Minimalist or Everything but the kitchen sink?

12:56 a.m. on February 22, 2008 (EST)
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Fun topic to find out what your preference is to your trips.

A summer overnight or two night trip would make your pack ___lbs
How big is your pack?
Do you follow a ratio to body weight to pack weight?
How do you pack your pack? specifics?


For myself I am no longer in the condition of my 20's and can't carry much anymore. I try to stay in the 50lb range in a 70L pack. I pack my tent into the very bottom of the pack closest to my butt. I put my cookwear just above my tent with my sleeping bag beside it. everything else is just fill.

8:47 a.m. on February 22, 2008 (EST)
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I would like to think that I am capable of packing JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT of gear for the trip, but I know I have a problem. I'm a gearhead. THERE, I SAID IT ALRIGHT?! (They say the first step to recovery is admission) My wife says I have GAS – gear acquisition syndrome.

I try to pack as lightly as possible, and as I get older, it's getting easier to do. In my younger days I took "the sink". I am by no means an ultralighter now, but i'm learning.

On a scale between 1(least gear) and 10(most gear), i'm somewhere between a 5.5 and a 7.

9:02 a.m. on February 22, 2008 (EST)
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Why would anyone leave the kitchen sink behind?

on a one-nighter, I probably carry about 50 lbs including my everyday memory foam bed pillow.

on a three nighter (my usuall max stay), i carry about 45 lbs

10:58 a.m. on February 22, 2008 (EST)
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To me it depends on the type of outing, not the length of the outing. I am starting to go ultralight and once I aquire all the gear, I will be down to a 10-12 pound base weight. I will stay that low for any hiking outing. That being said, I will probably bring a chair and one or two other luxury items if it is a car camping type outing which would bring me to about a 30 pound base weight.

11:15 a.m. on February 22, 2008 (EST)
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It depends on the purpose of my trip, as I often tote heavy manuals on various aspects of ecology, forestry and even a gun. I go with 35 to 65 lbs. depending and will/have relay packed much more, when I wanted to establish a hunting base camp far from a road.

I have a sub-20 lb, emerg. pack that will keep me safe in ANY B.C. conditions and this is ALWAYS with me, everytime I leave my vehicle.

12:58 p.m. on February 22, 2008 (EST)
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>A summer overnight or two night trip would make your pack ___lbs

Without climbing gear? Around 20lbs.

>How big is your pack?

Usually 50L, but, if a long approach and snow and ice, I might pop it up to 60L.

>Do you follow a ratio to body weight to pack weight?

Nope. I pack light and hope for the best. I do usually carry more bulky stuff than my partner, though, but since I usually out weigh this particular one by around 100 pounds, I give her the heavy dense stuff. She's in much better shape than I, and, I don't want to have to chase after her, or, have her be fresh at camp, and me waisted. So, usually our pack weigh the same. She could always buy a lighter sleeping bag.

Plus, she doesn't pay that close attention, so, I can get away with loadin' her down. Who says chivelry is dead?

>How do you pack your pack? specifics?

Light bulky stuff in the bottom, heavy up high. Rain gear on top.

-Brian in SLC

4:46 p.m. on February 22, 2008 (EST)
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In summer, tent, stove & pot, and sleeping gear weigh from five to eight pounds total, usually, depending on which tent. A few times, I've cut these items to about three pounds in very mild climate.

I try to limit other stuff to a few obvious necessities, but sometimes throw in a folding backrest chair, in place of sleeping mat. Another exception is a mini am/fm/shtwv receiver for infotainment.

My pack is usually 55L capacity, and its actual weight varies widely, although it rarely approaches 30 pounds, which is nearly all the pain I'm willing to tolerate for fun.
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6:31 p.m. on February 25, 2008 (EST)
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I have to say everything but the kitchen sink because I usually structure my camping around other activities. Beyond the normal camping necessities, there are usually a pair of climbing shoes and a chalk bag and a 4-piece fly rod with their accoutrement, so it can hover from 35-50 lbs.

Luckily, after years of a stuffed A.L.I.C.E. pack, that's light work for way more than an overnighter.

10:02 p.m. on February 25, 2008 (EST)
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Hike your own hike. I tend toward minimalist these days. I hit a wall about 5 years ago trying to carry the kitchen sink and committed to two things: reducing my pack weight and weight training (in addition to running).

Now a comfortable long weekend on the trail entails a ~20 lbs load, including the clothes I wear.

