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Smoking and Backpacking

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.

Re: Smoking and Backpacking

Postby RobS » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:01 pm

The chemicals in cigarettes are much more regulated than the chemicals in pot

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Smoking and Backpacking

Postby Ross939 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:06 pm

oldranger wrote:I have a friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) who tokes up regulary--then coughs for 5 minutes afterward. Always blames it on the "quality" of the material. I keep thinking that maybe his body is trying to tell him something. But he is a halfway decent companion in the backcountry so I tolerate him. (Besides I'm no prize either!)


To each his own, lol. My dope smoking days are long behind me, but I have friends who still partake. I don't hold it against them, still think booze will kill ya a lot quicker than pot.

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Re: Smoking and Backpacking

Postby dave54 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:53 am


Everyone fooled around with recreational pharmaceuticals in youth. Most of us got smarter as we matured. Smoking anything is bad for you.
Log off and get outdoors!
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Re: Smoking and Backpacking

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:00 am

RobS wrote:I am not a smoker, but I have tired of the attacks on smokers treating them like second class citizens.Sensitive to cigarette smoke, but not pot smoke?? Really? Perhaps an emotional or psychologically triggered response.

Do you understand what these chemicals do to someone?

People do *often* turn into physical wrecks because of the chemicals they voluntarily put into their bodies for years and years, and they then proceed to spend your tax dollars by entering various programs and getting federally funded disability and healthcare to treat severe, chronic, and ongoing medical issues caused by the recreational chemicals they ingested all their lives.

IF you do things to yourself voluntarily why should the rest of the country pay for your outcomes?

Just a question from a systemic perspective. Feel free to be upset at me - I'm just the messenger who does substance abuse counseling and bills federally funded insurance.

Sometimes it's a larger issue than secondhand smoke. I won't come down on people for their addictions, because many are self medicating and have other stressors in their life that make such behavior understandable - after all we live in a society that medicates our stress and depression, they are merely choosing illegal or more addicting options than a doctor will give them, without understanding all the risks they run.

However - it is not true that the end result of the illegal and legal substances people use have no consequences for the larger society. Ask anyone who has lost a family member to a drunk driver - or ask a guy with a DUI habit who lost his job after his license was pulled and now he has child support to pay, a bunch of bills of his own, and no way to get on his feet so is in treatment he can't afford anymore.

Which is way off the original topic... but it is the larger reason behind my own stance on the subject of cigarettes, pot, and other drugs that are mind altering, addicting or cumulatively debilitating.

I do have a drink once in a while. I will never be addicted to anything, however, as I don't have to self medicate or have an "addictive personality". And I do not come down on anyone who uses, because I have lots of experience with addicts. It's a choice they make that they didn't foresee the consequences of - hard to really judge people when you're sitting with a middle aged man sobbing because the pot habit became a meth habit became a thing that ruled his life for several years, and when he came out of it, he could no longer see his son.

People are all different and people react differently to different things. I react based on my experiences, like everyone else. I prefer not to hike with users and addicts not because of the drug, but because I prefer to hike with people who aren't in the service of a "habit." It's a part of their personality and it doesn't always make them pleasant to spend time with. Some pot users fall into that category, some don't.
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Re: Smoking and Backpacking

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:03 am

My rant may have been too mean for you smokers who are nice people but it's just a subject I have built up anger in. I have been sucking down second hand smoke since the day I was born. I have spent most of my life living around smokers.
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Re: Smoking and Backpacking

Postby cmon4day » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:15 am

I generally will smoke a cigar at night around the campfire. That and a small flask are my only vices.
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Re: Smoking and Backpacking

Postby sparky » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:13 pm

There is only one person to blame for addictions. The user. Blaming substances for addictions is passing the buck. I understand why though, egos are fragile.

While mind altering drugs are harmful, so is all the additives and preservatives most peopple happily consume daily. It is silly to see someone talk about how illegal drugs are bad while they suck down sodas daily and medicate with doctor perscribes xanex, or play with smartphones that give off small amounts of radiation.

I understand though, we like to fit things into the paradigm of how we understand the world....not necessarily the way things are :-)

Its a twisted little world we live in. Sorry to stray off topic there, just needed to rant again.
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Re: Smoking and Backpacking

Postby SSSdave » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:36 pm

A couple of my 5 brothers still smoke, have backpacked with them, and it was not an issue. I grew up during the age when smoking was popular and was not excluded from public places. I never smoked except at age 12 experimenting. Back then places like bars, restaurants, and theatres were often full of smoke. Odd thing was it did not bother me all that much at the time. But I always disliked kissing gals with cigaret breath and later on after all the bans learned to instantly dislike the smell of smoker's breath in enclosed small rooms even if it had been hours since they last smoked.
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