How light is light enough?
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Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Whatever you're comfortable with on 02/27/2008 12:27:22 MST Print View

As others have stated before it's all about your hike.

For me once I get below 20 pounds or so I don't notice the weight. Yeah some other guy on this site posted an article that show's how he hiked more miles for every pound of weight he dropped. Well that's him not me.

Like another poster has said physical fitness and conditioning will go a long way in determining how long and fast you hike in a day. Just because you pack is lighter doesn’t mean you'll hike farther or faster.

It comes down to what you're comfortable with.

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
nevermind on 02/27/2008 23:58:27 MST Print View

N/M .. I could just as soon comment on another gun thread

Edited by uberkatzen on 02/28/2008 00:05:33 MST.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: nevermind on 02/28/2008 09:31:23 MST Print View

I believe you're confusing BackpackingLight with Backpacker.com.

Off with you now, shoo!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Stop Complicating Things! on 02/28/2008 10:35:05 MST Print View

Those of you who haul heavier packs are way too materialistic and need to get a life.

Those of you who carry lighter packs are just gram weenies and need to get a life.

My system rocks! :)

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Stop Complicating Things on 02/28/2008 10:37:50 MST Print View

OK

I will bite

Your system is?

And why is it better than something else?

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Stop Complicating Things on 02/28/2008 10:40:48 MST Print View

And I like the Caldera cone
:-)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Stop Complicating Things on 02/28/2008 10:43:57 MST Print View

Heh heh, sort of ruins it if I have to explain...

It's just my way of saying "use whatever system is best for YOU". Learn and adapt and perfect your gear system as you go, but beyond that, comparing weights becomes increasingly meaningless...

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
one two, one two, and through and through on 02/28/2008 10:49:55 MST Print View

....his vorpal blade went snicker, snack.

And with that, Ben strikes the troll dead.

EDIT: But he didn't grow up playing D&D, so he forgot how they regenerate. Not that I would admit to something like playing D&D. That's fer nerds. Unlike this hobby. Cause meeting another BPL'er at a Starbucks with a show n' tell box of akly stoves is cool. HA!

Edited by uberkatzen on 02/28/2008 10:57:12 MST.

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Don't discount Roman on 02/28/2008 10:55:52 MST Print View

The article was basically about caloric expenditure vs. weight carried vs. distance covered. Less weight=less caloric expenditure for given mileage. It's simple biochemistry, and it applies to EVERYONE, whether the effect is conscious or not.

And that "guy" who wrote the article did complete a little unsupported walk across the Artic, so he knows thing or two about this subject.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Don't discount your own experince on 02/28/2008 12:23:14 MST Print View

I never discounted Roamn.

I know the subject matter of his article applies to everyone. It's pretty hard to be an insulin dependant diabetic for 20 years without learning a thing or two about nutrition and energy expenditure as it relates to backpacking. Roamn’s article is very informative, well written, and is presented in a format specifically for us backpackers. The subject matter he deals with however is nothing new.

I never said that the 'guy' didn't know what he was taking about; it’s just that I don't care, nor do I need to. The system that I have works for ME and I know exactly how it will affect MY metabolism, speed, mileage, and blood glucose.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Don't discount your own experince on 02/28/2008 13:51:14 MST Print View

It can be useful to take the "shape" of Roman's conclusions and calibrate them to your own experience.

I camped with Chad and some others last weekend and I'd have to expect that his tall muscular frame will react to one less pound differently than Sam H's tall lean frame.

An even more dramatic contrast would be with Kat. She easily had the smallest pack in the crew and has a goal of cutting that weight and volume in half! Aiming for a 15 miles/day SHT thru hike I bet she would notice the difference between 15 and 14 lbs in her pack by the end of the day. That has nothing to do with gender, Sarah:-) ... other "compact" folks I've compared notes with have reported the same.

Such a foreign world that is to me (being compact) :-)

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Jim got it! on 02/28/2008 14:10:01 MST Print View

Thanks Jim! That's what I was trying to get at!

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Body frame... on 02/28/2008 17:05:52 MST Print View

That's a good point about a pound not making a whole lot of difference on a frame like Chad's. (I can tell from your pic you are built like an ox). On the other hand, I'm built like a green bean.

One thought I have (I'm not trying to argue here - just throwing thoughts around) is that no matter how much I go to the gym, I can't work out my knee joints, or my skeletal frame. A heavier pack takes a heavier toll on joints, etc, which no amount of exercising can prevent. I remember going on hikes with a 50 lb pack and having my shoulders aching, and I don't think this would have changed had I been a "buff" dude.

Is this sound logic?

