Four Point Five Pounds.
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 10:50:33 MST Print View

I've been thinking about gear a lot lately.
I'm considering the Sierra High Route as a semi-fast solo in summer of '14, an endeavor which I'd likely start training for throughout the coming year. I want to make sure that the gear I take into the Sierra this summer reflects the gear I'll likely carry on the SHR to give me plenty of time to dial it in.

So I'm thinking about my gear and can't help but laugh at myself in the process, as well as laugh at the process itself. The difference between my fairly spartan, UL gearlist and my "luxury" list?

Four point five pounds.

Four pounds means the difference between a framed vs. frameless pack, an super comfortable inflatable pad vs. a thin piece of foam, a double-walled freestanding shelter vs. a minimal tarp or mid, a canister stove (fast and easy) vs. alcohol or esbit, and a Paclite hardshell vs. a driducks top and trash bag skirt.

A 10.5 pound base (including bear canister) vs. a 15 pound base.
And then there is the factor of using a better pack with a better frame to carry that extra weight.

Four point five pounds.
It seems a very silly number to worry about.

While I understand that the SHR is a very demanding route and the weight I carry will be a factor, I'm also considering the psychological aspect of gear selection. Four point five pounds does not sound like much of a penalty for gear that will extend my comfort margin...which in the end, might be more important than weight alone. I've been on solos before and have hit some pretty low points, psychologically speaking, and know that it's in those moments it's really no fun to be roughing it, to be crawling under an inadequate tarp, to be wearing raingear that is marginally working, to be getting a poor night's sleep.

It's very hard to imagine not being able to make up for an extra four point five pounds in training.

I suppose this ties right back into the timeless argument about pack weight and the point of diminishing returns.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 10:59:08 MST Print View

yup, there are diminshing returns, but the return curve is different for each of us.
(oh my gosh !! never thought I would be implying HYOH, I hate that term).

for me, solo, off trail, I would be erring on the side of safety, whatever that means in your gear. comfort is secondary at most, given the voluntary thrashing you are subjecting yourself to.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 11:11:44 MST Print View

I've been doing a lot of thinking and gear research also. Partly because I've been pretty sick and have been home a lot these last few weeks. Partly because it's the winter doldrums. Partly because I too am planning a trip.

I haven't really looked at my gear weights recently, even though I've acquired new stuff over the past couple of years, so I started wondering if I've let my pack weight balloon without realizing it. At an initial glance, I could maybe shave off 8-10 ounces tops before I hit that wall where I'd need to drastically change my kit. I hover around the 9lb base pack weight, and it never seems worth the monetary or comfort sacrifices to try to go much lower.

4.5 pounds. Silly? Depends on what you're going after. Is the weight penalty on the trail enough to outweigh the comfort gain in camp? If you're using a supportive enough pack, then it's much easier to say no. But gasp! Isn't the point to look for ways to Lighten your load!? Depends if the diminishing returns have in reality turned into zero return.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 11:26:09 MST Print View

I think the psychological aspect of the gear you carry is something that some people underestimate though, especially solo.

I've been in the Sierra with a 7lb. base, only to find myself cramped under a tiny tarp pitched 2' off the ground in pouring cold rain, getting my bivy sprayed, and going without a hot dinner because it just seemed like too much of a pain. When that's happened to you for your second or third night...pretty depressing, especially alone. Easy to want to bail out early. On that trip I did.

Did I survive? Sure. But repeating experiences like that on the SHR, alone and tired, seem like a surefire way to lose the mental battle and bail out early. I question how much comfort and rest are either over or under estimated in these scenarios.

I guess it's all a balancing act, of course.

I'm personally wagering that, in the grand scheme of things, 4.5 pounds isn't much, especially if I go into training planning on carrying the weight.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 11:46:21 MST Print View

"I think the psychological aspect of the gear you carry is something that some people underestimate though, especially solo."

