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Thread: The overnight pack- weight & gear

  1. #1
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    The overnight pack- weight & gear

    I hiked long distances of 1000+ miles years ago. I just got off the presidentials after an overnight camp below the ridge, then attempted the ridge. I started at Appalachia trailhead, and bailed down watson. I was shooting for the AT out to 302. That was a long hike, but the morale was low because I know I weighed to much and struggled to hit what I know I can hit with a day pack. I am out of practice in this regard.

    Anyways, the point is I want to know what your overnight pack roughly weighs and contains minus water, for this time of year.

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    The ultralight folks at Whiteblaze debate this endlessly. Here is one of many threads https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...ght=baseweight. They spend a lot of money to buy down that weight, if starting from scratch over $1000. On the other hand AMC crews routinely haul 100 plus pound packs up to the huts. I day hike so my pack weights are not relevant to your use.


    A lot of it comes down to conditioning there is no direct substitute for hiking up a mountain carrying a pack. Sure cardio helps but its not a substitute. It takes a few weeks of weekend hikes to get back into shape and if I skip a weekend I feel it and if I go a couple of weekends I know that I will have to work back up to it.

    The weather the last few days up here in the whites went from spring to mid summer, high heat/high humidity needs to be acclimated to, there is no substitute.

    So the last few days up here are perfect storm for many, 3arly hot humid weather, early season lack of conditioning, extra "Covid" pounds, crappy weekend weather the prior two weekends and the temptation to load up the pack for the worst.

    Since I live locally and pick up hikers on occasion its not usual for me to pick up folks hitching that set up a "dream trip" and overestimated their ability given their current condition and had to bail and even the greats have been sidelined by weather conditions like we are experiencing.

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cevoli View Post
    I hiked long distances of 1000+ miles years ago. I just got off the presidentials after an overnight camp below the ridge, then attempted the ridge. I started at Appalachia trailhead, and bailed down watson. I was shooting for the AT out to 302. That was a long hike, but the morale was low because I know I weighed to much and struggled to hit what I know I can hit with a day pack. I am out of practice in this regard.

    Anyways, the point is I want to know what your overnight pack roughly weighs and contains minus water, for this time of year.
    Welcome,

    As a hiker who should weigh quite a bit less, I feel your pain. I do day-hike mostly so again pack weight something I trim. I've started getting up earlier so I can still do hikes but at this point I am not near a Presi-Traverse yet. Muscle memory of glory days does help some but it does only cover so much. I do find it more helpful if I've been active recently so at the first few miles the legs and feet aren't barking back. Age has changed also, so after 10 miles, I'm not sure if the muscles and joints are unhappy at the weight or the mileage on them. Since stopping aging isn't an option for future hikes, losing some weight is an option. (now to head outside before it gets too warm)
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I used to race bicycles. I used to listen to others debate the value of shaving grams off their wheels, while they themselves had pounds to shave. Or, I also use to listen to a teammate "whine" when he rode his heavier training bike (when roads were wet, say) and yet he would still win races.

    My thoughts on the $ vs weight are: When I start losing races at the line, then maybe it's time to spend more $. When I start missing FKTs by 2-3% then I'll pony up for the running vests and other UL equipment. Otherwise, conditioning yourself is your best use of time and money.

    I am proud to say I can't tell you how much my pack(s) OR my bicycles actually weigh. I'm not gonna carry snowhoes until winter 21/22, however, even for the training

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Sorry I don't know pack weight; I hike to camp as opposed to camping to hike.

    I agree that hiking up mountains with your pack is essential. I do not plan trips to the Whites until Monadnock via Pumpelly with my overnight pack is easy peasy.

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    A few years ago, I put together a few lists of my overnight gear and weight for the different seasons. I ended up deleting the lists, but remember that for this time of year, my overnight weight was around 25 lbs. without water or food. That's roughly 15% of my body weight. The list includes tent, Thermarest pad, 15-degree down bag, stove, cooking gear and extra clothing. I have upgraded to lighter gear over the years, but usually after something wears out rather than just to save weight. When backpacking in the WMNF, I usually plan on hiking around 8 hours per day at one mile per hour or so. Sometimes, I'll set up a base camp a few miles from the road and do day hikes from there so I'm not carrying my backpack up the mountains.

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    Member Kyle D's Avatar
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    I have not invested in ultra light gear and have never completed a long-distance thru hike. I tend to carry a somewhat hefty first aid kit and camp comfort items. I imagine my pack weight is on the average/heavier side of non-ultralight or thru hikers. I like what Tom said about hiking to camp as opposed to camping to hike.

    If camping to hike in the summer, my base weight is 27 lbs. Add 4 lbs of water weight and roughly 1.5lb food/day. So for a 1 night overnight trip, I shoot to be under 35lbs.

    If hiking to camp, which usually includes fly-fishing gear and other camp comfort items, my base weight goes up significantly and I'm in the 40-45lb range total depending on number of days out (food weight). These trips also are usually on much flatter terrain.

    I usually move around 2mi/hr with backpacking weight whereas with a day pack I expect to move in the 2.5-3mi/hr range.
    Last edited by Kyle D; 06-07-2021 at 01:39 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I've done several multi day trips this year in addition to some overnights and for the "shoulder to shoulder season" I'm generally 24-26 lbs before water weight and food. For water I carry a 1L and a 0.5L Nalgene (which is my cooking measuring cup/coffee cup) and filter as a I go. I carry a 4L MSR Dromedary bag on hikes where I'll be up high on a ridge and/or water is an issue and I'll need to carry it. My food weight is usually around 1.5 lbs per day.

