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Oventoasted
11-11-2016, 17:25
Want to ask you all what your average pack weight will be? I'm totaling up my gear i will be taking and so far im at a 23lb base weight. which seems high since i know a lot of the other thru hikers have base weights of 10-15lbs.

now if i add the 10lbs of food for 5 days and another 2-3 lbs of water i could be looking at a 35lb pack. :( maybe im drinking a little too much of the UL koolaid but i know carrying too much stuff can hurt mileage and your body.

I put up a picture of my list so far. 36922

Also i know my weight will go down after the spring and summer comes and that will lighten things up a bit too.

HooKooDooKu
11-11-2016, 17:59
Nothing wrong with a 23lb base weight if that has all the things that you want to take with you. (My base weight is usually about 20-25lbs for a weekend hike, and was more like 40lbs for a JMT thru hike).

But of the top of my head, I would say the following items are what you will not see on a hiker with <15lb base weight:
1. Pack that weights almost 5lbs. You need something <3lb if you're trying to go ultra light.
2. Nearly 1lb med kit. I too like to come well prepared for the unexpected. Ultra light hikers seem to carry not much more than a few bandaids.
3. 12oz Bear Mace - you only NEED mace if you're going into grizzly country.
4. 2lbs of electronics - (and it's not too difficult to find a lamp lighter than 5oz)

Oventoasted
11-11-2016, 18:07
Thanks for the reply! Im looking at a lighter pack maybe an Ohm 2.0. that would save almost 2lbs and also thanks for the advice on the med kit and bear mace. always carried that with me when doing my hikes in Alaska.

Hikingjim
11-11-2016, 18:43
You have some decent pieces. Easy savings:
- bear mace as mentioned
- take kindle app on phone instead of kindle. Sometimes I bring my kindle if I'm going with a slow hiker and my pack is already summer light, but I wouldn't on a thru
- there are battery packs less than half that weight that will give you multiple charges. your phone lasts forever on airplane mode for photos, reading, etc, with GPS/apps only turned on as necessary
- lighter pack will help a lot
- your sleep/shelter system is a bit heavy, so that's one of the reasons you'll be higher than some people. But if you like it, it's manageable

I don't count my hiking poles in base weight usually. Not sure if others do

So with a few adjustments you'll get closer to 15. You can also possibly send home some stuff when you get through early cold weather (depending on your start date)

cmoulder
11-11-2016, 18:52
A quick look at the list suggests to me that you're not actually weighing things with a scale, just estimating or going by published weights. If you are using a scale, you need a better one!:o

So the first step is to get a decent digital scale that is accurate to at least 0.1 oz, and only then will you know what your current weight really is. I have a scale that is accurate to 0.1 gram, and these scales aren't very expensive these days. HERE's (https://www.amazon.com/DIGIWEIGH-Digital-Jewelry-Measures-Bullion/dp/B0032H68WM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1478904312&sr=8-4&keywords=digiweigh-scales) the one I use.

To get some ideas about lightening up in ways that don't cost a fortune, Mike Clelland's Ultralight Backpackin' Tips (https://www.amazon.com/Ultralight-Backpackin-Tips-Inexpensive-Lightweight/dp/0762763841/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478904456&sr=8-1&keywords=ultralight+backpacking+tips) is a great introduction to UL concepts. Mike C also has a complete series on YouTube with much of the same information... one of those videos HERE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4O_I22rKp0).

Oventoasted
11-11-2016, 19:03
A quick look at the list suggests to me that you're not actually weighing things with a scale, just estimating or going by published weights. If you are using a scale, you need a better one!:o

So the first step is to get a decent digital scale that is accurate to at least 0.1 oz, and only then will you know what your current weight really is. I have a scale that is accurate to 0.1 gram, and these scales aren't very expensive these days. HERE's (https://www.amazon.com/DIGIWEIGH-Digital-Jewelry-Measures-Bullion/dp/B0032H68WM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1478904312&sr=8-4&keywords=digiweigh-scales) the one I use.

To get some ideas about lightening up in ways that don't cost a fortune, Mike Clelland's Ultralight Backpackin' Tips (https://www.amazon.com/Ultralight-Backpackin-Tips-Inexpensive-Lightweight/dp/0762763841/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478904456&sr=8-1&keywords=ultralight+backpacking+tips) is a great introduction to UL concepts. Mike C also has a complete series on YouTube with much of the same information... one of those videos HERE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4O_I22rKp0).

i do use a digital scale but for sake of ease i do use tenths of an ounce. ill either round up or down. also if it is less then an ounce i wont list it. example my spoon is .15 oz. i understand the little stuff adds up but from what im looking at it would be very little. thanks for the UL tips link though!

Oventoasted
11-11-2016, 19:06
meant to type "i dont use tenths of an ounce". cant seem to find a edit post button. :mad:

AfterParty
11-11-2016, 19:34
You could shave a bit off the air pad by going with a smaller one. Or cutting down a CCf pad. Other then the smokies you won't really need one with the hammock is my understanding.

egilbe
11-11-2016, 19:52
Cotton t-shirt?

Oventoasted
11-11-2016, 19:56
Cotton t-shirt?

haha, not a complete list. still haven bought a shirt i will do my hiking in. that shirt is just what i plan to wear to sleep in.

egilbe
11-11-2016, 21:51
Sleep in your base layer top.

Sarcasm the elf
11-11-2016, 22:54
:welcome And greetings from Shelton CT.

First off, keep in mind that while lighter is better so long as all things are equal, a 35lb weight is very reasonable and relatively average as a real life pack weight for the thru hikers I've met over the last eight years (hikers with lower weights are the ones who tend to more openly discuss their pack weight on the internet, which often gives a distorted view)

As others have said bear spray really isn't needed on the A.T., you'll probably find that less than 2% of long distance hikers bother to carry it.

Also as noted above I can save you 1.2lbs by pointing out that most people don't consider their poles to be part of their base weight.;)

Your pack is on the heavier side of average for thru hikers, but if it's comfortable to you, the extra weight isn't unreasonable, after all I've met plenty of thru hikers who have made it to CT using a 6lb Gregory Baltoro. If you are considering a ULA pack as a replacement remember that Mountain Crossings outfitters is located at about mile 30 Nobo on the A.T. and has them in stock, so you can always start with your current pack and then try on a ULA 2-3 days later. ULA packs are awesome if they fit you right (I use a Circuit as my 3 season pack) but they either fit you or they don't and they don't work for everyone so trying one on in person is the best way to go.

scrabbler
11-11-2016, 23:23
I think you can save a lot of weight by re-evaluating that clothing list. Do you really need a 13oz thermal top AND a down jacket? Or could you combine other items to achieve the same? Ive heard it said that if you cant wear it all at once, you're carrying too much. Good luck. Dont over think it.

Oventoasted
11-11-2016, 23:46
I think you can save a lot of weight by re-evaluating that clothing list. Do you really need a 13oz thermal top AND a down jacket? Or could you combine other items to achieve the same? Ive heard it said that if you cant wear it all at once, you're carrying too much. Good luck. Dont over think it.

that is actually some sound logic there. I havent really tested how low my down jacket can keep me warm and have always worn thermals in cold weather where i lived. I plan on a 20 feb (maybe earlier) start and im not really sure when things start warming up to send home all the cold weather stuff. I think im starting to make the same mistakes i made on my Alaska hikes. thinking im going to freeze to death but in reality im boiling because im walking so much.

Also hello Sarcasm! looking forward to walking all the way home for the most part, haha!

Sarcasm the elf
11-11-2016, 23:58
Oventoasted, Just so you know, a bunch of us do annual meet-up hike on Martin Luther King Day weekend, usually at Harriman Park in NY. If you have any interest it's a good opportunity to do a winter shake down.

Here is a link to previous discussions about the trip.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/106640-The-Second-Annual-Leave-No-Hiker-Behind-Winter-Trek/page10

Oventoasted
11-12-2016, 00:11
Oventoasted, Just so you know, a bunch of us do annual meet-up hike on Martin Luther King Day weekend, usually at Harriman Park in NY. If you have any interest it's a good opportunity to do a winter shake down.

Here is a link to previous discussions about the trip.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/106640-The-Second-Annual-Leave-No-Hiker-Behind-Winter-Trek/page10

Dont think ill be able to make that. Im stationed out here in New Mexico right now and im saving all my leave for when my enlistment ends. so ill have lots of time and funds to do the AT before i start college. :D

Sarcasm the elf
11-12-2016, 00:28
Dont think ill be able to make that. Im stationed out here in New Mexico right now and im saving all my leave for when my enlistment ends. so ill have lots of time and funds to do the AT before i start college. :D

Sounds like you've got your priorities straight then!

Given that you posted this on Veterans day I can't help bur say thank you for your service! Just curious, what branch are you? If and when you get up to CT myself and several others can help you out should you need anything.

Oventoasted
11-12-2016, 00:38
Sounds like you've got your priorities straight then!

