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#91246 - 02/24/08 12:33 PM hdwr weight percentage
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi
I don't know whether this is of interest, or how to use this so it has value - but here goes,

When I read about the heavy packs people carry I start to wonder what all is in there that simply won't be used. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> I'm betting its mostly Hardware - geeky stuff that seemed cool while at home but just seems stupid after you carry it somewhere and don't use it. Just for reference I pulled up my gear list for COLD winter BPing in snow and sorted the groups for percentage of total. The total weight of the pack with fuel but less water and food was 26 pounds with my Bibler tent, shovel etc.

cooking gear including fuel 9%
pack 10%
Bibler 16%
clothes 33%
all other gear 41%
of all other gear only 2.5% is in the category of Hardware, 11.5% including cook gear, that is anything hard or purely used as a "tool" and includes, flashlight, towel,lighters, cord, garbage bag, first aid stuff and my comb, yes I know the comb is extra weight but ya never now when ya might run into BigFoot and ya wanna look yer best... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Anyway your philosophy of how you approach the wilderness will determine what you carry. If you feel in harmony you will carry mostly warm dry clothes. If you feel like you may get into trouble and should be prepared for anything then you will carry a bunch of stuff that you will never use. You do not know what the next emergency will be and we mostly prepare for the last emergency. I'm not saying "be prepared" is a bad idea, I'm saying that toting along a bunch of hardware won't neccesarily "prepare" you and it sort of burdens you.

I wonder what the percentage weights are of your gear. I'll have to check out my UL summer gear. I'd mostly have the same identical hardware but less other stuff [uninsulated canteen] so it might go 13%. with cook gear and fuel for a weekend trip.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#91247 - 02/24/08 01:37 PM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: Jimshaw]
totempole99 Offline
member

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 127
Loc: Memphis, TN
Quote:
Anyway your philosophy of how you approach the wilderness will determine what you carry. If you feel in harmony you will carry mostly warm dry clothes. If you feel like you may get into trouble and should be prepared for anything then you will carry a bunch of stuff that you will never use. You do not know what the next emergency will be and we mostly prepare for the last emergency. I'm not saying "be prepared" is a bad idea, I'm saying that toting along a bunch of hardware won't neccesarily "prepare" you and it sort of burdens you.


This isn't in response to the original purpose of your post, but I disagree with you here. You say if one feels they may get in trouble, they'll carry a whole bunch of stuff they'll never use. I wholeheartedly disagree here. I absolutely believe that if someone is of the mindset they are going to get into trouble, they are much more likely to actually get in trouble and then actually need the extra gear they brought. On the other hand, if someone is focused on how great the trip will be, they will have a great trip and not need any gear to bail them out.

I'm not saying here to solely focus on how great the trip will be and therefore to bring nothing useful along should something go awry. But that those who do focus on having to prepare for any scenario are more likely to have to deal with any type of bad scenario.

I guess what I'm saying here is that it is more psychological than many people realize.

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#91248 - 02/24/08 01:56 PM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: Jimshaw]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I bring stuff I hope I'll never use. First aid kit. Duct tape. Ibuprofin. Usually it's dead weight but when you need it, you need it.

I'll have to go over my gear list for exact figures but I do know this: My freakin bear canister alone will be about 13% (ignore my sig line on this one) of my base weight this summer on the JMT. Yes, I know it's a necessary evil but that doesn't make the math any easier to accept LOL!!!!

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#91249 - 02/24/08 08:06 PM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: Jimshaw]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
Most of my "backpacking" has been approaching technical climbs. I used to carry LOTS of gear - 7 pound rope, 13 pounds of caribiners, cams, slings, etc, harness, rock shoes, helmet, ice axe, crampons. In order to carry all that stuff I had to learn to be a minimalist on regular backpack gear. Now that I am "just" backpacking, what is left is really quite light!

When I meet people with heavy packs, particularly beginners, they have lots of extra items. I met a fellow and his son a few years back and his wife packed is clothing - he had a change of clothing for every day he would be out! She packed like he was going to be staying in a hotel and attending business meetings! He also had a plate, bowl, cup, knife, fork and spoon.

Another catagory of overkill are "comfort" items. It is amazing how we can adapt and do not need all that comfort stuff once we are out a week or so. I love my therm-a-rest, but most often I take the light "blue" pads and guess what - I soon get used to it. My down parka is great- makes getting up in the morning easier, but when I weigh my pack, it usually gets tossed. I can just be a bit chilly in the morning - gets me going faster anyway.

