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What does your pack weigh?

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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:45 pm

Can't argue with willie.. I just sing the songs I know.. you might want to cover your ears when i sing.



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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby Hobbes » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:48 pm

Cross Country wrote:I was always comfortable at 40 - 45 lbs.

I don't know how you guys do it. I always hated carrying anything over 25lbs, so I started investigating UL alternatives. What I quickly learned is that purchased UL equipment tends to be more expensive than standard backpacking gear. It was hard enough justifying no longer using a perfectly good Osprey pack, or time tested MSR gear, etc, but to then turn around and spend more $ on stuff I wasn't even sure would work/work as well was a deal breaker.

But there was an alternative, and that is to make your own gear. So, I cajoled my mom into letting me 'borrow' her mother's old Singer (circa '49), and I sat down to see if I could actually figure out how to sew some stuff. Well, let me tell you guys (and gals), if you can build something out of wood (garage, shed, etc), repair/restore a car, or similar, you can learn to sew.

Once you know how to sew, the (backpacking) world is your oyster - you can build **anything** you want to your own specifications for a mere fraction of what is sold in the marketplace. You can modify, alter, tear apart, etc until you're perfectly satisfied.

So, far, I've created my own custom backpack (I took all the measurements off my Osprey which always fit great). I made my own tarp, complete with bug netting, that I measured out exactly for my height (sitting up) and sleeping, as well as wide enough for stowing gear. And then I made my own quilt, again measured exactly for *me*. After that, I chopped & modified my down vest, created fleece leggings for my hiking shorts, etc.

The bottom line is my std 4 day pack for 10k & below, complete with food/water, is now 13 lbs. For 10-12k, it bumps up to 16-17, including a bear can. (This is my projected weight as well for my post Labor day NAP->Whitney loop.)

What's cool, is if there is anything, and I mean **anything** that I suspect of not being up to par, I'm free to figure out a solution. For instance, I tacked on a special external rod holder so I don't have to take a case. I've got another small external pocket sized just right to hold 6-8oz of fuel for my alcohol stove.

If there is any advice I can give, it's to see if you can sew. There is nothing else like being able to control exactly what materials you are using, what configuration works for you, etc. As an example, imagine this: your fishing gear is fixed - you can't adjust/modify anything. Would you accept this? Of course not. Well, then why do people treat their BP gear any differently?
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby Cross Country » Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:51 pm

I just gotta say I always envied people with really light packs when I was hiking and on my layover/fishing days was always glad I had brought everything but the kitchen sink.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby funcrew » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:53 pm

For a past one-week trips, I've been at roughly 20 pounds including food, kitchen, camera, and fishing gear. That's with no tent, water, or bear canister. My (discontinued) 3600ci Fanatic Fringe pack weighs 9 ounces. This year I'm going to shave a few more pounds by deleting my wetsuit booties, and shelling out for a better foam pad and lighter clothes. Will add a pound of pack weight for a Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus with better ergonomics than my frameless FF. I wear the lightest trail runners I can find, and let 'em get wet if there's a little bit of snow (mesh-sided trail runners dry fast). By skimping on the big ticket items, I can bring a large assortment of small, lightweight stuff without adding much weight.

I had quit hiking for 20 years because the pack weight made my back and feet so miserable. Lightening the load and wearing super light shoes completely transformed the hiking experience for me. Being able to easily pick up my start-of-trip pack with one hand and put it on without help is really nice.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:40 am

At this point in my life I have accumulated enough stuff to do either lightweight or heavier. I am not an UL person- my "light" is about 17 pounds on my back without food (add 1.3 lb food per day). My "heavy" is seldom more than 25 pounds on my back without food. So what is that extra 7 pounds? A book. A more powerful headlamp. Camp/wading shoes. A few extra stuff sacks to better organize things. A down jacket simply to be warm in the morning as well as it makes a wonderful pillow. My heavier pack with more comfortable suspension. The large cookpot vs. small solo cup. An extra fuel cannister so I can have unlimited hot drinks. A tent vs bivy sack. A thicker sleeping pad. Fishing gear. Extra pair of socks. Often my "heavy" pack is because I want to climb- need ice axe and crampons. I go back and forth from lighter to heavier. As for what is NOT on my back, "light" my shoes and clothing may weigh 3-4 pounds, for "heavier" 5-6 pounds. I have light trekking poles and heavier ones with flip locks that I can work a lot better. When I take the light ones, my husband tightens them and I do not change them on the trip, because I cannot ever get them tight enough. If I have a need to change lengths, I use my heavier Black Diamond poles. Also on longer trips (say 12 days vs 2 days) I have to pack for more potentially variable weather conditions.

All that said, when I go "heavy" I regret the pack weight at first, and half way through the trip when food weight goes down, I am OK. The bottom line is that on the trip I am fine without the extra luxury. The hard part is convincing myself to just leave all that stuff home when I pack. It is that transition from civilization to backcountry. Last year on the High Route, each resupply I actually took less, not more.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:16 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:At this point in my life I have accumulated enough stuff to do either lightweight or heavier. I am not an UL person- my "light" is about 17 pounds on my back without food (add 1.3 lb food per day). My "heavy" is seldom more than 25 pounds on my back without food. So what is that extra 7 pounds?


you're actually demonstrating what I'm saying.. My base pack weight includes food and water, because, well, it's on my back. I include the food in base weight just because I have to carry it, and I too, love it when I eat and that weight is gone. If I go in at 52lbs on a 7 day trip, The trip out is very comfortable, as the food is gone. So, I'm 6' 3" and 210. anything over 60 lbs is a bit painful. 42lbs is like a walk in the park.

