The stupid things I did before I knew better...

Minimally moderated forum for climbing related hearsay, misinformation, and lies.
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by drjohnso1182 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:39 pm

Either I've never done anything stupid, or I still don't know any better. But I'm told that God protects fools and drunks, so I do my best to be both.

Hotoven wrote:I forget his name, but have a photo of him. He was from New York I think. This was just in the summer of 2008 too. Who's this Alex guy your referring to?

Supertramp. Doesn't everyone love British prog rock?

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by myles » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:24 pm

Dingus Milktoast wrote:He took the long way home.

"Goodbye, Stranger."

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by simonov » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:05 pm

Dave Dinnell wrote:My first backpacking trip in the Scouts in '74...I took a canvas pup tent and...A frikken claw hammer so I could pound them stakes in real good :lol: And the pack I used was an old BSA Haversack-a non framed large day pack with unpadded canvas shoulder straps. It was a painful learning experience.

1974: I used the same pack on my first (and maybe second) backpacking trip, with the Boy Scouts. It had belonged to my older brother, and presumably it was all he ever used when he was a Scout. But it was horrible. All the other kids had frame packs.

For a sleeping bag, I had one of those big heavy flannel jobs my father would use for hunting trips, tied around the top and sides. Oh my god did the straps dig into my shoulders. Soon after that trip my parents bought me a frame pack (the Kilimanjaro, I used to see those around; no hip belt, of course) and a cheap nylon sleeping bag at K-Mart.

I had cheap "waffle stomper" boots and the warmest outer garment I had as a teen during most of the year was a single-wall cotton Army jacket my brother had left behind (in the winter I wore a ski jacket). I wore that Army jacket everywhere, even on a week-long trek along the High Sierra Trail in August 1976, when it snowed on us at one point.

In those days the camp stoves were either white gas or propane. Propane is highly pressurized and comes in steel tanks. I still have my old propane Grasshopper stove, and a couple of tanks. I can't believe we carried those steel tanks into the wilderness. I compensated for the weight by not carrying any extra clothing. I was cold at night, but at least I could cook!

But in any case, I had endured the Stone before I was old enough to know any better and formulate an effective protest. After that, I went backpacking whenever I could.

When I was 20 years old, I had my first well-paying job. I went out and bought my first pack with a hip belt; my first decent sleeping bag; a pair of good Vasque boots; a Therm-a-Rest mattress. I retired the pack and the boots last year, but I still use the sleeping bag.

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by Gafoto » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:27 pm

That is some classic gear there redneck. Did you summit Rainier with your Vasque boots and wooden axe?

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by simonov » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:33 pm

Gafoto wrote:That is some classic gear there redneck. Did you summit Rainier with your Vasque boots and wooden axe?

With the axe, yes, but I rented some Scarpas in Ashford.

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by lisae » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:57 pm

Stupidest thing I ever did, relating to outdoor stuff, was not to dig out my headlamp when I went through the caves at the Pinnacles. I thought I didn't need to, I would be able to follow John as he had reflectors on his shoes. Well he was moving fast and I couldn't keep up. I put my hand on what I thought was a wall. It was a gate, it moved and I fell into the standing water. Soaking wet, muddy up to my mid back and banged up knee. I had to wring out my pants once we got to the dam, while a lot of tourists watched.

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by Dave Daly » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:12 am

Dropped acid, snorted coke and crank, and ate a few schrooms.......during my first 4 years in the Marine Corps!! :shock: :shock: :lol:

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by RickF » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:47 pm

Like some of the previous posters, I wore levis jeans and cotton t-shirts on my early hikes. I thought I was getting pretty sophisticated when I graduated to wearing shorts and carrying a pair of levis in my pack as survival gear.

One of my most important learning experiences was getting caught in a thunderstorm halfway to the summit of San Jacinto without any rain shell. When bolts of ligthning started dancing all around us, we turned back. I got drenched, it was a long, cold miserable day. I didn't even have any dry clothes at the trailhead.

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by silversummit » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:25 am

My mistake was thinking backpacking would actually be fun using a backpack something like the drawing below.


The frame was wood and there was a thin web waist belt. It was horribly uncomfortable and rubbed wrong in every way possible on my scrawny body. Since I was tall for my age I ended up carrying extra weight for smaller girls in my group - :roll:

I hated the trip and the twenty miles in the summer heat in the Blue Ridge along with a heavy old sleeping bag, metal canteen, no sleeping pad and of course everyone wore jeans!

Eventually friends talked me into trying more trips with new fangled inventions like "tube tents" and foam sleeping pads and I bought my own first back pack and I never stopped

Okay guys! Don't enjoy the 'butt' shots too much! Tube tent camping at it's finest ala 1966!


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by Noondueler » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:01 am

My first backpack outing I put bananas in a bear cannister outside the tent while camping near Bishop Pass in the high Sierra in late October and they were hard as a rock in the morning.
I was so devastated I haven't backpacked since!

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by Dartmouth Hiker » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:11 am

Let's see...

Inadvertently climbed Katahdin without any food, which my dad and I somehow left behind in the car. We did have water, though...oh, and my dad thought it'd be a good idea to climb the mountain in a dress shirt and polyester pants. I chewed him out pretty good for that one, and he never did so on a hike again. Apparently some guys who passed us on the way up made a bet on whether we'd reach the top (we did).

We climbed up the Thunderbolt Ski trail on Greylock in December, with only about 3 hours of daylight left when we started out. We had no equipment beyond some water and a map, and I almost didn't even bring hat or gloves "because it wasn't that cold out". Several dangerous snowy slopes and treacherous icy patches, and one summit, later, we were nearly back at the car, but nearly out of daylight. And then we ran into a hiker even worse off than we were! He was apparently miles from where he needed to be, and after looking at our map took off; hopefully he made it.

Spruce Knob, also in winter. The plan was, the gate probably being closed, my dad and I would walk the ~20 miles roundtrip to the top, mostly in the dark. We had two flashlights, each with maybe 2 1/2 hours of light to them. Very luckily for us, the gate happened to be open, but we still had a nice treacherous drive most of the way up in my dad's Geo Metro, nearly sliding off the road onto the steep mountainside once or twice. Again, we somehow made the top and lived to tell the tale.

In my defense, I was no older than 14 for any of this :oops:

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by Hotoven » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:06 pm

Noondueler wrote:I was so devastated I haven't backpacked since!



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