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#203260 - 06/11/10 02:18 PM Weight
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
As most of us have realized, it's not space, it's weight that is the killer. I read that the weight for the average infantryman has not changed since pre-revolutionary times. When something gets lighter, the powers that be add something else to the mix. I can personally attest to this.

There are two types of weight in my way of thinking - fixed and discretionary. Fixed - water is always gonna be 8 lbs per gal, more or less. Discretionary - instead of two gallons, I carry one and some water purification tabs instead.

So what I am gonna do, in my copious free time, is decide what I "need" v. what I "want". Then try and cut down the weight on the needs (plastic matchsafe v. brass one) Redundancy is good, but too much of a good thing is too much.

What I am trying to do is get my BOB weight into a managable range that I could carry for an extended period of time, should I have to.

Any ideas or things that you do to cut weight.

(and to all you ultra-lite campers, I am not cutting labels off stuff.)

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#203261 - 06/11/10 02:36 PM Re: Weight [Re: JBMat]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 401
Loc: Somerset UK
Water is essiential to life, and in many cases will be the heaviest part of any pack, whether for planned outings and adventures or emergencies.
A great deal therefore depends on the terain.
Non drinkable water is found most everwhere in urban or suburban areas, therefore little need be carried, only means of purification.
Butane lighters are lighter than most alternatives, and suitable for all but the most extreme conditions.
Lithium batteries are lighter than alkaline and give exended service.

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#203263 - 06/11/10 03:45 PM Re: Weight [Re: adam2]
desolation Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/21/10
Posts: 60
Loc: Sonoma County, CA
Many backpackers go for weeks on a sub 30 pound pack (some are even lighter at sub 20 pound). It is possible to go light, but it requires, as you indicate, compromise. And money. The light stuff is expensive.


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#203264 - 06/11/10 03:51 PM Re: Weight [Re: adam2]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Look to the ultralight crowd and see what you can learn from them...

I like the UL philosophy that you attack on two fronts: The big heavy ones AND the total accumulated mass of all the little things. One added benefit is that the total number of items is reduced, which reduces complexity and makes it A LOT easier to find stuff.

Their primary targets would be the biggest, bulkiest and heaviest single items: Your pack, your sleeping bag and your shelter (tent/tarp/whatever). Unfortunately, they are also the most expensive to replace with good UL alternatives.

The backpack can be much lighter if the load inside it is reduced in weight and volume. It's a negative feedback at play: The bulkier / heavier gear, the heavier your pack must be to provide comfort with the heavy load.

Another thing to learn from UL people is the thoroughness they apply when composing the gear list, always looking for multi-purpose items and discarding single-use items. There is no law that dictates that you cannot have redundancy for critical gear (knife, fire etc.) through multi-use items. Example: Your multitool is also the handle for lifting pots off the fire (the dedicated handle is then left at home), a backup knife and a backup saw.

Learning from UL people and applying to your situation does not make you UL ... I'll never be in the UL crowd, but I do try to cut down on superfluous redundancy. Personally, I think the cutting the toothbrush and removing the labels are more UL rites-of-passage than anything else.


Edited by MostlyHarmless (06/11/10 03:55 PM)

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#203270 - 06/11/10 05:38 PM Re: Weight [Re: JBMat]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: JBMat
.

Any ideas or things that you do to cut weight.


Get a cart. Something like the hunting carts from Cabelas, Tipke folding cart, etc. Or find a way to mount the heavy stuff on a bike and push or ride it. Carrying heavy loads from miles is too hard on the knees IMO. A 72hr.+ BOB is gonna be heavy no matter which way you slice it.

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#203277 - 06/11/10 06:26 PM Re: Weight [Re: LED]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I guess the real question is: What is your manageable BOB weight? Are you 6'1 and 210 lbs or 5'8" and 160 lbs?
Are you looking at urban, suburban or rural Bug Outs?
Is this something you would use for less than 2 days to get to a cache/safe area or long term?
Is this a solo BOB or family items included for kids?

If it's just a weight issue, then you can certainly drop about 30% of your gear weight just by upgrading or multitasking gear. Zero comfort. And knowing the terrain, obstacles, hazards. You may not need to carry as much water in NC as I do in AZ, for example.

I EDC 24/7 so my base pack weight for a trail run is a pound or two heavier than others in my group, but I don't consider them UL compared to me. Conversely, my base weight for long day hikes or overnights is 50% less than those same people.
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#203280 - 06/11/10 06:59 PM Re: Weight [Re: comms]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Buy a horse. lol

I'm kidding. But there's lots to be said about carts or beasts of burden. Of course, lots to be said about getting blisters since you're probably not used to moving a cart for extended distances.

Do you plan strictly on walking? Where do you plan on going that you need so much to get there?

Bicycle bags are an option as has been mentioned in the past, if you decide to bike out. There are some front/back bag combos that help distribute the weight a bit. Personally, I found in high school that I could carry a 50lbs bag for days on end. I didn't like it...

Somewhere I read that a backpack shouldn't be more than 1/3 your weight. Most folks can go up to half their weight for a limited time period. If you're not in good shape though, you're just asking for an injury.

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#203281 - 06/11/10 07:06 PM Re: Weight [Re: MDinana]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Originally Posted By: MDinana


Somewhere I read that a backpack shouldn't be more than 1/3 your weight.


I don't think my old Platoon Sgt ever read that little tidbit.
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#203283 - 06/11/10 08:01 PM Re: Weight [Re: comms]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
The 1/3 your body weight stuff doesn't apply to the military.

I've had rucks go well over 100 lbs. At the time I was 6' about 165. Now I'm still 6' but 195 +/-. During a series of tests we did back in the olden days, we were weighed before and after donning equipment for a jump. With rucks/weapon/ammo/unit gear/main and reserve there wasn't a guy there who weighed under 250, most closer to 300. The medics/RTOs/Machine gunners had the most weight. And yes, just my luck I was the CO's RTO.

I would like to get my BOB down to under 30 with water on board. Personally, I can rough it. DW on the other hand... let's say she has mellowed and likes some amenities. I can see carrying 40 lbs and not being too stressed. She can probably carry about 30 and be ok. What I have been doing is looking at multi-task stuff and dropping some redundant stuff. One Leatherman instead of a Leatherman, a SAK and a mil issue jackknife for instance.

As to the water issue - summer here (heck, anytime after May 1) is 90+ with humidity varying from 60-90% most of the time. Water is a no brainer, it's just how much and where can I get more.

I'm still not cutting labels outta my undies to save weight tho, lol.


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#203287 - 06/11/10 08:18 PM Re: Weight [Re: JBMat]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
I guess I shouldn't have laughed at my girlfriend when she suggested bug out bags with wheels. What do you guys think? Practical?

http://www.amazon.com/High-Sierra-At-Lug...0907&sr=1-1

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