Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by NamelessStain » Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:43 am

Now if this was in an E&E scenario and you showed up with a bright reflective tent and pack, you can expect me to stay about 100 yards away.

Otherwise, do what makes you happy :)
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by TheLastOne » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:10 pm

Sweet baby Tom cruise how is this a topic?

I have the kestrel 48 in the red. It's a great pack. I've had mine for at least five years.. Idk when I bought it but I hiked a lot of rocky mtns with it. No tears, rips, or people making fun of me... Works great for a carry on for travel too FYI. The red is pretty subdued compared to the bright orange rei daypack I have. :lol:
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Tobias05 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:41 pm

I am severely offended. At every color. Whatever color you like, it's the wrong color.

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by ineffableone » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:14 am

I personally don't like bright colors for my gear. But to tell someone else they can't have bright colors is just stupid. As mentioned nature itself has plenty of bright colors. And some people want to be easily spotted.

Me I like to blend in as much as possible. But I don't think everyone needs to be like me.

Only way I get upset about bright color gear is seeing a great piece of gear that is only offered in bright colors and having to pass it by. But that is not me telling others not to use bright colors, just me annoyed at the limited selection for not bright colors.

From my perspective, there is massive choices for bright colors, but very minimal for subdued and earthy tones. So not sure where folks are getting the idea they need to tell others to stop using bright colors. It seems to me, the bright colors are the majority and the earthy subduded colors are the minority. The market seems to have spoken that the people like the bright colors.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by KnifeStyle » Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:20 am

http://www.backcountryattitude.com/low_ ... olors.html

He also does an article saying the proper way to walk on a beach to avoid leaving offensive footprints in the sand. Why am I not using blue text? Because he actually wrote that article. A guy in a red shirt a quarter mile away haunted the author like his beloved Lenore.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by ineffableone » Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:55 am

KnifeStyle wrote:http://www.backcountryattitude.com/low_ ... olors.html

He also does an article saying the proper way to walk on a beach to avoid leaving offensive footprints in the sand. Why am I not using blue text? Because he actually wrote that article. A guy in a red shirt a quarter mile away haunted the author like his beloved Lenore.
Wow that guy is stark raving bonkers. I would have got some good laughs except you could tell he was actually serious, and that just made it kinda creepy and scary knowing there are wackoes like him out in the woods. One good thing is I doubt he would have any weapons on him as they would leave a trace and he wouldn't want that. So the worst damage he might really do is creep you out and try and yell at you.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by LowKey » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:00 am

KnifeStyle wrote:http://www.backcountryattitude.com/low_ ... olors.html

He also does an article saying the proper way to walk on a beach to avoid leaving offensive footprints in the sand. Why am I not using blue text? Because he actually wrote that article. A guy in a red shirt a quarter mile away haunted the author like his beloved Lenore.
He needs to start taking his meds again.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by duodecima » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:02 am

KnifeStyle wrote:http://www.backcountryattitude.com/low_ ... olors.html

He also does an article saying the proper way to walk on a beach to avoid leaving offensive footprints in the sand. Why am I not using blue text? Because he actually wrote that article. A guy in a red shirt a quarter mile away haunted the author like his beloved Lenore.
I'll assume the guy's sincere since his article themes are pretty consistent, but he's also trying to make ad revenue. A moderate, reasoned discussion isn't going to create a twitter storm and drive clicks. That's his opinion, he's welcome to it, but unless he's gonna buy your pack...

(Also, that pic where he wanted to know who stuck out like a sore thumb? Perhaps I'm not observant but I thought the "sore thumb person was the top of a bush at first...)
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by LowKey » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:40 am

duodecima wrote:
KnifeStyle wrote:http://www.backcountryattitude.com/low_ ... olors.html

He also does an article saying the proper way to walk on a beach to avoid leaving offensive footprints in the sand. Why am I not using blue text? Because he actually wrote that article. A guy in a red shirt a quarter mile away haunted the author like his beloved Lenore.
I'll assume the guy's sincere since his article themes are pretty consistent, but he's also trying to make ad revenue. A moderate, reasoned discussion isn't going to create a twitter storm and drive clicks. That's his opinion, he's welcome to it, but unless he's gonna buy your pack...

