have generally more experience in the field and have a totally different mindset when it comes to gear selection. I notice that most of the more experienced member here have the most gear and mindset on gear selection as the backpackers.

For example I notice a lot of people here dog on ultra light down sleeping bags "becasue they wont work when wet" yet they will have a sleep system that is not as warm, or light , or small but have not ever had down actually get wet... nor have the guys who use it. People here will want an external frame pack with MOLLE all over it that weighs a ton. A backpacker will get a lightweight internal, use gear that is lighter, and carry half the weight with over twice the utility. Why such a discrepancy over what seems to be such similar goals?

However, I have always looked at the really light weight stuff as kind of "fragile" and it just seems a little risky. My previous camping experience is with stuff I grew to hate... external frame pack, synthetic bag, heavy duty gear that just was not as warm, light, dry, or small as the new backpacking gear. I am at a point I have to pick one way to go or another with many gear purchases in the not too distant future. I know the hgih end backpacking gear is more costly, but to me it would be worth it if it turned long hikles from aggony into something enjoyable vs a huge pain in the ass... I am pretty much convinced I want a down bag, a larger tent with room and ventilation yet very light, and some other "backpacker" type things that are in opposition to what most here would suggest just becasue I found the "heavy duty" style gear so cumbersome.

My question is this... have any of you had very poor results with any of the light or ultralight backpacking gear that is out there? Is there any point you realised you made a bad decision going with something more expensive and lighter? I see guys in the cold with 9oz puffy fleece jackets that stuff to the size of your fist, rain coats that fold to the size of a fat wallet, etc but they all seem so fragile. Conversely something like my Danner boots were just WAY too heavy and large for me to enjopy but I knew damn well they would never have an issue with getting worn out, torn, or anything else.

Please relate any tales of lightweight gear failing... or conversely holding up much better than you expected.


Never seen a dump truck win an F1 race.

Never seen a Lambo haul 21 tons of gravel.

Never seen a backpacker pop a strap, but I've seen the stitching open up on a stout Kelty at just slightly over a hundred pounds. 5500 denier Cordura stout.

When people are shooting at you, i.e. not your average vacation, I personally would like the ability to haul a couple (hundred) more rounds of ammo.

When it comes to ammo, and mortar baseplates, and 50 cal rifles, and belts for 240s and Dragons and Tows and stuff like that, the fun doesn't really even begin till 125 pounds or so, roughly 3 to 15 times as much as you'd finish the CDT with.

Size the tool to fit the job.

If not...



Link Posted: 3/27/2009 1:55:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2009 2:04:38 AM EDT by protus]
Originally Posted By SabreCat:
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

If you haven't noticed this is a gun forum and about the biggest complaint I have on the latest greatest hiking gear is its totally 100% not gun friendly. I can say the same thing about Military Gear which is geared all around the gun and not hike friendly.


What aspect of hiking gear is not gun friendly? Look at Kifaru, for example. Their hunting packs are really as light as any other (outside of ULA or Golite or Gossamer, the choice of ultra-ultra-lighters who think that carrying noodle balloons for a ground pad is a good idea. But I digress) and capable of taking a long gun in a ready-to-go position.

I guess I'm not seeing what about having a lightweight kit makes the gear less suitable for survival.

Or, to put this in another way... I challenge someone to come up with an ultralight piece of gear that not compatible with survival techniques and goals.

My caveat being that you can't point to something like a Golite backpack and say "It's not bombproof!" ... 'cuz it isn't supposed to be, and the manufacturer admits that their lightest packs are likely to disintegrate with more than 25lb in them.

(Sit down Protus, we can debate whether or not a hammock makes a good bug out shelter. I still maintain that it does, you're free to disagree... but you're wrong! all wrong I say! )



you have and point as do many others.

For example. tarps.
Ive seen guys want ones with extra re-inforcemnst here there, etc and the thing weighs near 1lb. defeating the reason why you have one to start with.
I just brought home a digital scale from my work. goes to .5oz readings. My OD silnylon 8x10 weighs....9 oz total!

