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What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

My backpacking friends and I often sit around after a long day and discuss pack weight.  It seems that among my friends and I there is no consensus on the best way to drop about 10 pounds of pack weight.

Assuming standard gear (45L pack, 3-season sleeping bag, two person tent, bear-safe food storage, water filter, stove, and 1L water bottle) what are some suggestions?

- One foot in front of the other -
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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

Hi @TDoodle , after consulting with our store's in-house expert on lightweight backpacking, I wanted to share a couple of tips for shedding pounds from your pack.

Step 1: Start is with your "big three" which includes your sleep system, your shelter, and your pack. Those are the biggest areas to gain or lose weight within your pack as you can shed pounds and not just ounces.

Step 2: Check for redundancy in your pack - if you have two items that do the same thing, bring the lighter of the two. Ideally, you won't have single-use items in your pack. A lot of times the "one extras" and "just in cases" are overkill (except for maybe socks and underwear).

Step 3: Go out and use your stuff, come back and look over your gear. What didn't you use? A couple of shakedowns before your big adventure can help make sure you are well-prepared without being over-packed.

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

Hi @TDoodle , after consulting with our store's in-house expert on lightweight backpacking, I wanted to share a couple of tips for shedding pounds from your pack.

Step 1: Start is with your "big three" which includes your sleep system, your shelter, and your pack. Those are the biggest areas to gain or lose weight within your pack as you can shed pounds and not just ounces.

Step 2: Check for redundancy in your pack - if you have two items that do the same thing, bring the lighter of the two. Ideally, you won't have single-use items in your pack. A lot of times the "one extras" and "just in cases" are overkill (except for maybe socks and underwear).

Step 3: Go out and use your stuff, come back and look over your gear. What didn't you use? A couple of shakedowns before your big adventure can help make sure you are well-prepared without being over-packed.

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

Agreed with @REI-MichelleW -- the "big three" is the most logical place to make big losses in weight. Going from a synthetic three-season sleeping bag to a down topquilt can save a pound or two right off the bat. Your sleeping pad is another good place to shave weight, provided you retain enough insulation for colder overnights. 

What sort of "bear-safe" food storage are you referring to? One potential way to save a significant amount of weight is by swapping out a bear canister for something like an Ur Sack. 

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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

Transferring prepackaged backpacking meals to ziploc freezer bags saves weight. You can pour hot water directly into them and eat out of the bag. If you have several meals the grams you save doing this adds up. Of course, using the ziploc bags produces more waste. Your choice of 1L bottles is important, too. Platypus water containers are a great option as they are pretty lightweight.

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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

Ur Sack would be great if approved by parks I hike in. 

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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

I agree generally with avoiding redundancy. If you ar me backpacking with others, perhaps you could also divvy up the weight. But when it comes to safety, there are some things where redundancy makes sense. I carry stormproof matches and a lighter, for example. I also carry a water filter and Micropur tablets. If one doesn't work, you have the other just in case. And I've had more than one "just in case" situation occur. 

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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

I canoe in the Boundary Waters and Quetico. Our goal is to do the poratages in one pass. It took awhile, but we up graded everything over the past five years. We switched to a thin summer bag from a 3 season bag and brough a thin wool sweater wool socks, and Under Armour for additional warmth. I kepts note from each trip and 1/2 liter of fuel will last 3 people 8 days with a MSR Whisper stove.  I dumped my single burner Coleman some time back. We went from a heavy ponchos to  Frogg Trogg rainsuits. We pared our food down to 1-1/2 extra days extra.  We no longer finish with 5lbs of gorp.  I use compression sack for the sleeping bags.  We limit our clothes to about five liters. We bring  2 pots, 3 plastic bowls, 3 spoons and 3 forks and a folding wash basin.  For hanging food we use 2 -  50' 3/8" ropes and a steel pully.  





 

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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

I hydrate well before getting on the trail and plan water replacement at lunch.  It saves me a few lbs vs. loading up.  Of course you'll need a reliable water source on the trail to help you out.

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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

Consider using a tarp or bivy sack instead of a tent.  Use almonds or almond butter for snacks.  They have more calories per pound than Snickers bars.  Trim your rain gear.  No rain pants, or if there's minimal risk of hypothermia no rain gear at all.  No extra clothes that you don't need.  Use water added toilet paper instead of camp wipes.  You can use each one 4 times.  Once to clean your body, once to clean your bowl once to blow your nose and once to clean your butt.  Hope that helps more than "start with the big 3"

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Re: What’s the best way to shed 10 lbs pack weight?

I would be concerned about this idea. What happens if you arrive exhausted to your lunch location, and for whatever reason the "reliable" water source is not available?

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