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losing weight

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Re: losing weight

Postby sparky » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:57 pm

If you want to lighten your load, your pack is the least of your worries. There is a point of diminishing returns with pack weight. More important than pack weight is how it carries the load. You don't want a light pack until you have a light kit.

Especially since you are on a budget.

Tent, bag, pad, clothing. Dropping weight on these items will make a big difference. Getting a lighter cook kit or pack....not so much...but I agree it all adds up.

Make a wish list, and start going through it. Replacing items with the biggest weight loss first. Thats my advice at least, take it or leave it :)
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losing weight

Postby Ross939 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:03 am

I'll second the ULA circuit. Bought for my son for JMT hike, it carried a BV 500, 1 p Dicks Sporting Goods tent, Pocket Rocket stove, sm. Cup and pot combo, 30° bag, down jacket, poncho, camera, beanie, small clothing bag, fishing pole. I think he came in at about 29 lbs. total weight.

If the Circuit is too small you might look at the Catalyst. Circuit = $225
Catalyst = $250, not the cheapest packs out there, but you get a lot for the money. A couple months ago, a near new catalyst sold on eBay for about $150. Kicking myself for not jumping on it.

Dicks has some decent hiking gear, their Koppen house brand goes for a whole lot less than REI gear, lightweight and budget conscious.
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losing weight

Postby wanderin.jack » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:05 am

I went to the ula catalyst last summer. It took about 100 miles to get use to but I'm pretty happy with it. I like that I can wear a full brimmed hat with it. I had some hip belt problems and the owner, Chris, was very responsive. When they say don't put over 40# in it they are right.


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Re: losing weight

Postby JWreno » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:20 pm

2nd the ULA. I like the pack. I can do 12 days with a Bearikade expedition and start out loaded with with food at about 34 pounds. Gets lighter as I eat through 12 days of food. This is not the pack to carry the kitchen sink in. If you get your base weight with out bear can and food down to 12-15 pounds it is the perfect pack.

Things to start with on a light base load. Adjust bag to reflect low night time temps.

Before you backpack: Take day hikes, get fit, lose extra body weight. This is take the most continuous discipline.

First step: Don't take what you don't need or use. (This is the cheapest solution)

Next step:
ULA Catalyst (it's hard to have a 12 pound base weight with a 6 pound empty pack)
Tarp Tent (even lighter when you have a partner to share it with)
20-24 oz sleeping bag (expensive but worth it)
Reduce your clothing weight. (take less changes and rinse out more often)

My extreme step for the last 8 years. Works for my family of 3 in the summer.
No stove, fuel, pot, spoon (eat home dried, ready to eat stuff out of ziplock bags)

Figure out what works for you by trying out ideas and gear on 1 or 2 nighters not on long trips. You can always head back to the car on a short trip before its a disaster.
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Re: losing weight

Postby austex » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:26 pm

Ideas on what you have prepared?
My extreme step for the last 8 years. Works for my family of 3 in the summer.
No stove, fuel, pot, spoon (eat home dried, ready to eat stuff out of ziplock bags)
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Re: losing weight

Postby JWreno » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:50 am

We make our own beef jerky and dry about dozen or more varieties of fruit. We eat a lot of nuts and a variety of bars. We take the bars out of the wrappers and pack them side by side in ziplock bags to cut down on trash. When we have more space such as the shorter resupply legs we add a little other bulkier variety just for fun. That might be pretzel nibs, corn nuts, M&Ms, etc... We aren't coffee drinkers so we don't miss it.

At camp before going to sleep we all sanitize our hands and fill up 2 quart bags of food each for the next day taking supplies out of the bulk gallon zip locks. We sometimes refill the quart bags in the afternoon. Without having extraneous packaging our food is allocated at about 18 ounces per person per day. This is way we have no problem getting 12 days of food in the can. We typically have a 0.5 to 1 days left over food on a 12 day leg. This quantity has been adjusted downward from prior experience for the 3 of us. We started at about 22, then 20 then 18 ounces per person over the last 8 years or so. Yes we lose weight and no that isn't a problem for us on a 3 week hike. Someday I hope to do the entire PCT after I retire. I plan to make up for trail weight loss by enjoying town meals.

