Author Topic: Pack weight for treks  (Read 2468 times)

AFANASIEW

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Pack weight for treks
« on: 20:15:35, 11/01/18 »
Advice please. I read recently what seemed a sensible word of caution that you should not carry more than 20% of your body weight on a trek. I'm planning to do LEJOG so am quite keen to get this right from the outset. My question is: do you include the clothes you're wearing and the items in your pockets when calculating pack weight?
The answer might seem obvious - you're not actually carrying this stuff in your backpack, after all. On the other hand, you probably weigh yourself wearing very little, so anything extra forms part of the 20%, surely?
How do you calculate it?
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

johhnyp

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #1 on: 20:56:57, 11/01/18 »
I weigh just over 100kgs and I certainly wouldn't contemplate carting 20 kgs or anything close to it on a walk like that O0

AFANASIEW

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #2 on: 21:15:58, 11/01/18 »
johhnyp, I once tried doing the Pennine Way with 93lbs on my back when still a sprightly 12 stone. It didn't work - I only got as far as Hebden Bridge.
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

fernman

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #3 on: 23:02:56, 11/01/18 »
Whoever came up with that 20% figure must have been a big, strong man!
I've just done some calculations which show that my pack weight is only two thirds of 20% of my body weight (which makes it...um...er...I'll let you work that out).
Even if you added the weight of my clothing and contents of pockets, plus threw in my boots for good measure, and why not my walking poles too, I'm sure it still wouldn't be near that 20% firgure.
Forget about calculations, just concentrate on only taking the essentials, and making those the very lightest you can obtain.
You'll know the difference when you pick your pack up easily and walk off as if it's part of you, rather than struggling to lift it off the ground, staggering as you get your arms into the straps, and then feeling as though your legs are compressing and your feet are sinking an inch into the tarmac as you take your first few steps.

AFANASIEW

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #4 on: 23:19:31, 11/01/18 »
Fernman, thanks, but I'm still fit enough to regard 36 lbs as quite manageable. The thing is, if I exclude boots and the clothes I'm wearing, plus penknife, wallet etc, then I can remain within the 20%. If not, I have to ditch things like waterproof trousers and gaiters. Bearing in mind I need to take tent, sleeping bag, stove etc.
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

jimbob

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #5 on: 00:09:24, 12/01/18 »
One of the things about a long walk ,to me , is the realisation of just how little we actually need to survive.

The advice given to me in this forum was invaluable. Concentrate on the big three. Rucksack, sleeping gear and shelter. Lighten them as much as you can afford to. Then work out what you do not need. For example Gunwharfman showed me that I really did not need cooking gear as there are usually plenty of places to get a hot meal on all the UK LDWs . I now carry energy bars. (Oh and chocolate :D ) What a weight saving that is. 

Save as much weight as you can. Your back, hips, knees and feet will thank you in later life when you are not so fit.
Too little, too late, too bad......

sussamb

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #6 on: 06:45:47, 12/01/18 »
Fernman, thanks, but I'm still fit enough to regard 36 lbs as quite manageable. The thing is, if I exclude boots and the clothes I'm wearing, plus penknife, wallet etc, then I can remain within the 20%. If not, I have to ditch things like waterproof trousers and gaiters. Bearing in mind I need to take tent, sleeping bag, stove etc.

Stop fussing about 20%.  Take what you want if you feel you can carry it but beware, what may appear doable on a day trip may cause issues on multi-day trips. I'd be aiming to carry the bare minimum.  You'll enjoy the walk more, but I certainly wouldn't be ditching waterproof trousers and gaiters, but that's me.
Where there's a will ...

sparnel

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #7 on: 08:11:33, 12/01/18 »
I did LeJog and carried no more than 22lbs........whatever that is in kilos. Forget packing things 'just in case'. You don't need food.........there are plenty of options en route.   I think it would be possible to do this walk carrying everything you need
in pockets - i.e. no rucksack.  I'm sure Gunwharfman will agree. Reg is an expert on carrying nothing!


AFANASIEW

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #8 on: 08:37:31, 12/01/18 »
Jim Bob, sound advice, thanks but, at 64 some would say that I'm already in later life! Not sure about getting a coffee whenever needed (ProPlus tabs just ain't the same), and will want to camp in north Scotland en route. Also I want to average 18 miles per day and sometimes there aren't pubs and shops in the right places to maintain that average.
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

AFANASIEW

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #9 on: 08:40:46, 12/01/18 »
Sparnel,  respect. That's the weight I carried on the Pennine Way in 2015, but with no camping.
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

AFANASIEW

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #10 on: 08:47:59, 12/01/18 »
Sussamb, thanks. I shall take precisely what I want - e. g. the Charter hat is a must - but am using the 20% as a rough guide to discourage excess. I'll be testing the kit this year on the south side of the SWCP,  Land's End to Lyme Regis.
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

tonyk

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #11 on: 10:22:16, 12/01/18 »
 You carry what you need to carry at the time.On a long distance walk pack weight fluctuates as supplies are used up and then restocked.Two days food or half rations if there are no shops should be the norm.Train your body to function on fewer calories rather than carrying half of Tesco on your back.

Islandplodder

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #12 on: 10:31:27, 12/01/18 »

I don't camp, but have got my packweight for LDPs down under 10lbs + food, water and the weight of the rucksack. 
So this summer I knocked another 2lbs off the total load by buying a much lighter rucksack.
If I tried to carry 20% of my bodyweight I'd be even slower, miserable, and probably finish off my aging knees!

Owen

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #13 on: 10:32:50, 12/01/18 »
, but I'm still fit enough to regard 36 lbs as quite manageable.


What are you carrying to make your pack 36 lbs (16.5kg)? That's the sort of weight I would be carrying for two weeks away in the wilderness, including all my food and gas.
LEJOG isn't in a wilderness it goes through villages and towns. These generally have shops, so you only need enough food for one or two days at any time. By re-supplying on route like this you should be able to half the weight your carrying.

NeilC

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Re: Pack weight for treks
« Reply #14 on: 11:05:32, 12/01/18 »
I don't get the 20% thing. I can see a % figure helping a bit when comparing men to women to children but it makes little sense man to man. It doesn't take into account how much of that weight is muscle or fitness levels etc. Over long distances, being a big strapping bloke doesn't help but rather can be a hindrance for endurance.
Just look at the elite soldiers - little wirey guys and they can carry more weight for longer than any 6'4" 17 stone muscleman.


I'd say if carrying full camping gear, you defo want it under 10KG (including everything except food and water) and that isn't hard even on a reasonable budget. Most of my kit is pretty cheap - 60 rucksack, tent cost 80, stove under a fiver - you get the idea. And even my pack-weight is only about 8KG which is about 8% of my weight right now.


Food and water can make a big difference and if you're walking over deserts then you could easily be doubling it. But with the LEJOG - you're gonna be able to restock most days, so why carry loads?


For books get a kindle and consider getting yourself a solar panel to attach to your rucksack for recharging a portable charger. There are also chargers that use standard batteries. Of course if you're gonna stay in B&Bs then you don't even need to worry about that. I wouldn't be carrying a month's worth of paperbacks!