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#181967 - 01/15/14 08:01 PM Slightly Lighter Weight
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
So I've heard the saying ounces make pounds and pounds make pain.

We've reduced the bulk of our gear to lighter weight and/or more compact items. We've spent quite a bit to do so looking back. No doubt things can be further upgraded as we've not usually bought the best but the best for the money. So we could likely drop maybe as much as 1/2 lb from a pack. But is it really worth the expense to drop a mere 8 oz?

We still have our sleeping bags to work on, and I'm into large capacity packs which means it's not very light (~5 lbs). But the bulk of our little things have been upgraded at some point in time. It may not all be UL, but fairly light.

I know there's plenty of people out there that count grams, and I can appreciate the number crunching, but is it really worth it? Does it keep you from breaking down to save that 1/2 lb?

I read of those who sleep with just the fly and footprint or a tarp. I just don't care for bugs or other critters getting in. I'll take an extra 2 lbs to keep that from happening.

Were I hiking across the US I could see where the weight might become an issue, but at best we'd not likely get an opportunity to hike more than 30 days, with maybe 3-5 days being more common.

It almost makes more sense to me to look into smaller and not necessarily lighter per se, the weight being about equal as it would enable a smaller (and lighter) pack. I just ordered an Osprey Aether 85 as I'm the one carrying our daughter's stuff too (she's 4 1/2), and will for many more years to come. To me a 1 1/2lb weight gain is worth being able to carry 2 weeks worth of food or my daughter's gear. I can see how a couple of extra pounds could mean the difference between making 15 or 20 miles in mountainous terrain, but 1/2 lb or even 1 lb?

Let me hear from you who count the grams and your toothbrushes shorter. grin
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#181968 - 01/15/14 08:19 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
The military have done some interesting studies on this. I just read one on shoes where they found for every extra pound on your feet equals 6 pounds on your back. My thought is if you reduce say 8 oz it works exponentially. So over the duration of a trip this could save the equivalent of many pounds of stress on your body. This in the long run makes your trip mileage increase as well as your enjoyment. Instead of stumbling into camp exhausted, you show up energetic, ready to dive into your surroundings etc....

Where I hike we almost always have a major climb like thousands of vertical feet so any way to make the climb a bit easier is welcome. I've whittled my base weight down to under 10 lbs and the funny thing is I'm way more comfortable than ever before.
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#181969 - 01/15/14 09:19 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rockchucker22]
balzaccom Offline
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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2039
Loc: Napa, CA
Part of what attracts us to backpacking is the focus on simplicity, and that ties into weight as well. Yeah, we've worked our way down to lighter packs and bags, but we've also learned to leave a lot of stuff a home.

So the weight savings are also a mental process that keeps life on the trail very simple. It makes a big difference to us. It might not to you.
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#181976 - 01/15/14 10:59 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1923
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Both of the previous replies raise valid points, especially about simplifying your trail life and leaving stuff behind. I tend to be one of those who is always looking for ways to go lighter (it's almost a hobby in itself), but I've gotten less concerned about it lately. In fact, I recently changed out sleeping pads to get a higher r-value for the same weight - then discovered that the chair kit made for the pad was the most functional chair I'd ever seen. It was half a pound heavier than any other chair kit I'd used. However, as long as I can keep my total pack weight at or under twenty pounds, I may very well carry it, just for the sheer luxury. And in the winter, when I tend to take shorter trips, I may just take it anyhow, so I've got a comparatively warm spot to sit.

I'm very comfortable anywhere under 20 pounds; the extra half pound doesn't seem to matter. Go over twenty, and it does. That chair kit equates to a day's food; on a trip to Isle Royale for a week, I doubt it would go. But Ohio's Zaleski forest, for a two-night trip - you betcha!

The one area that I do try to work on, where saving a pound makes a difference, is my ongoing weight battle. I regularly fluctuate between 190 and 200 - and each extra half pound is noticeable there. (Of course, that may be that I'm doing more daily walking when I'm down around 190, so not only am I lighter, but I'm in a bit better shape, too.)

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#181981 - 01/15/14 11:30 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: Glenn Roberts]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
I don't discount a lighter pack at all. And you guys would fall out of your chairs knowing how much my pack generally weighs (45-50 lbs) as I have to carry my daughter's gear as well.

I used to be the type to carry EVERYTHING I may possibly want while I'm out for the weekend. SWMBO convinced me to begin paring down and lightening what I can. I carried a lot of stuff that I NEVER used. I also quit packing an ice chest so I could eat cereal for breakfast (I LOVE cereal!!!).

