- Jul 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm #1319081David DrakeBPL Member
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
…Is it that even on a site like BPL, few bother going SUL?
Maybe SUL is something that's run its course (i.e., everyone interested in hitting SUL-type base weights has already done so)?
Or the first rule of SUL is nobody talks about SUL?Jul 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm #2120975Jolly Green GiantBPL Member
@regultrLocale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.comJul 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm #2120979Mitchell EbbottSpectator
FYI, that URL doesn't work.
I think part of it is that there's not much to discuss about SUL that isn't relevant to regular ULers. The techniques are the same (multi-use gear, take less stuff, etc), SUL just takes it to another level. That, and even people who go SUL don't tend to do it exclusively, it's just for certain trips.
That's my guess, at least.Jul 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm #2120988Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> there's not much to discuss about SUL that isn't relevant to regular ULers.
What he wrote.
CheersJul 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm #2121000Ryan SmithBPL Member
@violentgreenLocale: East TN
SUL is a fringe group of an already fringe group, plus this site has shifted dramatically in the last 2-3 yrs. Very few are pushing to drop those last few ounces like the days of old. Most people are looking for more comfort and durability.
RyanJul 22, 2014 at 5:42 am #2121461dirtbagBPL Member
I just can't break that barrier. I got my base weight to right around 6 lbs or so…and I'm so happy comfortable and confident with it.Jul 22, 2014 at 6:07 am #2121465Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
'cause SUL has nothing to do with weight anymore, That was a terrible error, Read this..Jul 22, 2014 at 7:49 am #2121485IanBPL Member
I'm at 8.5lbs before I add luxury items. The equipment I currently own works great for me and have been proven in a large variety of conditions.
I'm at a point where my outdoor experience is better served by me focusing on my fitness and technique than obsessing over how many hundreds of dollars I'd have to spend to lose another 3.5lbs from my base weight.
Also, as a 6'3" XXL hiker, my gear is bigger and as a result, heavier than someone who's 5'5" and 140lbs. Plus, many UL companies don't make gear for big and tall hikers. Lot of nice shelters out there that I can't fit in.
I'm happy that there's a lunatic fringe within the lunatic fringe. I've learned a lot from SULers and adopting some of their techniques helped me get to UL.Jul 22, 2014 at 11:35 am #2121534
"I'm happy that there's a lunatic fringe within the lunatic fringe. I've learned a lot from SULers and adopting some of their techniques helped me get to UL."
Agree, and from my very informal survey last weekend – people I saw on the trails in Harriman State Park in NY – the lunatic fringe status for UL is going to remain for some time. It was amazing to see the humongous loads people were carrying, with even a fair number of day hikers carrying heavier packs than mine. Except for another BPL-er I met on the trail, there were no other UL backpackers I encountered.
My base weight has dropped to right around 7 lbs and I see no benefit from making it 2 lbs lighter just to claim the Holy Grail of SUL, especially when I am very comfortable with the current kit.
Anyway, now that the skin-out weight is under control, I need to refocus on the skin-in weight again! I lost about 35 lbs a couple of years ago and have managed to put a few back on… Gotta pay attention to not letting it creep up on me.Jul 22, 2014 at 11:37 am #2121536Paul MagnantiBPL Member
@paulmagsLocale: Colorado Plateau
Something I wrote before:
TL;DR article version:
At least in my case, SUL and Colorado does not always go together well. And I do enough different types trips where, well, why do I want to weigh everything? :) Guess I found what works for me.
Not really into labels. I just pack in a way that I feel is efficient for what I do.Jul 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm #2121564dirtbagBPL Member
Bob, I too was out in Harriman this weekend. I saw many groups of day hikers lugging expedition size packs. I asked if they were spending the night and they replied.."no just day hiking. " Another couple I met asked if I was camping out for the night and I said yes. They were shocked and mentioned that my pack was so small..asked me if I brought my tent and sleeping bag, lol. I explained to them that I have everything in this small pack if I was out for a night or a week. .just would be a difference with food weight. He then told me when they come camping that their packs are 4 times the size of mine and weight 40+ pounds each! Hey, to eaches own. I think (hope) that maybe next time they pack they will remember meeting me and hopefully reconsider over packing. It just makes sense..leave some things home. Without all that extra weight you can move more and not kill yourself.Jul 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm #2121600Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
Coming from the person who started this thread, (well Addie), I envisioned it to bring SUL discussions together and getting a stronger SUL support to reply to the each topic.
It seems that most SUL topics still come up in the "Gear Talk" or General Lightweight Backpacking" threads.
I was also hoping that having a dedicated thread toward SUL would allow the posts from getting bashed by all the nay sayers.
That has definitely not happened.
It would have (still would be) nice to have this thread topic show the way and help guide people wanting to go SUL as this "Backpacking Light" website has over the last decade for the UL hikers.
So, not enough interest? Hopeless?
I hope not.Jul 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm #2121601
Joe, WOW, I didn't realize that some of those were Daypacks!
Kudos for your efforts to enlighten the masses, lol! But there's an awful lot of work ahead.Jul 22, 2014 at 7:41 pm #2121672Brett CooperBPL Member
@bcoopLocale: Pacific Northwest
The SUL forum has been extremely helpful. I jumped in head first to backpacking last year and soon realized that if I wanted to see the wilderness in short bursts, long miles would be necessary and carrying less just made sense(I'm probably lazy). Being a total newbie this forum enlightened me to what was possible with a lot less.
I have only done a max of 2 nights out at a crack, but each trip I get to try something new…tarp and bivy…esbit stove…shivering a whole night because I tried to go too light(SOL Escape Bivy is NOT sufficient down to 30 degrees).
