52 to 16 Update

It has been a long while since I have talked about my backpack, and now that we are getting into the colder weather camping mode, I thought that I would update my progress to a 16 lb base weight in 52 weeks.

Well, here is the bottom line.  I think I am were I want to be.
After all of this process I have found that this journey is not about weight and what other people have in their packs.  It is about me and what I have.
I have shared the Hike Your Own Hike principle before and this journey has really made that come alive.  But not just in reducing weight, but refining my attitude.
I am at 18 lbs base weight.. actually floating between 17 and 18 pounds.. so I am calling it 18.  Can I shave those last 2 lbs?  Yes I can, but I don’t think I am going to.  Here is why.  When I started this process, I shared the reasons for doing this.  I have achieved those goals.  My pack is very comfortable.  It rides very well and it holds everything I need to be comfortable in the woods.  At 17 to 18 pounds I can be comfortable and safe.  I can enjoy the hike and arrive in camp fresh.  I do not have to do without luxury items and I don’t have to worry about “weight penalties”.  I can eat well, sleep well, and hike well.  I can enjoy my time in camp as well as time on the trail.
Does this mean I am done playing with gear, tweeking, and testing?  Nope, I am going to keep toying with the load, but what I have right now is a great set up and I am very happy with it.  IF, I were to stop today and just say that what I have is what I have and that is what I will have to backpack with.. I would be very happy.  BUT, I don’t have to say that and so I will keep playing with this great hobby.
Now so far as 52 to 16.  I am done.  I am were I want to be and have found my carrying load.  Like I said, could I shave 2 more pounds.  Yeah… but right now, I am not willing to give up that couple pieces of gear that are costing me the weight.  That is not to say that if an equal piece of gear comes along that weighs less I won’t replace it.  I more than likely will.
Hiking your own hike has become very important to me.  Keeping up with what a magazine says or things that are shared on a forum or the look you get on the trail mean less to me than MY journey.  A journey that I want to share, but in a way that encourages others to get on the trail on their own journey.

“I only went out for a walk,and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”  John Muir

I will be posting my gear list soon, along with the weights for you to see where I have landed.  In the mean time, get your pack and go out and find your journey.
Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Its about balance huh? I’m continually amazed at how many things are more about getting to a place that you like middle point between both extremes of unacceptable. I bet you could get down to #10, but why do it?


  2. Balance..yes.. I don’t want to make this out to be more that what it is, but the deeper I got into this process I started finding a “Zen like” attitude toward the how, why, and when I carry which gear and what I do with it. Backpacking offers two different challenges. The hike and the camp experience. So yes, finding the balance of gear that offered what I wanted out of those two experiences became the journey.
    Thanks for the comment Mike.


  3. Rod Belshee just finished the AT but he hiked from Florida to Winnepeg. He has now done the PCT the CDT and the AT. Might be fun to get together with him when he comes back to Portland to compare pack weights.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s