Given that you posted this on Veterans day I can't help bur say thank you for your service! Just curious, what branch are you? If and when you get up to CT myself and several others can help you out should you need anything.

thank you! :) I will be leaving the Air Force with 11 years under my belt. what better way to learn how to be a civilian again then walking the woods for 5 months! :D

cmoulder
11-12-2016, 09:24
Dont think ill be able to make that. Im stationed out here in New Mexico right now and im saving all my leave for when my enlistment ends. so ill have lots of time and funds to do the AT before i start college. :D

I did the same thing when I got out of the USAF — in 1979! :eek: — but didn't do the AT. I bought a Honda CX500 motorcycle and did some touring for a couple of months. Was gonna grow a beard and let my hair (which I still had plenty of at that time, lol) grow long, too, but found after getting used to short hair in the military I just couldn't stand it.

Got tired of all that pretty quickly and went back to work.

ScareBear
11-12-2016, 09:37
Other posters have covered most of it. Weight priorities, for me, would be as follows:

Save 2 pounds on your pack.
Save 1 pound on your shelter. You are coming in over a 2P ultralight tent with your system.
Save .5 pound on your med kit. Pare it down.
Save 1 pound on this "butt pack" thing....unless that's code for your sanitary items....
Save .75 pound on you bear spray, unless you are in bear country.
Save .5 pound on the kindle. Get the kindle app for your phone.
Save .75 pound on the cotton shirt and board shorts
Save 1.25 pounds on the thermal top and bottom.

That's almost 8 pounds, right there. However, you will need to add the following weights:

Light weight synthetic hiking short sleeve T
Light weight synthetic hiking long sleeve zip T
Possibly a light weight synthetic bottoms....but likely you won't need these hiking...

You are also underestimating the weight of your water. 1L of water weighs 2.25 pounds....
You also haven't factored in water purification, water storage, food storage(bag and rope for hanging) and waste disposal(how much of your food/paper waste stays with you...)

Don't count your poles....

It should not be terribly difficult to come in under 30 pounds, dry, including food. I've spent plenty of 1 week hikes on the AT in Georgia and NC with my dry pack weight at 25 pounds, food included.

You shouldn't need more than 5-7 days of food at any one time on a thru-hike, if you plan your re-supply carefully...

Good luck and have fun!

Oventoasted
11-12-2016, 11:06
Other posters have covered most of it. Weight priorities, for me, would be as follows:

Save 2 pounds on your pack.
Save 1 pound on your shelter. You are coming in over a 2P ultralight tent with your system.
Save .5 pound on your med kit. Pare it down.
Save 1 pound on this "butt pack" thing....unless that's code for your sanitary items....
Save .75 pound on you bear spray, unless you are in bear country.
Save .5 pound on the kindle. Get the kindle app for your phone.
Save .75 pound on the cotton shirt and board shorts
Save 1.25 pounds on the thermal top and bottom.

That's almost 8 pounds, right there. However, you will need to add the following weights:

Light weight synthetic hiking short sleeve T
Light weight synthetic hiking long sleeve zip T
Possibly a light weight synthetic bottoms....but likely you won't need these hiking...

You are also underestimating the weight of your water. 1L of water weighs 2.25 pounds....
You also haven't factored in water purification, water storage, food storage(bag and rope for hanging) and waste disposal(how much of your food/paper waste stays with you...)

Don't count your poles....

It should not be terribly difficult to come in under 30 pounds, dry, including food. I've spent plenty of 1 week hikes on the AT in Georgia and NC with my dry pack weight at 25 pounds, food included.

You shouldn't need more than 5-7 days of food at any one time on a thru-hike, if you plan your re-supply carefully...

Good luck and have fun!

great feedback, thanks Scarebear!

Oventoasted
11-12-2016, 12:31
Made a nice little spread sheet that i can update as i go.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-Vor2RT2PLcQnZEUzA0ZjMweWs

RockDoc
11-12-2016, 16:18
My friend, you shouldn't get the idea from the Internet that it's necessary or even preferred to go ultralight on the AT. You will sacrifice a lot of comfort (and safety) to carry a 20 lb pack vs a 35 lb pack. I started north from Springer on April 4, 2009 and watched very carefully what successful hikers were carrying as I went through GA and NC. Sure, I saw a few ultralight rigs, but everyone else had ~35 lb packs and still hiked 15-20 mile days without any problems.

As a veteran hiker who started in the 1960's with Army surplus packs and tents (pack weight 50 lbs+) I can say that the available ~35 lb lightweight equipment is already a huge improvement over what we carried a generation ago. Trimming everything drastically to the bone is possible, but why are you doing this? Are you physically weak? Is it really important to do big miles? Do you like being uncomfortable?

Oventoasted
11-12-2016, 16:39
My friend, you shouldn't get the idea from the Internet that it's necessary or even preferred to go ultralight on the AT. You will sacrifice a lot of comfort (and safety) to carry a 20 lb pack vs a 35 lb pack. I started north from Springer on April 4, 2009 and watched very carefully what successful hikers were carrying as I went through GA and NC. Sure, I saw a few ultralight rigs, but everyone else had ~35 lb packs and still hiked 15-20 mile days without any problems.

As a veteran hiker who started in the 1960's with Army surplus packs and tents (pack weight 50 lbs+) I can say that the available ~35 lb lightweight equipment is already a huge improvement over what we carried a generation ago. Trimming everything drastically to the bone is possible, but why are you doing this? Are you physically weak? Is it really important to do big miles? Do you like being uncomfortable?

Im not trying to sacrifice everything but, from what i've been reading more weight equals less miles you could achieved. Not trying to set any records but im not trying to go too slow. Plus if i have a lighter pack i like to think ill be more skipping up the trail than walking with all the spare energy.

Puddlefish
11-12-2016, 16:40
I got a lot of the same advice. Kept the down jacket, used it to stuff my pillow and in the evenings. Left my beloved lightweight fleece at home. It was a good decision. I rarely got cold hiking the AT, starting in the south in mid April. The fleece didn't compact all that well either. Wouldn't have used it much. You're starting much earlier, so you should have more cold weather layers than me. I sent home a lot of weight after finishing the big southern mountains. Even then I kept the down puffy and used it in combination with my summer quilt on some nights, and some nights still as a pillow.

I ended up keeping my Kindle, emailed Amazon a copy of the guide and stored that on the Kindle, in addition to the few books I read on my hike. Might be a way to send the AT Guide to a phone, but I'm not sure it would be readable. I didn't want to carry the weight of the entire guide, and mailing it piecemeal turned out to be kind of a pain. Never regretted the Kindle weight.

Gritty
11-12-2016, 17:18
I just looked at your spreadsheet. Even with changing your Blackbird, your "big 3" is just over 10 pounds. Because you never mentioned in your OP what you would be willing to change, or how much you would be willing to spend, I will just say this and leave it at that. My "big 3" comes in at 5 lbs 6 ozs. and will be under 5 lbs when I switch out my sleeping pad. My backpack (24 oz) is a ZPacks Arc Haul, my tent (21 oz) is a ZPacks Duplex and my sleeping bag (20 oz) is a Zpacks 20 degree bag. I will be switching my Expeed pad out for a lighter weight Therma rest. In no way do I feel I am sacrificing comfort or safety in using these Cuben Fiber and Dyneema products.

The only other thing I might add is try not to pack your fears, ( first aid kit, bear spray, etc), but, you also have hike your own hike, so take these responses like you would any other advise, keep what works for you and disregard the rest. Bottom line, get out there and hike. everything will fall into place, if you let it.

Thanks for serving.

"gritty" USAF 1974 - 1995

Oventoasted
11-12-2016, 19:39
I just looked at your spreadsheet. Even with changing your Blackbird, your "big 3" is just over 10 pounds. Because you never mentioned in your OP what you would be willing to change, or how much you would be willing to spend, I will just say this and leave it at that. My "big 3" comes in at 5 lbs 6 ozs. and will be under 5 lbs when I switch out my sleeping pad. My backpack (24 oz) is a ZPacks Arc Haul, my tent (21 oz) is a ZPacks Duplex and my sleeping bag (20 oz) is a Zpacks 20 degree bag. I will be switching my Expeed pad out for a lighter weight Therma rest. In no way do I feel I am sacrificing comfort or safety in using these Cuben Fiber and Dyneema products.

The only other thing I might add is try not to pack your fears, ( first aid kit, bear spray, etc), but, you also have hike your own hike, so take these responses like you would any other advise, keep what works for you and disregard the rest. Bottom line, get out there and hike. everything will fall into place, if you let it.

Thanks for serving.

"gritty" USAF 1974 - 1995

Made a new digital spread sheet in the link. have the weight down to 6 lbs 7 oz. Decided to ditch the pad too and if i have to sleep in a shelter ill just sleep on the floor. read that a lot of the hammock guys hanged the whole AT. If i end up being wrong then i guess ill have my buddy mail out some of the gear i left behind. im not too worried im sure ill end up changing my mind 10 more times before i head out, haha. got great advice from everyone but in the end ill see if it works out and if not i can always tweak.

that's a lot of Air Forcing btw! :D

capehiker
11-12-2016, 22:36
I strongly advise against an Ohm 2.0 until you can get your base weight below 15 pounds (closer to 10 is better). It's not really good past 25 pounds and with so many framed 2lb and change packs out there these days, the Ohm is obsolete.

