Article on Women's gear

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longri
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by longri » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:12 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:15 am
For her "typical hike" may be that fast. The point she was making was the immediate "eye roll" from the instructor. Had a man given the same answer, one wonders if there still would be an eye roll.
Let's just say her typical hiking speed really is 4 mph and leave it at that. It's not the important part. What matters was her reaction. When the instructor suggested she had miscalculated she assumed it was because of her gender even though that's not what the instructor said. She projected that onto him. And in her article she attempted to counter her own projected idea with an unrelated (and bogus) argument.

Maybe the instructor really was being sexist. We don't know. But her jumping to that conclusion and then writing about it in an article is, ironically, a sexist act in itself.
Last edited by longri on Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.








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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by longri » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:24 pm

I walked across town today to buy some fresh oysters for this evening. Normally I would have gone over a couple of hills to get there but I slept in. So I took the quicker, easier route, which is a pretty flat 7+ miles on sidewalks.

Like most people I generally don't clock my walking speed and I don't believe I'm any better than most at estimating my speed. In the mountains, when I've compared distance and time for a day, I've found I generally average under 2.5 mph. That includes very brief stops. On really nice trails with a light pack my average speed is more like 3 mph. On a treadmill in the gym I can walk 4 mph but it's a lot more pleasant to jog instead.

So anyway, I walked briskly for 97 minutes which works out to 4.5 mph average. When I came to red lights I either turned so that I could keep moving or I jaywalked. A few times I ran to beat the light.

It wasn't a comfortable pace. It felt unnatural and forced. Running across the street was a relief. Although I've walked like that before for several hours in the backcountry I would never call it my typical pace. I doubt it is for very many people and would question anyone who claimed it was, regardless of their gender. I would ask how they know. How specifically did they measure it?

I wonder how fast Andrew Skurka typically walks?


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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:14 pm

I bet Skurka walks pretty fast. He advocates light and fast backpacking, however, his routes are in difficult off-trail terrain, but still the daily mileages he does is way more than I would do in a day. One persons "rushed" just might be another's ideal pace. People who walk fast get a thrill going fast. They may not even be out there for the scenery, but for the athletic activity. The old saying, hike your own hike. I would never deny anyone their preferred way of hiking. By the way, John Muir, the original light and fast hiker, walked really fast too. Just read some of his journals - that man was an animal!

I used to teach mountaineering. An instructor should never roll eyes at anyone's comments. If in doubt, politely ask some more questions. Whether the answer of 4 mph came from a woman OR a man, what he did was rude and unprofessional.

All articles in a magazine like Elle, will be from a slightly edgy feminist viewpoint. That is just what that magazine is. However, if you can get past that tone, there are a some good observations in there.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:32 pm

For Army Rangers, the minimum requirement is a 16 mile ruck with 65 lbs in 5 hours 20 minutes- 3 mph

For Special Forces, it's a 5 mile ruck with 45 lbs dry in 75 minutes- 4 mph

I've walked behind my kid when he's gone 4 mph+, it's not only a blistering pace, it's insane to watch someone doing it for hours without slowing or stopping, and I doubt very many people at all can pull it off on a sustained basis. Maybe she can do it, maybe her math was bad, maybe she was exaggerating in order to look more "badass" for her readers, but if she's relying on gauging her pace as a navigational aid in any kind of terrain, I would think that her overall location would be way off at the end of the day. I have no idea how they were told to do their calculations, but plenty of people forget to do things like alter their unit paces for grades, and a couple seemingly inconsequential degrees can easily end up as miles. REI's nav courses are for absolute beginners and really rudimentary. Even though the instructor might have been somewhat out of line, I don't think she should've taken it as a case of her ability being questioned just because she's a woman. Afterall, she was a there to learn, mistakes are to be expected and learned from. I think that anybody would've questioned a pace like that, and rightfully so if it's being claimed as your sustainable speed when D=RxT, and where you are and end up are all that matter for the purposes of a navigation class.
Last edited by mrphil on Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by balzaccom » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:58 pm

I wonder how many of us would respond differently than the author when someone rolls their eyes at something we say about our experiences in the back country in front of a group? Daisy is right. As a teacher in charge of the conversation, this is an unacceprable response.

And as the teacher in charge it was his responsibility to draw out how she arrived at her estimate, not hers.

A teacher who asks a question of a student in front of a group and then rolls his eyes at the answer is not a good teacher. And I'm not willing to bet against the author about the reason for it.
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:24 pm

balzaccom wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:58 pm
A teacher who asks a question of a student in front of a group and then rolls his eyes at the answer is not a good teacher.
Yes, they call that a PhD in a 101 class. If I took it personally and had a dime for everytime I was questioned or put down in college, I never would've never gotten past the first semester and could've retired at 20 on all the dimes I had.

