To start out, I have never been on the AT although I live only six miles from it. I prefer the closer and less known trails. I am 73 and health prevents me from doing long distance hikes, but I do love nature, and wandering around here in the mountains. ( I retired here ) My pack, for the most part is minimalist with what would be needed if I should be caught out on an unexpected overnight or two. I guess I would consider it as a survival bag. I only do summer, as winter for me is a time of hibernation. Although my pack is only a 30 liter, I'm finding it hard to get the weight less then about 25 pounds, and am wondering what weight hikers generally carry. I am always working towards liter gear, but finding that can run into lots of money.
For any 2 night trip, 3 season where temps will not get to freezing, my pack without food and water would weigh about 10 pounds. All weights in ounces: ULA Circuit(60 L pack) 36, Stove + lighter + fuel 5, sleeping pad 16, tent + stakes 60, quilt 28, first aid kit 5, tp bag 5, water filter 5 total 160 ounces / 10 pounds. If I needed to carry water, I would have a 4L bag that weighs 1.6 ounces
If I don't need to carry 4L of water, I could conceivably get all of that plus 2 days of food in my 28L daypack, but it would not be as comfortable. I use my backpack any time I'm sleeping overnight.
I just turned 70 myself, and while I've been at this activity for many decades now, I am always on the lookout for ways to lighten my load. If I lived where it was feasible, I'd own goats so they could carry the pack weight and I could walk with a little food and water only.
"I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." Shakespeare
If I lived where it was feasible, I'd own goats so they could carry the pack weight and I could walk with a little food and water only.
I need one of those Nigerian dwarf goats.
There are many here who are a lot more knowledgeable (and experienced) in this, but the only thing I'd add to zeke's post is that, as he made clear (or as I read it), the weight he cited was for a pretty specific season and situation.
I find that the weight of my pack varies a lot depending on why I'm going and what I'm doing. The weather, as zeke said, is a major factor. So, "average weight of your pack" varies a lot. I only carry about 10 - 15 pounds when going somewhere for a couple of nights (not all that often anymore), but most of my trips are now one-nighters with specific intentions not actually related to anything you'd be able to accurately call "backpacking" other than the (short) walk out, exploration sometimes, and then back. So a small pack is pretty much it, but I'm not all that representative of any "backpacking" group.
Post by bushmaster on Nov 20, 2021 11:44:55 GMT -8
EDIT of original post. I would really like adding down bags, etc, for lightweight outings. My problem concerning this is that my first and foremost consideration is that due to living in the mountains on a dead end road, and people sometimes getting careless with fire, I need to have my pack ready to grab and go at a moments notice in case the road is impassible. I hate to use the term bug out bag on this site, yet during dry seasons I usually keep the pack in the truck thus making down gear impossible. I guess I'm looking for a happy medium which might be impossible. My sleep system, if you could call it that, is just a snugpak jungle blanket, with a military poncho as an emergency shelter, and rain gear. I realize this goes against the usual backpackers gear list, but I came here to possibly learn how to lighten my load for a possible emergency escape. I do use the same pack for my day hikes, including the possibility of an emergency overnight, and I'll admit that many of my items do not fit in the ultralight category, and I apologize in advance here if you feel I don't walk the same walk as you folks. I don't want to offend, or upset anyone. I'm here Only to learn.
I'm certain none of us here are offended by your mission, or even your use of a bug out bag in case of an emergency. There are some non-down sleeping bags out there but I'm not sure how small they compress.
"I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." Shakespeare
I don't know that I see this as an either-or situation. Why not leave the kit as you have now - packed and ready in your truck - but also buy a down bag and store it properly (presumably in the house). If an emergency arises and you have to abandon the down bag in the house, well, so be it. You'll still have something in your truck. But in most cases, when hiking for pleasure, you'll have the opportunity to swap out what's in your pack with the down bag. It would take all of a minute to do so.
There aren't any rules to backpacking gear and, in fact, many of us have multiple versions of any given item, be it sleeping bags, packs, shelters. The word "addiction" has been uttered more than once.