Oventoasted
11-12-2016, 23:14
I strongly advise against an Ohm 2.0 until you can get your base weight below 15 pounds (closer to 10 is better). It's not really good past 25 pounds and with so many framed 2lb and change packs out there these days, the Ohm is obsolete.

really? it is rated up to 30 and my weight should be below 25 lbs when loaded. not sure if i can get my base weight down to 10 lbs though. i would need to cut out a lot of items i would like to bring. Would you suggest another type pack i can compare with? already looked at GG and ZPack.

ObLX
11-13-2016, 01:40
I don't get the whole "base weight" thing. Never did. You are not going to hike with your "base weight", are you? You are going to hike with complete gear, possibly even with food. Or water. Or poles. Or pegs. Maybe even with fuel to cook with you mad swine.


I'm 44 lbs all in.

I know that i'm wrong. I know that everybody else is right.
Be offended.

Venchka
11-13-2016, 07:07
I don't get the whole "base weight" thing. Never did. You are not going to hike with your "base weight", are you? You are going to hike with complete gear, possibly even with food. Or water. Or poles. Or pegs. Maybe even with fuel to cook with you mad swine.


I'm 44 lbs all in.

I know that i'm wrong. I know that everybody else is right.
Be offended.

Welcome to the club! There is no "Big 4" weight. There is no "Base weight."
There is only total on the trail and hiking weight. Including the hiker's weight. [emoji102][emoji12]
Once upon a time, a few years ago, I weighed 185+ pounds. In September I parked at a trailhead in Colorado. I hoisted my pack with 3 liters of water and food for a week and off I went. Total on the trail moving weight: 185 pounds. Maybe a bit less. Trailhead elevation was 10,400'. Roughly 4,000' above the high point of the AT.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ggreaves
11-13-2016, 12:04
You could shave a bit off the air pad by going with a smaller one. Or cutting down a CCf pad. Other then the smokies you won't really need one with the hammock is my understanding.

not true... you will be cold from underneath below 70F. keep the pad. you'll need it for shelters if you want to partake, anyway. Having an underquilt is the best setup but I use a pad also. Remember to under-inflate it a bit so it conforms to the hammock shape a little better. Also, a wider pad is nice too. I think the perfect pad for a hammock is the Klymit Static V-Lite insulated pad. Comfortable in a hammock, pretty compact and light for the insulation it provides.

Puddlefish
11-13-2016, 12:16
Base weight is kind of useful-ish to me, for my own purposes and use. My base weight isn't overly useful to you. Your baseweight isn't overly useful to me.

Baseweight minus pack weight, is useful if I want to buy a new pack. I might have an idea of how comfortable it will be before it starts sagging, and I add in the amount of food and water specific to a trip.

Weight is important, usefulness is important. We have to balance what works for us. We can use different of frames of references for different purposes. It's not the most important stat, it's not the least important.

ggreaves
11-13-2016, 12:20
1. For a medical kit I bring leukotape, toilet paper and polysporin. That's enough to treat any scrapes / cuts / blisters you might encounter and it weighs basically nothing. Anything more serious and I'd probably get off the trail and get medical attention.
2. Hammock setups are generally heavier / bulkier than UL tents for 1P shelters... BUT... you will be high and dry every night and sleep way more comfortably than on the ground (you probably already know this). Getting restorative sleep is huge when you're trying to string together multiple days of miles in a row. That extra weight is worth every ounce in my opinion. Keep your shelter.
3. Ace the bear spray (for the AT anyway). Bears are looking for your pic-a-nic basket, not you. So hang your food and don't eat in your hammock and you'll be fine. There will be plenty of other hikers not following this rule that will attract the bears to their tents, anyway. You won't have to worry.
4. If you want to spend a bit of money, you can easily drop 2.5 lbs off your pack. I have a 2013 GG Mariposa that only weighs 24oz. Zpacks arc-hauls or arc-blasts are great packs too. Keep your eyes open for a used one.

Another Kevin
11-13-2016, 15:31
Sounds like you've got your priorities straight then!

Given that you posted this on Veterans day I can't help bur say thank you for your service! Just curious, what branch are you? If and when you get up to CT myself and several others can help you out should you need anything.

Let me also mention that most of us don't attempt serious mileage on the Harriman trip, so can afford the weight penalty of reserve gear. We've rescued n00bs before. It's about the safest winter shakedown you'll find.

ScareBear
11-13-2016, 16:00
My friend, you shouldn't get the idea from the Internet that it's necessary or even preferred to go ultralight on the AT. You will sacrifice a lot of comfort (and safety) to carry a 20 lb pack vs a 35 lb pack. I started north from Springer on April 4, 2009 and watched very carefully what successful hikers were carrying as I went through GA and NC. Sure, I saw a few ultralight rigs, but everyone else had ~35 lb packs and still hiked 15-20 mile days without any problems.

As a veteran hiker who started in the 1960's with Army surplus packs and tents (pack weight 50 lbs+) I can say that the available ~35 lb lightweight equipment is already a huge improvement over what we carried a generation ago. Trimming everything drastically to the bone is possible, but why are you doing this? Are you physically weak? Is it really important to do big miles? Do you like being uncomfortable?

I don't know what thru-hikers you've been starting with in Georgia, but the one's with back weights over 40 never seem to make it to....North Carolina. The amount of gear left at Neels Gap is staggering and Mountain Crossings make the $$$$ on selling the right gear to the.....ill-prepared/ill-informed. Safety is a weird excuse for coming in 10 pounds over ideal dry weight. What kind of safety gear is in that pack? Anyone who is not adhering to the adage "wear one, pack one" is simply fooling themselves. Its comfort, not safety that is being sacrificed. Do you know how many times I've heard "I have to use a synthetic bag because down is worthless when its wet!" as the safety excuse for carrying 2 pounds more in sleep system than is necessary? What, you couldn't pack the down bag in the dry bag lining your pack? What, your tent leaks? ***? Synthetic bag on a thru hike....SMH.....Its examples like this that make me laugh and shake my head at the 35 pound dry weight packs....add 3 liters of water and....presto....43 freaking pounds to hump up and down the Georgia and NC mountains....

Hike your own hike, for sure. But, you don't need a 35 pound pack to be "safe". That's just absurd. And to say that humping an extra 10 or 15 pounds doesn't matter is a fool's errand. Here's a quick offer of proof. Go run your fastest 1/4 mile. Now, go put a pack on with 15 pounds in it and run another 1/4 mile. Get back to me after you get done...and tell me that 10 or 15 pounds has no effect on you, physiologically.....and for comfort....what is more important, being comfortable during extended periods of intense physical activity or being comfortable while unconscious from the periods of intense physical activity? Besides, I am giving up NOTHING on comfort at night, except for maybe electronics, a book, a sat phone, a TENS unit....you get the drift....

QiWiz
11-14-2016, 12:39
You have some decent pieces. Easy savings:
- bear mace as mentioned
- take kindle app on phone instead of kindle. Sometimes I bring my kindle if I'm going with a slow hiker and my pack is already summer light, but I wouldn't on a thru
- there are battery packs less than half that weight that will give you multiple charges. your phone lasts forever on airplane mode for photos, reading, etc, with GPS/apps only turned on as necessary
- lighter pack will help a lot
- your sleep/shelter system is a bit heavy, so that's one of the reasons you'll be higher than some people. But if you like it, it's manageable

I don't count my hiking poles in base weight usually. Not sure if others do

So with a few adjustments you'll get closer to 15. You can also possibly send home some stuff when you get through early cold weather (depending on your start date)


+1

You can go lighter on quite a few items without losing function or safety. Leave the bear spray and cutting down on the medical kit are examples of things that cost nothing. Other things like a lighter pack and lighter sleep system will have a cost - a lot depends on your budget. I would not take cotton shirts or shorts, but not because of weight.

cmoulder
11-14-2016, 21:54
I don't get the whole "base weight" thing. Never did. You are not going to hike with your "base weight", are you? You are going to hike with complete gear, possibly even with food. Or water. Or poles. Or pegs. Maybe even with fuel to cook with you mad swine.


I'm 44 lbs all in.

I know that i'm wrong. I know that everybody else is right.
Be offended.

Not offended because I've always felt that if you're willing to carry all that excessively heavy gear it's fine by me because I'm not carrying it.

But I truly marvel at the fact that we now have all this wonderfully light gear available and yet there are people who know about it but choose to carry much heavier gear. I used to schlep the heavy stuff because that's all we had, but after developing a good understanding of UL concepts and practices I found that I could be safe, comfortable and light. For my typical summer trip I'm carrying a tick over 20 lbs (TPW) for a 5-night trip, and totally prepared for weather, well-fed, sheltered and comfortable.