    Like many others here I have no interest in being ultralight. I'm 50 now so I'm willing to carry heavier items that meet my needs for comfort in certain circumstances. I know my sleeping pad is much heavier than it could be, my water filter (6L gravity bag set up) weighs a lot more than a Sawyer (but is sooooo convenient) and I have various electronic accessories and medical stuff I'm sure many people don't bother with. I rarely pack a "standard" set up like I did when I started backpacking and now highly customize what I bring depending on time of year, number of days, etc. There are an awful lot of things which you really don't need for a 1-2 night trip that you may be used to carrying if you're still in "thru hiker mode".

    If you're trying to save some weight and make some changes go with the obvious and look at your "big four": shelter, backpack, sleeping bag/quilt and sleeping pad. About 3 years ago I swapped out my backpack, sleeping bag and shelter and dropped about 8 lbs on my base weight. If I had to pick any one thing it would be the backpack itself. The mass market companies like Osprey and others are often really heavy. They're well made, feature rich and comfortable but you pay for all that comfort in ounces. My original overnight backpack weighed 6.6 lbs. My new one weighs 2.8 lbs and is just as comfortable and actually has more room. I recently made the change to a quilt as well and am very pleased with the move and weight savings.

    I've also spent many years of trial and error with my layers in various conditions so I have a really good idea of what I need given a certain temperature range. This will give you a high degree of confidence that the clothes you have will work when you get out there. This allows me to bring exactly what I need without any "what if" or back up items in the pack from not being sure what I have will work. If you were banging out 1000 mile hikes back in the day you've probably already learned that lesson.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  9. #9
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Osprey Kestrel 38 weighs 3.4 (M/L) pounds and retails for $160. Hyperlite 40L weighs 1.88 (L) pounds and restails starting at $320... I.e., "Less is more " Also the Kestrel 48, which I discussed in this forum early winter weighs 3.59 pounds (M/L) and was a great pack... I did finally come to a way to carry the snowshoes, albeit with the addition of (not very light) straps / bungees...

    Maybe if I was thru-hiking I would spend the extra $ on a UL/custom pack. I'd probably lose the difference in weight in the first week or two.

    Tim
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  10. #10
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Osprey Kestrel 38 weighs 3.4 (M/L) pounds and retails for $160. Hyperlite 40L weighs 1.88 (L) pounds and restails starting at $320... I.e., "Less is more "

    Maybe if I was thru-hiking I would spend the extra $ on a UL/custom pack. I'd probably lose the difference in weight in the first week or two.

    Tim
    I just bought an Osprey Talon 11 for Summer day hikes. It weighs basically the same thing (1.94 lbs) as my 68L ULA Circuit (2.28 lbs before removal of some non-essential accessories) that I just did a 75 mile 4 day hike with in PA. That is a pretty dramatic difference.

    Hyperlite Mountain Gear is probably one of the most expensive vendors out there. There are a lot of very competitively priced ultralight companies out there that would stack up very well against comparably sized Osprey packs.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 06-07-2021 at 05:34 PM.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  11. #11
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Tim + lightweight gear = immediate gear failure. Each. And. Every. Time. My entire life.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    When I was a counselor at a camp in NH I used to carry a 3 burner Coleman stove (someone else carried a gallon of fuel) and a canvas tent that must have weighed about 15 lbs. Total pack weight was around 65 or so and we went everywhere in the Whites. Your pack weight is very specific to you and what you can (1) comfortably carry and (2) what you want to have with you in the backcountry. There was a great article in Backpacker years ago about two guys with diametrically opposed views on pack weight philosophy. They go out backpacking together and then compare notes. It was very interesting.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Tim + lightweight gear = immediate gear failure. Each. And. Every. Time. My entire life.

    Tim
    That is surprising. I beat the crap out of my gear as a general rule and am not particularly diligent about preventative maintenance. Both of my ULA Equipment packs have held up extremely well. No evidence of wear at all. I've never personally owned any Dyneema products but they seem to be surprisingly fragile relative to the marketing out there. I see a lot of "has very high tensile strength and is waterproof" testimonials but that it punctures easily and renders both of those features fairly useless. Seems like it requires a lot of special care to be "bulletproof". For the money, I'll pass on that. When my bulletproof gear comes with a patch kit I'm suspicious...
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    That is surprising. I beat the crap out of my gear as a general rule and am not particularly diligent about preventative maintenance. Both of my ULA Equipment packs have held up extremely well. No evidence of wear at all. I've never personally owned any Dyneema products but they seem to be surprisingly fragile relative to the marketing out there. I see a lot of "has very high tensile strength and is waterproof" testimonials but that it punctures easily and renders both of those features fairly useless. Seems like it requires a lot of special care to be "bulletproof". For the money, I'll pass on that. When my bulletproof gear comes with a patch kit I'm suspicious...
    I also beat the crap out of my gear and have found Xpac to be the perfect pack fabric. Both of my current overnight packs are made with VX42. Lightweight, waterproof, bombproof, and more affordable than most DCF options.

  15. #15
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    IMO one of the best ways to settle in on your ideal pack weight is to get out and hike. You'll soon learn what to have and what is really needed vs. not for you.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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