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Heavy Gear List
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P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Heavy Gear List on 02/21/2012 11:37:29 MST Print View

Anyone know of any sites where people post gear list's that are just ridiculously heavy? As in they haven't caught the UL bug? I'm just interested in seeing what some people bring.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Heavy Gear List on 02/21/2012 11:46:22 MST Print View

Paul, you don't want to go there. It will just make you sick.

One time, a long time ago, I saw a gear list that was recommended by a horse packer company. They were trying to encourage the city slickers to take as much heavy junk as they could which would require more horses and mules to carry it, which meant more fees and more profit to the packer comany.


Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Heavy Gear List on 02/21/2012 11:46:47 MST Print View

28 lb base weight list:

and some discussion on the list

I know what you mean about wondering what people have...sometimes I wonder what could possibly be in some packs...

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Not that hard to get up there in weight. on 02/21/2012 11:58:03 MST Print View

I think a lot of people come in around 25lb base weights, plus heavy food and carrying lots of water puts many at around 40lbs pack weight. To get to 25lbs is quite easy.

Pack 5lbs
Tent 4lbs
ground cloth 1lb
Sleeping Bag 3 lbs
Sleeping Pad 1.5 lbs

So thats 14.5 lbs just on the Big 3/4 and I don't think that those are overly heavy numbers for any of those items. Especially for someone trying to re-use as much of their car camping gear as possible.

Full mess kit -- 2 pots, Mug, Cup, Plate, bowl cutlery, Canister Stove 2lbs
First Aid kit 1lb
Sunscreen Bottle .5lbs
Toilet paper Roll 8 oz
Filter 1lb
Nalagene 4 oz

Fleece -- 1 lbs
Gortex Jacket 1.5lbs
Gortex Rain Pants 1lb
Wind Shirt 8 oz
Extra T-shirt 8 oz
Long Sleeve shirt 8 oz
Extra pants 12 oz
Long Underwear 8 oz
Camp Shoes 1lb
4 pairs of socks 1lb

Total 8lbs unworn clothes

So that is a 27 lb base weight. That list doesn't really include anything extra to add comfort compared to someone with a well selected 12lb base weight. I think redudant clothes and a heavy big 3/4 account for most of the difference between UL and heavy. So although you might be looking for humourous items like a cooler filled with ice I think most heavy lists would look very similar to UL lists but with more clothes and heavier versions of things for mess kits, water bottles, rain gear etc.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Heavy Gear List on 02/21/2012 12:01:00 MST Print View

There was an article in Backpacker a few years back about an outfitter on the AT who would do "shakedowns." It told of 50lb+ packs, some guy carrying 3 lbs of coffee, another person using a piece of rebar as a hiking staff, and so on.

Scary stuff.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: Re: Heavy Gear List on 02/21/2012 12:05:29 MST Print View

I remember seeing a documentary about the AT and there was something about someone carrying a hammer for tent stakes...

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Re: Heavy Gear List on 02/21/2012 12:36:27 MST Print View

skimming through the discussion link that brendan posted, this quote cracked me up.

"Most of the comments fit into the category of "You are NUTS for carrying such a huge pack. Why do you carry all that heavy gear??" And those are just the comments from normal backpackers. You should see some of the comments from the Ultra-light gear types."

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Here you go... on 02/21/2012 13:00:28 MST Print View

I've posted this before, but since you are asking:

We can only guess at the weight of it all, but I am guessing over 50lbs.

I actually tried to help the guy out by offering a few suggestions (found this video on a bushcraft forum). He rejected my suggestions and got defensive about things, saying things like "PA has lots of thick brush" to justify his 18 inch machete. which I found amusing considering I used to live in PA and hiked and camped in many different parts of the state and never needed a machete, even when bushwacking. The only place I actually could have used a machete was in Nicaragua when I was bushwacking there, but I didn't have one, and I was still able to get through the jungle. I'm not convinced that he actually goes out and backpacks with this set up, just wanted to show off all his gear. If he does go, I would be surprised if it was more than a few times a year.