12:17 p.m. on February 26, 2008 (EST)
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AHA! I knew it! someone with a user name like f_klock just had to be a gear freak! (dirty little secret - once hooked on widgets and other gear, there is no breaking the habit until death ... and even then ....)

Anyway, to the question - summer overnight or 2 nights weight is (as posted here numerous times) 12-15 pounds plus food, so total of 18 pounds (including water) for 1 night and 20 for 2 nights, in either a 40 liter pack (a Lowe Alpine) or a 65 liter pack (an Osprey). And yes, this includes the "Kitchen Sink" (a 5-oz foldable basin that I was given - great for hauling the water away from the lake or stream for pumping through the filter).

ratio of pack to body weight - hunh?? What means "ratio"? (well, ok, when I am taking youth on a backpack, such as Boy Scouts, I make sure they are limited to 20% of bodyweight for first-timers or up to 30% for experienced kids up to about 14-15 yo and the 16-18 yo are required to carry 50% or more of their body weight - slows them down so the Old GreyBearded One can keep up ;=) ).

As Brian says, though, it depends on what sort of backcountry trip you are talking about. If climbing or backcountry skiing are involved, the weight goes up (add rope and hardware and/or ski gear and winter-weight tent), and can get to the 60-70 pound range.

3:27 p.m. on February 26, 2008 (EST)
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I'll typically not weigh my pack, but I know for a fact that I bring more than I "need" (I must, because I'm informed of that fact on a regular basis by people who read backpacker magazine and seem to have an obsession with buying the lightest and most expensive of everything and explaining how their reading a magazine for six months while in the gym has prepared them better than the 38+ years I've been backpacking).

By contrast, I've noticed that I don't need to beg, borrow or scrounge "stuff" (like a spotting scope for bird watching or toilet paper), getting one set of clothes soaked doesn't bother me (as I have another), if someone else has run out of white gas, chances are I've got extra and I don't, as a rule, go hungry.

My day-pack (an 30+ year old North Face internal) is larger (and likely weighs more) than a lot what the ultra-light folks carry for the whole AT, and my "3 night or longer" pack is an almost equally ancient external frame pack with the biggest bag I could find at the time attached to it - but when I backpack with my long suffering better half I tend to take the lions share of the 'stuff' and, again, I like to be comfortable. Luxury items to some (like a back pack hammock) are essentials for me.

I'm out there to enjoy myself, and at 49 years old that doesn't always mean covering mega-miles on a daily basis, that means really enjoying the time I spend out on (or off of) the trail, getting a good, warm nights sleep and feeling like I'm on vacation rather than like I'm on some high-tech forced march ....

To each their own.

10:41 a.m. on March 3, 2008 (EST)
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on my weekend summer hikes - non desert - I typically carry about 40#s of gear, and will use either my Kelty Yukon Lg external or Jansport Alaska 115 (7000 cu inches and just compress it).

If I know I have the room, I screw minimalism as weight hasn't bothered me too much - gives me a better work out. I'll typically take 2 regular pillows and cram them in a stuff sack and make it as small as possible, followed by 2 bed sheets, and even an extra sleeping bag for added padding :-)

And if i'm going with my college buddies, we divy up the alcohol, and to the horror of some here, split a 24 pack of coke among us to carry (gotta mix the rum with something!)

Next trip is a 3 - 4 day along the AT in Eastern Tennessee and I'm thinking it will be a bit heavier since i'll have some cold-weather gear...

8:49 p.m. on March 5, 2008 (EST)
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I pack light but not to the extreme where I'm trimming off some of the topo map and cutting my toothbrush in half to save weight.

6:41 p.m. on March 15, 2008 (EDT)
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10# + food & water.
My pack is Granite Gear Vapor Ki at 2#, 3400 cu. in.
My body weight is 115# so a light pack is to my advantage.

9:19 p.m. on March 19, 2008 (EDT)
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well, it really depends.

if i'm hiking with the girlfriend/new people my pack weighs about 30 in warm weather and 40+ in cold weather...

if I'm hiking by myself or with others of the same mind about 10-15lbs. Naturally, that doesn't include food since that fluctuates with duration of the trip and so forth... Just depends, am I going for a max miles trail run, an ascent, a climbing trip, or a leisurely stroll?

