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[at-l] pack weight/body weight



I have always thought that the pack weight/body weight percentage discussion
was one of the silliest exercizes in mathematics and trail logic that I have
ever heard.

Perhaps it is useful to keep thoughtless Boy Scout leaders from
overburdening 75 lb. youngsters with 40 lb. packs, but it makes no sense for
adults whose hiking weight may vary from 100-300 lbs. (or more).

Example - A 240 lb. person with a pack that weighs 25% of their body weight
(60 lbs.) has just loaded up their feet with 300 lbs., and their feet can't
tell whether they are carrying fat or whopping big hatchets, stoves, ropes,
etc.

In other words, you don't have an excuse to carry a lot of weight just
because you are heavier than the average 165 lb. thru-hiker.  You may need
more food/calories in your pack to maintain that weight of 240 lbs., but you
probably should be losing some of it anyway.

I "normally" weigh about 220 lbs. when I start my long distance hikes.  I
will weigh about 200 lbs. afterwards.  At 200 lbs., after 400 miles of
hiking, I am a hunk of muscle, but my feet, body, and attitude still greatly
appreciate that my pack does not weigh 50 lbs.

If you don't need it in your pack, then don't carry it.  If you need it,
then you still need it when you weigh 150 lbs. just as much as you did when
you weighed 200 lbs. (with the noted calorie exception).  If you need some
artificial percentage to motivate you to leave useless items at home, then
you probably need to have your brain weighed and, the last time I checked,
air doesn't  weigh much.