Fastpacking

Posted by Ken Campbell July 30, 2008 1 Comment 1267 views

With all the kayaking I’ve done over the past 15 years, my backpacking experience has been pretty spotty. I’ve gotten older, slower and creakier than I used to be, but I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two about a thing or two as well. I’ve got a couple trips coming up, and I’m going to try a minimalist approach, mostly to keep the weight down. I figure, if I can hike farther, I’ll need less.

Fastpacking. That’s what they call it. “They” being the trail runners and ultra-light backpackers who cut the handles off their toothbrushes and weigh every item in their pack on a digital postage scale before they leave home. It’s a religion. Or a disease. Or both.

I see the point in it, though. So I’m going to try it for a trip or two. Because I’ll be climbing as well as hiking, my pack will include crampons and an axe, so the weight won’t be quite as low as it could be. Still, here’s what I have so far:

Pack (w/ empty 3.0L bladder) 3 lbs 1 oz
Sleeping bag, tarp, ground cover 3 lbs 10 oz
Stove, fuel, cookset 1 lb 7 oz
Sleeping pad 1 lb
Food 3 lbs 8 oz (approx)
Down sweater 1 lb 1 oz
Rain Jacket, pants, shirt, socks 1 lb 10 oz
Axe 14 oz
Crampons (in bag) 3 lbs

That’s a total of 19 lbs 3 oz, more or less. There’s no water in the hydration bladder… that’ll add some. Then there’s the possibility that I’ll change a thing or two here and there. I didn’t include things like the toothbrush, water purification tablets, etc. I was hoping for a total weight of less than 20 pounds but that might not happen. Still, I’m pretty impressed, at least so far. I’ll weigh in the total before I go.

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