No need to obsess one way or the other

9:57 p.m. on March 23, 2008 (EDT)
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FWIW, Found this in the attic: "How to Enjoy Backpacking" by Gerry Cunningham,-A Philosophy for Going Light, 1972: One man weekend outfit: 15 lbs. ; His+Her weekend outfit:18lbs, 7oz for him and 9 lbs. 5oz for her; His and Her 7 day outfit: 37/0 for him and 18/5 for her.

1:51 p.m. on March 24, 2008 (EDT)
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If I do short trips of the hike to camp variety I go fairly heavy on the comforts.

12:03 a.m. on April 17, 2008 (EDT)
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I have taken an 8 day trip with all food, 20oz sleep pad (my luxury item), etc. in a 3200cc ex Kelty frame (trekker) for under 40 lbs. Between my parter and me, we have never "needed" anything. I even take a penny whistle. I just decide what I MUST have and want to have...and figure it out from there.

9:30 a.m. on April 17, 2008 (EDT)
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I used to pack 50 to 60 lbs. Now I go ultra light because I bring my son and he carries all the heavy stuff.

Seriously, though, I don't obsess about the weight of my pack. I worry more about having the necessary equipment and the stuff that adds to my enjoyment.

Other than the emergency gear, I usually end up using everything I bring, although I could have gone without using some things. For example, I like to sit in a backpacking chair when I'm in an area where there aren't a lot of exposed rocks. But I can do without it. A book or an audio book and mp3 player are nice to have but not necessary.

If I'm going to be in an area where there is an opportunity to fish or hunt small game, then I'll bring a collapsable pole and a reel or my Henry 22 survival rifle. Again, not needed but nice to have.

When I'm just peak baggingg it is minimalist. The objective is to get to the top and back down safely. But in the winter even the peakbagging back is 40 pounds or more because of snowshoes, crampons, ice axe, and extra clothing.

10:13 a.m. on April 17, 2008 (EDT)
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I've been watching this thread since it started a couple months ago, and find it quite interesting. In a way I envy all you "ultra light" packers. I can only the imagine the sense of freedom and ease of movement you experience backpacking with a very light pack.

But for me, "practicality" rears its ugly head. First, I simply can't afford all the latest and greatest super-duper lightweight gear.

My 30 year old Kelty D4, as heavy as it may be, just has to do for now, while the $300 packs I drool over at REI will just have to wait.

Similarly, my 8lb Mountain Hardwear Skyview 1.5, supposedly a 'backpacking tent", but obviously quite heavy with fly, footprint, etc, will be with me for the foreseeable future. Sure, I could leave the fly & footprint at home on summer trips in the Sierra, but the first time I do that, I'll find myself in a heavy afternoon/evening thunderstorm.

Equally important to me as being out in the backcountry is my passion for photography, and for getting the best possible pictures, so I carry along a good 10lbs or more of camera gear. About all I can do here is upgrade to a carbon fiber tripod, but that's got to wait. Over time, my camera gear will only get heavier, as I bring along additional heavy pro lenses.

I need the peace of mind of a bear canister, even where it's not explicitly "required", so there's another 2 lbs.

I can't bring myself to bring "just enough" food - what if I got delayed and had to stay an extra day? So I always have an extra day's food in the canister.

I grew up learning to "be prepared", so I carry rain gear even on summer trips in the Sierra, even though I've never used it there. I've heard too many stories about heavy mountain thunderstorms to risk going without it.

All of this comes to "at least" 60 lbs. I know it's very heavy. I don't like it either. But... with the exception of the rain gear, a first aid kit, and a few extra pieces of food, I've found myself actually _using_ everything I've brought along.

So, it's with some sense of envy that I read about the ultra light approach, as if "I wish I could do that", yet at the same time it just doesn't seem to make sense to me. And, honestly, it's a bit frustrating at times to read about it, because I get the sense the ultra light people are laughing at those of us who carry "traditional" loads, or criticizing us for being 'wrong'.

For me, since I actually use what I bring along, the only "solution" I see to the "weight problem" is to buy expensive, lighter gear. And that's not happening anytime soon.

OK, there's my little rant, I hope I didn't offend anyone :).

12:19 p.m. on April 17, 2008 (EDT)
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bheiser,
Light and even "ultralight" gear does not have to be expensive. You refer to your Kelty D4. I forget exactly which model of Kelty that is, but IIRC, it is similar to my Kelty Mountaineer, which is a little over 2 pounds. The D4, I think, had a heavier waist belt.