(Also, that pic where he wanted to know who stuck out like a sore thumb? Perhaps I'm not observant but I thought the "sore thumb person was the top of a bush at first...)
I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote an article suggesting people muffle their bear bells with cloth) tan of course) in order that they not desecrate the great outdoors with any obscene metallic noise.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by ineffableone » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:52 am

duodecima wrote:(Also, that pic where he wanted to know who stuck out like a sore thumb? Perhaps I'm not observant but I thought the "sore thumb person was the top of a bush at first...)
Funny thing, I spotted the guy in green right away and it took me awhile hunting the pic to find the guy in yellow.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by moab » Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:38 pm

I'm of the crowd that says "Who cares what people think!" for just hiking or backpacking.

Having said that if the pack is for any future bug out use. I would consider your grey man/non-grey man options in your bug out plan. Search "grey man myth" or just "grey man" and educate yourself on the subject.

Some prefer to blend in with the rest of the refugees. Others don't. And want to be on their own away from the masses. Depends on your situation. I for one can see the benefit of both. And plan to initially bug out with typical hiking gear clothing but in subdued colors. Then have camo packed for once we can be out where that matters and camo would work to hide you.

Non-military types don't seem to understand the difference between camo and simply subdued colors or even bright colors. In the woods or rural areas it can make a huge difference if you don't want to be seen by every tom, dick and harry coming by. Camo properly used can make you almost invisible in the wild.

Early on in my Marine Corps stint I literally fell over guys properly camouflaged. Scared the crap out of me more than once. lol. We used to hold a class for normal grunts where we demonstrated the proper use of full camouflage. We'd set up in prone positions - feet from where they would be seated in a grassy/brushy field. And then halfway through the class have all the members of our platoon that were properly camouflaged stand up. It would literally scare the crap out of some guys. When a green grass monster stood up right next to them. That they had not seen.

But you don't even have to go to the lengths of a sniper. Even just using all out camo clothing and gear with good camo face paint. Will hide you from the uneducated eye much better than anything else. Especially at distance. They even make very well made coveralls with leafy 3d camo that I have used on surveillance in rural areas. That can be packed small, are light weight and very good at hiding a person. The best ones are made of window screen type material with pieces of leaf like fabric halfway sewn into them. So the leaves stand up. And you can wear them over anything with the ventilation of the window screen material. I've got some pictures of one we deployed in rural Mississippi. They work very well.

I might add that's something you can't do with a red pack on. Maybe with a pack cover. But unlikely. Pack covers do not cover everything. Later on in my service experience I was able to blend in with the best of them. And it's an art not a science. It takes practice. And is a very valuable skill. Having the ability to remain hidden when you want and don't want. Is a huge advantage in a bug out or PAW type situation IMHO.

So it's important you think these things out before you buy. As well as what all you need to put in that pack weight and volume wise. Or you'll be sadly left with a piece of gear that is no good to you. And that your forced to live with or sell at a discount. Many of us - including me - have learned the hard way.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by taipan821 » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:22 pm

i honestly prefer bright colours to subdued ones for packs/clothing/sleeping bag/quilt

having walked with someone who was wearing camo i learnt two things.

1. the camo draws attention (a camo hat fine, all cammed up no)
2. me wearing my hiking outfit (long pants and a heavy cotton shirt) was unnoticed
3. i was able to go into the shops afterwards while my hiking partner had to wait in the car.

so if someone doesn't like my more visible items then they are welcomed to come on an air search with me to look for their subdued campsite.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by dunamis » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:47 pm

Yes. I'm sure some people are genuinely offended. But, then again, some people require being offended as part of their identity. There is no established rule as to this question, but whether anyone is offended they have no right to be anymore than you do to be offended conversely. If there is a predominant thought in regard to appropriate color schemes for outdoor activities, I'm sure it began as a marketing campaign that was somehow successful and will result in something which is no longer relevant 10 years later.

