In my last post, Lightweight Solo Backpacking Gear List, my base weight (total pack weight - consumables = base weight) was at about 15 lbs/6.8 kg. 15 lbs isn't bad for a weekend trip. I mean I only have to carry a couple of days of food, so a 15 lbs base weight + a couple of days worth of food may have my pack weight under 20 lbs/9 kg (depending on how much water I have to carry) for a weekend hike.
But what about for a week? Well, for a week, I'm going to have to carry a lot more food. And I'm going to have to I'm also going to have to add some base weight type items that I wouldn't need for a short weekend trip, things like extra batteries and a larger fuel bottle. And for a Sierra Nevada trip there's one other problem: bears. In the Sierra Nevada. Bear canisters, a heavy piece of gear, are mandatory. Hmm. My maybe I need to drop a little more weight off my base weight?
So if I take my last gear list and add in the bear canister, larger fuel bottle, and batteries, I should have a more realistic base weight for my upcoming trip. I'll post the gear list below my "signature" and my comments immediately below.
First, notice that my base weight has climbed from 15.2 lbs/6.8 kg to 18.8 lbs/8.5 kg. Yuck. That's a step in the wrong direction. You've got to figure that, in addition to my base weight, I'm going to be carrying at least a dozen pounds of food (5.4 kg), 2 lbs of water (1 kg), and a pound of fuel (0.5 kg) – about 15 lbs (6.8 kg) of "consumables". Add 18.8 lbs base weight to roughly 15 lbs of consumables, and your total is about 34 lbs (15.4 kg). Now, I've been backpacking for many years, and I'm completely confident that I could do the trip with a 34 lbs backpack – but I'm sure I can go lighter, and I know I'll enjoy the trip more if I carry less.
Now it's time to introduce another concept: Proportional Pack Weight.
QUESTION: Is a 30 lbs pack (13.6 kg) going to feel the same to a 200 lbs (91 kg) person as it would to a 150 lbs (68 kg) person? No, of course not. So, let's look at total pack weight in proportion to body weight.
Proportional Total Pack Weight
|Ultra Heavy||Very Heavy||Heavy||Moderate||Light||Ultralight||Super Ultralight||Extremely Ultralight|
|Body weight (lbs)||1/3rd||1/4th||1/5th||1/6th||1/8th||1/10th||1/15th||1/20th|
So, if you look at the above chart, I think you can see where I'm going with this. What feels light to a 200 pound person will not necessarily feel light to a 100 pound person. The chart above attempts to take body weight into account rather than to assign labels (light weight, ultralight, etc.) based on static weight amounts. Notice that I'm talking about total pack weight. At the end of the day, the amount you actually put on your back matters. On a weekend trip, my total pack weight is pretty light, but on a week long trip in the Sierra Nevada, my total pack weight is considerably more.
I weigh about 220 lbs (100 kg). My 34 lbs (15.4 kg) total pack weight will basically feel like a "moderate" (not light) backpack. I want to move down a notch and get into the "light" range. Perhaps someday I'll even go beyond that, but my goal for this phase of pack weight reduction is to move from "moderate" to "light." I'll address this weight reduction in my next post in this series.
One Person Gear List (Base Weight Only)
|Sierra Nevada Mountains, Summer 2015, Day time high 80F/27C, Overnight low 40F/5C|
|Clothing||Patagonia down hoodie sweater (for temps < 40F/5C)||473||16.7||1.0|
|Clothing||Long john top (Capilene 2)||175||6.2||0.4|
|Clothing||Long john bottom (Capilene 2)||170||6.0||0.4|
|Clothing||Flip flops (To air out feet; I struggle with athlete's foot)||134||4.7||0.3|
|Clothing||Golite wind pants||120||4.2||0.3|
|Clothing||Fleece glove/mittens (flip top, probably a weight penalty)||100||3.5||0.2|
|Clothing||Montane wind shirt||95||3.4||0.2|
|Clothing||Underwear, 1 pair||90||3.2||0.2|
|Clothing||socks, 1 pair, midweight||75||2.6||0.2|
|Clothing||Ghost Whisperer shell||73||2.6||0.2|
|Clothing||socks, 1 pair, midweight||68||2.4||0.1|
|Hydration||Steri Pen with batteries||123||4.3||0.3|
|Hydration||4 x Platypus bladder 1L||100||3.5||0.2|
|Hydration||Plastic "basin" (for Steri Pen treatment)||18||0.6||0.0|
|Kitchen||Garcia Bear Canister||1280||45.2||2.8|
|Kitchen||Trail Designs Ti-Tri Stove set up & 1.3 L Evernew UL Ti Pot||248||8.7||0.5|
|Kitchen||Titanium Sierra cup/measuring cup||43||1.5||0.1|
|Kitchen||12 fl oz (355 ml) alcohol bottle||39||1.4||0.1|
|Kitchen||Sea to Summit Aluminum spoon||9||0.3||0.0|
|Misc||AMK Optimist First Aid Kit (FAK) + 1 x roller gauze||244||8.6||0.5|
|Misc||Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)||196||6.9||0.4|
|Misc||External battery with mini cable||170||6.0||0.4|
|Misc||Potty kit (TP + hand sanitizer)||136||4.8||0.3|
|Misc||Map (topographic) and Isuka roll-up map case||111||3.9||0.2|
|Misc||Glasses (distance only; used Fresnel lens for reading)||109||3.8||0.2|
|Misc||Misc Ziploc (chapstick, meds, matches, sewing kit, crazy glue, duct tape, tenacious tape)||105||3.7||0.2|
|Misc||BP Bag (Cordage, Liquid soap, Thermarest patch kit, ear plugs)||100||3.5||0.2|
|Misc||Spare phone batteries (2)||76||2.7||0.2|
|Misc||Pouch (sunscreen, fire steel, tripod) Tripod weight, see below||74||2.6||0.2|
|Misc||Mammut S-Flex headlamp||49||1.7||0.1|
|Misc||Snow/sand stake (used as trowel and as tent stake)||35||1.2||0.1|
|Misc||Dental Hygiene Kit (brush, paste, and floss)||30||1.1||0.1|
|Misc||Mammut S-Flex headlamp case||28||1.0||0.1|
|Misc||Spare camera battery||27||1.0||0.1|
|Misc||Wilderness Permit in plastic Ziploc||18||0.6||0.0|
|Pack||Gossamer Gear Mariposa, Large||884||31.2||1.9|
|Pack||Nylofume bag (as water proof liner)||30||1.1||0.1|
|Photo||Camera with 1 battery||250||8.8||0.6|
|Shelter||Stratospire I tarp tent with bug net inner (used for 2 ppl)||1000||35.3||2.2|
|Shelter||Tyvek ground sheet||130||4.6||0.3|
|Shelter||8 x "V" Al stakes (could save 1.5 oz with Ti stakes)||100||3.5||0.2|
|Sleep||Western Mountaineering Summerlite 6'0" sleeping bag||580||20.5||1.3|
|Sleep||NeoAir X-Lite 3/4 pad & stuff sack||240||8.5||0.5|
|Sleep||Dry bag, 10L (holds both sleeping bag and down hoodie)||77||2.7||0.2|
|Sleep||NeoAir Pillow & stuff sack||60||2.1||0.1|
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