I agree. But it's not an all or nothing, really. A good night's sleep and a quick hot meal/drink can make up for a lot, perhaps including marginal rain wear and the lack of a double wall tent. If you wanted to compromise at all, I'd recommend adding the comfy air mattress and canister stove back in first, and see if that doesn't ameliorate the need for the other items.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 12:09:44 MST Print View

"But it's not an all or nothing, really."

True enough.

I guess I'm just not as worried about the weight as some others might be given I plan on doing some serious training if I commit to this hike. I'll likely shed 10-15 pounds of fat in the process, so it's difficult to look at an additional 4 to 5lbs. in the pack and think it'll have that much of a negative effect.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Four point five on 02/07/2013 12:12:01 MST Print View

Like Travis, I'm carrying about 9 pounds base weight, maybe 8 in summer. An extra 4.5 pounds seems like quite a bit to me. I'm not sure what luxury items I would take. I have a big tarp, warm quilt, and a cushy mat. Especially if I am doing big miles(by my standards), I'm not sure what else I would want to bring for luxury. I'm comfortable enough with my alcohol setup that I actually prefer it over a canister. Outside of that, there is not a lot else I want in camp. I do like to take a little drink for the trip but I think that's about it.

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
"Four Point Five Pounds." on 02/07/2013 12:22:24 MST Print View

I have heard many times from many reputable experienced ultralight hikers that the goal of ultralight backpacking is going as light as you can without compromising comfort or safety. Skills, specialized equipment and personal comfort levels determine how much this will weigh for the individual. If you find yourself unable to stay warm, protected from the elements or well fed then you are not going ultralight, you are just being a masochist. = )

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Blasphemy... on 02/07/2013 13:27:16 MST Print View

Granted, 4.5 pounds is a 50% increase to packweight if you're only carrying 9, so in those terms, it's big.

But I think everyone on this site (including myself) tends to lose a degree of perspective here (blasphemer!)...a 15 pound base is still pretty friggin' light, especially if carried by a fit person.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Blasphemy... on 02/07/2013 14:05:04 MST Print View

4.5lbs might feel significant at the trailhead loaded up, but will be imperceivable a day or two into your trip once you settle in.

Gear/weight deliberation can be a bit silly, considering that weight alone will not be a deal breaker in completing your trip. What is a deal breaker are the specific contents within and the skill required to use them, such as having too little insulation, or skimping on food and settling into a calorie deficiency and the onset of fatigue, having poor coverage in your shelter because you wen't with the 4x8 flat tarp to save weight, etc... A few shakedown trips before your departure and you'll probably look back at this thread and laugh.

What do you mean when you say "training"?

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
4point5 on 02/07/2013 14:32:14 MST Print View

How about 4.5 pounds on top of your 15 pound pack for a total of almost 20 pounds? Its the same 4.5 pounds extra. At some point, it seems like a lot of weight.
To me, the extra pounds mean quite a bit on a long day of walking. If I am with a slow group, I don't mind carrying it as much and I spend more time in camp anyway.
At this point, though, my gear is pretty light. I've learned there just isn't that much that I need or want to carry out there other than a good shelter, food, and warmth. I'm curious what you guys like to bring as luxury items that up your weight a bit.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 14:43:26 MST Print View

Highly biased opinion:
4.5 lb by itself is meaningless. What matters is your perception of the load you are carrying and your comfort factor. And not your perception when at home, but a day or two into the walk.

The reason for my comment is that the number by itself ignores completely two things (at least).

The first is the advantage of the pack frame. Having a framed pack will make carrying the pack so much easier. If the weights you are talking about do not include food, then the load on your shoulders will be significantly higher, and you will really feel that with a frameless pack. A framed pack will let you carry the load much more easily and even faster.

The second factor you have covered - psychology and physiology. Having a decent shelter and being able to cook a decent meal in comfort - they are not mere luxuries. They can be vital to your enjoyment of course, but they will also significantly improve your ability to keep going. A good nights sleep on a good dinner - oh yes.

Cheers

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 15:01:05 MST Print View

My base weight for the High Route was 11.5 lbs. I took a framed pack (ULA Circuit) and a full-length NeoAir.

