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[at-l] ultralight, heavy stuff, trail days, etc...



I continue to be truly amazed at the ultra-lightweight stuff that I'm 
seeing these days.  The last overnight trip in a tent was car camping 
so I don't count that (but don't think it was posh! - it was NC to 
South Dakota and back in a Toyota Corolla with no cruise control - oh 
we also took Boo, our 80 pound dog.  Ah, what a trip that was).

Back to the subject.  I'm a comfort king.  10 years ago my pack would 
have likely weighed 50 pounds (15 years go I think it did, or more - 
this was the last time I went "out in the wilderness" to do 
overnight/long weekend camping).

On one hand I can see the argument that it is more comfortable to carry 
less weight.  I can certainly see that.  On the other hand, I like to 
be comfortable within reason, as previously stated.  Though I haven't 
tested it out yet I'm leaning towards the Big Agnes Zirkel sleeping bag 
for winter use because you can get that nice, thick inflatable sleeping 
pad and the bag is large enough that it's been reported not to feel 
constricting.  Sounds perfect.  Granted, the pad weighs more then a 
foam pad but I can almost picture the comfort (again, I'll have to try 
it out first).  Truth be told, at 3.5 oz I also like the Big Agnes 
inflatable pillow. :)

So I think I'm going to have to go to trial days this year.  I want to 
seek out some hikers who are roughly my height (6' 3") and my first 
question will be "do you go with a tarp or bivy sack?"  If I get shot 
back a look like "what are you, SICK?!?!?" then I know I've found a 
good subject to study and we'll talk gear.

Another question: I've never been to trail days.  Is there an etiquette 
guide for the obvious newbie gathering info and pointers?  Should I 
bring some Sam's Club volume boxes of snickers to hand out to 
thru-hikers in exchange for the barrage of questions they will likely 
endure?

Greg