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Backpacking Greener

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Backpacking Greener

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:41 pm

With the advent of all green, everything green, what changes have you made in
your backpacking habits to become a more green/ecco sensitive backpacker?
Have any of you purchased any clothing/shoes/equipment that are considered
green or partially green? Changed to green TP? Cut out or back on making camp
fires? How have these greener products performed compared to the non green
versions?
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby rlown » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:24 pm

not sure how to answer that. everything we carry is of some weird poly based form.. heck, even the food sometimes. We still have to drive to the trailhead.

What are you looking for?
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby gdurkee » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:29 pm

With the advent of nylon & pile years ago, I always thought of backpacking as "Exon goes to the mountains." The bad news is petroleum based equipment and modern tech makes hiking both lighter and safer. Few things less fun than wet wool, both for weight and chafing your legs as you ski... .

g.
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:50 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 Greener

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:06 pm

The least "green" thing I do is drive solo to the trailhead. And when I drive 800 miles, by myself, to backpack in the Wind Rivers, I am really un-green! And I drive a fairly large car (Toyota Camry) - not my choice of car but was given to me free by my mother-in-law when she quit driving.

I use my stuff until it wears out so I guess that is "green" - more done because I am too cheap to throw out servicable gear just because it is not the latest and lightest currently made. I try to be a LNT camper and am very picky about keeping streams and lakes clean.

PETA would not like me, I kill and eat fish as well as warm blooded animals like Bambi. A faction of the "green" movement is anti-hunting.
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:11 pm

OK...well, we drive a Ford hybrid SUV to the trailhead. That's about it. Our clothes and pack are not biodegradable...althought we do try to practice LNT...
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby rlown » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:36 pm

It's a noble cause to go green-er. It still comes back to what works and feels good for the individual. Just because REI might tag something as eco-friendly doesn't make me buy it over something else that feels or fits or works better. As many have said, most here have gear since we started our outings decades ago. That's about as green as you can be.

And LNT is a given.
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby gary c. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:41 am

The closest I've come is my Patagonia down sweater and a pair of my convertable pants that are made with recycled materiels. I bought them because I liked the cloths and not because of any green factor. Actually I almost didn't buy them because they had the warning like all cloths manufactured from plastic bottles not to wash with a fabric softener. It made me worry that they might fall apart.
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:47 pm

Does dismantling fire rings count?

The good friend who introduced me to backpacking (and used to work in SEKI) always insisted we dismantle grandiose or extra fire rings wherever we camped. I could always count on having to haul a bunch of soot covered rocks off into the woods when we were backpacking together. On an over nighter (without said friend) last fall, I ended up at a spot with two fire rings five feet from each other. "Crap," I thought, "Nate's not here, but I'm still going to have tear one of these apart."

Otherwise, I practice LNT as best I can.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:09 pm

I’ve long thought that one of the biggest ironies about wilderness backpacking is I’m less “green” than in my normal, daily life. Besides the drive to the trailhead already mentioned, there’s the fact everything is packed in a zip-lock plastic bag. Before the trip, I repackage all the food from it’s original containers into zip-lock bags. Also, a lot of the non-food items from suntan lotion to matches (it only takes one instance of suntan lotion leaking all over to put it in a plastic bag). Then there’s George Dukee’s incite that it’s “Exxon goes to the mountains.”

So in order to be in the simplicity of the wilderness, we employ modern technology that most of the time is definitely not “green.”
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby markskor » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:15 am

I am 420 compliant...It's green.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Backpacking Greener

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:50 am

I have to admit I've never really analyzed my "greeness" when it comes to backpacking. Ive always considered myself a LNT backpacker, and follow the basic backpacking guidelines (distance from water, fire restrictions, etc) to make as little impact as possible. That said, about the only item I have thats made from recycled material is my pack, but I didnt buy it because of that. I bought it because it felt good on my back when I tried it on. Truth is, I am like many. I use poly clothing, re-package my food, etc. At first i was going to go with my gear is so old that its carbon footprint is minisule by now, but I cant really say that now as I recently have replaced alot of my gear to go lighter and be in compliance with the bear regs. Last two years have seen me buy loads of new gear including a new tent, bag, sleeping pad, cook set, and a new fleece, and pancho, various headlamps, and miscellaneous items. And thats not including outfitting my son and duaghter over the same time frame.

Oh well, I do practice LNT and have been known to tear down fire pits in camps with more than one as well. More options seem to be available these days, and I will try and use eco friendly products when I can, but the fact is it has to be functional as well.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

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