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What does your pack weigh?

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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby MountainMinstrel » Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:28 am

Buck Forester wrote: Now that I have high-def video cameras too, it's gotten worse although I haven't gone out much lately.

What video camera are you using. I am considering doing this myself.

Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.

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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby rayfound » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:45 am

rayfound wrote:the only reason I really backpack, is to fish. Yet, I find myself less and less inclined to actually use the trout as a food source.

I have no moral objection to keeping fish in these backcountry lakes, as fishing pressure is low enough to not amount to any significant take on most I've visited.

I do enjoy the taste of fresh trout (though I have grown somewhat tired of it).


I don't think it saves weight, and it makes a mess that needs to be cleaned... Taking away time I could be fishing!

Next year, I plan to switch over to a jetboil or similar stove and use pack-meals for all dinners, granola, snickers and trail mix for lunches, and oatmeal for breakfast. By not actually cooking, I can leave behind the oil, seasonings, utensils (except spoon), cooking set. If I really want trout I figure I could Jet-boil steam it somehow. When I've planned for fish meals, I've always counted on, at most, 2 dinners per 6 nights to be fish. I can almost always manage a few smaller fish in the streams if I'm starving.

I don't drink coffee, and despite my love for all things Rum, I can't justify packing any, so I pretty much will drink straight-up water for the entire trip, with the odd dose of powdered gatorade or kool-aid.

I also picked up a new lighter pack (christmas present), REI UL Cruise 60, and I'll try desperately to make a trip packing just one fly rod (we'll see how that goes...)

That being said, I am hoping this plan will finally get me under 40lbs. for about 6 days.

man, just thinking about it makes me want to get back out there!

Well, as a follow up here, I'm packing (hell, I'm Packed!) for a 3 night trip over Piute Pass on the 26th of June. With my new backpack, jetboil, and improved mentality on things, I'm looking at about a 25-26 pack weight including all food and everything. Add a couple pounds for water, maybe.

3 Night trip

Jetboil (W/ 100g fuel) 22.2
Sleeping Bag 66.2
Backpack 43
Thermarest 34.7
Blue Tent poles/pegs 37
Camp chair 11
Moleskin 1
Compass 0.7
Water bottles (Seychelle + Nalgene) 9.7
Spoon 1.4
TP 3.6
Soap 4.1
Drugs (Pain, Allergy, Antibiotics) 1.3
Mountain House Meals (3) 18
Snack Bars, oatmeal, Ramen, etc… 28
Clothes 22
Dish towel 4.5
Jacket 26
Vest W/Fly Boxes 46
Reel 5.3
Rod and Sock (Each) 5
Rod Tube 10
Camera 4
Car keys 2

Total Ounces 408.7
Total Pounds 25.54375

Food, clothes and accessories make up the rest. Including a 26 oz Rain/warmth jacket as I'm a bit nervous about the temps this early in the season at 11,400 feet.

Its becoming apparent to me that to get down much more is going to take some money. Thermarest and sleeping bag are the two most obese pieces of gear. Next on the list would be a lighter tent (I still do not understand how one could do the sierra without a tent to keep out the skeeters), and lighter clothes (I just use "Regular" clothes, as I don't have any of the fancy "outdoorsy" clothes made of lightweight synthetic materials). I don't know how much money I am willing to spend to get 3-4 more pounds out of my pack

But, at the end of the day, I think I am happy with 26 lbs (for now) for 3 nights (Add about a LB/day for food beyond this) in the backcountry, including fishing gear.

15 days and counting...
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby GearChukker » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:45 pm

I can't really even comprehend how those on here tote around 60+ pounds for a week. More power to you! I mostly tend to do trips of the 2-4 night variety, but did a week in CO last year and my pack weighed 37 pounds. What's funny is that my 2 night trips tend to weigh about 35 and no matter what I seem to do, can't ever get under that. I fish every trip, but only bring about 10-12 lures, a very light ultralight reel, pole, some extra line, and a very light net. My pack is a 4500 and weighs under 4 pounds. I always carry a tent (2 man SD Baku- 4lbs) and usually about 2 liters of water in my camelbak reservoir. I have one of those ultralight day packs that double as a sleeping bag stuff sack. I don't have a small scale to check what each of my items weigh, but Ive always wanted to check... I'll probably grab one and post after my next trip. Probably heading into Desolation the weekend after Labor Day.
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Re: What does your pack weigh?

