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Examples of "Stupid Heavy"
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Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 19:57:54 MST Print View

I thought I create a new thread to look at the opposite side of the Stupid Light thread. What examples can you share of going Stupid Heavy.

I'll offer up a couple of my own examples.

1] Buying and using an Osprey Aether 70 pack (4lbs) when I knew full well that I wasn't planning anything more than 2-3 night backpack trips with friends.

2] Carrying 4 liters of water when I knew my route would be along a creek the majority of the time.

Edited by randalmartin on 02/21/2013 20:04:34 MST.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Stupid Heavy on 02/21/2013 20:11:07 MST Print View

Hiked with 5 family & friends from Tuolumne to Marie Lakes (three days to get there), then left them to the JMT and hiked back out (5 hours).

Stupid heavy was my pack going from 18# to 32# carrying stuff they decided they didn't really want to haul to Whitney.

Met them at Red's and hauled another 12# off their backs.

Now mind you, just the year before my pack weighed 47#, so it's only because I got religion first that I can be snarky.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Heavy on 02/21/2013 20:18:16 MST Print View

My first backpacking trip ever I realized on the way to the TH that I'd forgotten toilet paper. We stopped at a coffee shop and I went to the bathroom stall and popped open the toilet paper dispenser. I removed the enormous industrial sized roll (~1' diameter) with miles of that super thin & abrasive TP - it must have weighed 3-5 lbs. It was partly for attention, but I clipped the entire roll to the outside of my pack and carried it around for entire 3 day trip - nicely balanced by the banana's hanging off the other side.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Heavy on 02/21/2013 20:33:59 MST Print View

Taking a large plastic hammer from the car camping world to hammer in backpacking tent stakes. Shattering a whole bottle of powder Tang against some solid snow (made a pretty star pattern)

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
First trip... on 02/21/2013 21:07:52 MST Print View

My first trip, which was only an overnight like 7 miles maybe... I was lugging 55 pounds (if I was lucky). I think the stupid part was more that even though I was going with a buddy that had been a few times himself already, we each had our own water filters, stoves, as well we each brought our own 2-person tent. Didn't help I had 7# sleeping bag and an entire change of clothes. The icing on this pound-cake, was the skillet that I brought and didn't use.

I was outdone by friend of a friend a few years later, when on his first trip he brought a chefs knife set that had to weigh 3#'s and a portable CPAP machine for his sleep apnea; which was totally optional for him. We didn't have a scale with us, but after he jammed some last minute fruit cups and sardine cans into his pack, I'm thinking his pack was pushing 70.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Heavy on 02/21/2013 21:09:38 MST Print View

on my LT trip in a fit of "don't shop while you are hungry" i bought 4 days of food for a 2 day stretch to my next stop. What I wanted to be a nice light shot from one friends house to another over ohh.. the highest point in the state turned into my heaviest packweight the whole trip

on a 2 day trip my friend brought an entire 10oz bottle of sunscreen that he didn't touch the entire way. he also only brought a tiny roll of TP and ran out... bad priorities right there.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Stupid Heavy on 02/21/2013 21:16:16 MST Print View

If anyone puts beer in the "stupid heavy" category, you are hereby uninvited from any future trips with me.


A good buddy of mine is quite the food and liquor connoisseur. We're on an overnight together...Upon reaching camp, we unpack, go through the standard chores, and start in on some beer. I discover he's brought steaks, lamb, shitake mushrooms, all manner of sauces and condiments and nuts, an $80 bottle of whiskey, a jar of pickled artichoke hearts, olives, bread, cheese... I noticed his pack was huge and heavy looking on the way in but didn't comment.

He did, however, neglect to bring a sleeping bag.

When I question him on this, he says it wouldn't fit with all the food, and it was warm at home, so he figured he'd be fine.

It was cold that night.

Fortunately for him, come 1AM when the festivities are over, he's drunk enough on whiskey to not know how cold it is. I offer to loan him my jacket and all my spare clothes. He declines and waves me off, passing out promptly.

Come 5AM, after the whiskey wears off, he's shivering violently.

I get up and tell him to take my sleeping bag to get warm.

Bad idea, as I needed to be on the trail and out early. He now passes out for the next 4 hours and won't wake up despite shoving, yelling, and poking.

I'd have dumped a bucket of water on his head, but it was a new Western Mountaineering Summerlite he was sleeping in....

Not sure if this counts as stupid heavy or stupid light. Or just plain stupid.

But then again, the steak and lamb and whiskey were fabulous.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 21:19:42 MST Print View

I brought a hot tub 6 miles into Wildcat Camp at Point Reyes National Seashore. Backpacking really is better with naked college students. I married one of them. And ice cream, sauces, whip cream, nuts and cherries for 20 people.

It has been, for 25+ years, the point of the semi-annual UC Hiking Club "Gourmet Trip" to bring stupid stuff you'd never normally bring backpacking. I've seen a basketball backboard brought in and the "Man who killed Pluto", Mike Brown, back when he was a grad student, brought an 8-inch-diameter reflecting telescope.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 21:39:32 MST Print View

One unintentional bout of "stupid heavy" came by the way of stumbling across a massive arm sized summer sausage laid out on the trail in the middle of the Gila Wilderness. It was large enough to warrant felony possession with intent. No parole. My best guess is this mysterious sausage either:

A) Became unclipped from the carabiner it was attached to while pendulum swinging from the bottom of some poor saps burdened pack.

