The problem is, there is no exact, hard and fast definition of pack weight. Are you referring to "base weight" without food, fuel and water? Or the whole enchilada? In some cases base weight can be well less than half of total pack weight. Total pack weight will probably change every day of a trip but base weight will not. After 5 days your pack will not weigh the same as on the first day of a trip. That's why people draw a difference.
If it's cold and I'm wearing my 2 lb. jacket at the start, does that count into my pack weight? That's why lots of folks use the term skin out weight . That refers to everything you're wearing or carrying. IMO that's the most accurate figure. Wearing stuff or carrying it in my pockets will certainly make my pack lighter but that won't get any weight off my feet.
Sorry to be so nit picky. But this is a lightweight board where grams are lovingly counted, divided and sub divided. If you are more specific, I think I can give you a better idea of what you're looking for.
I said 10-20, but the clothes I keep on tend to be heavier than most. I tend to keep my wool on and count the other layers including skin layers and wind layers and hats and mitts and stuff as pack weight. But I think skin out weight is what really matters. Why the preoccupation with pack weight? On my last 25 hour ski trip I was 29 pounds skin out including 2 pounds of food and 2 pounds of water but not counting skiis and poles. Just as likely to be over 20 as under 20 though. I think these would have been better increments.
5-10 10-15 15-25 25-35 35-50
So why the pre-occupation with pack weight? Isn't skin out weight what really matters, and total weight on feet?
I'm talking whole thing, food fuel, sleeping bag, everything at the beginning of trip!
What about clothes and boots worn?
You should have said total skin out weight. Start a new poll maybe. Also depends a lot on time of the year. You should specify a temperature range. Also food and water can be 50% and depends alot on distance to be covered, and hikers body weight, but I think a total skin out weight poll, less food and water, would be most interesting.
25-48lbs starting weight, depending where and when I go. I like to carry xtra food so the load gets a little lighter day by day. But mostly around 30 lbs. This spring I will purchase a few pieces of lighter gear. eg. Clark Hammock, Ti cookware etc. and drop a couple of pounds.
Loc: Bay Area, California, USA
What about clothes and boots worn?
After my most recent trip, I tweaked a spreadsheet to lump all items except for consumables together. It's amazing that what I thought of as my 'base weight' went up 6 pounds, once carried items were accounted for. I like thinking about the weight categories this way - so that everything but consumables is totaled up for a base skin-out-weight, and pack weight isn't considered at all. Before, I kept splitting things mentally into pack weight and carried weight - silly, I'm carrying it all!
I put my most recent load up for the poll - winter, but non-freezing and rainy, temps from 35F to 60F. Added 2 nights extra food to come at my total (last trip was 2 nights). So there are my caveats. I might drop a few pounds for summer Sierra hiking.
I submitted my 20-30# answer. This includes everything - including EVERYTHING, DAY 1, the hour I step on the trail - what I wear, trekking poles, everything in my pockets, and the minimum 1/2 liter of water that I carry. If I have to take a bear cannister, ice axe or crampons, then it would be 30-35#. This IS NOT valid for true winter backpacking (now add skiis, poles, skins, extra fuel, a 4-season tent, more clothes, more food, heavier sleeping bag .... and so on). It does not include souviners I collect on the way out - rocks, interesting looking wood, other people's garbage.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I voted for 20-30, only because for a 5-7 day trip where and when I normally hike, in summer in the high Cascades of the Pacific Northwest, that range includes both my total pack weight and my skin-out weight. My base weight (pack without food, fuel and water) is 14.5 lbs.
You need to be more specific and use generally accepted terminology if you want the results of your "survey" to be at all meaningful. When you say "bag," we all think sleeping bag, which makes the whole survey very puzzling. A backpack is not a bag, although it is "baggage" if we're traveling with it on an airplane (possibly the source of your confusion?). The light-weight end of your range connotes "base weight" to most of us, because even the "super-ultra-light" folks carry 1.5 to 2 lbs. of food per day and a quart (2 lbs) of water even where water sources are plentiful. adding about 10 lbs. to base weight for a 5-day trip. They may go without quite a few comforts, but they don't go without food and water!
Conditions vary greatly, too. If you're in the desert where you have to carry several gallons of water, or if it's winter when you need heavier winter clothes and gear, your total pack weight will be much heavier than if you're hiking in midsummer in an area where there is lots of water. Even in midsummer with ample water sources, your base weight will vary considerably depending on whether you're hiking near or above timberline in the Rockies (where it can and does snow any month of the year) or in the hot and humid midwest. Even the amount of food carried varies considerably based on one's size, weight, tastes and appetite. Finally, as already pointed out, if you start the trip in cold and rainy conditions, some of what would normally be in your pack is going to be on your body.
In other words, you have to set a lot of specific conditions for such a survey, or you're comparing not just apples and oranges but apples and potatoes.
Edited by OregonMouse (01/12/0802:42 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
I ain't voting because you ain't specific - how long am I going out and in what kind of conditions.
The weight on my back with water and food is about 18-19 lbs for an overnighter in the canadian rockies in spring through fall conditions.
Wintertime, forget it. I'm into the big loads.
HAPPY B'DAY PHAT <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />.....ok. I'm probably a bit late on this....wait!..yer on Canuck time.....that changes everything...I'm early <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!
I try to get under 30 lbs., but often fail. Really mild smiling conditions, one night, under 20 lbs. without food or water. Usually around 30 lbs. for two nights with food but no water. I take too much food though. I voted for 30-40 lbs. but I agree that the question is misleading.