The quart bags go into hip belt pockets that are accessible while hiking. This works well for us because we eat as we need it and not waiting for a lunch or snack break. My previous experience when hiking with my wife is she would run out of energy and bonk well before my son and I who are much larger and can eat more at one time. We also focus our breaks around water stops and views and not cooking lunch. We eat more often and less at each time so we don't feel like taking a nap after eating a larger meal. When we snack like this all day we really don't have any desire for eating a large meal at dinner. I also love not having to deal with evening chores related to cooking and cleaning up. I also don't get stuck having to finish the remains of my wife's dinner or having to bury it. This is especially true if we hiked 15-20 miles that day and I would rather lay on my pad and just enjoy the fading light on the mountains.

On side season trips when it is colder and dark longer we hike less and do a variety of meals from cooking meals made from home dried chicken or burger added to dried vegetables, rice or pastas to make stuff like soups. We use pot cozies to kept the food warm for the 30 minutes it takes to fully rehydrate. This saves a lot of fuel. There is the social aspect of enjoying a warm meal on a cool dark evening.
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Re: losing weight

Postby markskor » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:36 am

Something about diminishing returns...agreed.
Getting your kit below 10 pounds is possible (read costly), but for me - why? I do enjoy me some trail comforts.

Here in the Sierra (where a bear can is required), having to carry a hard-sided can, and going out regularly off-trail for 10+ days... for me this taxes most smaller and lighter packs. ULA, Golite, etc. Yes, great packs but not designed for my type trips.
Personally there is no way to fit my Weekender, plus all gear/shell/fleece, plus food, plus fishing gear - comfortably in a 2-pound, 46 size, lightweight backpack.

Gear: Tarptent, 3/4 Prolite plus, WM bag, Bearikade, and fishing gear, (just the bear necessities)... Still 15 pounds all up works well - add food, maybe 25 - 30.

IMHO, I would rather carry a 4-pound (50 - 60) backpack that has good/great suspension - one that I can carry all day comfortably, than be fighting 30+ pounds of weight and my straps/hip belt those first heavy days. If I was doing the PCT, maybe would consider going the Cuban route, but for me, there gets a point where too light equates to too little.
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Re: losing weight

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:47 pm

I agree that the weight of the pack is not equivalent to the weight of a item inside the pack. Suspension systems help you carry the weight so you gain some comfort even if you add some weight. Weight can be saved on the material used for the pack. And get rid of all the do-dads. You do not need as sturdy material next to your back.

And what many forget is that the actual location of heavy vs light items inside your pack bag makes a huge difference. Any weight off your center of gravity has a lever-arm effect. I even take this into account when I pack my bear can. Buying too small a pack and then dangling stuff off the back end will result in the feel of more weight than having a larger pack even if the larger pack weighs more. How and where you carry water is hugely important. It always gets me when someone spends $500 to get lighter and then hauls 2-3 liters of water. If you are the type who needs 2-3 liters of water, and if there will be water sources on the trail, I think it is better to take a small filter for use at rest stops.

I was wondering if anyone has tried to mix and match packs and the internal frames and/or stays? It seems to me that some frame sheets are too heavy and wonder if you could replace it with a stay-system from another pack?
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Re: losing weight

Postby sparky » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:13 pm

A frameless pack does next to nothing for leverage produced by your heavy dense items in your load. A suspension system does.
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Re: losing weight

Postby JWreno » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:32 pm

The ULA Catalyst is my bear can pack, the ULA Circuit my NO bear can pack. What do you think is the next step up on padding/comfort load carrying capability with similar volume to the Catalyst? I am 5 foot 11 inches with a long torso and shorter 30 inch inseam legs. My wife's smaller pack actually weighs more than my larger Catalyst that that is what she needs to avoid bruised hips.
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Re: losing weight

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:10 pm

Check out the GoLite Jam 70. I've used one for the past couple of years with good success.
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Re: losing weight

Postby TahoeJeff » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:04 pm

The Other Tom wrote:Check out the GoLite Jam 70. I've used one for the past couple of years with good success.

Me too!
It is an excellent pack, but try not to drag the bottom over rough granite, or you will get small holes.
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