I've been going through our gear to see what can be downsized, if not weight reduced, and I've come up with very little.

Our sleeping bags are not light weight, and that can be considerable. My pack isn't light (~5 lbs, but none are that are big), but when we replace SWMBO's it'll likely be lighter than what she has (~4.5 lbs for 58 lit).

But we've replaced the tent with a Big Agnes Copper Spur.

Our cookware seems a little large, but I cannot seem to find better (shopping at REI), which is an Optimus Terra Lite HE cook set. It has a ~1.5 qt pot, which seems a little more than we generally need (I had in mind boiling drinking water).

I'm not sure about our Thermarests, but they don't seem excessively large or heavy.

I just don't see much that can be replaced, and if so we are talking about a minimal difference. Things add up for sure, but that brings me back to 1/2 a pound.

There are a couple of things that come to mind that I often take along that have not been needed such as my Estwing hatchet, my Leatherman tool, a tarp, and a few small bungees. This here might be 3 pounds, but were I hiking along the CD trail I might just want all of this.

And this had made me consider that maybe it's not about making mileage, but just doing what's comfortable. I'd be happy hiking 2-3 days and sticking around on the third and enjoying what we have if need be. It's not about hurrying, but enjoying what there is.

I'm not as young as I once was, nor in the shape I was in, but I've just always been the type to do what has to be done regardless. I don't give in or give up. Now that I'm older and not getting younger, maybe this in't quite the mindset to have.

I concern myself with numbers quite a bit, such as brewing beer, and so I can appreciate those who care to an extreme. I've been laughed at and mildly ridiculed as I want to know exactly what's going on and what I should expect, and I check it to see. Does it really matter? maybe not, but I just gotta know!
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#181984 - 01/15/14 11:47 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
I find that I have a critical weight point. Under it, a pound lighter is not that big of a deal; over it, the pound does make a difference. This point also goes down as one ages! It also depends on your size and your pack. Although larger packs are heavier, their suspension system makes carrying the weight a bit more comfortable than a comparable pack with poorer suspension system. I have several packs for different length trips.

My personal breakpoints: If I can get my pack weight to about 20 pounds, going lighter does not make much difference. From 20-35 pounds two pounds lighter makes a big difference, but not 6 ounces. Over 35 pounds I suffer greatly - it really is the straw that breaks the back. On my longer trips I usually start with 35-40 pounds and suffer for the first 3-4 days. But the weight goes down as I eat up the food. I just do a bit less miles or elevation gain the first few days. It is not so much that I cannot make the miles, but suffer vs. enjoyment.

Lighter is better as long as you stay safe and have enough of your stuff you need to do whatever activity you enjoy most. I would NEVER leave my camera behind to save 8 oz!

Compare what it "costs" in to delete a pound of gear vs. a pound of water carried, or food. One pound food is a short day ration- on a 12 day trip, I just take 11 days food and so be it if I have to walk out the last day on an empty stomach. Most people carry too much water. If you are careful with planning with respect to water sources you need not carry so much. I rarely carry over a liter of water- most the time 1/2 to 2/3 a liter. And as others have said, each extra pound on your belly is like dead weight in your pack.




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#181985 - 01/15/14 11:53 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
We have a water filter and figure we'd use it as best we can so as not to need to carry more than our 3 lit bladders hold, though I admit I've thought it a good idea to carry an extra one just in case.

After the sleeping bags have been upgraded it seems the only real thing to upgrade is the pack, and that's all dependent on the length of the trip, if our daughter is with us, and how long.

I really will be glad when the wee one can carry her own stuff!!!
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#181987 - 01/15/14 11:56 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
My living room is still covered with storage containers full of camping gear. When my pack arrives tomorrow I'll just have to pack up an average weekend's worth of stuff and see what it all weighs, as well as see what the few extras add such as a tarp and my hatchet.

It's inconceivable to think of a 35 lb pack. Even if I ditched the little one's things maybe it would weigh 40 lbs. I don't bring much excess clothing.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#181988 - 01/15/14 11:57 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
You know Bob, carrying my sons stuff when he was younger is why I started going light, the less I carried the more I could for him, now he packs all his own gear and going light became kind of a hobby. One piece of Ti here, a lighter bag there. Another reason that has nothing to do with light weight but the fact that most my new gear is hand made in the USA, while most the big name stuff comes from sweat shops. I don't mind buying from other countries but not at the expense of slave labor. There is good companies like Locus gear from Japan and Jotaro is wonderful to work with. Sorry off my soap box.
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#181990 - 01/16/14 12:03 AM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rockchucker22]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
I certainly agree with you on that!

