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Pack Weight Creep

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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby Flamingo » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:06 pm

After years of going ultralight with my gear, my pack weight is now creeping up after re-evaluating my nutrition strategy. In the past I carried only lightweight dried food, energy bars, and basically junk food. In the last couple years, however, I've emphasized nutrition that I believe to be healthier---and unfortunately heavier. I love eating fresh produce in the backcountry: broccoli, carrots, oranges (which can be 1/2 pound each!), cheese, and stuff like that. I think my overall mood and energy levels have improved, and I think it's worth the weight.



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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby Dave_Ayers » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:52 pm

Well I do carry one like this: http://zpacks.com/accessories/toothbrush.shtml , sans the case. And you can replace the tiny tube of paste with toothpaste dots if you like, one source is https://www.amazon.com/Archtek-LIB11300 ... B003UY1NMW . I'd imagine Ti would be heavier.
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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:21 pm

All this expensive light weight small stuff is the equivalent of simply hauling a few ounces less water. I cut the end off my toothbrush, so that it fits in a snack zip-lock, not to save weight. If you are worried about weight, skip the toothpaste, and bring mint flavored floss.

Electronic stuff also is heavy. My only electronic item is my I-pod for music.

Pay attention to the big ones: tent, sleeping system, food and water. Only worry about the ACCUMULATED weight in small things. If you have 10 stuff sacks to organize things, each weighing 2 oz, that is 20 oz! I have found the best way to keep the weight of my pack down, is to re-evaluate my food. If you are bringing out food at the end of every trip, then cut back. If you carry water that does not get utilized between water sources, cut back.

As for the weight of the pack itself, be more concerned about the comfort of carrying the load. Even if the pack weighs a pound more than a lighter option, if it carries the weight better, then it is worth the extra weight.
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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:26 pm

My only electronic item is my I-pod for music.


I thought you carried a camera, not any more?
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:54 pm

Yes I carry a camera. I guess that is an electronic device! I consider my camera the same as my fishing gear - gear that is integral to my trip goals. But, there are times when I have been in an area a lot, and I already have plenty of photos, that I also delete the camera. More so when I had a 35mm heavy camera, less so now that my camera weights 8 oz. As much as I would love to get the quality of a heavier camera, I still use a lighter point-and-shoot, simply to keep down the weight.

The decision to take fishing gear is based on the probability that I can catch enough fish to delete the equivalent weight in food. If I do not catch fish, I just have to be hungry! That is a great motivator to be persistent in my fishing! Taking fishing gear is a no-brainer in Wyoming - ANYONE can catch fish. In the Sierra, it is a bit more hit and miss.

In response to Flamingo, regarding food, the problem with trail bars etc, is not that they are "dry food" but that they are nutritionally empty. Cheese is a very good backpack food- lots of calories per pound and high protein. Olive oil is even better. If craving fresh food, just learn a bit about foraging for wild plants and fish.
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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby Dave_Ayers » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:21 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:... If you are worried about weight, skip the toothpaste, and bring mint flavored floss ...


Well those of us with less than stellar dental genetics envy those of you with cast iron enamel that can go without toothpaste and/or toothbrush and not pay the price in the dentist's chair.
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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby SSSdave » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:16 pm


I'm at the bottom of the Bell Curve for Caucasian men at 5'6" 137#, but at the other end of the curve for carrying weight. Most of my sins have always been due to photography gear and in 2014 finally stopped lugging my 4x5 view camera system into the backcountry as I went with a mirrorless digital camera system. Sheet film in film holders was just brutal weight. Also bought a few lightweight big items all of which brought my carrying weights down from low 70# to low 60#. But that has crept up to mid 60#s on week long trips if due to electronic devices especially if adding in fishing gear. On lean 3-day trips my carrying weights have been below 60#.

Being a pack animal is indeed unpleasant however I have a slow way of moving up trails stopping a lot. I take many small items for repairs and medical that I doubt any others do, that makes my gear list look ridiculous. However they add little weight and rather it is mainly the big heavy items and food that make a significant difference. Just some of them for a good laugh, but hey am prepared to take care of things that arise:

book of matches
clip leads
quarter dime penny
cord locks 3
safety pins
swivel
needle
thread
tweezers/case
#24 electrical wire
#24 steel wire
elastic hair loops
tweezers/case
chamois pads
long rubber bands
microfibre lens cloth
focusing loupe/ case
foldlock knife
extra microfibre lens cloth
lens cleaning brush 1
compass
Gorrila pod
Pocket Rocket air
pencil
garbage bag
4" long nose pliers
DT8220 infrared thermom
cloth tape measure
Senheiser headphones
Sansa USB cable
Sandisk Sansa Clip+
Sony USB 2 AA charger
moto g smartphone
6000ma-hr USB lithium-ion battery
head thread adapter 2
white glove
LifeStraw water filter
protractor
aluminum foil
business cards 4
fish clean instructions
rope knot guide
meter vs feet chart
MSR instructions
EV chart
A6000 menu chart
Lens angle to focal chart
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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby bobby49 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:45 pm

First of all, you need to list the weight of each item. That means everything. A digital scale is pretty cheap. Use a digital bathroom scale to accommodate you+the loaded pack. Then get a small one to weigh things of one kilogram or so. Put all of this into a spreadsheet so that you can add and subtract items without manual addition. Also, divide the items into categories. Categories might be shelter, sleeping, cook gear, miscellaneous, and consumables.
You've got all sorts of fisherman gear in there, but there is no fishing pole, so something is wrong. Why would you carry 4" pliers?

I find it interesting that people can complain about how heavy their pack is, but they aren't willing to throw out the junk.
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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:42 pm

Never said skip the toothbrush, just the toothpaste. Sort of joking since this really is quite minor.

Related to pack weight is length of trips. I used to regularly do 14-16 day trips. As I age, I am inclined to do 7-9 day trips, to keep the pack weight down.

I too have a spreadsheet, as the previous post described. It is really handy, because I can "virtually" pack trying out my various options. I start out with my "wish list" and soon realize it just too heavy. Fine tuning brings it down. My spreadsheet also includes food, with nutritional information. I too get on the bathroom scale to weight the entire pack. In my younger years, it really did not matter much; now it sure does!

Does it really make a difference? Sometimes I wonder. There does seem to be a "breaking point" for me. As long as I stay under that, a few pounds one way or another is not even noticeable. Paying more attention to the weight distribution inside the pack can compensate for a few extra pounds. Fine tuning the pack fit makes a huge difference. Last trip, my hip belt started to separate from the pack, unbeknown to me. The pack was painful! That night I looked at it closely (why in the world do they make jet black packs?!?) and notices the stitching ripping out. Next morning I sewed it up and, what a difference! So it is more than just weight on a scale.
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Re: Pack Weight Creep

Postby Lumbergh21 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:14 pm

Dave_Ayers wrote:
Wandering Daisy wrote:... If you are worried about weight, skip the toothpaste, and bring mint flavored floss ...


Well those of us with less than stellar dental genetics envy those of you with cast iron enamel that can go without toothpaste and/or toothbrush and not pay the price in the dentist's chair.


Interesting that you should say that. You might bring up the subject of how much toothpaste to use with your dentist on your next visit. Mine wouldn't have any problem with me or any of his patients not using toothpaste at all. It makes your breath smell better and provides some enamel protection through fluoride, but it isn't important in terms of cleaning. Having a toothbrush and using it correctly take care of the actual teeth cleaning part. At least that's what my dentist told me. He was happy to hear that I use just a small dollop about the size of half a pea when brushing my teeth. When I'm backpacking, I just use a toothbrush and water to rinse.
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