The trip will be hard enough that you may occasionally find yourself looking for excuses to bail. Don't make it easy to quit by being miserable. I took enough gear to be comfortable, which allowed me to mentally recharge each night and be fresh for the next day's challenges. I was also in the best shape I had ever been - that's way more important than an incremental difference in pack weight.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 15:50:11 MST Print View

"The trip will be hard enough that you may occasionally find yourself looking for excuses to bail. Don't make it easy to quit by being miserable."

That's along the lines of what I'm thinking; I've been there before on lesser trips. I know my fitness and I know what sort of loads I'm comfortable with. I don't think the extra weight will as potentially detrimental to success as not having certain gear to make the experience simpler and more comfortable.

But that's what I'll be figuring all of this out over the coming months for...


@Eugene;
I've been thinking about the SHR as a long term goal for a some time now, but typically haven't given myself enough training time to do it yet. A year or more out will be plenty. I sort of see it as the culmination of a year of ultrarunning, peakbagging, and fastpacking. I'm getting excited about upping my mileage again, having taken a pretty good long break from trail running. I think the SHR will be a nice goal to keep me looking ahead and beyond local 50Ks and 50 mile+ races and solo runs.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 15:51:43 MST Print View

Ive been thinking along the same lines lately. Part of it is just the way even mainstream gear has improved. I remember the first MYOG I did. It was a 1 LB 8x10 tarp with a 1 lb net tent straight from "Beyond backpacking". That was seen as real light and fringe at 2 lb~ Today I can walk into REI or EMS and buy a 2.5 lb freestanding or semi-freestanding double wall tent. That is only half a pound more for a proven conventional tent design. Inflatable pads are around one pound, about half a pound more than old full length foam pads but more comfortable, far more packable, and warmer. The same thing goes for packs and framed packs.
In other words today for a small increase in weight you dramatically increase comfort and even safety.
Some of the problem here is possibly that our egos don't like that we would be officially lightweight and no longer UL or SUL. Even though our enjoyment and safety in the outdoors is increased with little to no negatives.
I don't think I would notice the increase of 4.5 lbs especially after you get your trail legs back. But I have come to believe that good sleep and good food are important for health and safety, being fresh enough to make good decisions and having the strength to do the miles you plan on.
After all it doesn't take any skill at all to be cold, hungry and tired in the woods, but to be well feed, comfortable and well rested in even bad weather? thats experience and skill.
No doubt I can still have fun seeing how light and minimalist I can go over a summer weekend, but for the most part I like to sleep warm, eat well and enjoy myself. Hiking is about enjoying nature not living up to arbitrary measurements that girls aren't even the least impressed by.
15 lbs is light and if your fit its not going to hold you back but the increase in comfort and improved rest will benefit you so enjoy yourself, you know your limits and you have the experience to make that judgment.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 17:45:38 MST Print View

"But repeating experiences like that on the SHR, alone and tired, seem like a surefire way to lose the mental battle and bail out early. I question how much comfort and rest are either over or under estimated in these scenarios."

On a route like the SHR, where you'll be out something like 12-14 days on pretty rough terrain in places, comfort = rest = safety. The last thing you want is to be negotiating a loose talus slope at the end of a long day that you went into tired because you didn't sleep well the night before, and the one before..... I'd recommend erroring on the side of safety and carrying that extra 4.5#, especially since you're going solo where your margin of safety is very thin to begin with. Then there's the novel idea of enjoying yourself while you're at it. ;0)

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
SHR on 02/07/2013 18:20:50 MST Print View