When I was a teen I loved my Levis until I found out that's what they had done. Haven't worn them since. Although I cannot clam to research everything before I buy it. Especially now that most everything is foreign made.

It really makes me sad how things have changed so drastically.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#181995 - 01/16/14 09:49 AM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 680
https://www.bigagnes.com/Home/CorporateSocialResponsibility

I love my tent, they're a good company in my book. Great, affordable equipment. When I was looking to lighten up about 10 lbs., we had to not only sacrifice what we carried, but sacrifice how we live day to day to pay for the upgrades. It wasn't cheap lightening our base weights, but it's enabled us to do much more after 6 decades. We've also had to do much more with fitness to retain "trail shape". The best weight saver we've found lately is the Sawyer mini-sqeeze filter, which at 20 dollars saved us 1/2 pound from our Katadyn filter. Bang for the buck!
Many outdoor rec companies know that their clientele are at least able to think beyond their front door. If you read the statements of many of the well established, you'll see they follow fair trade practices and try to at least maintain some semblance of responsibility. This may not be true for big box mfgs., but it is for such larger players as Sierra Design and Patagonia, just to name a few. To go further, one needs to consider conspicuous comsumption vs. finite resources, where raw materials are manufactured (Cuben Fiber comes from a international sail maker; where's the factory? ) Some of the companies ie. Big Agnes, include the production of bulk fabric into their conscience guided business decisions. Obviously, money is probably still the bottom line, but it's at least somewhat heartening to know they are at least aware of our concerns. In no way am I belittling cottage industries. They probably take it even more seriously. My point is, we can still make some choices with the bigger players in mind without selling the farm.


Edited by bluefish (01/16/14 12:19 PM)
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#182000 - 01/16/14 01:45 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I've started a similar post some times back and cannot find it in the search query.

I think the question of cost vs. mere grams is too simple. I have to complicate things by functionality and technology involved. Take a look at a post somewhere in this forum about this guy buying a $650 shelter. It's very light, but you can get similar shelter cheaper that weighs maybe a pound more? Difference?(beside weight) The technology. The fabrics in each products are a world apart. I think some people like to spend extra money to "try" out new technologies and new designs that can cost more and weight less. This isn't always the case, but it has been for a lot of us on here.

Here another spin: The Sawyer Squeeze filter weighs 3oz and cost $49.99 (least what I got it for.)My friend has a MSR Hyperflow that cost him $90 and it weighs 7 ounce, maybe? He could have saved few bucks and few ounces by getting the Squeeze, however, he doesn't like the functionality of the Squeeze.

Personally, I keep my pack light so I can move faster if I need to. If I can find a tent that unique or different design and weighs less than what I'm using, I'm intrigued in trying it out. Also, I have Tarptent and a Big Agnes, the Tarptent I have is cheaper at retail cost and weighs less than the retail price of my Big Agnes Seedhouse... How they perform in the field is still an ongoing process. By this I mean which one has less condensations in same condition, how they hold in high wind, ease of set-up, etc. Weight is can issue to me, but I also look at functionality and performance to justify the cost differences. We're all different and thankfully we got a quite a few selections to choose from. Also, give thanks to people like Glenn since he keep the demand for said gears high enough to keep makers evolving them. cool
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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

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#182002 - 01/16/14 02:16 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: ETSU Pride]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
I hate search functions. They almost never seem to work and make me feel as though I'm in an old Bing commercial! It'll find everything but what I'm looking for!

There's generally room for improvements in gear, but assuming you have good gear that's fairly light, such as our Soto OD-1R stove that weighs 2.6 oz. It works well and is light and compact. Is it worth finding one that weighs only 2.1 oz assuming all else is equal?

With cost certainly being an object to a degree, we've chosen our replacement gear so far with what was light and compact in the scheme of things. Outside of our cookware and sleeping bags (pads too?), I'm not sure where else we could cut and either reduce the size or weight without getting quite picky.

But when I view people's statements that their weekend pack weighs only 25 lbs I'm shocked! I'd certainly rather carry a 25 lb pack than my 45 lb pack! And my pack itself is no doubt a part of that problem as it weighs 5 lbs alone, but even if I were to ditch the girl's gear and just pack camp for the 2 of us my pack might be as light as 35-38 lbs I'd guess. So a lighter, smaller pack might shave 2 lbs, a better sleeping bag might shave 1 lb, and so now I'm at 32 lbs at the least. And let's just say I carry extra stuff that's not needed and can drop another 2-3 lbs. I'm still over that weight.

