Archive for April 27th, 2014

April 27, 2014

Reducing my base weight by 20lb*

by backpackingbongos

* 20lb sounds better than 9kg.

It got to the point over the winter when I was struggling to get up those hills.  My lungs were bursting and my knees complaining.  I just had to reduce the amount that I was carrying when backpacking.  The traditional route is to shave 12 grammes off your stove by spending £50 more, replacing a good shelter for one made out of Cuben fiber for £300 extra, or ordering a rucksack that is as comfortable as a Bargain Booze carrier bag.  Instead I went down the route of reducing the amount of food I was stuffing in my fat face.  Now four months later when I head out of the door on a backpacking trip my total all in weight has been reduced by 20lb.  I can get up the hills a bit quicker and my knees are only moderately unhappy rather than screaming at me to stop.  With this reduced weight my pack has remained the same, yet I have noticed the difference.  On a couple of occasions on the recent Monadhliath backpack I almost felt sprightly (this could have been sunstroke though).

With the TGO Challenge looming I have noticed all the gear spreadsheets appearing on the blogosphere. ¬†Each one is trying to¬†out do the next by having the lightest pack weight. ¬†Did you know that by only carrying one pair of socks instead of two you can save yourself a whole 80 grammes**? ¬†This is absolutely fine by the way. ¬†The only problem is that a majority of the gramme weenies are middle-aged blokes with an expanding waistline*** (to be completely balanced and so not to be seen as a bit of a weight fascist I am also a male on the wrong side of 40 with an expanding waistline). ¬†I therefore want to introduce a new rule. ¬†If you spend time putting together a gear spreadsheet then you must at the bottom put down your BMPI. ¬†This is your Body Mass Pack Index. ¬†This is worked out in the same way as BMI but you stand on the scales wearing your pack. ¬†Let the competition begin………..


** sorry I am only guessing at the weight here as I have never weighed my socks.

*** you can’t beat an¬†unproven generalisation.