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Poll: What does your pack weigh?

For a 3 day trip. Non ultra light.

If we're talkin' three season,including my Bear Vault,Right around 28 lbs.

Winter I would add at least 10 more pounds,probably closer to 15 lbs.

If I were to take a pack for a solo three day backpacking trip in conditions similar to what I see in your profile photo, and I wanted to be comfortable, reliably dry, and well fed, it would weigh 20lbs with food and water, give or take a pound.

Mine would be around the 30 lb mark, in late spring and summer.

3 day, non ultralight? around 35 lbs, wet weight (water included.)

For me a traditional weight pack for three days, including food, fuel and other consumables, plus fishing gear would be in the 25 - 27 lb. range.

By loosing some of the comfort items, and switching to an alcohol stove, Heineken pot, and titanium spork, I can get down to 20 lbs.

For winter I add 5 - 7 lbs. to both those.

I always pack for a week long trip, even when only planning on a day trip because I never know when I might want to stay longer. That said, with a weeks worth of gear and a full bladder: 28lbs for 3 season

Warm weather mine runs a little under 30lb and for cooler/wet temps around 35lb.

I just packed my pack for a two day trip into the Cascades, with a 15 degree Marmaot Pinnacle bag. With fuel for 3 days, but without food and water its 22 pounds and includes a winter tent, big agnes pad AND a z rester to put under it and to sit on. I have no ultrailight gear. My down jacket weighs 25 ounces. I expect 20 degree weather and snow.

If it were deep winter I would add a diferent sleeping bag weighing 12 ounces more, a coat weiging 14 ounce more, down bibs adding 15 ounces over fleece pants and maybe my 20 ounce muklucks. so thats 61 ounces more or just under 26 pounds, but would be good to 10 below F.

oh and these weights are for solo trips. I carry probably a lot fewer items than most, but most of my gear is 20 years old and bombproof.


If I'm going solo for a 3-day 3-season trip my pack weighs right around 20 lbs. with food and water.

My pack is over all of them here and its not finished yet. I can't wait to see what it is going to weigh in at.

Summer? 30 to 34 lbs.

3 L. H2O,

7 days food,

TT Moment tent,

REI Cruise UL 60 pack W/2 side pockets,

Dana Wet Rib front pouch,

WM Megalite down bag,

Steripen & MicroPur tablets

Brunton Crux stove & 1 reg. canister,

1 L. pot, gripper, spoon, Cool Whip bowl, cup

Thermarest Lite (reg.) 10 yr. old mattress,

Cabela's PacLite parka,

light pile vest, Mechanix glove

Winter? 50 lbs.


It really varies for me depending on the time of year, desert or mountains, and whether it is a solo trip or with the family. I like my comfort but try to be as light as possible. I also carry an extra days worth of food in case of delays.

My last solo trip was 7 days/ 6 nights in late Sept. at elevations between 9500' and 11,500'. For that I carried 23 lbs of gear, 12 lbs of food, and 2 ltrs of water for a total of about 39 lbs.

With the family my total pack weight goes up to around 45 lbs, my wife's pack about 25 lbs, and my 11 yr/old son's pack around 12 - 13 lbs. This would be in the summer at elevations of 9000' - 12,000' for 5 - 6 days.

45 lbs. for a three night trip only carrying 2 quarts of water

summer or winter.

I like my camp site comforts

15 lbs before food, stove fuel, and water. Just about any length trip. So for 3-4 days, generally 21-24 lbs. About double that for desert hikes.

Winter add about 10. More clothes and beefier stove.

30 lbs sounds about right. I am ultralight tho, mostly Golite gear.

somewhere in the 27 to 32 pound range, that seems to be my sweet spot for 3 to 5 day trips.

Just a little more than just enough. I plan for and carry for just a little more weather, problems, etc. than I'm likely to face, because when solo and problems arise, I don't like the idea of being "almost warm", etc. Thus, the only difference in weight for a week+ versus three days will be food, generally. What will that weight be? Dunno, really, as I seldom weigh my pack. Best guess: around 32-35 lb.