The real secret to cutting down the weight is keeping a list of what you take and at the end of the trip, checking off what you actually use. When I started doing that, I immediately cut the weight of my pack by half - so much stuff I never used. You say you are backpacking in the Sierra in summer. Well, temperatures in the summer Sierra (my main backcountry area, with the expeditions being only once or twice a year) are pretty benign, so the demand on clothing is pretty minimal. Since clothing wears out, you can cycle to lighter-weight, warmer, and less expensive clothing in just a couple years. Stores like WalMart, Target, etc have been selling fleece, synthetic wicking T-shirts and underwear, pants and shirts for a number of years now that may not be as fashionable, well-made, or durable as the Big Names, but they work just fine (especially for a retiree living on a pension and Social Security, like me - yes, I do have a way of getting some of the Big Name stuff at WalMart prices, but I do sometimes go into the mobs and deal with the surly "associates").

You say you have a 2 pound bear canister - really? I have several canisters available (since I work with Scout troops and can borrow them as needed), and even the small size Bear Vault (the new one that supposedly the Sierra bears can't get into, unlike the earlier models) is a little over 2 pounds - and it doesn't hold much food, just barely a weekend's worth. If you are carrying an extra day or so food, you need a larger container (the BearIKade is lighter for the capacity, but MUCH more expensive). Yes, in the Sierra, a bear canister is a necessity.

You don't really need a tent in the Sierra, since storms in summer are rarely more than a couple hours and things dry out very quickly. I didn't use a tent at all when I was in high school and college, until I was in my mid-20s, just a plastic tube tent or plastic sheet that I laid over me (a 3 mil 9x12 plastic drop cloth costs $2-3 at the local hardware store, less back then), and works just fine, and weighs less than a pound. Only thing the tent is better for is the mosquitoes that are present from snow melt until sometime in August. And a few yards of mosquito netting solves that problem. For Sierra summer storms, a poncho is fine, and covers your pack as well as you. Besides, it is cooler. Yes, there are some major problems with ponchos, but used in the appropriate place (like the Sierra, or in the rain forests in Tanzania, where I really wished I had one), they are actually better than rain jackets and rain pants, plus a lot lighter and less expensive.

8 pounds of tent? That must be a roomy 2-3 person tent. When I do take a tent in summer, it is a fairly roomy 2-person tent, shared with Barb (meaning the load is shared as well), and that's a 5.5 pound tent that has lasted for something over 6 years now (the expedition tent is for winter). It wasn't all that expensive, either (close-out at an REI sale).

60 pounds? That sounds way too heavy for what you actually need for summer Sierra. Yes, camera gear adds a lot. I used to pack a 4x5 view camera in, with tripod, sometimes. Not these days, though, since my town has banned chemical darkrooms, unless you have very expensive filtration and hazardous chemical handling and disposal (Kodak used to have a processing lab here, but moved out because of the restrictions, and we also have no 1-hour film and print places any more, though neighboring towns do). As you know from my trip reports (in Trailspace News, for Antarctica and Kilimanjaro), I frequently carry a large load of camera gear - DSLRs these days, 2 bodies, pro lenses from 12mm through 400mm, polarizers and UV for all lenses, remote flashes, auto-tripping release for catching wildlife, tripods, photostorage drive. Yes, it adds up, but even with all the camera gear (often around 15-20 pounds worth), I don't get to the 60 pound level for backpacking (I do if carrying climbing gear, but then half to 2/3 is the climbing gear).

No, the solution is NOT buying expensive gear. It is being judicious in choosing what to take (I prefer to spend my money on the camera gear, not the camping gear). You say you actually use everything you take. But do you make things do multiple duty? How many pots do you need for cooking? For a weekend trip, how many changes of clothing do you really need (I sometimes see people with 3 or 4 changes of clothing, including their warm gear for temperatures well below freezing - ya know, with just a little care, you won't get everything wet on a weekend backpack).

5:11 p.m. on April 17, 2008 (EDT)
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As Bill put it so well, you don't need to buy the ultra expensive gear to cut down your weight. I bought a used Kelty pack for $100 and once you strip off all the pockets and miscellaneous straps (not cut off, just unclip them), it is pretty light. Not the ideal pack, but I use it in winter with all the add-ons.