I did a little overnight trip Sun-Mon with some friends (fellow ULers) and the temps got down to upper 20s F and my total pack weight (including food, water, fuel) was 12 lb and also included a 2-person tent (room for my pooch!), 20F quilt, air mat and pillow. So when people make the claim that UL is somehow unsafe or uncomfortable, it's just simply not so. We did a hike Sunday of 11.5 miles with about 3000 feet of vertical and arrived at our camp with plenty of energy to spare, pitched our shelters, put on warm clothes, had hot dinners and watched the Super Moon rise. How would it have been better had we humped 35 lbs of gear for the same trip???


The issue IMO is this HEAVY= SAFE, COMFORTABLE meme is so thoroughly rooted that people think they need all this burly, bomber gear and all sorts of gadgets to keep themselves entertained. But it just isn't so.

ScareBear
11-15-2016, 09:54
Not offended because I've always felt that if you're willing to carry all that excessively heavy gear it's fine by me because I'm not carrying it.

But I truly marvel at the fact that we now have all this wonderfully light gear available and yet there are people who know about it but choose to carry much heavier gear. I used to schlep the heavy stuff because that's all we had, but after developing a good understanding of UL concepts and practices I found that I could be safe, comfortable and light. For my typical summer trip I'm carrying a tick over 20 lbs (TPW) for a 5-night trip, and totally prepared for weather, well-fed, sheltered and comfortable.

I did a little overnight trip Sun-Mon with some friends (fellow ULers) and the temps got down to upper 20s F and my total pack weight (including food, water, fuel) was 12 lb and also included a 2-person tent (room for my pooch!), 20F quilt, air mat and pillow. So when people make the claim that UL is somehow unsafe or uncomfortable, it's just simply not so. We did a hike Sunday of 11.5 miles with about 3000 feet of vertical and arrived at our camp with plenty of energy to spare, pitched our shelters, put on warm clothes, had hot dinners and watched the Super Moon rise. How would it have been better had we humped 35 lbs of gear for the same trip???


The issue IMO is this HEAVY= SAFE, COMFORTABLE meme is so thoroughly rooted that people think they need all this burly, bomber gear and all sorts of gadgets to keep themselves entertained. But it just isn't so.

Exactly. Old school is silly school. If you can't afford light gear, then you go with what you've got. But to hump a 80 ounce pack when you can get one that weighs 21 ounces seems......foolish. Same with sleep gear. Even when I am camping for 20 degrees, I come in under 30 ounces. I suppose you could hump a 20 degree SlumberJack that weighs....3 times as much....but why? Honestly, unless its a $$$ thing, its a fool's errand not to go ultralight. Think skiing. Are you using 25 year old technology? Are you really out there ripping it up on your Rossi 7SK Carbon 200cm's? Rear-entry Salomons? Cable-knit sweaters? No helmet? As the sport advances, you can advance with it. Or you can be a dino.

Hikingjim
11-15-2016, 10:12
Why is base weight a bad term? It just allows you to know what type of gear someone is talking about. No reason for me to tell you my pack is 24 lbs with 4.4 days worth of food and 2.7 litres of water... because those figures change constantly.

The OP isn't even talking about ultralight gear, and they just don't want to bring useless or needlessly heavy stuff, so it's funny that people come in with anti-UL talk.

I would disagree with the idea that a good portion of finishing thru hikers finish with a big ol' pack. Maybe start with one. Hiking safely with a pretty low pack weight is pretty damn easy on the AT. Makes me spoiled for when I have to carry a 2+ lb bear canister and multiple days worth of food

Guyler
11-15-2016, 10:13
Try this website making your packing list https://lighterpack.com/

colorado_rob
11-15-2016, 10:34
Why is base weight a bad term? It just allows you to know what type of gear someone is talking about. No reason for me to tell you my pack is 24 lbs with 4.4 days worth of food and 2.7 litres of water... because those figures change constantly.

The OP isn't even talking about ultralight gear, and they just don't want to bring useless or needlessly heavy stuff, so it's funny that people come in with anti-UL talk.

I would disagree with the idea that a good portion of finishing thru hikers finish with a big ol' pack. Maybe start with one. Hiking safely with a pretty low pack weight is pretty damn easy on the AT. Makes me spoiled for when I have to carry a 2+ lb bear canister and multiple days worth of foodYeah, all of this.

I'll never understand why anyone poo-pooh's "base weight", it's a useful tool/metric, even though slightly ambiguous at times for some.

And what a contrast of typical packs in Georgia compared to packs in Maine! When I hiked the AT NOBO, I flipped around in the White's in NH because of logistics of my wife joining me for that 100 miles, so we went SOBO through that section, so going against the hiker-grain, we saw tons and tons of AT hikers getting close to their finish. We counted just over 200 NOBO AT hikers in 6 days on the trail (yes, you can tell AT thru hikers vs. average Joe hikers). I'd say only a small handful had larger packs, most were nicely trimmed down.

Compare that with the stupid-huge packs you see in Georgia. Yikes!

It really is not a huge effort or learning process to hike relatively light, yet fully equipped. To get UL is more work and money, of course.

cmoulder
11-15-2016, 10:50
It seems at times there's also a huge element of ego or emotional investment in traditions (hence "trad," and open hostility toward UL) and also a macho element to carrying a big pack; witness one of the above comments "Are you weak?" Wow, that's pretty condescending!

Well at least the mass market gear makers are starting to trend toward truly Lightweight if not UL... there's a fair number of 2-person tents in the 2 lb weight vicinity, and stuff is generally getting lighter.

Gritty
11-15-2016, 11:17
"Hiking should be fun, not work, so lighten up" - Andrew Skurka.

During a recent AT section hike in Ga my wife and I encountered a young lady laboring up Ramrock mtn as we were descending. Her pack was so heavy she was bent over at what must have been close to a 45 degree angle. She wasnt a big woman, maybe 130 lbs and mentioned her pack weight was close to 40 lbs. (for a 30 mile, 4 day hike). No one needs to be lugging close to 35% of their body weight around on their back. It cant be good for the hips, knees and ankles. This young lady was part of a hiking group and was more than likely talked into carrying that much weight by the group "leader". Somehow I doubt she had any fun at all on that hike and may not ever want to backpack again.

I really am a "to each his own" kind of guy but when I hear someone being asked if they are "weak" because they want to carry a lighter load.....well, I just have to shake my head and press on.

Another Kevin
11-15-2016, 16:29
I'll never understand why anyone poo-pooh's "base weight", it's a useful tool/metric, even though slightly ambiguous at times for some.

For the record: I don't pooh-pooh wanting to carry less. I just don't see the point of comparing specific numbers. Sure, you want the lightest gear that you can afford that will do the job you want it to do. There are a lot of tricks for making that happen - lighter weight alternatives, making pieces do double duty, and just leaving useless stuff home - that people would be wise to learn. Which leads me into:


It really is not a huge effort or learning process to hike relatively light, yet fully equipped.
I find that new hikers struggle to learn how to carry light. Once you know how, it surely seems easy, but it is indeed a learning process for the uninformed - and if you don't have someone to show you the ropes, it can be quite daunting.

One reason that I never state a base weight number is that my weight of gear varies greatly depending on the destination, the season, and the duration and purpose of the trip. I'm not much of a long-distance hiker, so I can't advise on what you need specifically for "fast and light - knock out a couple thousand miles in a season." I can say what I would carry for a 4-5 day summer trip in the Taconics, perhaps, and presume that a thru-hiker passing through Connecticut or Massachusetts might need much the same. I don't know that for sure, not being a thru-hiker. Maybe there's less variability in the specialized domain of the thru-hike.

Coming from that perspective, I can say that my Big Four for that sort of trip consist of a Granite Gear Crown VC60 pack (tall), a TarpTent Notch (plus a Tyvek sheet in case I sleep in a shelter), a house-brand 20 down bag (Long) from the REI outlet, and a Therm-a-Rest ProLite self-inflating pad. I can say that none of those seem to me to be insanely heavy choices (your opinion may vary), and I surely see thru-hikers up here in the North carrying similar stuff. Nevertheless, pack weight wasn't the primary consideration with any of them. I sometimes like to have a little bit more comfort or versatility, and I'm a cheapskate. That's why I don't have a dedicated lightweight bag or quilt for Summer. Summer is too short around here for me to justify the price to myself just to save a few ounces.

What does the stuff weigh? I usually have no idea. If I'm considering replacing a piece of gear or building a different system, then I might start weighing things, so that I know whether I'm actually moving in the right direction. Otherwise, why do I care? I'm going to have to carry it whatever the number is.

I suppose I do care, for this sort of discussion - just to have a benchmark for comparison. So now I guess I have to go look stuff up....



Pack

1.02 kg



Tent

0.77 kg



Tyvek

0.15 kg



Bag

1.28 kg



Pad

0.45 kg




So my total for the Big Four is 3.67 kg, or just over 8 lb 1 oz. I could surely lighten it..