And one note regarding food. For a shorter trip, I'm less likely to restrict food choices to the really light, dehydrated, etc. Possibly heaviest luxury comestible hauled: a half-bottle of wine. (Yes, in the bottle.) More common: hunk of cheese and a couple apples.

Also, back in the days when I was more into photography, the camera gear quickly added weight. A camera body, couple lenses, film, and a decent tripod sets one back quite a bit. (Some of you probably recall photo film, right?) Makes carrying my fly rod, etc. now seem like a picnic.

Based on a week out:

35#-Spring-Fall / 50#-Winter(No water. I boil in the winter, filter in the spring-summer.)

Perry Clark said: "because when solo and problems arise, I don't like the idea of being "almost warm",

Well put!

35-50 lbs. Its kind of an adopted rule of thumb for me, keep the pack under 50 lbs or start ditching stuff.

Thanks, trouthunter. I hoped it got the idea across!

Love these posts!14 to 15lbs in summer solo not counting food,water and camera gear.Varies so much with location and length of trip.This includes fuel for up to 3 days.If splitting weight of group with another base weight go down.If including climbing,ski and winter gear the weight of course goes up but I still like going lite as possable and staying warm and comfy.For single nighter in winter i still try to stay under 40lbs not including skis and camera gear.

It depends on how much of my wife's gear she is able to sneak into my pack when I am not looking.

Typically I run around 30lbs. wet, provisioned and with camera gear . I always pack enough emergency gear for 1 extra day. Winter +5 - 8lbs. +2 more days worth of emergency rations.

For a week with food and good warm stuff... probably 20-25 lbs that is winter 15-20 MAX summer... I am curious what people who are carrying 50 lbs of gear have with them...

The Basics, 3 to 6 Days = 18.59lbs without food.

Winter = add 5-8lbs.

For three season in western mountains, without a bear can, and before I add food and water, my pack generally weighs about 12.5 lb. For early spring or late fall, I will often add a thick down jacket at 13 oz. For four days (three nights), my food will go about 5.5 lb and water anywhere from 2 lb to 16 lb. For AZ desert or Grand Canyon hiking, my base weight will be be about 11 lb but the water I carry generally compensates for the lighter gear load.

Pack 5.5 lb

Sleeping bag 2.2 lb

liner 0.5 lb

pad 1.1 lb

2 pr socks, liners 0.3 lb

2 pr undies 0.3 lb

midwt fleece 0.8 lb

mid capilene pant 0.5 lb

raingear/shell 1 lb

stove, fuel 1.5 lb

pans, cup, etc 1 lb

headlamp 0.4 lb

batteries 0.3 lb

survival items 1.4 lb

water 4.4 lb

filter 0.7 lb

pers hygiene 0.5 lb

food 2.5 lb

bear canister 2.5 lb

tent 4.5 lb

TOTAL 34.4 lb

The above, which represents my guesses of weights, which I doubt are too far off, represents the minimum I generally throw on my back. Yeah, there are places to cut back, if desperate (1 L water instead of 2? bivy or tarp instead of tent?, no bear canister if no bears, etc.), but I still don't really see myself getting out on the trail with much less than about 26-28 pounds, traveling solo. Adding more clothes & gear for winter and shoulder seasons, and more food for longer trips, etc., and it looks like I could easily break 40 without trying too hard. And this doesn't include my fly rod, reel, and a few flies.

So, you guys that are reveling in the lightness of your packs can chortle all the way down the trail, and I hope you enjoy it; meanwhile, I'll just trundle along in my own particular style, I guess.

Three nights, not in the snow, 25 pounds without water. Sometimes less if water is readily available and long uphills are not in the mix; oftentimes more, especially if a cannister is necessary.

I am a big fan of hydration as I am old and my joints tend to squeak when they dry out.

In any case, 25-40 pounds pretty much takes care of my needs for trip durations between 4-7 days. I could probably go lighter but loads up to 40 pounds are not that big a deal even for a geezer like me.

Truth is that it is pretty rare that I get up above 35 pounds these days. Don't need to, I know what works and what doesn't, what's necessary and what isn't.

That's the key to wandering in the brush. You have to know what works and what doesn't, what's necessary and what isn't. The load will take care of itself. The load is the load.

