Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners | High Sierra Topix  

Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Backpacking and camping basics and other general trip planning discussion for the uninitiated. Use this forum to learn where to look for the information you need, and to ask questions, related to the beginner basics of backpacking and camping, including technique and best practices.
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Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:30 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby rcymbala » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:37 pm

The article says that a backpack is so common that you can assume everyone will bring one. The same could be said of a tent (it's listed under group gear). However, it would be good to introduce The HAMMOCK to the beginner as an option to bringing a tent. (1.) in a large group, if at least one person brings a tent, it can be used to haul an injured hiker who can't walk; (2.) lighter; (3.) it takes practice to hang it from trees or rocks using low-dynamic rope and maybe some rock climbing equipment; (4.) won't flood; (5.) in cold weather, a pad is required or you will literally freeze your ass (backside) off; (6.) can be used on slopes and rocky terrain where a tent can't be set-up which actually is a huge benefit because with a tent you either cut the day's hike short or extend it to be at a level site for the nite (you will travel faster at the beginning of a trip which means more time at the end of a trip when accident rates may be higher from exhaustion); (7.) I can remember having trouble falling asleep due to tossing & turning to find a comfortable spot on the ground which is no longer a problem in a hammock; (8.) can't burn your hammock down while cooking; (9.) can't get the inside of your hammock dirty by stuffing all your gear inside; (10.) faster to set-up, take-down, and pack; (11.) eases risk of night fears that happen when you are in a tent and wondering, "what was that noise?"; (12.) closer to nature, see the trees and stars and sunrise because you are literally sleeping outdoors; (13.) add your own to the list. ***
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:21 am

rcymbala wrote:The article says that a backpack is so common that you can assume everyone will bring one. The same could be said of a tent (it's listed under group gear). However, it would be good to introduce The HAMMOCK to the beginner as an option to bringing a tent. (1.) in a large group, if at least one person brings a tent, it can be used to haul an injured hiker who can't walk; (2.) lighter; (3.) it takes practice to hang it from trees or rocks using low-dynamic rope and maybe some rock climbing equipment; (4.) won't flood; (5.) in cold weather, a pad is required or you will literally freeze your ass (backside) off; (6.) can be used on slopes and rocky terrain where a tent can't be set-up which actually is a huge benefit because with a tent you either cut the day's hike short or extend it to be at a level site for the nite (you will travel faster at the beginning of a trip which means more time at the end of a trip when accident rates may be higher from exhaustion); (7.) I can remember having trouble falling asleep due to tossing & turning to find a comfortable spot on the ground which is no longer a problem in a hammock; (8.) can't burn your hammock down while cooking; (9.) can't get the inside of your hammock dirty by stuffing all your gear inside; (10.) faster to set-up, take-down, and pack; (11.) eases risk of night fears that happen when you are in a tent and wondering, "what was that noise?"; (12.) closer to nature, see the trees and stars and sunrise because you are literally sleeping outdoors; (13.) add your own to the list. ***


You almost have me convinced to try a hammock! :) :D

But...what do you do with your puppies? :D :)

1zgirls.JPG


2Harness.JPG


7exhausted%20girls[1].JPG


-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:32 pm

Some people let the dogs in the hammock with them.

Mine sleeps just underneath, on her pad, right where I can scratch her ears in the morning.
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby oldranger » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:59 pm

how do you sleep on your stomach in a hammock?

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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:41 pm

oldranger wrote:how do you sleep on your stomach in a hammock?

Mike



Roll over on your stomach.

Seriously, the bridge hammock is made for stomach sleepers, and it's not impossible in a shaped asymmetrical hammock that's designed to let you sleep flat on the diagonal, either.
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby markskor » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:24 pm

I have never slept in or depended on a hammock - still, somewhat interested but with a few questions - Re: the list above.

2.) Lighter: Regarding weight savings Tarptent vs. Hammock. My TT + stakes & poles comes in at 2.1 pounds packed weight - how much lighter is your Hammock...assume hammock pack-weight also includes some sort of bug net (needed more than a rain fly - Sierra), some sort of rain tarp over the hammock, all ropes and straps?

(3.) it takes practice to hang it from trees or rocks using low-dynamic rope and maybe some rock climbing equipment; This is my biggest concern - as typically camped above treeline, how do you find two trees/rocks, whatever, spaced apart to hang up the hammock? BTW, I have seen straps (added weight?) used to safeguard trees but what ropes/anchors (more weight?) work best with erratics?

(5.) in cold weather, a pad is required or you will literally freeze your ass (backside) off; In cold weather, is a pad needed in both tent or hammock? Is there a size difference in pad-size needed in a hammock? In my TT Rainbow, I regularly use a Prolite Plus short pad...Would the same size pad also work well in a hammock?

(6.) can be used on slopes and rocky terrain where a tent can't be set-up which actually is a huge benefit because with a tent you either cut the day's hike short or extend it to be at a level site for the nite (you will travel faster at the beginning of a trip which means more time at the end of a trip when accident rates may be higher from exhaustion); (Read this 4 times and still do not know what you mean here.) Unless using for climbing (then a Porta-Ledge system), finding a 6 foot ~ level slab at 11,000 feet would seem much easier than finding two trees (or rock) the right distance apart.

(10.) faster to set-up, take-down, and pack; My Rainbow is 2 minutes from pack to sleeping bag lounging; the hammock cannot be that much faster to set up. Maybe you could be a bit quicker to take down (avoids the dry-out, tent-bottom stage)...assuming not needed for a hammock before packing up...BTW, My tent lives in a side pocket - last thing packed.


12.) closer to nature, see the trees and stars and sunrise because you are literally sleeping outdoors; What?
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby jeepmannva » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:25 am

My wife and I have been hammock camping for years now. I have a bad back and sleeping on the ground is extremely uncomfortable for me. However, in a hammock I am pain free.
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby maverick » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:07 am

Hi Jeep,

Welcome to HST! Looking forward to reading about your trips to the Sierra or maybe
an intro: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329 :)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby KrazyKolb » Sun May 18, 2014 5:54 pm

I'm intrigued by his footwear suggestions. He makes the claim that "boots don’t help protect your ankles. Studies have shown that they could be the cause of some ankle related problems"

Is this commonly accepted, or is that just a suggestion because he's dealing with younger kids and doesn't want to spend a lot of money on gear that will be outgrown?
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby AlmostThere » Sun May 18, 2014 6:11 pm

KrazyKolb wrote:I'm intrigued by his footwear suggestions. He makes the claim that "boots don’t help protect your ankles. Studies have shown that they could be the cause of some ankle related problems"

Is this commonly accepted, or is that just a suggestion because he's dealing with younger kids and doesn't want to spend a lot of money on gear that will be outgrown?


No, that's something true - boots really don't do much for ankles, unless you're talking about full boots that enclose the leg to above the ankle. The common hiking boots on the shelf at REI do pretty much nothing for ankle support.

In my case, they hurt them - full height boots bruised my ankles badly the times I've tried them. The mid height boots do absolutely nothing at all for ankle support. What protects your ankles is what's in the soles - the midsole, the last, etc. - not what's around the ankle.

Unless I absolutely need a full boot (aka winter), I use shoes, and have yet to sprain or damage my ankles. That's with hiking 500-800 miles per year, for the past few years - less before that, but only because I didn't go as often. I replace shoes each year due to wearing them out.
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Re: Backpacking Article I & II for Beginners

Postby maverick » Mon May 19, 2014 12:33 pm

For some folks with very weak ankles it will offer some support, but it still
does not address the underlying issue which are the weak ankles. Just like some
people say they have bad lower backs and wear a belt instead of strengthening
the lower back and abdominal muscles. Wearing the belt or high/mid boots for
support, without addressing the issue, will only lead to weaker muscles and a
total reliance on these outside support features, and could lead to injury in
the long run. It is much better to build up strength and flexibility in the area, and
to use low top hiking shoes or trail running shoes on terrain that allows you
to use them safely. Have been using trail running shoes for decades on
cross-country routes, but this is with adequate strength training during the off
season.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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