Base Weight

Discussion in 'Gear Chat' started by gixer, May 3, 2019.

  1. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    1 liter water + 4 x 750gm (food/day) = 4Kg.
    Even in Scotland I carry some water - summits especially are not known for having water supplies.
    If I'm on a ridge walk I may start with 2 liters.
    If I'm dry camping I like to have well over that so I don't start the day with no drinking supplies.

    …….
    Sue and Fair Weather Camper like this.
  2. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    And there is definitely a quadratic equation somewhere, that expresses surface area requiring cover, versus internal mass, and metabolic power required to shift said mass.

    Divided (or maybe multiplied by :o o:) the volatile oxygen compounds female to male ratio, which is a biologically unshiftable fact..
    cathyjc and Sue like this.
  3. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    With you on the water, i HATE being thirsty, would sooner finish a hike with loads of water left rather than run out with 1 hour left to go

    For the food though 750gm per day is about double of what i can eat

    You not taking dried food?


    Mind you saying that, Mary eats wayyyyyyyyyyyy more than me (the fat bloke) a day

    When i hiked up Mount Olympus with my niece Nefeli (also a skinny lass), she ate 2 dried meals on the way up, then a hugggeeee portion of spaghetti bolognese at the refuge
  4. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    And surface area (clothing) to volume (mass) is definitely not a constant.
    Little folks need disproportionately 'more' cothing than bigger folks.
    Sue and Fair Weather Camper like this.
  5. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    That's wot I was trying to say too @cathyjc

    Only with some sciencey words, as well.

    To confound the opposition :angelic:
    cathyjc and Sue like this.
  6. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Judging by how much Mary packs for holidays i'd have to agree :D:D:D:D:D:D:D
    JKM likes this.
  7. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I do take dried food - mostly.
    The exception is I really appreciate an apple (small) at lunch and have cheese too (on oatcakes) - otherwise I'd have to go down the cooking at lunch and that's not always practical - windy scotland and no shelter :eek:.

    PS. The food weight was a guess :whistling:. I've never really bothered weighing it
    - I know what I need and I know what is least weight - leaving something out would just mean being hungry and unhappy.
    Fair Weather Camper and gixer like this.
  8. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Hmmn, some of us have fairly speedy metabolisms, you know??

    Particularly if we carry a fair proportion of muscle, that needs maintaining.

    Plus you reallly wouldn't want to meet me when I'm h'angry. :cautious:

    "No more missus 'nice lady' :eeker:
  9. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    If I was to change everything I carry to a ladies let's say size 8, I'd probably reduce my total pack weight by around 20% I think. Obviously I do realise you ladies suffer more in the cold so need warmer sleeping bag/quilt.

    Not sure exactly what my pack weight is atm but it was noticably lighter than Arne's with similar amount of food and water and he said his was 5.1kg dry with no consumables.
    cathyjc likes this.
  10. Sue

    Sue Trail Blazer

    What you two said !
    And yes, small sleeping bags and tents are certainly not proportionally lighter. Don't get me started on finding short trousers and the fact that most of the second hand clothes sold here and on other forums mostly seem to be large or extra large !
    cathyjc and Fair Weather Camper like this.
  11. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Never understood why this place, that focuses mainly on lighter stuff.

    Is so disproportionately populated by heavier guys??

    There's probs a 'quixotic equation' for that ;) .
    Noltae and Sue like this.
  12. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    I doubt you would reduce it by that much tbh.
    Slightly smaller clothes arent so much lighter, nor are clothes anything like the biggest part of the equation.

    Stove, tent, and other standardised kit will be much the same.
    And as you say women need a heavier sleeping bag than men for same conditions.

    Plus females generally have less muscle mass.

    Go on @craige , give the smaller hiker woman some credit, for effort, where its due
    :rolleyes:
    It won't make you any less of a man :)
    Sue, cathyjc and Jon jons like this.
  13. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Yes, as I lost weigh I found the adipose tissue had previously been insulating me - and I've had to up the warmth of clothing and sleeping kit.
    Fair Weather Camper and Jon jons like this.
  14. Jon jons

    Jon jons Ultralighter

    Try losing what I have, I shake hands with a grip like death. My extremities don't know what's going on.
    Clare and Fair Weather Camper like this.
  15. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    It does make a difference, for sure.

