Just got back from three days of backpacking.

fuzzybabybunny

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On Sunday night I got back from a few days of backpacking at Dolly Sods in West Virginia. I went with a school outdoors club of about 12 people. I've been backpacking for five years, and this was the first time I've actually done it with... people.

1. They were lucky they had me because of the gear I provided. I think I might have been the most experienced backpacker there, despite being a new member.

2. On the first day one of the fuel tanks for the MSR stove started leaking when a plastic piece cracked. To me, this is unacceptable for such a mission critical piece of equipment and I'm shocked at MSR's lack of quality in this area. There was a backup tank, but it didn't fit the stove. The entire group had to use my Jetboil, make a fire, or eat cold food.

3. Their water filter kinda sucked. Hard to pump, slow to filter, and it didn't even have an exit hose. You had to aim the exiting stream of filtered water into whatever your container was going to be. Others were using chemical-based purifiers. So I let the group use my Katadyn Hiker.

4. There were three 4-person tents and I had my own little orange solo tent. Marmot > Kelty

http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211390435

lol

I decided to sleep out in the open.

5. One of the nights I went around and made sure that groups didn't have food or aromatics inside their tents. One of them had literally 15 or more pounds of stuff inside their tent which included granola bars, ramen, deodorant, toothpaste, candy, unwashed bowls, and hot chocolate.

6. The club needs to invest in lighter, more compact gear. I had to carry the rainfly for a 4-person tent that I wouldn't even be sleeping in because the other 4 people didn't have any more room in their backpacks. I think the rainfly was close to being the same weight as my entire tent, and around the same volume packed. Rainfly was for the Kelty tent mentioned above.

7. Scrambling up a boulder-littered mountainside with a huge 100-300mm lens and body swinging around on your back and two lenses in your jacket pockets is really hard, slow, punishing on the lens, and somewhat dangerous. But I guess the shots are worth it.

http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211399319
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211400009
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211400314

8. I'm a really slow hiker and like to take my time. The group was fast. Kinda reminds me of exactly why I backpack alone. Same with bathroom breaks. And camp spots. The first night the group leader wanted to get all the way to the top of the mountain before sunset. We did, but at that point I was extremely miserable, tired, and disgruntled. Then we were forced to make camp close to the top because it was getting so late, and it was really exposed to the wind, cold, and rain.

9. I'm definitely liking the comradely though. Don't get that when doing solo stuff.

http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3692475#211366176
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3692475#211380872
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3692475#211386690
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3692475#211387678
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211392087
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211392491
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211392679
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211393113
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211396554
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211398279
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693598#211401296
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693601#211410425
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693601#211410931
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693601#211412717 - NSFW
http://fuzzybabybunny.smugmug....lery/3693601#211413995
 

ElFenix

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i really need to get back into backpacking again
 

Jawo

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I really need to get back into backpacking. I went to Philmont in 1997.....a decade ago now :(. I don't know if I would trust filters though....even the 1micron filters don't kill/remove everything (as best I remember).

I think it would be great if we could organize an ATOT backpacking trip sometime (probably in the spring). While in Scouts my troop would go to Southern PA and Eastern WV.

Once again, amazing pictures FBB!

I love the beautiful bokeh in this and this
 

GrJohnso

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Nice shots FBB.... I've haven't been lately, but started backpacking with my dad over 25 years ago now... Damn, makes me feel older than my 36 years on this planet warrant... Anyway, it's one of the reasons I wanted to get into photography in the first place. Looking at his old color slides of when he was a kid in scouts made me want to be there, and then once I was there myself, I wanted to be able to take it back with me somehow to share with others...

MSR's weak link has always been plastic parts on it's fuel systems. However, I've grown up using many different setups and still like the dependability I've gotten from MSR stoves over the years... However, for short trip, something like a jetboil or other compressed gas stoves make more sense. I have a little Ti "firefly" type stove just for these trips. Weighs a couple onces plus the fuel canister and does the job great... The white gas based stoves are really only practical when you are dealing with a lot of use, or very cold temps... (below freezing)...

As for filters and the likes, I have no trouble trusting a filter for any regular drinking spot in the Sierra. Half the time I don't even bother with filters if I'm far enough away. There are some good studies that show more giardia in your own tap water than in most lakes and rivers in the Sierra Nevada...

Anyway, thanks for sharing your trip... Some good shots in there, and a real sense of fun too...
 

fuzzybabybunny

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Filters are incredible. I've literally filtered mud water from the puddles in the middle of trails when there are no other water sources. The water comes out crystal clear and tastes great. I've never gotten sick. Filtering such dirty water does decrease the life of the filter though, and you can always replace the filter cartridge. I've used iodine and other chemical treatments but prefer the outright convenience of the filter. Plus filters remove sediment. Chemicals do not. Besides filters and chemicals, there aren't really any other alternatives besides drinking directly from the source.

