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09/29/2023 06:56PM  
I've seen this a couple of times posted over the years regarding group members wanting to bring heavy, luxury items..."if you bring it, YOU carry it."

I've always thought this to be a unrealistic goal. If a member brings 20 lbs of extra, heavy gear, then he is unable to carry 20 lbs of group gear. So in essence, everybody ends up carrying some of any heavy luxury items brought on a trip.

A group leader needs to be able to explain, coach, and veto (if needed) member gear. Or EVERYONE carries a portion of the heavy luxury item by my way of thinking.
 
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09/29/2023 08:05PM  
That’s the reality…I agree 100%.

I think the “you bring it you carry it,” is a conversation starter for most groups. But I agree if you don’t discuss it further, it ends up with everyone carrying it or carrying more of other stuff you shouldn’t have too.

T
 
Sparkeh
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09/30/2023 07:20AM  
Stubborn people in a group should be told before the trip that they will slow down everyone taking heavy unnecessary items. You may also have to explain why slowing down some other group members may be physically and emotionally tolling on the entire group.
 
09/30/2023 11:03AM  

Understanding "Extra Weight" is important. Everybody has their own idea on what is necessary for an enjoyable trip. The better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it philosophy needs to be challenged. Everyone must buy into the fact that the less weight you carry makes your outing more enjoyable and less work.
 
09/30/2023 11:09AM  
One solution is solo tripping. I still carry too much, but it is only on me, literally.

When I did group trips decisions were based on group needs over individuals. Our thinking was a chain is only as strong as the weakest link and I do not recall any weak links in our groups. I have been lucky. I know sometimes people go that are naive to wilderness experience and unfortunately even some unfamiliar with pitching in to help. We can only inform so much, and experience is still a good teacher.
 
09/30/2023 12:04PM  
I wonder why you’d think he is carrying less group gear. Divide the group gear and that person carry’s what they need to plus whatever they bring. I had a canoe partner that brought a crazy heavy food pack. He mostly carried it. And it still was heavy when the trip was over. There were other issues I had… but I chose to except the differences and enjoy my trip… we did mostly Woodland Caribou trips and he was not a novice by any means. He drowned a couple years ago in a rafting accident. But he was a great guy to paddle with dispite his need to bring a lot of stuff. You gotta let people find some things out for themselves… I’ve paddled with plenty of people that carried more usually then me but sometimes less. Some of the bring more crowd were seasoned paddlers. I never even thought to question someone else’s decisions to bring more. Usually once they carry the extra weight they either realize they brought to much or they figure out a way to carry it and move on… If they slow you down? Don’t take em if that’s your thing. My feeling is when you take people it’s everyone’s trip, not just mine. You can tell em, but I’m not going to be a pack Nazi! Just my opinion. I even add rocks sometimes to their packs to slow em down so I can keep up! Haha!
 
ockycamper
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09/30/2023 05:33PM  
We do a "de brief" after every trip. That really helps with bringing no essential gear.

This year it works like this: Each guy puts all the gear he brought on the floor or table. They he separates the gear into two piles. The first is gear he actually used. Whatever is left goes in the second pile . . . .and does not come next year.

Same with food and clothes. Every year we bring back as much food as we eat in camp. Same principle, but different application. Type up a list of all the food you brought with you (I am talking about group food. . .not each guyes snacks). Whatever you brought back, draw a line through it on the list. This leaves what we actually ate, and becomes the packing list for next year.

There are only two areas that we don't budge on wiht the "what if" principle. That is first aid gear, and emergency comms. I bring a full trauma kit, first aid kit, burn kit, meds for cuts, upset stomachs, headaches, etc. I also have splints in the kit and slings. They are all divided into four small dryboxes, which in turn go into one small pack.

On the coms, each of our camps has at enough radios (hand carried ham radios) for one per canoe. We bring extra batteries along with solar chargers. This really helps when we are trying to find camp sites for our 3 groups of men, which typically have 3-4 canoes in a group. It also helps if there is medical or other emergency in which we can let all 3 camp sites know about. Lastly, each camp has some type of emergency PLB type device: Spot, Garmin, Soleo or Sat phone. Lastly , each camp has a weather radio.