I've got a lot of gear sitting out waiting on UPS to drop off my pack. I'm curious to weigh it, and then weigh the minimal, as well as the usual gear and see where I'm at.

Out of curiosity how easily can a small group resupply along the AT from Virginia up to New Jersey? And what exactly is this mailing yourself stuff to the PO about? How far off of the trail are you needing to go? I've envisioned taking a large day pack for resupplying and leaving the others to keep camp.

We may very well be moving to VA, but also have family up and down that coast, and we've discussed hiking the trail together.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182005 - 01/16/14 02:38 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3147
Loc: Portland, OR
Leaving aside the enormous attractions of wilderness travel in beautiful places (my core reason to backpack), when it comes to my gear what is most important to me is not the total weight of my pack, but the total experience of carrying and using my gear. When it comes to carrying my gear, which is about eight to ten hours of my total 24 hour backpacking day, then the weight of my gear is almost my entire experience of it (apart from the pack itself, which is the main piece of gear I am using while I hike). This definitely puts weight pretty high up the list of important factors, but it isn't the top factor. The top factor is functionality. Gear absolutely must fulfill its purpose.

If I have gear that functions poorly, like a shelter that doesn't keep me dry when it rains for more than an hour, or a stove that constantly balks and clogs, or footwear that causes blisters, then my hike is going to suffer no matter how light that gear might be. Additionally, if I carry gear that functions pretty well theoretically, but I never use it at all, then it is essentially non-functional gear, too. All it does is weigh me down to no purpose.

So, for most beginning backpackers, whose resources are predictably limited, the first phase of gear collecting is just acquiring basic gear that works and lets you get out there with a more or less functional set of tools. Everything after that are just further refinements -- seeking the elusive "perfect" balance of function, weight and cost. That refinement phase only ends when you lose interest in it.

As noted already, there is a tipping point with total pack weight, which, as you build up to it from below that weight, your comfort level declines, but rather slowly, and as you surpass that weight your discomfort under your load increases fairly rapidly. This tipping point weight gets lower as we age. Luckily for us oldies, our disposable income often increases as our bodies lose resilience, allowing us to become gearheads with expensive, lightweight gear to compensate for our decrepitude. laugh


Edited by aimless (01/16/14 04:15 PM)
Edit Reason: added clarity I hope

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#182007 - 01/16/14 03:52 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: aimless]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
My pack came in and so I'm beginning to put things together. First, my pack weighs slightly less than REI stated, which was 5 lbs (it weighs 4 lbs 9 oz).

Second, I'm completely amazed at what just my core weekend gear and pack weigh, which was 22 lbs! I figured it was much higher than that. Mind you this is without the 3 lit water bladder, and I left out some little things I typically would take such as my multitool, but I also included such things as my compact tent broom/pan, my paracord bracelet, and my tiny Gideons New Testament. I also carry a dirty clothes mesh gym bag.

Mostly geared up but still excluding the hydration bladder my pack weighs only 34.2 lbs. I'm obviously recalling the 45 lbs as before we began replacing gear. My 82 liter pack is STUFFED and has things strapped to the exterior as well. It doesn't seem any bigger than my old 75 liter pack. For an extended trip I feel I absolutely would need the Daylite daypack that attaches to this pack. 13 extra liters only seems enough to take the extra clothes I'd need. As is I have 2 pairs of socks, a pair of undies, and added a base layer set, but I'd actually like a change of clothes if going out for a week or more.

On extended trips (2+ weeks) how do you guys manage your clothes? It seems you'd only want an extra set with the idea of "washing" them along the way (no soap) in a creek or some such. We don't mind getting a little dirty and wearing the same stuff for the weekend, but I'm not so sure about a month, or even a week!

I have all of the stuff for the campsite, and SWMBO has her own bag, pad, pillow, plus the kitchen and food.

_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182008 - 01/16/14 04:01 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By rodwha

There's generally room for improvements in gear, but assuming you have good gear that's fairly light, such as our Soto OD-1R stove that weighs 2.6 oz. It works well and is light and compact. Is it worth finding one that weighs only 2.1 oz assuming all else is equal?


