Poll: Pack Weight

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Thread: Pack Weight?

  1. #1
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Default Pack Weight?

    OK, this is my third time trying this. After the first two, lets refine the rules:
    1. Three season. Weather about 30 derees F and up.

    2. From skin out. Everything you carry, wear, and is in your pack.

    3. Dry weight. No water, food, or fuel (optional).

    This isn't a contest BTW.
    SGT Rock
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  2. #2

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    okay i voted before reading the rules, but i would have broken them anyway. my 35 lb pack is a full up pack including 5 days food and 2 liters water. skin out - mostly not relevent to non-ultralite hikers.

  3. #3
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    I don't know anybody who hikes without food or water...base weight is relatively pointless.

  4. #4
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I agree, but while I may only carry 1 litre of water, some carry up to 4 liters, and depending on how long a section your hitting will also determine how much food. But your clothing, shelter, pack, etc is pretty much set most of the time.
    SGT Rock
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  5. #5
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Default pack weight

    last 3 day section (Clingmans to Fontana) I weighed in at the post office at 26 pounds-including 1.5quart water and all food for the 3 days in the Smokies...this pack weight also included 6 pounds of winter accesories-mukluks, extra long fleece socks, extra primaloft pullover, silk balaclava, fleece balaclava, etc....
    so I am in the 25-30pound range most of the time due to luxuries like the handheld ham radio-still debating on carrying a camera!

  6. #6
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    Wink Determining true pack weight

    I have read about some pretty incredible pack weights that are frankly just too hard to believe. So, IMHO, pack weight should be determined, as follows:

    1. Strip naked.
    2. Stand on bathroom scale and record your weight.
    3. Put on ALL hiking clothes you will ACTUALLY wear.
    4. Load pack with ALL gear you will ACTUALLY take, including all food, water, and fuel, and put pack on back.
    5. Hold trekking poles in outstretched hands, if applicable.
    6. Stand on bathroom scale and record your weight.
    7. Subtract Step 2 from Step 6. This is your pack weight.

    If it will be with you when you take your first step on the trail, COUNT IT.

  7. #7

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    Ready, fire, aim. I voted before reading the rules. 4 days food/ 2 liters water is 38 lb, making me a heavy weight. Dry skin out is more like 30.
    In training for the Chappaquiddick Triathlon "Drink - Drive - Swim"

  8. #8

    :banana

    A lot of people are dreaming or flat out lying on this one.

  9. #9

    Default Pack weight

    I typically carry 35-40 pounds and maybe more, but that includes food and water. I also believe that it is pointless discussing pack weight without including your normal food and water load. You are always going to be carrying food and water, if not, you are in trouble. I always try to keep 2 liters on me, refilling at nearly every opportunity, for one reason, if something bad happens, all I've got to help myself or someone else is the stuff in my pack, in their's and lying on the ground around us/me. So it behooves me to carry the water, a flexible first aid kit, a day's extra food, and reliable kit for cooking. So I carry some extra weight. I try not to overload, but I inevitably end up carrying more weight than many others do.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
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  10. #10
    Yellow Jacket
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay
    A lot of people are dreaming or flat out lying on this one.
    Funny I thought they were too high. Figured people didn't read Rock's rules before they voted.

    Having a 30F+ pack weight of 12-14# doesn't take much (if any) effort. Add 5# for "on body" gear and that puts your "dry" FSO weight at ~20#.

    What is odd about this poll is the inclusion of "on body" gear. Typically, folks only mention their "dry pack" weight. And maybe mention "total pack" weight (for a particular trip) as well. "dry" FSO is sort of a strange request. I see Rock's POV, but the request is still "not common". At least amoung the UL gear-head crowd.

    If you are a member of backpackinglight.com you can see a 5# pack list for 3 season "mountain" hiking. Add ~4# for "on body" gear would put the minimum for this poll at ~9#.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

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    My pack just got a lot heavier. With colder temps in the Smokys this weekend, the (2.5 lb) down jacket is in the pack along with the (1/2 lb) down booties and (1 lb) fleece pants. Since my little pack isn't big enough to take all this, I have to put everything in my 95 L pack, which, although a respectable 4 lbs, adds an additional 3 lbs to my pack.

