Scales for weighing gear and where to get them
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E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Scales for weighing gear and where to get them on 11/05/2007 07:27:12 MST Print View

Hey guys, which model scales do you have, and where did you get them? Store or eBay links would be much appreciated : )

What is an ideal weight range for a general purpose gear scale?

It will be nice to use this

I've weighed gear when I needed to at the post office (brought half my gear closet once in a big duffel close to closing and all the postal workers thought that I was completely insane).

Donovan Sarka
(dsarka) - F

Locale: Sierra Nevada
scales on 11/05/2007 07:44:23 MST Print View

Hi, I recently picked up a scale at Target, in the travel section for around $10.00. It is small, lightweight, and very portable. We haven't tested for accuracy yet but it seems to get the job done.

Shahrin Bin Shariff
(zzmelayu) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Table Mountain
Walmart Scales on 11/05/2007 08:24:31 MST Print View

EJ
I got my postal scale at Walmart (Canada) for $20. Brand is Taylor. Toggle switch underneath to go from lb oz to grams. Never calibrated it, but there is a post somewhere in the forum where you can calibrate your scale against US penny/dime/quarter (?).Postal Scale

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Scales for weighing gear and where to get them on 11/05/2007 08:34:46 MST Print View

I've put in an order to www.cabelas.com for their "Digital Fish Scale", at $19.95. It reads to 50 pounds, and supposedly accurate to the nearest ounce. I got it because. for me, a hanging scale is more useful for weighing gear that won't sit nicely on a postal scale.

It hasn't come in yet, so I don't actually know how well it works.

Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Scale on 11/05/2007 16:12:01 MST Print View

I bought my Postal scale off of ebay, it has a max of 25lbs and is accurate to .1 oz and can easily be switched to oz/grams. I think it was around $20 shipped. I haven't had any problems yet.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
scales on 11/05/2007 16:25:30 MST Print View

Look for them in the kitchen supply areas of department stores...eg. Bed, Bath and Beyond!

Victor Karpenko
(Viktor) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Calibrating a scale on 11/05/2007 17:08:37 MST Print View

It should be easy to calibrate. Using the "TARE" feature just add a known amount of water. One liter of water weighs 1000 grams. You can use any fracture of a liter to calibrate the scale.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
do all of these scales have calibration interface? on 11/06/2007 13:54:21 MST Print View

Thanks everyone. Just wanted to ask - do all your scales have calibration features? Do they all have a calibration interface where you can calibrate the scale up or down based on known weight of an object, like a liter of water?

Greg Vaillancourt
(GSV45) - F

Locale: Utah
Scale uses? on 11/06/2007 21:37:49 MST Print View

I don't own one.

I look at weight (among other things) at the time of purchase. Some vendors (Prolite for ex.) are really good about accurate weights.

IF you do have a scale do you pack items you already own based on their weight? (This spoon weighs less than that spoon) OR do you find the scales prompt outbursts of buying lighter stuff?

Do you set targets as far as pack weight and yank stuff out to meet it? I'm not trying to yank any chains here, just wondering.

AHH..behold my mighty BPL ranking of 2.90

Edited by GSV45 on 11/06/2007 21:39:42 MST.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Scale uses? on 11/06/2007 21:58:46 MST Print View

IF you do have a scale do you pack items you already own based on their weight? This spoon weighs less than that spoon)

yep

do you find the scales prompt outbursts of buying lighter stuff?

sometimes, but in an analytical way ... example, was cold on the colder evenings at Philmont this summer ... the only insulation I packed was light wt poly long underwear tops/bottoms ... back home I'm thinking Thru-Hiker insulated pants and jacket kit (insulated similar to the Cocoon 60 stuff) weigh about 8oz more than what I brought and I could offset that extra weight by taking a lighter quilt because I can sleep in the warmer clothing + quilt on the coldest nights. No weight gain (maybe a small loss), more utility and more flexibility. But I need to know item weights to work that way.

Do you set targets as far as pack weight and yank stuff out to meet it?

Yes on the target weight but not so much yank things out as find a lighter alternative or a dual use item that allow me to eliminate something.

I find target pack weights to be great motivation to find alternatives.

Trust vendor weights? It's in my nature to measure things myself.

Edited by jcolten on 11/06/2007 22:04:54 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Scale uses? on 11/06/2007 23:55:14 MST Print View

IF you do have a scale do you pack items you already own based on their weight? This spoon weighs less than that spoon)

Absolutely- every little bit counts!


do you find the scales prompt outbursts of buying lighter stuff?

Like Jim- sometimes. For a crazy trip where I'm getting really low packweight, the answer is definitely yes. And when paring down items in general, yes- it helps to have the real information.


Do you set targets as far as pack weight and yank stuff out to meet it?

Sometimes. For example, I've got a set base pack goal of 4 pounds for a summer insano trip I'm taking. For that one, I carefully select items, trade things, etc. But for general trips, most of my scale work is done- my kit is pretty set and I know how light it is. I simply put the items together and hit the trail.


I find target pack weights to be great motivation to find alternatives.

Absolutely- me too. And I really enjoy the challenge, actually. It's an extension of my backpacking- almost a second hobby at times. First I was at 10 pounds, then 8, then 7, then 5.5, and now 4. Or should I say, I'm at 28 with my son on my back!!!


Trust vendor weights? It's in my nature to measure things myself.

The vendor weights are often way off. Even Bozeman Mountain Works is off a little sometimes, and they're as accurate as it gets. My gear lists have my weights on them- not claims by manufacturers. When my pack weighs 4 pounds, it's FOUR baby!

