Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Weighing gear

  • 56 Replies
  • 4302 Views
*

Offline roadtrip

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 93
Weighing gear
« on: August 19, 2019, 12:55:36 PM »
2 months until my trip, the Lord willing,  so the questions will be coming in fast and furious.
What kind of scale do you all use to weigh your gear?
I have a big warehouse scale in my shop that I can weigh things accurately from about 2lbs up. but now I need to get down to ounces.
I'm shooting for a pack weight of 30lbs or less.  I've done practice hikes, 25lbs is good, 35lbs is a burden and I find myself focused more on how i feel and not on my surroundings.
If I was to go today with my current gear I would be hitting close to 40 lbs. The big offenders are my Tent (7lb 1oz) and sleeping bag. (5lb and the compressed size the size of a small hassock)
Thanks, you all are an unbelievable asset.

*

Offline Flash

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2088
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2019, 01:21:33 PM »
I have a digital package scale from Office Max or Depot... Also have a fishing scale for bulky things that don't sit well on the package scale and can be hung by the hook.

*

Offline Robert

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1003
  • He who limps is still walking. - Stanislaw J. Lec
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2019, 01:26:12 PM »
I have a small battery powered digital kitchen scale that I use. Not sure what the max weight is but guess it to be 5-7 pounds. It's a little hard to measure large bulky objects but a good scale should allow you to put a larger platform on top (such as a big plate) and then reset scale to 0 to expand the footprint and provide stability. Also should be able to measure in grams and ounces as grams give you a more granular measure of the weight.

I'd definitely look to replace the tent and bag when you can. That's a ton of weight to be carrying. 

The scale will give you visibility to small items that seem inconsequential but can add up to a lot of weight.

*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4434
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2019, 01:35:53 PM »
I have a small battery powered digital kitchen scale that I use. Not sure what the max weight is but guess it to be 5-7 pounds. It's a little hard to measure large bulky objects but a good scale should allow you to put a larger platform on top (such as a big plate) and then reset scale to 0 to expand the footprint and provide stability. Also should be able to measure in grams and ounces as grams give you a more granular measure of the weight.

I'd definitely look to replace the tent and bag when you can. That's a ton of weight to be carrying. 

The scale will give you visibility to small items that seem inconsequential but can add up to a lot of weight.

+1 to this ^^.   This is exactly the set up and approach I use.  An empty card board box on the scale will allow you to weigh larger bulky items suspended above the surface.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline catz

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1041
  • Old enough to know better, but...
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2019, 01:43:39 PM »
Ditch the tent entirely.  A tarp is plenty and you probably won't even need that.  I haven't carried a tent on a desert hike in well over 12 years.

+2 on the kitchen scale for small things.
Wake me when it's time to go.

*

Offline Lissa

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 146
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 02:08:10 PM »
Ditch the tent entirely.  A tarp is plenty and you probably won't even need that.  I haven't carried a tent on a desert hike in well over 12 years.

+2 on the kitchen scale for small things.

Have you not been rained on?!? (Iím starting to think maybe itís me. I always seem to  get rain in the desert.)

*

Offline elhombre

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1177
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2019, 02:29:48 PM »
Screw the scale thing.  Put up your inventory list of ALL you plan to carry, and most of vultures can critique you with what you NEED, and what you should consider a LUXURY item.  Every item in backpacking needs to go through the litmus test of need, or simply taking said item to make the trip easier.  That way you can make the decision if you really want to carry it or not.    But be fore warned, there are many hyper sensitive  nerds out there who internalize the weight they carry when backpacking as if it is a reflection on their inner-self worth in this world we live in.  They will look down their noses at others who don't care about an extra # or two as if they some how are better because others are too stupid and carry heavy.  A 3 oz. difference in weight of a stove makes or breaks their backpacking experience.  I buy lighter stuff, (for more money), but I don't search out the lightest stuff just for the sake of it being the lightest.

Your best weight savings in the desert will ultimately come down to water management.

It really is about suffering.  Does the benefit of the suffering out-weigh the effort.    For me, I experience a geometric proportional increase in enjoyment when compared to the suffering.  And I will continue backpacking as long as that condition persists.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 02:43:35 PM by elhombre »
First Russian Collusion, then Mueller, then Obstruction, then illegal payment to Stormy Daniels, then tax returns. Now no formal vote on impeachment for a 30 min. phone call to Ukraine

No crime. No evidence, just more secret investigations

Drain the Swamp.  America will survive.  God Bless America

*

Offline DeserTrek

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 21
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2019, 03:25:55 PM »
The 30lb pack weight includes the weight of your water and food right?