    Since suffering an hypothermic episode, I've always had to carry slightly more insulation, than some might deem strictly necessary.

    Without it, my mind won't settle in coldish conditions

    I'll happily carry the extra, to be happy, in those conditions :).
    cathyjc likes this.
  16. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Like my son. He's nearly off the bottom of the BMI scale - gets hyperthermia all too easily.
  17. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    Like for like size reduction is in the 20% range, comparing a ladies size 8 to mens L or XL (brand and sometimes garment dependant). Other sizes may vary :wideyed:

    Your right about the tent/stove etc but then my stove setup is almost stupid light anyway as I only use it once a day. So yeah total wouldn't be 20%, just the clothing and like for like sleep system. By the time you add in an extra 100g of down and a warmer jacket etc I reckon it must probably around 10% of total weight (inc worn). I guess I've kinda backtracked there but I didn't really write the way I was thinking.

    Not just females, smaller people have lower muscle mass :tongue: but yes women tend to have lower muscle density, but that doesn't tell the whole story, especially in terms of endurance and recovery which are much important when hiking... worth a read. We should also do some reading on centre of gravity and how that influences things :bookworm:

    Credit for effort: absolutely, everyone who is getting out whether you're carrying 3kg or 30kg, big, teeny, Male or female or anywhere in between is doing it right imo. If it's more difficult for one person vs another then it doesn't matter as long as they enjoy get what they want out of their experience. It's definitely more difficult for some than it is for others though.
    gixer and cathyjc like this.
  18. The Cumbrian

    The Cumbrian Trail Blazer

    I use base weight as an indicator, nothing more. I'm older, fatter and nowhere near as fit as I used to be. The few grams of hair that I've lost has been offset by the requirement for a thicker hat, and lighter equipment means that I don't need to carry the kind of weights that I used to and can't anymore.

    Thinking of when I started this journey with a framed rucsac, tinned food and youth on my side, through carrying climbing kit as well as camping gear and bivvying/dossing in all kinds of uncomfortable and unsavoury places to being able to be comfortable for several nights with the sort of load that doesn't require me to need a holiday after my trip is amazing. Forums like this are great resources, and as a new member I've been pleased to discover that there isn't a boastful core of members who constantly bang on about their ridiculously low base weights.

    Obviously though, everyone on here is at least slightly obsessed about their pack weight. For me though, it comes down to the simple question of "can I carry it and still enjoy myself?"
    gixer, Baldy and dovidola like this.
  19. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    It's a really interesting discussion, getting to the heart of what lightweight backpacking is about. As lightness matters to Trek-liters (the clue being in the name), some way of measuring that lightness is going to be of interest to many. Baseweight seems an effective place to start, because although it has its limitations (e.g. clothing) it's basic enough to provide some kind of common currency, despite the many variables involved (by removing food, fuel and water from the calculation at leats some of the major variables are neutralised). At the extremes it does appear a bit silly, but even then it's not without its devotees, to judge by the number of YouTube hits. As @craige observes, no particular weight is wrong so long as its bearer is enabled in the enjoyable realisation of their outdoor experience.

    The 6.5kg or so which is my norm these days would have been unthinkable in my youth, and a far cry even half-a-dozen years ago. The information, advice and views of people here have been instrumental in achieving this, for which my thanks. Ultimately, as we all grow older, frailer, and want to carry on doing this thing, lighter and more manageable loads get increasingly important.
    Patrick, jack4allfriends and gixer like this.
  20. The Cumbrian

    The Cumbrian Trail Blazer

    As a plus point, we can also regale our children, nephews, nieces and any young person who hasn't had the good fortune to get away soon enough with our tales of hardihood and endurance before the days of sylnylon and cuben fibre.
    They'll still think that we're talking ******** though, alongside the legend of beer being less than a pound a pint.
    gixer likes this.
  21. Lamont-Cranston

