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jemster
08-07-2016, 21:29
I am planning for a NOBO thru hike in 2017. This will be the biggest adventure ever for me. Trying so hard to keep my total pack weight down but every choice of gear seems to boil down to weight vs. comfort. Because I am older and achy in a couple areas, a little comfort is needed. So far my backpack, tent and sleeping gear weighs 12.5 pounds and most people say to keep it at 10 lbs. I spent ALOT of time picking these items based on comfort and function (Gregory Diva 60L pack, TarpTent Moment DW, Nemo 15 down Mens Salsa Bag, Klymit Static V pad).
Am I already starting on a bad foot and doomed to overload my pack weight, or am I going to be Ok?
Is it always the case that the more comfort you need the more weight there is or is there gear that fits in the middle somewhere?
Please give advise and any tips you my have.
Jemster is just my user name on here. Hope to land a trail name one day. Ol' retired Navy gal wanting one more adventure. :cool:

colorado_rob
08-07-2016, 21:42
Not sure who says to keep it at 10, 12.5 is awesome, assuming you have what you need to be safe and comfy.

colorado_rob
08-07-2016, 21:43
Not sure who says to keep it at 10, 12.5 is awesome, assuming you have what you need to be safe and comfy.

Woops, never mind... You were just talking big 3...

mksapp
08-07-2016, 21:46
Hey jemster,
I am also thru hiking in 2017. I spent countless hours researching gear and talking with other hikers. Everyone has a different opinion. Currently my pack with everything I'm taking except food and water weighs 18 pounds. Some will say that it's too heavy and some will say they feel comfortable carrying more. I'm even carrying a 2.5 pound dslr clipped to shoulder strap and I know I will get hell for that decision, but this is the set up I have researched and tested. It is what makes me comfortable on the trail. That is the same way you have to look at it. Listen to the advice given, research gear, and then go test it yourself. This is your hike. Do what makes you comfortable.

MuddyWaters
08-07-2016, 21:52
The only thing wt affects really, is how many miles per day you can do. And that not problem because need to start slow at first.

If you do start a bit heavy, you have several chances early to replace heavy items with lighter ones in towns with good outfitters.

Mountain crossings- mile 30
NOC - mile 137
Gatlinburg - mile 200
Hot springs - mile 275
Etc

So dont sweat it.
You can figure it out as you go....most do this...and finish much lighter than they started.
The downside....is they spent money twice on many items.

Light wt is really WAY over-represented here. Most people show up with 40+ lb packs their first day. Hard to know what YOU want, with no experience.

Will you be more comfortable with less wt..of course. But, a good pack will make 40 lb feel lighter than 35 in a UL that doesnt handle it well.

jemster
08-07-2016, 22:00
Thanks for that. I keep forgetting that there will be opportunities for adjustments along the way. Doing a shake down for 5 days at Amacalola Falls this October. That will be a real eye opener (and hope to see some fall colors, too). Just want to do my best planning so the learning curve isn't too steep.

Turtle-2013
08-07-2016, 22:01
Good Evening ... I didn't even look up the other items but when I saw Gregory I suspected it was the reason you couldn't get your weight lower. Please understand, I have no objection to a 5+# pack ... if YOU are carrying it. And it is very important that you have a pack that is comfortable for you. But if you really want to get your weight lower, you will need a lighter, and possibly smaller pack. However, if you are comfortable with the weight ... and really like the pack ... go for it. FYI, I use a 50L, sub 2# pack and generally carry 5 days food at a time, I don't remember the last time it was maxed out (space or weight)...

colorado_rob
08-07-2016, 22:03
The only thing wt affects really, is how many miles per day you can do.Disagree, almost completely.

Weight affect how comfortable you will be doing those miles. If will probably make a big difference on your chances of making significant progress on the AT.

Please take the Heavyweights saying extra weight is just fine with a big grain of salt. Strive to be relatively lightweight, but well equipped. Maybe you're not too far away if your total is under 20 (before food and water).

jemster
08-07-2016, 22:10
I tried on alot of packs, and have used smaller packs hiking day hikes that always end up rubbing me somewhere. The Gregory fit so well and seems to carry the weight well. I looked at lightweight packs but they were so uncomfortable once weighted down. I was hoping to make up the difference in weight with the rest of my gear, but it is so hard. Maybe I can do some adjustments to the pack to lighten it. It just fits so well.
Do you think a 60L is too much for a thru hiker? They make them even bigger - what on earth would you use those for?

Hosh
08-07-2016, 22:14
I have similar goals, ultra lite comfort, an oxymoron for sure.

I have found that weight reduction is a swirling funnel. I re-started with an Aether 70l pack, very comfortable but heavy. After making investments in sleeping systems, tents, cooking systems, and eliminating stuff I don't ever need like backpacking saws, bowie knives, snake bit kits, 3 level redundant fire starting kits, etc., I am able to fit it all in a 45l pack with a 11.5# base weight for 3 season high altitude trips.

Your mind set after every trip should be "why did I carry this, is it useful, when would I really need it"

With a rain fly/tarp, sleep system, and insulated clothing, you can survive most any weather for several days.

Turtle-2013
08-07-2016, 22:14
Do you think a 60L is too much for a thru hiker? They make them even bigger - what on earth would you use those for?

As I said ... stick with it then... what work for me is just that!!! You have to find solutions that work for you and you alone. As to bigger packs ... they are expedition packs. For instance the normal expedition up Denali is up to 21 days, and most of the time they carry, backtrack, and carry again... But large packs and heavy packs are the norm. But THEY are NOT long distance hikers.

Just keep your weight as low as you are comfortable with and have fun!!!!!!

jemster
08-07-2016, 22:20
Trying super hard to get it to 25 lbs before food/water. So, if you are saying total under 20 then what goal for total pack weight?
Based on my height and all, they say max weight of 45 lbs. Now, I sure as heck don't want to be hauling around that much weight everyday.
Common sense tells me that walking light is the way to go. But getting there is sure challenging !!!
Wish I could invent some sort of trailer to pull like the dude who walked the Mohavi Desert. Or, maybe bring a pet llama to carry my gear.

MuddyWaters
08-07-2016, 22:27
Do you think a 60L is too much for a thru hiker? They make them even bigger - what on earth would you use those for?

The average is probably 60 initially.
Some go to smaller lighter packs, some dont.
No one says you have to fill it up.


Wish I could invent some sort of trailer to pull like the dude who walked the Mohavi Desert. Or, maybe bring a pet llama to carry my gear.

Neither are legal:)

Hosh
08-07-2016, 22:28
Depending on your metabolism, food selection, and starting body weight, you'll need 1.25 to 2.0 lbs of food per day between resupply points. You'll carry 1 to 4 liters of water @ 2+lbs each depending on water sources and your daily mileage.

It adds up fast.

If you haven't, set up an excel file, weight everything on a postal scale, add it up and go from there.

jemster
08-07-2016, 22:29
I have been reading everything I can get my hands on when it comes to people's post-hike thoughts. Discussing exactly that - what they started with and what they used / didn't use. Then I cram all that into my lil' brain and think about basics only, simplifying, and dual use items. Yes, ultra lite comfort is an oxymoron but with a bit of smarts and trial/error the weight can be cut down some.