My winter pack weight is around 13lbs, while my summer weight is around 10-11lbs. Im not a gram counter or ultra light backpacker by any means. That said, a few extra pounds can create a huge impact on one's enjoyment and joints. In BIBE, I couldn't imagine carrying any more weight than listed above. Water is really heavy and essential out here.

*

Offline roadtrip

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 93
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2019, 04:46:22 PM »
Ditch the tent entirely.  A tarp is plenty and you probably won't even need that.  I haven't carried a tent on a desert hike in well over 12 years.

+2 on the kitchen scale for small things.

Have you not been rained on?!? (Iím starting to think maybe itís me. I always seem to  get rain in the desert.)
Seems like the last few years, I get rained on hard every time I go camping. And it's never even forecast. One year I camped on the Brazos and got rained on for 2 days. The shuttle driver said it was the first rain in a year and a half. After I left they suffered another dry spell.

*

Offline roadtrip

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 93
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2019, 04:57:35 PM »
The 30lb pack weight includes the weight of your water and food right?

My winter pack weight is around 13lbs, while my summer weight is around 10-11lbs. Im not a gram counter or ultra light backpacker by any means. That said, a few extra pounds can create a huge impact on one's enjoyment and joints. In BIBE, I couldn't imagine carrying any more weight than listed above. Water is really heavy and essential out here.

The weights I mentioned do include the food and water weight.
I'm spending 7 days in the park, doing two separate 3 day hikes. For each hike I plan 6 lbs of food (5 to eat, 1 emergency) and a gallon of water. I may go down a quart on the water if there's water in Fresno Creek and Boot and Juniper Springs.
Thanks

*

Offline DeserTrek

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 21
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2019, 12:30:30 PM »
Gotcha. Here is some equipment that I purchased for lowering my own pack weight.

-ULA Circuit- 2.3 lbs compared to my Gregory Baltoro 75 - 4.83lbs
-Yama Gear 1P Cirriform Tarp - 12oz paired with MLD Bug Bivy 2 - 7oz compared to BA Copper Spur UV 2 -50oz
-Removed my 15 oz Nemo Fillo pillow and used my heavyweight fleece jacket instead
- Zpacks food bag  -1.5oz compared to Urasack Minor - 5oz
- Removed my 12oz Platypus Gravity Filter for Aquamira tabs

North Face's Guide or Cats Meow 20 degree sleeping bag is a good choice. I prefer Enlightened Equipments Convert though, as the insulation is fully supportive, instead of just on the top and sides. It can be opened up as well, so that sweating doesn't occur during the early night temperatures.

Thermarest Xtherm is a solid choice for reducing weight as well.

BTW I buy 90% of my gear used on Backpackinglight.co m "gear swap". A lot of people use stuff once and then realize backpacking isn't their thing.

*

Offline roadtrip

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 93
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2019, 04:07:36 PM »
Screw the scale thing.  Put up your inventory list of ALL you plan to carry, and most of vultures can critique you with what you NEED, and what you should consider a LUXURY item.  Every item in backpacking needs to go through the litmus test of need, or simply taking said item to make the trip easier.  That way you can make the decision if you really want to carry it or not.    But be fore warned, there are many hyper sensitive  nerds out there who internalize the weight they carry when backpacking as if it is a reflection on their inner-self worth in this world we live in.  They will look down their noses at others who don't care about an extra # or two as if they some how are better because others are too stupid and carry heavy.  A 3 oz. difference in weight of a stove makes or breaks their backpacking experience.  I buy lighter stuff, (for more money), but I don't search out the lightest stuff just for the sake of it being the lightest.

Your best weight savings in the desert will ultimately come down to water management.

It really is about suffering.  Does the benefit of the suffering out-weigh the effort.    For me, I experience a geometric proportional increase in enjoyment when compared to the suffering.  And I will continue backpacking as long as that condition persists.
Thanks ElHombre. I had to read that a few times , especially that next to the last sentence, but I think I understand what you're saying.

*

Offline roadtrip

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 93
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2019, 04:15:54 PM »
Gotcha. Here is some equipment that I purchased for lowering my own pack weight.