You just make sure you're fit enough to carry it.


12 lbs base weight with full rain gear, down bag, hammock and a bamboo flute. Add 10 lbs of food and fuel and i guess around 22 lbs would be the result. I don't weight my pack often and my choice of food varies wildly depending on my mood, so it's an aproximation. In challenging conditions (wet thundra in the fall, east-coast hinge season) I'd ditch the hammock, trade the down bag for a synthetic and add a down jacket (adds 1.5 lbs)

For a 3 day trip. Non ultra light.

For a 3 day trip. Non ultra light.


My pack weighs maybe 10 pounds summer, 20 pounds 0°F winter, including food and water. And "ultra light" has nothing to do with it. It's "common sense."

...And a bit of mental thoughness!

its seasonal of course... empty it`s 1lb.7oz. mid spring-mid fall my base wt. is around 9lbs. i always start out with at least 1 liter water and 2lb. per day of food but i never as a rule intend to go over 25lb and that involves 5 days worth of food and fuel

jmcwatty said:

For a 3 day trip. Non ultra light.


My pack weighs maybe 10 pounds summer, 20 pounds 0°F winter, including food and water. And "ultra light" has nothing to do with it. It's "common sense."

Common sense has nothing to do with a persons own idea of comfort.We all have our own idea of comfort and what we enjoy doing in the woods or mountains,take photography and the weight of multi lenses and other gear.Or perhapes skiing touring and camping in winter.Iam not trying to present an argument just saying there are way more than one way to do many things and not only one is correct.ymmv

Well said John.

30 pounds in summer for a week and 50 to 60 in winter for a week. The winter stuff sure adds up but dont carry a tent in summer and boiling water goes faster when it is not solid (less fuel).

16 lbs. or less for 3 season, thats without food and water.

This Poll Definitely was not started to see who was right or wrong on how they pack. I really started it because I felt I have been going a bit heavy(spring, summer, and fall) and I wanted to guage what others avg weight was and try to figuer out where I could shed some weight.

An experienced backpacker does not ever carry more than he means too, nor does he ever carry less than he needs to, but rather he carries exactly what he needs.

There is not a right way I don't think, provided your chosen gear meets your needs and keeps you safe, dry, etc.

It's like arguing about which Pop Tart flavor is the best.

Grape....but I can't find it anymore.

I wish I could keep the weight of my pack low. My trips are almost always in the mountains so I have to pack for the cold. I have a problem keeping warm so that increases the weight. Even in summer I pack a 6 pound sleeping bag. I am getting old so need a comfy pad. I always fish so need lots of fishing gear. If I could keep it under 35 pounds I could keep going a while longer.

I suppose that 3# bag or trail mix and 2 cans of Coors could be left behind but what fun would that be?

These discussions continue interminably, but all boils down to the size, strength, age, fitness of hiker and one's perception of "need" for the outing. Andrew Skurka does his long hikes with 16 lbs. of pack weight, but I would be too cold and too deprived of some minimal comfort, i.e., coffee in the am. and tea in the pm., a small "adult beverage" before retiring (nightcap--or is this a clothing item?) and fly-fishing stuff--why am I walking to this location in the first place? I am here for enrichment and personal renewal, not for suffering! What are your motives for going out there? Can you organize your equipment to fulfill personal needs and extra items for personal satisfaction? We all face this challenge. Pack-weight for my 70 lb. Scouts is not the same as for a 260 lb. oversized Scoutmaster (I am not that, either!)

My backpack weighs around 35-lbs to 40-lbs when carrying only my gear. When I backpacked with my young sons, is was around 45-lbs. Now, that is for three season camping. Winter snow-camping with my young sons had me once with a 55-lb backpack. The last time I went backpacking with my adult sons my backpack weight was down to 40-lbs! I did not have to carry anything additional for anyone else. In fact for the first time, I did not carry a tent! That was someone else's responsibility, hip hip horah, everybody was old enough to pulled their own weight.

At the begining of the trip or at the end, once my daughter has emptied most of her pack into mine to make hers ligher. It usually starts out 30 to 35 lbs. Hers starts out weighing 10 to 12 lbs. Once she actually strapped her entire pack to the top of mine by the end of a trip.

