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What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:16 am
by Phil
I'm curious about what everyone carries in their typical pack load as far as specific types of gear is concerned and their overall weight. Everyone from lightweight thru-hikers, <20lbs, all the way up to people that are normally hauling 50-60lbs. And with that, what are your typical daily distances and vertical gain/loss? It you're light, how do you get there? If you're heavy, why?

I have a few reasons for wanting to know, and as hikers/backpackers, I think this would make for an interesting and enlightening conversation for all of us.

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:24 pm
by balzaccom
Hi Phil

Too many questions here. We plan on hiking 6-8 miles a day usually, but this summer did two 14 mile days and quite a few more over ten. It all depends on scenery, weather, water, how we are feeling...etc.

What's in our packs? I carry about 16 pounds base weight, and that includes our bear can. Sleeping bag, pack, and tent each weight two pounds. Sleeping pads (2)bear can, and clothes are another six pounds combined. Another four pounds for fishing gear, water filter, epipen and other odds and ends. And then I take the food and some water.

My wife's pack is lighter: same two pounds each for pack and sleeping bag, and two more each for sleeping pads and cook kit. She has the first aid kit and toilet kit, so she comes in around 11 pounds plus clothes. She takes more of those...maybe six pounds or so, and maybe a book or other items puts her at about 19-20 pounds plus water.

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:47 am
by Phil
Why doesn't 4lbs of fishing gear surprise me in the least? :lol:

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:37 pm
by Grzldvt
I run a bit on the heavier side, but really beginning to replace everything with ultralight. On my last trip since it was going to be colder and 5 days, I went with a pack which is a Dana K2 that comes in at a hefty 7lbs, add my tent at 3 lbs, this trip I went with my heavier bag at 3lbs, canister at 3lbs, air mattress and pillow 1 at 1 lb, water filter, stove and fuel, 2lbs, puts me at 18 for the basic pack Heavy on clothes, big jacket, fleece pants, socks for everyday, shirts put me at 11lbs for clothes. Miscellaneous stuff(headlamp, first aid kit, and other odds and ends, and of course my chair, adds another 5lbs, food, and we eat really well, is another 5lbs, for total of 40lbs for the late fall 5 day trip. This trip were 8-12 miles a day.

In the summer, for a weekender, I go very light, use a much smaller pack that weighs 2lbs, a lighter cool sleeping bag from the 70's 1.5 lbs, canister 3lbs, same tent at 3lbs, air mattress and pillow 1lb, food 5lbs, odds and ends(filter, stove fuel, headlamp, etc and yes the 8 oz chair comes along :lol: for about 3lbs, and clothes 3 lbs for a total weight 21.5 lbs
Weekender mileage wise run fro a couple of miles to 14-15 miles.
Will look at a lighter canister next , and replace the water filter with new technology and lighter. Owning my own business and getting it off the ground has severely limited the amount of time I have for backppacking anymore, so changing equipment has been a slow process. But it is really starting to take off, so I am hoping next summer/fall I can get out more.

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:03 pm
by balzaccom
No, no! The four pounds includes the fishing gear, epipen, water filter etc. Fishing gear is under two pounds: pack rod, reel, flies, and some leader...

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:29 pm
by AlmostThere
I was at 35 lbs for the week long trip this year, including a pound of fishing gear and a little silkie saw. Most trips of a couple of days I can be 20 lbs. Nothing in the pack weighs more than 2 lbs - the 0 degree quilt weighs maybe four ounces more than the 20 degree one, the tent is 28 oz, the sleeping pad 24, the kitchen kit maybe 15 oz.... I buy cottage gear for the major items like Lightheart Gear, Hammock Gear, Gossamer Gear, Tarptent, ULA.... My tent costs less than the only mass market tent that comes close to the weight, a Big Agnes. And nope, it's double wall too. And it's roomier.

I did a lot of work to get the pack weight down to minimal. It doesn't take a lot of money to do that, if you do your research and look for good used gear on forums.

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:46 am
by Soonernation
On our trip this year (my first backpacking trip), I weighed my pack before leaving the house. It weighed in at 36 pounds without water. That was for a 4 days.

I could drop some weight by bringing less clothing (I was concerned about the cold being late September) and less food. My bear canister was full when I started and half full when I finished. I brought things that I thought I would snack on throughout the trip that I didn't end up eating. I bought all my gear new. I could not afford to go ultra-lite and I figured I could only go down from where I started. I pay the price slightly as I carry a 2 person tent when it's just me as I like the extra space. That's around an extra 2 pounds I carry vs a comparable 1 person tent.

I carried:
Tent, sleeping pad, bear canister with food and essentials, sleeping bag, rain jacket, fleece, stove & fuel, clothing, book, filter, first aid kit, headlamp, rechargeable battery pack and misc. other stuff that added a couple pounds.

I need to locate spots within a reasonable distance to me for more backpacking trips. I would be on my own as my wife has no interest in spending the night in a tent. We have a 5th wheel we usually camp in which gives her no reason to "rough it". I have two trips scheduled for next year so I need to refine my whole process before those trips as they will be more difficult than the one we did this year.

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:44 am
by Caminante
Here is my lighterpack from my recent trip to Yosemite:

It includes 1.5# of micro four thirds camera gear and comes out to ~15# base weight, almost 8# consumables (2L water considered, I wound only carrying 1L at a time), and almost 3# of worn clothing. For many years I carried a 7# Dana Design Terraplane (Mystery Ranch predecessor) without really realizing how freaking heavy that pack is. It is extremely comfortable with a heavy load. I got into MYOG over the last year and made my own pack that came out to 2.5# and really helped with my base weight. I have also converted to hammocks which, while not necessarily lighter than a tarp tent setup, did allow me to shave weight compared to a dome tent setup. Some other small things like trading out my vintage pump water purifier for a Sawyer mini, etc.

I hike in the Appalachians which, despite not having elevations higher than 6-7k, has a lot of up and down. I try to keep my total elevation gain <2k, generally speaking. 8-12 miles is fine for that.

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:15 pm
by jgaffney
I bought the small Lighter1 canister because I got tired of humping around my Garcia canister for 4 nights of just me. The smaller canister is just right for 1 person for 4-5 nights, and I can use the smaller backpack because it fits inside.

That being said, I still make room for my flask of JD!

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:54 am
by Dave_Ayers
Not to discourage discussion here, but you may want to look at John Ladd's annual surveys in the Yahoo JMT group. He's compiled lot's of info on pack weights, body weight, daily distance, etc., from surveys of hundreds of hikers who do at least a portion of the JMT. See ... GtpbzJ1aXM for instance or surf over to the JMT Yahoo group or the JMT group on Facebook.

Re: What's in your pack?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:00 pm
by Phil
Holy Cow! That's awesome, Dave. Thanks for that docs link. Right up my alley.