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Pack weight

When I got off the Trail, I had some time on my hands (no job).
So I made a list of what I was carrying when we got to Katahdin
Stream campground. Being an engineer, I'm a list maker. And I
don't mind comparing my lists to other people's lists. Sometimes
I learn something, and sometimes I find out I'm not real smart.

I've sent that list to 4 or 5 people in the last couple weeks and
some of them have suggested that it might help someone else if
I posted it on the List.  So even though I wasn't gonna do this,
we'll see how it flies.

What follows is lifted out of a previous post to someone else.
If it helps anyone, cool.  If not, no one's lost anything.

>I got curious this weekend, too. Loaded my pack as closely as
>possible with what's on my list - it was 32# (with 1 day's
>food and no water). As Ginny said - we have to cut that
>by at least 5# for the CDT.

>I'm gonna add some comments to this thing - they'll be the ones in
>brackets {{...}}. And a few more comments that I'll put at the end.
>Anyway - for what it's worth - here it is :

>Pack contents at Katahdin Stream Campground - 23 Sept 1992

>Pack/frame (Camp Trails Orion)
>Attachments - large bandanna, mini-carabiner & 1 pint bottle,
12 oz thermal cup, ziploc bag with short-term maps, Thru-hikers
Handbook pages {{I didn't carry the whole book - just pages for the
section I was hiking}}}

>Rear pocket (Day pack) - First Aid kit (ziploc), blister kit, toilet
paper (ziploc), balaclava, polypro glove liners, coated nylon rain
jacket {{used a Goretex parka in the south}} , wallet (ziploc), Lexan
spoon, wool/poly hat, *REI Jungle Juice insect repellent {{carried
this all the way - it wasn't necessary for us except for NJ thru
Mass}} , *gaiters {{I only used these a couple times - some people
used them every day}}, Kool-aid (ziploc)

>Left lower pocket - Pack cover

>Left upper pocket - 1 quart Nalgene bottle, 1 gal ziploc bag (garbage)

>Right lower pocket - 40 foot parachute cord, 3 gallon water bag,
REI mini-headlite

>Right upper pocket - MSR water filter, personal washcloth (1 pt ziploc),
toothbrush and tooth powder (ziploc)

>Top - Eureka Cirrus 2 tent, HD poly ground cloth , Thermarest pad &
stuff sack {{used a Ridgerest in the South - changed at Harpers Ferry}},
>2 - 36" straps

>Bottom - Sleeping bag, stuff sack, plastic garbage bag, 2 - 36" straps

>Inside - food bags, fuel bottle, wind screen, fleece jacket {{carried
and used this all the way}}
>- Large trash bag, wind pants, paperback book - 1 qt ziploc, Data Book,
ball point pen, maps, maildrop schedule, writing paper
>- small trash bag, 3 pr Thorlo Trekker socks , 1 handkerchief,
>wool shirt, 1 pr nylon shorts, 1 pr thermal bottoms, 1 lt wt thermal
long sleeve top, 1 mid-wt. thermal long sleeve top
>- 1 gal HD ziploc, *2 oz bottle liquid soap, candle {{rarely carried one}},
pot scrubber (ziploc), MSR stove (1 qt HD ziploc), butane lighter,
1.5 qt pot {{no lid}}
>- 2 x 3 ziploc, stove repair tools, spare stove jet, *needle and thread,
>repair tape {{2-3 ft}}, nail clippers, small stone from Springer
{{tradition - leave it on Katahdin}}, clevis pin & ring, 2 Efferdent tablets
{{for cleaning the water filter}}
>- 2 x 3 ziploc, 2 exposed film
>- Spare ziplocs - 1 gal, 1 qt, 1 pt.
>- 2 cans beer, 1 sm bottle champagne, 2 small pies, 2 Coke

>Food bag -     1 Liptons dinner, 1/4# dressing, 3 candy bars,
1/2# cookies, 1/4 # sugar, 4 instant oatmeal, allspice, 1 instant soup,
6 tea bags, 1 hot chocolate, 1 Koolaid, dried milk, 2 rolls, small can Spam

