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Ban the Hip Belt

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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby maverick » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:14 pm

Will we be getting a Wonderland Trail TR, with all those beautiful wildflowers at Paradise? :nod:
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby Pietro257 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:30 pm

I love my hip belt. I like carrying heavy loads. I like having good food and drink in my camp. This is just me. Yes, the load is heavier during the day, but the pleasure of good camping when the day is through is worth carrying the extra weight. BTW, I've carried heavy loads on cross-country trips as well as trails. The thru-hiking concept doesn't work for me. There's something medieval about it. Like flagellating yourself for the glory of the wilderness.
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:59 pm

Pietro257 wrote: like having good food and drink in my camp. This is just me. Yes, the load is heavier during the day, but the pleasure of good camping when the day is through is worth carrying the extra weight.


It's not just you.. One can fly like the wind and crawl in when it gets colder. I like the extras as well. Fish until the rod guides freeze!!
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby Hobbes » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:12 am

Pietro257 wrote:Like flagellating yourself for the glory of the wilderness.


That is exactly true. LOL

For literally decades, my primary motivation has been fishing. I'm not really into hanging out - unless I'm (car) camping with family/friends - so backpacking was/is all about getting from point A to point B. As you say, I'm among those willing to withstand all kinds of hardships/discomforts in order to reach a goal. If I can enjoy the experience of a long 'day hike' to a certain location (or string together a series), then all I have to do is survive the night (warm & dry).

That being said, there are those who fish who know exactly what I'm speaking about. The 3 primary GT fisheries are 12, 16 & 20 miles, respectively, from the nearest TH. If you are not interested in making a major production (planning, logistics, permits, yada yada yada) about a trip, then dialing up a minimalist kit for a quick, 2-3 day surgical strike is the perfect way to stretch a (long) weekend.

Peter, it would be quite easy to sew on either/both a 1/2" sternum strap or 1.5" hip belt (no padding, just belt material) to fine tune any fit adjustments. I had contemplated adding both, but the initial fit was so nice I decided to forgo adding them.
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby Cross Country » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:43 am

Unless I missed something (always a possibility) everyone except Hobbs would not "ban" the hip belt. Like everyone else I also prefer a hip belt. When I was a Boy Scout in 1956 I went on a short trip without a hip belt. Later in life I learned that a pack was NOT an instrument of torture because of course my pack had a hip belt.
I have a Kelty that puts almost no weight on the sides of the hip and puts almost all of it on the back of the hips. It's by far the most comfortable pack I ever used.
Oh well - each to there own.
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby rayfound » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:55 am

I personally like the hip belt for reasons aside from just the load carrying. I like putting a camera case for a P&S on the belt, or a flyfishing hip pack for daytrips, keep sunscreen/chapstick in pockets on the hip belt (don't weigh down my pants), and I do like the load carrying - especially off trail. My packs are 20-25lbs total, and while I can carry that fully on my shoulders, I don't prefer to.
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby balance » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:43 pm

Greetings

When it comes to ultralight, I think the main problem is that you compromise your ability to "be at home" in the high country. When I head out on a 7-10 day trip, I don't want bugs, storms, minor physical ailments, or the unexpected to chase me down to the trees. My emergency gear is not my car keys. Of course it's a personal decision. Do you want mileage? Fine.

I feel like every moment outdoors, especially in the Sierra Nevada, is a blessing. It is a special experience, where my awareness expands and my sense of self encompasses the trees, the sounds of the stream, the stars--and everything else. That experience doesn't require hammering out the miles. I only need to go far enough to get into the mountains. Wherever that is, there I am.

Peace.
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby Tom_H » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:23 pm

I was happy that gear in general kept getting lighter. That allowed me to keep backpacking up to age 60. I have to agree with others, though. I like the hip belt. I like the balance of having the majority of weight on my hip joints. When I was in my 20s and worked as a guide, I started trips at about 87 lb (18 days of food, fuel, snow and climbing gear, group emergency and repair kit, etc.) and often went over 100 when carrying gear for participants who hit the wall. The weight just did not faze me back then. I could go uphill full speed, all day. As age came on, the feather weight stoves, lighter clothing, shelter and so on extended my career, but there was a point at which too little was just too little.