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by ineffableone » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:51 pm

dunamis wrote:Yes. I'm sure some people are genuinely offended. But, then again, some people require being offended as part of their identity. There is no established rule as to this question, but whether anyone is offended they have no right to be anymore than you do to be offended conversely. If there is a predominant thought in regard to appropriate color schemes for outdoor activities, I'm sure it began as a marketing campaign that was somehow successful and will result in something which is no longer relevant 10 years later.
LOL, that comment gave me the mental picture of someone dressed in day glo ranting at someone in earth tones about skulking around in the woods spying on them. :lol: Thanks for the silly mental picture.

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by ROCK6 » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:49 am

Well, I’ll give you my perspective. My wife is really diving in hard to doing outdoor education as a side job. She even started up an outdoors club for middle school students. She talked me into attending a Leave No Trace instructor's course up in VA a couple years ago…it’s also a popular ethical philosophy for boys and girls scouts. Several State and National Park/Forest agencies and departments are pushing it more from an ecological standpoint to prevent erosion, over compaction or excessive flora damage. "Bright colors" is really far down on the list of ethical conduct...

So, yes bright colors supposedly detract from the natural landscape (although, nature does have “bright” colors all over if you actually look). However, the concept is less about offending someone else and more about you minimizing yourself. Okay, I can understand that and my philosophy from the military has always been to blend in (camouflage?) and try and go unnoticed.

Those that are offended are the types who would be offended at anything. We had some excellent LNT master instructors who advocated that LNT was not a confrontational philosophy, but more of a biologically sound and ethical behavior. Believe me, bright colors are the least of worries when it comes to LNT practices…I start with the basics of talking about proper planning, avoiding trash and don’t pee in the creek!

We did have some discussion on brightly colored clothes (which one of our instructors had on). They are also beneficial as LNT is as much about safety as it is “only leaving memories and footprints”. My wife always has and always does advocate brightly colored clothing for solo hikers and children. In fact, she had some really cool school club T-shirts made up for the kids…all in bright orange. Not only is it high-visibility for the kids, it’s an excellent safety precaution when they’re hiking during hunting season.

From a scientific standpoint, bright colors do mean “warning” and could (in theory) stress the local fauna. This is mostly theory, but if color was a concern, the mere presence of humans are often enough to stress any environment. Still, I’m of the Biblical standpoint that we are the stewards of the world and as long as we are not actively abusing our environment and being wasteful with game management we were meant to enjoy the outdoors be it in muted colors, bright colors or your birthday suit if you wish.

My advice to LNT practitioners who scoff at brightly colored tents, packs or clothes is to take their footprints further into the back country. LNT gets a bad reputation because of the Nazis who think they need to run around and enforce or point out violations…it’s not a punitive set of rules (unless enforced by park rangers), but it’s an ethical concept for individuals to show through example and not admonishment.

It is ironic that some LNT-Nazis love to pick and choose the parts of the principals of LNT. The one that does include commentary about brightly colored clothing, tents or packs is actually:

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
• Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
• Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
• Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
• Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
• Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises

Somehow, these morons forgot that the actual principal is “be considerate of other visitors”…it applies to them, yet the Nazis love to point out a small aspect to everybody else. Your safety and experience comes before their stupidity. The whole "bright" colors thing was more geared towards not disrupting or stressing wildlife and not offending someone else. The actual "ethical" point is to not make yourself offensive...which is absurdly what the LNT Nazis end up displaying about themselves...morons.

