Feb 20, 2009 at 7:29 pm #1234219
New guy (kinda) here three…
I guess I should have done this too, but I know a lot of names here from other sites and did not think about it until I saw the other posts.
Anyways, my name is Ray (Hi Ray…) and I am a hiking gear-a-holic. (We hear you, Ray…)
I have been backpacking since 1974 and I just can’t stop. Oh Lord knows I’ve tried, how I’ve tried. But then I would find a pack that I had hidden away and I’d be off again, only to return home days, sometimes weeks later. Tired, worn out, dirty, with unexplained black toenails and pine needles in my butt. And yes, the big stress-free grin would be back. I would throw myself back into another work program until the grin would be gone and I thought I was safe, but then I would lapse again.
I even tried moving to Minnesota as I heard there were no mountains to tempt me. But there were all those pictures in magazines, and Coors commercials rubbing my face in the Rockies. Finally the siren call of the Sierra Nevada pulled me back to California where I became more addicted than before.
I tried to learn new ways of coping with my problem, to be smarter. What I learned was just how to get lighter, and how to hike smarter, harder and farther. Which just made me want, no NEED, more, always more. And the gear just keeps getting better. Stronger, lighter, more comfortable, heck the dang geese keep making puffier clumps of down! What’s a power-fill freak to do but buy a new bag and parka?
So here I am. Ready to be judged by a jury of my peers. Please do not look too harshly upon me, even though the grin is there all the time now.
I have met some of you years ago on Backpacker.com. Others know me from BackpackGearTest.org. Hopefully some of you have seen a tall ugly guy in the mountains of California. That was me.
I am a light weight backpacker, but am not UL. (My bro-in-law Dave is and says it is just a matter of time…) I spend a lot of time above tree-line. I backpack year round and climb and do mountaineering too.
I have been reading everyday and you guys are impressive. Eight pound packs? I was going to say I had one of those in 95 and then I realized yours are packed… I look forward to learning from you all and helping where I can.
And yes, you can call me Ray…Feb 20, 2009 at 9:14 pm #1479483
Don (Biloxi) CarterMember
@donjuan70Locale: Red Neck Riviera
well welcome ray, you already have figured out the easiest part…it's just walkin..now in what style you choose to do that walking in, is a whole nuther matter..ask lots of questions,check alot of the articles, the pod casts are really good.go to community gear list and check out list from some of the higher up's in the ul,sul,and DAaaMmmN catagories.good luck and welcome..and RAY "we feel your pain"the 1st step is admitting you have a problem…lolFeb 20, 2009 at 9:14 pm #1479484
Jay WilkersonBPL Member
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Welcome Ray!!! I was once a newbie too. I grew up in Newport Beach and I to have a addiction to backpacking. I got the sickness very bad Dude!! Once again welcome to a great website.
-JayFeb 21, 2009 at 6:53 am #1479537
Kendall ClementBPL Member
@socalpackerLocale: Southern California
Good to meet ya, Ray. And, nice to finally talk to you guys, Jay and Don. Ray, welcome to BPL. I can tell you that after reading Jay and Don's postings for so long that this is an "incurable disease." :) I'm sure YOU already know that after 35 years of backpacking. "But, there is hope." BPL can take the edge… I mean weight off.Feb 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm #1479616
Richard LyonBPL Member
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
Ray, This has to be the first time anyone's called you a newbie in a few years. For those on the thread unfamiliar with BackpackGearTest.org, Ray is the all-time leader in gear reviews, having posted probably three times as many as whoever is in second place. Welcome to Backpacking Light, my friend, I look forward to your experience and insight here too. RichardFeb 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm #1479895
Thank you all, and especially you Richard, I am blushing.
Yeah I got a chuckle there too. But you know what? A lot of this stuff is way new to me. Dave has been wanting me to come over to the Dark Side, I mean light side for a while. (He just wants someone to share the misery of his experiments, like using a thermo-lite emergency bag in the Sierra east-side for three days. I told him it drops below freezing any time of year.)
Of course the way the economy is may not be the best time to re-outfit my gear room yet again! But, hey, they sell backpacking gear by the pound, right? This UL stuff must be cheap then…
I just love getting out in any form, any season, and like sharing with, and learning from, others.
It should be a fun time,Feb 22, 2009 at 8:35 pm #1479948
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Welcome to the Light Side.
> they sell backpacking gear by the pound, right? This UL stuff must be cheap then…
Yeah, but it gets dearer by the ounce…
CheersFeb 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm #1480419
Eloquent and humorous?! Welcome!Feb 24, 2009 at 8:28 pm #1480495
I ain't too sure what the first word means, (do I gotta fight you now?) but I have been told I smell like humus… After a long hike of course.Feb 24, 2009 at 11:32 pm #1480530
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Fancy meeting you here! :)Feb 25, 2009 at 11:32 am #1480644
Hi Ben, there is still lots of snow up at Mt San Jacinto. You ready to go?
I have seen that you have been spreading the Seedhouse SL2 love here too…Feb 26, 2009 at 10:13 am #1480937
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"there is still lots of snow up at Mt San Jacinto. You ready to go?"
Picture of San Jacinto from my house this morning.
Three feet of new snow in Long Valley. Snow level down to about 5,000 ft. Lows at the Tram Station @ 40F. Going to be windy this weekend. Had gusts last night up to 40mph. No precipitation expected this weekend.
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