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[pct-l] pct-l [too light?]
- Subject: [pct-l] pct-l [too light?]
- From: KBerger466@aol.com
- Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 11:14:55 EST
As a mostly traditional style hiker who has occasionally gone ultralight, I
wanted to respond to some of the questions/comments raised.
1) There were times in the Sierra when ultralgiht hikers wearing sneakers
said things to Dan and me like "You go up first; you have boots, so you can
kick the steps."
Ultralight is fine -- but it doesn't mean that you get to rely on someone
else who has the necessary stuff to do your work for you.
2) I saw more stress fractures among sneaker-clad PCT hikers than I've ever
seen on the AT. I think the problem happens when the pack weight and the
mileage both creep up.
3) I have seen people with homemade packs have hiking-ending shoulder
injuries. Also have personal experience with this. Last summer, I carried a
very very light pack with not much in the way of suspension in England and
Scotland for a month. Packweight usually didn't exceed 15 - 20 pounds total.
The injury I sustained from a pack I THOUGHT was comfortable is only now
beginning to heal after months of extensive physical therapy. Shoulder
injuruies can include nerve damage and rotator cuff problems -- they take a
long time to heal and can be very incapacitating.,
4) On the actual PCT, I saw very people go with ultralight techniques the
whole way. Many changed their gear and the packweight crept up as time went
on. They found that a pack designed for 15 - 20 pounds doesn't work with 5
days of food and five liters of water. Or that a totally enclosed tent is
something they really really wanted in the snowmelt.
5) Skill level makes a huge difference - -as does having a healthy respect
for the climate and environment..
Each to his own, though -- I continue to search for ultralight techniques
that make sense for me and the particular environment I'll be hiking in.
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