Now that grey one you saw me use, its going on two years old. Its been crammed,stuffed, raine don, haile don, spark and ashed on from fires, had folks trip over the tieout lines, had a kid clothes line him slef on my ridge line running at night( long story).
Hasnt torn yet. I dont have fancy re-enforced corners,cat cuts or anything.

i would 100% trust that to a BOB ( and do).

It is like the "tactical" crowd to always say "civy" packs are weak and will break.
Well whats funny is my kelty is made of some of the same cordora that most "molle" packs are. Least it has an adjustable suspension!

If folks would use their gear, like it is supposed to be used and not just buy it, use it once or twice andthen pack it away for that "rainy" day..they would see that some and most ultra light gear can be used for thier BOB.
Way i look at it, if you have a BOB that should be your backpacking kit till you find out what you need vs what you want. Then move into a dedicated BOB or backpacking kit. To me if i can save 5 lbs from using certain UL gear, and save on alot of bulk...it means more food,water and ammo i can carry when it comes time to strap on my BOB.

Im not a snob when it comes to backpacking gear, reason why i make my own. To me if you can walk that 5-10 miles a day with your old 1980's kelty external frame pack and you enjoy yourself....rock on brother! If you can do it with a 500 $ uber pack,,,,and enjoy yourself...way to go....
Problem is koolaide and lack of use that cause's folks to continue on their battles of what works vs what doesnt and what THEY feel the next guy should have...like a hammock

So onto that subject becuase it fits this topic really. In my eyes a hammock is not a good choice for a BOB...now..this of course is scenerio dependant...
but think of it as this. Can you sleep ,rifle on you/next to you,boots on(some of your gear as well), and see whats coming, and dismount and fight as fast as a guy on the ground.
Im sure you'll say yes as many will. Also think of think of this. What is easier to aim and hit a large object 3-4 ft in the air above ground clear as day to see or a prone person? Now remember in the hammock you still need to dismount,find the attacker and find cover at the same time. and returning fire....
Just one reason why i think they are not a wise choice for a BOB( again event scenerio is what drives this)

Now a hammock for backpacking or " jungle" survival im all over it. I even have a hammock to use this summer to test. Again i am open minded when it comes to trying new things if it betters my "comfort" and for the most part a hammock is a light weigh option to gain A LOT of comfort while on the trail.
Light vs survival....it fits that bill....light vs "fighting" it's not as well suited.

Kifaru my favorite subject.
Most folks here will not pick a kifaru hunting pack to "backpack" with. It is not cool enough. Sorry but thats fact. They want the G2 or EMR or CCR, EMO,ELO,REO, KLF and REM or some other pack thats covered in options and pockets and webbing.
Ive told folks , look what folks use on the PT and AT..look at pack choices, designs etc. Talk with those that have rucked a few 100 miles in one sitting.
You will find out ALOT about what fails,what doesnt and what works.
Granted some of it is go as light as you can and re supply. But with some you can walk away with a better understanding of what works out there, and why so many folks arent lugging around eagle and black hawk and camelback 3 day frameless packs or EMR's and large alice rucks!!! again if that you and you enjoy yourself and have all the comforts you need...rock on..... but for the most part many here arent to that level.

just some random thoughts YMMV
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:46:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By paddymurphy:
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By pira114:
Originally Posted By ilbob:
I guess I am unconcerned that I might be forced to walk off into the woods and survive off the land for a few years. I am mostly worried about natural disasters and surviving for a few days or weeks until things get back to normal.

There is some concern beyond that time frame, but I am realistic enough to know that I am going to die if I have to try to live off the land. So is virtually anyone else that trys that approach.



Why? What makes you think you can't do it? Or learn to do it? And most of all, why would you project your weaknesses to anyone else? Just because you would give up does not mean I would. Just because you don't know how to live off the land, does not mean I can't. And it does not mean you couldn't.