As for "safety items", I go very minimalist - probably too minimalist for most people. To me a week trip is a short trip. When I do a long trip (30 days or more) then I take repair gear, otherwise, if it breaks I just deal with it using tent cords, bandanas, or whatever I have. I pay more attention to prevention - be sure all gear is in good shape when I start. There is hardly anywhere I go that I cannot bail out in 2 days - more like one day. I do not take extra food because I have done survivals of 4 days walking out 45 miles without any food and although miserable, I functioned fine. As for fist aid, I do not have a lot of advanced first aid training and there is a minimum of first aid I could do on myself anyway. My biggest safety "item" is caution - I have rarely had to use "first aid".

Oh, yes, the bear cannister! I see it coming to more wilderness areas as time goes on, so we had better start thinking about it as one of the "10 essentials". My wonderful children got me a Bear-i-Kade weekender for Christmas.

My sleeping bag my "gear" problem - it is a 10-degree bag and the only one I have. So I haul it around when I only need a 30-degree bag. Right now I am spendin money on going on trips and have little left over to buy new stuff.

I am not as light as most of you but for me is more of a money issue - gradually I will get there.

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#91250 - 02/24/08 08:37 PM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: Jimshaw]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Jim,
This is an interesting concept but very appropriate for me right now.
I spent all morning Saturday taking everything out of my pack and building a spreadsheet and weighing every item. I'll have to work out the percentages.
I do know that my big 3 weighed about 1/3 of my total skin out weight.

Tango

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#91251 - 02/25/08 08:23 AM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: Tango61]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
My tent, sleeping bag and pack are 34% of total, but remember this is a cold winter pack.

Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#91252 - 02/25/08 10:00 AM 6 nights solo in Grand Canyon [Re: Jimshaw]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
PACK WORN PACK WORN PACK
OUNCES OUNCES GRAMS GRAMS %

TENT 54.9 1,556.4 21.91%
BAG 23.2 657.7 9.26%
PAD 29.1 825.0 11.61%
PACK 32.4 918.5 12.93%
WATER 22.2 629.4 8.86%
STOVE KIT 11.9 337.4 4.75%
KITCHEN 17.2 487.6 6.86%
CLOTHES 32.0 53.5 907.2 1,516.7 12.77%
SHOES 0.0 33.1 0.0 938.4 0.00%
OTHER 27.7 785.3 11.05%

TOTAL 250.6 86.6 7,104.5 2,455.1 100.00%


Edited by food (02/25/08 10:01 AM)

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#91253 - 02/25/08 01:20 PM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: Jimshaw]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
All my trips are unique and the following is just one- 10-day trip, late season, high altitude, expecting freezing nights, solo, bear cannister required. It is the Keweah (high Sierra) trip that I posted on the "trips" section. Total weight is 40.5 pounds - about 40 pounds on my back.

Food (1.4 lb/day) and gas (consumables) -- 38%
Extra clothes not worn-- 15%
Shelter and sleeping --13%
Items worn (clothing, shoes) or carried in my hand (trek poles) -- 11%
Pack -- 7%
Bear cannister -- 6%
Other (first aid, personal hygiene, book, camera, maps) -- 5%
Water -- 3%
Cook gear -- 2%

Yup- bear cannister is a considerably heavy item! Good thing about food and gas is that this gets less every day.

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#91254 - 02/25/08 05:59 PM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6742
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'm not too sure my percentage breakdowns are comparable to yours, but I didn't rearrange my gear list spreadsheet for this exercise. I have the spreadsheet set up for a 7-day trip, 3 seasons in mountains, total pack weight 25 lbs. I've tried to show what is hardware.

Extra clothing 10 .7% no hardware here
Shelter and sleeping 17.8% tent stakes, unless you want to count tent, bag, pad
Pack 8.0% I guess the stays are hardware
Cooking stuff, filter and water containers (no fuel) 7.5% mostly hardware
Navigation (maps, compass, whistle) 1.3% all hardware
Essentials--knife, light, first aid 5.2% mostly hardware
Other--toilet articles, camera, ID, car keys 7.2% camera the big one here
Food, fuel, 1 qt. water 40.5% fuel canisters

There's some rounding here because on my spreadsheet the percentages do add up to 100.0%.

The weights here do not include the clothing I wear (but do include anything around my neck or in my pockets) or my trekking poles (another piece of hardware). I carry my dog's sleeping pad (~ 3 oz.) in my pack, because it helps support my pack (Six Moon Designs Starlight) and because there's no room in the dog's pack. Otherwise my dog carries his stuff and I carry mine. I guess I should have done this with skin-out weight to include my trekking poles, the biggest item not in the pack. I also noticed that my glasses and watch (more hardware) are not even in my skin-out weight calculation, probably because they're on me all the time at home. I probably should have included my denture in the hardware, too--I did leave that behind once. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Basically, the only unused items I have are the whistle and part of the first aid, which I hope never to use. Everything else gets used at some point or other! I have used the whistle on trips with the grandkids, to teach them what to do if lost or in trouble (hug a tree and blow the whistle 3 times--we rehearse this on every trip).
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#91255 - 02/25/08 08:14 PM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: OregonMouse]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Mouse <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Hiya

Anyway I am going to hike the treeline trail around Mt Hood with Longhair next Fall. The pack [full of gear] I have designed for the trip will weigh 16 pounds less food, water and fuel. I was amazed to find the % of clothing between my summer and winter pack staying almost the same - 31% vs 33% winter.

