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Final pre-departure shake down
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Doug Parker
(BuffaloSkipper) - F

Locale: Gulf Coast
Final pre-departure shake down on 07/23/2012 17:28:25 MDT Print View

My son just headed off to his last pre-departure shake down. His pack included his clothes, personal gear and camera, sleeping gear and pad, 5 liters of (empty) water capacity, and even his crews's tarp. Weight? 12 lbs 14 oz. Of course this did not include tent, bear bagging gear or cooking stove/pots. He went to the meeting wearing his primary hiking atire including socks and boots.

It took some coaching, and 10 months of gear prep, but I believe he is pretty much ready. Wish him luck. None of the leaders in the crew were taking a light weight approach, and I am concerned they will load him up with extra gear to accommodate those who were less prepared. I expect to hear that others will be in the 20-40 lb range without food and water.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Final pre-departure shake down on 07/23/2012 17:45:04 MDT Print View

" I am concerned they will load him up with extra gear to accommodate those who were less prepared."

That would suck.

I wish him well, and hope he has a great time.

Edited by kthompson on 07/23/2012 17:47:44 MDT.

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Light weight pack on 07/24/2012 08:18:17 MDT Print View

My daughter hit the trail in June with a 12 pound pack as well.... It's not too awful hard to do - hardest part is not adding in all the 'just in case' stuff.
The crew didn't try to load my daughter down with extra gear, we had already assigned who was carrying what before everyone was aware of how light her base pack weight was, plus she was the only girl on the crew, so at first I think they cut her some slack! [That didn't last long!!! ;-)]

I'd be concerned as well about the crew loading him down... if he is a small guy perhaps create a 'load limit' for him... if he is an average or large size guy arm him with the strength to say to the crew, 'I'm carrying my share of the crew gear' (only if he actually is carrying his share of the crew gear!!!)

This all goes out the window however if someone gets sick or hurt.... best of luck to him!!

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Get a smaller pack. on 07/29/2012 23:20:59 MDT Print View

My son is at Philmont now (I sent three crews as part of expedition 724-E). His base weight before tent, crew gear, food, and water was about 13 pounds. While his crew mates didn't fully embrace the lightweight philosophies I was pushing, they did a pretty good job of getting their base weights around 20 pounds.

At 5'10" and 185 fit pounds, he's the runt in a crew of very athletic scouts and scouters. I didn't worry they'd push extra gear on him, but I also know he's the type that would gladly pick up anything that didn't have a home.

When he was training, I loaded him up with 10 pounds of dog food and a gallon of water to simulate the largest possible food/dry camp load he'd face. He's using my SMD Traveler. It's cavernous. For better or worse, with his lightweight gear and full food/water load in it, he's still got room for way more weight than I'd like him to carry.

For those who have whittled down their gear and are worried about catching extra crew gear as "punishment" for having a deliberately light load, choosing an appropriate pack size can be a great way to limit the possibility.

pack on 07/30/2012 18:06:15 MDT Print View

No one wants to be an a-hole, but if you spend the time, forethought, and $ to get your pack light, you shouldnt be penalized .

Tell the advisers my pack only carries "x" lbs. Most lightwt packs truly do only carry 25-30lbs comfortably.

Or..pack about 10-15 lbs of rocks, then discard them first chance you get.

Kenneth Veeder

Locale: Tucson, AZ
Distribution of weight on 08/01/2012 07:02:04 MDT Print View

For the most part, all the crew gear should have been weighed and distributed evenly and any Philmont gear required, (pots, bear rope, bags, dining fly) estimated and included in that distributed weight. That way, those that have worked to be lightweight aren't penalized.

Our crew pack weights fully loaded with water (6L), food (3 days) and crew gear was anywhere from 31 to 40 lbs. All crew gear weighed in at about 2-3 lbs per person. The only Philmont item we had to take was the bear rope; our ranger did not like our Amsteel bear lines.

Those that bought into the lightweight concepts were rewarded with the lowest pack weights. Most of the time we carried only three liters of water and less food, so our weights were even less for most of the trek than our starting day.

It was good to have a dry camp the first day out to actually get a feel for the fullest load that we would be carrying throughout our trek. Upper Clarks Fork was our only other dry camp at the end and we only had two meals left when we arrived there. So most of our weight was water.

Edited by kveeder on 08/01/2012 07:03:10 MDT.