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Leaving your Pack Behind

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Would you leave your back behind for a short jaunt up a peak?

1. Never.
7
11%
2. Sometimes, depending on the situation
38
61%
3. Whenever I can save weight, I will leave that baby behind
17
27%
 
Total votes : 62

Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby mvs » Mon May 14, 2012 1:47 pm

I'll drop that sucker at the soonest opportunity. Sometimes at the summit I just want a jacket, gloves, camera and an apple. I'll always think about what is necessary, and of course factor in the problems of weather, distance, etc. Better to remain flexible about "what you need" for a given task.

Sure, you can imagine a "having to cut your arm off" situation where you are extremely sad that your pack is 200 yards away, but think about it a little and you'll conjure up just as many situations where the lump of coal did no good at all.

Fun topic! +1
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby AdamsKerr » Sun May 20, 2012 3:32 am

A good soldier never leaves a pack behind!
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby b_betts » Wed May 30, 2012 7:17 am

Sometimes I'll drop my pack if:
-it's heavy
-I'm only going a relatively short way
-can take what I need for the side trip with me (water, sunscreen, first aid, etc)
-weather looks good
-no animals around to get into the food in my pack

Of course, if there's any doubt that you'll make it back in time, take your pack!
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby alpine345 » Thu May 31, 2012 3:41 am

It's all situational. If the objective is a side trip, a separate load/summit pack/pocket full is a good solution, especially if it will happen multiple times. (Cirque of the Towers, eh?) An "over the top", loop, or "end to end" calls for climbing with your pack. (Whitney, Longs, etc) On a long "in and out", I often have used Ben B"s system and dumped/cached weight and compressed the main pack to climb with. (I use a modified BD ice 50l) I use all three of these techniques, sometimes on the same trip.
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby Hotoven » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:34 pm

Only 30 votes in all? Kind of sad if you ask me. I would expect more participation in such a fun poll.
"Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!"
- The Dude, Lebowski
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby Wastral » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:17 am

Hotoven wrote:Only 30 votes in all? Kind of sad if you ask me. I would expect more participation in such a fun poll.

Total number of climbers is drastically decreasing. Few young people are into climbing. Sport climbing is fine, but try to get them to go alpine climbing? Good luck. They are more interested in texting nothing back and forth than actually seeing something new and interesting. That and most see a single mosquito and its the end of the world... That and they have been brought up to believe that everything is dangerous and its better to not start or learn anything because one might fail or be hurt than to try.

Look at the total number of visits to national parks. Especially not one of the major national parks. Going down down down. The major parks are still there numbers wise, but if you have been to one recently it seems half are foreign visitors. Since value of the Dollar is decreasing this allows more foreign visitors. Thus the major, parks, Zion, Yosemite, Glacier, Ranier, Grand Canyon still have high numbers, but total number of backpackers/climbers has dropped drastically. Look at what places like REI are selling now. Packs? A few, mostly city "outdoors" clothes along with bicycles. Go to a campground that is not a major weekend like Memorial day or labor day and they are nearly empty even during high summer time. My parents used to take us kids car camping and backpacking nearly every weekend in the summer and all the campgrounds were always full making finding a spot rather difficult. Now? don't even need to worry about it unless its the 3 major weekends of the year. Park usage inside city limits seems to be just as high though. Unless some idiot states charge $10 to get in. As soon as they did that their numbers dropped 50%. Probably also why fewer are backpacking when there is yet one more stupid thing to pay and worry about instead of just throwing stuff in the car and going.
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby TScott27 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:28 am

I don't hesitate to drop packs as long as I know that there aren't any valuables there. So I don't really buy pricey gears that have the probability of being "dropped" when the situation would require it. But I splurge on gears that are attached to my body. What matters to me most is reaching the top!
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby Gafoto » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:15 am

Wastral wrote:
Hotoven wrote:Only 30 votes in all? Kind of sad if you ask me. I would expect more participation in such a fun poll.

Total number of climbers is drastically decreasing. Few young people are into climbing. Sport climbing is fine, but try to get them to go alpine climbing? Good luck.

