Brian’s Light Weight Backpacking Story @ Sectionhiker

On long stretches of the PCT, such as from Kennedy Meadows to Vermillion Valley Resort (191 miles, including a side trip up Mt. Whitney without resupply) I could barely lift my pack onto my shoulders. I would have to rest my pack on my thigh and and use my thigh as a lever so that I could pull the pack up to my back. – Brian – Sectionhiker

Sound familiar?

When we head out for a few days bushwalking we are careful with what weight we carry.

We are definitely not lightweight hikers but are always aware of keeping our pack weight as light as possible.

We generally fail and end up carrying around 20kg (44lbs)

I really think we can learn a few things from a new article at Sectionhiker Brian’s  Lightweight Backpacking Story

Backpack- lightweight

In the article Brian focuses on the “Big Three”

  • Shelter
  • Pack
  • Sleeping bag

It is a great read following the decision making process to get his total base pack weight down to 3.9kg (8lb 9oz)!

There is a comprehensive gear list and a lot of discussion in this interview format article by Philip from Sectionhiker.

Well worth a read if you want to reduce your pack weight (even by a little bit)

While we are here, if you want to read some very well researched articles and terrific information about hiking (particularly in the US,  but soon on the TGO challenge in Scotland) – head over to Philip Werner’s site sectionhiker.

Philip Werner is a lightweight backpacker who started blogging about his experiences section hiking the Appalachian Trail in January, 2008. His trail name is Earlylite because he likes to break camp at sunrise. In 2008, he finished a 270 mile end-to-end hike of the Long Trail and discovered that he has a passion for writing about backpacking and related outdoor topics.

What is your normal base pack weight? (excluding food and water)

What things have you done, both large and small, to reduce your pack weight?

What is the heaviest pack you have carried? Why? Where?


  1. Richard says

    The big 4 is the focus:
    1. Boots – I’ve moved to Salamon trail runners for 3 season
    2. Sleeping bag – find it hard to go under 950g (GoLite)
    3. Tent – 1.9 kg Hubba Hubba 2-man
    4. Pack – this one is in the air. Once you pull the weight of everything else down, 3.0 kg for the MacPac Cascade seems obscenely heavy. I’m tempted by the Aarn packs.

    As a relatively new hiker, the prospect of going lighter on tents (eg. move to Tarptent/Bivvy) or bottomless sleeping bag, seems a little risky.

    My aim is 10 kg base weight. Add 3kg water and 5 days food, gives a starting weight of 18kg for most trips.

    Weight is now the No1 factor in new purchases!


    • Frank says

      Geday Richard,
      Thanks very much for your insightful comment.
      1. Boots – agree, I have gone to a mid weight pair of Keens, magic
      2 Sleeping Bag – not a bad weight
      3. Tent – how do you like the Hubba? Our daughter has one, loves it.
      4 Pack – you are absolutely right, drop the weight of everything you have to carry and you pack does not need to be as robust. Hard one…

      Would love to hear if you get to 10Kg AND how and of your trips go.
      Cheers – Frank

  2. Safarihiker says

    After thru hiking the AT last year I was exposed to a variety of ‘correct base weights’ (and random opinions)… things over there are far advanced over what we perseve as ‘light weight’…but, hey! Who cares, whatever you are comfortable with, even if you go hiking with a 20kg total pack weight(!!!) For the record:

    *Six Moons Starlite Pack- 650grams
    *Neo Air Pad- 400 grams
    *Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent- 1.2kg
    *Western Mountaineering Ultralite Bag- 850 grams

    Thats my ‘big 4′, what I like, usually go for.. I admit the tent is a luxury, but hey, you spend 8 to 10 hours asleep or inside your shelter (well, I do!) so may as well be encounsced in what you want…
    A base weight of 6 kilos maximum before food, fuel & water is my usual goal, that of course depends on where I am hiking, the weather, the climate, the mood… happy hiking all!

    Safari! (Sean, Tasmania)

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