Postby paul » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:26 pm

I found that having a scale so that I can weigh every item makes a big difference. you find that things don't weigh what you thought, especially all the little stuff - and that adds up. Also, being able to weigh each item allows you to put together a spreadsheet so you can add up and see the difference it would make if you changed various things or left them out. I'm very reluctant to tell anyone that they should take this thing and shouldn't taek that thing - but for anyone, it makes sense to get the lightest functional version of each thing you want to carry, and a scale helps you get to that.
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Ultra Lightweight Backpacking

Postby richlong8 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:21 am

EDIT: I've merged this thread with the one above. ERIC

Any interest in discussing the merits of Ultra lightweight backpacking vs. more traditional backpacking?

For the type of trips I take, I tend to try to save weight, but am not very successful, according to modern standards. My trips tend to be on trails, mixed with some cross country travel. For 10-12 day trips, my pack will weigh close to 48 pounds, with hydration bladder full. I like my "luxuries", and I like knowing I can probably survive illness, or injury, or weather. If I was trying to do the Pacific Crest Trail, which I may do some day, or maybe never, I will have probably have to change my ways somewhat.

Some of the things I do to try and save weight:

I did change packs a few years ago from a Marmot Terraplane to a GoLite Odyssey, and that saves me almost 3 pounds.
I do take a tent, but its a Big Agnes model that weighs less than 3 pounds with a rainfly. I prefer my old Sierra Designs Lightning for comfort. but its a pound and a half heavier.
I saved some weight changing to an Alps sleeping pad from a Thermorest.
I carry a minimum of clothes, except for extra socks. Ligtweight Down vest, and Goretex parka.
I do things like carry partial bottles of suntan lotion, insect repellent, to save weight.
Food- lightweight as possible, and just enough plus a little for the trip.

Things I refuse to leave home without:

I use a heavier boot than a lot of folks use these days. Not as heavy as the old boots, but not a lightweight boot either. With a heavier load, and cross country travel, and a left ankle that was once severely broken, and is now permanently weak, no one will convince me its best for me to hike in sandals, or tennis shoes. But I am looking for a new pair of boots that will give me support, that are lighter.
I carry a point and shoot camera, and a GPS, and spare batteries. The GPS is a new toy, and I may move it to the stay at home category, its really not neccessary. Compass and map is non negotiable.
Fishing equipment- non negotiable. I recently broke a reel for the first time, so I am going to be carrying a spare from now on.
Tent: I don't want to bother with a tarp, and I like my privacy, and prefer to stay dry in the rain.
Water filter: I carry my own even if I backpack with someone, because I like to be independent, and not dependent on someone else, if I get separated.
Stove and cooking equipment: see water filter- I do carry as little as possible, and as light as possible in the way of cooking gear, and fuel. I carry a light frypan for fish.
MP3 player and headphones- very light, but I carry an extra battery, and a luxury that I use for those times when I am running out of gas- it gets the adrenaline going!
I wish I could leave that three pound bear canister at home!
Hydration bladder: I didn't use to have one, but I drink more water now that I use one, and stay more hydrated, and stronger than I used to.

any input appreciated, differing points of view ok, I am not trying to convert anyone to my style.

Last edited by ERIC on Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: merged this thread with the one above
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Re: Ultra Lightweight Backpacking

Postby rayfound » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:59 am

I haven't been at this as long as some of you (about 7 years), but when I started I carried roughly 42-44 lbs. A manageable load, but pretty hefty. I know many guys carry more.

A few years ago, I had a change of heart. After a trip up Pine Creek Pass, I decided I was sick and tired of hating the first day of every trip. So I started making the effort to lighten up. I notice that we both carry very similar loadouts, though I am more willing to share gear with my hiking party.

Worn items (not counted in weight) -

1 pair socks
1 pair boxers
1 T-shirt
Convertible Pants

In the pack:

Pack: REI Cruise UL60-60L Internal frame lightweight pack

1 pair boxers
2 pairs socks
1 Long-sleeve t-shirt
Fleece pants (for bed or general insulation)
Pullover jacket (for rain)
Mesh stuff sack

Fishing Gear:
2 fly rods
2 fly reels
2 fly boxes, leaders, forceps, floatant, etc...

