Feathered Friends 300x250
Superior Down Sleeping Bags & Clothing

Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA)    

Lite Gear Talk

BCG Holiday Sale

Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Stay Healthy--Eat Well


Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals


Natural High


Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#190768 - 05/30/15 11:36 PM Weighed my gear today
mimstrel Offline

Registered: 08/25/12
Posts: 37
I still have a couple of items to buy before I'm trail ready, but today I loaded up my pack to weigh it. Really unscientifically - I stepped on the bathroom scale without the pack, then put the pack on and subtracted. So I'll say my margin of error is +/- a pound.

What I've got:

Osprey Kestrel 38 pack
Enlightened Equipment quilt with a compressible dry bag
ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1 (stripped down to just what I actually use)
stove with a dozen solid fuel tabs and a set of strike-anywhere matches (the stove can also be used with a small wood fire or an alcohol burner)
600mL pot and titanium spork
Sawyer Mini water filter and bladders
First aid kit (base kit is an REI kit, then I modified it based on my preferences and training - also includes survival items like an emergency blanket and whistle)
a couple of extra dry bags
A spade for cat hole digging
Extra paracord
camp towel

To round out my base weight, I'm planning to add a sleeping pad, a couple of clothing items, a pot holder of some sort, a flashlight and spare batteries, and compass.
But so far, according to both rough calculations and the aforementioned unscientific weighing method, I've got just under 10 lbs. I think my base weight will end up being 12 or 13lbs.

This seems suspiciously light to me. I worry that I forgot something... but I have shelter, a sleeping system, a cook system, a first aid kit, water purification and storage, and basic hygiene. I'll have the 10 essentials once I include consumables and trip-specific items (map!).

Hopefully nobody looks at my list and goes, "You dummy, you forgot (heavy/bulky but very important item)!" because I'm pretty happy with the idea of a 13lb base weight.

#190769 - 05/31/15 12:18 AM Re: Weighed my gear today [Re: mimstrel]
ETSU Pride Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Ditch the spade and use your trekking pole or nearby stick if you hike without one. What with the extra dry bag? I only carry one.. Sounds like you're on the right track. But if you want me someone to say it: you big dummy you forgot the bourbon!! grin
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

#190770 - 05/31/15 01:04 AM Re: Weighed my gear today [Re: ETSU Pride]
mimstrel Offline

Registered: 08/25/12
Posts: 37
Well, I don't use trekking poles and I don't drink.

(Also bourbon would be a consumable... if I drank. Why am I carrying it again?)

The extra dry bags will either be used (for instance, I'll put my extra clothes in one and use it as a pillow) or left home. But I tossed them in today because I wasn't looking to underestimate the weight on my current gear.

I can toss the spade in my sack of random camping stuff that doesn't need to go backpacking, no problem.

#190771 - 05/31/15 03:15 AM Re: Weighed my gear today [Re: mimstrel]
BrianLe Offline

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I find that generally when I look at gear lists, I find things that are missing, IF I'm looking at them for completeness (I generally don't: it's a fair bit of effort).

You might want to look at several other packing lists (there are many public lists to be found) and then decide from those if your list is really "complete".

You list 12 items. I typically have 100 or so --- admittedly not everyone lists things to the same level of granularity. So for example, in my list I have toothbrush and tooth powder as one item, but floss as a separate item (it's also repair gear, along with a needle, which is a separate item for me). Certainly no single "right" way to do this.

I suggest that you pack up and go on an actual trip, short or long, and then you'll find out for sure what your real packing list includes. The "stand on bathroom scale with and without pack" is a fine approach if you don't want to geek out with spreadsheet and weigh individual items to the gram.

What I use for trips that I lead is a simple spring scale --- these aren't expensive. The most accurate reading (i.e., what people are really carrying) is made at the trailhead.

Brian Lewis

#190774 - 05/31/15 11:09 AM Re: Weighed my gear today [Re: BrianLe]
balzaccom Online   content

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1742
Loc: Napa, CA
One item to drop is the multitool...there is nothing in your pack that you can fix with a screwdriver, pliers, or bottle opener. Stick with a tiny sewing kit instead.

Go with a headlamp instead of a flashlight, and both it and the batteries will be smaller and lighter.

And the camp towel will work as a potholder...as will an essential piece of equipment, your bandana.

Edited by balzaccom (05/31/15 11:29 AM)

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

#190778 - 05/31/15 01:01 PM Re: Weighed my gear today [Re: mimstrel]
mimstrel Offline

Registered: 08/25/12
Posts: 37
Personally I keep floss, pins, and so on in my first aid kit as "survival items." Not all survival items are for emergency use only! And even though my toothbrush is technically not consumable, I'm counting it as such along with sunscreen, bug protection, etc.

Bandanas are wearables, so get counted in with the clothing items.

Generally, though, it sounds like I'm not leaving out anything super obvious and important. I'm doing short trips, and pretty much as long as I've got the basics, I can improvise or go without pretty much anything for three days.

#190784 - 05/31/15 04:02 PM Re: Weighed my gear today [Re: mimstrel]
finallyME Offline

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
A couple overnight trips will really tell you what you need to add, and what you can ditch.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

#190787 - 05/31/15 04:55 PM Re: Weighed my gear today [Re: mimstrel]
Glenn Roberts Offline

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1438
Loc: Southwest Ohio
For digging, take a look at something like the MSR Blizzard stake. It's wide enough to dig with, and if you want a "padded" handle, just wrap 20 or 30 feet of spare utility cord around it (assuming you carry a length of spare utility cord.) It can also double as a spare tent stake, in the rare occasions you need one, or lost one.

#190788 - 05/31/15 05:20 PM Re: Weighed my gear today [Re: Glenn Roberts]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6426
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I agree with Glenn on the digging tool! A snow stake is ideal!

Edited by OregonMouse (05/31/15 05:23 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Are small cheap solar chargers any good?
by Wasatch
01:38 PM
1st synthetic hoodie in YEARS
by MoBetta
03/11/18 06:14 PM
If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It
by Bill Kennedy
03/09/18 04:55 AM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
I chose Sawtooth over Medicine bow
by toddfw2003
03/14/18 11:11 PM
Anyone use Vasque Breeze 3 non gortex?
by toddfw2003
03/14/18 10:44 PM
Packing heat...how do you carry your pistol?
by willie1280
03/14/18 03:55 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Whitney Jacket Cuffs
by Bill Kennedy
03/07/18 05:01 AM
Joann fabrics and quilt supplies
by sashurlow
05/02/15 07:32 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 27 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Soughted, Yanksguy, momu119, pinhotiBill, MitchBo
12534 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com