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Body Frame on 02/28/2008 22:08:33 MST Print View

I imagine increased muscle mass, in addition to increased strength and endurance, probably provides a nice bit of padding as well. I say imagine because I'm a string bean myself! I just don't know if I could ever eat enough to feed those big muscles. In fact that's my biggest barrier right now to knocking down some really high mileage days: I don't have the appetite keep my energy levels up, so after a certain point, I just crash. :(

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
How light is light enough? on 02/28/2008 22:20:01 MST Print View

On a side note - Frank Perkins, your gearlist solution rules.

Back on topic I'll simply say that I find joy in changing a number in my gear spreadsheet to an even slightly smaller one. I, however take greater joy in changing the "brand name" cell from a brand name to "homemade". And I take even greater joy than either of those in putting on my pack and going for a walk in the woods.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Body frame... on 02/29/2008 08:38:41 MST Print View

Oh I completely agree about reducing pack weight whenever possible! I love to have lightweight, multi use gear!

On a side note a certain degree of skeletal / muscular strength will help reduce overuse injuries and prevent sore joints to a point. While it is easier to reduce you pack weight I’ve found it more beneficial to increase my level of physical fitness so I can pound out those miles without discomfort.

For me and my build once I get my pack down to 20 pounds or so I don't notice a drastic increase in miles or a reduction in fatigue compared to a 15 pound pack. I've spoken with orthopedic doctor regarding pack weight and its effects on joints, particularly the knees. For my body size, build, and level of physical fitness (6'-2", 235 pounds) reducing my pack weight below 18 pounds won’t reduce the stress on my knees. Basically for me once my pack weight gets down to 18 pounds there is no difference regarding the stress my knees than if I where not carrying a pack. Please keep in mind that the 18 pound pack guideline weigh is for ME when I’m physically fit, and uninjured.

The moral of the story is that each of us needs to figure out where their comfort range is. No single blanket statement regarding pack weight can or should be applied to everyone.

A prime example of this is that many people carry 2 pounds of food per day. Myself I carry 2.5 to 3 pounds of food per day (5,000 to 6,000 calories). I won’t go into the math but this is the minimum amount of food I need to eat to maintain my energy levels and pace for a typical 6 hours of hiking with a 24 pound pack (base weight and consumables).

Edited by chadnsc on 02/29/2008 08:40:26 MST.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Big Hamster. . . on 02/29/2008 08:54:21 MST Print View

Oh, I'm not built like an ox, more like a big gerbil. Excuse me, I have to get back on the wheel. :)

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Body Frame on 02/29/2008 09:37:06 MST Print View

One problem I've noticed on longer days, I get some soreness in my shoulders at about the 18 lb point. It's not mileage based, but time based, ie usually after 8 hours or so with the pack on.

So does anyone have any reccomendations on some shoulder/upper back exercises to help with this? I really think a little more muscle will help with this problem. Plus, I'd look better at the beach! And my Mom would quit trying to feed me everytime she sees me!

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Here you go. on 02/29/2008 10:08:10 MST Print View

Well to achieve a proper gerbil build. . .

Seriously, try doing upright rows and front, side, and rear shoulder extensions. All of the above exercises are done with dumbbells. Check out the web for examples of these exercises.

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Looking at the math... on 03/02/2008 19:11:09 MST Print View

I've always known this, it just didn't hit me real hard until tonight when I did some math.

My bw for lows in the 40's-50's right now is aroung 7.5lbs. I've been seriously considering a few changes (which would cost $$$$) to drop two more pounds off. I would also be sacrificing some comfort to my back. When you look at the math:

2lbs off my baseweight is a 26% weight savings! But...

For a weekend trip where I am hiking all day long, bringing 2lbs of food a day, and carrying an average of 64oz of water (I often hike in very dry climates), my total pack weight with my 7.5lb bw is 16.5lbs. If I drop 2lbs off, that is a 12% weight savings.

For a week long trip, bringing 2lbs of food a day, carrying an average of 64oz water, dropping 2lbs is a 7% weight savings.

In fact, if one of us hit SUB ZERO and went on that weekend trip with me and left EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF GEAR behind and just brought food and water, they are only 29% lighter.

((( Granted I never ever bring 2 pounds of food a day, but you get the point )))

The other thing to consider is that, yes, the pack will get lighter as your hike goes, and the percent of weight savings will increase (i.e. you will notice the drop in baseweight more significantly by the end of the hike), but the more the weight savings increases, the less you need it. In other words, I needed the weight off my shoulders when it was 25 pounds, not 8 pounds!

Edited by splproductions on 03/02/2008 19:25:42 MST.