camping and backpacking

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lurker
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camping and backpacking

Post by lurker »

i used to be an avid backcountry camper. sleep on the ground, carry everything on your back, get out there in nature beyond the streetlights and now the wifi. hitched across the US, Canada and europe in my younger, wilder days, and down into the grand canyon and back.

that was 30 years ago. then i got a good job, became almost responsible, eventually started civil war reenacting, and camping changed. canvas tents, obsolete hardware, camping in proximity with 100 or 500 other guys, morning drill, afternoon battles. very, very different experience. 3 or 4 years ago, i aged out. tired. could have kept doing it, but lost the desire. still sometimes i think i'd like to go camping, the old way. peace and quiet, nylon tent and backpack, sleeping bag, gas stove if i'm feeling luxurious.

so the other day i happened to mention to my neighbor that i was thinking about the Appalachian Trail which is not too awfully far from me, and he said he and some friends were planning to go for a couple of days in november, and would i like to join them. like, wtf? heck, yeah!

so now i'm looking over my 35 yr old external frame backpack and goose down sleeping bag and thinking, maybe i can do this. i'm out of shape, but what better way to get back in? start walking the neighborhood so i don't collapse after the first hour. rooting through my gear i found a packet of mountain house dehydrated chicken teriyaki, dated 1999. think it will poison me?

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by featureless »

If you have some spare funds, backpacking gear has made tremendous leaps forward over the last 35 years. You can manage a backpack, tent, pad and down bag for under 10 pounds with the appropriate allocation of money. You might not be able to fund another gun for a bit, though.

I love backpacking but haven't had much success doing it during the child rearing, money making (spending) years.

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by Bisbee »

2 decade old FEG ydrated food should not kill you. It may not be very nutritious not taste particularly good but it probably won’t give you the runs.

That’s assuming it heading all turned to powder. You probably wouldn’t want to eat rehydrated mush.
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Re: camping and backpacking

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featureless wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:11 pm
If you have some spare funds, backpacking gear has made tremendous leaps forward over the last 35 years. You can manage a backpack, tent, pad and down bag for under 10 pounds with the appropriate allocation of money. You might not be able to fund another gun for a bit, though.

I love backpacking but haven't had much success doing it during the child rearing, money making (spending) years.
yes, i've seen the titanium fork/spoon/knife. pass.
jobs definitely get in the way.
Bisbee wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:18 pm
2 decade old FEG ydrated food should not kill you. It may not be very nutritious not taste particularly good but it probably won’t give you the runs.
i'll likely see if it poisons the dog and spend the big bucks on a box of crackers and a can of spam. i know how to make beef jerky on the dashboard of a car. park facing into the sun.

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by Hiker »

Ditch the Mountain House. Those foil pouches are not like prepper mylar bags. Back packing meals have a shelf life of 2-3 years.

I encourage you to look up 'ultra light weight backpacking'. Great strides have been made since you last went back packing. Guy used to brag about how heavy their pack was, now they brag about how light it is.
As I understand it, the AT is very hilly, as in 3-4000 feet elevation change every day.

Good luck and have fun
Last edited by Hiker on Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by wooglin »

Do it. What worked in the 80s and 90s still works today. If the bug hits, then start worrying about new gear.

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Re: camping and backpacking

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wooglin wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:07 pm
Do it. What worked in the 80s and 90s still works today. If the bug hits, then start worrying about new gear.
yes. my optimus 8r still works, my goosedown bag still works and i expect my coleman peak1 pack (bought to replace my broken aluminum tube frame pack) still works. if i have a good time, then i'll consider new gear.
actually the thing that concerns me most is footwear. i have a pair of VERY cheap boots, also very lightweight. i don't expect them to last more than an outing or three. do people still wear the old heavy ankle boots?

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by Bisbee »

They certainly do in snake country...
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by wooglin »

People wear trail running shoes these days. Old people, like me, wear what we called light hikers or approach shoes bitd. Merrells are the modern equivalent.

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by YankeeTarheel »

Hiker wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:44 pm
Ditch the Mountain House. Those foil pouches and not like prepper mylar bags. Back packing meals have a shelf life of 2-3 years.

I encourage you to look up 'ultra light weight backpacking'. Great strides have been made since you last went back packing. Guy used to brag about how heavy their pack was, now they brag about how light it is.
As I understand it, the AT is very hilly, as in 3-4000 feet elevation change every day.

Good luck and have fun
A few weeks ago I opened and prepared two Mountain House packages I had purchased somewhere between 10 and 12 years ago--probably closer to 12. They were absolutely fine. MH claims their food is good for up to 30 years and, frankly I believe it.
""If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." -- LBJ

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by CDFingers »

Ah, what an excellent and joyful chance! Go for it! Totally sweet.

Yeah, equipment nowadays is way better'n back in the day. It's lighter, warmer, and more water proof. Hopefully you have excellent boots that are broken in. If you have extra bucks, score some new stuff. Pack, sleeping bag, pants and jacket. Socks. Stoves are cool now, but the old one probably still works.

We are reminded that Bokonon describes how unexpected travel opportunities are dancing lessons from god.

