Most people, even active people, could stand to lose a few pounds. While there’s a lot of time spent on gearmongering and swapping steel for titanium, let’s look at what weighs what. “A pound on the foot is like 5 on the back” they say. What about “a pound off the belly is a pound off the back?”
Looking at my pack weight thread here and my Google docs spreadsheet for my base weight is just under 15 lbs.
Personally, I could lose 10 lbs. That means I could add 10 lbs of food and water to my base weight, and do an overnight with essentially an empty pack. That’s huge!
Also, generally the process of losing weight is going to build up your strength, which means more miles, and more, BETTER miles. You don’t want to drag ass into camp at dusk, miserable and winded. A light pack and fit legs are the best way to do this. Spare energy and a good attitude go a long way towards making it easy to Leave No Trace. You won’t be tempted to take shortcuts, leave microtrash or food crumbs, if you’ve still got something left in the tank at the end of the day.
I generally start off with a 70oz Platypus and whats left of breakfast in a Nalgene. Combined that’s about 5lbs of water. Want to carry that for free? Lose 5lbs – it’s really not that hard.
This winter and spring the focus will be dropping weight, for higher performing summer hiking.