Jetboil PCS w/100g fuel
mountain house meals
Assorted Granola/cereal bars/oatmeal
Beef Jerky
Trail Mix
Long handled plastic spoon.
Nylon sack and 50' rope. or Bear Canister - depending on destination

Thermarest (Old heavy one, over 2 lbs!)
30 degree down bag
Tent Body for Sierra Designs Sirius 2 (3 person tent) - Poles, lines, fly carried by whoever is sharing the tent.
Led flashlight

hygene/emergency/utility gear:
Toothbrush and toothpaste
32oz nalgene
28oz Seychelle filter bottle
camp soap
firesteel with fire-starter (esbit style tablet)
extra ziplocks
2 trashbags
Medications (Vicodin, Darvocet, advil, Benadryl, claratin D, Zantac 75, Rolaids, Keflex (Antibiotic), Bandaids, duct Tape)
Swiss army knife
Camp towel
spare batteries for lights

Also SLR for most recent trip.

Total weight for a 2-night/3day FISHING trip is around 26-27 lbs, when using the bearcan. Add 1 lb/day for additional food (I generally eat less than this)... so figure like 34 for a 10-night/11-day trip.

That being said, if I were going 10-12 days like you mention, I would be more inclined to make some of the changes to my pack that I haven't done yet...# 1 would be a lighter Pad. I'd likely look at one of the insulated, non-self inflating pads, something like the big agnes.

Also, I'm planning on ditching my Seychelle for backpacking, in favor of a Steripen. I want to add a Camelbak bladder though, so this will be a wash.

I think that for the length of trip you mention, you're doing fairly well. Certainly, the UL thing is something that you can go off the deep end on... lightening the pack becomes more of an obsession than planning the routes for some (not me).

I think that lightening the load serves to make the trips generally more enjoyable. Spend less time grunting, huffing, and puffing, more time oohing and ahhing at the scenery, fishing, and exploring. Cover your miles quicker and then get to explore!
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Re: Ultra Lightweight Backpacking

Postby richlong8 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:30 am

Thanks, that's a good breakout. You still are coming in lighter than me, even though much of what we carry is similar. My trip over Pine Creek Pass recently is probably whats making me think about weight also! Your post is giving me some ideas.
For a water filter, I use a Katadyn Hiker, which I have alot of miles on. Perhaps a different filter would be lighter..but still reliable. Anyone out there using the Steripen have an opinion, it looks like its a lot lighter.
I see you use a Jetboil. I am using an MSR Superfly, which uses canisters, which I am not really crazy about. Stoves might be another potential area of change, if I can save some weight. Anyone got any thoughts on that?
For sleeping bag, I use an REI down bag, I think its rated for 15 degrees, which is about perfect for me, since I tend to sleep cold, so I don't think there's any room there.
Thanks for the feedback. I am headed out next weekend for 5 days to Red Mt. Basin. I think I will get the scale out, and experiment with getting the weight down a bit.

I just bought a Thermorest Camp Chair that converts your Thermorest pad to chair and only weights 6 ounces. I have used it once, and its the bomb! If there is no Sierra seat around, it gives you an instant free standing chair with back support- truly outstanding for those of us who can get that lower back pain.

no wonder its hard to save weight, Its going to be hard to leave that at home.

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Re: Ultra Lightweight Backpacking

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:49 am

There was this thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3743 early last year as well.

ERIC wrote:The threads have been merged
Last edited by ERIC on Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: the threads have been merged
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Re: Ultra Lightweight Backpacking

Postby richlong8 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:14 pm

Thanks Russ, that is a nice previous thread, I think I will take some time to digest it. Sounds like I am not the only one who looks at these things. If I only I would leave my North Face down camp slippers, I could save a pound!
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Re: Ultra Lightweight Backpacking

Postby cahiker » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:51 pm

It made a big difference for me to weigh each item and enter it all in a spreadsheet. I have it set up so I can put an "x" in the column next to each item to indicate whether it should be included in the total weight calculation. I also keep track of what I don't use on each trip. This "what if" analysis helps me choose what to bring based on weather, destination, who I'm going with, etc.

Yeah this is too detailed for some people, but just adding up everything with paper and pencil will give you a lot of insight.

Of course you're not going to leave your backup firestarter at home next time because you never use it, but you might decide you don't really need all those stuff sacks and eating utensils or can get by with lighter weight camp shoes. My pack definitely isn't UL, but it's generally lighter than my hiking partners' (a good thing because I'm usually the weak link!) I didn't go out and buy a bunch of new light weight gear, but mostly cut out a bunch of little things that I haven't missed.
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