If you don't care about gourmet cooking or aren't melting lots of water in winter, you can make a lighweight alcohol stove for practically nothing from soda cans, or buy one from the many people who sell them on the net. By nothing, I mean nothing-drink the Pepsi, cut up the can, you have a stove. There are dozens of designs online. People make lightweight cookpots out of the big Heineken cans-same thing, drink the beer, cut up the can. Anyone with a few hand tools, a decent can opener and some modest skills can make these things.

You can make a lightweight equivalent of a JetBoil that will burn alcohol for probably less than $5. You can also find plenty of used stoves on eBay.

I've seen used UL shelters like a Henry Shires Tarptent for as little as $50 and that is a very well respected brand. Start prowling the UL sites-several have buy/sell forums. A big of patience may be rewarded with a bargain. I see deals on used UL gear all the time-packs, tents,stoves and clothes.

3:03 a.m. on April 20, 2008 (EDT)
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It depends a LOT on the trip, but at one extreme: A summer overnight or two night trip would make my pack 12-14 lbs.

>How big is your pack?
For this kit: 2200 ci. (35 liter)

>Do you follow a ratio to body weight to pack weight?
I keep track of that info, but I always stay below 10% of body weight for my base (gear only, no supplies).

>How do you pack your pack? specifics?
In layers.

Oh, you mean what do I put into it? Home-made blanket, poncho-tarp, 16 oz pot w/alcohol stove, foam pad, a few warmer clothes. The basics.

2:50 p.m. on April 20, 2008 (EDT)
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My packs will weigh from about 25 lbs. to 65 lbs. depending on what I am doing. I use about 35-35 lbs. for a summer fishing trip of 3-4 days and 45-50 lbs. on a winter camping trek of the same time span. I carry the heavier packs on 5-7 day hunting trips and this includes optics and gun, it is hard to get much lighter if you are using serious optics such as my Zeiss and Leica bino-spotter-tripod rig and an Elk/Grizzly rifle such as a .338WM or 9.3x62.

I believe in packing what I need and want out there and just adjusting my speed to accomodate this as I am not into "racing" or taking backcountry risks due to too little shelter or other necessary gear. I like to pack a book, field manuals and a tiny lantern for reading at night plus, sometimes, my MEC padded chair/mat. Why not, this is about fun, not who can barely survive with the least amount of gear.

6:51 p.m. on April 20, 2008 (EDT)
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kutenay wrote: " ...this is about fun, not who can barely survive with the least amount of gear."

Some people are fascinated by every rock, bug, and flower along the way. Others are bounding with enthusiasm to get to that next spectacular vista across the valley. To each their own, hike your own hike, etc.

9:50 p.m. on April 20, 2008 (EDT)
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Summer Overnight/2night trip. Small Island off Vancouver Island? Coast of Vancouver Island? Inland or mountain area of The Island? Choices, Choices, Choices.

How big is my pack? Big enough to do the job.

Ratio to body weight to pack weight? Don’t care.
How do I Pack my bag? Heavy at/near bottom, all the rest stuffed in or around the pack. Most needed items close to hand.

If I can find a Sherpa Wha hoo!!!!!!

A lot has been said already here about these questions. Not so much about these questions though.
With who? What for? When? Where? How much notice or prep time available?

I would want these questions answered first as they help to determine how and what I would pack. The motto “Be Prepared” should not be far from any hikers mind when packing for a trip.
Prep time an hours notice, I would pack very different than if I had up to a months notice, a lot of this time would be spent learning about the area. Route in/out, what is around the route, ect. What I would be doing? All this information could be useful in an emergency.
My neck of the woods even in summer can be very dangerous health wise for hikers unprepared for the weather. Fowl weather can creep up on you in an hour, or stay for days. The weather man can only give a somewhat reliable weather forecast for up to about 3 days. Even then he can be and often is wrong about the local weather for the area I would be hiking in.
If I’m camping on the coast, more of just about every thing will be taken as it can get very cold and damp even during summer.
If I’m going to camp inland (more than 2 kilometers or miles from shore) I’ll still take just about the same as the weather can and does roll over the Island making it pretty chilly sometimes without a lot of notice.

I guess I would be taking the kitchen sink, and I would be comfortable. After all my comfort is important isn’t it? Of course distance would have a factor as well. I would lighten the load a little.
Plan for the worst and enjoy the best.
To see a sunrise or sunset from an exposed piece of Island, or a mountain top, Beautiful.

8:39 p.m. on April 29, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill S and Tom D, I see your point. I guess I can see how it doesn't really need to be "expensive" to go light. Maybe I'm just too caught up in the marketing hype :).