At least I have my memories.....and great dreams at night of long jumping over streams.....jumping off overhangs in rappel, following herds of elk, and lolling in meadows full of wildflowers. It was one of life's greatest joys.
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby rayfound » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:42 am

When it comes to ultralight, I think the main problem is that you compromise your ability to "be at home" in the high country.


I think that is the point where philosophies diverge. It semes there are some in the "ultralight" game for the pure mileage, speed, and gamification of cutting weight - pack weight becomes a goal unto itself, rather than a method for making trips more comfortable on balance.

For me, I have found that cutting for 40-44lbs to 20-26lbs (total weights, I don't pay any attention to that "base weight vs. consumables BS) has not resulted in any sacrifice of comfort, rather the opposite is true - I gain comfort by easier hiking, and sacrifice none to little in other areas.

Examples:

Down sleeping bag is just as warm as synthetic, for much less weight, smaller packed, etc...

my new REI insulated Flash Ultralite sleeping pad is the same warmth, thicker, more comfortable, 1/4 the size packed, and 20oz lighter than the classic 1.5" thermarest it replaces. It takes a couple more breaths to inflate.

Smartwater bottles hold liquid just as well as Nalgenes, for way less weight.

Sawyer mini or squeeze will provide the same function as a katadyn or MSR pump for a fraction of the weight.


Beyond that, I just don't bring a lot of stuff I don't need.
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby rlown » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:14 pm

mostly agree. But I am loving the whole chair idea. They and the rafts we found cached at Lillian were the highlight of one old farts trip. Still, I do agree that gear has gotten better, lighter, but I still like my external frame Kelty for the back breath ability, and it's stellar hip belt.

As you hinted at, It's about your goals for the trip.

I need to get out again. Hasn't been a good few years to schedule that in.
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby hjldennis » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:54 pm

maverick wrote:Will we be getting a Wonderland Trail TR, with all those beautiful wildflowers at Paradise? :nod:


Coming right up!

We planned on visiting Paradise after the hike, but after experiencing wildflowers galore for 10 days, All You Can Eat BBQ took priority, and skipped crowded Paradise area:) Too bad my photo skills didn't capture most of the flowers....

Yes the scenery with wild flowers in full bloom was incredible, and the berries kept us happy hikers as well:)
wandering outdoors and the universe
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Re: Ban the Hip Belt

Postby longri » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:39 pm

Hobbes wrote:I've found that the absolute key element in designing/creating a beltless pack for myself was placement, length, & angle of the upper shoulder straps. This of course makes perfect sense, because all of the weight is on your shoulders. If not done properly - and I've made a ton of mistakes on past packs - you'll get a major case of drag ass....


It occurs to me that I've never owned a pack that was so precisely tailored to my body.

My current lightweight pack sure isn't. I bought it off the shelf, virtually speaking, as I ordered it sight unseen over the internet. It more or less fits but certainly wasn't designed specifically for me.

On a recent trip my pack -- minus food and water -- weighed a little under 9lbs. By the way, that included a full sized bear canister. So on the last few days of the week long trip my actual carrying weight was in the hipbelt-less range. But although I've gone without the belt in the past this time I found it fatigued my shoulders too much to do so, except on the very last day.

One of my shoulders was bugging me a bit so maybe that was the issue. Or perhaps I wasn't packing my pack quite right. Sometimes, especially without the hip belt on, the bloody bear canister stabs me in the back (it can only sit vertically in my pack). Or maybe the shoulder straps are just "wrong" for me. It's probably a combination of factors.

In any case, I was so happy to be able to cinch up the 3oz hipbelt.



More to the point -- What exactly is the downside of using a hipbelt?

Is doing away with it merely a substitute for the discipline otherwise required to reduce pack weight? If that's it then removing it is pointless for me. I find pack weight is enough of a motivator by itself.
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