So anyway of the 16 pounds:
clothes 31%
cook stuff 7%
other hardware7%
pack 11% in summer mode [its modular]

Add 3 pounds of compressed gas, 2 pounds water, and 10 pounds of food for a total of 31 pounds. So as a fraction of my actual starting pack weight:
clothes 15%
cook and other hardware 7%
pack 5%

My pack, tent and sleeping bag will be around 6 -7 pounds.

I like having a large percentage of extra warm clothes. Clothes keep me warm. If I'm warm and dry and well fed I'm a happy camper. On our annual BP trip my girlfriend takes about 3 "outfits" so she can be properly dressed for the occasion be it dining or swimming or hiking. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> The operative point being - even a big city sissy can enjoy BPing if somebody makes it fun and easy for her - of course everybody carries 40 pound packs.

Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#91256 - 02/26/08 10:31 AM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: Jimshaw]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I'm preparing to thru-hike the PCT, and so have been obsessing somewhat over gear. I'm not going ultralight; I've read and talked to enough people about their weight trade-offs that I've ended up adding literally pounds back to what's worked for me on shorter trips to balance safety/comfort/convenience against weight.

For the first 700 miles or so of SoCal my base weight (no water, food, fuel, not counting trekking poles or clothes on my back) is 18.6 pounds, and the big weight factor here is of course water, not counted in there.
Percentages break down to:

Clothes: 4.3 23.2%
H20 Storage: 1.6 8.4%
Sleeping: 5.7 30.6%
Haulage: 1.8 9.5%
Cooking: 0.6 3.5%
Electronics 1.8 9.9%
Other: 2.8 15.0%

"Haulage" for me is backpack, stuff sacks, bearbag or can where appropriate.
"Electronics" include a smartphone, solar charger, 110v charging cord, bluetooth keyboard, and an mp3 player.

For the Sierras I add more clothes, lightweight ice axe and crampons, bear can ... so base weight goes up to 22.7 pounds. Less water to carry, sometimes more food:

Clothes: 6.4 28.0%
H20 Storage: 1.0 4.3%
Sleeping: 5.5 24.2%
Haulage: 4.8 21.2%
Cooking: 0.7 3.3%
Electronics 1.1 4.8%
Other: 3.2 14.1%

After I exit the Sierras I ditch ice axe and crampons, switch to a lighter sleeping bag, etc, base weight ends up at 17.5 pounds:

Clothes: 4.8 27.3%
H20 Storage: 1.0 5.6%
Sleeping: 4.6 26.2%
Haulage: 2.3 13.3%
Cooking: 0.6 3.7%
Electronics 1.8 10.5%
Other: 2.3 13.4%


I'm more in the 15 pound range of base weight for relatively long local trips, but I'm not messing with a bounce box so I have a couple extra things to carry along as a result.

I'm sure my load won't stay exactly as described, inevitably I'll change things as I go, but it's interesting to compare the percentages. I was surprised the "Sleeping" percentage was lowest in the Sierras, but that's because other stuff increased, not that "sleeping" went down significantly. Electronics drops in the Sierras as I plan to one-time bounce my bluetooth keyboard and wall charger to the point where I drop the extra stuff.

What really makes a difference in weight is, apart from water --- food. Thru-hikers eat a lot, so having relatively more resupply points can be a bigger payoff vs. trying to shave a few more ounces here or there.

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#91257 - 02/26/08 10:34 PM Re: hdwr weight percentage [Re: BrianLe]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
BrianLe

I've spent a LOT of time in the Sierras. I'm probably more at home in the Sierras than in my living room...

When you're living out of your pack its different because everything you need has to be there. You must have some things that make life easier on you. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

And yes food is the biggy, however on some parts of the PCT you may have a lot of water to carry, though not in the Sierras. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

in 1973 I hiked about 450 miles in California, most in the Sierras, about 150 miles in Los Padres Northern Unit by Big Sur. My base pack was 18 pounds and it was a homesew Backpack on a store bought frame with one of the NEW waist belts!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> [up until then packs had shoulder straps, not waist belts] and my felt rectangular sleeping bag had little duckies on it. I replaced it midpoint with a US mountain regular stuffed with 50% water fowl feathers and 50% chicken feathers and it had a cotton cover and I loved it at 3.5 pounds I think.

The 18 pound baseweight became about 45 at the trailhead, with food and water. Food was heavier then... go figure <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

Oh yeh and I cooked every meal over a small campfire or on a sterno stove. We used aluminum, its still light.

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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