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Thread: Pack Weight

  1. #1
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    Talking Pack Weight

    Ive been gathering various equipment and have managed to get a weight of about 32.06 pounds including food and water. Any suggestions for trying to get it down to less than that besides sacrificing my tent or something? My goal is 30 and under.

  2. #2

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    30 would be my ideal weight limit at the extreme. I would prefer to keep it closer to 20.

  3. #3
    Garlic
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    Welcome to the forum. Pack weight is a common topic. It sounds like your pack is in the average range for the AT.

    You don't have to "sacrifice" anything to lose weight. Some say, "You pack your insecurities." The typical pack list contains 60 or more items and many of those are to deal with a fear of something--extra clothing, a bomb-proof tent, tools for "just in case," too much water and food, an extra light and batteries. Some carry entertainment stuff, like cameras, internet equipment, solar chargers and books, things that are not strictly necessary for a hiking trip.

    Some good advice I heard is to pack for the trip you want. If you're on a camping trip, pack for that. If you're on a hiking trip, your pack should support the hiking and nothing else. There's nothing wrong with either way, they're just different. And I pay little attention to others' pack lists. You can get some general ideas of what others do, but I would never take off on a hike with someone else's pack and I hope nobody would try that with mine.

    Over the years I've stopped carrying many of the "extra" things, and have gotten comfortable with a base load of bare necessities. My pack list has 25 items, down from 60 a decade ago. I've gotten pretty good at figuring out the minimum of food and water I need, and no longer get to a resupply with extras. One major step I made years ago was deciding to leave the stove behind, since I'm a lousy camp cook anyway, prefer easy no-cook meals, and my hiking got better overall without worrying about fuel resupply. I tried it both ways for a couple of years before making that decision for good. I dropped pack weight and simplified my hiking experience without "sacrificing" anything.

    Many will say it's expensive to lose pack weight. It can be if you start purchasing high-tech cottage-manufactured gear like $450 tents and $500 sleeping bags and $120 air mattresses. It doesn't have to be--I use a $200 Tarptent, found an excellent Marmot bag on sale for $260, a $30 closed-cell foam pad works fine for me, and my Gossamer Gear pack cost $80 on sale. (And I spent nothing on cooking equipment.) Sometimes you'll see good used stuff for sale on this forum and others. My entire AT kit, including all clothing and shoes, cost me $850. There's an article somewhere by Sgt Rock about an ultra-light hiking kit for $300.

    Good luck in your journey.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  4. #4
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Oh, gah, don't sacrifice your tent - you'll need that. 32 pounds with food and water is pretty darn good - I still see hikers with well over that, and I remember the joy I felt when I got my own pack below 50, then below 40 pounds.

    The only way to get the weight down is to go out there and hike, and figure out what you don't need the next time. Then there are two strategies, and you'll end up using both: (1) replace gear that you need with lighter versions, which can be as expensive as you can afford, and (2) leave stuff at home, which is cheap and results in a 100% reduction for that item Both of these strategies work well over a long period of time, as you hike, take notes, replace a couple of items, and hike again.

    Good luck and happy trails.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your advice! I just got a new stove yesterday and for the oddest reason it has the words "Coca-Cola" on the side...

    .....Took me 10min. to make not including the youtube video! My pack list has 26 things on it I did include a small thing of pepper spray because I am female but beyond that its pretty standard.
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  6. #6

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    Don't worry so much about how much your pack weighs with food and water. That is important, but is a variable weight. If you can get your "base" weight (gear only) in the 20 pound range, your doing pretty good.

    Most people tend to carry too much water. Of course, there are sections where you do have to carry a lot of water, but for the most part you come across water often enough not to have to lug 3L out of camp each morning. I typically carry no more then 40 oz of water at a time (2, 20 oz soda bottles).
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  7. #7
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    My base weight is around 16 pounds. I made my own stove and the big stuff is (tent and sleep system) is most of that weight. I didn't count my wallet, phone, and kindle though so maybe 17
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Don't worry so much about how much your pack weighs with food and water. That is important, but is a variable weight. If you can get your "base" weight (gear only) in the 20 pound range, your doing pretty good.

    Most people tend to carry too much water. Of course, there are sections where you do have to carry a lot of water, but for the most part you come across water often enough not to have to lug 3L out of camp each morning. I typically carry no more then 40 oz of water at a time (2, 20 oz soda bottles).
    Ive got a 2 liter platypus hoser I think thats like 4.41 lbs full or something. I probably could get away with filling it half full at the start of the trail right?
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Welcome to the forum. Pack weight is a common topic. It sounds like your pack is in the average range for the AT.

    You don't have to "sacrifice" anything to lose weight. Some say, "You pack your insecurities." The typical pack list contains 60 or more items and many of those are to deal with a fear of something--extra clothing, a bomb-proof tent, tools for "just in case," too much water and food, an extra light and batteries. Some carry entertainment stuff, like cameras, internet equipment, solar chargers and books, things that are not strictly necessary for a hiking trip.

    Some good advice I heard is to pack for the trip you want. If you're on a camping trip, pack for that. If you're on a hiking trip, your pack should support the hiking and nothing else. There's nothing wrong with either way, they're just different. And I pay little attention to others' pack lists. You can get some general ideas of what others do, but I would never take off on a hike with someone else's pack and I hope nobody would try that with mine.

    Over the years I've stopped carrying many of the "extra" things, and have gotten comfortable with a base load of bare necessities. My pack list has 25 items, down from 60 a decade ago. I've gotten pretty good at figuring out the minimum of food and water I need, and no longer get to a resupply with extras. One major step I made years ago was deciding to leave the stove behind, since I'm a lousy camp cook anyway, prefer easy no-cook meals, and my hiking got better overall without worrying about fuel resupply. I tried it both ways for a couple of years before making that decision for good. I dropped pack weight and simplified my hiking experience without "sacrificing" anything.