I think you're right. It seems like in California especially the alpine climbing community is dominated by middle-aged men. That's good news for me though! Fewer people to share the summit with.

My (also mid twenties) climbing partner and I were the only ones to summit North Palisade last Sunday. It was the kind of perfect day that I'm sure resulted in dozens of Mount Whitney summits.
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby artrock23 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:08 am

Most of the time, when planning a trip (my trips are mostly in the Eastern Sierras), I choose an objective peak or two, and a relatively nearby place to set-up a base camp. The objective peak (or peaks) is within dayhike range, so bringing the backpack is never an issue. I pack whatever gear will be necessary into a daypack, and go as light as possible. Of course this is all very general... what I bring when going for a summit depends on the weather, length and nature of climb, etc.
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby the_isalani » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:23 pm

Wastral wrote:
Hotoven wrote:Only 30 votes in all? Kind of sad if you ask me. I would expect more participation in such a fun poll.

Total number of climbers is drastically decreasing. Few young people are into climbing.
...
That and they have been brought up to believe that everything is dangerous and its better to not start or learn anything because one might fail or be hurt than to try.


I agree, unfortunately. I can't tell you the number of younger people who think what I do is stupid, foolish, dangerous, selfish, and reckless. "Why would I want to do that? I can google it".

We have a culture now that glorifies the "professional", and leads people to believe that nothing can be done on their own anymore. All of the guided climbs are usually packed, but when its just you and a buddy going out to summit something without a professional guide, look out! You're not qualified to do something like that, you're not a professional mountain guide! :roll:

...Heck, you can't even cut hair in this country without a license. Just wait till you're not allowed to own an ice axe without one too!
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:10 pm

The low participation in the poll may be due to 2 issues:

1) you may not be able to take the poll unless you log out and sign in anew. That happened to me.

2) the difference between second and third choices isn't well-explained. A better 3rd choice might be "I repack critical items into a smaller pack for short jaunts or technical stretches."
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby Grampahawk » Fri May 16, 2014 4:19 pm

I always leave the pack for the final ascent. In most cases I have a base camp so the pack stays with the tent. The food is left in a bear canister that has been stashed in rocks, or tied into a tree. My pack has a detachable top section that can be used as a good sized fanny pack to bring the few things that might come in handy- snacks, parka, extra gloves, sunscreen, etc.
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby fernandoe@yahoo.com » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:55 pm

I climb peaks in the High Sierra. Approaches are brutal. I usually walk with pack to a camp site on day 1. Summit is on day 2, with a day pack. Lunch, water, first aid, climbing gear, rope. I do not know how it would be possible to take a 35 lb. pack up one of those peaks.

I did get stuck once without my pack. I was a navigator in the Navy, and thought GPS was for idiots who cannot use compass and map. With a sextant and watch I can use the stars. I went up Mount Sill via Scimitar Pass. Colleague had a panic attach at the top of Scimitar Pass, tired, loose rocks, sore legs, scared... did not want to continue... in any direction. ld have been two hours at most back to camp. It took 7 hours to coax him down. We arrived at the vicinity of our camp and packs at 10 PM. No moon, total darkness, camped in a marsh with thick brush. We could not find the camp. We spent the night with below freezing temp, minimal clothing, no tent, no sleeping bag, and an illegal fire. In the morning it took me less than 5 minutes to find our stuff, less than 100 yds. away. It was not that bad as both of us can talk warmly about the adventure. When we got home I bought a GPS and now I waypoint my camp site.
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Re: Leaving your Pack Behind

Postby Grampahawk » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:45 pm

As some have mentioned this is always a situational decision that depends on many factors. Generally I always leave the full pack, but my pack has a detachable top portion in which I can fit food, extra gloves, hat, first aid kit (unless someone else is carrying it). I also have a fairly large old school fanny pack that I cut the waist strap off of and use a 'biner to attach it. Between those two items I seem to always have what I need. That fanny pack also fits nicely in my pack to organize gear and I always now where my extra hat, gloves, and socks are. I'd never leave my pack with food in it unless it was in a bear canister or hung.
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