0.15 kg - Leave the Tyvek at home if I'm not sleeping in shelters. I seldom, do, anyway, and often I do leave it home, but I'm trying to stay 'AT-style' for this discussion.
0.86 kg - Sleep under something like an EE Revelation 40 rather than using my old sleeping bag.
0.15 kg - Use a torso-length Z-Lite Sol rather than the ProLite
???? - The above three changes would bring my Big Four down to about 2.5 kg (5 lb 8 oz). With it that light, I would likely be able to go with a frameless pack. I haven't researched frameless packs, so I don't have a number for what the saving would be.

But I haven't made those moves. In colder weather - which is a lot of the hiking season where I live - I'd be back with the heavier bag and the full-length pad. I therefore haven't spent the couple hundred bucks that the quilt would run me, to say nothing of the price of an UL frameless pack.

I could save yet another couple hundred grams by switching the TarpTent out for a tarp. But the bug season around here is murder. Blessed is he who sleepeth behind screening, for he shall remain sane.

If I were to be out for a couple of months in the Summer, then I'd be willing to spring for the summer-weight gear, and adjust the system to a 5-pound Big Four. But a long trip in hot weather has never been my hiking style. Moreover, my Big Four are likely always to be heavier than some. I'm a big guy. I need gear that fits.

If I were to do a traditional GA-ME thru-hike, I'd probably try to get the better of both worlds. I'd plan to drop some bucks on new gear if I had such a big project. That would mean that I could haul the 8-pound kit in GA and NC, swap out for the 5-pound kit in Damascus, and pick up the heavy gear again in Hanover. I could drop some of the cold-weather clothing for the middle section as well. That's a guess based on what I know of the weather patterns. Again I've never planned a thru-hike. I could be completely off base.

What does all that number crunching to get a weight figure tell me? Nothing. Whatever the figure is, I have to carry it.

What does the figure tell you? It depends entirely on your point of view, and ranges from, "Another Kevin is a clueless weekender who carries stuff that's way too heavy," through "Another Kevin is a pretty typical middle-of-the-road cheapskate hiker," to "Another Kevin has put some thought into gear and recognizes that it has to fit togetrher in a system, so going UL is a major commitment." But what insight does the figure, by itself, give into how I might go lighter or why I might want not to?

A final thought: I wouldn't reap most of the benefits of UL without considerably more work on the FSI (From Skin In) weight. I never have a weight problem if I can hike regularly, but a combination of health and life issues kept me in for most of a year, and I'm having to start up again with baby steps or I'm going to wind up right back in rehab.

Fireplug
11-15-2016, 19:35
I'm at 13.2 BPW. I still want to cut out a few pounds and I think I can

colorado_rob
11-15-2016, 21:50
For the record: I don't pooh-pooh wanting to carry less. I just don't see the point of comparing specific numbers. Sure, you want the lightest gear that you can afford that will do the job you want it to do. There are a lot of tricks for making that happen - lighter weight alternatives, making pieces do double duty, and just leaving useless stuff home - that people would be wise to learn. Which leads me into:....Well said and well thought out post, Kevin. We really are not that far apart in our pack weight views.

I just think "base weight" is a useful kinda-sorta metric for beginning-intermediate folks to see where they are at with respect to well known average pack weights, and it only makes sense when one excludes food, water and other consumables, and I agree, only makes sense in context of time of year and type of hiking.

I had a longer response typed in, but hot some weird key stroke and lost it all....

MuddyWaters
11-15-2016, 22:20
You have to know whats in your pack, and what it weighs, if you want to control it.
Its that simple.

The majority of being light, is learning to simply not take what you dont really need.

Big psychological barriers for some folks.

cmoulder
11-15-2016, 23:27
You have to know whats in your pack, and what it weighs, if you want to control it.
Its that simple.

+100

Especially in a thread titled "Gear Weight" :-?

Thus my recommendation early on to get a good digital scale. And also, as mentioned previously, use a spreadsheet app like lighterpack or geargrams.

shelb
11-16-2016, 00:31
My goal is to be under 27 pounds SKIN OUT - with 5 days of food and 1 day of water.

Oventoasted
11-16-2016, 01:13
This is what i have made up so far. thanks for the link to the LighterPack site, very helpful for me. Liking the results so far and im sure there will be more tweaks to come.

https://lighterpack.com/r/akwcym

(https://lighterpack.com/r/akwcym)

cmoulder
11-16-2016, 07:48
This is what i have made up so far. thanks for the link to the LighterPack site, very helpful for me. Liking the results so far and im sure there will be more tweaks to come.

https://lighterpack.com/r/akwcym

As our friends Down Under say, Good on ya, Mate! :D

-Rush-
11-16-2016, 12:25
I'll never understand why anyone poo-pooh's "base weight", it's a useful tool/metric, even though slightly ambiguous at times for some.

Agreed. I'm a fan of using base weight since it's what you'll be carrying every mile, and that's the best weight metric to use for getting pack weight to a minimum. Food and water weight is in constant flux and will never be consistent except possibly on resupply day. My target is usually 10-12lb base weight in summer and 12-15lb in winter. I always plan on 2L of water and 5lbs of food, so my pack weight is usually 17-22lbs. I don't even weigh it anymore.

Another Kevin
11-16-2016, 15:37
Agreed. I'm a fan of using base weight since it's what you'll be carrying every mile, and that's the best weight metric to use for getting pack weight to a minimum. Food and water weight is in constant flux and will never be consistent except possibly on resupply day. My target is usually 10-12lb base weight in summer and 12-15lb in winter. I always plan on 2L of water and 5lbs of food, so my pack weight is usually 17-22lbs. I don't even weigh it anymore.

Ah. You're in Georgia. I see.

I live Up North. If I bring my full kit of winter traction gear, that alone weighs 8 pounds 9 ounces - including ice axe, leash and sheaths, crampons and crampon bag, snowshoes, tails, gear ties, screwdriver, and spare parts), and I can't dispense with a gram of it if the snow conditions are varied enough. Maybe it's the extreme variation in conditions that I hike in that makes base weight seem like a meaningless number. When I hear numbers quoted, I can't help but think that a winter day trip, even in near-ideal conditions (http://dftscript.blogspot.com/2014/12/21-blackhead-mountain.html), has my buddies and me lugging packs that might be double the weight of what we'd bring for a summer weekend. Yes, I said, 'day trip.' You still have to bring enough dead geese that spraining an ankle won't mean freezing to death, and enough traction gear that you won't go off a cliff.

It's not just the weather, either. How much photography am I planning? Am I doing map making? Am I planning to fish? Is the trip long enough and the weather warm enough that I'll want my bucket to bathe?

Maybe pack weight comparisons among thru-hikers do make sense. If everyone is hiking basically the same hike, day after day, then there's a lot less variation in the stuff you need. If I were a thru-hiker, I'd probably have that five- or five-and-a-half-pound Big Four that I discussed earlier. But I'm not a thru-hiker, and I suppose I don't think like one.

ETA: Also, 5 pounds of food? Do you really plan a 3-day resupply cycle? On the one longish (a little under 140 mile) hike that I've done in the last few years, I had a six day food carry in the middle. I'm slow, I was planning 8-12 mile days. It turns out that 12-15 was more comfortable for that trip, but I couldn't factor that in the initial planning. I left on the long section with about 11 pounds of food, I think. Some of it was odds and ends that I picked up at a general store and didn't weigh.

-Rush-
11-16-2016, 20:39
Ah. You're in Georgia. I see.

ETA: Also, 5 pounds of food? Do you really plan a 3-day resupply cycle? On the one longish (a little under 140 mile) hike that I've done in the last few years, I had a six day food carry in the middle. I'm slow, I was planning 8-12 mile days. It turns out that 12-15 was more comfortable for that trip, but I couldn't factor that in the initial planning. I left on the long section with about 11 pounds of food, I think. Some of it was odds and ends that I picked up at a general store and didn't weigh.

Yeah, I keep forgetting that the AT goes all the way up there! I've never been past TN.

I can last 3-4 days on 5lbs of food @ 3000 cals/day. In fact, I usually have some left over. I try to keep my trips under 100 miles with a resupply option in there somewhere. This year all of my outings have been near or along the southern AT.

q-tip
11-17-2016, 11:29
I have a number of extensive gear lists by season, weight and cost. My kit summer 13.5 to 3-season 15.5 ex. Food/water. Send pm with email and I will forward.

CarlZ993
11-17-2016, 14:36
Want to ask you all what your average pack weight will be? I'm totaling up my gear i will be taking and so far im at a 23lb base weight. which seems high since i know a lot of the other thru hikers have base weights of 10-15lbs.

now if i add the 10lbs of food for 5 days and another 2-3 lbs of water i could be looking at a 35lb pack. :( maybe im drinking a little too much of the UL koolaid but i know carrying too much stuff can hurt mileage and your body.

I put up a picture of my list so far. 36922

Also i know my weight will go down after the spring and summer comes and that will lighten things up a bit too.

