My Biases

So, you're interested in my blog for whatever reason (I haven't a clue :P). You may wonder about various things I say, or discover things that do or don't work for you. Here are some of my weirdities to keep in mind when reading my posts.
Note that despite my physique and bias I've hiked with many people who do not have these properties, so I'm actually very aware of approaches for other types of folks... feel free to post a question if you're curious about something along those lines.

Heat management:
Daytime:
I have rather unusually good circulation, and I've gotten used to the idea that if you are a little chilly, that's not a reason to put on a jacket. Standing by this rule I've found my body adjusts to the seasons, and the place where I live. I grew up in the US in MA, and lived in PA, CA, VT and VA, so I'm talking about fairly wide temperature ranges. On the other hand, I overheat easily in summer and sweat if I get even a little warm while doing exercise. This means non-breathable raincoats are pretty so-so for me, and non-breathable pants are a non-starter in most weather.
Nighttime:
I get a lot colder when I stop moving and tend to get cold at night so I like warm bags, but my normal metabolic rate is also extremely high. I eat a LOT. This means that I can dry out clothing and sleepingbags while sleeping. I once went on a trip where my brother's sleepingbag got fairly wet for days. I switched with him for one night, and his bag was dry by morning (in fact, mostly dry by the time I fell asleep). Just because we can dry things out, don't assume you can (though, you may be able to). I do get cold though around 3am if I only have minimal insulation.


I break things
I don't tend to mistreat things, but I push everything to it's limit. If a piece of gear is supposed to do something, I expect it to. In college I bet some friends I could crash a windows box in 15 minutes just by trying to use it. I was wrong... it took me twenty minutes. I've worn out perfectly good shoes in around 3 months, just because I walked so much. I keep a fairly spartan warddrobe, a few shirts, a few pants, so I wear out clothing quickly as well. I once managed by some fluke to twist the fork of a steel-framed bike while going 5 miles per-hour by simply falling over (without hitting anything). I'm just talented like that.

I use my gear
This may come as a surprise but not many people use their gear much, or use it until it fails. Most backpackers use their gear for maybe 2 weeks a year, and upgrade every few years, thus putting maybe 20 weeks (140 days) at *most* on gear before they retire it. Guides are the exception, and you'll see this bias in what they pick.
I'm more like a guide, I'm not always spending tons of time doing any one activity, but many years I've put months of time on my gear, if not nearly continuous when I'm living on the road. I usually use gear for hundreds or even thousands of days before retiring it, and I usually retire gear due to it simply wearing out.

I'm not into "comfort"
While I like my comfort, I'm not willing to sacrifice much for it. Also, what I think of as comfort differs from many. Even in civilization I prefer the firmest futon mattress I can find, and a folded blanket as a pillow (because otherwise I have neck/shoulder problems). I think that's about the comfiest bed possible. Comfort for me isn't about things being squishy, it's about things working, and not making for sore muscles, bruised bones, or worn skin.

I usually hike to hike, or to be outdoors
There are different ways and reasons to hike, bike, or do other outdoor activities. I'm the type of person who does it to be out there, and for the activity itself. I like the wilderness, and I like the trees. If I could have less gear with me I would, just to feel more at home (this is something I'm working on). That's not to say I don't sometimes hike or bike to camp, but I'm really bad at sitting around all day without *doing* something.  If I'm awake, and not eating, why aren't I hiking? Or at least making something.