Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

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

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

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

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#200394 - 03/14/18 02:36 PM Couple backpacking
Michael C. Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/14/18
Posts: 3
Loc: Utah, USA
Hello Everyone,

I'm fairly new to backpacking, in my youth I did a lot of camping but never hiking into the backcountry to camp. Most times my friends and I would 4wd up somewhere and pull out the old 10 man tent and everything but the kitchen.

I'm planning a hike/backpacking (1-2 night 2-3day)once the weather is good. Now that I'm married I'm not sure how to pack my wife's bag. I know that we should both have some food and water plus some form of navigation just encase we get separated. But do I build her pack just like mine except for me holding the tent. Or can I put the more heavier gear in my pack, and give her all the rest?

I remember reading somewhere that the packs should be a percentage of your body weight, but don't have that in front of me. As I am a newbie, gear weight and need is foreign to me, since in the past it was how much can I fit in the truck. Any help in the matter would be great! Even gear recommendation as I'll need to get some new gear for my wife.

Top
#200399 - 03/14/18 06:59 PM Re: Couple backpacking [Re: Michael C.]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
Your wife needs to pack her own pack. That way she knows what she has and where it is- reduces anxiety. OK for you to double check it, but let her do it. She should carry all her clothes, personal hygiene stuff, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, water, trail food, cup, spoon and perhaps bowl. Although you both only need one first aid kit, she should carry items that she regularly uses, such as moleskin for fixing blisters, fire starter such as matches, and any medications such as allergy pills if that is used. If you are backpacking where bear cannisters are required, then all the food and smelly stuff needs to go inside and you should carry it. I think it is important that everyone learn to navigate, so if she had her own set of maps or GPS, then she could follow along and feel more oriented.

I think you need to just decide that you two will NOT ever get separated.

The most important thing is to buy her a light weight (with all the choice now I would not buy a pack that weighs more then 3 pounds) pack that fits her well. She has to be there to get fit. Do not just buy one on the internet. All pack suspension systems have a recommended maximum carrying load, which usually is over-stated. A "40-pound" load capacity usually means it will carry 30-35 pounds comfortably.

The recommended weight to carry is about a quarter of your ideal body weight. If you are 20 pounds overweight, that does not mean you can carry more weight! Quite the contrary, you already are lugging around 20 pounds! So, if a quarter of her ideal weight is 25 pounds, then get a pack that will comfortably carry that weight. There are expidition packs out there that will carry 70 pounds, but she does NOT need that!

You need to proportionally distribute both bulk and weight. Most women's packs have smaller volumes, so you probably need to carry more of the bulky stuff. In fact, if she were to carry the smaller but heavier group gear, her pack would be more ideally loaded. Heavy stuff goes adjacent to the back, lighter stuff near the back side. Be sure the weight is also centered side-to-side. Do not dangle stuff off the back of the pack, particularly heavy stuff. The only thing I ever put on the back of my pack is a foam sleeping pad, which weighs very little and can be tied on snugly.

The key to a light load is to only take what is necessary. For example, no need for an entire tube of toothpaste for a few day trip. Get those small travel size tubes. Keep food under 2 pounds per person per day. It depends on where you are going, but generally summer in the Rockies you need 2-3 light insulating layers on top, light long johns, and rainjacket (rain pants if in a wet climate). Stocking cap, 3 pair of wool socks, a hiking shirt, syntetic hiking pants. Get stuff that dries easily, NOT cotton or blue jeans. I take one of those 7-8 oz "puffer" jackets (bought mine at Target for $50) just to be warm when sitting around in the evening. No need for camp shoes, unless you plan to wade across a lot of streams.

I think there is a gear list somewhere in this forum.

Top
#200401 - 03/14/18 07:58 PM Re: Couple backpacking [Re: wandering_daisy]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2948
Loc: Portland, OR
Wandering Daisy's advice is sound and should be heeded. I only wanted to re-emphasize this:

I think you need to just decide that you two will NOT ever get separated.

Even when you are camped, each of you should have a clear idea of where the other one is at all times.

Additionally, it is a good idea not to be separated from your packs. Exploratory hikes away from camp for the day should be accomplished bringing the ten essentials with you, even if you don't bring all your gear.

Top
#200402 - 03/14/18 10:25 PM Re: Couple backpacking [Re: Michael C.]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6518
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
I think there is a gear list somewhere in this forum.


