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What I hope to achieve...
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Paul Martin
(bearded1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
What I hope to achieve... on 02/22/2009 20:52:08 MST Print View

I thought it might help me to put down on "paper" what it is exactly that I hope to achieve by lightening my load.

Through years of backpacking & hiking in the Olympic Mountains, I fondly remember quite a few things. In fact, even the rough parts I hold dear to me, as they never failed to teach me an important lesson of the wilderness. However, the things that stand out most to me are the solitude, the beauty, and most of all the freedom. Nowhere has this stood out more than dayhikes and side trips on rest days. It seems clear to me now that this intense feeling of freedom (aside from location, beauty and solitude) comes from how little I carried when I was there.

Aside from the physical benefits of hiking light, there is something about leaving civilizations and all it's distractions behind. Instead of ignoring nature, you are forced to comply with it, to weave yourself into it.

I suppose we all feel similar to this. This, at least in part, is why a lot of us end up seeking a lighter, simpler way to see more and stay out longer. Considering all this, I hope to soon realize base pack weights in the UL and even SUL catagories. But it will all depend on where I find my comfort and balance between nature and my equipment.

First things first though, I need a scale to weigh my existing equipment. Any suggestions?

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"What I hope to achieve..." on 02/22/2009 22:10:29 MST Print View

BPL makes a nice one:

or you could pick up one(a mailing scale is fine) from the UPS store, Office Depot, Staples, etc. for a little cheaper. Anything that weighs to the nearest 1/10 of an ounce is easily obtainible and acceptable.

hope this helps,


Edited by edude on 02/22/2009 22:11:01 MST.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Avatar on 02/22/2009 22:12:52 MST Print View


Your avatar is amazingly beautiful. Such an odd combination of colors--light and dark. Great!

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: What I hope to achieve... on 02/22/2009 22:21:44 MST Print View

I purchased a digital gram scale sensitive to 1/10 gram.
Important for DIY while working with down, but can result in maniacal butchering of excess pack straps and garment tags. Sit down, count to three and repeat after me: scizzors are my friend... scizzors are my friend...

I got mine on ebay for about $30

Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: What I hope to achieve... on 02/23/2009 06:40:29 MST Print View

I picked one up at Target that has a 6lb capacity, measures in grams/ounces and is sensitive to +/- 1gram for around $24. They are in the cooking aisle with the other kitchen gadgets. After the puchase I made a clickable spreadsheet with all the weight info so I can see exactly what I am hauling and what it weighs (yeah, I need to get out more).

Paul Martin
(bearded1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Scales aplenty it would seem. on 02/23/2009 08:21:20 MST Print View

Thank you for the suggestions. I will make picking one up a priority. Sounds fairly inexpensive for a good one too.

I'm not afraid of scissors...except maybe those round-nose dull ones with the plastic handle our school system seems to think are safe enough for our kids to use.

Thanks for the comment on the picture Nathan. That is at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountains in Washington.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re:What I hope to achieve. on 02/23/2009 09:35:51 MST Print View

Hi Paul,

I got a 76 lb scale on Ebay, accurate to +/- 1 gram for $39. I think I mentioned that in an earlier post, but can't remember. Anyway, there are a ton of them on Ebay. What I like about the 76 pounder is that it's small (about 7" x 8"), made out of lightweight plastic and the weight capacity gives me options for uses other than backpacking (i.e. selling on Ebay).

I should also tell you that, like the others, I think your picture on your avatar is stunning.

(strong806) - F
Re: Scales on 02/23/2009 09:41:45 MST Print View

Any scales will do, but I would add that a "tare" function is very useful. This allows you to put larger containers on the scale and then zero out the weight. This is great for big items, or ones that may come in contact off the scale and throw off your weight.

The above warning is correct though, the more sensitive the scale the crazier you will go. I recently removed .2 ounces off my pack with scissors!

Paul Martin
(bearded1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
That makes sense. on 02/23/2009 10:00:28 MST Print View

I was wondering about larger/bulky items like the sleeping bag or pack in some cases. The tare function would work wonderfully for this I bet. I had wondered about a hanging-type weight for those items, but seems a bit superfluous.

Thanks folks! I'm looking at low-hanging fruit at this point, I'm sure I'll get to the point of fractions of ounces at some point too.

William Puckett
(Beep) - F

Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
Scale choices on 02/23/2009 10:13:24 MST Print View

I use a kitchen scale...has a tare function...from Oxo, purchased at Target, I think, though it may have been at Williams Sonoma. Good up to 18 pounds. Reads oz or grams.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
I use 2 scales on 02/23/2009 19:19:14 MST Print View

I use 2 scales. One is a postal scale from Office Depot. I think it weighs up to 11 lbs. It has a tare function. I can put stuff in a bucket and get correct weights using that function.

Many things are hard to weigh on a postal scale, such as backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, etc so I use a hanging scale from American Weigh (SR 20). I think it goes up to 20 kilos or 44 lbs. I figure I would not need to weigh any backpacking items heavier than that. It works fine and also has a tare function.

I teach scouts how to lighten up and I needed the added weight because when we start there are a lot of 40 pound packs!