A scale is cheap. I got mine on eBAY. Get one and join the Ultralight Fanatics Club!

Eric St. Mary
(EWSEWS) - F
Re: Calibrating a scale on 11/07/2007 01:33:35 MST Print View

Victor, that is not an accurate way to "calibrate" your scale. There are way too many variables and no traceablity... account for the weight of the vessel, the inaccuracy of the 1L mark, parallax error in verifying that water is at the 1L mark, the purity of the water, the fact that water doesn't have an even surface in vessels, etc.

Many cheaper scales are not sensitive enough to properly measure small changes. Just because a scale reads out to .01 grams doesn't mean a thing; a scale with .1 grams of resolution can easily be more accurate.

You'd need have a metrology lab calibrate a scale for you, if you want it to be accurate.

But, as some have said using your scale to compare one item to another, to see which is the lightest is an effective way to use them.

Edited by EWSEWS on 11/07/2007 01:35:00 MST.

Shahrin Bin Shariff
(zzmelayu) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Table Mountain
Re: Re: Scale uses? on 11/07/2007 03:02:48 MST Print View

>IF you do have a scale do you pack items you already own based on their weight? This spoon weighs less than that spoon)

100% YES

>Do you find the scales prompt outbursts of buying lighter stuff?

Initially yes but then the insanity reaches a STEADY-STATE.
I have a spreadsheet with 219 items of all items related to UL/SUL backpacking. I made pivot tables to generate gearlist for separate trips and to monitor weight reduction. Now it takes me less than a minute to weigh a new item, enter its weight in the master spreadsheet, and generate the latest gearlist with updated Baseweight and FSO for both me and my wife.

I also have a VALUE column ($/oz) to quantify the craziness. Did you know that you pay on the average of $20-$22/oz for UL vest/jackets and around $10-11/oz for UL 32F sleeping bags? Step away from reputable UL-specific name brands such as MB, GG, BPL and you can save the cost by half!

>Do you set targets as far as pack weight and yank stuff out to meet it?

Yes. BUT Tempered very much with the nature/objective of the hike. Solo or Family? Example Solo Hi-mileage Weekend: Esbit, Heineken Can, Tarp, Small pack, Target ~6lb. Example Family Pleasure hike: TT Rainshadow2, Ti pot, Pocket Rocket, Prolite4 etc Target ~11lb.

>Trust vendor weights? It's in my nature to measure things myself.

Rarely believe vendors. Anyway my postal scale is always ready. Takes 10 sec to record a measurement. Another 5 sec to enter it into my spreadsheet.

Edited by zzmelayu on 11/07/2007 03:12:19 MST.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Sean can you send me the link for the eBay scale? on 11/07/2007 15:09:13 MST Print View

Sean, can you send me the link for the eBay postal scale? Funny thing is I need it for postage and for gear.

BTW, metal calibration weights are available that have certified weights - I have these for a micro scale I use for weighing small amounts of bulk chemical fertilizers for our tropical planted aquarium. However my micro scale would break with any weights over a few ounces.

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
help , need a scale on 11/21/2009 11:14:00 MST Print View

I found the article a bit dated. Looking at getting a scale locally. Target , walmart, bed bath and beyond . Any advice ? Does it matter the high end of the weight?up to 12lbs,25lbs etc? Any brand better then another?

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
MyWeigh scales on 11/21/2009 11:29:27 MST Print View

I would check out http://www.myweigh.com I have a 7001DX and a Triton T2. Both are well made and extremely accurate.

Acronym Esq
(acronym.esq) - F

Locale: TX
Re: Re: Scales for weighing gear and where to get them on 11/21/2009 15:42:04 MST Print View

I use a fish scale from Walmart for stuff over 1000g and a little meat scale (probably from Walmart or Target) for smaller stuff. These are good enough for measuring backpacking gear, but not good enough for measuring TNT.

YMMV.
acronym 11/21/2009 4:39 PM

Edit fix clicky bits (I'm still not a master of links yet). 11/21/2009 4:43 PM

Edited by acronym.esq on 11/21/2009 15:43:52 MST.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
scales on 11/21/2009 18:14:29 MST Print View

EJ,
I use a my-weigh i500, about $60 from rightonscales.com.
As the name suggests, it goes up to 500 grams, around a pound. For heavier items, there are many cooking and postal scales available at Staples, Walmart, etc., with larger baskets and trays. I use the my-weigh mostly to compare weights of very light materials, as it goes down to hundreths of an ounce. It uses size AA batteries, and has been totally reliable for several years.
Sam at Chocorua

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: help , need a scale on 11/21/2009 20:18:52 MST Print View

If you don't need the high precision of the MyWeigh i500 the 7001DX goes up to 15 pounds with .1oz or 1g graduation. I have calibration weights but the scale has never been off even a single gram. I'm new to UL backpacking but I have used this scale for years on bike parts. I also use it all the time for shipping. Amazon currently has the 7001DX for $35.95 with free shipping. The warranty is something like 25 years. I read numerous reviews on scale testing sites and decided this was perfect for my needs.

Jake Engel
(jakeismoney) - F
Re: Scales for weighing gear and where to get them on 11/24/2009 13:18:14 MST Print View

I recently ordered this one from DealExtreme.com:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2563

I haven't received it yet (they can take a while to ship), but the reviews are very positive and it appears to measure up to at least 3000g, maybe 5000g... I'll let you know when it arrives.