It's on the home page of this site. I used this gear list as a model: 27 lb., 7 day pack Lots of other good articles there, too.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#200408 - 03/15/18 11:16 AM Re: Couple backpacking [Re: Michael C.]
HPD Offline
member

Registered: 12/22/16
Posts: 56
Loc: Colorado High Plains
Welcome Michael!
My only advice would be, if you want her to go with you again, her equipment needs to be at least as good as yours. I would make her pack as light as possible and encourage the 2 of you to not get seperated.

Top
#200409 - 03/15/18 11:18 AM Re: Couple backpacking [Re: Michael C.]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA
I think the hardest thing for newbies to learn is how not to bring things. You don't need every little gadget that REI sells. You don't need a change of clothes every day. You don't need the expedition first aid kit with every thing under the sun that you don't know how to use. We tend to pack our fears and newbies have more fears.

The reason I bring this up in this thread is because if you pack your wife's things in your pack it frees her up to pack more extraneous things. If she packs the essentials (like Daisy recommended) she will have less room to pack things she doesn't need.

Top
#200414 - 03/15/18 05:53 PM Re: Couple backpacking [Re: BZH]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1772
Loc: Napa, CA
My wife and I have backpacked for almost 1500 miles in the last few years, and Daisy's advice is spot on. In our system, we each carry our own sleeping bag, pad, clothes, and water...which we share--that's one way of bit getting separated, if you're drinking the same water!

I carry the tent and ground over, water filter,and the bearcan and food. She carries the first aid kit, cook kit, and toilet kit.

She usually starts out with about 22-24 pounds, depending on weather and clothing. My pack weight varies by the length of the trip, because of the good. I start with about 30 and go up from there. After a few days of a longer trip, I'll start carrying some of her stuff, like the gas cannisters, because the food in my pack is disappearing.

There's more info on how we do things on our website--we my signature line.
_________________________
balzaccom

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

Top
#200416 - 03/15/18 11:12 PM Re: Couple backpacking [Re: wandering_daisy]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
What a well thought out response W_D.

The question and your answer should be in a backpacking "FAQ" somewhere.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#200422 - 03/16/18 01:08 PM Re: Couple backpacking [Re: Michael C.]
Michael C. Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/14/18
Posts: 3
Loc: Utah, USA
Thank you for all the information/advice, this has helped me greatly. It will definitely be a change from my past experience.

I've talked to my wife about what was said here, and she was actually excited to pack her own pack. She'll definitely be getting mostly new stuff, as she doesn't have any camping gear. Most likely this weekend we'll do a little bit of shopping.

I think the biggest learning curve for me, like most of you said, is to how to pack light. I usually am the one who plans trips like these, so I'm also the one who gets the supplies and gear. It would definitely make it easier on me, plus she'll learn quicker if she has to pack you own pack.

Food wise we have a dehydrator and already have meals made for our food storage, so most likely just bring that up with some other snack/non cook food. So, I don't think food weight will be too much of an issues, we'll see once we start weighing it all out.

It's been ingrained into me that you keep your group within shouting/visual distance as to not become separated. So, I never plan on being separated, but always prepare for it. Which could be counter productive when packing our packs. It makes sense that we pack our fears, and I'm probably packing mine with a little extra since I'm shiny.

I'll definitely look over the gear list and once we start putting our packs together I'll make another post asking about advice on it.

Thanks again!


Edited by Michael C. (03/16/18 01:10 PM)

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
DWR and Trail Runners
by Bill Kennedy
07/01/18 03:19 AM
Montrail hiking shoe replacement???
by Keith
06/30/18 11:11 PM
Need a backpack for wild camping
by joshua3299
04/15/13 02:54 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Leaving a Mark
by balzaccom
07/10/18 09:32 PM
Maximizers vs Sufficers in backpacking
by Pika
06/29/18 12:34 PM
Alice Pak
by Capt hook
06/21/18 01:13 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
drying socks while hiking
by AtlantaBill
06/28/18 03:28 PM
Quilt question
by PaHiker
06/28/18 12:14 PM
New Pack Finished
by Bill Kennedy
06/27/18 05:39 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
1 registered (), 96 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
CWalkerNC, Nadini, itsBella, AHeff, Sharbear
12600 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

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