Other then comps and first aid, the rule above applies. . .if it wasn't used this year it doesn't get brought in next year.
 
10/01/2023 11:09AM  
What we did for the Scout Troop trip we did this year was have a gear list. Number of each clothing items suggested to bring and then an explanation that if you bring more than suggested your pack will be heavier and the portages won't be as "fun"

Then a week before we did a pre packing meeting where everyone was taught how to waterproof their pack, then packed their packs with all of their gear so they could see how heavy they would be. They then took the packs home and were responsible for them.

Then the night before we added the food packs which caused some to rethink items they were bringing once again.

Overall I thought it went well. My partner, another Dad, brought a bunch of redundant items and he didn't do the pre packing party...didn't see the point since he was an experienced back packer. It did cause me to carry more weight than I planned as he had a back issue. Our packs were still pretty light and for the most part we single portaged. So wasn't an issue, but could of been better and avoided too.

Communication is the key...it's everyone's trip, not just "my trip" showing/explaining work better than a dictatorship.

T

 
tumblehome
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10/01/2023 12:59PM  
A person brining extra unnecessary heavy items will have to carry their extra gear. The problem is that they probably don’t end up carrying the regular gear. Therefore, they still end up placing a burden on the group.

An experienced trip member should tutelage the less experienced campers on what to bring. It is not acceptable for group members to bring gear not in the best interest of the group. It’s better to do this prior to a trip, not upon the return.

Early in my tripping tenure, I was taught on proper camping skills, packing and wilderness etiquette. I take my knowledge and pass it on to others I camp with.
Tom
 
Savage Voyageur
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10/01/2023 05:43PM  
Please give us an example of your description of extra weight would be. This question is directed to everyone.
 
billconner
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10/01/2023 06:09PM  
For me it's a helinix chair but for others it might be a 14" cast iron Dutch oven.

Interesting it's never been an issue for me, but usually just my aso or one other person.

 
Hockhocking
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10/01/2023 06:55PM  
As a camp counselor trip leader, I used a rule for the group that allowed extra things within limits. For backpacking, it was typically one extra item with a 6-oz limit. Extra socks, a paperback book, or nail polish, it was up to the individual. For canoe trips, I used 2-pound weight limit and bread bags to limit size. In my case I could bring a book, and a folding stool. The”extra” stuff was thus limited, equal for each person, and planned into the groups gear. Everyone had to share what they were bringing and why.
 
10/01/2023 08:02PM  
Savage Voyageur: "Please give us an example of your description of extra weight would be. This question is directed to everyone. "


ockycamper: "...The two oldest guys brought a 6 man tent for the two of them. . . .complete with an inflateable queen size bed (with electric pump) and two full sized pillows.

From that day forth our rule was . . . if you bring it YOU will carry and portage it. No one is going to help you recreate your bedroom at the camp site."


Ockycamper's post is what got me thinking about this. His is a great example of extra weight.
 
10/02/2023 07:08AM  
Savage Voyageur: "Please give us an example of your description of extra weight would be. This question is directed to everyone. "


As I inferred earlier, extra weight is subjective. What one person believes is essential, another would never even consider. I could give what I think is an extra weight example that would make me sound like Captain Obvious but I don't focus on what I shouldn't bring but rather what I should bring. I consider basics like food, water, shelter, and proper clothing. I think not only about the weight of an item but if it can be used for multiple purposes. I believe in clothing that can be layered to provide warmth rather than bulky cold weather gear. It doesn't need to be raining to wear a rain jacket as an example. I truly believe that less can be more!
 
ockycamper
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10/02/2023 07:54AM  
There are a multitude of examples of what someone thinks is essential that most would say is extra weight and unnecessary on these threads. Partial list:

Four man tent for one guy
full size pillow from home
Full size rocker car camping chair
cot to go in the four man tent

Just some I pulled off the most recent threads. I brought 17 men up to BWCA this month. 16th year doing so. We divided into three groups, each with a group leader. Each camp decided on what they would eat and the gear needed.

