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#133147 - 05/03/10 12:34 PM Help!
E.P. Offline

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 1
Loc: West Tennessee
Several weeks back I went on my first backpacking trip. Having been camping all my life i figured a transition into backpacking 14 miles at fall creek falls would be simple. Boy was i wrong. My problem is obviously weight in my pack. I never actually measured my pack but if i had to guess i would say that it weighed a metric ton. I bring this up becuase me and several of my friends are going on another weekend trip in 5 weeks and i'm doing my best to become more prepared and any useful information or links would be greatly appreciated. One thing ive noticed is that going light seems to cost significantly more. Being a young fellow that lives on my own i find that money is usually tight. Any help that anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.

#133149 - 05/03/10 12:49 PM Re: Help! [Re: E.P.]
ChrisFol Offline

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By E.P.
One thing ive noticed is that going light seems to cost significantly more.

Not necessarily true. From looking at many people's gear list I have found that those with extremly heavy packs not only have heavy gear, but they also bring far too much of it. So the cheapest way that you can lighten up your pack, is by leaving uncessary and redunant items at home. The cost of not bringing an item = $0.

For other items, there are lots of cheap alternatives. Why don't you post your gear list and tell us where you are going, how long for and your expected weather conditions and we would be happy to help chip at your pack.

As for a good read, take a look at Mark Verber's website:

Edited by ChrisFol (05/03/10 12:51 PM)

#133150 - 05/03/10 12:55 PM Re: Help! [Re: E.P.]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Welcome aboard. There are a lot of us who have been there - I went through the same thing myself a few years ago, restarting the backpacking habit after long hiatus, and boy, do things change when there's a decade or two of aging...

You would be off to a good start reviewing the articles and gear lists linked on the main page of this website. Not all lightweight gear has to cost a mint - if you look at you will see shelters that cost a third of the big name (MSR, Big Agnes, etc) tents labeled ultralight, in addition to weighing a lot less.....

BUT. You need to take into consideration where you want to go, what season, and your own comfort levels as you're choosing gear. So some reading of reviews and forums might help you sort that out. is a good review site.

You can get some good info at Mark Verber's site ( as well - he has gear lists and reviews of all kinds of gear and clothing, as well as how to find cheap gear.

The kitchen is a really easy place to simplify and lighten up. Sometimes you can take a lot of weight out by doing all the cooking at home and switching to a boil and rehydrate method - and are some good recipe sources, and online sources like, and are excellent sources of recipe ingredients and easy to fix meals.

And now that I'm overwhelming you with information, lastly, I suggest putting together a gear list (with weights of individual items) and posting it for review to get suggestions of how to go about getting a lighter pack. It helps to know where and when you plan to go backpacking, and what your priorities are - you already mentioned budget, that sounds like the top priority. Most of us have our own unique balance between budget, comfort, and lightweight. Durability is sometimes also a concern, but sometimes a tradeoff has to be made in durable vs. light.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#133153 - 05/03/10 03:19 PM Re: Help! [Re: E.P.]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6562
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Just to make it easier, here's the link to the home page of this site:

And the Backpacking for Cheap section of Mark Verber's website.

Start, though, with the articles on the TLB home page!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#133180 - 05/04/10 02:36 AM Re: Help! [Re: OregonMouse]
CJC Offline

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 738
Loc: Southern Nevada
Post your gear list with weights and that means everything. Where you plan on going and for how long. What your physical conditioning is also has a huge part in carrying your pack. Break out your "groups" of gear so the forum knows what you already own. Welcome!

#133184 - 05/04/10 09:21 AM Re: Help! [Re: E.P.]
jasonklass Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
You don't always have to spend money to reduce weight. It would help if you posted your gear list so we could see what you're carrying. There minght be some things you can leave behind in order to lighten up.
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs

#133212 - 05/04/10 08:23 PM Re: Help! [Re: E.P.]
Wolfeye Offline

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
This website ( link ) has a few good articles & gear lists. Another good place to look up is BackpackingLight .

In general, there are two aspects of lightweight backpacking: 1) Take only what you need, not forgetting the 10+ essentials. 2) Make sure that the items you do take are the most lightweight options that are right for you.

Expect your pack weight to drop year by year, not all at once. On my first attempt, my pack went from 45 to 26 lbs for a 2-night trip. That happened mostly by getting a new tent, shelter, sleeping bag, cook set, and by leaving unneeded clothes home.

I found the transition from "regular" backpacking to going lightweight to be a bit of a lifestyle change, and you might too; don't be surprised if you find yourself sleeping in a different shelter than you're used to, or if the food you bring is totally different. Keep an open mind, experiment, and you'll probably find the weight savings worth it.

Edited by Wolfeye (05/04/10 08:24 PM)
Edit Reason: fixed speeeling error


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