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6-5 SS Ultra-Hiking
by David Sparks, Ph.D., click here for bio
Program: Sportsman's Spotlight
Date: June 05, 12
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Ultralight outdoor hiking enthusiasts… Maybe that should be fanatics.
Tommy Mansfield is a friend of 30 years who is the ultimate outdoorsman… Hunting, fishing, hiking. When I go for a hike, it’s one hour through the foothills of Boise. Tommy runs in a crowd that wants to go hiking from the Mexican-American border to the American Canadian border. That’s with full backpacks and that means ultralight. “The trend is going towards lighter carrying weight. It is designed to allow you to enjoy the experience and cover miles and miles. There are a lot of people starting right about now from the Mexican border, they’re going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all the way to the Canadian border. It takes about 6 months and so they had to get an early start now. Weight is huge to these folks. They’re carrying this all day every day and it’s a whole ultralight backpacking movement. It’s something that has been ongoing for several years and there are a number of pioneers in the industry that are well-known who bespeak its benefits. The basic idea is pretty easily understood. The less you are carrying on your back the more you are going to enjoy your experience of hiking particularly long distances. So the equipment manufacturers, the sleeping bag manufacturers, the tent manufacturers are all going really heavily into ultralight construction of their new stuff and it is the stuff that is being shown at the conventions. Sparky, there are some extremists who literally cut the labels out of their clothes, cut their toothbrushes and half, they cut the extra zipper tags out of their backpacks. Knowing that they are only eliminating grams here and there, Grams turn into ounces and ounces turn into pounds.
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