An 'old school' gear list. Written down. Cool. As you add & subtract gear choices, you may find an online gear list system - like GearGrams.com - more advantageous. Once you create the master gear list in the 'Gear Library,' you can then create a list (on left side of page), i.e. desert hike list, AT list, Ultralight list, PCT list, etc. You simply click & drag items from the Gear Library into the new list. When you delete from the Gear list, it doesn't remove it from the Gear Library... just the list you are working on. Once you play around with it a while, it becomes 2nd nature.

Good luck in your lighter gear quest.

Rex Clifton
11-17-2016, 17:05
I have made a concerted effort over the last few years to reduce my pack weight. That being said, a 23 lb base weight seems awfully high, even if you're not a gram weenie. One reason may be that you are using a hammock instead of a tent. Don't get me wrong, I love hammocking, but you definitely pay a weight penalty. I mainly limit my hanging to the summer months where I can get my pack weight down to a decent level. I also like to hang in the summer since its cooler than sleeping on the ground. My shoulder season base weight is 13 pounds and during the summer, run at around 10-12 lbs depending on whether I'm hanging or ground pounding.

Oventoasted
11-17-2016, 22:23
I have made a concerted effort over the last few years to reduce my pack weight. That being said, a 23 lb base weight seems awfully high, even if you're not a gram weenie. One reason may be that you are using a hammock instead of a tent. Don't get me wrong, I love hammocking, but you definitely pay a weight penalty. I mainly limit my hanging to the summer months where I can get my pack weight down to a decent level. I also like to hang in the summer since its cooler than sleeping on the ground. My shoulder season base weight is 13 pounds and during the summer, run at around 10-12 lbs depending on whether I'm hanging or ground pounding.

i don't think you saw my latest replies. https://lighterpack.com/r/akwcym
(https://lighterpack.com/r/akwcym)




(https://lighterpack.com/r/akwcym)
(https://lighterpack.com/r/akwcym)

JC13
11-18-2016, 13:19
If you are using a compactor bag or the like for your pack liner, you can ditch the Osprey cover. 4 oz gone that won't actually help too much on keeping your pack dry, it will still wet out from the rain between your rain jacket and the pack.

Definitely getting the weight reigned in.

Oventoasted
11-18-2016, 14:37
I thought covers were still good to have even with a compactor bag on the inside because a soaked pack is heavier than a non-soaked pack. Not sure if a wet pack is more than 4 oz though.

Oventoasted
11-18-2016, 14:40
*Really wish i could edit posts!!*

Also i wanted to add is that im going to see if the Frogg Togg poncho can cover the pack. which could solve both issues. :D

capehiker
11-18-2016, 17:12
*Really wish i could edit posts!!*

Also i wanted to add is that im going to see if the Frogg Togg poncho can cover the pack. which could solve both issues. :D

It should. A guy I hiked with this summer had a Frogg Togg poncho and used it as his pack cover as well. It fit over his back easily. He wasn't hauling an expedition pack,though.

Gritty
11-19-2016, 05:21
According to your latest spreadsheet you either have or are planning on going with a ZPacks Arc Haul. No need to worry about Dyneema getting soaked.

Oventoasted
11-19-2016, 10:50
According to your latest spreadsheet you either have or are planning on going with a ZPacks Arc Haul. No need to worry about Dyneema getting soaked.

I just got the pack in yesterday and its awesome! never had a pack that was so large and light. I can see why a cover isnt necessary now too with it. its like a massive dry bag.

Puddlefish
11-19-2016, 11:10
I thought covers were still good to have even with a compactor bag on the inside because a soaked pack is heavier than a non-soaked pack. Not sure if a wet pack is more than 4 oz though.

I started with a brand new pack, and a compactor bag inside. Didn't pick up any more water weight through wet fabric than would have picked up with water weight on a pack cover. The pack cover would have just been extra weight carried full time. I probably could have skipped the compactor bag as well, but it was part of my mattress inflation system.

Gritty
11-21-2016, 07:51
Excellent article on going light over at HMG, written by Allan Dixon;

http://blog.hyperlitemountaingear.com/backpacking-ultralight-you-wont-freeze/#more-6455

colorado_rob
11-21-2016, 08:53
Excellent article on going light over at HMG, written by Allan Dixon;

http://blog.hyperlitemountaingear.com/backpacking-ultralight-you-wont-freeze/#more-6455Wow, that is one outstanding article. Great stuff! This article should become a sticky-note on the UL forum. Thanks for the link.

cmoulder
11-21-2016, 10:07
Yes, that is a really excellent UL primer.

UL is mostly about putting a little more thought into the 'why' and the 'how' for gear selection and usage.

And SUL is about putting in a LOT more thought... lol :D

colorado_rob
11-21-2016, 10:30
And SUL is about putting in a LOT more thought... lol :DAND a lot more into $$$$$$$$$$$$$.....

cmoulder
11-21-2016, 11:05
AND a lot more into $$$$$$$$$$$$$.....

Sometimes yes, sometimes no...

I have a Zpacks pocket tarp with a MYOG polycryo bathtub/groundsheet that costs a lot less than most tents, and I use the same air mat and sleeping bag, and the MLD Core 1700 cost $80 plus about another $30 for pockets, and my cook kit is very inexpensive. :sun

Only problem with the tarp around here is the bugs. I can handle most anything except bugs feasting on me. :o

Greenlight
11-21-2016, 11:21
Like others have said, that isn't too bad of a base weight, and a 35 lb fully loaded pack is ok (not for an ultralighter, tho!). But if you want suggestions, with weight savings:

Get an ultralight pack (3 lb)
You're hanging, ditch the air pad (1 lb)
Pare down that med kit and ditch the mace (18 oz)
Switch to an alcohol stove (10 oz)
Ditch the kindle and read books on your phone (8 oz)
Ditch the extra batteries (6 oz)
Don't count your poles, they're not on your back.

That 6.5 pounds eliminated, and you're darn near UL territory, at just over 20 lbs base. Some things like the extras for your First Aid Kit and extra batteries can be put in a bounce box and bounced ahead of you to the next mail pick up point.

I'm a technphile, too, and will be bringing a 1 lb 1300 mAh charger that keeps my phone charged for six days, but I don't know at this point if I'll be ditching it for something lighter down the road. I don't thru for a couple more years so I have time to adjust. I wouldn't ADD anything to your list, but you've already gotten many good suggestions for saving weight. Especially drop the bear mace. I've never had a single good experience with incapacitating sprays. You're more than likely going to spray yourself or someone else with you instead of the bear, and the bear will just look at you funny and run off into the bushes like it would if you'd simply yelled and waved your arms.


Want to ask you all what your average pack weight will be? I'm totaling up my gear i will be taking and so far im at a 23lb base weight. which seems high since i know a lot of the other thru hikers have base weights of 10-15lbs.

now if i add the 10lbs of food for 5 days and another 2-3 lbs of water i could be looking at a 35lb pack. :( maybe im drinking a little too much of the UL koolaid but i know carrying too much stuff can hurt mileage and your body.

I put up a picture of my list so far. 36922

Also i know my weight will go down after the spring and summer comes and that will lighten things up a bit too.

Another Kevin
11-21-2016, 11:33
I definitely use a pack cover at this time of year.

(1) It's blaze orange. It's hunting season. Enough said.

(2) It's slick enough not to accumulate ice, or at least to let me shake the ice off it. I've had points on trips when I've knocked literally pounds of ice off my pack cover. I particularly remember this one from two years ago, where the rocks were dry when we started up the mountain in the morning. We got ice all over our packs, our outer clothing, our poles, anything that was in the weather. I wanted my crampons by the time we were back at the cars, but all I'd brought were microspikes. No accidents, but it was scary. The drive to town was even scarier.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qTdQfCvbUcY/UsGqF39e8pI/AAAAAAAAZYU/C0NalmQmgtI/s640-no/DSC_5028.JPG

But everyone here knows that I'm not an ultralighter. It doesn't make sense with the rest of my hiking style.

colorado_rob
11-21-2016, 11:39
Sometimes yes, sometimes no...

I have a Zpacks pocket tarp with a MYOG polycryo bathtub/groundsheet that costs a lot less than most tents funny, I was just looking at zpacks tarps... we're (my wife and I) trying to settle on a tent system for a PCT attempt next year. We definitely need bug (scorpion, snake, etc) protection as well, shopping for bug nets, etc, might DIY something (my wife loves to sew) starting with a zpacks tarp.

And sure, sometimes a few bucks can save lots and lots of weight. My favorite silliness is the ridiculous weight of lexan bottles (Nalgene's, etc) vs. SUL drink bottles (G-ade, whatever) that cost essentially nothing. I've seen lots of folks on trails such as the AT carry three Nalgene bottles, I swear to doG. Weighing in over a pound.

colorado_rob
11-21-2016, 11:40
I though "UL territory" was around a 10 lb base or less? Certainly not 20 pounds. Semantics, I suppose.

Hosh
11-21-2016, 15:26
Excellent article on going light over at HMG, written by Allan Dixon;

http://blog.hyperlitemountaingear.com/backpacking-ultralight-you-wont-freeze/#more-6455
Nice find, well thought out and well written.

