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View Full Version : How much is a pound worth to you?



Ginger.Snap
11-06-2018, 16:21
So the other day I was looking around, comparing and finding all the best gear that I cant afford right now. (As Im sure lots of you do as well) I found that for about $100 I could drop almost a pound off of my base weight by upgrading my tarp. At first my inner backpacker was extatic A whole pound!!!! And it will only cost $100 minus shipping!!!!! Then my inner party pooper came in and said woah woah woah, $100 for a pound? How can you justify that? Then I got to wondering how much the rest of you would spend to shave a pound off your baseweight, or how much have you spent in the past to drop a pound?

Mr. Bumpy
11-06-2018, 16:26
Depends what your base weight is, I suppose. If you spent 100 to get a 35 lb rig down to 34, I'd think that is too much. But supposing your base is 20 lbs, then that would be a different question in my mind.

MuddyWaters
11-06-2018, 16:45
$50/ ounce isnt uncommon under 10 lbs

Your to point where only $$$ ul shelters and quilts and packs are going to save much by gear swapping.

soumodeler
11-06-2018, 17:13
I would LOVE to be able to pay $100 and drop a pound off my base weight. Unfortunately, to drop a pound at this point is more like $1000+.

My summer base weight is already under 8 lbs, and the only places I would consider change are the tent and sleeping pad. I already have a ZPacks Duplex and a Thermarest NeoAir, and I could save weight by switching to a Plexamid and an UberLite for a grand total of 7 ounces saved for $730. Not worth it to me. I would be better served by leaving my pillow and camp shoes at home for $0 and 8.3 ounces saved. That's not happening though!

I played the ultralight game for several years, buying the lightest I could afford that fit my needs, and especially as I prepared for my thru hike attempt I was constantly trying to go lighter and lighter. After getting almost to the stupid light category, I realized I had stopped gaining anything from it and was actually making my trips LESS enjoyable. There were several items I left at home to save weight that I really didn't need, but would have made life more enjoyable on the trail. Things like a sit pad, camp shoes, and the pillow. I quickly realized that I was willing to carry the extra weight for comfort items. And the second realization was that under 12-13 pounds base weight, I really didn't notice the difference anyways. And as the temps get cooler, I become more willing to carry more comfort items on trips.

I still prefer ultralight gear when it fits my needs and budget, as I can then more easily carry comfort items.

As I am adding comfort items back to my pack, I am also better learning to only carry the consumables that I really need. I have a bad habit of over packing food, especially for the first day. I NEVER eat it all. I am slowly learning to cut down on it (not to a low calorie intake level, but just food I know I will not eat) and lightening my food weight.

I also used to carry 2 full liters of water leaving a water source or starting out, but there may have been 10 creeks in the next 10 miles. I don't need that much water if there are that many sources. So I started only carrying the water I actually needed.

And finally, I realized that no matter what my pack base weight is, I need to lose about 40 pounds from my body's base weight. Me losing weight will have way more impact on my hiking than any gear swap.

Tipi Walter
11-06-2018, 17:22
I've paid significantly more than a $100 to increase my pack weight---and no one mentions this. A heavy pack to haul more weight, a heavier winter sleeping bag, heavier boots with microspikes---overall more weight to stay out longer.

JC13
11-06-2018, 17:31
I'm looking at a ballpark of $1500-1750 to drop 1.5lbs off my winter solo baseweight. $100 for a pound would be awesome at this point.

ant
11-06-2018, 17:43
So the other day I was looking around, comparing and finding all the best gear that I can’t afford right now. (As I’m sure lots of you do as well) I found that for about $100 I could drop almost a pound off of my base weight by upgrading my tarp. At first my inner backpacker was extatic “A whole pound!!!! And it will only cost $100 minus shipping!!!!!” Then my inner party pooper came in and said “woah woah woah, $100 for a pound? How can you justify that?” Then I got to wondering how much the rest of you would spend to shave a pound off your baseweight, or how much have you spent in the past to drop a pound?

I'm not quite ultralight, but I still think saving a whole pound would most certainly be worth $100 to me. It's much like going from say 600 fill down sleeping bag to an 850-950fp quilt. Well, not quite like that, but an easy 2 pound savings for around $200. No brainer.

Five Tango
11-06-2018, 19:38
I just paid $65 to lose 5 oz.Worth it because what I replaced is now not only lighter but smaller and much more packable.

AllDownhillFromHere
11-06-2018, 19:49
Many people quote $10/oz, so there's that.
But if you have gear that works, why?

Dogwood
11-06-2018, 20:01
It's narrow minded, myopic, and stupid light to drop the wt one carries by looking at just gear. And especially so in the context of personal finances. In short, one doesn't always accomplish goals by throwing money at it through gear purchases.

Unless one is very advanced and diversified in their personal SUL/UL backpacking/hiking being open to different logistical resupply agendas, hiking time frames, safely reducing UNNECESSARY consumable wt and bulk , as well as examining other avenues for reducing one's load out it may take nothing but knowledge and wisdom to reduce 1 -2 lbs. Soumodeler gave several examples. He's more aware and soberly evolved in knowing how and when to get lighter if and when he might choose. He demonstrates a broader vision of safely lowering pack wt.

Back on the trail
11-06-2018, 20:20
I've been taking a different approach to cutting weight. My stocking for christmas last year had new tent pegs in it. Half the weight of the stock ones. I was given a MSR stove. I bought a little nano stove - way less than half the weight. In the beginning it was easy, now not so easy. replaced 40 Degree mummy bag with 20 degree quilt -weight savings yup. Taking less food these days with more re supplies - No more seven days planned with one extra meal just in case. I'm not going to cut my tooth brush in half nor am i going to sleep under a tarp - I prefer a enclosed tent. The other thing to remember is when you have an extra 300 bucks you'll spend that 100 to save a bit of weight, but when you dont have the 100 its really hard to think about spending it. Do what you want. i've seen a group of three carry a six man tent. they all carried a different section of it on any given day - why - they liked the space it gave them.

evyck da fleet
11-06-2018, 20:57
If the tarp needs replacing I’d probably do it. If not, I’d hike more. It’s free and I can usually drop about five pounds off of me before a trip.

If I’m under 25 lbs, everything included, I’m comfortable and won’t hike much faster by dropping a pound. Though I’m not sure I always save a pound as sometimes a comfort item finds its way into my back and the weights stays the same

Dogwood
11-06-2018, 21:49
How much is a pound worth to you?
When asking this question it should be asked and answered in context of where we individually have evolved as hikers which includes our kits, skills, awareness, etc. When it's not it's a strong indicator one can still remove 1-2 lbs without spending high sums of or perhaps any money. This awareness of where one has been, where he or she is at, and where one might be headed on this evolutionary exponential curve is also shown in BackOnthe Trail's statement, "In the beginning it was easy, now not so easy. This is often significant in terms what one is willing to pay to reduce a lb and how one sees the significance - or lack thereof - in the difference a lb MIGHT make.:)

MuddyWaters
11-06-2018, 22:44
Well, one pound wont make a difference

But 10 will

First few are free
Next are cheap
Only the last couple get pricey

Necessary? Nope.
But if you got the money , and knowledge to use UL gear, so what.
Dont let anyone tell you how to spend your money.

And if someone is intelligent enough to buy right the first time, even with he most expensive ul gear.....they come out way cheaper than the endless incremental upgrade route most take. Increasingly common today to start out light thanks to internet and zpacks and EE

cliffordbarnabus
11-07-2018, 02:06
pack heavy. it'll make you stronger.

Malto
11-07-2018, 07:42
For many a pound is free. If you pare down the unnessary gear it doesn’t cost a cent. Once that is done then it gets increasingly expensive. For me, how much I spend is almost irrelevant. I wouldn’t spend a penny at this point to drop weight if it involves swapping out gear. For gear replacement due to wear then I generally replace with a similiar item. Am I paying more for my lightweight gear choices on the replacement? Likely, but gear is such a small part of my hiking cost it is almost rounding error. I spend more on running/trail running shoes than the rest of my gear combined but transportation is my largest expense.

cmoulder
11-07-2018, 10:29
For many a pound is free. If you pare down the unnessary gear it doesn’t cost a cent. Once that is done then it gets increasingly expensive. For me, how much I spend is almost irrelevant. I wouldn’t spend a penny at this point to drop weight if it involves swapping out gear. For gear replacement due to wear then I generally replace with a similiar item. Am I paying more for my lightweight gear choices on the replacement? Likely, but gear is such a small part of my hiking cost it is almost rounding error. I spend more on running/trail running shoes than the rest of my gear combined but transportation is my largest expense.
Well put!

And there's the sheer joy of carrying a light load and a simple, efficient kit. Can't put a price tag on that.

ant
11-07-2018, 11:19
It's narrow minded, myopic, and stupid light to drop the wt one carries by looking at just gear. And especially so in the context of personal finances. In short, one doesn't always accomplish goals by throwing money at it through gear purchases.

Unless one is very advanced and diversified in their personal SUL/UL backpacking/hiking being open to different logistical resupply agendas, hiking time frames, safely reducing UNNECESSARY consumable wt and bulk , as well as examining other avenues for reducing one's load out it may take nothing but knowledge and wisdom to reduce 1 -2 lbs. Soumodeler gave several examples. He's more aware and soberly evolved in knowing how and when to get lighter if and when he might choose. He demonstrates a broader vision of safely lowering pack wt.