As a side note, I did find it funny that our instructor couple (great married couple by the way), said to strictly avoid confrontations about LNT…always be courteous and if the subject comes up, talk about it from an educational/ethics standpoint and not a “violations” perspective…plus, more people these days are carrying concealed and it wouldn’t be wise to start an argument (little did anyone one other than my wife know I was carrying concealed the whole week we were out there). :mrgreen:

Get the pack of your color. Get outdoors and enjoy it. Do consider the other LNT principals…mainly, don’t litter up an area or leave your shit paper strung all over the trail. The best response back to somebody squawking about LNT and bright colors…”hey jackass, the seventh principle is ‘be considerate of others’ which includes avoiding loud noises, so shut your LNT-violating pie hole and let me enjoy my experience”. :lol:

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by grumpyviking » Thu Nov 26, 2015 10:55 am

I gave up worrying what people thought of me, or what I do or what I wear, about 35 years ago! I really don't care! :lol:
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by LowKey » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:16 am

ROCK6 wrote:

<snip>From a scientific standpoint, bright colors do mean “warning” and could (in theory) stress the local fauna. This is mostly theory, but if color was a concern, the mere presence of humans are often enough to stress any environment. <snip>


I just wanted to point out something that so many people seem to overlook or forget......humans are and have been part of the environment for roughly 200,000 years (3.5 million if you count the early hominids). We're not a new arrival on the scene.
I point this out as there are many idiots ignorant uninformed persons out there who spout of comments such as "Well, the bears/mountain lions/wolves/ coyotes/ ground squirrels were there first.....!" with the implication that we're some sort of nasty alien invader from space who are just now arriving on the scene. We're not. No doubt the presence of humans can stress out wildlife....we're an apex predator. Most prey animals aren't particularly relaxed when they sense a predator in the immediate vicinity. :wink:

I do whole heartedly agree with the attitude that we should try to minimize the impact we have when out in the woods, but that's out of a sense of stewardship (as you mentioned) not out of some sort of repressed guilt that mankind is somehow an alien plague upon the earth who doesn't belong here.

If I'm solo in an area where it's unlikely another human will set foot for the next 5-10-20 years, I'm not going to worry about bagging my poo and carrying it out. It will long ago have decayed into the soil, and it's presence isn't going to disturb or upset the local ecosystem.

LNT should be based on science, not mysticism, spirituality, or other ideologies.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by KnifeStyle » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:50 pm

Leave No Trace has classes and direct instruction?
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by SCBrian » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:07 am

KnifeStyle wrote:Leave No Trace has classes and direct instruction?
Awareness workshops to introduce the principals of LNT. Often these are "Hands on". They host various events with a more focused and specific types of training: backwoods vs front country vs kayak, etc. They have teams of traveling trainers to visit schools, parks, etc. as well as master educators usually in your area to host training as well.

this is not a 'catch all' just a sample:

https://lnt.org/calendar/2015-11
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:59 pm

KnifeStyle wrote:Leave No Trace has classes and direct instruction?
Yep, BSA offers both LNT instruction and lesson materials.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by duodecima » Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:32 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:
KnifeStyle wrote:Leave No Trace has classes and direct instruction?
Yep, BSA offers both LNT instruction and lesson materials.
ditto Girl Scouts, it's part of all the camping instruction.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by modustollens » Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:06 am

ROCK6 wrote: • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.

ROCK6

Hmmm. Sounds odd. Does it really say this or did you mean uphill?

I was in Nepal hiking up in the mountains and there were always animals with packs going up and down. And there were lots of signs always warning people to stay on the uphill side of the pack animal. For example:

"4. Yaks and pack animals
Above 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) these hairy beasts are plentiful. These beasts of burden are raised to carry loads at high elevations and work the fields in villages. Some of these animals are not always yaks. The shorter-haired variety, found on trails lower than Namche Bazaar in the Khumbu, are actually “dzomo,” man-made cow/yak hybrids. The higher-dwelling yaks are much shaggier. They both can have massive horns are a formidable presence when encountered on a hiking trail. Keep a wide berth and always stay to the uphill side when trying to pass or being passes on the trail. Listen for the oncoming yak bells and watch out for large piles of yak poop!"

I have never seen anyone claim we should stay on the downhill side before given that one could easily get knocked down the hill by a pack animal. I tired to find a picture of the signs I saw on the Annapurna circuit - it was a sign I saw more than once for sure...