For a three day hike, you have a good hint about the weather. And if I too were to hike in sunny California, I'm sure I could have made the trip with much less than here in a climate more like Alaska. The OP wanted to pack a bit lighter, and there was a debate in a norwegian forum about the lightest possible pack for a week in the mountains here. No shortcuts were allowed, you had to be prepared for all types of weather and summer temperatures (here typical 0c to 20c) and also wind. The mountains here are treeless, so winds may be quite hard even in summer. Here is the list, maybe there are some hints to pack lighter:

Backpack: (Mountain Laurel Super Prophet), 255 g, 155 USD
Mat: (Artiach Light Plus) 170g, 280 NOK
Bag: (Millet XP 500), 450g
Tent: (Terra Nova Laser Photon) 760 g, 270 £
Stove (Primus MicronStove) 69 g, 630 NOK
Kettle: (FireLite SUL-900 Titanium Cookpot) 79 g, 70 USD
Fuel (100g gassboks) 198 g, 60 NOK
Utensil (spork), 9 g, 30 NOK
Food (Real Turmat til supper/lunch, grain for breakfast, 0,399 kg pr dag) 1995 g, 650 NOK
Reserve food (SL-9) 230 g (??? NOK)
Waterbottle/bag (Platypus 1 L pose). 30 g, 300 NOK
Light downjacket (Klättermusen Liv) 290 g, 2000 NOK
Underwear(Nett-trouser) 140 g, 320 NOK
Gloves(Arcteryc woolgloves) 30 g, 200 NOK
Cap (Devold woolbalaclava) 40 g, 200 NOK
Extra socks (Bridgedale trekking wool) 80 g, 200 NOK
Knife: (Spyderco Lightweight Knife) 16g, 35 USD
Tape (Scotch) 50 g, 150 NOK
Rope (for extra tentlines, shoolaces /div rep) 30 g, 50 NOK
Matches 10 g, 20 NOK
Map and compass 80 g, 120 NOK + 150 NOK
1. aid 85 g, 11 USD
Packbag (Tatonka) 75 g, 230 NOK
Headlight (Petzl E-Lite) 27 g, 300 NOK
Toilet paper 20 g, Steal some from the roll at home!
Other sanitary items (Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, detergent) 43 g

Total weight is................5261g / 11 pounds

Note that we do not filter or carry water here on tour. All water in the mountains is drinkable, no problem. In addition you have the clothes you have on, typically underwear + a light hardshell set and some sturdy hiking shoes.

I had to laugh when I saw some poster here claim that he had 10 pounds and it was not UL.

Now to myself, and really I do not care so much about some kilos on my back. Up to 10kg I hardly notice, 15kg is my preferred weight. It is ok with 20 too, but I resent 25kg or more. For a week or for a weekend I pack about 17 kilos. For the weekend trip this means some more lux, canned water (aka beer), better food (no freeze-dried) and other nice-to-have.

One important bit no one's mentioned yet: As one goes up, the pack gets lighter. Simple matter of physics. When I'm wandering a mountainside, looking for that next molecule of oxygen, I try to remind myself that my pack's actually lighter than it was at the trailhead several thousand feet below. Now, I've never actually been able to notice the difference, but it's a work in progress. Maybe next time.

Food but no water, about 20 lbs. How much water depends on the temps and availability. I've carried as much as 132 ounces and as little as zero depending on the hike.

Man, I feel strong in back, weak in mind after reading these posts! During the fall and winter, I usually run about 40-45 pounds. Since I live in the Sourthern U.S., I don't camp in the summer except for maybe The Great Smokey Mountains National Park with the higher and cooler elevations. During winter camping, it can run 50-58 pounds for a 3-4 day. This includes water and backpacking food. My fellow hikers laugh out loud at me each trip we go on, but wind up borrowing some of my stuff when we get to camp such as borrowing the ham radio to make a "phone patch" to home and check in. Like Ed above, I love my comforts. I carry a hand held amateur radio for emergencies (add 3-4 pounds) in the backcountry (cell phone is useless), a small aluminum camp table on some camps, and always a lightweight aluminum stool. My butt and back can't take 3 hours of sitting around the campfire and shooting the bull each night. After reading stories of injuries in the backcountry and everyone on the scene only has some "duct tape" and band aids for major injuries to comfort a very bad trauma, I decided to carry a very nice (and heavy) first aid kit, thus more weight. I am the one my hiker friends call the "panic hiker". I go prepared for anything. I guess it was the Boy Scout raising and camping at a younger age.

