I packed up my stuff recently for a tour and noticed how heavy and bulky it seemed.
I remembered hiking the continental divide with my friend as a teen and carrying nearly a month's worth of gear and food on my back. I looked at all the stuff I was loading for a weekend tour and wondered how I could fit it all onto the bike.
How could this be? Well, first of all, there seems to be a lot more junk that we can't live without. That is a given.
However, I noticed that camping and touring gear has gotten a lot fancier and a lot heavier. For example, my old two-man pup tent only weighed 2.5 lbs including poles. Maybe it wasn't as spacious as some of today's dome tents, and maybe it wasn't quite as dry, but it sure did the trick in some very difficult circumstance. Heck, I dusted it off recently and brought in on a tour and two grown adults slept comfortably. I have to think twice now about bringing my seven-pound dome tent and why I made the switch in the first place.
Stoves are heavier too. My old SVEA 123 stove weighed less than 22 ounces WITH FUEL and built-in wind-block. That is less than many rigs today that require and external fuel canister and are naked to the wind.
Down sleeping bags still rule for weight/size/comfort. No real improvements there, other than affordability (thanks to our Chinese cousins).
Pots, pans? Food? I wonder.... I suppose there might be some new convenient foods that would work well for camping, but I never made it through my old backpacking recipe book yet anyway.
Is it just me or all in all, doesn't it seem like we are freighting around a lot more stuff and stuff is heavier than before?
We are either turning into techie weenies or we are getting stronger and tougher to shlep all this stuff around.