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Alternative Energy Backpacking

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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby rlown » Sat May 02, 2009 11:37 am

I'm concerned we're giving the wrong impression here. I agree that MP3 Players used on the trail by your trailmates are annoying. But to say that you are such a mountain god that you shouldn't carry a GPS, is a little over the edge.

GPS are fine to have if you get confused by the map (which should also be in your possession.) You just have to realize they can fail, and you better know the area and the map, and have extra warm batteries for the beast.

As for carbon footprint, I drive at least 500 miles from the bay area to get to where i want to go. Not much i can do about that. I also know that most of my gear burned something to be made. It's not something that can be solved easily. I would like to say that when i go, there are usually 4 of us; not one. So, i think i'm at least trying to reduce that impact.

And yes, the concensus on solar chargers i think is correct. they don't work unless you have lay-over days and there's good sun and you can leave your MP3, camera or whatever plugged in.

Random thoughts for a rainy/snowy day.

Russ



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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby trav867 » Sat May 02, 2009 2:07 pm

Since this is an alternative energy thread I think I can say this without risk of bodily harm- Cutting beef out of your menu (backpacking and otherwise) goes a very long way to reducing your carbon footprint. Not hard to do when backpacking, just substitute beef jerky for turkey.
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby MountainMinstrel » Mon May 04, 2009 4:47 pm

trav867 wrote:Since this is an alternative energy thread I think I can say this without risk of bodily harm- Cutting beef out of your menu (backpacking and otherwise) goes a very long way to reducing your carbon footprint. Not hard to do when backpacking, just substitute beef jerky for turkey.


Umm, I'm not trying to start a flame war or anything here, but how can switching to turkey from beef create a smaller carbon footprint?
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby cmon4day » Mon May 04, 2009 7:49 pm

rlown wrote: . . . But to say that you are such a mountain god that you shouldn't carry a GPS, is a little over the edge. . .


No, I'm not a mountain god, I'm more of a mountain man. If you want to carry a GPS, more power (ha! no pun intended) to you. Don't listen to me.

I admire what the early explorers accomplished with what they had back in the 1800's and they didn't have a GPS. What did we do a mere 10 years ago when GPS's weren't around? Did we not enjoy backpacking back then? My question is this, has having a GPS enhanced your backcountry experience? If so, great!

I personally like to leave modern technology at home. It's my feeble attempt at trying to emulate the early explorers. I find simple pleasures in the backcountry more rewarding when you have to earn it for yourself. For example, the challenge of route finding with a map and compass. But hey, thats just me and my style.

I am no mountain god but I do know of a mountain goddess. Her name is Snow Nymph. Her accomplishments are totally over the edge!
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby rlown » Tue May 05, 2009 12:09 pm

Not sure what to do with that last comment, so i'll leave it alone.

My 1.5" stack of maps under the bed and even some stored in the triangular shipping boxes from the distant past are great. I always carry a map, but i've been snowed and fogged out enough that i like the GPS for that alone. Not to mention it shortens my path if i need it to when there's controversy on where we're actually going. Plus, it includes my radio capability. I'm all for the natural experience, but if things go wrong, i like having the GPS/radio.

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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby cmon4day » Tue May 05, 2009 6:26 pm

rlown wrote:Not sure what to do with that last comment, so i'll leave it alone. . .


Just a play on words with your original quote. ("mountain god, over the edge" etc.)

Since I've been a member of HST, Snow Nymph by far has impressed me with all of the peak bagging she has done over the years. So IMHO she has earned the title of "mountain goddess".

That is all
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby ERIC » Tue May 05, 2009 7:11 pm

cmon4day wrote:Since I've been a member of HST, Snow Nymph by far has impressed me with all of the peak bagging she has done over the years. So IMHO she has earned the title of "mountain goddess".


+1
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby rlown » Tue May 05, 2009 7:27 pm

ok then.. back to Alternative Energy Backpacking..

Has anyone had any luck with solar chargers, regardless of what device someone might take into the backcountry for their own entertainment/safety? I'm thinking they're only effective if you have a layover day with a lot of Sun, and the appropriate connectors/support. Can't really think of any other alternative sources of power, other than enough batteries for the planned length of the trip.

If we want to go down the carbon footprint path, we can but in general, human carbon footprints suck.
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby mokelumnekid » Tue May 05, 2009 10:35 pm

Am a bit surpirise by the venom toward folks who choose to use an mp3 player. I don't, but lighten up! Who is anyone here to dictate what is the appropriate level of interface for an "authentic" wilderness experience, good grief, the wilderness experience political correctness league is now in session [-X . If it bothers ya, well, it isn't your choice so smile and keep moving. Kind of Golden Rule thing....
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby cmon4day » Wed May 06, 2009 7:42 am

mokelumnekid wrote:Am a bit surpirise by the venom toward folks who choose to use an mp3 player. I don't, but lighten up! Who is anyone here to dictate what is the appropriate level of interface for an "authentic" wilderness experience, good grief, the wilderness experience political correctness league is now in session [-X . If it bothers ya, well, it isn't your choice so smile and keep moving. Kind of Golden Rule thing....


Who here is spewing venom? I certainly am not. I merely stated leave the electronics at home. The wilderness experience comment was simply my opinion. I didn't "dictate" to anyone. What? am I not entitled to an opinion? You seem to be the one standing on your high rock dictating to me what I can say and not say.
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby fishmonger » Wed May 13, 2009 3:24 pm

dave54 wrote:The solar chargers do not work, which is why you rarely see them on the trail (no one brings it along twice, after experiencing its uselessness the first trip).



My Brunton 9 watt works.

however, expensive, bulky, and can't be used when hiking southbound. Must stop, lay out in the sun, waste time. I used it last year to keep my HD camera charged, but it was clearly a hassle and I am not bringing it again. The weight of a few more Lithium batteries versus the solar charger is a better deal.

I hike with GPS, mostly to keep the kids motivated with the logging of progress, much less as a navigation device, since I've done the trails we hike many times before and could do them without a map in a blizzard.

I hike with a SPOT, because it's a cheaper and lighter alternative to a sat phone to keep in touch with home for everyone to know we are alive and happy. Could not go without it - mom would not let me take the kids out there without emergency communication. It is 2009, and all the electronics are here to stay. I don't bring an mp3 player, but that doesn't mean they are the worst thing to happen - I've seen worse, like here on Mist Trail in 1989:

Image

compared to that, I can't really see how bad an mp3 player is, when you're stuck in a rain storm and have nothing to do for a day.
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Re: Alternative Energy Backpacking

Postby ERIC » Wed May 13, 2009 6:49 pm

fishmonger wrote:I don't bring an mp3 player, but that doesn't mean they are the worst thing to happen - I've seen worse, like here on Mist Trail in 1989:

Image

compared to that, I can't really see how bad an mp3 player is, when you're stuck in a rain storm and have nothing to do for a day.


Wow. Funniest post of the week. Good stuff!

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