In my camp I bring the camp kitchen gear (stoves, cooking gear, food) as well as first aid, comms, a group tarp.

The rest of the guys, as well as myself bring just one main pack, their fishing gear, and a day pack plus a camp chair like a Helinox. I let them bring what they want with only the followig guidelines: They can choose a hammock, or a 1-2 man backpacking tent. . .no larger (as that affects the camp sites we can use).

The biggest weight saver is I don't let the groups bring their own stoves, food or cooking gear. Only that camp's group leader brings kitchen/cooking gear and food. That allows each camp leader to bring one set of these and limits bringing unneeded gear.
 
10/02/2023 11:47AM  
Savage Voyageur: "Please give us an example of your description of extra weight would be. This question is directed to everyone. "


For my recent Scout Trip. I should add...this wasn't a leisurely trip...This was a high adventure crew trip. Scouts learn to set up and take down camps efficiently. Travel daily. One day we covered 23 miles. This list is mostly the adults LOL...

Cots
Large tents for each individual
A new set of clothes for each day
3-4 fishing poles and 30# fishing tackle bag for 1 person
Helinox sunset chairs
Extra water filters
Extra filled water bottles
Coleman 2 burner suitcase stove
5-6# square sleeping bags
Heavy old tents for 2-3 people that weighed 12-15#
A whole can of white gas
5-6# of lithium battery chargers.

There was more, but that's all I can think of. Some of the stuff isn't bad to bring just not ALL of it at once...Some of the stuff listed was still brought on the trip--which is fine. But nothing like seeing a couple of your trip mates packed efficiently and lighter and then see what you are carrying. It helped they had to carry everything to the second floor of the church for the packing party. One guy had to use a wagon to bring all of his gear in to the packing party--couldn't even carry it in on his own :)

Some of the scouts are going to Philmont next year so it was an opportunity to start getting lighter.

T

 
uqme2
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10/02/2023 12:16PM  
Eh. Whatever.
 
allfish
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10/02/2023 12:29PM  
One of our guys would bring $4K worth of camera stuff, even a poncho to cover it with on a rainy portage! When he forgot to load the $400 tripod into the canoe and he and another guy had to paddle back across Horse Lake to go get it, then it became a problem. And that was a few hours into the first morning of the trip!
 
Northwoodsman
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10/02/2023 02:52PM  
I always find that most of the "extra" weight was in redundancy. The people that have equipment want to bring their items, this includes the "group leader". I always had a comprehensive equipment list of what I had and what I was bringing and would share it. We always go through gear before entry day. As self proclaimed group leader if I saw that someone had a hatchet, I'd take mine out of the pack. If someone had a saw, I'd take mine out of the pack, and so on and so on. Once you show that you are willing to allow others to bring their gear you would be surprised at how quickly people start giving up things that they want to bring and people agree that redundant items aren't always necessary in many cases and the weight dwindles.

Along with this approach you say to the person that "has" to bring his saw with - "Since you have the saw you are in charge of cutting up all firewood". To the person with the camp axe - "You are in charge of splitting all fire wood." To the person with the water filter they insist on bringing - "You are in charge of filtering all the water for the group." All of a sudden the problem is solved. The guy with the dull axe that has the cracked handle says to the guy with the sharp new one - "why don't you bring your axe instead, I'll bring my new Silky saw". It sounds mean but it really works well and the trip goes very smoothly because everyone knows their role and the team really comes together nicely.
 
10/02/2023 04:20PM  
Northwoodsman: " "Since you have the saw you are in charge of cutting up all firewood". To the person with the camp axe - "You are in charge of splitting all fire wood." To the person with the water filter they insist on bringing - "You are in charge of filtering all the water for the group." "


Great strategy. Had a guy who always brought 2 pounds of extra coffee. I put him in charge of coffee the following year. He brought 2 pounds... which lasted just right for our group.
 
10/04/2023 03:38PM  
Savage Voyageur: "Please give us an example of your description of extra weight would be. This question is directed to everyone. "


We basecamp and for me, a somewhat light fold up rocking chair is a necessity. I carry it on the second portage pass with fuel or other small items. No one triple portages, so the overall impact is small. I do most of the trip overall planning and everyone seems to give this older man a pass on the chair.
 
