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What does your pack weigh?

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What does your pack weigh?

Postby rlown » Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:36 pm

Hi All,

For decades now, i can't seem to get my pack weight below 52lbs before adding water for a 7 day trip in the late fall. I've noticed that as i get older, my time on trail has also gotten 1/3rd longer for the same routes over the last 20 years, so, i figure if i could trim my pack weight, that would help.

I only carry what i think are the basics (I always come back with a little extra food, but i'm ok with that.) I generally don't add a tent to the mix depending on the weather forecast right before the trip. I opt out for a tarp-tent solution for that.

What are your average pack weights for a 7-day High Sierra trip?

Russ



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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby Hetchy » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:31 pm

I am so glad you asked. I have been trying hard to lower mine..I am not just spending cash, but truly soul searching for this upcomming thru-hike of the PCT.
This is not going to be business as usual for me as I usually only plan for 10 day stretches in the Sierra in Mid May and August... sadly it is all I can afford.
But this year I saved my beans, and I can at last fulfill an 18 year dream.. but pack weight killed that dream for me in 1991. So this topic has since weighed heavily(but not too heavily..pun intended) upon me since.
I have,for the last Eighteen years pined over my packweight endlessly.. yet I have to admit, it never occured to me to begin with the heaviest things first!
All at once this season after commiting to the PCT.. again.. I began the search for the "silver bullet" of lightweight backpacking.
And incredibly there it is.
For years I labored under a Dana designs pack that is 5 lbs empty.. then comes the Golite pinnacle pack= 1lb 10 oz.
I carried a stove that weighed 1 lb.. then along comes the Trangia alcohol stove at a few ounces. The 0 degree sleeping bag gives way to a 20 degree bag more suited to the summer temperatures of the PCT.
The bear canister was a Garcia Base camp at 4 lb 4 oz now is a bear vault at 3 lb 4 oz(I know.. Bearikade.. I am still pining on that!). and so on...
Before I knew it the base weight has been pared down from 30lbs before food and water to 19 lbs before fuel and water.
There is room for more improvement ( I am having a hard time sacrificing the bear can for some sections, and the 3 lbs of shelter ).
It is ironic that my Uncle and his friends used to call me the "crazy ultralight dude" years back when I carried 40lbs for 4 days. (absolutely nobody used a choiunard pyramid back then.. you should have heard the laughter.. until it began to rain.. HaHa)
At the end of it all I must say, what I have read, and what feel is close to the truth... Hike Your Own Hike.. let the detractors be damned.
If I leave Campo with a 35 lb pack it is still 30 lbs lighter than the one I carried in 1991.. and I reserve the right to carry whatever I wish for as far as I wish. :)
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby hikerduane » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:12 pm

The best I have done, was a couple years ago for a eight day trip, 30 lbs. The Ursack TKO was still legal and I carried two quarts of water. What really helped was the Golite Gust at 20 oz., TarpTent floorless Squall at 24 oz. and my WM bag at 1 1/2 lbs. and the GG polycryon ground cloth at around 3oz. My Thermarest, 3/4 LE weights 27 oz., so I am going for two pads this summer that the combined weight will be around 12 oz. or so. I have a new pack that weights 25 oz., so I am going back up some. Lots of trade offs, my Slinglight chair at 21 oz. and a new Bearicade at almost two lbs. but lighter by 13 oz. then the Garcia. Should be around 31-32 lbs this year. I need to do a spread sheet, but then I hate to get too technical.
Piece of cake.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby markskor » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:21 pm

My motto:
Buy the best gear,
Take what pleases you,
Hike safe.
Eat well,
It weighs what it weighs -
Nobody is asking you to carry it.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:44 pm

This depends on whom I'm hiking with. In the days when the longest and most challenging trips were with my wife, the pack would weigh in the low 60's, and this was after considerable effort to lighten things down from the high 60's. In hiking with other guys of near my size on the same type of trips, the pack weight probably dropped to the low 50's. In both cases I don't want to compromise with what I'm taking beyond that. Last year marked my first backpack with kids. I estimated the pack weight somewhere in the 80's. This will drop this year as the younger one becomes self-propelled.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby paul » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:01 pm

For 7 days in the summer, with bear can, mid to high 20's. For 8 days solo backcountry skiing last spring, about 36.
For the muir trail this summer, I'm looking at about 29lbs for the longest leg - with 9 days worth of food in a Bearikade. My food runs about 1.5 lbs per day usually.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby trav867 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:00 am

