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Baseweight of 32lbs too much?


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Gaff919

Hello,

I will be hiking a 1 month section of the AT next year and was wondering if 32lb base weight is too much.  I am a good size guy, 6'4 235lbs.  It does not feel too heavy and have been trying it on many different trails with mostly positive results.  Is this too much?  I am not trying to be ultralight or even lightweight but would like to try and make 2.5miles a hour.

Thanks for any input.

Brooks

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John B

If by base weight you are referring to everything except food, water, and fuel then yes I would say 32 pounds is a bit much.  Just because you can carry that weight, doesn't mean you should.  I have had for many years a base weight of about 18 pounds, and just recently reduced it to about 14 pounds.  The 18 pounds is pretty easily acheivable--it will take a bit more of an investment to get lower than that.  The difference at the lower weight just allows one to have a MUCH more enjoyable trip.  There are many sites that have lots of ideas about ways to reduce weight--hyperlite and guthook are several.  Good luck!

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Through hikers get lighter the longer they are out there.  You are much better off around 20 pounds or less.  Most people only carry a week's supply of food and fuel and come off the trail to resupply.  I have no interest in through hiking, but I run into them all the time on the PCT near my house.   I have talked with a lot of them.  They are several months in by the time I talk with them. 

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  • 1 month later...
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K. Urs Grutter

If you take pride in a big and heavy pack and a luxurious camp, why not? If on the other hand you like to put in as many miles as possible, every ounce counts. It's your hike, you decide what's your priority. 

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  • 6 months later...
Michael aka Mac

Hi Gaff919 ,

Ok so  to answer your question objectively, you are carrying 8.5 lbs. more then you should be with your current setup.  The golden rule of how much your backpack should be , base weight ( w/o food, water, & fuel )  is    10% of your total body weight in the buff ie w/o clothing.  You weigh 235 lbs. so 10% of that is 23.5 lbs. yet your current setup is 32 lbs. 

Now if you are including a water bladder or reservoir and mistakenly adding this too , then you need to take that out of the equation to find out what  your base weight is.

I will also suggest if you know that you are going to be near lakes, rivers, or streams to only bring like a 4 Liter bladder and a high end lightweight purification device and refill your bladder on the fly. Carrying a 4 liter bladder & purification device vs  a 10 liter bladder could save you approximately 13 lbs.  of weight water wise.

Oh and i would like to point out  that this rule of thumb is based on the average weight for a person, for men the average weight is 197 lbs. (yes  some of you are a fraction of that weight, but that is the USA average) so I suggest to have a base weight of no more then 20 lbs.  THink of it this way, using the rule of thumb for those that weigh over 200 lbs...  if one is obese and weighs 500 lbs.  (think a small Sumo wrestler) they are not going to be able to carry a backpack that's base weight is 50 lbs. It just ain't gonna happen.

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Michael aka Mac

Ok clarification on last paragraph from above.. the rule of thumb is assuming one weighs less then 197 lbs. and multiplying 10 % times your weight of those that weigh less then 197 lbs is what your backpack's base weight should be  .  So if one weighs less then 197 lbs. multiply your actual weight ( in your B-day suit) by 10 % ,for those that weigh more then 197 lbs. do not use your actual weight, instead use the average weight of men so   multiply  197 lbs. times 10 % = 19.7 lbs. 

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