One would argue you are being myopic in this particular case. If the OP can drop 1 whole lb with the purchase of a different tarp then the rest of what you have to say is just a rant against people who UL.

We get it, but it's not a relevant statement in this particular case. It is very conceivable that the OP purchased a tarp from Amazon or Walmart and it is unnecessarily heavy. This happens a lot with budget gear.

It's not as if unwanted gear goes to the trash. There's a huge market for used gear and gear may be repurposed for say car camping use or kept as a loaner to get others into the hobby.

illabelle
11-07-2018, 11:55
...And finally, I realized that no matter what my pack base weight is, I need to lose about 40 pounds from my body's base weight. Me losing weight will have way more impact on my hiking than any gear swap.

Yep, that's where I need to drop the pounds. Those pounds are free!

CalebJ
11-07-2018, 12:47
One would argue you are being myopic in this particular case. If the OP can drop 1 whole lb with the purchase of a different tarp then the rest of what you have to say is just a rant against people who UL.

We get it, but it's not a relevant statement in this particular case. It is very conceivable that the OP purchased a tarp from Amazon or Walmart and it is unnecessarily heavy. This happens a lot with budget gear.

It's not as if unwanted gear goes to the trash. There's a huge market for used gear and gear may be repurposed for say car camping use or kept as a loaner to get others into the hobby.
Dogwood didn't suggest ignoring gear. Just that it should be considered as part of a big picture approach that unites gear weight with nutrition, personal weight, cost, etc.

Gambit McCrae
11-07-2018, 13:41
Well according to my recent purchase from zpacks its worth about 457 bucks a lb

Dogwood
11-07-2018, 13:51
To be clear, I'm ranting for UL. :)

I agree the tarp scenario upgrading described could be part of the situation. But, from the OP's opening statements there is a larger goal(multiple goals)...hauling less wt at some personally defined palpable financial cost. I'm, as well as others, suggesting accomplishing these goals not solely from a buying new gear to save wt approach. That's relevant to the OP's question. It's a wider UL attaining perspective that conceivably might cost no money.

I am not advocating one should entirely ignore gear wt and bulk either. Let there be considered a more comprehensive strategy to achieving a lighter wt haul.

ant
11-07-2018, 14:00
To be clear, I'm ranting for UL. :)

I agree the tarp scenario upgrading described could be part of the situation. But, from the OP's opening statements there is a larger goal(multiple goals)...hauling less wt at some personally defined palpable financial cost. I'm, as well as others, suggesting accomplishing these goals not solely from a buying new gear to save wt approach. That's relevant to the OP's question. It's a wider UL attaining perspective that conceivably might cost no money.

I am not advocating one should entirely ignore gear wt and bulk either. Let there be considered a more comprehensive strategy to achieving a lighter wt haul.

Well said.

Dogwood
11-07-2018, 14:08
...It's not as if unwanted gear goes to the trash. There's a huge market for used gear and gear may be repurposed for say car camping use or kept as a loaner to get others into the hobby.

Not to arse kiss this is a good pt no one else mentioned. When one can repurpose or scale up gear paring down bulk and wt while selling their old gear or donating it - perhaps to those more needy - which I'd personally like to witness more, it offsets or possibly justifies the costs of new gear purchases...especially if you're trying to justify that eyeballed $600 DCF tent to the SO. :D How often do individuals buy gear for others in greater need or donate good condition usable excess gear(NOT left over trashed gear!)?

Alligator
11-07-2018, 14:21
$10-15 ounce. I'm pretty well dialed in though and I look at it similarly to Malto. If something needs to be replaced, look at replacement cost and lighter alternatives for the price difference. Consider also you may have value left in your item that you can sell used (you can sell it here for free.) Further, you may continue to use the heavier item sometimes, either for hiking or other outdoor activity. You might lend it to a family member or hiking companion. Then it may eventually wear out and you can rationalize a new item as first stated (a very good strategy if you have a significant other).

I wore out two pairs of boots gardening, doing yardwork, & construction for instance. I use old sleeping bags car camping, canoeing, or let the dogs have them. Headlamps are great for home and car repairs or working outside. My nice stuff gets saved for hiking.

Traffic Jam
11-07-2018, 14:27
Not to arse kiss this is a good pt no one else mentioned. When one can repurpose or scale up gear paring down bulk and wt while selling their old gear or donating it - perhaps to those more needy - which I'd personally like to witness more, it offsets or possibly justifies the costs of new gear purchases...especially if you're trying to justify that eyeballed $600 DCF tent to the SO. :D How often do individuals buy gear for others in greater need or donate good condition usable excess gear(NOT left over trashed gear!)?
I have tried to sell a very good pack and bag to no avail. It’s frustrating. I believe the prices are fair, but people want to buy used gear that is dirt cheap. I need to sell the bag to afford an upgrade, otherwise, I’ll have to go with layering, and increasing my pack weight.