Glad you asked, my (non-backpacking) friends typically have no interest in hearing me ramble about pack weights. My base weight of pack, bag, and shelter is usually right about 8lbs. I usually carry about 24oz of food per day, plus some snacks for about 11lbs of food. 3lb bear canister, 1lb of kitchen gear/fuel. 1lb extra clothing, 1lb emergency gear, 1-2lbs of books/toiletries/fishing gear/misc.
Total= 26ish lbs before water!
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby copeg » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:50 am

Over the last five or so years my packweight has fluctuated pretty drastically. From an awful 50 or so pounds, down to less than 10 pounds a year or two ago. I think I've settled into a comfort zone of the upper teens into the twenties for summer solo trips (winter is a whole differenct story, and if the wife goes that means my packweight doubles :D ). Right now my camera gear comes in as the top weight culprit. Ccompared to 5 years back - like hetchy, I've ditched a lot of the gear that weighed a ton and replaced with lighter gear that serves the exact same purpose for me. I like Mark's motto, but with an added clause of also looking for lighter options that serves the same purpose (for example a tent made of 1.1oz nylon serves the same purpose as another but can weight pounds less, a sleeping bag made of 800+ down can weigh pounds less than 600down or synthetic, heck even clothes without all the zippers and pockets and such can save weight).
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby maverick » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:24 pm

Hi Russ

I also went through the evolutionary phase of carrying 2 garcia's for a 12 day trip.
My trip to the northeastern part of Yosemite was my eye opener, I said that I'll never
go heavy again!
Since then I have shed weight from my pack so now I'm at the ultralight weight section
of things.
It comes down to comfort and safety.
A lot of people need the feeling of security which four walls give them in the form of
a tent, yet a tarp-pancho gives you rain gear and shelter all for 10 oz., of coarse you
have to be experienced in setting up a tarp and choosing a proper site.
A pancho is not the best or comfortable rain gear to be doing cross-country hiking
especially bushwacking, but I've done it.
Western Mountaineering has there Ultralight Bag that is 29 oz / 20 F which has worked
great for me.
I have a sil-nylon backpack which weighs about a 1 lb maybe this of coarse is no good
with weight above 20 lbs nor would I consider taking it off-trail.
I still have my Mountainsmith Ghost at 38 oz / 3100 c.i. which rides great with the
weights that I use it for, and can handle abuse from cross-country and bushwacking very well.
I also have a Tarptent Rainbow for worse weather that I really like.
My pad is a foam pad cut down to the contours of my body and 3/4 length which weighs
6 oz. and I use my pack under my feet.
Stove is a MSR Pocket Rocket(3oz) and the canister size depends on the length of my
trip, but the 4 oz. is enough for 7 days easily since I only eat one hot meal.
Like TrailBlazer and others who enjoy photography the weight of my gear is going up
though I think I'm done for quite a while with any more gear purchases.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby rlown » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:41 pm

hikerduane wrote:I need to do a spread sheet, but then I hate to get too technical.


Given i'm kinda geeky, i think i'll have to do that spreadsheet. :retard:

I don't mind the heft for certain creature comforts like the pound of Pete's French Roast and the GSI lexan coffee press (the big one as those i go with love coffee), and the fact that i carry way, way too much fishing tackle. Probably the 3/8 Kastmasters holding me back.

Russ
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby gdurkee » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:35 pm

Whatever happens, don't abandon the Peet's Coffee or the French Press! A man's gotta have priorities... (also, an encouraging number of outbound hikers will cheerfully offload their fresh(er) coffee with the kindly ranger).

So my only thought here is to look at two things that people tend to carry that they can really save some pounds on. The empty pack weight. I think nowadays anything over 3 pounds is too much. Lots of good choices out there. Check out the Ice Sack by Wild Things Gear (wildthingsgear.com). I've had one for about 10 years of fairly heavy use. Other good ones out there as well.

Second is water. Almost everyone carries too much. A quart, at most, is all you really need. There's very few places on the JMT you go for more that 2 hours without crossing water. Also take a look at the UV light pens for water treatment vs. a filter. Easy to use and you don't feel like you have to do a bunch of water at once (and then carry it...) as with a pump.

I'd set a goal of keeping it under 40 for a week of travel (I'm a little leery of the super-light weight philosophy. I don't think there's enough margin of safety for a bad storm or other emergency).

Good luck,

g.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby Allyn » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:37 pm

rlown wrote:
hikerduane wrote:I need to do a spread sheet, but then I hate to get too technical.


Given i'm kinda geeky, i think i'll have to do that spreadsheet. :retard:


There are a lot of spreadsheets out there plus there is a nice little program here http://www.chrisibbeson.com/pages/GearWeightCalculator.html. This one allows you to pick and choose your equipment for each trip and you can categorize equipment as well. I used it for a trip on the JMT a couple of years ago. Became quite addictive to drop a few ounces here and there.
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