Weighed in the scales and (not?) found wanting

Heading up to the Adirondacks again, and I thought I’d weigh in, literally.   We bought a kitchen scale recently to help with big batches of canning, and it has a good capacity and resolution.   And its a quiet, hazy afternoon, nothing better than getting your gear sorted.

(Jake the Wonder Dog assisting)

Short version: Base weight = just under 14 lbs, although I didn’t include water carrying – my 70oz camelback, my 1L Platypus and my 1L nalgene.   Google tells me that these weigh approx 5oz, 1oz and 6oz respectively. Adding this all in pushes it up close to 14lbs.  Factoring in a few odds and ends and my car keys & wallet, lets call it 15lbs.   Not bad.   It doesn’t include clothes, but the only things generally that sit in the pack are a pair of extra socks, a knit hat, and a rain jacket.  If you don’t wear it daily, it’s a waste.

I’ve included a link to my pack list on a Google Spreadsheet here:

This includes both my stove and my bear cannister @ 2lbs11oz (heaviest thing I have).   When packing up in the Adirondacks, the Eastern High Peaks zone requires bear cannisters for overnight camping, so I leave the stove at home.   The other option you have is only do day-hikes, but there’s something magical waking up in the mountains in the middle of the night, or being able to hit the trail at 5am.

Keeping your pack weight down is an important part of being a responsible hiker – you’re less likely to get tired, less likely to ‘cheat’ and grab at trees or widen muddy areas, less likely to get hurt and need rescue, and you’re bringing less trash which could be left behind.   Slipping quietly along the trail and creating a minimalist campsite (small tent, muted colors, little or no cooking) means that you’re not affecting the animals or others seeking their own experience.