One other point I might add is that most people on this forum apparently hike each day to accomplish "miles", and that is perfectly fine. Some people, like me, hike in 2-8 miles, set up a base camp and explore for days with only a 5-10 pound day pack. I guess it depends on where you are going! If I am fighting to get the "miles" in every day such as long trails, I can see a 25-30 pound pack would be my ticket, but I would be "crying" trying to part with some of my "gadget items" has got their "own thing" I guess.

For warm weather, (35F and above) usually around 28-30 pounds with one liter of water.

Twenty five pound pack? Doesn’t sound like it has enough fun or comfort.
My kit always weighs 65-70 pounds, regardless of duration or itinerary. Shorts trips have steaks, bacon, sometimes even pizza, and lots of beer and whiskey. And a small espresso machine. Long trips have more practical gear; freeze dried food, less whiskey, instant coffee. Those asking why so heavy: fishing tackle, climbing rope, crampons, ice tools, avalanche transceiver, climbing rack, tele skis, mountaineering boots, sub 25- sleeping bag, extra gloves, gas for hot bathing every day, camera - yea it adds up. I’m that guy on top of Whitney with the ice chest full of lobster on dry ice, who is so warm I sleep under the stars in the dead of winter on calm nights. (Don’t mind muling it, and I like to enjoy myself)…

Packing - 3.34 lbs (deuter aircontact zero 60+10, stuff sacks, no bear can)

Sleeping - 4.68 lbs

Mess Kit - 0.69 lbs

Clothing (carried) - 3.00 lbs (give or take; usually in high altitude, cool nights)

First aid, hygiene, blah, blah, blah, everything else - 2.45


WITH Food, fuel, water - 6-8 lbs>>> 20-22 lbs

Oh yeah, then there's all that camera crappola I carry!...add 3.68 lbs

Oh yeah, then there's the extra sleeping pad...and that book of John Muir quotes I've been wanting to read...and, hmmm...there might be bears, so add the bear canister...

I'm always lighter on paper...rarely get out the door under 30 lbs.

It seems to me that how light one travels is the sum of an equation involving the following factors (and probably more):

>Amount of money you have available for ultralight gear (or are willing to spend)

>Level of desire to travel ultralight

>Level of comfort you desire in the backcountry and level of discomfort you are willing to endure

>Level of safety and contingency preparedness you desire (or spouse requires)

>Variety and Type of activities you engage in while in backcountry

>Level of physical ability (or if you have a physical handicap)

>Location and Duration of the trip

>Amount of time you have or are willing to invest in refining what you have and take with you.

How you quantify each category, and the relative values you assign to each of those quantified factors effects the sum. It is all so very personal, subjective- and dependant on circumstance.

For me it adds up something like this: > I have *very* little money to invest in gear >I like my amenities in the backcountry > I like to be as prepared as reasonably possible for contingencies > I enjoy engaging in a large number of activities > I am relatively physically able >Location and duration of each trip varies greatly > I have very little time to spend refining my gear to as minimal and light as possible, and I prefer to spend what little time I have actually in the outdoors rather than preparing to be outdoors.

The Result? For a 3-6 day outing in the Appalachians my pack runs in the 45-65lb range, and for a 1-2 nighter it is around 35-50lbs.

But I am also willing and able to survive on very little. Even on short hikes I carry everything I need to survive for several days, in at least three seasons, including food, in a small camelbak that weighs maybe 10lbs.

If one or more of the factors in the equation were to change drastically, such as having much more money or time, I am sure I would also have more interest in going lighter. But for now there are other things that are more important to me- like paying the mortgage :)

January 20, 2021
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