During the entire history of the human race, most of it has been spent living off the land. Second largest portion of our time here has been spent living in conditions most would find deplorable compared to what we know today. It's only been very recently that we've (as a species) begun to be so "modern." It really hasn't been that long since we've become what you might call civilized. Just because I know how to use a computer, drive a car, use a cellphone, does not mean I cannot live without one. I can live without a grocery store as well. And the city water supply if I have to. A large number of people have had the skills for surviving passed on to them. And I am now passing it on to my children. Hopefully they will continue the tradition. And I hope even more that none of us will have to use it.


We quit living a nomadic subsistence form of existence because it is hard as hell and sucks ass. That was back when the population of the world was smaller than California. If we run out of food in the supermarket, the people of this country will devour everything edible like locusts destroying crops. Everything you think you will forage for will be wiped out entirely in months if not weeks.

If the majority of your plan is to forage, you will die, horribly. If you don't, you will end up trying to steal food from me and mine because foraging is only a tiny portion of our preps.

Foraging is should only be a small portion of your plan.


Ummm you are right but only too a point. If you live/have your BOL far enough from a major metro area foraging is actually doable. if the route to your bol is 120 miles with a a town of 500 at one end a town of 1000 96 imiles into it, a 4000 pop town 12 miles later and then a 12 mile hike to your bol well, foraging might be a little better there than in the Denver city park. A dozen or so snares carried with you might give you the oppurtunity to catch a bunny for breakfast. Keeping your eyes open might score you some wild asparagus or other edible along the way. Not everyone lives or plans to go to a metro plex. Largest town close to my BOL at 70 miles is around 40K. And that 64 miles is full of ranchers rednecks and more than a couple hillbillies and in the opposite direction of which most people tend to go.


You will crap your pants to see how crowded your woods will be with desperate people if the cities start to empty out. You are not taking to the woods to live off the land for anything but TEOTWAWKI. In the end of the world senario the cities are unsustainable. I don't care how far you are from civilization. You would be stunned how crowded it will feel with just a few neighbors hunting and trapping the same woods.

Do not think to depend on foraging, but consider it a good supliment to your preps until it isn't any more.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:29:13 AM EDT
I did some backpacking before I went into the Marines as a grunt. My feet have carried me many, many miles. While I was in I would have killed to have some of my civillian gear. The military is ignorant and about three decades behind on gear, though I will admit they are improving greatly as of late.

I hear the "I'm bugging out it's gotta be bombproof" arguement. Really though what can be tougher on gear than non-stop 4- 6 month backpacking trips. Ultra light gear is built to last. When you buy a quality piece of gear it is gonna last for a long time with hard use. Take care of your gear.

Now I know ammo weighs a lot, believe me I know. However if your plan is to just head out with your pack and live indefinetly, I don't see that as being realistic. First how much ammo are you really gonna carry? Any grunt will tell you that don't carry a wars worth. simply put you can't.

If you have a pack on you better get somewhere, and you better not get into a fight on the way. You can't run with a pack, you can't manuver. If you get into a fight then you have to ditch the pack and pray you win the fight or you lose your stuff when you run. fast and light is important. Now, you can't carry ammo and be backpacker light, but that is why saving weight on every other piece of gear is important.

For you guys who say you can't carry heavy gear and be self supported, take a look at mountaineering, climbing gear weighs a lot and often these guys go self supported.

Saying lightweight civillian gear won't cut it is being willfully ignorant, there are thousands (if not more) guys out there this minute proving you wrong.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:42:06 AM EDT
weight and durability are related
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 5:31:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2009 5:32:10 AM EDT by Canoeguy]
Originally Posted By wesmerc:
weight and durability are related


I agree to a point. But this can be countered with quality and design to an acceptable level.

You can have a heavy dureable pack, but if it doesn't have years of hard trail use put into the design then an unrealized stress point may fail, or the ergonomics may suck causing the user pain.

However a pack to carry 60 lbs. will weigh more than a pack for 20 lbs. But it canstill be light weight and user friendly.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 5:41:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

Going into the boonies to live is not a good plan.....................................................but you can't discount it.


You are right on there.... going to one extreme or the other is setting yourself up for failure. Leave opetions open.... options are good. Lots of people survive on their own in the wilds... lots of people die also.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 5:45:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By paddymurphy:
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By pira114:
Originally Posted By ilbob:
I guess I am unconcerned that I might be forced to walk off into the woods and survive off the land for a few years. I am mostly worried about natural disasters and surviving for a few days or weeks until things get back to normal.

