At the beginning of planning my trip and investigating gear I really, really wanted to be an ultra-lighter. I’m no Ray Jardine, sure, but between J and I surely I could achieve a sub-10 lb base weight, right? Well, I did my best. Then, since I didn’t own a scale, I hefted my pack. It felt good. I knew I wasn’t ultra-light, but it was light enough. So off I went.
After getting home I finally acquired a kitchen scale and weighed all my gear. The setup you see here is the one I came home with (except for the net-tent, I mailed that home before starting Washington, but I wanted to include it here since I carried it for most of California). It turns out that my pack weighed more than 16 lbs, putting me more in the lightweight/midweight category of thru-hikers. Looking over my lists, I can see some easy weight savings to be had – my electronics bag ballooned out of control by the end of the trail, a switch to a NeoAir XLite would have saved 7oz, I could have splurged on a down quilt instead of a synthetic one, I could have carried less clothes… However, if I was really serious about cutting weight I would have stopped carrying at least 2lbs of extra food with every re-supply. In the end, where I had to choose between weight and the possibility of being cold, wet, or hungry, I chose the weight. The way I see it, a good night’s sleep and the calories to make it up the hill make those extra pounds easy to carry.
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