The real question is: would he have rolled his eyes at anyone, or was it because she's a woman, or did she just assume it was?

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:50 pm

The article does not say it was an REI navigation class. It certainly was not a special forces class. No UL backpacker carries that kind of weight. We do not know how the instructor had the students calculate the rate based on a formula he uses. Based on what. Or was he just asking what rate people hiked on their previous trips. Obviously, as an experienced outdoorsperson, she was not in a beginners class. We just do not know the details. We do not know if the class addressed backpacking or day-hiking or recreational orienteering. Or was it a class on using a specific GPS. So why immediately question her pace? Most likely she wears a fit-bit type of device, or tracks hikes on a GPS, does a lot of purposely fast speed hiking, like a lot of the hard core day hikers I see in Desolation Wilderness, and most likely she keeps a record of times, because that is what athletes do. If there is any "math error", it would be in the errors that are inherent in all electronic GPS type devises, that hikers who track rates utilize, including men.

If Lynn Hill, at her prime, were to walk into a class on climbing, and nobody knew who she was or climbing history, and she was asked what was her longest free climb and she said 3000 feet of 5.12, I bet eyes would roll too and she would likely not be believed. She was the first person (not just woman) to free climb El Cap, and is barely 5 feet tall. In fact, many guys said the only reason she could do it was because she had small hands- a subtle put-down. Nothing mentioned about the 6-foot guys who had tried could reach a whole lot more holds than she could. In climbing every body type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

I think it was a rather silly article, but I certainly do not question her statement that her typical hiking rate is 4 mph and having been in many situations like that myself, I find her perception of being questioned (and specifically questioned on her "math") because she is a woman (you know, girls cannot do math) quite believable. Did she over-react? I think she was just giving it as one example. Why do you make fun of "bad ass" women? Even in this forum, I see a lot of glorification of "bad ass" men. More power to both the "bad ass" men AND women. I salute both!

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:01 am

I take your point, Daisy.

But in no way would I, nor did I, mean to imply that a math error was because she's a woman. That would be foolish, and personal experience indicates otherwise. If someone, anyone, gave an answer that fell outside what I considered a normal range based on statistical averages that potentially represented an anomaly, there would be no eye rolling, but I would want to check/make sure that arriving at the answer wasn't based on a miscalculation. It happens all the time, and to everyone. It would clarify things for my edification, and it would inevitably help the person to improve and become a better and safer navigator. I believe that's the job of any good teacher. The teachers and professors that were hardest and held me to task were the ones that made the biggest impact, and the ones I'll always be thankful to and never forget.

I also have to clarify my use of the word "badass". That was her word used to describe her guide friend, not mine. She was in the process of establishing her credentials in order to make her case as an experienced, competent speaker. It was just one possibility that bears consideration (as it would be with a man, too), along with that she is able to maintain a 4 mph pace all day long, and that her math calculations were either right or wrong (again, the same as any man). Had she not drifted from her subject (her thesis statement) and into an only semi-veiled form of generalized man bashing, I would have been much more receptive to what she had to say, and I think her credentials and credibility would've served her better in getting her point across. If her intention was to whip up a mob of Elle readers into a state of indignation, I think she might have been successful...let's just hope that there are at least a few outdoor clothing makers among them. If she was trying to reach out to men at all, be they in the clothing business or otherwise, I found her too willing to engage in her own form of stereotyping that's really no different than what she's decrying, and equally insidious. I found it insulting, and I came away not caring about her, her clothing issues, or even what she had to say about any of it. Man, woman, whatever, nothing more than the first-world trials and tribulations of a whiner.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:13 am

I actually just looked up the author, Kate Worteck. She's a trail runner, involved in the issue, and she is pretty "badass".

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:28 am

Most men are not regular readers of women's magazines, just as most women are not regular readers of men's magazines. Neither are known for objective journalism. All the male bashing, or macho-speak in men's magazines is sort of required by the editors, because that divisive talk sells magazines. You simply have to ignore that and read the article to get to the major points. I agree that she did her due words of man-bashing, although I did not take her man-bashing as applying to all men. For every 10 men I meet on the trail, most are polite and supportive, but about 3-4 come across as condescending. As I said, it is a silly magazine and a silly article. But it is very true that a lot of women's outdoor clothing is fashion-driven rather than function-driven. Lots of blame to place- women who will not buy functional clothing because they make them look bad (thank goodness after a certain age, I could care less if my back side looks like the Great Pumpkin in those nice ArcTerx pants); manufacturers who cut corners to go cheap, more money spent on marketing than on good product design, bogus internet reviews, outdoor magazines who feature clothing that "looks good" because "good looking women" on a page sell their magazine, our entire society's history of socializing women to feel looks are more important than function. Plenty of blame to go around.

And Longri, OMG! do not get yourself smashed by a car proving a point! I am glad you made it back home safely.

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