B) Slipped out from the saddle bag of some John Wayne riding off into the sunset.

I'm going with A.

With very little hesitation I grabbed the processed meat log and carried it for the remainder of the trip. It was well worth toting along with us, despite the weight of the sausage surpassing that of my entire sleep/shelter system at the time.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 21:47:07 MST Print View

I had to carry I giant sausage I found on my last Sierra trip with Casey, Jack, Adan, and James. It weighed about 2 pounds. Found it on the outskirts of our camp, chewed by animals. Apparently, it was nasty enough even they wouldn't finish it.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Stupid..stupid..stupid. on 02/21/2013 21:52:59 MST Print View

On first ever backpacking trip, I carried enough canned goods to stock a 7/11, a knock off "Rambo Survival Knife" and a ginormous rust-orange Campmor Hollofil II sleeping bag. The sleeping bag was the same color as the shag carpeting found in your finer custom made vans circa 1979. Bags of coke optional.
To top it all off, I brought a lantern-sized flashlight that took a 6V battery.

I went with my buddy Tim. We had known each since Catholic school, he was in the army and must of known what he is doing, right? We planned to only hike 12 miles, so how difficult could that be? Oh yes, my first backpacking trip was in the White Mountains of NH. Steep grade, roots, rocks and gnarly trail.

The first day, I was out of breath as we hiked, but enjoyed the sunshine and the fantastic views-until we realized we'd forgotten the map. Tim said he remembered the way, so not to worry. Around 6 PM, we saw the same campsite we had used the previous night. We'd hiked in a 12-mile circle! We set up the tent, didn't bother to eat dinner, and collapsed in our sleeping bags.

Stupid heavy and just plain stupid. :)

Almost 20 yrs later, I'd like to think I've learned a little since then. But then I think of my hut trips where I pack in 10 lbs of marinated pork loin and 3 liter boxes of wine. But perhaps that's more SMART heavy? ;)

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 21:54:55 MST Print View

Damn, I always have to carry in my own sausage. How has more than one person found a giant sausage in the wilderness?????

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 22:04:36 MST Print View

Sausage is amazing roasted over a campfire after a long day of hiking. On shorter trips, I often bring in some heavier fresh food.

I had a friend carry in a fiskars chopping axe in the middle of summer (it was in the high 90's) and proceed to chop enough wood for a Canadian winter.

I've seen people carry high top converse sneakers as camp shoes.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 22:09:04 MST Print View

I craved space -- but finally came to realize that a REI Half Dome 2 was just too much weight for solo use.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: Re: Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 22:11:32 MST Print View

There are two kinds of people in this world Brendan: those that lug in their own 48oz. sausage bazookas in their packs under their own sweat and drudgery, and those that get knocked the f#!k out by sodium meat bombs miraculously falling from the sky.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 22:15:46 MST Print View

Eugene, that has to be the smartest damned observation I've read in a long time.

Thanks for making this evening on the internet worthwhile.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 22:21:41 MST Print View

"get knocked the f#!k out by sodium meat bombs"

Meat bombs for solo wilderness security.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 22:26:13 MST Print View

This thread is cracking me up.

Revenge Heavy: I once did a trip in the Gila with both brothers and a cousin. My cousin kept badgering us to pack lots of beer and whisky. I protested, not wanting the weight of the 12 pack he demanded of each of us. Some whisky and one or two is good, but... it turned into a grudge match, him telling me the weight was no big deal. To my eternal gratitude and amusement my cousin left his pack at our house the night before we left. I deftly slipped a brick into it. When he discovered it the next day, 10 miles later at our site, I couldn't contain myself as I ribbed him about the weight of his pack, "no big deal right"? He, of course, threw it at me.

Family Heavy: This past summer, I carried the heaviest pack I have had to in a long time. Me and the fam went to Pt Reyes, a short backpack for the kids, and we had planned on my wife getting a bunch of our car camping stuff out there on a bike trailer. Turns out the fire road was flooded and closed. Had to hike everything in. We got as much as we could out there (2.2 miles) and then I made a second trip to get the rest. Coming out I was feeling too lazy to make two trips. I strapped as much as I could to my old aether 60(took it cuz I knew I would have a good load going in)and then had my wife load even more on when I had it on. Inside it was a 14 lb car camping tent, 2 sleeping bags, plates, cups, pots, who knows what else. On the outside I had 4 sleeping pads, 2 of which were heavy thick (and uber comfy self-inflating car camping pads) and then my wife's 6 lb kelty rectangular bag. Around my neck in the front I had two stuff sacks full of clothes, tied together and draped around my neck. Good times, it was Fathers Day!


Edited by mediauras on 02/22/2013 11:30:03 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 22:37:20 MST Print View

Bunch o' dudes talking 'bout their giant sausages in the woods.

Our wives would love to have a word with one another.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Examples of "Stupid Heavy" on 02/21/2013 22:38:16 MST Print View

Point Reyes attracts that type.


City kids packed up for a weekend 8 mile round trip. I was envious of the clean sets of sweats they wore in camp in the evening.

@Justin That was not the only heavy single use item packed in that weekend, was it.