Deeznuts
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10/06/2023 04:47AM  
The way we solved this is that everyone carries their own gear. I understand the convenience of portaging packs but we have stuck with hiking backpacks the last few trips. Keeps pack weight down and allows for a person to carry a pack and a canoe at the same time. Our trip in 2021 one group member brought a pelican case with a camera, which in hindsight it was nice to have our trip so well documented. However, it was cumbersome and they weren't always the one carrying it so something like that won't go with us again. Bare minimum if we can help it. The only extras we bring fit into a day bag.
 
10/06/2023 07:29AM  
Deeznuts: "The way we solved this is that everyone carries their own gear... "


Yes, but how about group gear (stove, fuel, tarp, etc.)? If I'm carrying a full load of my own heavy gear, I have no room for some of the group gear and everyone else ends up with that. In essence, everyone carries part of the excess heavy gear.
 
Boundary Boy
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10/06/2023 09:12AM  
This must be why I prefer Solo trips!
 
ockycamper
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10/06/2023 09:18AM  
bobbernumber3: "
Deeznuts: "The way we solved this is that everyone carries their own gear... "



Yes, but how about group gear (stove, fuel, tarp, etc.)? If I'm carrying a full load of my own heavy gear, I have no room for some of the group gear and everyone else ends up with that. In essence, everyone carries part of the excess heavy gear."


When it comes to the Bearvaults, the stoves/fuel, and the group tarp I simply pick up those items and divide them between the canoes. My camp had 7 men this trip, 3 tandems and a solo. I took the shuttle along with three other guys. We split the bearvaults, stoves, tarp and fuel between the two canoes that went on the shuttle. Was no problem.

After 16 trips to the BWCA with 10-20 men each trip what works for us is everyone carries their own gear in their own canoes, and the food barrels get divided up between the canoes. My stove, group tarp, and group kitchen gear takes very little room so I just take that with me as I don't bring much person stuff on my own.

Maybe its because we are a church group, but on portages, everyone just grabs packs and gear and carries them through until everyone's gear is through the portage. In other words, if one guys gets through first, he goes back and helps the others. Works for us
 
10/06/2023 11:54AM  
ockycamper: "
bobbernumber3: "
Deeznuts: "The way we solved this is that everyone carries their own gear... "




Yes, but how about group gear (stove, fuel, tarp, etc.)? If I'm carrying a full load of my own heavy gear, I have no room for some of the group gear and everyone else ends up with that. In essence, everyone carries part of the excess heavy gear."



When it comes to the Bearvaults, the stoves/fuel, and the group tarp I simply pick up those items and divide them between the canoes. My camp had 7 men this trip, 3 tandems and a solo. I took the shuttle along with three other guys. We split the bearvaults, stoves, tarp and fuel between the two canoes that went on the shuttle. Was no problem.


After 16 trips to the BWCA with 10-20 men each trip what works for us is everyone carries their own gear in their own canoes, and the food barrels get divided up between the canoes. My stove, group tarp, and group kitchen gear takes very little room so I just take that with me as I don't bring much person stuff on my own.


Maybe its because we are a church group, but on portages, everyone just grabs packs and gear and carries them through until everyone's gear is through the portage. In other words, if one guys gets through first, he goes back and helps the others. Works for us"


I think that is an example of how it might different depending on how you trip.

1-2 portages basecamp...weight is not much of an issue.

My trip this year we were supposed to be exposing the scouts to high adventure. Moving camp every day, learning how to pack light, how to get by with less, pushing their physical and mental boundaries, covering miles, learning how to be efficient and they wanted to earn the 50 miler award. In this way they grow as an individual and a team. There was one day we covered 23 miles, 7 miles of portaging over 14 portages. Sounds crazy, but they loved it and were very proud of what they accomplished. The scouts were the ones in the end leading us and making us do that harder day (making up for being wind bound).

Redundancy, extra weight/stuff makes a bigger impact on a trip like that.

T
 
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