  12. #12
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris
    My pack just got a lot heavier.
    Chris notes one of the interesting challenges of backpacking in the late fall; that pack gets a whole lot heavier as you try to make sure you don't freeze as you add extra clothing, fuel, food, and shelter that pushes you into that bigger, heavier pack so you can fit everything. (You've got to replace that 2.5 pound down parka with something a little lighter though, Chris! Of course, that will probably cost hundreds of dollars. )

    Coincidentally, on another post announcing his impending weekend hike over Clingmans Dome, Chris mentions another challenge of fall hiking that is frequently overlooked: daylight hours are in short supply, which decreases daily mileage and increases the amount of time you lie in your sleeping bag awake in the middle of the night thinking all sorts of thoughts because you haven't had 12 consecutive hours of sleep since the last time you were really sick...
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  13. #13

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    That extra sack time problem can create another weight challenge as many of us choose to bring something along to while away those long hours. For me, that often involves a good book and a source of light to read by, this can mean a need to carry extra batteries.

    But then, I'm not shy about carrying extra weight.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

  14. #14
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    Default backpack weight

    OOOOooooooooops! never reading directions...i confess...i took the poll before reading the rules.....sorry!


    my backpack.. empty...is 4lbs 7oz (REI Morningstar 65)

    my pack with essentials: 35-40 lbs (including 7 days food & water)




    just back from a 2 day hike in BIG SOUTH FORK recreation area (upper East TN) & my pack weighed in @ 25lbs (including water & food & several Snickers bars ).


    Jaybird
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  15. #15
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    The way this works is guaranteed to cause confusion and wrong answers. I see the poll on the front page of WhiteBlaze, vote, then get taken to the results where you post your "rules" not to include food and water. But I've already voted, and it says I've already voted so I'm guessing I can't vote again. That wouldn't be right, anyway.

    With food for five days and water for most of one day, I'm typically 35-40 lbs. Maybe a little less the day heading into town in high summer, maybe a little more heading out of town in deep winter. We hike with food and water, do we not?

    Without food and water, I'd have given a different answer--probably 30-35 lbs., maybe even 25-30 lbs. (would be a close call).

    These polls are fun and the results informative, but maybe there should be a way to inform voters BEFORE they vote of any special conditions or clarification of anything ambiguous. Otherwise, the results can't be right.

  16. #16
    Just Passin' Thru.... Kozmic Zian's Avatar
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    Default Pack Weight

    Yea, I try to carry as few superfluous 'things' as possible. Start with a light pack, lst. Under 3lbs. Then apply the old '6 x 5' Theory. That is...............

    Six major catagories of weight producing items in your pack.
    None of which can weigh over five lbs.
    1) Backpack itself - 5lbs (or less)
    2) Sleeping Gear(Bag, mattress, Tent) - 5lbs (or less)
    3) Clothing (all) - 5lbs (or less)
    4) Boots - 5lbs (or less)
    5) Food & Water - 5lbs (or less)
    6) Everything else - 5lbs (or less)
    Now, this is the fundamental backpacking weight - 30lbs. A good, realistic weight to shoot for. Anything you shave off of these sub-totals is gravy. Sometimes one category may be more than 5lbs, or less than 5lbs...so long as it averages out to 30lbs. or less. Over the years I've gotten my basic distance load down to between 20-25lbs...a nice load. Good weighing, and Good Hiking............................................ ...................KZ@
    Kozmic Zian@ :cool: ' My father considered a walk in the woods as equivalent to churchgoing'. ALDOUS HUXLEY

  17. #17

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    At first I thought you were nuts, Rock. No food or water... but then I realized that people carry different amounts of those, but generally carry fairly equivalent gear.

    Followed the directions - chose 8-12 pounds.

    My base gear is about 9-10 pounds, and my clothing (swim trunks, SW capilene long sleeve Tshirt, smartwool trailrunner2s, NB running shoes) shouldn't bump it too much.

    As a side note, I'd never count this as my packweight, simply because I carry at LEAST this much weight around with me everyday in slacks, shirt, heavier shoes, etc. My body is so used to this weight, and it is spread around over so much area, that I just think it's silly.

    whatever.

    -Howie

  18. #18

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    without those items (food, water, fuel), I guess my pack is about 30-32 lbs. (I start off with a pack that weighs 5.2 lbs) But with food and all, my pack gets up to 42-45 lbs
    "You're never too old to become what you might have been." - George Eliot

  19. #19
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    OK, I was being tongue-in-cheek when I said that my pack weighs 40+ pounds. I've been hauling toddlers around for the last 13 years. You'd think I'd be in great shape by now Last time I went w/o kids my gear weighed about 23 lbs. (no food or water). Why not ask (to be more consistant) what what your pack and boots would weigh for a 3-day, 2-night trip in May?

  20. #20
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Well since May in Alabama is different from May in Maine, I just put in temperatures 30 degrees F. and above. I think for a lot of hikers this would be enough to go on, especially since we mainly talk about the AT here, so the weather will include a very good chance for rain or maybe some snow in the mountains in that range. Right now my base would be about 15 pounds for that sort of weather, but I do plan to work on dropping some of that weight, about 13.75 is my goal.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

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