Turtle-2013
08-07-2016, 22:30
Total pack weight in part is a function of how often you resupply food, and how much water you need to carry. Sometimes THAT is a function of how fast, or far you are hiking each day. If you can resupply every few days, it will help you keep your total pack weight down. I am very comfortable with 12.5# base weight ... normally people should plan on 2#/day min for food ... and 2L water works for most people. That said I just did 5 days in the 100 mile wilderness with 18#, plus 1L of water max for most days, and I expect to be about the same for 80 miles (5 days) in PA-NJ next week. Except that I will be carrying more water. BUT, I have been backpacking since the early 70's and have learned what it takes for ME to be comfortable and happy on the trail. And what helps ME the most ... is less weight ; ) ... BUT, I'm not extreme, I even carry a pillow :D

jemster
08-07-2016, 22:31
Yes - no one says you have to fill it up. That Gregory pack sure is comfy empty !!!

swisscross
08-07-2016, 22:33
Thank you for your service.

jemster
08-07-2016, 22:34
I have been planning on 15 for food / water. Just like you said.
Yes, I have a spread sheet for gear. Great advise. Great minds think alike. :)

Hosh
08-07-2016, 22:36
I have been reading everything I can get my hands on when it comes to people's post-hike thoughts. Discussing exactly that - what they started with and what they used / didn't use. Then I cram all that into my lil' brain and think about basics only, simplifying, and dual use items. Yes, ultra lite comfort is an oxymoron but with a bit of smarts and trial/error the weight can be cut down some.

It is a journey, lots of experienced, knowledgeable people who share their experiences:

http://www.hikelight.com/articles.html

http://andrewskurka.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX-erGPyejU Mike Clelland is informative

jemster
08-07-2016, 22:37
My pleasure. Twenty years, US Navy enlisted.

MuddyWaters
08-07-2016, 22:39
Your probably looking at 40 total, 25 w/o food and water. Base wts tend to be ~2x the big 4. People apply their personal "logic" about gear choices across the board.

Your average for people starting. Which means mountain crossings will shake you down and get rid of 10 lbs for you for $500 or more

Or you can do it first. Which is highly reccomended.

Most of your savings will be stuff you dont bring. With a major piece or two replaced with lighter.

Puddlefish
08-07-2016, 22:55
Had an Osprey Exos 48, without the brain. 24 oz.
Tarptent Notch. 29 oz.
A 40 degree quilt. 15 oz.
Klymit pad. 17.4 oz. (highly recommended.)

Total 4.33 pounds. My entire base weight of all my gear without food, water or fuel was 15.5 pounds when I left the trail. It was a good four pounds heavier when I started the trail, with cold weather gear/sleeping bag and such. Can mail such items home when it warms up, and you get past the high altitude southern mountains.

I don't get the whole pack comfort thing, heavy is never comfortable for me. I found the Exos very comfortable when under 32 pounds, less so when it was over. Back ventilation is comfortable, a properly adjusted pack is comfortable, a slender pack that doesn't throw you off balance is comfortable.

AfterParty
08-07-2016, 23:05
I had people say I won't make it, because I have a mystery ranch pack. It also weighs in just under 5# I however love it, I also plan to carry it for a really long time. 70 Lt compressed vs 50 with as much on the pack as inside the pack. My ocd voted 70l.comfort and fully trusting the pack to last decades are important. https://lighterpack.com/r/b69y5w


Do a search after uploading your info to this site and you will see what's heavy and weather its worth sacrificing..i don't feel any weight at 27#, I think 30 is my goal just adding more food.

MuddyWaters
08-07-2016, 23:06
Had an Osprey Exos 48, without the brain. 24 oz.
Tarptent Notch. 29 oz.
A 40 degree quilt. 15 oz.
Klymit pad. 17.4 oz. (highly recommended.)

Total 4.33 pounds. .

Math says 5.3 lbs

MuddyWaters
08-07-2016, 23:10
I had people say I won't make it, because I have a mystery ranch pack. It also weighs in just under 5# I however love it, I also plan to carry it for a really long time. 70 Lt compressed vs 50 with as much on the pack as inside the pack. My ocd voted 70l.comfort and fully trusting the

If I said someone wont make it, w/o any info, Id still be right 80% of time or so.

Puddlefish
08-07-2016, 23:13
Math says 5.3 lbs

I was a math major, adding is hard. But I can find the area of a donut!

MuddyWaters
08-07-2016, 23:14
I was a math major, adding is hard. But I can find the area of a donut!
Im an engineer. I cant add without a calculator anymore.
But I can spot what doesnt look right.

Hosh
08-07-2016, 23:16
Math says 5.3 lbs

Base weights are like golf scores, fish length, gpa level, home square footage, .....

Puddlefish
08-07-2016, 23:19
Im an engineer. I cant add without a calculator anymore.
But I can spot what doesnt look right.

I think I just hit the 4 instead of the 5. Typing is hard too.

MuddyWaters
08-07-2016, 23:21
I think I just hit the 4 instead of the 5. Typing is hard too.
Yeah, i typed it in calculator app twice and got two different answers.
I think Im supposed to average them in that situation..

-Rush-
08-07-2016, 23:30
Here's a few tips...

1. Everyone is different. Age and genetics play a large role in what weight a person can comfortably carry. Light weight gear works great for everyone.
2. The more weight you carry, the more resistance you're adding to every step you take. For a thru-hike, where you're pushing 10-25 miles per day, weight plays a significant role in avoiding injury and discomfort.
3. I did a 10 mile day not long ago, and around mile 9 I added 5 pounds to my pack. My feet were hurting already, but this added weight increased the throbbing quite a bit. So, while you might not feel the extra 5 pounds at the start, it's still wearing you down with every step.
4. The only true preparation is to take a few multi-day hikes on rough sections of the AT with a full pack. This allows you to experience the reality of the trail vs the blog posts and highlight reels on Youtube.
5. Pre-hikes can give you insight into what works for you and will eliminate doubts and fears that will cause you to pack too much gear.
6. Lightweight gear is expensive, but if you're attempting a thru-hike, you owe it to yourself to spend the $$$ on it.
7. Choosing the right gear can be daunting, and preferences (ex: hammock vs tent, single-wall vs double-wall tents, etc.) are purely personal choices, but if you check out lots of POST thru-hike videos you can eliminate a ton of options.
8. The trail is HARD in the first 300 miles (and beyond) which is why most people are gone by then.
9. Even if you attempted a thru-hike with a 5lb day pack, you may lack the mental fortitude finish. Do not underestimate this. Every person responds to the trail and its trials differently.
10. I see no reason to carry more than 18lb base weight on the AT starting in March. This can easily be achieved with the right gear.

Here's an example gear list that's about 16lb base weight. There are several options (sleeping bag) that could be changed to lower the weight further.

https://lighterpack.com/r/4thoyl


I could probably go on, but I need to finish this glass of wine and I don't like typing with one hand.

Odd Man Out
08-07-2016, 23:31
I have a Static V pad for summer use. I used it last fall on a night the temps dropped more than expected and found it to be marginal. Is yours the insulated static v? I would think that would be recommended for a three season trip.

I combine that with a down quilt, TT Notch, and elemental horizons Kalais pack. You said lightweight packs were not comfortable. Were these frameless? Packs like the Kalais and Circuit have a stay (minimal frame) and are not usually available to try on in the brick and mortar stores. I find mine to be very comfy.

Feral Bill
08-08-2016, 00:20
If your pack hurts all day (long ago they all did, more or less), and you do not get a decent nights sleep, you will not be happy. A couple extra pounds are worth it to avoid that.

Franco
08-08-2016, 01:54
"If your pack hurts all day (long ago they all did, more or less), and you do not get a decent nights sleep, you will not be happy. A couple extra pounds are worth it to avoid that."
My thoughts too.
You can have a 2 lbs pack that with the same load will feel heavier (because it does not fit you right or is simply badly designed) than one that is 3 lbs .
One of the reasons why we don't carry stuff around in shopping bags ...

