Monday, September 28, 2009

Survival, Sports...a Hobby?

You can have "survival" as your hobby! There is nothing wrong with that. When people take a sport and try to turn it into the ultimate survival skillset...that's something else entirely.

You can learn a lot from people who do "Ultralight" hiking and camping. Along with the military, we have a lot to thank them for. Constant evolution in design and materials benefits all of us.

The military and the "Ultralight" crowd are constantly striving to make equipment more compact and lighter.

That's a great thing.

Unfortunately, along with many great things, there is a negative side.

Sport has become of paramount importance to the "Ultralight" crowd.

First of all, please visit the link in the word "Ultralight" so you can fully understand what I am talking about.

From what I have read online, in various debates with people who are really into "Ultralight" hiking and camping, these folks really don't think they are endangering themselves and for the most part...most of them are probably not putting themselves in any great danger.

The problem begins when a total neophyte embraces the "coolness factor" from those more experienced and then becomes a mouthpiece for his betters. There are a lot of neophytes on forums and some of them are very smart kids that can parade quite well as adults. Or at least as young adults.

I remember reading some website or forum thread about Ultralight camping and someone actually suggested drilling holes in the handle of the toothbrush to lighten the carried load.

So, while I am intensely interested in the advancements of outdoor gear brought about by Ultralight hobbyists, I am totally disinterested in the extreme lunacy of railing against carrying proper survival gear. I also think that anyone that constantly rails against carrying several different firestarters and tinder, a spare compass as well as other essential gear or possibly spares, is more of a hobbyist than a survival expert. Of course, that might really anger some people and that is unfortunate. Much like the self-defense "world," the survival "world" is slowly being taken over by sports enthusiasts.

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