It is what it is for where you go and what you do.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby richlong8 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:55 pm

I am a little like Wandering Daisy, I can go either heavy or light. My recent 6 trip was 34 pounds total, including 2 liters of water, and food. That may seem like alot, but I have lightened my load quite a bit from several years ago, and I am always trying to tweak things so I can go into the wilderness on my own terms, but as light as possible. I think if my objective was to be a through hiker, I would carry much less fishing gear and other things that add enjoyment to the trip for me, and get that weight down to bare minimum. My total weight includes an average of about 2 pounds of fishing gear, including a lumbar pack, 1 pound of camera stuff, and usually a paperback book. There is no way I am going to leave my 2 ounce MP3 at home, even if I have to carry a spare AAA battery. When I am getting real tired, and need to get up the next pass, or whereever before dark, there's nothing like a little Waylon, Hank, or Willie to help me get to where I want to go! Not very ultralight in philosophy, but it works for me.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:12 pm

Water and food is not normally a part of "base weight" because that would change your base weight for every trip of different length. Most people do include clothing worn. An equivelent 7-day trip at my "light" end is 4 lb clothes worn and poles +17 gear on back+1.3*6.3 food= 29.2 pounds total weight and "heavy" end about 5 pounds clothes worn and poles +25 gear+1.3*6.3 food =38.2 total weight. (the 6.3 takes into account that I do not pack breakfast first day or dinner last day). 52 pounds for a 7-day trip is WAY heavy for me! As for water, I only care 1 liter or less. And the water weight decreases as the day goes on. So add about a pound and half for water. PS- "light" is taking the Urasck, "heavy" is the Bearikade weekender.

It has taken me over 10 years to accumulate lighter weight gear. I have just found that going below 17-18 pounds ON MY BACK, makes me anxious. Everyone is different, but for me, it is the weight on my back that matters. I never bonk due to lack of energy - the weight on my back just hurts after a number of miles. Trekking poles are a MUST for my old knees. Most younger folks can do fine without poles. The weight of the clothing I wear makes little difference, given that I usually do 10-15 trail miles or 6-9 off-trail miles per day (usually 2-3000 feet gain). If I were to do PCT miles (30+!!) that extra weight of clothing may have some impact on energy to contiune at the end of the day.

rlown has the heft to carry heavier packs. I do envy you big guys! I am on the small side (115 pounds) and old (love that golden age pass!) so have to really watch it. Unfortunately, we small folks are stuck with one-size-fits-all stuff (think tent) that is bigger than we need. Bottom line- I will pare down as needed to keep backpacking as I get older. Back in my 20's I carried 65-70 pounds packs- those days are gone!

I find that my pack weight slowly creeps up and I have to do "closet cleaning" regularly to keep it down. The "cleaning" is mostly mental- need to convince myself that I will still be safe and comfortable with less. I know from experience that in a day of so I will not even miss those extra luxuries.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:25 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote: I do envy you big guys! I am on the small side (115 pounds) and old (love that golden age pass!) so have to really watch it. Unfortunately, we small folks are stuck with one-size-fits-all stuff (think tent) that is bigger than we need. Bottom line- I will pare down as needed to keep backpacking as I get older. Back in my 20's I carried 65-70 pounds packs- those days are gone!


Don't envy us.. Everything we have to buy is bigger and heavier. :\

And yes, the era for me carrying 65 lbs is soon coming to a close. Except if I really need to. I think my fishing gear alone weighs 3lbs for the tackle and then maybe another 2 lbs for the two rods/reels.. now, when we add the float tube.. sigh.. again, read that as a 7 day trip. Those are always "heavy". When the purpose is fishing, I always go in heavy.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:35 pm

Well, when I go climbing, that nice low base weight helps. Now I can add ice axe, crampons, rope, slings, harness, helmet-- you know how it goes! Nobody has invented a freeze-dried rope yet. When I climb it is a miserable slog to base camp and then climb for several days from base camp. When I go "backpacking" I like to explore, make lots of miles and see lots of country, move every day and be very comfortable while I am walking- I take minimal fishing gear sometimes- mostly not. As much as I like alpine technical climbing, those days are ending. I simply cannot carry all the gear needed. If I climb, it is now 2-3rd class "peak bagging". I do have the possibility of having grandkids being my sherpas in the future! Three year old just did his first camping trip- his mom said he really enjoyed it. He already does 5 mile hikes on his own two feet!
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby fishmonger » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:41 am

I never weighed a full pack, but in summer for a full Muir Trail with kids and cameras, it usually is about 55 pounds full with 8 days worth of food and fuel, about 40-45 pounds without the consumables, of which 6-7 pounds are camera gear. For winter multi-day trips it probably goes up to 65 pounds or more. I don't really get all anal about the final weight, since I first and foremost bring what I need to bring. However, on each item I do bring, I constantly look for alternates that save some weight and still do the job. That's how I ended up with four different stoves and three different down jackets and two sleeping bags and two backpacks and 4 different sets of boots, three ground pads, etc :thumbsup:

I suppose I have 15 more years before my body will complain about the weight. Until then, I plan to do as many big trips that require big loads as I can possibly fit into my vacation schedule. If I ever should try the PCT, that would probably be the first time I would actively go for the UL setup.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby richlong8 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:11 am

On my recent 6 day trip to the Kern River, I carried about 37 pounds, including water and food. A couple of pounds of fishing gear, about a pound for camera stuff, and one paperback book included. If I know I am going to be walking most of the time, no layover days, only fishing in the morning or late afternoon, I cut down my fishing gear, and usually regret it.
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