Of course other bushcraft guys jumped in the thread and things got nasty, then a mod deleted a bunch of posts, and drama ensued. This made me some enemies on the BC site (lots of very anti-UL people), including a mod, and I was soon banned for defending myself against these anti-UL bullies other threads soon after. The anti-UL bullies of course were not banned. Good riddance, as this site got way too meatheadish and had far too many extreme right wing people and elements for my liking.

Edited by PrimeZombie on 02/21/2012 13:01:04 MST.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Heavy Gear List on 02/21/2012 13:10:39 MST Print View

I feel like this resembles me way too much...although it's actually not weight so much as bulk for me. At the GGG last weekend, where I had a few extras since it was a 3 mile hike in, I had a 12-lb pack (not counting food and water carried by my SO, or the 7.5 pound box of brownies that went on top). Not so bad, considering what it used to be. But because I had a Lightheart Duo tent, WM Versalite, a Marmot down jacket, and some fleece longjohns, it was stuffed pretty darned full. And I needed all that warmth, even though it never got down all the way to freezing. I'm realizing that my need for more warmth than nearly anybody I know means that I will never be mistaken for someone carrying a daypack, unless it's in very summery conditions. Sigh.

I know I can substitute down pants or thermawrap for the fleece longjohns, but that only saves a few ounces (maybe gains in insulative quality? I don't know) and costs a pretty penny. Any other suggestions? I think the tent will change, but probably not be much smaller or lighter, just different style. Tarps seem to be too open to the elements (and bugs) for me under most conditions. Maybe a Cuben tent, but again lots of $$$$.

It's easier for me to cut the weight than the bulk, at least until they invent something lighter/smaller than down for insulation. Maybe a force field to keep the heat in?

Khader Ahmad
(337guanacos) - F

Locale: Pirineos, Sierra de la Demanda
30sec search on youtube on 02/21/2012 13:57:46 MST Print View

Filled with "crucial" gear, $ nalgenes, huge bag of pills and the unbeatable eating tool...

Rob E

Locale: Canada
Nothing wrong with heavy gear on 02/21/2012 14:02:02 MST Print View

Nothing really wrong with heavy gear. A lot of people only get out once or twice a year and probably don't want to run out and buy a whole new kit. I'd rather them get out with heavy gear than nothing at all. The more people using the outdoors the easier it is to reserve the space from oil/mineral/logging companies.

Addison Page
(Nihilist_Voyager) - F

Locale: Down the Rabbit Hole!
Re: Here you go... on 02/21/2012 14:02:51 MST Print View

I couldn't watch anymore after I saw his full-length Z-Lite and burlap sack looking bag. o.O

I can only imagine it gets worse from there and as I'm almost at a 12lb 3 season base weight, I don't want any bad influences.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Here you go... on 02/21/2012 14:23:40 MST Print View

I can't wait to watch this. Funny thing is, I grew up in Pennsylvania. Hunted all through my childhood. This is going to be fun.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: 30sec search on youtube on 02/21/2012 14:36:42 MST Print View

And this guy...these pants have a belt so you don't have to take a belt. That'll save you 6 or 7 ounces. Hahaha. But 4 shirts to climb a 14er isn't too much.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Not that hard to get up there in weight -- What it was REALLY like in the "old" days on 02/21/2012 15:15:17 MST Print View

It is my experience that pack weights were fairly light in the 60's and 70's for experienced backpackers. The 80's had a lot of people with little experience buying big internal frame packs (heavier than externals) and loading up with gear at REI. You cannot compare those "rookies" with seasoned UL hikers on BPL. Compare the BPL hikers with the experienced backpackers of the time.

Here is what I used most of the time in the 80's for 3 seasons. Gear was similar in the 70's for me too.

Kelty D4 Pack 3.5 lbs
Poncho Tarp 1.0 lbs
Blue Foam Pad 0.75 lbs
Down bag 2.5lbs
Plastic ground sheet .25 lb
Total "Big 4" = 8.0 lbs

