Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chaoqing Laotou: Ultralight Oldies

It was with some amusement that we were introduced to the Chinese phrase chaoqing laotou, or "ultralight oldies.

We were reviewing our @Section_Hiking Twitter account and discovered a very good article about some folks from China hiking the Appalachian Trail and finding it manicured and wimpy compared to Chinese mountain trails. Near the end of the article, a scene at one of the shelters in the Great Smokies Mountains National Park describes some older American men comparing ultralight gear. As younger American charge up the Appalachian Trail with 50-60 pound packs as badges of honor, older males, like ourself, tend towards reducing pack weight. The Chinese hikers refered to the pack of senior citizen gram weenies as chaoqing laotou.

While we haven't converted all our nylon accessories to ultralight cuban fiber or started removing tags from tea bags, we have started weighing our gear in hopes of reducing some additional weight towards the goal of increasing our enjoyment. So, rather than considering ourselves a gram weenie, we're content to be considered an "ultralight oldie."

Read the full Outside Online article here:

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