-ULA Circuit- 2.3 lbs compared to my Gregory Baltoro 75 - 4.83lbs
-Yama Gear 1P Cirriform Tarp - 12oz paired with MLD Bug Bivy 2 - 7oz compared to BA Copper Spur UV 2 -50oz
-Removed my 15 oz Nemo Fillo pillow and used my heavyweight fleece jacket instead
- Zpacks food bag  -1.5oz compared to Urasack Minor - 5oz
- Removed my 12oz Platypus Gravity Filter for Aquamira tabs



North Face's Guide or Cats Meow 20 degree sleeping bag is a good choice. I prefer Enlightened Equipments Convert though, as the insulation is fully supportive, instead of just on the top and sides. It can be opened up as well, so that sweating doesn't occur during the early night temperatures.

Thermarest Xtherm is a solid choice for reducing weight as well.

BTW I buy 90% of my gear used on Backpackinglight.co m "gear swap". A lot of people use stuff once and then realize backpacking isn't their thing.

I've come across that website looking at review while researching gear.  I will check that out and share with the forum if I score a good deal.
I'm going to try to come in at 10lbs with my "big 4' items.  May go the tarp route for a shelter. Thanks for sharing the gear info.


*

Offline elhombre

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1177
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2019, 08:28:12 AM »

Thanks ElHombre. I had to read that a few times , especially that next to the last sentence, but I think I understand what you're saying.

Sorry, sometimes after work the mind doesn't work well, and I  probably shouldn't be posting much when I haven't had any sleep.  "Water management" is simply not carrying too much water, and using the sources along the way.  Many first time hikers out there carry too much extra food and water.  It grinds them down very quickly.  It's been a dry year in Big Bend so far.  With you going in October, you will most likely be the one of the first ones out there if you are heading out into the Quemadas.  It is still going to be hot.  There are only a few springs I would trust my life on, but even knowing that, I always carry some water in reserve just in case someone in my group gets hurt, and we must separate.  You going solo, or do you have a hiking partner?  Depending on your answer, your packing list should/can change significantly.

You mentioned #6s of food on your 3 day hikes.  I'm going to assume you mean 2 nights on the ground.  With that, you can eat a really filling  breakfast the first day before hitting the trail.  Take bagels and peanut butter for lunch all three days (Big calories and easy).  If you can stand it 2 nights in a row, eat 2 tortillas with pepperoni and string cheese for dinner both nights (no refrigeration needed).  Throw in 3 power bars for snacks and BoBo's for breakfast, and you have all your meals, and no need for a stove or fuel.  Everyone is different, but most everyone eats less on the trail.  What we discovered is that as long as we stop and eat a little something every 1.5 hours or so, the body stays happy.  We now have the habit on only eating half a Cliff bar at a rest stop, and carry dried fruit for a quick bite during other rest stops.  I carry enough fat on my ass that I can make it for a few days not eating much. 

The only extra food I bring is an extra Cliff bar, and most of the time when I get off the trail, it is the only thing in my food bag.

DeserTrek is spot on with used stuff!  Especially for someone just starting out. 

First Russian Collusion, then Mueller, then Obstruction, then illegal payment to Stormy Daniels, then tax returns. Now no formal vote on impeachment for a 30 min. phone call to Ukraine

No crime. No evidence, just more secret investigations

Drain the Swamp.  America will survive.  God Bless America

*

Offline GaryF

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 151
Re: Weighing gear
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2019, 09:30:15 PM »
I prefer Enlightened Equipments Convert though, as the insulation is fully supportive, instead of just on the top and sides. It can be opened up as well, so that sweating doesn't occur during the early night temperatures

I traded in a 20 degree Revelation for a 20 degree Convert.  For anything over 30 degrees Iím good with a quilt, but when in starts getting down into the mid 20s and lower, I decided I needed a better seal, at least as an option.  When you adjust for width (the Convert is wider in each given size than the Revelation), the weight penalty for the zipper is only 2.5 oz. Plus you could leave the straps at home.  I donít really expect to use the zipper most nights, but itís nice to have it there as an option.

For years I carried sleeping bags that I rarely zipped up, and I was pretty confident moving to quilts, but my experience out in the real world in colder conditions made me backtrack a little bit on that choice.  I still have a 40 degree Revelation, and itís fine for warmer conditions down into the upper 30s,


 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments