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Thread: Gear Weight

  1. #1
    Registered User Oventoasted's Avatar
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    Question Gear Weight

    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. Gear List.JPG

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

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    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)

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    Registered User Oventoasted's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4

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    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)

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    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!

    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 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 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.

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    Registered User Oventoasted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    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!

    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 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 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.
    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!

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    meant to type "i dont use tenths of an ounce". cant seem to find a edit post button.

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    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.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

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    Cotton t-shirt?

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    Registered User Oventoasted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    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.

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    Sleep in your base layer top.

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    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.
    Last edited by Sarcasm the elf; 11-11-2016 at 22:56.
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    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.

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    Registered User Oventoasted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrabbler View Post
    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!

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    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/show...er-Trek/page10
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    Registered User Oventoasted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    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/show...er-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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oventoasted View Post
    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.
    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.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    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!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oventoasted View Post
    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.
    I did the same thing when I got out of the USAF — in 1979! — 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.

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    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!

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