There is some concern beyond that time frame, but I am realistic enough to know that I am going to die if I have to try to live off the land. So is virtually anyone else that trys that approach.



Why? What makes you think you can't do it? Or learn to do it? And most of all, why would you project your weaknesses to anyone else? Just because you would give up does not mean I would. Just because you don't know how to live off the land, does not mean I can't. And it does not mean you couldn't.

During the entire history of the human race, most of it has been spent living off the land. Second largest portion of our time here has been spent living in conditions most would find deplorable compared to what we know today. It's only been very recently that we've (as a species) begun to be so "modern." It really hasn't been that long since we've become what you might call civilized. Just because I know how to use a computer, drive a car, use a cellphone, does not mean I cannot live without one. I can live without a grocery store as well. And the city water supply if I have to. A large number of people have had the skills for surviving passed on to them. And I am now passing it on to my children. Hopefully they will continue the tradition. And I hope even more that none of us will have to use it.


We quit living a nomadic subsistence form of existence because it is hard as hell and sucks ass. That was back when the population of the world was smaller than California. If we run out of food in the supermarket, the people of this country will devour everything edible like locusts destroying crops. Everything you think you will forage for will be wiped out entirely in months if not weeks.

If the majority of your plan is to forage, you will die, horribly. If you don't, you will end up trying to steal food from me and mine because foraging is only a tiny portion of our preps.

Foraging is should only be a small portion of your plan.


Ummm you are right but only too a point. If you live/have your BOL far enough from a major metro area foraging is actually doable. if the route to your bol is 120 miles with a a town of 500 at one end a town of 1000 96 imiles into it, a 4000 pop town 12 miles later and then a 12 mile hike to your bol well, foraging might be a little better there than in the Denver city park. A dozen or so snares carried with you might give you the oppurtunity to catch a bunny for breakfast. Keeping your eyes open might score you some wild asparagus or other edible along the way. Not everyone lives or plans to go to a metro plex. Largest town close to my BOL at 70 miles is around 40K. And that 64 miles is full of ranchers rednecks and more than a couple hillbillies and in the opposite direction of which most people tend to go.


You will crap your pants to see how crowded your woods will be with desperate people if the cities start to empty out. You are not taking to the woods to live off the land for anything but TEOTWAWKI. In the end of the world senario the cities are unsustainable. I don't care how far you are from civilization. You would be stunned how crowded it will feel with just a few neighbors hunting and trapping the same woods.

Do not think to depend on foraging, but consider it a good supliment to your preps until it isn't any more.


Uhh, no I won't A)I am not taking to the woods. Those are in the other direction why my BOL is a friends ranch instead of my brothers cabin in the woods. My BOL is a multi-section (ya as in thousands of acres)ranch. My point is there are lots of places in this country that are far enough away from major urban areas that it ican be a viable option. Example when you look at a detailed map of southern COlorado realize all those little towns east of I25 and south of Pueblo? A grand total of 3 of them have populations approaching 10K and most are under 2K. There are literally places you can drive 50 or a hundred miles and see fewer than a dozen houses while being able to see for miles and houses are easy to spot. If you see trees in the distance it is a house or a river. Look at the San Luis valley(south central Colorado). The worlds largest alpine valley. Largest town has a population of 12K or so. Only way in or out invovlves 10K+ elevations. And again very low population densities and nearest major urban area nearly 100 miles away.

See I happen to view foraging as an addition to preps. BUT I also realize it can be more than a temporary supplement depending on your situation(location, experience, time of year, distance to major urban areas and what is between you and the urban area, etc). When cities empty out most people tend to stick to major roads, a large percentage associate the mountains/forests as being better than the plains/mountains. Their gas ain't lasting forever, the roads may be blocked etc etc. That thins the herd. A lot. The pissed off ranchers between you and that urban area thin it more. As do the small towns. As does their own stupidity. Just like a gunfight, in a survival situation distance can be a very good friend.

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