Usually I agree with Tom but this time I will offer a counterpoint. On the high route I would go as light as possible without going, as skurka said stupid light. If I left tomorrow I would take the exact same gear as I took on the PCT, base of eight lb. I think a light pack is much more important on the high route than when hiking on trail. The climbs and bushwacking become easier with a small and light pack. Agree on the comment about a good night sleep but I would go light on the high route.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
kit on 02/07/2013 18:53:48 MST Print View

the SHR requires carrying quite a bit of food at a stretch and the weather is often unpredictable and hostile which equates to a hardier shelter and more insulation in clothing/bag/pad- this starts pointing towards a framed pack vs unframed imo

it is possible that the 4.5 # could be mitigated/lowered somewhat by looking critically at each piece and see what other options are out there that could fill the same bill w/o sacrificing comfort or safety

solo on the SHR- safety is going to trump all other concerns for sure

<-- SHR is definitely on my bucket list :)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: kit on 02/07/2013 19:22:22 MST Print View

Well, if I bought some new gear, I could pretty much carry the same stuff, but for a gain of 2.5 pounds instead of 4.5.

It would mean buying a shelter to save another pound, as well as a different pack. Which brings in other considerations- is it worth spending hundreds of dollars to save two pounds? WWJMD? (What Would John Muir Do?). He'd probably go with the gear he had. :)

But I'm not decided on this by any means, that's sort of why I'm thinking publicly here and listening to others thoughts.

Greg, I fully understand your point; I'm thinking real heavily about the effect of packweight during long stretches of talus and snow on the steeper passes. From my experiences doing XC in the Sierra, talus is probably the riskiest solo stuff out there next to snow bridges. A misplaced foot, a shifting block, and you could be down for the count.

I'll likely be going in late June/early July, so I fully expect to be using crampons and an axe, especially early morning when everything's still solid. Thought it's likely faster than talus hiking madness, I don't like the idea of goofing around in spikes with extra weight on my back either. These are the factors that make me second guess the other strategy and want to go as light as possible.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: SHR on 02/07/2013 19:28:42 MST Print View

Ultralight hikers that the goal of ultralight backpacking is going as light as you can without compromising comfort or safety.
______________
This is the definition of Fast Packing.

I too am looking at a solo SHR but this year.
I just received the SHR Ropers book in the mail and he states that you "should" use a frameless pack.
The frameless pack allows the weight to move independently from side to side while navigation through the hardest areas.

You also have to look at 10.5 vs 15 in another way.
Take off 4.5 pounds.
Have a better smaller pack.
Move faster because you have less weight.
Take a days less food out and hike even faster (or easier), still more miles per day any way you slice it.

I am going to try to get my base down to 8 pounds (with the bear can)
This will allow me to go out with 5 1/2 days of food at the start or 10 pounds.
Trying to keep the total weight carried bellow 20 pounds at the start.
A pound in the pack at 11,000' feels more like 3.
That and any more wouldn't even fit in my Salomon 1900 ci pack.

My pack items are similar to Andrew Skurka's on his SHR pack list, but most items will be lighter from him sticking with Golite gear.
I will be brining a lot of homemade gear and will ditch most of the items he mentions he wouldn't bring again.

I would like to know how much your total pack weight will be at the start?
Would your total weight with a 10.5 pound base then be any different than just 4.5 pounds?
Loosing that 10-15 on you will make a huge difference too.

Edited by awsorensen on 02/07/2013 19:32:34 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Weight and Balance on 02/07/2013 19:41:12 MST Print View

Craig I have never done the SHR but here are a few thoughts.

Normally I'm inclined to say that extra weight for luxuries is worth it on a long hike. However I think your cases is special due to the ruggedness of the SHR. You don't want to rock scramble with a heavy pack and more importantly you don't want a tall or bulky pack throwing you off balance.

If I was going on the SHR my goal would be to have my load small enough that the pack did not extend above my shoulders before reaching major rock scrambling sections. I'd focus on the bulk first and make weight a secondary consideration.

How about a Prolite in size short as a compromise pad and sewing a bug net skirt onto the mid as a compromise between a tarp and tent? I might forget cooking altogether and eat cold food (unless coffee is a big deal to you).

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Possible SHR Gear List on 02/07/2013 20:12:40 MST Print View

OK, here's a list that I think splits the difference between comfort and light weight. I think I'm only about 2 pounds heavier than Skurka's SHR list here.
The only item I do not currently own is the Terra Nova Laser.
I also will likely replace the Jam2 with an MYOG version which should be a bit lighter.
This list, however, does not include a CAMP XLA 210 ice axe (7 ounces) and CAMP XLA 210 aluminum crampons (21 ounces).

