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question on weight...
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John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
question on weight... on 01/07/2010 15:34:10 MST Print View

I have a question regarding PACKED vs. WORN/CARRIED weight categories in gear lists. I know it all adds up to skin-out weight, but would like to know general consensus on this subject...

If you carry your compact digital camera in your pocket, it's categorized as WORN/CARRIED. If it's in your pack, you use the PACKED category.

Well, I've recently discovered how great shoulder strap pouches are! I like to have my camera handy, so typically I carry it in my pants pocket, but I really don't like it there. When I moved it to my new MYOG shoulder pouch, I got the best of both worlds...handy to pull out at a moments notice, and the perfect place. I mean, you really don't even know it's there. I think I will make a second shoulder pouch to store more items I would like to keep handy.

So when updating my gear list during a long flight recently, I was going to move the camera to the PACKED category, but philosophically, it doesn't add to pack weight any more than carrying it in a shirt or pants pocket.

So which do you think?

Juston Taul

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Grey Area on 01/07/2010 15:53:37 MST Print View

Two schools of though...

Technically it's pack weight. Perhaps more logically it's carried/worn weight. Either way it doesn't matter. Weight is weight and you are carrying it.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: question on weight... on 01/07/2010 18:48:21 MST Print View

I'd categorize it as packed base weight if on or in backpack, as opposed to worn base weight.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
Re: question on weight... on 01/08/2010 06:54:41 MST Print View

Anything other than the clothes I'm wearing and my trecking poles I put in my base weight category. That means even if I might sometimes carry an item like my compass in a pocket, or hang my light around my neck, I still count them in my base weight. Same thing for my camera if I bring one.

It really only matters if you're competing against others rather than challenging yourself. (I guess I should add imo to the last sentence...)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: question on weight... on 01/08/2010 16:26:31 MST Print View


Maybe the bottom line is simply that it is a lot easier (and more intuitive) to classify anything and everything that's either inside the pack or attached to it as 'pack weight' -- versus analyzing the "actual effect" that particular gear placements might have on the hiker's body and then classifying them that way.

Your thinking is logical -- you could classify your pack weight as you described -- but doing so, you would deviate from "conventional practices" -- which will make your numbers inconsistent and incomparable with other people's -- and thus defeating the reason we post weights to begin with.

Example: Most people would consider the front pack weight as part of overall pack weight. But I think using your reasoning, the front pack would not be part of pack weight at all because its placement would not add more weight to the back. It would simply be added directly to skin out weight. Though logical, you can see the confusion this would create:

Edited by ben2world on 01/08/2010 16:41:53 MST.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: question on weight... on 01/08/2010 17:41:51 MST Print View

No single answer on this, but some good points have been raised. Another point is that the extra weight in the pack creates some torque since it can stick out from your back. We've all seen (been?) the backpacker that hikes bent over to compensate for a heavy pack.

Having something in your pocket or shoulder/hip straps generally reduces the torque versus adding that weight to your pack. It's still weight you carry, but the effect is less.

We don't have height & weight on the gear lists either, but being 30 lbs overweight would certainly have an effect even though it evenly distributed over the body.

In the end, it's just a too lto help reduce the weight we carry and make the hike more enjoyable.