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Pack weight - how do you measure?
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Tom Holbrook
(Zandar) - MLife

Locale: Central Coast of California
Pack weight - how do you measure? on 07/30/2010 15:36:21 MDT Print View

I have been changing my gear this year and I don't have an accurate way to weigh the total pack, to get a final pack weight.

I am considering a digital bathroom scale, but isn't there a better way?


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Pack weight - how do you measure? on 07/30/2010 15:42:51 MDT Print View

I went the digital bathroom scale route, after years of fuming because my old bathroom scale kept telling me I was 5 lbs. lighter than what the one in the doctor's office told me.

However, you can get on any old bathroom scale, first by yourself and then with the pack, and subtract the difference--close enough.

Weighing the total pack can lead to interesting results, as it did last summer when the total pack weight came out 2 lbs. lighter than my spreadsheet. I unpacked everything and rechecked each item, certain that I'd forgotten something. It turned out that because I used average weights for my food, the total on the spreadsheet was too high--I had taken the lighter meals. At that, I still took too much food!

Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Re: Pack weight - how do you measure? on 07/30/2010 15:52:25 MDT Print View

I bake, so I have a decent ($40) digital scale that's accurate to the gram.

If I want to weigh something big like a pack, I put it in a bowl and tare it.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Pack weight - how do you measure? on 07/30/2010 16:02:20 MDT Print View

"I am considering a digital bathroom scale, but isn't there a better way?"

Buy a scale that you can suspend from a joist in your basement, clothes rod in a closet, tree limb, etc, and hang your pack by the haul loop from the scale's hook. They're fairly accurate +/- 1#. Close enough for lightweight, as opposed to UL, backpackers.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Pack weight - how do you measure? on 07/30/2010 16:07:23 MDT Print View

If you have a postage or kitchen scale and weigh each item, the total on your spreadsheet should come out exactly for base weight, and within a pound or two on the consumables. Weighing the total pack is therefore unnecessary except "just for fun." At least the bathroom scale has other uses! It's pretty hard to weigh yourself, or your dog, on one of those hanging scales!

Edited by hikinggranny on 07/30/2010 16:08:24 MDT.

Philip Maynard
(Autoxfil) - F
Baby scale on 07/30/2010 16:16:48 MDT Print View

I already owns this for weighing puppies (we breed them), and it works great. 1/2oz, which is adequate and keeps you from being a total weenie.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Scales on 07/30/2010 17:32:00 MDT Print View

I use 2 scales: hanging and postal.

If you get a digital postal scale, make sure it does tare. If it has a tare function you can put a bucket on the scale and zero it out. Then you can put odd shaped items, such as jackets, underwear, tents, etc. in the bucket. I got mine from Office Depot. You can then add all the weights together.

I also have a digital hanging scale from American Weigh. They have a number of their own scales that work just fine and are quite inexpensive. I love to have a final weigh in when I am ready to go. I work with scouts and just checked the weights of a troop and the weights went from 18 lbs. to 42 lbs. for a 1 week trip. Gladly, it was my son that was at 18 lbs. with a full canister.

A scale is a great piece of equipment.

Edit: I just checked out the scale mentioned above. That's a pretty neat scale since you can place a lot of stuff on it. You shouldn't need more than 44 lbs. if you're going lightweight.

Edited by scottbentz on 07/30/2010 17:34:31 MDT.

Luke Moffat
(alaska_lanche) - MLife
Scales on 07/30/2010 18:51:56 MDT Print View

I have a digital scale that goes up to 10 pounds. Then I have a "luggage" scale that is used for measuring your luggage to ensure its under 50 pounds. My spreadsheet weight based off my digital scale is always within .5 pounds of my luggage scale. The last thing I do before leaving for a trip is fill my water bladder then weigh my pack to see what I am really packing vs. what my spreadsheet claims. :D

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Thousands of Homebrewers Can't Be Wrong! on 07/31/2010 02:28:02 MDT Print View

Homebrewers often need to measure moderate weights very accurately. Luckily there is a fantastic scale capable of weighing up to 11 pound loads (5,000 grams) to the nearest gram.

Escali Primo Digital Scale - $25.00 shipped
Select the metallic color for the price quoted above.

Edited by ChemE on 07/31/2010 02:55:50 MDT.