Yeah...I've been on the computer a lot lately....

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ar?id=tExLl3NfPhvZVZC-E7y0Q5A.17593462606007845875.1075247181427098203&action=1&tile=0&rpert=20&srow=0&erow=96&scol=0&ecol=5&fprt=false&tfe=yn_688

Edited by xnomanx on 02/07/2013 20:19:41 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: kit on 02/07/2013 20:15:33 MST Print View

"I'll likely be going in late June/early July, so I fully expect to be using crampons and an axe, especially early morning when everything's still solid. Thought it's likely faster than talus hiking madness, I don't like the idea of goofing around in spikes with extra weight on my back either. These are the factors that make me second guess the other strategy and want to go as light as possible."

While we're on the subject of going in early, let me toss another contingency into the discussion: If next year turns out to be another low snow year, there is a good chance that you will be hiking over talus covered by rotten snow in late June/early July. This is particularly true on north facing slopes. This greatly increases the chance of a breakthrough with potentially serious consequences, particularly if you are traveling solo. Some of that talus is monstrous, and punching thru would probably lead to serious injury. A possible way to gauge conditions would be to head in over Piute Pass a week or so before your intended departure and check out conditions on the north side of Snow Tongue Pass. The talus there is quite rugged, and would give you a good idea of conditions at that time of year. This is a trip you could do in one day and might be well worth the effort.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: SHR on 02/07/2013 20:18:50 MST Print View

"Usually I agree with Tom but this time I will offer a counterpoint. On the high route I would go as light as possible without going, as skurka said stupid light."

Your point is well taken, Greg. It's an interesting set of trade offs. In the event, it looks like Craig has already made good progress on having his cake and eating it, too. ;0)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Possible SHR list on 02/07/2013 20:20:42 MST Print View

I can't see your list because I don't have a google account and don't really want to have one, but sounds like you're on the right track.

Why the Terra Nova Laser? I'm guessing you don't want a tent not a tarp and bivy/bug net combo? Price wise that might not be terribly different but I would think a tarp would give you more elbow room. Could be wrong though.

Edited by Cameron on 02/07/2013 20:22:16 MST.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/07/2013 20:22:51 MST Print View

It's an interesting (and sometimes amusing) question as to how much extra weight it takes to *really* matter. I sometimes find myself wondering whether extra ounces really warrant so much attention (particularly when packweights approach nice round numbers), but generally speaking, I'd say 4 1/2 lbs does make an appreciable difference, at least to me, in almost any total pack weight between 5 pounds and ~ 40.

That's not to say I don't sometimes choose to carry that extra for various kinds of trips. If I'm planning to travel 10 miles/day and spend a lot of time in camp with potentially some lousy weather, I'm bringing the roomy weatherproof tent and some stuff to do in it. If 20 miles/day or more will let me get some cool places and the weather's likely to be decent, I'm going to strip things down to the minimum that's safe. For SHR, several of my choices might be different from yours (I'll probably go frameless pack, mid, foam pad, cookless, while carrying other stuff you won't), but I expect we'd agree on a core guiding principle: neither good sleep nor a comfortable pack are luxuries.

Cheers,

Bill

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: SHR on 02/07/2013 20:23:26 MST Print View

Punching through rotten snow on top of huge talus...You know how to cheer a guy up Tom.

I've always thought that slowly freezing to death with a broken leg while wedged at the bottom of a hole would be a cool way to go. And of course the PLB is in the pack pocket jammed behind you that you can't reach...

Just sitting down there, looking up and watching the sun go by...

_____________________________________

@Luke
I've had my eye on that tent for a while, I'm sure there are other comparable, but it looks pretty good to me for 2 lbs.
My other option would be a Solomid. But I don't really carry trekking poles anymore. A Solomid or tarp+bivy+poles weighs about as much as a Laser alone.
As I said before, I've had some bad trips above treeline in the Sierra with tarps and bivies. I want four walls from now on.

