The thread on what works and doesn't was a pretty good thread and it got me to thinking about how many set aside time to try things? I mention this because while reading different posts I couldn't help but thinking many need to spend more time trying things. That thread was great for discussing what works and doesn't, but that's only part of the equation. It's also important to keep in mind that a lot of things are going to work in better in some situations than others. A good sleeping bag up north is going to be very different than a good sleeping bag in the deep south. The same goes for clothing. A lot of things just have to be tried, and they need to be tried in different situations.
Eventually you'll figure out what works for you. That doesn't mean people can't share information to help find good things and eliminate bad things, But a lot of it is complicated. There was a good question about the value of hand warmers. I've used a lot of hand warmers but I wouldn't be able to answer the question about their value. A hand warmer could mean the difference between dying of hypothermia or not in the right situation. Or it could mean the difference between being comfortable or miserable. But are they worth the extra weight? If you're walking in a bug out situation I would say they are not worth it, but that is just my opinion. For someone else they might be worth it?
I used the hand warmers as an example because something that simple should have an easy answer as to their value, but they don't. I know that because I spent a lot of time in the cold using them while hunting and fishing. Which is the point of this thread. I use hunting season to try things out such as hiking with a pack and gun. I also use metal detecting as chance to hike with a pack and some gear in the summer. I haven't been camping in years but that is also a great chance to try things.
So my question is how many of you have hobbies or even jobs that allow to really try things out, and what are some of the most valuable lessons you've learned and can pass on?
The most important thing I've learned is just how important shelter is. It's amazing how cold you can get while sitting in a stand even with tons of clothing on. Those cloths wouldn't exist if I were on the move, and there would be no warm house to go home to in a bug out situation.
Another thing is weight. Everyone really needs to spend a full day hiking with a pack and gear at least once. Those two things, shelter and weight, are also tied together.