There is one major question, I get asked all the time when hiking with M. In fact, I get asked it so much I have a standardized the answer to encumber answers to the next several questions that are highly likely to be asked. The most asked question is **drum roll**
How much does your pack weigh?
My answer – My pack weighs between 40 to 45 pounds. It depends on length of the hike, the season, the weather and the weight of M. M weighs between 30 to 32 pounds.
So, how did I come up with 40 to 45 pounds. Well, as stated M weighs between 30 to 32 pounds. Yes, I weigh her, bi-weekly during hiking season. My only purpose for this to make help make sure my pack states under 45 pounds (per the specs requirement for my pack). By knowing her weight and the weight of water I’m carrying makes it rather easy to pack everything else.
I carry two sources of water. One is a 2 liter Camelbak, which weighs approximately 4.4 pounds. The second is a 1.5 liter Camelbak, which weighs approximately 3.3 lbs that is for M. The great thing about water is that it will be used and my pack gets a wee-bit lighter as I go. But, if needed at huts the water will be partially or completely refilled. This means at maximum I carry about 7.7 lbs of water.
Let’s calculate that, so you don’t have to break out the calculator, break out the pen and paper or think too hard. I know its been a rough week. 🙂 The weight of M and the weight of water means I carry 37.7 to 39.7 lbs. That leaves me with a remaining weight of 5.3 to 7.3 lbs.
The inside my pack are the items below:
- 2 to 3 diapers and wipes
- Plastic bag for dirty diapers
- long sleeve shirt for M
- Rain/wind jacket for M
- Long hiking pants for M (used as backup)
- Cold weather hat for M (used when its windy)
- Extra Socks for M (used as backup or if needed as gloves for unexpected weather change)
- Toddler Medkit
- Snacks for M and I (homemade trail-mix & bars which is normally carried in my cargo or front pocket)
- Snack cup
- Long sleeve shirt for me
- Rain/wind jacket for me
- Extra socks for me
- Medkit for myself
- Rain/Wind cover for pack
- Orange Trail Marking Tape
- Waterproof matches
That is the standard items that HAVE TO come along. The only items that may which to J’s pack is my long sleeve shirt, rain/wind jacket and extra socks. Again, during the colder season, which for M since she is not moving most of the time really starts towards the end of August/beginning of September. And that is subject to change when hiking the White Mountains. Why, simply because it snowed this year in June. As I always say, being prepared is what is most important and half the battle.
The accessory items (i.e. connected to my pack in a handy location) are as follows:
- Chap stick (which is 99% of the time is in my front zip pocket)
- Special Ops 6″ tactical knife with pouch (Thank you to J for the lessons in uses and how to use)
- Emergency whistle
- Mirror for M
- Old Fashion compass
- Map (which is 99% of the time is in my cargo pocket in a waterproof protector)
And that folks sums it up. Surprisingly, your clothes and items do not add that much extra weight, but it still counts towards the total weight.
No matter what my pack always always carries emergencies items for M and I. That’s for injuries, unexpected people or animal attack and separation from J. We never want anything to happen, but we rather be prepared for it then be “up sh*ts creek without a paddle”.
And if you are wondering, we have taken a well-used hiking trail in Virginia that we played a real game of “hide and get moving” from a Black Bear. We actually could feel the impact tremors from the Bear’s paw striking the ground and hear the bear growl which means “Exit, stage left or be lunch”. No matter where you go for hiking, remember you are on their land, their territory and its best to respect that, but be prepared.