It has been a short evolution for me thanks to the threads in this forum and gleaning from others experience and ideas. I now laugh/cry when I head down the trail and see people with 2 pairs of shoes strapped to their packs huffing and puffing 2 miles from the trailhead. Well I get to go further more comfortably and at least its less crowded.
Thanks SUL ForumJul 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm #2121918Mark ArmestoBPL Member
'Cause everyone is out camping.Jul 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm #2121925Matt ThyerBPL Member
@feetforbrainsLocale: Pacific North West
I'm with Mark on this one. Once you get your ruck down that low it's too easy to get out and use it. Recovery time is the space in which you're stuff food and water back in and perhaps a quick shower.
In all seriousness, back packing retail is way off in the last decade. SUL and even UL require a research bar that is much higher than a simple REI visit. If people aren't making those sorts of journeys as often it's little wonder we see much new blood in the SUL forums.Jul 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm #2122456Katherine .BPL Member
Because there's that much less *stuff* to discuss.Jul 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm #2123086Adam KlagsBPL Member
@klagsLocale: Northeast USA
Joe & Bob – I see it all the time out there, in mohonk, in the adirondacks, in the white mtns… When I'm in the ADK I take pride when the rangers press me and ask twice if I'm SURE I have a bear barrel in my pack because its so small. I love seeing people's reaction when they see my zpacks tent. They look at my like I'm nuts. Then sometimes it gets better when they experience leakage, condensation, a wet night, etc, and come looking at my tent. Some dude just couldn't for the life of him understand why his "thicker" tent couldn't keep him dry or stay up in the wind as well as my "tiny little crinkly bag shelter." LOL. Its sad that people feel the need to bring that much stuff. They always think "oh its just a little more weight to carry, what's the big deal." It all adds up. But then again, SUL is just such a small number… SO much to sacrifice.
To answer the OP's question, I'd say, because a number is a number… I look at the posts here and there, check out what people are writing… I just often find that many times that last few ounces make the difference between being on a "mission" and being on a backpacking trip, either in terms of comfort, convenience, or enjoyment. Sometimes at the expense of all three.
Just as an example, I wouldn't sacrifice even my sit pad, because the comfort of having that for every lunch break and cooking on the rocks is just so worth an extra few ounces. Ultimately I feel this way about just enough items that I'll be staying in the UL category, edging on lightweight, for the foreseeable future.Jul 30, 2014 at 1:23 am #2123342TJ WBPL Member
It'd be better if this SUL portion was up there at the top w the easily accessible postings. Provably true.Jul 30, 2014 at 6:01 am #2123354Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
"SUL is so arbitrary. I can understand trying to get as light as possible for the expected conditions, but it becomes just another box to get trapped inside, even becoming some perverse masochism when it steals your comfort and threatens your well being.
Wilderness travel is supposed to be recreation. Better to have a couple more pounds and enjoy the experience."
This attitude is very popular here.Jul 30, 2014 at 6:54 am #2123361Mitchell EbbottSpectator
The value of these labels like UL and SUL depends on how you perceive their purpose. If it's a badge of honor, an arbitrary goal to reach, then they don't really mean much.
That's not how I see it. I look at it as a benchmark by which I can see if I'm missing something. If I have a gear list that sacrifices significant comfort and still weighs over 10 lbs (non-UL), I know that I need to take a closer look at it. SUL, for me, just tells me "this can be done." I never would have even thought it possible to get my gear under 5 pounds if I'd never come across articles and discussions on SUL.Jul 30, 2014 at 7:35 am #2123373
Has there ever been a poll, or available to administrators in the user database?
SUL Forum or not, put SUL in the thread header and I'll read it, and if it's useful info I'll likely give it a try.Oct 26, 2014 at 9:45 pm #2144658Mateo HaoBPL Member
@mathLocale: SF Bay Area
Here's the description of the forum on the main BPL board.
"Discussion of SUL hiking/backpacking and ways to trim even MORE weight from your pack"
To people who make the trek out to this website to learn how to become Rather Light, let alone Ultra Light, *Super* Ultra Light sounds crazy. With ultralight and its social and monetary premiums fully integrated into mainstream backpacking, SUL is left with a perception that it consists of people who are more obsessed with counting grams than enjoying the wilderness.
I'll admit I was one of these people when I was a lurker. I'd look at that thread and say to myself, "No."
Now I know this perception is totally unfounded, but I cannot help it having been brought up on generations of common sense that tells me the wilderness is a bordered, separated universe apart from regular life and that to enter this realm you need gear designed by professionals and sold through legitimate enterprises and vetted by authoritative institutions.
I can see how SUL has more in common with cow herders, Lord Baden-Powell's proto-scouts, and fur trappers and other frontiersmen of old, what with the minimal, homemade gear and rather informal relationship with the outdoors, but SUL just does not evoke that heritage. It could. It should.Oct 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm #2144660Randy MartinBPL Member
"Now I know this perception is totally unfounded, but I cannot help it having been brought up on generations of common sense that tells me the wilderness is a bordered, separated universe apart from regular life and that to enter this realm you need gear designed by professionals and sold through legitimate enterprises and vetted by authoritative institutions."
Hmmm…I am pretty sure big market retailers/enterprises are not doing much vetting of anything beyond asking the question "Will it sell?". Cottage manufacturers are the ones that pushed the boundaries of what can be done in both weight and function. "Legitimate enterprises" only pick it up years later.Oct 26, 2014 at 10:35 pm #2144664Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> "Legitimate enterprises" only pick it up years later.
Only if they can broaden its appeal so it sells to the mass market. GoLite tried this …
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