I also checked out the Grand Canyon thru hike articles. Major, major undertaking in a harsh environment. Not the best place to bone up on your map and compass skills or you might get stuck on a ledge with no way up, no way down.

cmoulder
11-21-2016, 17:14
I though "UL territory" was around a 10 lb base or less? Certainly not 20 pounds. Semantics, I suppose.

That might be BackPacker magazine UL. :rolleyes:

lol, those Nalgenes are some low-hanging fruit, for sure. I'm a big fan of the Gatorade bottles, and in the winter I put them in bubble-wrap mailers for insulation. Works crazy well.

rocketsocks
11-21-2016, 18:51
I wouldn't put a heated Gatorade bottle in the foot of my sleeping bag...but a Nalgene, yup.

Another Kevin
11-21-2016, 19:13
I though "UL territory" was around a 10 lb base or less? Certainly not 20 pounds. Semantics, I suppose.

I think the framework that a lot of people use is Alan Dixon's article on Backpacking Light from about fifteen years ago. He gave some example gear lists (https://backpackinglight.com/backpackinglight/images/00034-1.pdf).

His example choices of stuff for a week on the trail had:

Traditional: 32 lb base weight + 16.5 lb consumables + 6.2 lb worn or carried = 54.7 FSO
Lightweight: 20.1 lb base weight + 13.0 lb consumables + 4.9 lb worn or carried = 38.1 lb FSO
Ultralight: 9.1 lb base weight + 9.4 lb consumables + 3.4 lb worn or carried = 21.9 lb FSO

REI's definition (https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ultralight-backpacking.html) is the following. Remember that they're in the (mostly low-end) gear business, so I'd expect that they'd expect you to carry more. ;)

Minimalist < 12 lbs
UL around 20 lbs
LW < 30 lbs
Plush/deluxe - more than that.

Gossamer Gear - who are in the business of selling you more expensive, lighter stuff, says
(http://gossamergear.com/wp/lightweight-backpacking-conundrum)
LW < 20 lbs base weight
UL < 10 lbs baseweight
SUL < 5 lbs baseweight

which has ratcheted a bit down from the original BPL article.

I find the commenters on the Gossamer Gear article are very much to my liking, and very different from the people here. I really like Skurka's comments there. Base weight is a meaningless number. The trick is to take what you need to do what you want to do in the conditions that you expect (and at least get home safely if things get significantly worse) - and nothing else. The exact figure depends on the destination, the weather, and the trip objectives. Sure, Skurka is mostly known for his gear advice for the 'ultimate hiker' - but he recognizes that there are 'ultimate hikers' and 'ultimate campers' and a whole spectrum in between - and that most of us aren't even the same place on that spectrum on every trip. The purpose of going lightweight is to be able to carry more consumables or more fun items, or to go farther, or to travel in more seasons or at higher elevations or up steeper slopes, or simply to be able to keep going as the old body is able to haul less. It's not to achieve an arbitrary number.

What I'll carry for a weekend in Harriman or the Taconics in high summer is definitely 'lightweight' by Gossamer Gear's definition. That's a pretty broad weight range, and I can state that with some confidence without ever having weighed my pack. It may even at this point be edging toward ultralight, if I'm not tooling up for photography, fishing or map making. What I'll carry for a weekend outing in deep winter that involves some above-treeline travel on a Northeast 4000 footer probably weighs three times as much - and is still in the 'lightweight' category for that type of trip.

I'll probably never be an ultralighter. It just isn't my travel style. (I'll continue to go farther into lightweight territory. I know that I have gear items and systems that I want to replace with lighter versions as the opportunity arises.) I know I'll also never be an ultralighter in other respects. While I freely admit that I'm carrying a few pounds too many, I'm a big guy, and no matter what you feed a bulldog, he ain't never gonna be a greyhound.

Ultralight doesn't need to mean expensive, either. If it fit my travel style, I could easily just plunk down $200 and go with a kit like Mark Henley's list (http://www.gossamergear.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Ultracheap_Henley.pdf). Heck, in some categories, I have better and lighter stuff already. But it doesn't. A lot of it simply doesn't fit what I do or where I go. I think good advice on "how can I reduce pack weight" is, "start with Mark's list, and for anything you do to go beyond it, justify to yourself why you're going heavier or more expensive." His options mightn't be durable enough to hold up for a thru-hike (although the flimsiest items can be replaced readily in most trail towns, often as a dumpster dive!), but they are surely good enough for multiple shakedown hikes. It's also a "high summer" gear list - cooler weather will demand more. But it's a useful starting point for comparison for ultracheap hikers.

I dislike arbitrary labels. I never seem to be able to wear any of them comfortably.

ScareBear
11-21-2016, 19:55
I wouldn't put a heated Gatorade bottle in the foot of my sleeping bag...but a Nalgene, yup.

Mmmmm....yup. That's pretty much spot on....

colorado_rob
11-21-2016, 21:07
I wouldn't put a heated Gatorade bottle in the foot of my sleeping bag...but a Nalgene, yup. Been doing just that for 15 years, climbing huge, cold mountains all over the world, nothing but Gatorade bottles warming my toes at 25 below zero outside.

You carry your own fears. Hike on.

rocketsocks
11-21-2016, 23:06
Been doing just that for 15 years, climbing huge, cold mountains all over the world, nothing but Gatorade bottles warming my toes at 25 below zero outside.

You carry your own fears. Hike on....and there ya have it!

rocketsocks
11-21-2016, 23:32
Been doing just that for 15 years, climbing huge, cold mountains all over the world, nothing but Gatorade bottles warming my toes at 25 below zero outside.

You carry your own fears. Hike on.but since ya brought it up (carry your own fears)...is it not those that are afraid to carry a little extra weight of a far superior vessel the ones that are afraid of blowin' out their back?

ScareBear
11-22-2016, 02:30
but since ya brought it up (carry your own fears)...is it not those that are afraid to carry a little extra weight of a far superior vessel the ones that are afraid of blowin' out their back?

Now I am motivated to get a 1 liter Gatorade bottle half-full of hot water and sit on it to see what happens. I already know nothing happens to the Nalgene....nothing....just sayin....

Fear isn't always a bad thing. Most of the time in the wilderness, fear is your DNA kicking in. And, that's a good thing. At a human's base level, being afraid is your physical being's means of self-preservation. Fear of heights, fire, water, confined spaces, avalanches, hypothermia and bursting-water-bottles-inside-of-down-sleeping-bags-at10 degrees can all be rational fears. It's the IRRATIONAL fears that are bad things...YMMV...

cmoulder
11-22-2016, 08:19
Pouring boiling water straight into a Gatorade bottle will deform it. I've put hot (~160F) water into them many times with no issues.

When at all possible it is preferable to have a sleep system (quilt/bag+air mat+CCF) that does not depend upon additional heat to provide adequate warmth.

Turning snow into hot water is a very fuel-intensive exercise so it is best not to bring it to a full boil in any event. And it's a very good idea to bring one of those coffee filter baskets to strain out the bits of tree bark, leaves and needles when melting snow for water.

egilbe
11-22-2016, 08:31
And it's a very good idea to bring one of those coffee filter baskets to strain out the bits of tree bark, leaves and needles when melting snow for water.

But, but...thats my dietary fiber!

Hikingjim
11-22-2016, 09:05
I dislike arbitrary labels. I never seem to be able to wear any of them comfortably.

Kevin, you have clearly hiked enough to know what you need to bring. I would never start with someone's list or care about base weight, but I recognize it's use, and it's only arbitrary when people start adding their banjo to their base weight instead of making it an apples to apples comparison.
If someone says their AT thru-hike base weight, I know exactly what they're talking about. Same with "winter base weight", etc.
It's best served to shake down newb gear, for seasoned hikers that want to go as low as possible in weight, etc

colorado_rob
11-22-2016, 09:26
Now I am motivated to get a 1 liter Gatorade bottle half-full of hot water and sit on it to see what happens. I already know nothing happens to the Nalgene....nothing....just sayin....

Fear isn't always a bad thing. Most of the time in the wilderness, fear is your DNA kicking in. And, that's a good thing. At a human's base level, being afraid is your physical being's means of self-preservation. Fear of heights, fire, water, confined spaces, avalanches, hypothermia and bursting-water-bottles-inside-of-down-sleeping-bags-at10 degrees can all be rational fears. It's the IRRATIONAL fears that are bad things...YMMV...Agree, but I would submit that carrying water bottles that you can drive a truck over for fear of them breaking otherwise is a tad irrational**. Do make that test! I have, but only with a full G-ade bottle, never half full which would indeed be somewhat weaker, though probably still plenty strong. So, just make sure your bottle is relatively full, the cap on tight and not cross-threaded, and voila, you won't have any problems.


Pouring boiling water straight into a Gatorade bottle will deform it. I've put hot (~160F) water into them many times with no issues.

When at all possible it is preferable to have a sleep system (quilt/bag+air mat+CCF) that does not depend upon additional heat to provide adequate warmth.