Gaz Globe Trotter Stove/pots 1.25 lb
First Aid Kit .25 lb
Military Wool Watch Cap .15lb
Military Wool Gloves .15lb
Sierra Designs Wind Pants .70 lbs
Sierra Designs Wind Jacket .63 lbs
REI Down Jacket 1.25 lbs
Spare Wool Socks .25 lbs
Spare Liner Socks .07 lbs
Lexan Spoon .03 lbs
Military Compass .35 lbs
Pocket Knife .09 lbs
Space Blanket .25 lbs
3 Nylon Stuff Sacks .25 lbs
2 Nalgene Bottles .50 lbs
Iodine Tablets Needles, Thread, Cord, etc. .50 lb
Maps .25 lbs
Empty GT106 Gaz Butane Canister .13 lbs
Coffee Container .06 lbs
Plastic Trowel .13 lbs
Matches/BIC Lighter .01 lbs
Total Gear in Pack = 7.25 lbs

Base Weight = 15.25 lbs

I think most people consider 10-20 lbs lightweight. On many trips I was even lighter, sometimes around 10 lbs.

In the Complete Walker III Colin Fletcher had a two-day one night gear list that included:
FSO = 24 lbs 9 oz
BaseWeight = 16 lbs 11 oz

Notice that my Kely D4 weighs 3lbs 8 oz and I did two 6 month trips with it in the early 70's. Compare it to two of the popular PCT packs, a ULA Catalyst (3 lbs 11 oz) or a ULA Circuit (3 lbs 0 oz).

Dehydrated foods/instant foods/Pemmican bars have been around for over 50 years. Instant Oatmeal even longer... our food was not much heavier than today. If you read Colin Fletcher's "Thousand Mile Summer" you will see that he averaged 1.4 lbs of food per day, and he resupplied about once a week. This was in 1958 and he hiked for 6 months, mostly in the eastern deserts of California.

Yeah, we carried 40lb packs, but that included food for 10 or more days and a couple hundred miles. None of this re-supplying every 3 or 4 days.

Fletcher's total pack weight for a week in the deserts was 44 lbs, excluding water. He carried 2.5 lbs in canteens and 4 lbs in camera gear for the newspaper articles he was writing. His largest item was a 5lb 10 oz down bag. Again, remember that this was in 1958 and backpacking gear was extremely hard to find. Subtract his food and cameras and his base was 30 lbs. Again, this was in 1958!

I find it amusing that we think we have re-invented lightweight backpacking. Now, SUL was probably nearly impossible in those days, but there were people hiking with frameless Rivedell packs in the 70's... so maybe some did it. In the 70's the typical shelter I saw on the trail was nylon or plastic tarps... influenced by Fletcher who rarely used a tent. Used to see an occasional plastic tube tent. Our shelters were probably lighter than the average tent used today in the UL world. Down was a problem, because of 500-650 wt was the norm and heavier nylon shells were used. GoreTex was around in the late 70's, but you usually saw ponchos on the trails back then. GoreTex was for mountaineering. Leather boots were the norm, but not rare to see people hiking in Converse, Purcell, or Keds tennis shoes.

Here's another one, since I talk to Dan McHale occasionally. In 1969, when he was a teenager, he did the JMT unsupported in 11 days. Used a Camp Trails external pack. Total pack weight was 40lbs including consumables.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Heavy Gear List on 02/21/2012 16:22:03 MST Print View

Whiteblaze has many threads from people getting ready to do the AT.. many of them with heavy lists.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Not that hard to get up there in weight. on 02/21/2012 18:30:09 MST Print View

"I think a lot of people come in around 25lb base weights"

When I first started thinking about cutting some of my gear weight, I was *thrilled* when I got my base weight below 40 pounds. Seriously.

Now it's ~15 pounds, or a little less in warm weather, and I could not be happier.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Not that hard to get up there in weight -- What it was REALLY like in the "old" days on 02/21/2012 18:40:05 MST Print View

It didn't seem heavy back then. A relic of those times at a unobtanium price.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Not that hard to get up there in weight -- What it was REALLY like in the "old" days on 02/21/2012 18:45:37 MST Print View

Looks like the nylon bag is in bad shape! I doubt they are going to find a buyer at that price.

Most of those Trailwise packs weighed between 3 lb 10 oz and 4 lbs depending on size and model.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Not that hard to get up there in weight -- What it was REALLY like in the "old" days on 02/21/2012 18:49:48 MST Print View

Colin Fletchers old Trailwise pack, I've still gone mine and it weighs around 4lb which is a lot less than the 6lb Gregory pack I used after it.