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Re: [pct-l] lightweight hiking

 riceje@AURORA.CWU.EDU writes:
[snip: beautifully-written description, and argument in favor of, his
conception of lightweight-hiking]
>The rest is simply having the confidence that smaller and lighter is
just as safe and 
>comfortable as larger and heavier.
>  Make sure you realize that there is more to lightweight hiking than
simply the 
>gear you bring with you.  Some people call this experience, I call it 
>common sense.  Common sense will be the most essential piece of
>you can bring into the backcountry! [snip]
>In conclusion, I think that being in good shape, having a 
>lightweight hiking system, and having the willpower to finish the trip 
>are the most important attributes a potential thru-hiker needs to have 

  Well said! and, I thought, worth re-posting!
  Would like to add just one thing, on the topic of "being in shape" (and
maybe common-sense could be called being mentally in-shape...):
   From observation, I believe a certain number of hikers cannot hope to
achieve the level of physical-condition Jeremy and his brother brought to
their trip - not a contradiction to any of the points in his post, BTW.
The situation is often not due to sloth or inadequate preparation,  but
their particular constitution - age (it does matter, in spite of the
accomplishments of many "seniors" - only a twentysomething would see a
fortysomething as aged, BTW, grin), past medical/injury history,
body-type, conformation, etc. (And from some posts I've seen, as well as
not-a-few private e-mails, I've formed the opinion that common-sense may
be an elusive quality as well for some thru-hikers...) These folk may
well need the "extra ounces" of safety/first aid gear, warm clothing,
etc. One of the great advantages of being young/robust/speedy is that one
is better prepared to handle unprepared-for weather and other obstacles
by being able to draw on reserves of hardiness, or to make a quick
bail-out to a RS, lower elevation, road, whatever. And no matter how
light the pack/how powerful the resolve, some folks cannot manage
high-mileage days (without negative medical consequences) no matter how
"fit" they have tried to make themselves or how dogged their
determination. Also, while it's true that gear is no subsitute for
experience or sense, the "common-sense" most urban-folk rely upon may not
be entirely-adequate to handle many backcountry situations; the more
_wilderness_- savy you can accumulate (through experience), the better,
   It infinitely bears repeating: Know Yourself - your strengths and your
limitations. One (confident, young, powerful - dare I say lucky?) -
person's "piece o' cake" could be another's personal Waterloo.   
b("voice of doom")j 

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