Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 51

Thread: Base weight

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2020
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Age
    49
    Posts
    44

    Default Base weight

    First, please excuse my ignorance but why do folks care about base weight?
    Iím glad my days of carrying almost 100 lbs of combat gear are over and my fully loaded pack is now only 28 lbs. I check my backpack once itís fully loaded with all gear, food and water.
    What is the reason behind focusing purely on base weight?

  2. #2
    Registered User Megapixel's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-16-2009
    Location
    in the woods
    Age
    46
    Posts
    621

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FromNH View Post
    First, please excuse my ignorance but why do folks care about base weight?
    Iím glad my days of carrying almost 100 lbs of combat gear are over and my fully loaded pack is now only 28 lbs. I check my backpack once itís fully loaded with all gear, food and water.
    What is the reason behind focusing purely on base weight?
    I believe it is focused on because itís the only constant weight through the trip. Food and water fluctuate, so while the total pack weight is also worth looking at, the base weight is the gauge of comparison & evaluation.

    http://www.postholer.com/ontrail
    2011 H.F.-Duncannon, Katahdin-Rangeley
    2012 Springer-Erwin



  3. #3

    Default

    Checking the pack weight once you're fully loaded is actually a good idea. Folks who add up their base weight plus consumables are often surprised to find that their fully loaded pack weighs more

    Stuff has a way of sneaking in there. Good to double check before heading out so you aren't surprised on the first climb.
    ďThe man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...Ē~Henry David Thoreau

    http://lesstraveledby.net
    YouTube Channel
    Trailspace Reviews

  4. #4

    Default

    Thats a great question, base weight has been a conversational/debating point for years. Base weight is commonly considered to be all the stuff in a pack without food and water. Base weight is relatively constant within a given season, for example, base weight in February will be different than base weight in August due to seasonal gear and clothing changes. Food and water weight differs by the day, if not the hour, with consumption and resupply and is not useful as a unit of measure or reference with regard to base weight, especially when looking to compare with others. Knowing base weight is handy when resupply is at hand and how much water and/or food you'll carry and what weight is manageable that will dictate resupply points.

    Since base weight is one of those measurements that many if not most long distance hikers know (or learn along the way) the only real variable is what one uses as a definition, from skin out or in the pack itself. Since clothing is not optional I tend to use pack weight with carried items and ignore trekking poles and clothing that I am wearing as opposed to including everything from socks to head nets in the base weight calculation. That doesn't mean I don't have a fair idea of worn clothing weight, just that I don't use it in the base weight calculation.

    The end result of the base weight metric for me is to help figure out where I can shed some weight when new gear comes into the market or when my diary indicates some gear or tool I carry is not being used much. Conversely, when adding something to carry if there needs to be an off-loading of anything so the base weight does not change much if at all. The constant goal of the base weight consideration is to try and keep the weight needle moving down.

  5. #5

    Default

    It gives us a starting point to talk about gear. If we were to talk about total pack weight, then trip length becomes a factor. There are factors affecting base weight (season, size of person, personal preferences, etc.) but we have eliminated at least one variable, trip length, with a generally accepted term.

    Now we can define thru hike and stealth camp.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    591

    Default

    I don't know let's ask tipi Walter, what's that your base weight is 90 lbs. Oh ok .. lol...

  7. #7

    Default

    I know base weight is a controversial topic but I have a question about what should and should not be considered base weight. To me, unless it's something you are wearing on a normal hiking day it's not considered worn. Examples of this would be rain gear, puffy, even a fleece mid layer. I just took a look at a Lighter Pack list that had those things listed as worn. I know it doesn't matter, you're carrying it anyway and totally agree that the total pack weight must also be considered as well as base weight. I just use my number to compare to others to give me ideas on what I'm able to tweak in my kit.