Engine
08-08-2016, 05:55
Math says 5.3 lbs

Common Core :-?

jjozgrunt
08-08-2016, 07:27
The big 4 are where the weight is as well as all those pesky little things we take for comfort. I'm adding some extra warmth for a 12 Mar start, but I am coming from 90+ degree days to whatever it is in Georgia then, so I will need them. My weight minus food and water is 19.19lb and with my normal 4 days food and 2 lts of water I hit just 29lbs. When I am full into summer gear that will drop to just over 21lb. I've dropped over 20lbs since I started updating all my old gear and it sure makes the walking easier.

Example - I've been converted to quilts either on a pad or hammock, I plan to hang on the AT. No hood so I bought a puffer jacket without a hood then bought 1 hood for both. Little thing but grams become kilo's.
Found some great lighter weight gear in the USA cottage industry, you can look on some of these. http://sectionhiker.com/backpacking-gear-directory-2/

In the end you need to get as light as possible but still be comfortable with what you are carrying.

MtDoraDave
08-08-2016, 07:27
I am planning for a NOBO thru hike in 2017. This will be the biggest adventure ever for me. Trying so hard to keep my total pack weight down but every choice of gear seems to boil down to weight vs. comfort. Because I am older and achy in a couple areas, a little comfort is needed. So far my backpack, tent and sleeping gear weighs 12.5 pounds and most people say to keep it at 10 lbs. I spent ALOT of time picking these items based on comfort and function (Gregory Diva 60L pack, TarpTent Moment DW, Nemo 15 down Mens Salsa Bag, Klymit Static V pad).
Am I already starting on a bad foot and doomed to overload my pack weight, or am I going to be Ok?
Is it always the case that the more comfort you need the more weight there is or is there gear that fits in the middle somewhere?
Please give advise and any tips you my have.
Jemster is just my user name on here. Hope to land a trail name one day. Ol' retired Navy gal wanting one more adventure. :cool:

Yes. That (the part I bolded) is the way I understand it, in a nutshell. Insert the third dimension of that equation, which is money, and that is how to be comfortable AND light.

I had a bad experience on a cold night a couple years ago, and decided to never be cold again - I bought a 0 degree down bag. It weighs 4 lbs and takes up a large percentage of my pack. It is 650 fill - if I had allowed myself to spend $600 or so rather than $300, I could have bought a higher fill bag which would be lighter and smaller. A 0 degree bag can be as light as 2 lbs, I believe, if money is less of a restriction.

Tents - same thing. The cuben fiber tents are about one pound, but cost $600.

So, tent and sleeping bag (two of the big three) can run you a thousand bucks (or more). If you can afford it, why not do it?

Sleeping pad. I could not get comfortable on a closed cell foam pad. Yes they are light and inexpensive, but too firm for me. I opted for a Prolite Plus. I chose weight over light weight to be comfortable.

My winter pack weight is 43 lbs - with a week's worth of food and 2 liters of water. I could still winnow a few pounds of unnecessary weight out of it - but it will still be "heavy" to most around here because I need more clothes to stay warm, I need my 0 degree bag, etc.
Oh, and I almost never carry 2 liters of water.

Sarcasm the elf
08-08-2016, 08:27
Base weights are like golf scores, fish length, gpa level, home square footage, .....

In that they're all numbers that I don't concern myself with? :D


Common Core

We're all far too old to use that excuse...

Sarcasm the elf
08-08-2016, 08:57
I tried on alot of packs, and have used smaller packs hiking day hikes that always end up rubbing me somewhere. The Gregory fit so well and seems to carry the weight well. I looked at lightweight packs but they were so uncomfortable once weighted down. I was hoping to make up the difference in weight with the rest of my gear, but it is so hard. Maybe I can do some adjustments to the pack to lighten it. It just fits so well.
Do you think a 60L is too much for a thru hiker? They make them even bigger - what on earth would you use those for?

As a quick response to your post above, keep in mind that long distance lightweight backpacking/thru hiking is a very specialized type of hiking. When you go out looking for the gear you will need for your trip understand that only a small percentage of what's on the shelf is made with long distance backpacking as the intended purpose. The reason that so many packs are larger than 60L is because people who are buying them are not planning to hike hundreds of miles with minimum weight on their backs. I read somewhere a few years back that the backpacking industry understands their average customer to be a person that backpacks a few weekends a year, packs for comfort and hikes distances that are much shorter than the sort you usually see discussed on this site.

Now that said, about your pack ;)... If you are really concerned about weight then I honestly see this as the first piece of gear that you will end up replacing. It really is a great pack, but it is designed to be a load hauler and weighs about 5.9lbs by itself. I own the men's version the Baltoro which I use for winter trips, I love the pack, and it can handle 50lb loads like a champ, but it is overkill for a lightweight thru hike.

I'm going to guess (and I could be wrong) that you went to an REI or similar large retailer which is where you tried on different packs and then settled on the Diva. If this is the case then odds are there are a lot of brands of packs specifically made for lightweight hiking that you may have missed that could potentially suit you better. Most of these brands are discussed at length in the gear section of this site. Personally my 3 season pack is now a ULA Circuit that weighs a bit less than 2lbs.

If nothing else, spend the first few days hiking with your pack, if you are happy with it great, if you're not then when you get to the outfitter at Neels Gap (the trail literally goes through their building) you should stop in and see if they can suggest something else, they carry lightweight packs made by several companies that you will almost never see at a large outfitter.

Engine
08-08-2016, 10:02
Yes. That (the part I bolded)...I bought a 0 degree down bag. It weighs 4 lbs and takes up a large percentage of my pack. It is 650 fill - if I had allowed myself to spend $600 or so rather than $300, I could have bought a higher fill bag which would be lighter and smaller. A 0 degree bag can be as light as 2 lbs, I believe, if money is less of a restriction...

+1

The Enlightened Equipment Revelation 0* in size regular/regular with 950 fill comes in at 22.4 ounces and $370.00. For 850 fill the same bag is 1.9 ounces heavier and costs $280.00. You can get amazingly light gear, but there comes a point of diminishing returns financially. I've said this before, the cost of saving weight is lot linear, it's exponential. Buy the best made and lightest gear you can reasonably afford. But those last few ounces of savings could finance the first month of your trip...

nsherry61
08-08-2016, 15:14
A couple of thoughts that might be useful . . .

1) Packing comfort that is important (maybe your sleeping pad, and backpack) is important to consider. Also, as noted many times above, less weight is an important aspect of comfort.
2) Packing for the joy of comfort in camp will likely make the other 90% of your time on the trail much less comfortable.
3) Don't confuse comfort and fear. Packing our fears of being uncomfortable adds a great deal more weight than packing for comfort that truly improves our trail experience. A 30 or 40 degree bag that, in combination with your cloths can keep you comfortable 99% of the time and safe 100% of the time might be smarter than fearing being cold and thus carrying an extra pound of sleeping bag that is too hot most of the time only to save you from one cool night out of 100.

Good luck and have fun!

MtDoraDave
08-08-2016, 15:43
I wish I had been a member here before buying the Marmot... I still may get that Enlightened Equipment quilt, but I'm going to need another closet to store my surplus of equipment in!

Malto
08-08-2016, 17:50
I'm don't agree that you need to be heavy to be comfortable. When there are 12 oz air mats, 1 lb fully enclosed shelters and down quilts at less than 20oz you can be plenty warm and dry without carrying 40 lbs. using gear like this you don't need a substantial pack. Add good technique and experience and water and food weight will also go down. Finally, while weight may appear to add to comfort that only holds true if someone else is carrying your pack. Since most do not have this luxury then which hiker will be more comfortable at the end of the day, one carrying 20 lbs or one carrying 40lbs? Even with the most basic UL pack it will be less wear and tear with 20lbs.

I do agree that money solves the comfort/weight dilemna. A good down quilt or bag and lightweight shelters often cost more. But that is not true with packs. I believe IF you had the experience to know what your hiking style is and how to manage food and water then you could outfit a reasonable lightweight base weight for little or nothing more than a much heavier weight setup.

jemster
08-08-2016, 19:18
I tried on a couple ultra light packs and also tried a friend's who swore by her pack. Once loaded with weight it was ackward. When a put on the Gregory with 10 extra pounds loaded in, it felt better for some strange reason. It fits like a glove. So, I have been going on training hikes and it stays the same, the fit and comfort that is. So, I am trying really hard to cut weight everywhere else to compensate on the extra pack weight. I am always open, though, to changing my mind if necessary.

jemster
08-08-2016, 19:33
Yes. I went to REI to get fitted for a pack. Then I spent months reading about all the different packs. Here in Florida and over the years, I have always used a smaller pack and didn't fuss over weight, just fit and function. I borrowed a friend's ultra light pack for a hike that her mother made from a kit. With 25 lbs in it I thought I was going to die. I then tried on the couple of light weight packs that REI sells and walked around the store with 35 lbs. Horrible !! Lastly, I tried on all the heavier packs with 45 lbs. and the Gregory just fit so well. I have been planning for many months but just started posting on this site since I started purchasing gear and getting close to my October shake down hike. I am totally open to the reality that I will probably end up changing out gear. Live and learn they say. Thanks for your input !!!

jemster
08-08-2016, 19:41
One more thing about REI...when you live in Florida there are no outfitter stores to check out. REI is all we have. And the staff there, well they will sell you whatever you want and can convince you that you made a great choice. Cannot down them too much, but they can easily confuse you. They know what thru hiking means, but give you strange looks when you talk ultra light and weight to them sometimes.

Another Kevin
08-08-2016, 19:42
Don't believe everything you hear on WhiteBlaze about what your pack weight has to be. Here's a clueless approach that's worked for me so far. I'm a cheapskate, so I don't have the latest in lightweight stuff, but I've tried to keep an eye on not going too horribly heavy. I'm also a rather large guy, so the lightest everything is likely not to fit me.

I'm also mostly a weekender, so I'm tooled up for shorter distances and shorter stays, but I've done section hikes of up to about 140 miles. In any case, going lighter without losing function is always more fun, so I'm not sure I agree with Elf's assessment that the outfitters are catering to short-distance hikers. I'd sooner believe that there's an outfitter customer born every minute.

My current lightweight Big 4 for warm weather, with only the slightest sacrifice in comfort for weight:

Pack: Granite Gear Crown VC60, size Long = 2 lb 2 oz
My latest gear purchase
Bag: Older model REI Radiant 20, size Long = 2 lb 11 oz
A summer-weight bag is on my wish list, the next time I decide to splurge on a piece of gear. Unless I switch to hammock hanging first.
Sleeping pad: Therm-a-Rest Z-lite SOL, size Regular = 14 oz
A popular choice
Tent: TarpTent Notch, half-solid interior = 1 lb 13 oz
Another popular choice. I got the half solid because I use it right into winter.

Total = 7 lb 8 oz.

The pack is bigger than I need in warm weather, but it's a very tight squeeze for winter weekends. (I'm talking about winter Up North, not winter in Georgia.) In winter, I bring BOTH pads, and a (3 lb 1 oz) zero-degree bag. In deep winter, I don't usually go. Wearing fleecies inside the bag, I'm comfortable down to about -10F. In winter, my pack is ridiculously heavy anyway. My traction gear outweighs my summer Big Four, but I can't do without it!

For the short distances that I do, I'm likely to go a little bit farther in the direction of comfort, leave the Z-lite SOL at home, and bring my inflatable pad (1 lb 4 oz?) along instead. I'll also throw in a Tyvek sheet (couple of ounces) that can be used as a tent footprint, door mat, bath mat (or other clean place to sit), or groundsheet so that I'm not laying out my sleeping pads in the mouse dung on a shelter floor, on the rare occasions that I stay in a shelter.

I haven't weighted my complete load-out, because I don't stress over the number. I bring a few luxuries and a few toys. Maybe a 16-18 baseweight or 28-30 for a five night food carry. It's not Malto's sub-20-lb pack but it's not his 40-lb bad example, either. I don't plan big miles because I never get my trail legs, but on the only two-week section that I did in the last few years, I found that I did back-to-back 15-mile days by the end of it. I could easily imagine pulling 20's on an easy section of trail after a month or so.

My stuff is a lot like what I see on the trail, including what I see when the thru hiker bubble hits Harriman. 1azarus and Malto are on the lightweight side of even that spectrum.

I'm pretty confident that in the unlikely event I were to attempt a thru-hike, I wouldn't be in the quarter or third who drop out before Fontana, because I've gone that far, on a trail of comparable difficulty, with the gear I have, and enjoyed it.

jemster
08-08-2016, 19:51
Super great advise!! I like the way you think. Since I am starting in March I am very concerned with cold nights.
But fear is a dangerous thing and I certainly appreciate your perspective.
I just bought my ticket for the upcoming TED talks here in Jacksonville ... and the subject is FEAR !!
Fear is the one thing that has kept me from even thinking about thru hiking the AT in the past, and it can easily be an obstacle moving forward.
Thanks again. Keep those thoughts flowing.

Venchka
08-08-2016, 19:59
Anything bought from REI less than a year ago can be returned for exchange or refund.
Wayne


Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."

MuddyWaters
08-08-2016, 20:11
Fear is the one thing that has kept me from even thinking about thru hiking the AT in the past, and it can easily be an obstacle moving forward.
Thanks again. Keep those thoughts flowing.

Nothing to fear. It's like having sex for first time.
You will realize you were worried about nothing

Even if you do it sub-optimally, it's still pretty good.

jemster
08-08-2016, 20:15
Looks like we will both be starting the trail around the same time. I was shooting for March 1st start date.
I have not used my sleeping bag or pad yet, and am pretty sure I will be returning it for a quilt and lighter weighted pad.
I think my choices were over-kill for staying warm the first few weeks on the trail. Coming from Florida weather, I think I am
looking at 32 degree (F) weather as sub-zero arctic weather !!!

capehiker
08-08-2016, 20:28
Jemster- I have a great idea for you. Buy what you think you need, and then take 4 days and go hike the first 30 miles of the trail this year before it gets cold. When you come down Blood Mtn, stop at Mountain Crossings and get a shakedown and take what they have to say at heart. You will get fitted and advised much better than on here. Further, if this hike is the biggest adventure for you, you would be foolish to not do a shakedown hike. Let the first 30 miles be your shakedown. Let the staff at Mountain Crossings guide you.

On my thru I watched a guy your age go for a shakedown and he dropped 25lbs from his pack and spent $900 in doing so but he made it. To him, that was the cost of succeeding. His biggest regret was not doing a shakedown before he started.

I'll throw one more suggestion out there and that is you are not researching enough. You do not have to sacrifice comfort for weight. You're just not look hard enough. You should be shooting for a Big 4 weight of 8lbs.

egilbe
08-08-2016, 20:29
Looks like we will both be starting the trail around the same time. I was shooting for March 1st start date.
I have not used my sleeping bag or pad yet, and am pretty sure I will be returning it for a quilt and lighter weighted pad.
I think my choices were over-kill for staying warm the first few weeks on the trail. Coming from Florida weather, I think I am
looking at 32 degree (F) weather as sub-zero arctic weather !!!

In a 40 degree bag, it can feel like the Arctic :D

egilbe
08-08-2016, 20:35
Any reason you picked a men's bag? Bags made for women usually have down distributed differently and the cut is different to fit a woman's curves. They are also typicaly shorter and that saves a bit of weight.