>Wallet contents - Drivers license, VISA {{mine doubles as an ATM card}},
medical card, ATC membership card {{paid for itself in the Whites}},
money, Phone book{{very small}}
>Blister kit - scissors, moleskin, Second skin First Aid kit - 2 moleskin,
3 Bandaids, *triple antibiotic {{single use foil pack - never used it}},
4" Ace, 2" Ace, 12 allergy tablets, 30 Tylenol, 6 Pepto Bismol tablets

>Belt pouch - camera, 2 film, 2 oz SPF 15 sun screen, 2 oz skin
moisturizer, glasses, can opener, toothpick, ball point pen, iodine tablets,
4 hard candy, lighter, small knife, ziploc

>Hiking clothes - Vasque Sundowner boots, nylon shorts, polypro
short-sleeved shirt, handkerchief, socks

>This list is what I had at Katahdin. I wasn't so smart when I started.
A couple other comments on things I did right/wrong -

>When I left Springer I was carrying matches (which I couldn't get to
light), postcards (should have picked them up at each post office), a
candle (never used it), extra flashlight batteries ( I think the original
batteries lasted all the way - didn't use the flashlite much), protein
powder ( good idea - but it's heavy - and no calories), dried fruit (good
idea, but it's heavy and eventually gave me the runs), firestarter
(never started a fire until the Smokies - and didn't need it then), a
big First Aid kit (over a pound - too big), firecrackers (to scare the
bears - never saw a bear until New Hampshire), a pair of cotton
pants (went in the send-ahead box and became my town clothes)
and the insect repellent (carried it all the way - used it once in NJ).

>One of my maildrops (Fontana Dam) had a yellow rubber duck. I did
carry that sucker through the Smokies. Still have it, too.
That's another story.

>Oh, yeah - the send-ahead box. I used it to move some things up
the Trail without having to carry them or buy new ones every time
I needed them. Things like packing tape, labels, marker, ball point pen,
knife sharpener, repair kits, soap, food dye (for testing the water
filter), cuticle scissors, sunblock, vitamins, a razor (never used it),
moisturizer, town clothes, extra food and TP, etc. I just sent the box
from one post office to the next. It worked nicely.

>The moisturizer - it was useful for sunburn, skin abrasions, dry skin,
and most importantly for chafing. Chafing can become a real problem in
the mid-Atlantic states where it's hot and humid and you're putting in
big miles. Best moisturizer I've found is made by Amway - their
Aftersun moisturizer. It saved us a couple times and I gave some of
it to other people. Stings when I first put it on, then numbs the area.
For me it pretty much heals the skin overnight. I should note that I'm
fair and sunburn easily. I also learned about sunburned ears - painful.
(This is mostly a southern cold/high altitude problem)

>Vitamins - I had them but didn't use them consistently - dumb. When
I got off the Trail I had a large economy size Vitamin A deficiency.
Night driving was downright dangerous. Most of us ended up with
Vitamin E deficiencies as well. But we seem to have recovered.
Not something to worry about, but preventable for those who know
and care enough to try.

>I used a lot of ziploc bags - they're a lot lighter, cheaper and more
replaceable and versatile than stuff sacks.

>I carried more/heavier clothes in the south, too. Took a while for
my metabolism to fire up. Now I wish I could slow it down sometimes.
I didn't need as many clothes in New England - my body acclimatized
and I was comfortable with less.

>Anyway - as I've observed before, I'm not always brilliant.  But I do
survive and learn.

OK - that's it.  There are a lot of things that aren't explained there
because it's my list and I know the assumptions and answers.   My
pack is also too heavy - and I'm working on that.

As for what you'll do with it - that's your problem.  The fireplace
is a possibility, maybe?  In any case, I'll answer questions,
but comments, criticism and cynicism will be cheerfully ignored.

Have a good weekend -
Jim Owen