By the way, for summer camping weights, synthetic bags come very close to down in terms of weight and volume. For instance, looking at an EE Revelation since they make both down and Apex versions, for a 40-deg rated quilt, there's only a 2oz difference in weight. For a 30-deg rated quilt, the difference is 4oz. That said, you don't really want to store synthetic bags compressed either since they're designed to mimic down in terms of lofting to trap air to provide insulation. The advantage of synthetics is that it usually handles moisture/humidity better than down.
My weight depends on the season and elevation. For early spring or late fall in places where I expect nights in the 20s or lower I'm probably about 21 pounds without food or water. In warmer circumstance i can save off about three pounds.
For you situation, you might consider a woobie www.galls.com/rothco-gi-type-woobie-poncho-liner-with-ties?PMOPV1=OD&PMSRCE=BGPLA&msclkid=11311101d46b10459f0d709b818d962b&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=IM-Shopping&utm_term=4577335628266504&utm_content=PLA Down is a wonderful, expensive material that might not suit your needs. My pack is 20 lbs. and that includes food and water and sleep and shelter for two, sometimes more going into desert dry camps, as I carry for my wife also. She ends around 12 usually. If you're not doing multi-day trips with the intent of high mileage, the much cheaper and easy maintenance blanket/poncho system may work for you. If you don't want more than your small pack, you can strap synthetics to the outside; something I'd never do with my down products. Most adverts for woobies target bug out bags, exactly your intended use. With lots of UL products, including the UGQ quilt that serves my wife and I to 30F , durability is a factor. I treat my quilt on the trail as if our lives depended on it, and that may not stray far from the truth on occasion. I have older down bags, now relegated to car camping that are far bulkier, but more durable. They would not fit your pack size well at all. When I was younger, I traveled extremely light and slept in whatever clothes I had wrapped up in a tarp. Served well. You can get a down jacket with a hood that compresses quite small and sleep in that in moderate to cool temps. Once again, emergency use, but very doable.
I would consider purchasing a Hammock Gear Economy Burrow. This will be a quality down quilt at a reasonalble price. Then I would purchase a 15 liter stuff sack. Not ideal for storage of a down sleeping item, but it will keep your quilt small enough to be manageable, without compressing the down too much. I think your quilt will last for a good long time in a stuff sack this size without loosing too much loft. If you ever need it for survival purposes (which hopefully won't happen), just stuff it down into your pack, it will compress to a small size.
This is probably an obvious point, but most of us on this site purchase bags and quilts to stay comfortable on-trail. Your primarily goal, as I understand it, is not to be comfortable, but to survive. Assuming you have appropriate clothing, a heavy duty space blanket or survival bivy might be all you need.
I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. -Soren Kierkegaard
My base pack weight for mild 3 season weather is about 17lbs, which includes a bear cannister. I too avoid winter (unless backpacking in Arizona), but early spring and late fall add a couple pounds for a fleece midlayer, gloves, and a fleece beanie.
Ultra-lightweight gear does tend to cost more. I've been on a 25 year "journey" replacing each piece of gear as it wears out with something lighter.
Whatever I want it to be. I don't stick to a specific weight, but it has been a lifelong obsession to keep it as low as I can. Photography is the reason why I've backpacked since the 1970's. All east coast conditions. As I've aged, I've grown to add more comforts depending on what I'm doing and where I'm going. it varies between 15 to 20 lbs, depending on season, and what gear I choose to take with me. I have a system that has worked for me for years. The gear changes, hopefully the weights go down for each item, but its the same system. I tried UL for a while, but missed items, and gradually the base weight crept up to where it is now. I will admit, I do fiddle with my list every time I return from a trip, but nothing really changes all that much. I do use every item I carry.
I hike solo, I place safety above any weight goal; throw in a little comfort while I'm in camp - and there you are!
One thing you might consider when reading other people's posts about base weight is - where are they? Conditions for a desert hiker will be quite different from you and I here in the Mid Atlantic. For example, I always prepare for horizontal driven rain (or snow!) on every trip. so full rain gear is always in my pack. I hike boggy areas in WV, so that affects my footwear. And of course, our part of the US is the source of all ticks, so to me a double wall tent is mandatory. I like to sleep comfortably, so a wide/long sleeping pad is part of my setup - point is, what will make you safe and then comfortable for the area you hike in? That'll be the starting point. AND you really don't need the base weight of a through hiker. It would be nice, but if you're going out for a 2 to 7 days, why?