May 13, 2008 at 9:35 pm #1228954
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
Companion forum thread to:May 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm #1433282
Can you add the length to each podcast you guys post?
In general, it would be nice to know how long they are before I play themMay 15, 2008 at 7:42 pm #1433494
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
DeletedMay 15, 2008 at 8:36 pm #1433502
@back2basicsLocale: Southeast USA
Is this not going up on iTunes? Mine doesn't see it… or am I just impatient?May 16, 2008 at 7:32 am #1433541
What is a "spice kit?"
It CAN'T be what I think it is.May 16, 2008 at 7:55 am #1433545
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
From the articles I've read I believe they like to do some pretty good backcountry cooking. I'm fairly certain a spice kit refers to a kit of containers to hold cooking spices like salt, pepper, cinnamon, various seasonings, etc.May 16, 2008 at 8:57 am #1433550
I don't see the podcast in my iTunes feed either.May 16, 2008 at 9:19 am #1433552
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Brilliant Daniel, especially if those caps and carrier are titanium :-) I suspect it'll slide right into an Ursack.
FWIW I always carry a "spice bag" with little containers of favorites: basil, tarragon, red pepper, garlic cloves, etc. Relatively small and light, and a huge boost to certain otherwise bland meals.
Appetite's always a puzzle at altitude, especially after a hard day. Sometimes it takes some persuasion to get myself to eat, and bland food never helps.May 16, 2008 at 10:49 am #1433564
Hey all – this is my first podcast upload, so I'll see if I missed something about adding it to the iTunes feed.
AddieMay 16, 2008 at 12:24 pm #1433593
…May 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm #1433606
Originally posted by Aaron Sorensen
"The bad thing is that they insist that you do a certain weight.
I would (literally) have to bring the kitchen sink to make there weight."
Taking ten deep breaths….
Aaron, have you ever called NOLS to sign up for a course? Did someone there tell you that your pack had to weigh a certain amount? If so I would love to know who. Comments like this do not really help the school move forward in lowering pack weights, something I think we can all agree is good for everyone.
A lot of people are working real hard to make lighter packs a reality at NOLS. BPL has been interested enough to help us try and change the perceptions that you continue to propagate.
I'm glad folks here can have a good laugh at others expense. The spice kit picture is pretty darned funny, and I realize there is always some truth to sarcasm. There is also always an unseen reality behind why things are the way they are. If you all choose to mock and tease rather than have an educated conversation about what this all means for outdoor education and outdoor recreation in general, I think that is sad.
FWIW, Shiela presents an excellent explanation on why spice kits have been hefty.
Sorry if I sound a little irked, I'm spending my day closing down NOLS SW for the summer season and have been dodging swarms of africanized bees and rouge rattlesnakes.
Take care, travel light.May 16, 2008 at 2:02 pm #1433613
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
I'm the one that posted the spice kit picture, I hope it didn't offend, as it was not meant to. I apologize if it did. I carry a spice kit myself, though much smaller and with less variety than the one in the picture since I'm only cooking for myself and perhaps one other person. I agree you need variety in cooking and I'm sure the resultant meals are much appreciated.
DanMay 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm #1433616
Nope, no offense – as I said it was funny and I see the truth to it. Just want folks to know we are taking this process seriously. For the last four years, it has been a big focus of my job at NOLS, I guess maybe I am too attached right now, I should go for a hike and do some walking meditation to release my attachment.May 16, 2008 at 2:45 pm #1433617
.May 16, 2008 at 3:19 pm #1433619
…May 16, 2008 at 5:33 pm #1433645
As a LWB I also have caught myself scoffing at the base weights of our more conventional brethren. But I have also noticed that many of us go out for two or three days with a sub 5 base weight and then call ourselves hardcore for the pleasure of it. I have never taken a NOLS course (and would love to do so in another life) but I know they get into the back of beyond in a responsible and professional fashion for extended periods of time. I say congratulations to NOLS for a little self-assessment and thank goodness for a little spice in life.May 16, 2008 at 7:05 pm #1433651
I guess it goes to show that there are so many degrees and approaches to this cool hobby of ours. Myself, I like every facet: I like to hike in short distances and spend most of the day lounging and swimming and eating….and I also like to start out with a 13lb pack and do miles and miles. And everything in between. I had never heard of anyone seriously being upset about leaving a "spice kit" behind, and to be honest with you, the very terms "spice kit" make me chuckle, especially when it's considered a necessary piece of gear, like water treatment, sleeping system, shelter, spice kit.
Oh well, to each their own. Personally, I don't think my back can handle more than 4 or 5 miles with 40 lbs, and I'm only 34. Then again, I don't think I've ever even hefted a 40 lb pack….but then again, I don't stay out for more than a few days.
Always something new to try.May 17, 2008 at 3:13 am #1433675
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Confession time: I often carry this spice kit on a LONG walk. There is enough there for up to two weeks easily.
Front row: plastic bag of tomato powder: powerful stuff which really adds flavour
Middle row: garlic, garan masala, mint, bay leaves
Back row: Salt, pepper, curry, mixed herbs
Bottles: 8 mL or 1/4 oz, Nalgene laboratory bottles. On average they weigh (full) 9 grams each. But you could use very small ziplocks for less weight.
OK, laugh. You just won't get invited for dinner. :-)
CheersMay 17, 2008 at 9:13 am #1433690
Roger, that looks just like what we bring at NOLS for about 2 weeks (then we get a resupply). The rations departments have started using real small ziplock type bags to reduce some weight. On lightweight courses we bring salt and pepper and either premixed sauces or dry powdered sauces packets.May 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm #1433719
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. RainierMay 19, 2008 at 6:02 pm #1433990
@klrodgersLocale: North Texas
Did you find out anything? I still don't see it in iTunes. –kerry.May 20, 2008 at 9:38 am #1434087
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
I am sorry for the statement.
I could have swore that when I read this last year it was a minimal requirement and not the maximum to bring.
*** NOLS leadership has also mandated lower initial pack weights (40 pounds) for its Rocky Mountain backpacking courses as of 2008. Forty pounds may not sound that light, but it is a huge improvement over the typical 60 pound loads students start courses with now.***
Keep up the good work…May 28, 2008 at 5:21 pm #1435433
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
I work as an instructor for NOLS.
Remember – Most NOLS courses are 30 days long in very real wilderness terrain. Light pack-weights and weekend camping is a pretty easy combo.
And – we are a school and we teach some advanced backcountry skills, and one of those skills is cooking. So – a spice kit is essential. We eat really well out there, and a full belly can be an wonderful and comforting experience after a long day. Our students make pizza with yeast dough and it's delicious!
That said, lot's has changed over the last decade in the outdoor world and the the gear and techniques available. NOLS can go lighter – and we ARE going lighter.
But, we can't subtract anything from our mission, and we take the student experience very seriously!
Peace from the NOLS branch way up in Alaska,
Mike C!Jun 3, 2008 at 12:28 pm #1436341
NOLS SW will be sending courses out w/ 40 pound packs in the fall and spring (our operating season) to continue the trend of lightening up. Of course we will also continue to encourage folks to go lighter. We have purchased a ton (figuratively) of new lighter gear to make this happen. I leave tomorrow for Alaska to go do some scouting with Mike C! can't wait to get up there. Sounds like AK is excited to jump on the 'ole band wagon too! Making change – one NOLS location at a time.
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