Nope, half an ounce is too immaterial for ME. I think the difference in weight vs. performance/stress of the body is a placebo effect. Assume a user has 15.5 pound backpack for one weekend and has a 15 pound pack for another trip the following week. The difference between the two packs is the stove. Do you think if he knew the final weight of his packs that he is likely to complain about joint pain during the weekend he took a 15.5 pound and vice versa? Assume each weekends were the same route and all other gears remain the same. If there is a scientist on here that like to conduct this study, I'm willing to be the guinea pig. grin

I don't think one particular small item, using your example, will reduce your weight if all others remain the same. You have to do a huge overhaul to reduce the material weight of your pack. I've carried a 40 pound pack before.. Now, my weekend (3 days) are averaging 25 pounds with food! I'm using different sleeping bags, new backpack, two new shelters that are lighter, new water filter, different stuff sacks, different clothes, and less miscellaneous clutters. Experience plays a good role as well since you know how much food, clothes, etc., to take. My winter weight is higher because I need the insulation and I'm allergic to down. I don't have the dough to shell out for very high quality and clean down. (Doctor may have a theory that those kind of down will not cause a reaction because they have been cleaned, and that just a theory I could still feel like crap.)

I think when your little girl gets older you can get a significant weight reduction. I applause you to introducing her to the outdoors. cool


Edited by ETSU Pride (01/16/14 04:07 PM)
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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

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#182012 - 01/16/14 04:12 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: ETSU Pride]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
It's funny the conversations we've had with the park rangers upon entering the park for camping. We've been told that it's supposed to drop down to 35* (which we knew) and that it might be too cold for her, or that the 2 mile hike might be too much.

We've been taking her camping since she was 6 mo old. We have a kid carrier that I used to carry her in and strap gear to just to get out. Now she has her own little pack and does just fine. She doesn't sit in front of a TV all day…

One of my greatest camping memories was when we had taken her when she was 2, and I got out of the tent just after dark and noticed the stars on the cloudless night and called for her. "Wow!", she said. She's always been fascinated by the stars and moon, but never saw more than maybe a dozen in town.

My second favorite memory was our first camping trip (car camping). It was alongside a river and I had caught a small frog to show her. Having put it in her hand she tried to eat it! The frog was fortunate as I was ready and saved it!
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182013 - 01/16/14 04:24 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Right on.
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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

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#182015 - 01/16/14 04:58 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6742
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Rodwha, have you checked out the articles and gear lists on the home page of this site, left hand column ? Lots of good info there about lightening the pack. When I started lightening up (mandatory due to age and a bum knee--the alternative was to give up backpacking altogether), the 27-lb, 7-day pack list was my model. No, I didn't use the same brands or models of gear (except sleeping bag), but I took Packlite's weights as a guide. By now I'm down to 23-24 lbs. total pack weight for a 7-day solo trip (in the high Cascades 3 season or Rockies 1 1/2 season). That includes camera and fishing gear (items usually omitted from lightweight gear lists, even, oddly, when photos of the trip that include fish are included). A solo overnighter for me would be about 15 lbs. That includes everything I need for comfort and safety, including full tent (I hate bugs) big enough for me and the dog I no longer have, and a nice cushy insulated air pad to cushion my old arthritic bones. Also plenty of insulation, since I get cold easily.

Where the weight adds up is when you're packing with young children, for whom you absolutely have to take a full change of clothing, kids of course being strongly attracted to water and mud, to say nothing of food spills. I discovered last summer that it's a lot more fun when the grandkids reach teen years and can actually carry part of the food and shared gear.

A few assumptions in my achieving my weight include backpacking in places with frequent water sources so I rarely have to carry more than a liter at the time (water is heavy!). I mentioned on another thread that I may have to carry more water at a time this coming summer, which promises to be disastrously dry. Two liters (4 lbs) would be the max for me. A gallon (8 lbs.) of water, the minimum for a day in the desert, is an awful lot of weight! That's why I backpack in the mountains! laugh

Compare your list with Packlite's. I personally found this process quite an eye opener (my previous weekend pack was just under 40 lbs, too much for me to carry). The articles are really helpful, too, although I'd ignore his advice to cut off labels. The labels from several articles of clothing didn't even register on my postage scale (to the nearest 0.1 ounce), and I lost fabric content, size and laundry info that I later wanted. A lot of the lightening up process includes finding items to leave behind because not needed, or finding multiple use items. Going light doesn't have to mean self-sacrifice.