Greenlight
08-08-2016, 20:40
The gear you carry, for the most part, serves a handful of purposes that tie directly into basic human needs. You need enough food and water to get you to the next spot where you can get more food and water. That is a lot of weight for food, not so much for water. You'll be getting food in towns and crossings, water on the trail and in towns and crossings. The rest of the stuff you carry is simply to make sure that you stay hygienic, are able to quickly become warm, cool, or dry. The rest of the little bits are vanity. If you have to have your phone or book or e-reader, a harmonica or a deck of cards, whatever. Personality certainly plays a part in each person's hike. Will you relish every town, or try to avoid them except for getting more food? Are you for putting in big miles every single day you can, or are you in it for every little experience and bit of wonder? I love the idea and the reality of being able to carry everything you need to survive right there on your back. When I thru, I plan on conforming my hike so that I pig out in towns, but only spend the night in them once per week, no more. And it'll be a wingding when I get there. I'll enjoy the crap out of it, but then...back on the trail. Oh, and I'm doing Trail Days and doing it right. Good luck and God bless.

saltysack
08-08-2016, 20:41
Super great advise!! I like the way you think. Since I am starting in March I am very concerned with cold nights.
But fear is a dangerous thing and I certainly appreciate your perspective.
I just bought my ticket for the upcoming TED talks here in Jacksonville ... and the subject is FEAR !!
Fear is the one thing that has kept me from even thinking about thru hiking the AT in the past, and it can easily be an obstacle moving forward.
Thanks again. Keep those thoughts flowing.

If your in Jax, Fl check out black creek outfitters...think they now sell Hyperlite mountain gear cuben packs and as most mom and pop shops are becoming more knowledgable about lightening up your load...several of their employees have lots of hiking experience and have thru hiked the AT....the Butler family is a great family who gives great support...REI is great but wouldn't rely on them for much gear advice especially in Fl......


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

-Rush-
08-08-2016, 21:11
I tried on a couple ultra light packs and also tried a friend's who swore by her pack. Once loaded with weight it was ackward. When a put on the Gregory with 10 extra pounds loaded in, it felt better for some strange reason. It fits like a glove. So, I have been going on training hikes and it stays the same, the fit and comfort that is. So, I am trying really hard to cut weight everywhere else to compensate on the extra pack weight. I am always open, though, to changing my mind if necessary.

There's a lot of echoed advice from many of us here, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. One thing I should have added to my previous post..

If the backpack fits well keep it. You can make up the 3lb weight difference by making lighter weight (and more expensive) gear choices in other areas. It's more difficult to do which is why the best weight savings is had in your 'Big 3' items. Seriously though.. walking around REI with 45lbs in the pack is about as useful as standing there with 45lbs in the pack. You're never going to know what it's really like until you hike 10 miles up and down a mountain with it. As I stated earlier and many others have echoed here, do yourself a favor and book a pre-hike on the AT with whatever you think you need so you can have a better shot at having a great time when the pedal hits the metal. As retired Navy I'm sure you've heard this.. "The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat."

RockDoc
08-08-2016, 22:27
You have a good six months before you start your thru, so get out and try out your gear. You will answer most of your own questions.
The reality that I saw going north from Springer a few years ago was that most people use these slightly heavy Gregory type packs for their comfort, and do just fine. A pretty small number are going ultralight, although they are generally able to make bigger miles than most if that's important (I don't think it is, I think enjoyment is important).

UL_Packer
08-08-2016, 22:49
Im going to just reiterate what other have already stated. Your hiking for the enjoyment not for a claimed weight cool factor. If you have what you are comfortable with that weight then your set. I think to many people nowadays just get to caught up in the latest and lightest stuff instead of just focusing on the pleasure of being in the outdoors. Just go out and try out your gear and get some experience with your loadout and alter as you see fit.

SkeeterPee
08-08-2016, 23:22
Did I read you are taking a 5 day shakedown hike? Is that your only hike planned before the thru? I've only just started last fall, but have done 4 hikes so far with at least 2 more planned this fall. I find I am still figuring out what I like, don't like, use/don't use. Was not sure if this 5 day trip is your only experience, if so perhaps do some additional trips trying things out.

As for saving weight, my pack started a little over 40, and I've already replaced my tent saving 2.5#, replaced a camping pad with a lighter neoair xlite saving a pound, Before doing a thru, I am sure I would replace my heavy sleeping bag with something much lighter saving close to 2 lbs.

QiWiz
08-09-2016, 14:55
12.5 is fine. If you want to get lighter, you can certainly go smaller and lighter with your pack; you can switch out to a lighter bag in the warmer months. Having good information on water sources so you don't carry more than you need is a cheap and effective way to carry less weight. Your trail name could be ol' retired Navy gal if you want.

AO2134
08-09-2016, 15:24
I bring what I want and need. I don't bring what I don't want or need. The weight of my pack is utterly irrelevant. The day I have to worry about the weight of my pack will be a sad day indeed.

12.5 lbs sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

cmoulder
08-09-2016, 17:28
The day I have to worry about the weight of my pack will be a sad day indeed.

It will come and it won't be a sad day. You will have gained enough wisdom to be thankful you've made it this far. :sun

Most likely your perspective will be different at 60 from what it is at 30.

Sarcasm the elf
08-09-2016, 19:33
Nothing to fear. It's like having sex for first time.
You will realize you were worried about nothing

Even if you do it sub-optimally, it's still pretty good.

Backpacking for the first time is like losing your virginity?

Hmm, do you mean because beforehand everybody expects it to be magical and beautiful, the sort of thing that John Mayor would write an acoustic song about. Then when it actually happens the experience leaves them feeling awkward, slightly embarrassed, sore in ways they had never felt before, and they quickly find themselves throwing their previous expectations of acceptable personal hygiene out the window? :eek:

egilbe
08-09-2016, 20:54
Backpacking for the first time is like losing your virginity?

Hmm, do you mean because beforehand everybody expects it to be magical and beautiful, the sort of thing that John Mayor would write an acoustic song about. Then when it actually happens the experience leaves them feeling awkward, slightly embarrassed, sore in ways they had never felt before, and they quickly find themselves throwing their previous expectations of acceptable personal hygiene out the window? :eek:

Its messy, sweaty, leaving you sore and exhausted. Some people think its fun, some just enjoy the experience of doing it, and others only do it a few times and say it's not for them. I still enjoy hiking though.

jemster
08-09-2016, 21:27
Doing just that shake down hike in October at Springer Mountain for 5 days. I will definitely take you advice about Mountain Crossings. Thanks.

jemster
08-09-2016, 21:29
The men's version weighed less and cost less. But now am rethinking that I might go with a quilt.

jemster
08-09-2016, 21:39
Yes, the October is my first "real hike" and shake down with all my gear. After that I will be doing a few weekend hikes thru out the Florida winter. But I am walking every weekend with a weighted pack on the beach. The local natives think I am crazy.
Thanks for the great advice.

saltysack
08-09-2016, 22:45
Yes, the October is my first "real hike" and shake down with all my gear. After that I will be doing a few weekend hikes thru out the Florida winter. But I am walking every weekend with a weighted pack on the beach. The local natives think I am crazy.
Thanks for the great advice.

You are crazy!!!!!! Too damn hot to be lugging a pack down the beach....unless it's full of beer!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Venchka
08-09-2016, 22:54
You are crazy!!!!!! Too damn hot to be lugging a pack down the beach....unless it's full of beer!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Some of us have to do what we have to do. Like toting a loaded pack in east Texas in triple digit temperatures. Or on the beach in Florida.
Apparently it's better than using a treadmill. My backpacking buddy is recovering from a treadmill induced foot injury.
It's always something. [emoji1][emoji106][emoji41]
Wayne


Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."