Edited by xnomanx on 02/07/2013 20:31:20 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: SHR on 02/07/2013 20:41:07 MST Print View

"You know how to cheer a guy up Tom."

An unfortunate side effect of reading "The Last Summer". ;)

"Just sitting down there, looking up and watching the sun go by..."

Thru red shades after you run out of hydrocodone. :(

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: SHR on 02/07/2013 20:45:06 MST Print View

"As I said before, I've had some bad trips above treeline in the Sierra with tarps and bivies. I want four walls from now on."

Ah. Never mind then.... ;-)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Stupid Light? on 02/07/2013 22:00:43 MST Print View

Wasn't this one of Andrew's stupid light trips? :)

Okay the weight is relative...

I have done a few trips with Craig. He is a lot bigger than me. Not fat; he is taller and has bigger muscles. His clothes are bigger, his shoes are bigger, his sleeping bag is longer, and his shelter is longer. He need to eat more food than me.

The other thing is that he is much stronger than I am. What adding 4.5 lbs feels to me, would feel like adding 9 lbs for Craig. Don't know if that sentence makes sense.

I can safely do difficult trips with some pretty light gear. Craig has been on a couple. Being uncomfortable for a day of two is not too bad... but for a week or two it gets old. Also, if my total pack weight is going to be much over 15 lbs on average, I am going to carry a framed pack. I have done the other route. A framed pack makes a BIG difference. Especially when doing a lot of cross country.

I vote for the right gear for the terrain and conditions. Once you have selected your gear, then go weigh it. And what it weighs, is what is weighs. The only thing is does is lets you publish a gear list.

Of course you can go lighter with similar gear if you want to invest in the newest, lightest, and supposedly greatest, which may often cost $50 per ounce or more.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Stupid Light, stupid heavy; 4.5lbs ... and the SHR on 02/08/2013 00:34:54 MST Print View

Its been two summers since I did a long section of the SHR. My training and prep, gear selection, food prep, and actual experience after coming back were quite a bit different than from my original expectations.Imagine that!
Here's a baseline (in general)of what I brought and what I'd do differently next time: My goal was 14 days at 14 miles a day. Thats actually pretty reasonable for a fit person. I'm over 50 and even when it was hard, that was very doable. Terrain wasn't anything more or less difficult than any of the other miles I've done off trail in other alpine settings. Route finding was a lot more serious because of the sheer scope of the distance. My base weight was 11.8 with a small solo bear can, a couple of extra clothing pieces,digital voice recorder, and some fishing gear. 27.8 lbs trail weight at Roads End, with 2 liters of water and food for 8 days at the start. Comfy shelter, warm bag, nice pad. It was only "heavy" for a day or two, and after I got up out of Kings Canyon, water was everywhere so that weight went away quickly. Conditions and timing didn't work out and before my resupply in Mammoth I had to end around a section and call it quits, head home after 160 miles and 8 days of hiking.

4.5lbs is just a number. It needs to be in context. If you add that to an 8lb base, yes its huge. But if you add it to an already existing 30lb pack, quite frankly, so what?

If you plan on cruising the SHR in any kind of fast pace, rest will be one of your most important tools. You can't recover if you don't sleep well, or eat properly. Hence the whole UL mindset of a series of systems comes into play. But what is more important? the chicken or the egg? Your sleep system is not any more important than your cooking system is not any more important than your clothing system is not anymore important et al..... Don't overthink or provide imbalance within your systems and expect high end results.

With that in mind, I'd throw out one more intangible. The route. Its not something that you are going to go out and "do"(conquer). I made that mistake. And because of that mindset I missed out on some really spectacular sections because I had to make miles. I took one of the coolest routes in the land and corrupted it to fit into "my" timeline, and now I regret that immeasurabley..... My two cents, be very fit, go light, go prepared, and spend whatever time you have available on the route, and wherever you end up when the bell sounds to go home, call it good. Not finishing the entire route does not mean you have failed or come up short! It just means thats all the time you had to spend on this trip. Its not going anywhere after you leave it. The very accomplished alpine climber Marc Twight once told me when we were preparig for a Denali climb that the most important advice he could give was to be willing to "fail" on any given route. He said that too many people were unwilling to learn what it takes to succeed, and that sometimes in order to succeed, we have to be willing to fail. Go try it one way, if it doesn't work, go try it another way.

