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Thread: Backpack Weight

  1. #1

    Backpack Weight

    A few weeks ago I went to the AT and my pack weighed about 33lbs for just a 2 night stay which I think is too heavy but with a few changes I can get it down.
    To start with, the Coleman sleeping pad I bought at Wal Mart that weight right at 3lbs was returned for the main reason it was very uncomfortable and I do not recommend them. Instead I went to REI and got a Big Agnes that weighs 22oz.
    I bought new Ascend external frame pack that weights 7lbs, it would not adjust small enough to rest on my waist so I took it back. Went to REI and got one that weighs 3lbs.
    I figured out I didn't need to take all of my Coleman anodized cookset but only 1 of the set.
    Now that it's warmer I don't need my 25* Coleman mummy bag at 5.4lbs but now and use my Jr. sleeping that weighs a little over 2lbs. (I'm only 5'1'') or I can use my woobie.
    I can also use my Eureka Solitare instead of the Half Dome.
    I haven't packed and weighed it yet but I'm sure it will be a lot lighter.

    What are some other tips to reduce pack weigh?

  2. #2
    Administrator whiteOak's Avatar
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    for a weekend trip, my pack weights less than fifteen pounds. I dont bring a tent, tarp, or any kind of cover. I only go backpacking when its going to be nice out. I dont bring any sleeping pad anymore, unless Im sure it will be rocky ground. I dont bring any camping stove or grill or anything like that. I just make a tiny fire of sticks and use some rocks to prop up the tiny aluminum cook pot. pretty much the only things in my pack are the sleeping bag, an extra pair of underwear, the cookpot, binoculars, and the first aid kit.

    the dog carries water and food for us both. she only carries about ten pounds of stuff. she doesnt mind at all.

    with time youll see just how much extra weight youre lugging around.
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  3. #3
    No tent - what about skeeters and bugs or other stuff that could slip in your bag?
    I'm an old man '43' and although I don't need a pad but my back thanks me when I use one.
    I haven't mastered making a fire like my sons 1 match fires, maybe if I use some Vaseline cotton balls I could.

    What kind of food do you take? Dehydrated, PB n J?
    I take dehydrated stuff along with granola bars, I also like to take Sugar Smacks to eat on the trail.
    I also take water in a 32oz. Camelbak and 32oz. and Nalgene bottle. I have heard of using a 2 liter Coke bottle because it's lightweight but wonder if the top pops off easy while in the pack.

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    Administrator whiteOak's Avatar
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    well, in the winter there are no bugs to worry about and thats pretty much my favorite time to camp. in the summer when there are bugs around I usually camp near the mountaintops. that means I have to bring my water but all the flying bugs are usually blown away and do not bother me. ticks can still be a problem, but I do carry a thin groundsheet and at least I may be able to see the ticks crawling around on the groundsheet. ticks worry me a great deal now, especially with a forecast of a terrible summer season for lyme disease this year.
    I dont buy any special foods like dehydrated foods for a camping trip. but all the foods I bring have very little water content. mostly I'' have a couple packs of ramen noodles for dinner, and just snack on trail snacks all night.
    no soda bottles are good second canteens but remeber that all that cheap plastic does tend to wear off in the water. I've used small water bottles many times but now I only use proper nalgene canteens all the time.
    I am very spartan in the woods. I figure I can do without all the things which make life comfortable for a couple days. then I get back home and relish all the hot water and ample food supply. lol
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    This is a sample pack I made up to answer this type of question. It's 27 pounds for a 3 night, 4 day trip. It's a little heavy because it allows for a gallon of water.

    As you can see from the picture, I do things differently. I still use an external frame pack.

    The places to spend the money are a good tent and a good sleeping bag. You can find cheaper substitutes for most clothes.

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    Senior Member Sergemaster's Avatar
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    I've been packing using a different method of shifting the contents from light to heavy starting from the bottom of the bag, and it does seem to elleviate some of the pressure from my lower back onto my shoulders. I guess it really comes down to preference.

    Cheers,
    Serge
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    Senior Member GDeadPhans's Avatar
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    I think you are on a great track. Big Agnes was a great choice of pad. Coleman gear does tend to be heavy. There are many cheap bags out there that are easily half the weight, or close to.

    What do you carry that can be considered a creature comfort? Considering eliminating that item if you feel you can do without. Just make sure that you are comfortable with whatever you do.

    Do you bring a water filter? Many on the market are quite heavy...
    Headlamp? Candle lantern? Coleman lantern?

    What about stove? Stoves like the Jetboil (reliable, not finicky) weigh so much...the opposite end of the spectrum are alcohol stoves (may be finicky and unreliable for beginners). Like my primary stove is a home made knock off of the Starlyte by Zelph. I call it the Beijing Pop and weighs 19grams, boils water in 5 - 7 minutes with my windscreen. I rehydrate meals on the trail.

    Of course the lighter the gear the more expensive. But not in all cases. Poke around the net. For instance I found a gravity filter EPA rated 0.2 microns for 27 bucks. Seychelle Water Purification Bag. Have yet to use it as I just received it not too long ago...but the weight (8ounces) and the promised functionality make me excited.


    What saved me the most weight was switching from tent camping to hammock hanging camping. I went from my Marmot 2p 5lb tent to my Warbonnet Blackbird 18 ounce hammock. And increased my comfort rating my a 1000000!
    -----
    I am worried about ticks this year too! I may or may not be interning at Prince Williams State Forest in Virginia....kinda worried about the lymes not gonna lie.
    Last edited by GDeadPhans; 04-09-2012 at 03:50 AM.
    "Do not fear mistakes, there are none" - Miles Davis

  8. #8
    Administrator whiteOak's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the internship in Virginia, GDead. I hope you like it there.
    Help preserve the Environment - Teach Compassion for Wild Animals

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    Senior Member Sergemaster's Avatar
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    Ditto's on the internship GD, as for Lyme, tell me about it.. Been reading about an all natural/organic product used to treat clothing that kills ticks on contact offered on www.sawyer.com check it out, it may be the solution to what concerns allot of us..

    Cheers,
    Serge
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  10. #10
    Senior Member GDeadPhans's Avatar
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    Hey thanks guys. Thanks a lot. I haven't gotten the position yet, I was 1 of a team of 5 selected from 15 people for final interviews. Waiting to hear back still, I received an email not too long ago asking me about housing, which makes me optimistic but I still knock on wood. Would be an awesome in with the national park service, whaaatha?! Its almost surreal.

    Thanks for the heads up serge on the sawyer product. I keep hearing about Sawyer, apparently its a sweet company. Those repellants they offer look like the solution to the problem. I think you may have given me my answer to dealing with them pesky ticks.
    "Do not fear mistakes, there are none" - Miles Davis

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