AfterParty
08-10-2016, 00:17
Try living in Kansas! I do have 12 mile walk to a cool spot so its not all bad.

amk
08-10-2016, 00:57
There are 2 items in which no compromise in comfort vs weight is possible, the pack and the boots. All others, being less comfortable will provide a part of their function, in a bad but weight savvy tent, bag, mat you will still get some sleep, a cooking setup will still cook somehow an so on. But wet and cold feet with some blisters or sore shoulders and back will render the whole trip in if not impossible then in a daytime nightmare. Comfort first, anything else is the second, only if you handle 2 equally comfortable items the weight or any other characteristic might have been considered, in that particular order.

Engine
08-10-2016, 05:26
Try living in Kansas! I do have 12 mile walk to a cool spot so its not all bad.

I saw a hill in Kansas once, or maybe it was a mound of harvested corn...either way, it was much higher than the speedbumps we have here in Florida. If I want hills it's either the treadmill or step mill. I can get amazing resistance training walking outdoors by pushing through banana spider webs in the morning though. :)

Elaikases
08-10-2016, 08:33
I tried on alot of packs, and have used smaller packs hiking day hikes that always end up rubbing me somewhere. The Gregory fit so well and seems to carry the weight well. I looked at lightweight packs but they were so uncomfortable once weighted down. I was hoping to make up the difference in weight with the rest of my gear, but it is so hard. Maybe I can do some adjustments to the pack to lighten it. It just fits so well.
Do you think a 60L is too much for a thru hiker? They make them even bigger - what on earth would you use those for?

That makes me feel more comfortable.

I have a Gregory as well. The thing is just so darn comfortable compared with some of the other things. I keep thinking of taking it back to REI for an Osprey to cut a couple pounds, but it is really comfortable. So I keep stalling.

Another Kevin
08-10-2016, 09:08
It will come and it won't be a sad day. You will have gained enough wisdom to be thankful you've made it this far. :sun

Most likely your perspective will be different at 60 from what it is at 30.

I'm 60. I've never weighed my pack.

Sarcasm the elf
08-10-2016, 11:05
I'm 60. I've never weighed my pack.

But AK, I'm 35 and I can't keep up with cmoulder's pace on the trail.

Heck, I think he could outhike my dog on a dayhike! :eek:

Sarcasm the elf
08-10-2016, 11:10
That makes me feel more comfortable.

I have a Gregory as well. The thing is just so darn comfortable compared with some of the other things. I keep thinking of taking it back to REI for an Osprey to cut a couple pounds, but it is really comfortable. So I keep stalling.

Elaikases, just to clarify my earlier pack comment, there is nothing wrong with your Gregory pack. It's a great pack, it just happens to be one of the heavier ones on the market. Since you started off asking about how to lower your weight, most of us pointed to the pack because it is probably the one piece of gear where you can drop the most weight the easiest by replacing it. This of course doesn't mean that you have to do so, if it's worth the extra couple pounds to you then so be it.

cmoulder
08-10-2016, 11:35
But AK, I'm 35 and I can't keep up with cmoulder's pace on the trail.

Heck, I think he could outhike my dog on a dayhike! :eek:

lol, well I only go that fast when trying to keep up with 1azarus, and he's 65 (or soon to be, I think) — I couldn't manage his pace day after day!

For me there is a direct and quite stark correlation between weight and comfort, and the difference between all-in UL now and trad heavy humping of ye olde dayes is like a horrendous, fitful night and bright, sunny day (and also cool and low humidity).

Feral Bill
08-10-2016, 11:43
Elaikases, just to clarify my earlier pack comment, there is nothing wrong with your Gregory pack. It's a great pack, it just happens to be one of the heavier ones on the market. Since you started off asking about how to lower your weight, most of us pointed to the pack because it is probably the one piece of gear where you can drop the most weight the easiest by replacing it. This of course doesn't mean that you have to do so, if it's worth the extra couple pounds to you then so be it.

Perhaps the bigger risk with an ultra comfortable pack is the comfort of carrying more heavy stuff. My old Dana pack can carry 60+ pounds in perfect comfort. It just doesn't move it uphill on its own. If you use some good judgement on the rest of your load, you should be fine.

cmoulder
08-10-2016, 13:24
The main consideration when getting a lighter pack is making sure the base weight + consumables (which with UL often dwarf the base weight!) can be carried comfortably with the newer, lighter pack, which is probably designed for loads of 25 lbs or less. For instance, with my older-style Zpacks Arc Blast, I begin to "feel" the weight around 20 lbs and I'm pretty sure it would, for me, not be pleasant to carry at 25 lbs, although the heaviest load I've ever carried in it (total pack weight) was a tick over 20 lbs with 5 days food and 1 liter of water. However, with Zpacks' newer suspension on the Arc Haul (which is now the same on the Blast), 18 lbs feels like 10, such is the comfort... as long as I use the extra lumbar pad! And I've read some folks claim it is comfortable with far heavier loads, which might be necessary for water weight when hiking in deserts.

The common advice for those just getting into UL is to get all the other gear first and then get the pack. While that's good advice, it is often ignored, but if someone using a 6 lb pack follows that progression they'll want to get a new pack because the typical UL load and UL volume are so much smaller that it's simply ridiculous to carry it in a heavy behemoth.

Another Kevin
08-10-2016, 14:16
lol, well I only go that fast when trying to keep up with 1azarus, and he's 65 (or soon to be, I think) — I couldn't manage his pace day after day!

For me there is a direct and quite stark correlation between weight and comfort, and the difference between all-in UL now and trad heavy humping of ye olde dayes is like a horrendous, fitful night and bright, sunny day (and also cool and low humidity).

A whole lot of disconnected random thoughts:

cmoulder: Lighter is indeed more comfortable if you keep the function. I have zero regrets about replacing my old ALPS pack with the Granite Gear, or my old REI Half Dome with a TarpTent, or my Whisperlite and GSI cookset with a homemade alky stove and a Grease Pot. In each case the lighter option did everything that I wanted, and I happily kissed the heavier one good-bye. The lighter gear is surely much better for 3-season on-trail solo hiking. I've had a lot of fun with the heavy stuff, though. It still comes out for special occasions, because three-season on-trail solo hiking isn't all that I do. There are needs that the lightweight stuff doesn't meet.

I live somewhere between your two extremes most of the time. I'm not an old-school heavy hauler. I was, once upon a time. Most of us old poops were.

As I said before, my gear is a lot like what I see people Out There carrying. I see many more SUL'ers on this site than I ever do Out There.

I'm getting close to where I would have either to start reworking entire systems or pay serious bucks to lighten up. There's an obvious opportunity, still, with that 3-season sleeping bag. I do want to get a lightweight quilt for summer. Nevertheless, I'm not ready, for instance, to go 1azarus's route and not bring a puffy in cooler weather, in favor of wearing a down quilt as a cloak plus a pair of down sleeves under a rain jacket. Or to sleep under a tarp most of the time. "Blessed is he that sleepeth behind bug netting, for he shall remain sane." And if I can't have real coffee, I'm not going.

I carry my pack, so I know what it weighs. I just don't have a number to attach to it. I don't really need a number. I bring the gear I need. I have a reasonably good idea how far I can carry it and still have fun. That's the number that interests me. I go at my own pace. I calculate that in the unlikely event I were to attempt a thru-hike, my pace would be fast enough to finish in a hiking season. I've surprised myself on a two-week trip - by the end of it, I was going significantly faster than I'd planned. It's still not the pace of 1azarus, Malto or Just Bill. That's of concern to me only when I have one or more of them as hiking partners.