(sorry to thread jack)

Alligator
11-07-2018, 14:29
Not to arse kiss this is a good pt no one else mentioned. When one can repurpose or scale up gear paring down bulk and wt while selling their old gear or donating it - perhaps to those more needy - which I'd personally like to witness more, it offsets or possibly justifies the costs of new gear purchases...especially if you're trying to justify that eyeballed $600 DCF tent to the SO. :D How often do individuals buy gear for others in greater need or donate good condition usable excess gear(NOT left over trashed gear!)?I almost mentioned this. I have donated gear before.

cmoulder
11-07-2018, 14:53
I'm all-in UL but bought a cheap hammock tarp from Amazon for about $20 for car camping, and I've even used it a couple of times for just this purpose. Better in a multi-day, base camp/car camp situation that it gets all the UV exposure, sap & crap etc rather than my $375 DCF tarp.

CalebJ
11-07-2018, 16:32
I'm all-in UL but bought a cheap hammock tarp from Amazon for about $20 for car camping, and I've even used it a couple of times for just this purpose. Better in a multi-day, base camp/car camp situation that it gets all the UV exposure, sap & crap etc rather than my $375 DCF tarp.
Agreed. Same reason I own a <$100 Alps tent for trips with my wife. Those trips tend to be a few miles a day at a leisurely pace. There's no reason to put the wear on the hand picked higher end stuff on a trip like that.

Puddlefish
11-07-2018, 17:21
Buy what you like, that you can afford. No one can decide this but you. Consider how often you expect to use the item, how long it will last. Some folks will spend $100 for a hat, and discard it at the next hiker box because they don't like the color. For other folks $100 is their hiking budget for the season.

LittleTim
11-07-2018, 23:04
Buy what you like, that you can afford. No one can decide this but you. Consider how often you expect to use the item, how long it will last. Some folks will spend $100 for a hat, and discard it at the next hiker box because they don't like the color. For other folks $100 is their hiking budget for the season.

Quite right. After I got all the bases covered with budget frugal items, now I plan on spending one Benjamin ($100US) on some upgrade each time I go out (3x/yr), and usually spend a bit more. It's justified many worthwhile improvements. It also gives me enough time between trips to think about what I need versus want and research the heck outta it before purchasing. Eventually I'll have a collection that someone with more disposable income might be able to aquire in one trip to REI, but it's all part of the learning curve that I enjoy figuring out.

Better question might be, given all the possible consequences, what's a pound worth (in all aspects) to you?

My feet and my sleep are the two things that cannot be skimped on. Period. I'll shortchange myself on just about anything else, but not those two.

ant
11-08-2018, 12:22
Another thing to consider when purchasing good/lightweight, popular gear (oft times cottage made) is reselling what you don't end up liking or ends up not fitting your needs. I can't tell you how much different gear I swap in and out over the years and I generally come out 'ahead' on my purchases. I also buy used quite often.

JPritch
11-08-2018, 14:19
1 pound is the weight savings I'd get from upgrading my bag to a WM Alpinlite, but those damn things never go on sale and I have yet to pull the trigger. So I'd say 1 pound is worth less than $560, but more than $450 at this point. WM, WHY YOU NO ON SALE!!

foodbag
11-08-2018, 18:51
My car camping gear is my former backpacking gear. Makes me feel less guilty about upgrading....

Traffic Jam
11-08-2018, 21:46
1 pound is the weight savings I'd get from upgrading my bag to a WM Alpinlite, but those damn things never go on sale and I have yet to pull the trigger. So I'd say 1 pound is worth less than $560, but more than $450 at this point. WM, WHY YOU NO ON SALE!!

Check out Hermit’s Hut. If nothing else, you get some free overfill.

swisscross
11-08-2018, 22:33
I just sent 70 dollars and increased my base weight by 2 lbs.

eugalc
11-10-2018, 09:24
With regard to tents, a pound or two comes at a pretty steep price- at least to me. For my one person tent, I got a relatively cheap Marmot tent. It was about half the price of a MSR or Big Agnes, but weighs 3lbs. The high-end tents weigh under 2lbs. For me it came down to durability. I wanted a lighter tent, but couldn't justify the price. Yes, they are lighter, but I don't think they're as durable as the Marmot. While I love the Marmot, in addition to being heavy, it takes up a lot of room in my bag. If I were doing a long distance hike, I would probably need another tent. Most of my trips are just a couple days, so I can get away with the tent taking up a lot of room in my bag.

reppans
11-10-2018, 10:59
Turns out $100/lb works both ways for me - either to reduce from existing, or build from scratch. My old 20lb LW rig was completely redone to a 10lb UL rig that cost me ~$1000 in total.