GrJohnso, I started out using homemade pop can stoves running on denatured alcohol. While incredibly light, they are a huge pain in the ass in anything but the most ideal conditions. As for the Jetboil... it's definitely not ultralight, but to me, ~20 ounces for a fuel canister + stove + POT all in one little self-contained unit that makes my life happy happy is great. It's so easy to cook inside your tent's vestibule, even in my solo tent. It's great being able to hold the entire unit while cooking. Not to mention the Jetboil is very efficient on fuel. It boils a cup of stream-cold water in about a minute and a half. Two cups in about 3 and a half minutes. On the trip I boiled over 20 cups of water and I still have what feels to be ample fuel left over. It's also got adapters available for a wider base and for use with traditional wide-bottomed pots. I couldn't be happier with it.

I will admit though that MSR stoves that are multi-fuel will be great for international travel.

As for my backpack, I use a 3lb Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone. I use Lowepro lens cases with the Sliplock attachments and I attach these to the straps on my backpack that are part of the shoulder straps.

With all my backpacking stuff including 2.5 day's worth of food, it was weighing around 20lb. With an SLR body, three lenses, and that damned rainfly for the 4-person tent, it was weighing around 30-35lb.
 

Sassy Rabbit

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Photos are awesome. I must admit I am extremely jealous, a broken foot a few years back has severly constrained my hiking/backpacking/running activities :-(
 

ElFenix

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Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny

With all my backpacking stuff including 2.5 day's worth of food, it was weighing around 20lb. With an SLR body, three lenses, and that damned rainfly for the 4-person tent, it was weighing around 30-35lb.
i used to pack in 40 lbs and i couldn't have weighed more than 120 at the time.

<--- burro
 

fuzzybabybunny

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Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny

With all my backpacking stuff including 2.5 day's worth of food, it was weighing around 20lb. With an SLR body, three lenses, and that damned rainfly for the 4-person tent, it was weighing around 30-35lb.
i used to pack in 40 lbs and i couldn't have weighed more than 120 at the time.

<--- burro
Aye, when I first started out and had crappy gear and no experience I was doing 40+lb packs as well. IMO, NOT FUN. Hence the reason I've gone the ultralight/light route. The extra money is so worth it for the extra enjoyment and comfort.
 

fuzzybabybunny

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Originally posted by: Sassy Rabbit
Photos are awesome. I must admit I am extremely jealous, a broken foot a few years back has severly constrained my hiking/backpacking/running activities :-(
OMG how broken is your paw??? :(
 

ElFenix

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Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny
Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny

With all my backpacking stuff including 2.5 day's worth of food, it was weighing around 20lb. With an SLR body, three lenses, and that damned rainfly for the 4-person tent, it was weighing around 30-35lb.
i used to pack in 40 lbs and i couldn't have weighed more than 120 at the time.

<--- burro
Aye, when I first started out and had crappy gear and no experience I was doing 40+lb packs as well. IMO, NOT FUN. Hence the reason I've gone the ultralight/light route. The extra money is so worth it for the extra enjoyment and comfort.
it was all the fun stuff that weighed so much :D

<--- pyro burro


"hey, where the f#$% did you get a coke out here?"
 

Jawo

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Jun 15, 2005
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Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny
Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny

With all my backpacking stuff including 2.5 day's worth of food, it was weighing around 20lb. With an SLR body, three lenses, and that damned rainfly for the 4-person tent, it was weighing around 30-35lb.
i used to pack in 40 lbs and i couldn't have weighed more than 120 at the time.

<--- burro
Aye, when I first started out and had crappy gear and no experience I was doing 40+lb packs as well. IMO, NOT FUN. Hence the reason I've gone the ultralight/light route. The extra money is so worth it for the extra enjoyment and comfort.
it was all the fun stuff that weighed so much :D

<--- pyro burro


"hey, where the f#$% did you get a coke out here?"

I know....half the fun of camping is creating huge campfires. Then with those campfires you can really melt metal and blow up rocks!
 

Sassy Rabbit

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Sep 7, 2007
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Originally posted by: fuzzybabybunny
Originally posted by: Sassy Rabbit
Photos are awesome. I must admit I am extremely jealous, a broken foot a few years back has severly constrained my hiking/backpacking/running activities :-(
OMG how broken is your paw??? :(
Five fractures a few years ago. All healed up - but backpacking and running are now limited :(
 

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