Turning snow into hot water is a very fuel-intensive exercise so it is best not to bring it to a full boil in any event. And it's a very good idea to bring one of those coffee filter baskets to strain out the bits of tree bark, leaves and needles when melting snow for water. One main reason for the hot-water-Gatorade-bottle thing we use in winter all the time is those hot water bottles are our next day's drinking water. It helps to start out with warm water for the next day's hike/climb/whatever, and who wants to bother melting snow in the morning?

Yeah, I've seen full boiling water distort the bottom of a G-ade bottle, though this doesn't seem to really hurt or compromise the bottle. So I just pour a few ounces of cold water into the bottom before pouring the hot (usually near boiling) water into the bottle. Works great.

If you really must carry a Nalgene for use as a hot water bottle, at least only carry one of them for this specific use, and while your at it, carry the Polyethylene version, which is significantly lighter than the Lexan version.

** Funny story, my buddy actually DID drive over his own pack with his truck, moving his truck to a different parking spot at a trailhead. Squashed lunch, tread marks on his pack, nothing else damaged.

Another Kevin
11-22-2016, 11:37
Pouring boiling water straight into a Gatorade bottle will deform it. I've put hot (~160F) water into them many times with no issues.

When at all possible it is preferable to have a sleep system (quilt/bag+air mat+CCF) that does not depend upon additional heat to provide adequate warmth.

Turning snow into hot water is a very fuel-intensive exercise so it is best not to bring it to a full boil in any event. And it's a very good idea to bring one of those coffee filter baskets to strain out the bits of tree bark, leaves and needles when melting snow for water.

Hmm, the way I figure it, if I'm already spending the fuel to melt it, I might as well boil it to save the hassle of treating it in some other way.

My sleep system (bag + CCF + mat, just as you suggest, plus an automobile sun shade) provides adequate warmth at -10F. It warms up a lot faster with a hot water bottle. It takes a while, and consumes a fair amount of body heat, to heat up the dead geese and the trapped air. Since I've just spent a few moments exposing a lot of skin to the cold changing into my sleeping baselayer, I'll take all the warmth I can find. Besides, my Nalgene is my coffee pot. (I bring just one - the others are Platypus bags. The wide-mouth sport-drink bottle is the urinal.) That coffee filter that strains out the leaves, spruce needles and other floaties does double duty for filtering coffee.

Engine
11-22-2016, 13:36
The base weights for our packs when planning for possible winter conditions (early March AT start date) are:

Mine: 11.2 pounds

My wife: 10.1 pounds

Keep in mind we have some shared gear, such as cook kit and tent, so those figures would be tweaked a bit if going solo. Once we get past Roan Mountain and send our winter gear home, the numbers work out to 9.7 and 8.9 respectively.

Puddlefish
11-22-2016, 13:52
If I can trust a Gatorade bottle with my pee, opening and closing it without cross threading, while half asleep, multiple times a night, keeping it right next to my sleeping bag, while half asleep... I can trust it with some hot water down by my feet, in my sleeping bag.

Neemor
11-22-2016, 14:25
The thing about going lighter is that it snowballs.
If you carry less gear, you can hike easier & faster. meaning you carry less water and food. which means you will be lighter and you can go even faster. Which means you need less food [emoji1]

It looks like there is some good advice above on what you could get rid of.
The main thing is to be content with your weight to comfort level. But dont be scared to get rid of things. Try going stoveless. Try carrying less clothing. Be open minded and if you dont miss anything then dont carry it again.

P.s. You will get used to being around bears. The spray isn't necessary. [emoji111]🏼️


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Gritty
11-22-2016, 15:45
Is this THE Neemor? If so congrats on the PCT thru hike! I just watched the video you did with John Z. Good stuff. Good to know you are here.

Neemor
11-22-2016, 16:05
Is this THE Neemor? If so congrats on the PCT thru hike.

Hahaha. There is only one Neemor. [emoji1]

Thank you!

capehiker
11-22-2016, 21:44
I though "UL territory" was around a 10 lb base or less? Certainly not 20 pounds. Semantics, I suppose.

Yes, you are correct. I did a double take and scratched my head when I read 20lbs as UL.

kevperro
11-27-2016, 13:26
It should be easy to get a base weight under 15lbs as long as you are not planning on winter travel.

< 3 lbs. on shelter (everything needed)
< 3 lbs. on Sleeping System (bag + pad)
< 3 lbs on pack (including cover/compactor bag)
< 3 lbs on clothing (everything you carry - don't count worn shorts/t-shirt/socks/boots)
< 1 lb cooking system (pot/stove/accessories to eat)

Don't allow yourself to exceed these limits in each category and you should be fine. What you think you need and what you actually end up needing will be two different things so plan on changing your plans. Your pack weight takes care of itself after the first 21-30 days. You can always pick-up more junk as you travel. I doubt that will happen much. ;-)

freys
11-27-2016, 16:16
I'm right at 10 on my big 4 and will be over 5 for my clothing to start March 9th. If/when I get to Damascus I'll evaluate everything for warm and probably buy new lighter on some things. Ounces get very expensive so for now that is what I roll with.

kevperro
11-28-2016, 06:03
I'm right at 10 on my big 4 and will be over 5 for my clothing to start March 9th. If/when I get to Damascus I'll evaluate everything for warm and probably buy new lighter on some things. Ounces get very expensive so for now that is what I roll with.

That should do the trick...the easiest ounces are the items you just don't bring. You can comb through your pack after the first couple resupply points and I bet you find some free weight that cost nothing more than dropping it.

coyote9
11-28-2016, 16:40
Nothing wrong with a 23lb base weight if that has all the things that you want to take with you. (My base weight is usually about 20-25lbs for a weekend hike, and was more like 40lbs for a JMT thru hike).

But of the top of my head, I would say the following items are what you will not see on a hiker with <15lb base weight:
1. Pack that weights almost 5lbs. You need something <3lb if you're trying to go ultra light.
2. Nearly 1lb med kit. I too like to come well prepared for the unexpected. Ultra light hikers seem to carry not much more than a few bandaids.
3. 12oz Bear Mace - you only NEED mace if you're going into grizzly country.
4. 2lbs of electronics - (and it's not too difficult to find a lamp lighter than 5oz)


+1
Well said. Good stuff

coyote9
11-29-2016, 00:10
My friend, you shouldn't get the idea from the Internet that it's necessary or even preferred to go ultralight on the AT. You will sacrifice a lot of comfort (and safety) to carry a 20 lb pack vs a 35 lb pack. I started north from Springer on April 4, 2009 and watched very carefully what successful hikers were carrying as I went through GA and NC. Sure, I saw a few ultralight rigs, but everyone else had ~35 lb packs and still hiked 15-20 mile days without any problems.

As a veteran hiker who started in the 1960's with Army surplus packs and tents (pack weight 50 lbs+) I can say that the available ~35 lb lightweight equipment is already a huge improvement over what we carried a generation ago. Trimming everything drastically to the bone is possible, but why are you doing this? Are you physically weak? Is it really important to do big miles? Do you like being uncomfortable?

"You will sacrifice a lot of comfort (and safety) to carry a 20 lb pack vs a 35 lb pack"
How did you come to this conclusion?

coyote9
11-29-2016, 12:25
Hey brother I guess you've been doing some major mods to that pack list.

Only thing Ill add is about the Surefire headlamp. That uses 123's right? Those batteries are harder to find (and expensive.) My headlamp uses 2 AAA. Every gas station and dollar store has those cheap.

Good to see you come to the darkside: lightweight gear mate.
Looks like you are learning quicker than I did after 10 years in the Corps that I no longer need to pack for worst case scenario and EVERY contingency.

Oventoasted
12-02-2016, 19:02
Hey brother I guess you've been doing some major mods to that pack list.

Only thing Ill add is about the Surefire headlamp. That uses 123's right? Those batteries are harder to find (and expensive.) My headlamp uses 2 AAA. Every gas station and dollar store has those cheap.

Good to see you come to the darkside: lightweight gear mate.
Looks like you are learning quicker than I did after 10 years in the Corps that I no longer need to pack for worst case scenario and EVERY contingency.

haha, a lot to learn from these forums if you are willing to do the digging. also, talking with my friend over thanksgiving that thru-hiked in 2015 gave some good advice. Big thing he told me was to ditch the battery brick. just keep my phone off till i want to take a photo video or call and the battery for it will last weeks.

I think i pretty much have my pack the way i want it. coming in at a 12 lbs base weight for starting in Feb and when things heat up i should be at ~9 lbs.

my only issue now is washing clothes with my rain gear may put me on a sex offender list because that rain kilt does not hide anything! :banana

Sandy of PA
12-02-2016, 19:44
I think I saw ultra light laundry shorts at Luke's ultralite. Two ozs. to keep you legal!

coyote9
12-03-2016, 23:04
I think I saw ultra light laundry shorts at Luke's ultralite. Two ozs. to keep you legal!

hahaha nice.

im just taking some silky shorts that can be a hiking short or underoos. Wash exo wear silkies vv