I doubt you'd ever want to go much more than a week (maybe 10 days at the most) without resupply. I know I don't--makes the pack heavier than I can carry! Resupply normally involves a trip to a nearby town including a laundromat and a place with a shower. Otherwise I just rinse socks daily and do a quick sponge-off in the tent at bedtime (unless it's too cold). My change of (relatively) clean clothes stays in the car, along with moist towlettes to clean up with, to wear on the way home. Once you get away from the trailheads, everyone else out there is dirty and smelly too, so you'll fit right in!

In towns along the long trails you'll see thru-hikers in laundromats wearing their rain gear while washing their clothes. You'll also find that, except for a few areas where towns are really far apart, they rarely go more than a week without resupply, and more often no more than 4-5 days. If you're interested in that sort of hiking, try reading some thru-hiker journals on Trail Journals or Postholer.


Edited by OregonMouse (01/16/14 05:02 PM)
_________________________
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#182019 - 01/16/14 06:55 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
I have not seen the lists as I come straight to the forum page. I'll check it out now! Thanks!
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182020 - 01/16/14 07:49 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
Rodwa,

When I found this site I was in the same position you are in now. So much good info from folks here helped me to reconsider everything I accepted as normal in heavier load backpacking. Fortunately I had not made any gear purchases before getting help here.

As most of our trips can be spontaneous 2 day overnighters or 3 day trips a few hours North of us in the Adirondack area I wanted to formulate a plan for our overnight packs and then decide from there what will be needed for extended trips.

I started looking at lists and refining list and what I found was much of the secret of weight reduction was being brutally honest about what was just not necessary to take with us. I found as everyone here advised that too much clothing was the biggest gangster robbing us of lighter packs. I simply go with the clothes on my back and enough insulating layers (fleece, down sweater, rain wear) to be safe and dry. Sometimes I will take 1 extra pr. of underwear/socks but even that is not necessary. (I will take a hat and gloves in colder weather)

When I had a list that included the bare essentials for a safe and relatively comfortable trip I evaluated every piece of gear based on performance, weight and cost. For instance for our water filter I looked at just about every variation, listened to what others were using, read reviews and then settled on a filter. Our choice was a sawyer squeeze which works for us very well. This choice just happened to be the least expensive, lightest and best preforming for our purposes. I wish all the items on my list were as easy as that.

Some of our gear is a few oz.'s more than what can be had for newer versions of the same but IMO and my budgets it is not worth replacing until worn out.

So now that we are at the essentials I don't see a need to add anything more for longer trips than extra food and stove fuel generally speaking. You will find after your first time out with less that it is incredibly liberating and you will be super stoked at the lightening up of your packs. That's where the neurosis starts! cry Next your replacing guy lines with super light material, replacing your barrel locks with mini's, and cutting straps and stuff sack ties to minimum if you even bother with them. IMO if you start cutting wash tags off your gear its time for an intervention. wink

jimmyb

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#182023 - 01/16/14 08:20 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: jimmyb]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
Yea, I don't see myself replacing a lot of our gear until it needs to be replaced because it doesn't work.

It seems like the cookware could use some work as well as our sleeping bags. The cathole shovel seems heavy too, but that's an extended trip item that we haven't even used yet.

I won't be cutting labels or unsticking my pack though.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182026 - 01/16/14 08:44 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
Cookware tip.
I have an old set of MSR black light Pots. I use it for fly away vacations and I use the small pot BPing with aluminum foil as lid. (For three the larger pot might be better) Just saw the same set on craigslist near us. Point is its just as light as most ti pots its size and could be a cheap upgrade if you can find a good used set. Havent used a ti pot yet but coated aluminum has some nice properties too. Only other things we carry are a lightweight plastic cup with measuring marks ($2-3)if we are drinking hot fluids and a long handle plastic spoon ($1) for digging the last bites out of a foil dehydrated meal bag.

jimmyb

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#182027 - 01/16/14 09:32 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: rodwha]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3147
Loc: Portland, OR
The cathole shovel seems heavy...

I've used an aluminum snow-stake as a cathole digging implement. It's very sturdy and pretty darned light. On most trips I just use any handy rock or stick, or even the heel of my shoe though.

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#182028 - 01/16/14 10:58 PM Re: Slightly Lighter Weight [Re: aimless]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I got a montbell Ti shovel that weighs an ounce, some of the trail I hike they not only require a trowel but ask to see it too.

I agree with Jimmy, a good Al pot is about the same weight as a Ti pot but actually cooks better than Ti.
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The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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