Is my pack too heavy?

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Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Alana84 » Mon 04 Feb, 2019 9:15 pm

I’m planning on doing the overland in November this year with a friend. This will be our first multi day walk. I’ve been gathering supplies and equipment as I find them and thought I’d work out how heavy my pack is likely to be.
So far my total weight is 19.36kgs!! For reference, I weigh 58kg.

We’re planning on doing pine valley as well for a total of 7 nights. I’ve allowed enough food for 8 nights just in case and have 5.4kg, which is 675g/day. Probably couldn’t reduce this much.

I’ve got a spare set of walking clothes, camp clothes (including second set of thermals for sleeping) and a down jacket (400g and doubles as a pillow).

My pack is 1.8kg, tent I’m hiring but estimating 2.5kg, sleeping bag 1.2lg, mat 800g and this weight also includes 2L of water. I won’t go into all the smaller things but these are the heavier things.

I guess I’m just asking if I’ve listed something that I really don’t need, or is this a reasonable pack weight for 7 nights?

Thanks in advance
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby ribuck » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 1:21 am

People doing their first multi day walk often travel heavy, because they don't yet have the experience to know which items they can do without.

It seems to me that your tent is on the heavy side (but two people are sharing it, right?), and an 800g mat is about double what you need (e.g. a NeoAir XLite is under 400g).

Personally I wouldn't take the second set of thermals, but different things are important to different people.

Don't reduce the food though!
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Aardvark » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 3:44 am

When you've achieved what you have for a hike of that length, you have done extremely well. There are alot of people who are obsessed with weight and they will have many ways to show you how you might shave a few hundred grams off your load. It will usually involve you replacing things you already have and therefore spending more money.
My partner is 60kg and she has started multi day things with loads up to 40kg. That will include alpine climbing gear. She has only been able to do that because she has conditioned herself to be able to do it.
Remember, having a good experience is about more than carrying the lightest load. It is not a race. You need to keep in mind not to become a liability to yourself or anyone else. That means being comfortable and prepared for misfortune. Having spare dry clothing, dry equipment etc.
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby wayno » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 4:36 am

sleeping bag too heavy....
really need a full list with the weights, the little things can soon add up to a lot of weight. clothing items vary a lot in weight. people with lighter loads have selectd their gear for the lighter weight at the outset...
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby ofuros » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 4:42 am

Take your Overland load for test run on daywalks, overnighters & weekenders as much as you can before your November departure date...see how your mind & body reacts to the weight & take note of what gets used & what doesn't.
Lighten the load if/where you can.
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Mark F » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 9:46 am

Your base weight is 12 kg - all the gear you will have left after using the consumables (food, water, fuel) which is not too bad for a first timer. I expect that if you provide a list of gear and weights a kg or two could be taken off your back with minimal cost or effort. The usual areas where easy weight savings abound is clothing, kitchen, toiletries and electronics. While plenty of preparatory exercise is a great idea, a sensible pack weight is also important - a general rule is that the maximum weight carried should be no more than 25% of your body mass - in your case around 14 kg so you are not too far off the mark. There are also several threads here dealing with getting pack weight down and simplifying what you carry.

Your food weight is fine assuming it is dry food and not food with a high water content. You will not need to carry the 2 litres of water on the olt. There is a recent thread on the issue - particularly day 1.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Alana84 » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 12:02 pm

Thanks for all your replies. I plan to hire the tent, mat and sleeping bag so I can’t really do much about their weight. But perhaps the total weight is not that heavy after all. I plan to load up my pack and do plenty of walking with it in the mean time. I have heaps of time to get used to walking with the weight before November anyway.
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Ant71 » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 6:41 pm

Hi there we did the OLT as our first overnight hike and we each started with packs right around the 20KG mark with no water. Just a few thoughts only take enough food for the days you intend to be walking if you get held up you can take the boat across as a contingency. I think the way I read your post you have said you are taking two sets of walking clothes and two sets of camp clothes? You can get away with one set for each if I have read this wrong just ignore this. We took 2L water bladders and filled them each morning we were comfortable with this but there is plenty of water along the way and as one Tasmanian told me he only ever carries a mug on the OLT and just uses that to drink as he goes. Just my thoughts but something to think about also when we got out of the boat I helped to hand out all of the packs ours were the heaviest by far
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Alana84 » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 6:49 pm

Ant71 wrote:Hi there we did the OLT as our first overnight hike and we each started with packs right around the 20KG mark with no water. Just a few thoughts only take enough food for the days you intend to be walking if you get held up you can take the boat across as a contingency. I think the way I read your post you have said you are taking two sets of walking clothes and two sets of camp clothes? You can get away with one set for each if I have read this wrong just ignore this. We took 2L water bladders and filled them each morning we were comfortable with this but there is plenty of water along the way and as one Tasmanian told me he only ever carries a mug on the OLT and just uses that to drink as he goes. Just my thoughts but something to think about also when we got out of the boat I helped to hand out all of the packs ours were the heaviest by far


Thanks. This makes me feel a bit better about my 19kg. I plan to take 2 sets of walking clothes and one set of camp clothes.
I think maybe I’ll just fill one 1L water bottle and pack a collapsible bottle just in case. I’ve got the food I need plus one extra main meal in case of a delay. But you’re right, we could just skip pine valley or take the ferry instead.
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Neo » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 8:30 pm

Hi
You will probably survive.
Could fairly easily save on these:
Sleeping bag (minus) -500g
Tent -1500g

Random extras -500g?

Save 2kg+
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Neo » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 8:34 pm

Neo wrote:Hi
You will probably survive.
Could fairly easily save on these:
Sleeping bag (minus) -500g
Tent -1500g

Random extras -500g?

