I’m rather proud of myself, yet slightly disappointed at the same time.
Total Pack Weight: 493.50oz (30.84lbs)
Base Weight: 347.20oz (21.70lbs)
I was shooting for max pack weight of 30 pounds (less than one pound over) and 15-18pounds base weight (3-6 pounds over).
I trimmed and trimmed my back down – looked over everything in detail specifically asking myself, “Really do I need this?”
I’ve identified where my pack could be reduced, but I don’t wanna or would require a gear upgrade.
1. Flipflops — due to the weather, even though I was planning on my trail runners, I have chosen to wear hiking boots instead. With hiking boots, I feel it’s important to have “camp shoes” because I need to be able to remove my boots, yet function around camp — If the weather forecast changes and I wear my trail runners, I’ll remove the flip flops. We are currently experiencing heavy rains with flooding and expected to have another storm before my hike. The boots are slip resistant, while the trail runners are not. I hope the trail won’t be too muddy, but I’m not counting on it at this point. Alternatively, I may head to the dollar store for a cheap/lighter weight pair of flops. (My BOGS flipflops weigh 11.2 oz, I’m sure I can find thin/light weight “shower shoes” type flip flops.)
2. The nights will be cooler for me – in the lower 50s. My sleeping bag has a “survival rating” of 50 degrees. Since I get cold easily, I packed long sleeves, pants, and my jacket for the evening/early morning. If the weather changes to mid to high 50’s, I’ll be able to leave the jacket (13.2 oz) and just deal with being cold. I’ll just have to keep double checking the weather. I was originally planning on shorts and a tank top, but I hate being cold and would be SUPER miserable.
3. I have a lighter weight hammock but chose to pack my skeeter beater since the mosquitos can carry you down the trail. I treated my clothing with permethrin; if I feel this works, then I could treat one of my lighter weight hammocks & sleeping bag in the future to further reduce weight. Currently, my hammock and straps weigh 40.9 oz (with my tarp at 8.5 oz, my “tent” system comes in right over 3pounds – Ultimately I’m happy with this number since I have to buy a heavier 2-3 person tent to accommodate my height. The tent is for car camping only.)
4. I’m packing my travel pillow. I thought my pillow would be heavier than it is. It’s 5.5 oz. After checking out pillow weights online, my pillow actually weighs less than many pillows I looked at. The small blow up pillows only weighed about 2 oz less (are these really comfortable?!) and one quite similar to mine only weighs half an oz less. I’d like to think that my sleep comfort is worth the few ounces.
5. Rain is forecasted the days before my hike but not actually during my hike. I am not carrying any rain gear. Food/electronics/first aid are packed nicely together in waterproof stuff sacks & zip lock bags in case shit happens. Otherwise, my only rain protection is the tarp for my hammock. I’d like to experiment with Tyvek. I currently use a “light duty” regular tarp as I find the light weight hammock tarps to just be too unreasonably priced. Tyvek is cheap and supposed to be pretty durable.
6. I could save another 2.7 ounces by leaving my hotspot at home. I bring it with me as it is based on Sprint towers and my phone is based on T-Mobile. So, if I don’t have T-Mobile service, I can use the Sprint hotspot to make a Wi-Fi call in case of an emergency or to check in with family. Looking at coverage maps, the trail will be covered with my phone as well as with the hotspot. However, I’ve had arguments with customer service before because my house is listed as getting 4g service but I couldn’t pick up *any* signal. That all said, I prefer to be over prepared than under in this instance until I know first hand whether or not my cell will work in the area. After I hike this trail a few times and become more familiar with it, the hotspot will stay home.
7. My printer is broken and I am unable to copy/print all of my guides and maps. Due to this, I’ve backed up everything digitally on my phone. Having to rely on my phone for the maps and guides means that I won’t be able to put my phone in power saving mode while using those resources. For this, I’ve packed a 10k battery pack. It weighs 8.7 oz. I have a 1k battery pack that only weighs 3.4 oz, but I thought for the weight per mAh and the fact that this is a 3 day trip (prepped as 4 days), it would be better piece of mind (and my phone battery dies sooooooo fast. I’m charging it by lunch time under normal use). If I can get my guide book copied and maps printed, I’ll swap the heavier battery pack for the smaller one and just use powersaving and/or keep my phone mostly turned off for the hike.
While I didn’t get my goal weight :(, I’m quite content with what I’ve packed. I have seriously picked through everything — even taking out that “one extra bandaid” type thing, to reduce my pack weight wherever possible. Even though my food weight is a little under than the recommended 1.5-2pounds of food per day, I do have a few heavier food items I’ll be sure to eat my first night to reduce pack weight quickly (IE: A can of peanuts for a day 1 morale booster!). There’s not much more I could reduce aside from gear upgrades (lighter backpack, lighter sleeping bag/quilt) and the items listed previously. For this, I’m happy with the effort I’ve done to reduce my pack weight.
Below are the items in my pack and their respective ounces:
flip flops 11.1
camp clothes – pants, long sleeve, socks 25.7
sleeping pad 20
hammock + straps 40.9
sleep bag 59.2
Survival + First Aid + Hygiene
potty bag 8.7
small flashlight, 1 candle, 1 lighter, matches, compass, paracord 5.4
deuter pack 70
hygiene + first aid 17.3
pocket knife without case 8.9
4 empty water bottles (+tape and paracord) 5
sawyer squeeze + all attachments + all pouches 11.6
fuel can 12.8
water weight full 2 bottles 49
pot, pocket rocket 14.9
battery pack 10k 8.7
charging cable black 0.4
small composition notebook + pen + sharpie 4