I've tried and failed to keep up with 1azarus myself. On snowshoes, yet. It was a bit of a disaster. He had his gear tuned so finely that he couldn't slow down to my pace and stay warm, while there was no way that I could sustain his pace. And he didn't need snowshoes; he runs light over stuff that I wallow in. I'd wallow even if my pack were as light as his.

Eliakases: My Granite Gear pack is less than half the empty weight of my daughter's Gregory. She wouldn't give up her Gregory for anything. She tells me that the comfort is worth it. She's got enough miles on it that I suppose she knows. It wouldn't be worth it to me. It isn't my shoulders and hips that complain first at the end of a long day, so I reckon that my pack is Good Enough for the load I carry in it. The Gregory is a great pack. It just isn't a great pack for me.

In the end, nobody can decide for you what's the right pack weight for you. It's a weight that's light enough that you can carry it to where you want to go, and heavy enough to have the stuff you need to survive and enjoy the trip. The pack itself needs to be robust and comfortable enough that carrying it is comfortable at whatever weight you carry in it.

Do I want to have a pack shakedown? I think my gear sees entirely too much bumping and shaking as it is.

Right now, it's more the weight of Another Kevin that concerns me. I can stand to lighten up a lot more there than in the pack. (Easy solution. Hike more. Easier said than done. Life keeps getting in the way.)

egilbe
08-10-2016, 14:35
Easier to eat less, than hike more. ;)

cmoulder
08-10-2016, 15:19
Absolutely nothing there to disagree with, AK! :)

In fact, after my initial flurry of weighing and recording everything in GearGrams — and I do continue to weigh new items and add them to the GG database — I hardly ever weigh my pack any more because I know what bits of kit I'll need for a particular hike and pack them, knowing that the total will be pretty darn light. Did a hike Sun-Mon-Tue in the Greylock area with 2 other UL-ers and none of us knew our exact pack weights, and didn't need to... we just know they're a helluva lot lighter than they used to be and that the fun factor is a lot higher.

This time of the year my base weight is a bit under 8 lbs, and that's with total comfort. For me. I know... some folks want to carry a chair, camp shoes, jammies, full pillow with cover, plush full-length sleep mat, all manner of electronic gadgets, WG stove with pot, skillet and spatula, big honkin' hunting knife, hatchet, saw, etc etc, none of which fall into the NEED category. In the end it's true that knowing the exact pack weight is irrelevant, but simply applying the concept of "Want vs Need" will inevitably lighten the load considerably. But when the benefits are realized it is natural to be seduced into craving an even lighter weight kit and perhaps stray into stupid-light territory. I stopped before reaching that point.

I, too, could stand to lose a few pounds in the belly, grrrrr... Working on that and am happy to report my pants are starting to fit much better, lol. Easier to control pack weight creep than body weight creep, alas. :o

-Rush-
08-10-2016, 16:40
The common advice for those just getting into UL is to get all the other gear first and then get the pack. While that's good advice, it is often ignored, but if someone using a 6 lb pack follows that progression they'll want to get a new pack because the typical UL load and UL volume are so much smaller that it's simply ridiculous to carry it in a heavy behemoth.

Agreed. I've got a ULA Circuit that's got more volume than I need now. Every time I pack it up there seems to be this large void of additional space that bugs me. I could save a pound or so on a smaller pack, but I've continued to carry the ULA. In terms of comfort, I'd love to replace it with a pack that has more airflow to the back.

nsherry61
08-10-2016, 17:18
Yes. I went to REI . . . tried on the couple of light weight packs that REI sells and walked around the store with 35 lbs. Horrible !! Lastly, I tried on all the heavier packs with 45 lbs. and the Gregory just fit so well. . .
One more thought that might be useful.
I think there may be some false logic in the assumptions of your statement.

I have not met an ultra-light pack that carries 35 lbs comfortably. The Gregory would probably cary 55 lbs more comfortably than most ultralight packs would cary 35 lbs.

Here's the rub: If the most you ever cary is around 30 lbs for the first day after a big resupply, and most of the time you are carying 15-20 lbs, the ultralight bags will be signficantly more comfortable than the Gregory for almost all of your trip. Also, as you get more backpacking fit, it is more comfortable to cary whatever backpack you are using.

If you get your base weight down to around 15 or 20 lbs, giving you room for 5 or more days of resuply while still staying below 30 lbs total weight, your logic for the benifit of the Gregory if flawed. But, if you are frequently carying over 30 lbs, then the Gregory is going to be the right bag for you.

Ultimately, get out with whatever gear you have as often as you can because, even backpacking with less than great gear is far better than not backpacking.

Another Kevin
08-10-2016, 17:38
Easier to eat less, than hike more. ;)
On the contrary. Eating less means I have less fun, hiking more means I have more fun. And if I could hike as much as I did even a year ago, I'd have absolutely no weight problem. I lost forty pounds in about three years of hiking regularly, with no other lifestyle changes. I've just been BUSY for the last couple of months, and nursing a foot problem before that.


For me. I know... some folks want to carry a chair, camp shoes, jammies, full pillow with cover, plush full-length sleep mat, all manner of electronic gadgets, WG stove with pot, skillet and spatula, big honkin' hunting knife, hatchet, saw, etc etc, none of which fall into the NEED category.

I suppose. Of that list, I carry an extra baselayer and socks for sleeping (wet clothing is banned from the sleeping bag), a full-length mat (I'm tall, and my feet get cold), a camera (a high-end pocket model - I won't lug a DSLR, but a phone won't do it for me), and a smartphone with external battery (because as often as not, I'm there to map trails; the gadgets sure are lighter than an alidade, plane table, sighting rod and measuring wheel; and they don't take a four-person crew to operate). If I'm going to a less popular trail, I may bring a saw because I may want to clear fallen tree limbs from the trail. If I know I'll need to ford a river, I may bring water shoes. On a warm-season trip longer than an overnight, I'll bring a Tyvek sheet, a silnylon bucket and a piece of Sham-Wow, so that I can bathe away from a water source. The Tyvek is multifunctional: tent footprint, shelter ground sheet (I don't want my sleeping pad lying on the mouse poo), bath mat, doormat, place to sit, .... Oh, and my coffee filter is a must.

I'm not a UL'er, I suppose, because I do bring that stuff. On the other hand, with the possible exception of medicines, first aid stuff, and repair supplies, everything I bring, I use. As far as I'm concerned, leaving any of my list out would be "stupid light" because it would be sacrificing the ability to do what I want to do (map and improve trails, photograph, sightsee, maybe even get clean once in a while) in favor of what I don't want to do (hike as far and as fast as possible). But that's for me. People are out there for different reasons.

None of which addresses Eliakases's question. The answer to that is: You've picked a good pack. Stick with it if its extra carry comfort is worth the added weight. Only you can make that decision. But be aware of the temptation to overload a pack that's that cushy.

jemster
08-12-2016, 21:05
I recently tried on an women's Osprey Aura. It is super comfortable, too. Right now it is on sale at BlackCreek outfitters 20% off. Decisions, decisions. Yes, I am actually thinking about trading because of the weight reduction vs. the Gregory.

egilbe
08-12-2016, 21:38
I recently tried on an women's Osprey Aura. It is super comfortable, too. Right now it is on sale at BlackCreek outfitters 20% off. Decisions, decisions. Yes, I am actually thinking about trading because of the weight reduction vs. the Gregory.

If its still comfortable and is lighter...you know...this is how we end up with 6 or 7 packs.

Sarcasm the elf
08-12-2016, 21:58
If its still comfortable and is lighter...you know...this is how we end up with 6 or 7 packs.

You only have six or seven? ;)

35869

egilbe
08-13-2016, 06:50
You only have six or seven? ;)

35869

That even looks like my cat!

I gave a couple packs to my kids to use

seek outside Unaweep
REI Flash 45
SMD Fusion 50
SMD Fusion 65
Deuter 45+10
LLBean 25 liter Daypack

I gave my kids my Platypus pack. I never liked it, but it was cheap and came with a 3 liter big zip that I do like. I also gave them my REI Flash 25. It fits them better.

Hosh
08-14-2016, 00:01
Absolutely nothing there to disagree with, AK! :)

In fact, after my initial flurry of weighing and recording everything in GearGrams and I do continue to weigh new items and add them to the GG database I hardly ever weigh my pack any more because I know what bits of kit I'll need for a particular hike and pack them, knowing that the total will be pretty darn light. Did a hike Sun-Mon-Tue in the Greylock area with 2 other UL-ers and none of us knew our exact pack weights, and didn't need to... we just know they're a helluva lot lighter than they used to be and that the fun factor is a lot higher.

This time of the year my base weight is a bit under 8 lbs, and that's with total comfort. For me. I know... some folks want to carry a chair, camp shoes, jammies, full pillow with cover, plush full-length sleep mat, all manner of electronic gadgets, WG stove with pot, skillet and spatula, big honkin' hunting knife, hatchet, saw, etc etc, none of which fall into the NEED category. In the end it's true that knowing the exact pack weight is irrelevant, but simply applying the concept of "Want vs Need" will inevitably lighten the load considerably. But when the benefits are realized it is natural to be seduced into craving an even lighter weight kit and perhaps stray into stupid-light territory. I stopped before reaching that point.

I, too, could stand to lose a few pounds in the belly, grrrrr... Working on that and am happy to report my pants are starting to fit much better, lol. Easier to control pack weight creep than body weight creep, alas. :o

Whiteblaze is an interesting site in that so many individuals tend to defend their heavy, at least in my eyes, pack weights. TP is the extreme, I think, you know hauling in watermelons and a 5 season shelter in July. Most of us started out with heavy stuff, too much we didn't ever use and stuff we thought was cool. Overtime, we jettisoned most of it, invested in new materials and techniques and found a lower weight "happy place".

Today I look at backpacking as a chance to minimize material things in our lives. How can I reasonably get by, not risk mine or anybody else's trip and still find a level of satisfaction and comfort. I realize every one has their balance point, after all HYOH is a real factor for anyone.

I don't get the defensive, sometimes angry, postures when people are trying to help lower a pack weight. Seems weird especially a site that mainly focuses on thru hikers, where pack weight has real meaning.

Engine
08-14-2016, 05:55
For most of us, carrying lower pack weights is just part of a natural progression. Once you start down that path, it becomes second nature to look more critically at everything you carry. It starts with actually learning what you need and that takes experience, it's not really information a book can provide because you must have confidence in your gear. Once you can accurately define your needs, it's easier to remove "want" items.

Usually most of us start out with lots of "What if" stuff and in the end we get rid of 90% of that, except for a small gear repair/first aid kit. By this point in our progression we have typically started weighing things and comparing options which meet our known needs. It's surprising how much weight can be saved from items which appear nearly identical. Two stuff sacks of the same size which look no different can be more than an ounce apart in weight, etcetera.

Then you start looking critically at your big 3 items. Mine were silly heavy since we hiked with our 4 young children at the time. A Gregory Wind River which weighed a ridiculous 7+ pounds and carried 8,000 cu/in. of wants, what-ifs and food. Our tent was over 8 pounds and my synthetic 30* bag was around 3 pounds. That was 18 pounds for the big 3, when currently I'm around 4.25 pounds for those 3 items. My wife's gear choices followed the same progression.

We've given up nothing in terms of comfort and we hike faster and farther in a day now in our fifties than we did in our thirties...

Deco
08-14-2016, 11:00
My wife and I both use Gregory packs. She has the Diva 60 as well. A good weight saver for us was to get rid of the brain (the top pouch) as well as the straps and buckles associated with the brain.

capehiker
08-14-2016, 11:08
For most of us, carrying lower pack weights is just part of a natural progression. Once you start down that path, it becomes second nature to look more critically at everything you carry. It starts with actually learning what you need and that takes experience, it's not really information a book can provide because you must have confidence in your gear. Once you can accurately define your needs, it's easier to remove "want" items.

Usually most of us start out with lots of "What if" stuff and in the end we get rid of 90% of that, except for a small gear repair/first aid kit. By this point in our progression we have typically started weighing things and comparing options which meet our known needs. It's surprising how much weight can be saved from items which appear nearly identical. Two stuff sacks of the same size which look no different can be more than an ounce apart in weight, etcetera.

Then you start looking critically at your big 3 items. Mine were silly heavy since we hiked with our 4 young children at the time. A Gregory Wind River which weighed a ridiculous 7+ pounds and carried 8,000 cu/in. of wants, what-ifs and food. Our tent was over 8 pounds and my synthetic 30* bag was around 3 pounds. That was 18 pounds for the big 3, when currently I'm around 4.25 pounds for those 3 items. My wife's gear choices followed the same progression.

We've given up nothing in terms of comfort and we hike faster and farther in a day now in our fifties than we did in our thirties...

This is a great post that bears repeating. This is a natural course of progression for a lot if us that actually enjoy backpacking and are not looking for a once in a lifetime trip.

When I read the OP believes there's a disparity between weight and comfort, it tells me they don't have enough time in the activity. I hate digging my heels in but I'd like the OP to revisit my post about making a trip to Mountain Crossings. They can waste hundreds of dollars or they can get good solid advice from the start.

jj dont play
08-14-2016, 11:26
I think you are good to go. As you get comfortable on the trail you'll get rid of more and more things. My base weight was around 16lbs leaving Springer, finished with it around 12-13lbs. Got rid of stove, pot, puffy, town clothes, and a few small things.


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Heather_VT
08-22-2016, 02:57
Although I strongly prefer to pack lightly, I think it's very important to have a comfortable backpack (comfort is more important than weight, if you have to choose just one). If your Gregory pack is the only one that's been comfortable for you, then I'd go with that despite the weight (though I'd still shop around to see if there is something lighter and equally comfortable). I'd just be really careful with the weight of everything else so that your pack isn't too heavy to comfortably carry, and would avoid bringing any unnecessary items as well.

jjozgrunt
08-22-2016, 03:34
If its still comfortable and is lighter...you know...this is how we end up with 6 or 7 packs. You must be new to bushwalking/hiking!

martinb
08-25-2016, 21:12
I am planning for a NOBO thru hike in 2017. This will be the biggest adventure ever for me. Trying so hard to keep my total pack weight down but every choice of gear seems to boil down to weight vs. comfort. Because I am older and achy in a couple areas, a little comfort is needed. So far my backpack, tent and sleeping gear weighs 12.5 pounds and most people say to keep it at 10 lbs. I spent ALOT of time picking these items based on comfort and function (Gregory Diva 60L pack, TarpTent Moment DW, Nemo 15 down Mens Salsa Bag, Klymit Static V pad).
Am I already starting on a bad foot and doomed to overload my pack weight, or am I going to be Ok?
Is it always the case that the more comfort you need the more weight there is or is there gear that fits in the middle somewhere?
Please give advise and any tips you my have.
Jemster is just my user name on here. Hope to land a trail name one day. Ol' retired Navy gal wanting one more adventure. :cool:

Can you expand more on "bad foot"? This is more important than a few pounds in pack weight.

AfterParty
08-25-2016, 21:19
I think it was a figure of speech or I hope so.