Save 2kg+


Then maybe another -500g with a different pack.
Can you borrow alternative gear for the trip?

It's a possible 3kg saving.
For me water and food always blows out an otherwise lightweight kit! :(

Edit, minus your 2L or 2kg water, then minus food you are about 12kg base weight?
So that is pretty good. As mentioned some possible good weight savings available in your tent, pack choice etc
Last edited by Neo on Tue 05 Feb, 2019 10:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby PedroArvy » Tue 05 Feb, 2019 8:43 pm

There is a vast amount of literature on this topic but start here for a gear list for off-track Tassie. This particular trip is far harsher than the Overland https://www.thehikinglife.com/2016/05/t ... gear-list/
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Rexyviney36 » Tue 12 Feb, 2019 11:09 am

Alana84 wrote:
Ant71 wrote:Hi there we did the OLT as our first overnight hike and we each started with packs right around the 20KG mark with no water. Just a few thoughts only take enough food for the days you intend to be walking if you get held up you can take the boat across as a contingency. I think the way I read your post you have said you are taking two sets of walking clothes and two sets of camp clothes? You can get away with one set for each if I have read this wrong just ignore this. We took 2L water bladders and filled them each morning we were comfortable with this but there is plenty of water along the way and as one Tasmanian told me he only ever carries a mug on the OLT and just uses that to drink as he goes. Just my thoughts but something to think about also when we got out of the boat I helped to hand out all of the packs ours were the heaviest by far


Thanks. This makes me feel a bit better about my 19kg. I plan to take 2 sets of walking clothes and one set of camp clothes.
I think maybe I’ll just fill one 1L water bottle and pack a collapsible bottle just in case. I’ve got the food I need plus one extra main meal in case of a delay. But you’re right, we could just skip pine valley or take the ferry instead.


Don’t skip Pine Valley...one of the highlights of our OLT last September.
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Tortoise » Tue 12 Feb, 2019 3:35 pm

Hey Alana,
My first response to your original question was "Yes!!"

I'm a similar weight to you, and the OLT was my first multi-day walk. 8 nights, including Pine Valley etc. I carried about 20 kgs. I trained before I went, but injuries were (and still are!) an issue. In hindsight, I wish I'd never started carrying that sort of weight.

A few years ago, I went from carrying up to 23 kg for 7 days, to under 14 kg for 10 days. It's fantastic!! Yes, some of that is more expensive stuff, but there are lots of cheap, easy things you can do to reduce the weight, as Mark F said.

A couple of thoughts:
1. I only take one set of walking clothes. (Ok, usually 2 pairs of walking socks for a weeks' walk, to keep my feet in better condition). Usually the weather allows me to wash them out. Wash self, put on camp clothes, wash walking clothes. It doesn't usually matter if they haven't completely dried by the morning - though often the wind is enough to do that in the evening, if you don't get into camp too late. If it's cool in the morning, I just put a thermal under my damp shirt. If it's hot, I swim in my clothes, wring them out, and carry on walking.

2. I've managed to get down to about 390 gm of food per day. I use protein powder (based on milk, soy or hemp seed) to have extra calories when I need it. I only eat as much as I need at the time. That means sometimes I have a leftover biscuit or 2 from lunch, or spread/cheese. I might save one cracker a day, then after a few days I have a spare lunch. :D
I do the same with main meals - if I'm not very hungry that day, I save a bit that I could add to dinner another night. I started with 110gm/dinner, but that was often more than I wanted. Now I do 90 gm/dinner. I rarely need to boost that. But I wouldn't recommend that unless you've tried it out on shorter walks first.

Re Pine Valley - it's a lovely forest walk, but you will have had other lovely forest walks. The real prizes are the Acropolis and the Labyrinth. I'd advise only going in there if you have a couple of nights. Or be prepared for a bigger day, up and back down to Pine Valley plus out to Narcissus. (You should know by then what sort of time you'll need for that - kms plus the elevation gain.) Otherwise I'd spend the time doing other side trips - e.g. Cradle, Barn, Oakleigh, Ossa, Pelion East, the waterfalls.

Have fun preparing! As somebody mentioned, maybe you can borrow some lighter gear, and have some practice walks.
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby bush_tux » Wed 13 Feb, 2019 5:26 pm

I guess it's reasonable and I guess you'll do OK with that weight. But, I can assure you that if you lighten up you'll be more comfortable and the journey would be more fun. Have a blast, the OLT is awesome!
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Alana84 » Sat 16 Feb, 2019 11:30 am

Thank you all for replies.

I've taken a few things off my list recently and have got my pack weight down to 18kg exactly, including 1L of water. Short of buying expensive ultralight equipment or taking out things I may need, I think this is the best I can do, and I'm happy with that.

I definitely won't be taking out any food or skipping Pine Valley. I've heard it's one of the best parts of the trip and I may not get the opportunity again.

I've just bought a Zempire Mono tent for the trip and can't wait to use it!
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Re: Is my pack too heavy?

Postby Ant71 » Sun 17 Feb, 2019 2:21 pm

Alana84 wrote:Thank you all for replies.

I've taken a few things off my list recently and have got my pack weight down to 18kg exactly, including 1L of water. Short of buying expensive ultralight equipment or taking out things I may need, I think this is the best I can do, and I'm happy with that.

I definitely won't be taking out any food or skipping Pine Valley. I've heard it's one of the best parts of the trip and I may not get the opportunity again.

I've just bought a Zempire Mono tent for the trip and can't wait to use it!


The lighter your pack the better but you will have an amazing time no matter what :)
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