  8. #8

    Default

    Base weight matters because your hiking up to 20 or more miles a day. Everyday for months. The heavier the pack the harder it is to sustain that pace over the long haul. That's why people obsess over base weight. It's a lot easier to carry 20 pounds for 2200 miles then it is to carry 40 pounds for 2200 miles.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  9. #9

    Default

    I think it's funny that so many hikers who are clearly way overweight make a huge point out of going ultralight. The elephant in the room is that they should drop 20 or 30 from their middles. Then carry a 25 lb pack with adequate safety gear, and you would be way ahead...IMHO

    (speaking as someone who once found himself in a major storm but packing on the "stupid side of light").
    Last edited by RockDoc; 02-11-2020 at 12:17.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Base weight matters because your hiking up to 20 or more miles a day. Everyday for months. The heavier the pack the harder it is to sustain that pace over the long haul. That's why people obsess over base weight. It's a lot easier to carry 20 pounds for 2200 miles then it is to carry 40 pounds for 2200 miles.
    This is also a website forum that supports normal backpacking trips not part of an extended "thruhike"---like subforums on Parks, Forests and Wilderness Areas---and a wide variety of Other Trails. The OP, From NH, didn't mention thruhiking when asking a question of Base Weights---he just shared his current pack weight etc which could just as well been for a normal weekend backpacking trip.

    But Slo-go'en is right about punching out big daily miles with a heavy pack---it's not gonna happen. EXCEPT there's scores of backpackers here on WB who are "mere" backpackers doing their frequent backpacking trips without regard to punching out a thruhike.

    And so then the conversation could revolve around a heavy base weight coupled with an enormous food load to support a long trip with low mile days. Both scenarios are relevant and worthwhile.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    591

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    I think it's funny that so many hikers who are clearly way overweight make a huge point out of going ultralight. The elephant in the room is that they should drop 20 or 30 from their middles. Then carry a 25 lb pack with adequate safety gear, and you would be way ahead...IMHO

    (speaking as someone who once found himself in a major storm but packing on the "stupid side of light").
    Laughed my ass off on this one, cause it's so true!! !!

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post

    (speaking as someone who once found himself in a major storm but packing on the "stupid side of light").
    I wanna hear this story. I'm always interested and fascinated and maybe even aroused to hear how lack of gear resulted in an epic trip, as in "packing on the stupid side of light". Such stories bolster my dim view of Ultralight backpacking---so please share.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2020
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Age
    49
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Thank you for all your answers. I will stick with max weight as reference and then enjoy the benefit of shedding weight every day until I re supply. It’s all mental to me anyway. I used to walk long distance with a lot more weight while getting shot at. This should be easy, until I hit the first steep incline anyway

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FromNH View Post
    Thank you for all your answers. I will stick with max weight as reference and then enjoy the benefit of shedding weight every day until I re supply. It’s all mental to me anyway. I used to walk long distance with a lot more weight while getting shot at. This should be easy, until I hit the first steep incline anyway
    Yes, I'm with you regarding Max Weight. It's really the most important number by far---because it's the amount of crap I have to carry from Day 1---while also shedding weight daily until the end of the trip or whenever. My base weight could be 15 lbs and if I'm carrying 60 lbs of food and fuel, well, that 75 lb pack is what I actually have to carry.

  15. #15

    Default

    The only number that really matters is the one you can comfortably carry at the outset.I know people who not only carry no stove but also don't even carry a cup.Some of us aren't willing to do that.

  16. #16

    Default

    But if your base weight was 30 pounds and you added 60 pounds of food, you'd be lugging 90 pounds instead of 75. 90 sounds a lot worse then 75

    Of course time of year and location have a big impact on base weight. The colder and stormier the season the heavier the pack.

    From other posts, I believe "FromNH" is planning a thru hike.
    28 pounds "fully loaded" is a pretty good weight for an early spring load. Although he doesn't say how much food and water are included. Which is why we quote base weight.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2020
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Age
    49
    Posts
    44

    Default

    I need my stove, my favorite trail dinner is grilled salmon with olives and pasta and I get grumpy without coffee.
    I had my share of cold MRE with a side of gun powder and sand. My new favorite is more enjoyable. It’s all good as long as we get out there and enjoy Mother Nature’s beauty.

  18. #18

    Default

    28 pounds is a good number.I will never do a thru but 28 keeps me warm and dry with enough to eat for a few days.I will fudge on water carried at times but err on the side of plenty unless I am sure otherwise.I never fudge on the coffee though,or a cup to drink it from.

    What kind of stove do you plan on taking?

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    61
    Posts
    31,161

    Default

    me and B. Jack are just gigglin' at y'all

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FromNH View Post
    First, please excuse my ignorance but why do folks care about base weight?
    I’m glad my days of carrying almost 100 lbs of combat gear are over and my fully loaded pack is now only 28 lbs. I check my backpack once it’s fully loaded with all gear, food and water.
    What is the reason behind focusing purely on base weight?
    Why'd you weigh your pack? It being now only 28 lbs, why'd you weigh it the time before that?
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •