- Jul 11, 2017 at 9:53 am #3478345
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Tipi, in this day and age for some backpackers it is all about gear and mileage. With the Internet and social media you can become a “famous” backpacker by writing about these things. Each day thousands of people will read your “expert” opinion.Jul 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm #3478386
Tipi WalterBPL Member
Nick, there are tens of thousands of backpackers who have done millions of trips before the advent of the Interwad—and if they lived long enough for the computer to arrive they probably started posting their current trips (if able) and relegated all those old forgotten trips to the dustbin of history.
Beyond this you are right—There are currently thousands of backpackers who go out and no one knows, certainly they keep no blogs or trip reports.
The third category of yours is a little confusing—could you explain it again?
The worst tendency I see nowadays, other than short snippet trips between food resupplies—**—is the Where Is He Now? phenom—gps tracking of some backpacker as if he’s so important that we need to know where he is. “Follow his route!!!!” they howl. But who cares? Come home and I’ll read the whole report, I can wait.
** Regarding frequent resupplies, I always go back to your quote during a discussion here of “Ul Ideas That Have Died”—
“What I think has really changed is most people are unwilling to backpack for 10-14 days without a resupply. They don’t mind leaving the wilderness to go into trail towns and get food.”
Jul 11, 2017 at 2:25 pm #3478409
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Tipi Walter.
Katherine .BPL Member
my favorite metric is How Many Nights Will I Sleep Outside This Year?
If all goes to plan it’ll be 21+ (1/3 frontcountry, 2/3 backcountry) for me in 2017
I haven’t cracked 20 mile/day yet. After 19 I was fine at first when I got back to the car, but started shivering while waiting for my burger at the restaurant about a half hour later.Jul 11, 2017 at 2:46 pm #3478414
Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: Olympic Peninsula, WA
my favorite metric is How Many Nights Will I Sleep Outside This Year
Agreed. That’s been the objective this year – more nights under the stars, which has been easier to achieve with shorter trips (lots of easy to arrange one-nighters).
While it can be enjoyable and rewarding to put on lots of miles, as Wisner said earlier, there’s a point of diminishing returns. At some point, doing more miles or holding a faster pace is counterbalanced by a longer recovery time the following day/s. A good mileage and pace is one that you can hold for 5 days or more straight, unless you have a good reason to go further or faster.
So far the furthest day with full backpacking gear was 23 miles and 6000′ feet gain on WA section J of the PCT, SOBO. The following day’s forecast was for heavy rain – my wife was going to pick me up at I80. So given the forecast, I wanted to get past Kendall Katwalk, below treeline and close to the trailhead for the night. The following day was only 4 miles out to I80, and I felt like I would not have wanted to hike more than 10 miles to recover from the day before.Nov 6, 2017 at 3:08 am #3500506
Steven ThompsonBPL Member
My miles have gone up as my gear weight has come down and as I execute my training regimen. I probably peaked at age ~55, yet at 60 can still pull 30 mile days and if I were still living in AZ would no doubt have an annual R2R2R hike on the agenda.
The five elements that work for me: pack weight (15 lbs base), fitness (train year round), calories (typically 4000/day taken minimum 200 per hour), hydration, and pace. As long as I keep these in place the only limit to distance is time and a periodic need to sleep.Nov 7, 2017 at 3:33 am #3500732
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Simply put, my mileage went up as pack weight went down using the Burn, …plus more daylight in summer. A 20+ mile day feels like an accomplishment (while I can still do them), especially keeping some time to soak in a lake or creek.
Then again, another mid-aged hiker hiked mid-teens and stopped early at a lake to read torn pages his wife sent. Whatever works.Jan 3, 2018 at 11:49 pm #3510730
Eli ZabielskiBPL Member
@ezabielskiLocale: Boulder, CO
I started getting into UL backpacking pretty soon after I started backpacking. After a bit, I had boiled down my kit to basically the same stuff I am using now: frameless pack, quilt, short foam pad, tarp with no net. Pretty similar to a lot of kits in the 5-6lbs range, even if the brands and models differ.
And in that first season with the UL kit, I did my first 25+ and 30+ mile days while backpacking. It was a blast. But man, it was hard work and my feet/legs were hurting at the end of those trips. I remember being on the PCT in ’14 just DYING trying to get in 30 miles. The last 10 miles could be such a slog. The last 3 might be a death march. It usually involved stumbling into camp after dark and passing out hard. Then somehow doing it again the next day.
A few years later now, and about 5000 long distance miles, as well as a lot of trail and ultra running, and 30’s are so much easier now! I can put in a lot of miles, see a lot of nice things, still have time for a nap or a long break, and feel good at the end of the day. I love it! It only makes me more excited for backpacking. Now if I go out on a trail that I did those first big days on, I wonder how it took me so long to get 30 in. And how did it hurt so much.
I’d better stop waxing about it, lest I abruptly quit my job to go hike…
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