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by ROCK6 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:57 pm

LowKey wrote:
If I'm solo in an area where it's unlikely another human will set foot for the next 5-10-20 years, I'm not going to worry about bagging my poo and carrying it out. It will long ago have decayed into the soil, and it's presence isn't going to disturb or upset the local ecosystem.
I don't prefer to pack my crap out. There is some pretty logical science about "burying" your poo. Common methods have always been 4-6" hole, crap and cover it up. However, ecologists have discovered that that red worms and other "crap eaters" reside in the more porous top soil. Current recommendations are to only dig down 2-3 inches and mix in some of the top soil and vegetation. Likewise, they actually teach to smear your crap on rocks in more arid, rocky terrain...but the logic is that the arid environment will quickly decompose your turds.
LowKey wrote: LNT should be based on science, not mysticism, spirituality, or other ideologies.
For the most part it is and it continues to assess. Again, as much as LNT attempts to base their principals on biological science, there is certain amount ideology that tries to pass for ethics. I will honestly say, I did this for my wife...I though most of LNT was just hippy wood stuff. I have a Biology major, focused on botany. There is some solid science used to help formulate low-impact back-country recreational activities and how erosion can affect highly compacted areas.

We all know there are some pretty militaristic environmental whackos out there, but I was impressed with our "master instructors" who spent their entire lives (they were in the early 60's) in the outdoor, backpacking and guiding industry. They always stressed common sense, hiker safety and that LNT is not a set of rules to condemn (or ticket) but a base set of ethics to live by example and not be the whiney ass pointing out LNT violations to every other backpacker.

An interesting note about one aspect I could relate to. From a tactical standpoint and minimizing you’re your own signature, I do dig the muted colors, but more importantly the principals of actual site selection. For backcountry backpacking, they encourage selecting unused, remote sites to reduce actual campsite compaction. Hiking off trail 200 feet, out of site from other hikers and campers and trying to keep your own personal noise and excessive flashlight use down…hell, we did that when I was a young Infantryman doing patrolling exercises! There is some value to this. My worst experience was when my wife and then young daughter when to an empty campground…I mean, there was nobody in the tent camping area and some yokel drives right up beside us and set up camp. This is why I’ve always hated drive in camp grounds and we don’t do it unless it just serves as a basecamp for backcountry hikes.

Like I said, LNT is just some principals, some founded on actual science, others more based on an ethical ideology. I think we can all agree to the basic Gold Rule and that none of us appreciate a long day of backpacking, finally getting to a camp site and finding massive defoliation, trash everywhere, even in the creek, and someone’s used ass-wipe strung all over the nearby bushes. Those types of people don’t need an education they need an ass-whooping.
modustollens wrote: Hmmm. Sounds odd. Does it really say this or did you mean uphill?

I have never seen anyone claim we should stay on the downhill side before given that one could easily get knocked down the hill by a pack animal. I tired to find a picture of the signs I saw on the Annapurna circuit - it was a sign I saw more than once for sure...
MT
Yep, you read that right. The reasoning is less about human safety and not spooking the pack animals...I'm not saying I agree, but stepping to the down-hill side makes you smaller and less apt to spook the pack animals. Some of LNT is based on science, some, I question the reasoning.

Another example that made me go "huh"? I was always taught that down hill hikers always had the right-of-way. Reason being, if they have a pack, it's hard to slow down with that center of gravity. Also, we always yielded to logging trucks hauling ass down the mountain...makes sense right?

Well LNT teaches that the uphill hikers get the right of way. A hiker with a big pack has a harder time stopping and going. Hell, when I'm hiking up a steep hill, I take every opportunity to take a break...making way for downhill hikers is find by me :mrgreen:

ROCK6

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by modustollens » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:02 pm

ROCK6 wrote: Yep, you read that right. The reasoning is less about human safety and not spooking the pack animals...I'm not saying I agree, but stepping to the down-hill side makes you smaller and less apt to spook the pack animals.
ROCK6
An odd bit of reasoning there on their part. Is there any evidence at all that standing on the uphill side spooks the animals? Or did they have pack stock whisperer on their LNT team?

Anyway, that's one suggestion I won't be following.

MT
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