Wish you all the best, and if you have any questions I can help with, drop me a line!

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Wise words on 02/08/2013 05:56:25 MST Print View

"With that in mind, I'd throw out one more intangible. The route. Its not something that you are going to go out and "do"(conquer). I made that mistake. And because of that mindset I missed out on some really spectacular sections because I had to make miles. I took one of the coolest routes in the land and corrupted it to fit into "my" timeline, and now I regret that immeasurabley..... My two cents, be very fit, go light, go prepared, and spend whatever time you have available on the route, and wherever you end up when the bell sounds to go home, call it good. Not finishing the entire route does not mean you have failed or come up short! It just means thats all the time you had to spend on this trip. Its not going anywhere after you leave it. "

Couldn't agree more. The SHR is probably the only trip that I have taken that I look back and say "I wish I would have slowed down"

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/09/2013 18:21:02 MST Print View

One more factor is how much you weigh. If you are a greyhound at 135 lbs, that 4.5 lbs is a bigger percentage of your weight than if you are a fullback at 225. To my mind the percentage of bodyweight is a more meaningful number than percentage of pack weight.

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Re: Four Point Five Pounds. on 02/10/2013 08:59:06 MST Print View

This thread is an interesting read, largely because there's an undercurrent to it: that specific numbers assigned to weights can/do affect one's satisfaction. It is true, of course, that sheer weight does affect one's ability to carry a load-- as do one'e muscular strength and endurance. But the psychological dimensions? That makes perfect sense, although it's something I've not read much discussion of.

This smacks of sports psychology to me. Bobby Jones once said that "all golf is played between your ears;" I wonder, do all our hiking routes "go through our ears?" Hmmmm...

OK, that's enough from me. Carry on. :-)

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
I notice 5 lbs on 02/10/2013 09:45:51 MST Print View

I definately notice 5 lbs of weight. That is the difference between your pack on day 1 and your pack on day 4 after you have eaten 3 days off food. So it isnt a non trivial amount. I think total pack weight is better to look at to see if you cross any tipping points for yourself.

For me TPW of sub 20 is about as light as I notice until I get to sub 10. That space between 12 and 20 doesnt chane my pace. At 25 I am measurably slower than 20 and at 30 significantly slower. At 40 I begin to suffer on uphills.

So if that 4.5 lbs doesnt change your hike then bring it. For me if it pushed TPW from 20 to 25 than I would think hard about it and look at the terrain I am crossing on the first 3 days out of resupply.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Great Advice Tom! on 02/18/2013 14:44:42 MST Print View

Tom,
Love it..... "Hey Craig, head up here and check out the snow. What a friend! ;)"

Snow Tongue

By the way, the north side of Snow Tongue was the worst mile of hiking I can remember.

Edited by gg-man on 02/18/2013 14:45:43 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Great Advice Tom! on 02/18/2013 16:44:01 MST Print View

"Hey Craig, head up here and check out the snow. What a friend! ;)"

Hey, he's got a wife and kids; plus, he's a good man. ;0)

"By the way, the north side of Snow Tongue was the worst mile of hiking I can remember."

+1 That is one of the nastier stretches of talus I've ever run across. You have to love Roper's understated "straightforward but rugged" description.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Great Advice Tom! on 02/18/2013 16:47:51 MST Print View

That looks like some pretty tedious hiking.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Great Advice Tom! on 02/18/2013 17:51:11 MST Print View

"That looks like some pretty tedious hiking."

Yeah, but the stuff just over the saddle will get your attention. :0]

shr-006

Edited by ouzel on 02/18/2013 17:55:14 MST.