View Full Version : How Much Does Your Pack Weigh?
I'm interested in the average weight of the pack during the first 100 miles of a thru-hike, excluding food and water.
it makes no sense, to me, to exclude food and water. when exactly do you hike without those essentials? sure, your food/water will be variable depending where you happen to be hiking and what you eat, but i think it makes more sense to include an average load, maybe 3 to 4 days of food and 2 liters of water. no surprises and less incentive to skimp on essentials!
my pack with 5 days food and 2 liters water averages 35 lb.
Same as chief. 35ish. Sometimes more coming out of a town with meat and beer. I'm a backpacker not a Go-lite hiker.
With food and water and food for 4-1/2 days, mine is around 34. Hammock Hanger has been giving me advice on clothes, so I think I will be able to get a couple of pounds off that.
Wish I could get it down to around 27. Sure would be easier on my back and knees.
Some of my weight is "what if" weight. What if the clothes I am wearing get soaked and it gets very cold and windy at night. I need something warm and dry to sleep in inside my sleeping bag.
Also I want to carry enough food that I don't have to stop in every town along the way. That may change as I go along and learn more about thru-hiking, though.
Mine might be up to 40lbs with all the winter stuff, maybe I can trim it down to 35. The size of the hiker can change the weight of the gear.
I'm right in there with Chief at around 35 lbs with 4 days of food and 2 liters of water. That's my cold weather pack. In Pearisburg I hope to lose around 7-8 pounds of gear/clothing.
What about pack weight for hikes other than the AT?
I'm probably gonna get jumped on for saying this, but I think too much emphasis is sometimes placed on cutting weight, which could be dangerous on some hikes. For example, my wife and I hiked part of the Teton Crest Trail. According to our research and the park rangers we talked to, it was wise to be prepared for any weather -- even snow -- at any time of year. So we carried extra gear that is unncessary for a thru-hike on the AT. We weren't alone. We didn't see anyone else doing the go-lite thing, either. Everyone we met had fairly hefty packs.
For a summer hike on the AT, it's safe to practice lightweight backpacking methods, but other hikes might require more gear. I often wonder if promoting Go-lite is a good idea, especially to newbie hikers. Hope I'm not stepping on any toes about this!
Of course pack weight should be based on weather conditions for the trail and time you are hiking. Only a fool goes out with a fleece bag in the winter in Maine but on the other hand a fool can also be the guy that carries a 15 degree bag in a Louisiana Summer - that was me last year LOL.
I guess I'm doing better than I thought. A typical fully loaded (food and water) 5 day hike would see me lugging about 28 lbs maximum. There's one or two luxuries in there as well. This is three season eastern Canadian climate - my season is from mid April to early December. Obviously a real winter hike would add a few pounds.
28 to 35 pounds depending on weather conditions and if I'm hungry while packing my food. Ever notice if you go grocery shopping with an empty stomach you get back home with more groceries than you meant to buy? My packing is the same; I almost always carry to much food. I wonder if any of you have been surprised by a loss of appetite on a multi day trip. Meaning by that I haven't been as hungry or eaten as much as I thought or planned to when I was packing. It may be the third shift mentality, I don't know.
I have the same problem. I'm not as bad as I used to be, but I still usually have about 1 1/2 days left at the end of a hike.
After I was born again...mabey it was enlightened
into the world of light weight,I went from 45 lbs plus to 20 pounds in winter, 15 in summer.We all have our reasons for whatever we chose to carry.But for me it was making the choice of not hiking anymore or making a change.My knees and feet had become a problem after 50 years of heavy backpacking.My hat goes off to sgt rock and others who ,by their advise,kept me on the trail.What a diff it has made.I now am back hiking the AT other trails with young folks.I love my hh,kat stove,golite gust etc.Also all my weights include food and water....add 10 pounds for dessert hikes in summer for water.
Ross aka Grasshopper
I agree about when to practice light weight hiking and when not to. On several summer hikes in the black hills of south dakota, I have camped with only a mylar space blanket for shelter and a fleece bag, however it was in the 90's in the days and only got down to 60 at night. In the winter on the same trail I wouldn't dream of going with any less than a tent and a 0* sleeping bag.
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