Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

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Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by KnifeStyle » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Combining an REI gift card with a member sale, I'm about to drop a major deal for an Osprey Kestrel 48. I've been fitted for it, sounds ideal. However, casually looking into how the various colors wear out, I've stumbled onto the ongoing debate of bright colors for visibility versus wearing subdued tones 'out of respect for nature and others.' Apparently some people get truly bothered seeing an orange tent or a purple pack, saying it's jarring and ruins their natural experience. Some even say it's a principle of Leave No Trace.

I want a red pack. It was my high school and college colors, it's highly visible for when I'm heading back from a summit trip, it keeps me from being shot by drunk hunters, it tells my group members where I am, and it looks friendly and cheerful compared to the military surplus looking earth tones. One trick I picked up abroad is tying burlap or a similar fabric over a fancy sport bag to throw off its coloring and visible theft value, if this becomes bug-out gear I can drape something over it easily.

This is 2015, apathy reigns and I can do whatever I want. But am I really going to have people clenching their jaws because my tent is orange and my bag is red? Were they enjoying nature 'before it was cool'?
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Boondock » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:08 pm

There's folks on other forums who scoff at bright colors, and I quote, "Go into the woods looking like they were vomited on by an REI catalogue."

And another subset who laugh at those trying to appear "operator tactical."

There's times when you'll want to be seen, times when you don't. For example, I've got a blaze orange beanie cap. I also have a ACU boonie hat. Each has it's purpose.

I say buy and use the gear that works for you and your needs, regardless of the color.

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:12 pm

If the question is "did someone get unreasonably mad about something trivial" the answer is almost always yes, someone somewhere did.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by LowKey » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:20 pm

KnifeStyle wrote:Combining an REI gift card with a member sale, I'm about to drop a major deal for an Osprey Kestrel 48. I've been fitted for it, sounds ideal. However, casually looking into how the various colors wear out, I've stumbled onto the ongoing debate of bright colors for visibility versus wearing subdued tones 'out of respect for nature and others.' Apparently some people get truly bothered seeing an orange tent or a purple pack, saying it's jarring and ruins their natural experience. Some even say it's a principle of Leave No Trace.

I want a red pack. It was my high school and college colors, it's highly visible for when I'm heading back from a summit trip, it keeps me from being shot by drunk hunters, it tells my group members where I am, and it looks friendly and cheerful compared to the military surplus looking earth tones. One trick I picked up abroad is tying burlap or a similar fabric over a fancy sport bag to throw off its coloring and visible theft value, if this becomes bug-out gear I can drape something over it easily.

This is 2015, apathy reigns and I can do whatever I want. But am I really going to have people clenching their jaws because my tent is orange and my bag is red? Were they enjoying nature 'before it was cool'?
Unless the red dye used in coloring your pack is bleeding into/onto the trees/rocks you've leaned it against there's no way it's violating any principles of Leave No Trace. You also might ask them if they're going to scold and gripe at the blueberry, cranberry, and raspberry bushes as well as blue jays and <red> cardinals for having the effrontery to bring bright colors into the woods. After all...how dare they! This is nature!!!! And we all know that "Nature" only comes in drab colors.....right? Definitely no red!!!
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Boondock » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:43 pm

LowKey wrote:You also might ask them if they're going to scold and gripe at the blueberry, cranberry, and raspberry bushes as well as blue jays and <red> cardinals for having the effrontery to bring bright colors into the woods.
Now that, my friend, is something we totally agree on. :lol:

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by the_alias » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:54 pm

I'm 'offended' when people wear shitty clothes (tiedie!) in public but that's my problem not theirs. Same goes for anyone who gets uptight about an orange tent or red backpack.

I have an orange tent, the only downside to it appears to be that flies love it. I'm a fan of bright colours for alpine excursions, more often than not my gear will be used for fun not to hide from some enemy requiring me to have camo.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Blackdog » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:07 pm

i use a very red tent. I am sorry if I offend but the fact is the odds of needing to be found is higher than the need to hide, I have hide stuff but don't feel the need often. Sometimes in Kosovo did the hide thing just because folks wandering by would like to stop by for a chat and coffee. No harm just not always into chat mode.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by raptor » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:15 pm

These days it seems people get offended for anything and everything. It appears to be a new hobby for some "what offends me today".

Buy what you like, not what will or will not offend others.

So long as you are not hurting yourself or others and/or trampling the rights and privacy of others (say with flashing lights, sirens, loud music, etc.) use what color you want. :D

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Merovech » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:34 pm

raptor wrote:These days it seems people get offended for anything and everything. It appears to be a new hobby for some "what offends me today".
What did you say?! Thats my trigger! How dare you!

I am thoroughly offended by raptor's use of a velociraptor with a rocket pack. As a casual and amateur paleontologist the lack of proper time stream attenuation is disconcerting. Truthfully there is no way to know if velociraptors ever truly managed proper usage of rocket technology and I find the assumption offensive.

Please remove the offending picture and post a public apology to the chicken community, as chickens are the heirs and biological descendant of the veloceraptor culture and civilization. #savevelociraptorculturechickensarefriendsnotfoodfeathersnotaxes
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:52 pm

I recently returned a much-loved and much-used daypack for a refund. I liked the pack mostly because of the features, but also because of the subdued coloring: a deep forest green with black webbing and trim. The color scheme was by no means tactical, just low profile. I'm generally attracted to that in part because of personal aesthetics, in part because of my interest in all manner of contingencies discussed here at ZS. I was disappointed to discover that the current offerings from the vendor generally were only available in very loud colors. I settled on a navy blue pack with black trim, far and away the most toned-down of the available options.

