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Get your pack weight down!

31 Oct 2023 12:58 PM | Anonymous

You can still see the odd dinosaur tramper struggling along under a monstrous pack stuffed to overflowing with heavy, bulky, decades-old gear. Slow, aren’t they.

Fortunately, most of us are smart enough to appreciate the benefits of lighter pack weights:

*       The tramping is easier
*       There’s less strain on the body
*       Tramps are more enjoyable
*       We can travel at a faster clip if we need to
*       We’re less tired at day’s end
*       We can take on more challenging tramps

But how light is light? What’s a good pack weight for multiday tramps?
Ideally your base weight should be comfortably under 9 kg. Your base weight is everything you’re carrying (not wearing), excluding
food and water. Add in 500-700 grams a day for food and you’ve got a pack weight of under 10kg for an overnighter, around 12 kg for a 5-dayer.
This assumes you’re not carrying winter kit or an ice axe or spikes/crampons etc.
Now you can lug that sort of weight around the hills, can’t you?


 Here’s how to get your base weight down to where it should be.

  • Pack, shelter, sleeping (your big 3) – 3 kg max. Ultra lightweight trampers will be closer to 2 kg; up to 3.5kg is still reasonably good.
  • Pack liner – 100g
  • Rain gear – over trousers and rain jacket, 600 - 700g
  • Clothes (additional to what you’ll be tramping in) – fleece(s), camp/hut clothes, spare underwear & socks, beanie, gloves. 1.5 - 2kg
  • Footwear – most people take some sort of hut or spare shoes. Crocks are popular but are bulky and a monstrous 300 - 400g. Runners are even heavier, jandals and reef shoes a bit lighter. But do you really need anything at all? A good way to save weight is to take nothing.
  • Cooking, fuel, eating – 800g (very generous). True lightweighters ditch plates, use their pot lid as a cup, and have a titanium spoon or spork, Chux cloth to clean up, and small lighter.
  • Toiletries, hygiene, first aid, meds – 500g. Ditch your towel, it’s way too heavy, and use Chux cloths instead.
  • Water containers – 150g
  • Compass and maps – 100g if you print your own topos.
  • Electronics – a smartphone plus plb will be 300 grams, add a gps and power pack and you’ll be close to 700g.
  • Sundries – torch and batteries, knife or multitool, repair kit, maybe one or two other things, but make sure they’re light. 250g.

So there you have it, a base weight comfortably under 9kg. Which actually
isn’t that light at all – it’s a base weight everyone can achieve, without
spending a fortune. Tons of trampers are way less – ask yourself if anything else is really essential. If not, it’s a luxury. If your base weight isn’t under 9kg, your kit’s too heavy and/or you’ve got a bunch of non-essentials. Ditch ‘em!

Club Equipment for Loan
The club has equipment available for members to use for free on Club trips. If you are new to tramping, it's a great way to have gear to go on an away trip without having to buy everything upfront. The gear includes:

*       NEW ITEM: 1 x Food Dehydrator: Sunbeam Electronic Dehydrator
> Dehydrator Manual-Sunbeam Model DT6000.pdf

*       2 x burners for cooking
*       2 x single person tents: Macpac Microlite 4 season tent
*       1 x two person tent
*       3 x inflatable sleeping mats
*       Assorted backpacks for day and away trips

Contact Stefan, our Gear Officer, Ph 02040948547 for information about what is currently available and to arrange collection.

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