Richard Bucker

How much should your pack weigh?

Posted at — Jun 7, 2018

I strive to be a UL hiker for a couple of reasons. First of all the more stuff you have the more you depend on the stuff and not yourself. There is a consensus that the less you carry the farther you can go. But the idea that your pack weight should be proportional to your body weight has to be a joke.

Having a formula or even a recommendation provides a level of confidence that you’re on track for a good experience… the amount of gear is identical between a 150 pound hiker and a 300 pound hiker. The areas they differ are in the marginal larger tent, sleeping bag, clothes, and possibly some extra calories. But in no way does it double the burden.

It also depends on what the mission is. If you’re distance hiking, or bushwhacking to a climbing location or maybe portage to a river…

Last year I did some calorie research at the grocery store. Unless you add globs of Olive Oil to everything you eat you’ll get about 1000 calories per pound. So a 10 day hike without resupply will weigh about 20 pounds all by itself. Add to that 1 liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds so depending on the amount of water you’re carrying it adds up quickly.