    Many will say it's expensive to lose pack weight. It can be if you start purchasing high-tech cottage-manufactured gear like $450 tents and $500 sleeping bags and $120 air mattresses. It doesn't have to be--I use a $200 Tarptent, found an excellent Marmot bag on sale for $260, a $30 closed-cell foam pad works fine for me, and my Gossamer Gear pack cost $80 on sale. (And I spent nothing on cooking equipment.) Sometimes you'll see good used stuff for sale on this forum and others. My entire AT kit, including all clothing and shoes, cost me $850. There's an article somewhere by Sgt Rock about an ultra-light hiking kit for $300.

    Good luck in your journey.
    All of my gear is around the same as yours in total cost. My family got a kick out of me grumbling "I aint payin no 200 some odd dollars for a bloody backpack". Ive actually got this 70liter monstrosity that I nick named The Devil because it doesn't fit and fits too much stuff! Im getting a Kelty Womens Pack its half the weight and way shorter than The Devil.
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  10. #10
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    A 16 pound base weight is pretty darn light. Seriously.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  11. #11
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    I have some extensive gear lists with weights and costs, I got 15 lbs out of my kit. Send me an PM with your email and I will forward.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    A 16 pound base weight is pretty darn light. Seriously.
    Lol, yeah. You say that people pack their insecurities wheelp' Im packing my lazines. The OCD ounce counting comes in handy when I'll be skipping on by all the other noobs who thought that surgical steel scalpels and snake bite kits would come in handy.
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farren View Post
    Lol, yeah. You say that people pack their insecurities wheelp' Im packing my lazines. The OCD ounce counting comes in handy when I'll be skipping on by all the other noobs who thought that surgical steel scalpels and snake bite kits would come in handy.
    By lazy I mean refusing to drag more crap up a mountain than nessary!
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  14. #14
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    32 pounds with how much food and how much water? Define food and water first. Then give us the whole list and time of year you plan to use your stuff.

    Wayne
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
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    Add Content

  16. #16
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    Start Date: Around March 15th (Im hitching a ride on a family members big rig)
    Food: 11 pounds
    Couse Couse 1lb
    Rice 1 lb
    Pasta 1lb
    Home Made Beef Jerky 1 lbd
    Nuts .5 lb
    Olive oil 8 oz
    Dried Fruit 2 lbds
    Tuna packs x4
    Oat Meal Packs x 4
    Flat Bread x 4
    Crackers .5
    Mayo packets
    Peanut Butter packets
    Seasons 5 ounces

    Equpment:
    Tent 4.10 lbs
    Buffalo Park Sleeping Bag 3.21lbs
    Kelty Womens Pack 2.21 lb
    Micro Head lamp 1.5 oz
    Stuff Sacks 2.6 oz
    Pad 2.5 lb
    Gold Bond in a zip lock baggie 8 oz
    Stove fuel 3 oz
    Can Stove 1.5 oz
    Platypus Hoser 3.8 oz
    Sun Screen 4oz (Half in extra light bottle other half in bump box)
    Portable Aqua 1oz
    Matches .5 oz
    Charger 5.6 oz
    Bug Spray 4oz
    Rope .5 lb
    Trowel 2 oz
    Toilet Paper 3 oz?
    Wash Cloth 3 oz


    Bump Box:
    Trail Guide
    Bug Treatment for clothes
    Town clothes
    Hair and Body Soap
    Luko Tape 2oz
    First aid 3 oz
    A few band aids
      Immodium
    Vitamin I
    Neosporin
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  17. #17
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    oh and a lighter
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farren View Post
    oh and a lighter
    and water is about 4 pounds when its full
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farren View Post
    Start Date: Around March 15th (Im hitching a ride on a family members big rig)
    Food: 11 pounds
    Couse Couse 1lb
    Rice 1 lb
    Pasta 1lb
    Home Made Beef Jerky 1 lbd
    Nuts .5 lb
    Olive oil 8 oz
    Dried Fruit 2 lbds
    Tuna packs x4
    Oat Meal Packs x 4
    Flat Bread x 4
    Crackers .5
    Mayo packets
    Peanut Butter packets
    Seasons 5 ounces

    Equpment:
    Tent 4.10 lbs
    Buffalo Park Sleeping Bag 3.21lbs
    Kelty Womens Pack 2.21 lb
    Micro Head lamp 1.5 oz
    Stuff Sacks 2.6 oz
    Pad 2.5 lb
    Gold Bond in a zip lock baggie 8 oz
    Stove fuel 3 oz
    Can Stove 1.5 oz
    Platypus Hoser 3.8 oz
    Sun Screen 4oz (Half in extra light bottle other half in bump box)
    Portable Aqua 1oz
    Matches .5 oz
    Charger 5.6 oz
    Bug Spray 4oz
    Rope .5 lb
    Trowel 2 oz
    Toilet Paper 3 oz?
    Wash Cloth 3 oz


    Bump Box:
    Trail Guide
    Bug Treatment for clothes
    Town clothes
    Hair and Body Soap
    Luko Tape 2oz
    First aid 3 oz
    A few band aids
      Immodium
    Vitamin I
    Neosporin
    (I hate typing on a kindle) This is part of my pack list:
    Luko Tape 2oz
    First aid 3 oz
    A few band aids
      Immodium
    Vitamin I
    Neosporin
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  20. #20

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    I will offer this video I took as I prepare for a shoulder season trip. Good luck!

    http://youtu.be/L-w4pjjXUnE
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