Next time I go on a backpacking trip I'll post my gear list to see what you all think :)

6:05 p.m. on May 10, 2008 (EDT)
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On extended mountain bike or hiking trips I can get away with using a frameless MEC "Weekend" pack for a weeks worth of camping.
A Eureka single pole cycling tent with a full fly. -Two and a half pounds.
A cycling sleeping bag rated for around freezing. -Two pounds. Thermarest self inflating ground pad. -Four pounds.
Pillow. -One pound.
Folding, three legged stool. -One pound.
Extra Socks and undies. -Two pounds.
Rain poncho. -Half a pound.
Long undies and undershirt.(Spring or Fall) -One pound.
Sandals. (Summer)-Quarter pound.
Wind up radio/light. -One pound.
Sierra saw. One pound.
Solid fuel stove and fuel. -One pound.
Freeze dried meals. -Four to five pounds.
Instant oatmeal. -Three pounds.
Soup cups. -Two pounds. Can be removed from cups, squished a bit, and put into a big ziplock to save room.
G.O.R.P.A.M.A.M. Good Old Raisins, Peanuts And M And M's. -Two pounds.
Nature Valley chewy granola bars. -Two pounds.
Spoon, fork, and two knives. -One pound.
Water. -Five to ten pounds.
Water filter. -Half a pound.
Pot and cup. -Quarter pound.
First aid kit. -Half a pound.
Small tarp. -One pound.
String/Cord. -Quarter pound.

So... 35 to forty pounds for a very comfortable week, in a weekend pack with TONS of room to spare. Only thing kept on the exterior is the ground pad.

6:59 p.m. on May 10, 2008 (EDT)
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Neither, pack the lightest load that meets the needs of the trip. 1-2 nights it's the 30-35L pack, longer trips it's the 55L pack. No winter camping or technical climbing reduces the amount of stuff. Nice thing about having to replace ancient worn out gear has been the new ultralight or proven old ultralight gear available. Just replaced the Northface ??bug with a Hennessy Hammock, the MSR Whisperlight + Ever?? stainless cook kit with a Trangia/Clikstand + REI Ti 0.9L pot/kettle. That alone dropped probably 1.5kg. and bit of volume. Did invest in a bear resistant food container. I guess there goes the weight and volume savings. Wondering what a Ti bear resistant food container would weigh and cost? Considering this ABS container MSRP for $69, weighs +2 kg a 500gm $199 container might have a small but significant market. Megabuck investment, but should last forever.

Back in my sea kayaking days I did bring almost everything. The advantage of mega liters of carrying capacity and not having to put the load directly on your body.

3:40 p.m. on May 11, 2008 (EDT)
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Tending towards minimalist but with reservations. I car camped Friday night and found that my Vargo alcohol stove needs a much better wind screen than what I currently own. My Mont Bell bag was also a little cool so I probably will buy a set of down booties and maybe a silk liner for the bag. In all fairness it did go down to 34 and the bag is only rated to 30, and I was never actually cold, just cool.

The up side to down sizing is that I was able to put my gear for a 3 day trip into a smaller Kelty Redwing and it felt nice and light on my back! I don't know what the actual bag weight was but it was a lot more manageable than the 50 pound loads I was carrying last year and I still had a good tent, bag, and clothing.

The Redwing is 3000 ci. I would estimate the weight at about 20 lbs for a two night trip. I don't have a formula for pack weight to body weight except that I am very tired of lugging heavy loads around. With the Redwing the tent and bag went into the bottom of the pack, extra clothes on top of that, then my cooking gear, then my outer layer. The pack isn't a top loader, you can unzip the whole thing and access gear that is on the bottom without having to empty the whole thing. My first aid kit, bug spray, lighters and headlamps went into the pockets on the back, toiletries and water into the two side pockets. The sleeping pad is then strapped to the outside of the pack.

2:17 a.m. on May 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the replies, great read and some interesting ideas. Its getting close to the summer hikes in my neck of the woods and I pulled out the gear a few days ago. I think I will make that list of what is taken and actually used next trip. great idea. I have two daughters (very young) and I can see that my future may be as a sherpa or a goat... oh well as long as we can pass the enjoyment along.

On a side note my wife got her new pack. Its a Osprey and OMG is that a nice pack. It has to be at least half the weight of my North Face Stamina 70. Anyone have one of these packs?

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