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Lots of responses to the question from yesterday about what a person should put into a pack,. if one were going to bug out on a mountain bike. Here's a couple (more to come tomorrow, but the blue screen of death from Vista killed me at 7:35..)

    "Hi George, It is a nice night in central Ontario.. only -5C atm... but was -25C the other night.. brrrr. I live here, heat with wood.. am getting tough and all that, but think I'd likely die in the woods on a night like that.

    First.. how far you could travel... a little story.
    A local "tea room"/ pioneer schoolhouse, has an old book with local history in it. It tells a tale of a fella who travelled from the big city, which is just over an hours drive, doing about 80-90 km/h, or just around 50 miles to my little village of Gilmour.

    It took him, on foot, no roads.. 11 DAYS!
    Before we had three feet of snow in the bush, I was regularly scouting and opening ATV trails on my property.... granted it is rough terrain.. there is a reason settlers couldn't make a go of farming up here.. think huge glacially deposited boulders, hilly, exposed granite, and boggy marsh in the low spots. There are places a 50lb pack would be nearly impossible to track through.... for normal people of course.. I'm no navy seal.. or marine.

    Soooo, my point is.. how far you could travel with a pack, sure does depend on where you live, but needless to say... our current dogma of travel, and how long it should take, based on our experiences in cars.. is sure skewed out of balance with the reality of carrying essentials on your back and using human power to move over the face of our world. Eleven days.. to travel what we consider an hours drive.. ouch.

    back to feeding the woodstove between naps... gotta be tough to be dumb.. eh."


    "I'm sure that you will get plenty of responses on question #1. I'm going to focus on question #2. Unless you are in your 20's and in excellent shape, lugging a 50# pack will flat wear you out. When I backpack in the mountains, I limit myself to 40# total weight and 8# of that is water. At the end of day 1, I 'm down to about 35#.

    In the 35# weight range, a young athletic person can walk 10 miles every day. Please understand that a recreational walker would not fit into this category. An average person could travel between 5 to 8 miles daily. Unless you are in good shape, you will be dragging after 3 days and begging for a day of rest. You feel like a human pack mule and quickly learn why backpackers love ultra-light equipment.

    If you insist on carrying a 50# pack, plan on walking 5 miles or less daily unless you are a recently discharged Marine and accustomed to forced marches.

    I don't have much bicycling experience while wearing a heavy pack but I imagine that you could increase your distance by a factor of 3 to 5 depending on the terrain but that's a guess."

And check this:

    "I can only relate my National Guard experience:
    - Camelbak water canteen - one set of outer clothes - two sets of underwear, T-shirts, & socks - one set of sleeping wear - if you wear boots, pack one set of sneakers - sleeping bag - Army poncho liner - small "squeeze" pillow - leather work gloves - couple of trash bags (for rain, trash, etc) - Forever Flashlight (actually a Nightstar II) - firestarter kit (magnesium block, matches, lighter, etc) - four-season one-man tent (get the really small ones from ) - Gerber multitool - titanium fork-knife-spoon set - shortwave AM/FM solar/hand-crank radio

    That's all I need in my "two-day" ruck for a weekend in the woods. Of course, food and water is provided by the US Army. I left out the folding chair I use and the mattress liner for when I use my duffel bag and not the rucksack. If you're looking to count ounces of weight (and mass), nothing beats the titanium cookware out there."