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by highdesert »

I've seen pictures of AT, it looks beautiful but I've never been there. How many miles a day are they looking to hike? I'm not a camper so no advice there, I do like day hiking and comfortable shoes and socks are critical and most important stay hydrated. Practice at elevations that Hiker mentioned. Some people swear by trekking poles or hiking staffs which help with stability.
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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by lurker »

i've crossed the trail on the interstate many times, never walked it. i don't know that it will happen this time, but the more i look at it, the more i want to do it. i've started to leave the car home and walk around in my little town to get in shape.

he said something about 15 miles and 3 days. 15 miles a day? doable. 5 miles a day? cakewalk, except for the up and down hills. lightly loaded on level ground, a person walks ~4 mph. up and down? maybe 2. if this outing doesn't happen, there's camping in the national forest where i shoot. with more conditioning, might want to try to thru-hike it eventually.

yes, shoes and socks are critical. if i spend money on anything :yikes: , it will be shoes and socks.

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by highdesert »

lurker wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:35 pm
i've crossed the trail on the interstate many times, never walked it. i don't know that it will happen this time, but the more i look at it, the more i want to do it. i've started to leave the car home and walk around in my little town to get in shape.

he said something about 15 miles and 3 days. 15 miles a day? doable. 5 miles a day? cakewalk, except for the up and down hills. lightly loaded on level ground, a person walks ~4 mph. up and down? maybe 2. if this outing doesn't happen, there's camping in the national forest where i shoot. with more conditioning, might want to try to thru-hike it eventually.

yes, shoes and socks are critical. if i spend money on anything :yikes: , it will be shoes and socks.
Yup, 5 miles on flatland is different than 5 miles climbing and descending. Carrying a backpack with the approximate weight would also be helpful.
16 The number of times an AT thru-hiker would climb up Mount Everest. Compared to trails in higher elevation mountain ranges, many falsely assume the AT to be relatively flat. In fact, over the course of the Appalachian Trail’s 2,189 miles, thru-hikers gain and lose over 464,464 ft., or more than 89 miles.
https://www.rei.com/blog/hike/21-appala ... inform-you

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by lurker »

we shall see. 30+ yr old eureka 2-person (hope nobody snores) tent.
IMG_0085.jpg
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4 lbs.
Last edited by lurker on Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: camping and backpacking

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and 30+ yr old coleman peak1 pack. with state-of-the-art (for its day) Ram-x polymer frame.
IMG_0089.jpg
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6 lbs.

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by CDFingers »

Dang. My stuff's about that old, too.

Last time I slept outside was the total eclipse of 2017.

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Re: camping and backpacking

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i bought both of them just as i was starting my career as a computer programmer, mid-late 1980s. i remember the backpack was a replacement to a k-mart no-name yellow aluminum tube external frame pack. i coveted but couldn't afford the keltys that all the "serious" backpackers used. when the frame broke i bought the peak based on price and capacity, apparently people still like them for their capacity. they can carry a LOT of gear, and the suspension (belts and shoulder strap)s had features you couldn't get in anything else nearly that cheap.

bought the tent about the same time.

there's also a thermarest sleeping pad and a 5*-rated down sleeping bag and mylar reflective ground cloth. the wild card here is the ancient (from the early '70s) optimus 8r camp stove, which burns white (unleaded) gasoline. it's heavy (1.6 lb) and there's usually a spare fuel bottle too, but it's reliable and gets good-n-hot. peanut butter, crackers and beef jerky require no stove. or plates or sporks.

yes, i'm going to weigh everything eventually.

last time i slept out was 4-5 years ago, at a reenactment. keep your powder dry, boys!

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by SpaceRanger42 »

All the people I know that "aged out" of civil war re reenactment went on to Rendezvous and mountain man stuff. :)
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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by YankeeTarheel »

Reminds me of the Robert Redford, Nick Nolte movie "A Walk in the Woods"!

The only time I sleep outside anymore is when I fall asleep in my chair at the beach--in the late afternoon, usually with a Rum&Coke, Pina Colada, or a beer to "ease my pain".
""If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." -- LBJ

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by featureless »

Your gear is fine to get you out there. You can pick up a new whiz-bang stove pretty cheap (pick one on Amazon) that uses butane canisters, much easier than white gas, safer and lighter. A titanium pot is nice but aluminum works just as well for boiling water. There are much lighter and more comfortable pad options these days. A good night's sleep is as important as blister free feet.

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by YankeeTarheel »

REI has a small camp stove that uses wood and has a heat generator than can recharge a cell phone--and a little fan to fan the fire.
""If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." -- LBJ

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Re: camping and backpacking

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SpaceRanger42 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:43 pm
All the people I know that "aged out" of civil war re reenactment went on to Rendezvous and mountain man stuff. :)
out of the frying pan, into the fire. we do have a hawken. and fort dobbs, http://www.fortdobbs.org/ a french-and-indian era frontier fort is not far. i've been there, very nice, recommend it.
no more public history for me, thanks, i did my tour. again. and again.
YankeeTarheel wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:37 pm
REI has a small camp stove that uses wood and has a heat generator than can recharge a cell phone--and a little fan to fan the fire.
i've seen someone talking about a "biolite" stove. wood is good if it hasn't been raining. i think i'd rather a solar panel atop my pack for the camera in my primitive flipphone.

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Re: camping and backpacking

Post by tonguengroover »

Always train at higher altitudes than your expecting. The wife and I trained on our closest mountain @ 9800 ft for our trip to Peru for the Inca trail. Taquile Island Peru, so out of breath. It was still pretty tough. Also over in Taos Ski valley at 14,000 ft. Need oxygen. As an avid cycler you should be in good enough shape Lurker.
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Re: camping and backpacking

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