Like I said, my color preference is one of personal aesthetics. I don't begrudge whatever the hell color I see people wearing out in the woods. And if I'm honest about the range of likely disasters I might face in my lifetime, OP is probably onto something; brighter and louder colors would be better.

As others have said: sure, bright colors are bound to offend at least a few people, just as full-on tactical colors are bound to offend a few others. In my mind both groups of "offendees" should chill the hell out.
Last edited by majorhavoc on Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Merovech » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:03 pm

I can see both sides. Bright colors are found in nature and in the wild they have their uses.

Orange keeps you from getting shot by hunters in the wild (hopefully), and mellow earth tones let you meld in with nature.

Personally, when camping I wear mellow earth tones, but an orange watch cap (beanie).

People like to be snobby, there are just as many REI snobs down talking the bushcrafter with the old Jansport bag, as there are Instagram Operators down talking REI vomit.

I say live and let live, find a balance, speak softly and carry a big stick.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by raptor » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:16 pm

Merovech wrote:
raptor wrote:These days it seems people get offended for anything and everything. It appears to be a new hobby for some "what offends me today".
What did you say?! Thats my trigger! How dare you!

I am thoroughly offended by raptor's use of a velociraptor with a rocket pack. As a casual and amateur paleontologist the lack of proper time stream attenuation is disconcerting. Truthfully there is no way to know if velociraptors ever truly managed proper usage of rocket technology and I find the assumption offensive.

Please remove the offending picture and post a public apology to the chicken community, as chickens are the heirs and biological descendant of the veloceraptor culture and civilization. #savevelociraptorculturechickensarefriendsnotfoodfeathersnotaxes
:lol:
Too bad not gonna happen.
:lol:

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by LowKey » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:26 pm

raptor wrote:
Merovech wrote:
raptor wrote:These days it seems people get offended for anything and everything. It appears to be a new hobby for some "what offends me today".
What did you say?! Thats my trigger! How dare you!

I am thoroughly offended by raptor's use of a velociraptor with a rocket pack. As a casual and amateur paleontologist the lack of proper time stream attenuation is disconcerting. Truthfully there is no way to know if velociraptors ever truly managed proper usage of rocket technology and I find the assumption offensive.

Please remove the offending picture and post a public apology to the chicken community, as chickens are the heirs and biological descendant of the veloceraptor culture and civilization. #savevelociraptorculturechickensarefriendsnotfoodfeathersnotaxes
:lol:
Too bad not gonna happen.
:lol:
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by SCBrian » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:49 pm

Just saying, if someone had the audacity to complain to me about the color choices I had backpacking, I would drop my next paycheck buying the gaudiest brightest day glow colors I could find. Couple that with corduroy for the shear noise, a bad golf outfit for clothing and make it a point to hike trails near them. :lol:

Don't worry about what others say (Unless it's your S.O.), Go out and hike your hike.
If someone complains, ask them if they are going to supply said item to you.


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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by LowKey » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:11 pm

SCBrian wrote:Just saying, if someone had the audacity to complain to me about the color choices I had backpacking, I would drop my next bowel movement in their tent

Sorry, couldn't resist the temptation.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Paladin1 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:29 pm

I've been offended by many campers/hikers. But not because of the color of their gear.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by nateted4 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:30 pm

I have never, ever, ever , ever, ever met a stranger with audacity to address my gear color choices while in the field. If someone were to do so, in anything but a positive manner, I would be so shocked as to possibly die of embarrassment for them right on the spot. Other people's gear choices aren't your problem, and your gear choices aren't other peoples business (beyond life safety issues).

If one has a problem with seeing other people's kit they better start hiking deeper into the back country, where there will be no one to experience their shameful demeanor.

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Zimmy » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:35 pm

Some people are never happy and who has time to spend reaching for that impossibility?
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by LowKey » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:49 pm

Zimmy wrote:Some people are never happy and who has time to spend reaching for that impossibility?
Bergdahl. He get's long vacations from what I'm told. :awesome:
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by boskone » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:07 pm

Does it? Yes. Should it? No. Given a sufficiently broad audience, anything will offend someone.

I haven't myself run into anyone who particularly cared about other people's gear...though that doesn't keep us from making fun of each other over it.

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:44 pm

I have no clue what those critter pictorial posts were all about but sent them packing to the graveyard. On the topic I really don't care what color someone else hikes with and care even less if anyone is offended by such a trivial matter. To each their own.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:50 pm

I just wear a jock strap and untied combat boots when I camp.... just how nature intended me to be.

It's the least offensive gear that I own.
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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by Confucius » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:38 am

I've had people comment on my sleeping bag before (neon green, it was on sale). But never anyone being actually offended, more "hey buddy, could you turn down your bag?", and "wow, that's the biggest lure I've ever seen"

I don't know, I think the sort of folks that go backpacking a lot tend to be a little more mellow than all that...

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Re: Does backpacking gear color truly offend others?

Post by grumpyviking » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:50 am

who cares what other people think? buy what is right for you not other people.
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