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Roly Poly
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 7:00 am 
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Just curious what the heaviest pack anyone has carried on a backpack trip and if it affected your enjoyment of the trip?  I dont enjoy carrying a heavy load  so 40lbs on a 10 day stretch is the maximum I can carry.  A friend of mine is starting a 13 day trip with 70lbs.
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neek
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 8:05 am 
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I carry a little under 2 lb dry food per day (note 1 lb fat = 3500 kcal) and have an ultralight setup (or at least what counted as such 10 years ago), so it sounds like he's not cutting any corners.  But it all depends on how the weight is distributed.  With a well-fitting pack you can carry a lot, it just slows you down.  When I was lugging around a 3-yr old, he was in the front so things were nicely balanced.  But if I overload my ultralight pack, even 20 pounds can be quite uncomfortable.  I weigh about as much as your friend and think he's a little crazy...but we knew that.  At least the pack will get a little lighter every day.
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joker
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 8:27 am 
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With old school gear (i.e. external frame pack, anything but ultralight sleep system  etc.) and climbing harness/rope/etc. and photography equipment, I've started a long trip  at close to 70 pounds at some point back in the past. I still  had a great trip when doing that but I'm sure lighter would have been even more great. Those days are well behind me though.

We used to watch the Appalachian  Mountain Club "hut croo" folks carrying 100+ pound loads of boxes etc strapped to wooden pack frames. They knew all the places they could  stop to rest while letting the weight of the pack sit on a post or  rock while they stood by it for a bit. They did not want to have to take that pack off and put it back on alone.
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Gregory
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 9:00 am 
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So much depends on the pack. I have an old Lowe Alpine Contour IV 90+15 That caries 70lbs nicely. It caries 40lb like a dream. I carried a hundred and ten once for two miles. All elk meat. Its a very heavy pack by today's standards but the suspension is worth it to me.I have tried a couple of newer smaller packs but I just grab old faithful anymore. I tend to do more base camping with long day hikes.
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 10:14 am 
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joker wrote:
They knew all the places they could  stop to rest while letting the weight of the pack sit on a post or  rock while they stood by it for a bit. They did not want to have to take that pack off and put it back on alone.

Huge logs and stumps are great - you back up to them and just sit down and let the bottom end of the pack rest on the log or stump, taking the weight off your back for a few minutes.

Heaviest? Well over 80 pounds with all my gear plus 45 pounds of camera gear while re-shooting 360 panorama shots from fire lookouts on the Cispus AMA.
Well over 100 pounds on many trips when I was working on trails - hauling a bow saw, loppers, a D-ring, a brush hook, work boots and pants and long-sleeve work shirt.

External frame pack will carry anything you can stuff into it or tie onto it. Just a matter of getting it on your back and being able to move with it.

I don't carry anywhere near that much any more - I'm down to about 50-55 pounds now for a week-long outing.

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Hesman
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 10:20 am 
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Many years ago, spent a summer going on many solo hikes in the Olympic Mountains and at the start of each hike my pack was around 60 pounds.

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RandyHiker
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 10:22 am 
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Back in the '70s I did a week long ski mountaineering trip in the Winds.  Four season tents and climbing gear, including technical rock gear made for a heavy pack.  I didn't get an exact figure, but it was over 70lbs.  It was a grunt on the up and skiing down was ponderous and recovering from a fall was laborious.

It's much more enjoyable to eschew the technical gear and utilize modern materials to assemble a summer hiking kit with a base weight (no food, fuel or water) of around 15 lbs.

But getting to a low pack weight involves considerable expense and requires experience to do it confidently and with a reasonable safety margin.

It also requires some adjustments,  e.g. When using a tarp for sleeping shelter instead of a sturdy tent,  one needs to select campsites more sheltered from poor weather and avoid meadowed areas with dense insect populations.  So your campsite may be less scenic.
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wade63
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 10:26 am 
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neek wrote:
When I was lugging around a 3-yr old

Did this with my 4 YO daughter who was "too tired" to walk going to Tomyhoi if you can imagine, 80+?. Ah kids, several times I've had to take my young sons load and stash the pack. I stay 35 tops these days.
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cdestroyer
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 10:56 am 
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60-65lbs for a stay of a week or more while panning gold from a creek
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xrp
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 3:57 pm 
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Overnight, first backpacking outing = 35 pounds. After that trip I reassessed everything and got down to 20 pounds base weight. Now I am at 10-12 pounds base weight. So much better.
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 4:21 pm 
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80 lbs for a Pickets traverse including Rock and Ice gear and food for 2weeks back in the 80s when ultralight was only a weed induced vision in some hippies mind. Included a Kelty Tioga and Jansport 4 season dome. Nearly as much in the 90s at Garibaldi Lake with a baby and 6 year old.

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Roly Poly
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pm 
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This is all very interesting.  I find myself struggling with the enjoyment factor when my pack is high 30s, constantly thinking about the weight and not enjoying the scenery and also getting sore spots from the pack rubbing.  It amazes me that anyone can carry that much weight AND enjoy themselves.
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 5:33 pm 
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Roly Poly wrote:
getting sore spots from the pack rubbing.

That sounds like your pack doesn't fit well, perhaps the wrong size?
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Ski
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 7:16 pm 
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^ yes.

have somebody look at that pack for fit. weight is not what makes you miserable and uncomfortable - it's the pack that doesn't fit that does you in.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Sallie4jo
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PostSun Jul 14, 2019 7:30 pm 
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I would agree with..
Sounds like your pack doesn't fit well and or not made for a heavier carry.
Having started years ago with an old frame pack and an extra heavy timberline aframe tent..think my heaviest was close to 7o odd doing the boundary trail  for 12 days or something.  Ive had way too many not great packs and some exceptionally comfortable with weight..
I think comfort has everything to do with a well fitted pack..and now i try to always stay below 40.
Less is better, but going solo..the carry can get heavy any way u go.

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