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[pct-l] Retro-hiking

1977 retro?  Most of my original gear dates from nearly a decade earlier. On
my first long hike, the High Sierra Trail, I carried a frame pack (unknown
brand from the local army surplus store) with unpadded shoulder straps and
without a hip belt. However, anticipating the ultralite revolution to come,
I also carried a Sterno stove, plastic tube tent and flimsy raingear that
would make Frogg Toggs seem heavy. I think the total weight with 10 days
food and water was less than 35 lbs.

By 1977, the year my first son was born, I had acquired enough new
"improved" gear to increase that same load to over 50 lbs. Then, along with
a couple of more kids, came a need for bigger tents, bigger stoves and other
necessities so that I was routinely carrying 75+ lbs loads even on 3 -5 day
trips. Gradually, as the kids grew and lighter equipment became available, I
have reduced the base weight of my pack. Now, the kids are gone, and I,
along with my wife Leslie, can start hiking from Campo next year with light
packs (base weight: Leslie ~10 lbs, me ~15 lbs) and a renewed spring in our
steps. Can we still do the necessary miles after years of toting heavy
packs? I think so, but there are no certainties in life and the answer won't
be known until this time next year. Assuming, of course, that I even survive
the next 6 months of anticipa....................tion.

Don Davidson