    Lamont-Cranston Section Hiker

    Apart from anything, "Ultralight" referring to the bigfoot video, is now a marketing commodity.
    Just checked a couple of Bigfoot's links in his lighterpack and they are id links so I believe he makes a profit if you purchase through his links. All the bloggers I have seen via the redditUL, apart from one chap living in Sweden Cesar V on Youtube , generate an income via their Utralight musings. So the push to newer and lighter baseweights, if people value them above all, will always increase traffic to those sites. I think then if you rate newer and lighter BWs, then you don't mind that process because there can be much gained from some of them. My reading here on TL has been informative around gear.
    Myself as an older chap, appreciate the lighter weight on my back and walking with no hip belt for short tramps. So I liked having the 4.5 kgs reference point.
    Diddi likes this.
  22. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Yes definitely, folks can be disadvantaged for many reasons.
    Studies have indeed shown that even with equivalent mass height age etc, women are on average, at a disadvantage in terms of muscular power, purely because of biological factors.

    Just as well they can more than make up for it in terms of endurance, and mental toughness..;)

    Getting people to think about, and adjust themselves relative to their centre of gravity is a big part of my evening job, as a yoga teacher.
    And once you are aware of it, it feeds into all other aspects of daily life* as well.
    Including hiking.

    I will often amuse myself trying to picture where the dead centre of the earth is, relative to the orientation of my spine, when walking.

    I think I might have mentioned all this posture, and weight distribution in that 'bodily comforts' thread, I started..

    But I guess there's just a chance, that you might not have got round to reading it, yet.:rolleyes:

    * I still seem to fall (or get blown) over a fair amount though.. But who knows? Maybe less so than might happen otherwise.
  23. Bob-W

    Bob-W Summit Camper

    Back to Base Weight ;)

    As light as it needs to be and no lighter.

    The gear has to do its job and be reliable. There's no point in getting something ultra light if it won't stand up to the rigours of use or is so uncomfortable a mediaeval monk would refuse to use it. My standard summer bivy kit of Trekkertent DCF tarp + carbon fibre poles and pegs, Borah Gear bivy bag, Exped mat and Cumulus 150 quilt comes in at under 1200g. If I want to be more comfortable and/or I'm with my wife then we'll ditch the tarp and bivy and take the Big Agnes tent split between us. That adds about 350g but it's still ruddy light!

    Like others I've a spreadsheet. Kit is categorised: bivy; clothing; electricals; cooking; repair kit and tools; etc. It's surprising just how much "stuff" you end up with - I can have over 1kg of electrical stuff for example - GPS, camera, phone, powerbank, headtorch; leads.

    Sometimes the heavier bit of kit is better: I've a Sawyer water filter and an MSR Trailshot which is twice the weight. I'll take the Trailshot everytime as it's more convenient to use and, in the UK at least, is just as effective. Other times the lighter kit is as good: I've an Alpkit Rig3.5 tarp as well as the Trekkertent DCF. Both do their job equally well but the Trekkertent at less than half the weight of the Alpkit is three times the price.

    Ultimately I'm not too bothered what other people's base weight is so long as I'm happy with mine. Once you are down to somewhere around the 5kg mark you are starting to make compromises/sacrifices or spend a massive amount of money to get lower. Someone mentioned DofE groups: yes the kit is bulky and heavy but given most will probably never use it again is there any point in them spending £200 on a superlight down bag when a £30 synthetic bag will do?
  24. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    I find the Trailshot lighter than the Sawyer

    Filter to filter the Sawyer is lighter, but once you start adding dirty water bladders/bottles, hanging kits etc the Trailshot works out lighter

    164g - Trailshot
    42g - 2L Everynew bladder
    50g - Adaptors (to refill my water bladder in mny rucksack without removing it)
    256g = Total


    110g - Sawyer Mini
    65g - 2L Everynew dirty water (inc Quick release)
    65g - 2L Everynew clean water (inc Quick release)
    49g - Water scoop
    23g - Hanging kit
    312g = Total
  25. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I find your weights surprising. Mine are:
    64.9g Sawyer Micro
    41.8g 2L Everynew dirty water
    35.9 1.5L Everynew clean water
    12.5g Scoop
    No hanging kit
    155.1g total
    Balagan likes this.

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