Vintage and retro gear

I have been hiking and backpacking for a long time now. For my first week-long backpack trip I carried (or should that be lugged) 36lbs of gear over mountains in the Lake District during a very hot Summer. That didn’t include food or water, just kit. It makes my back and knees ache to just to think of it as my Summer weight is about 5-5.5 kgs and my Winter load is tops out at 8 kg (about 10-11 lbs and 17lbs) respectively.

There were two main reasons why my first backpacking load was so heavy. Firstly, being a complete novice I took far too much gear as I didn’t know any better. Even so, the second reason was the major reason. There just wasn’t the ultralight gear around in those days. My tent had a nylon flysheet with a cotton inner and the pegs were like bricks! Goretex was available but it was horrendously expensive so unaffordable. As well as being heavy the kit was bulky so a large volume ruck, capable of carrying heavy loads, was a necessity- and, of corse, they weighed more.

I recently came across a website that is areal trip down memory lane. It isn’t comprehensive as its a work in progress but many old friends are listed there: Rohan, MSR, Karrimor, Saunders and many more. Reading the histories of the companies and seeing the old catalogues is good fun. Longtime backpackers will enjoy the site while newer ones will wonder how we ever managed without Silnylon and Pertex. Somehow, we did and still had great times. Kit is just so much lighter, more efficient and better now but the mountains, fells and valleys haven’t changed.

Here is the link      Enjoy!


About ReidIvinsMedia

After working for many years in Higher Education I've decided to drop out and join the real world. Here I blog about my interests which include education, politics, backpacking, poker, photography and real ale.
This entry was posted in Backpacking, Hiking, Ultralight, Ultralite and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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