Skip Navigation

Help lighten my pack

Travel Forums Travel Gear Help lighten my pack

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

Hey gang -

I've come closer to finalizing my pack. Got a 6-mo trip coming at the end of April, starting in Europe and ending in NZ. I'll be covering a wide range of terrain and climate, from trekking the Tour du Mont-Blanc (14 days/175 km) and the Italian alps, visiting the usual touristy spots in Europe to dry/hot Egypt, humid SE Asia, China, and high elevation regions in Tibet and NZ. Type of travel will be mostly hostel as well as B/B, guest-house and hotel (where affordable). My total pack weight is currently at 31 pounds (14.1 kgs), excluding the clothes and shoes on my body. I did a 4-mile practice walk and the pack is comfortable but I still want to lighten the weight where possible. So here's my pack list...

Pack
Osprey Departure 60L (incl 24L day-pack), the pack is on the heavy side but has a great frame sheet and suspension for my TMB trek.

Clothes
- S/S T-shirt (3 synthetic, 1 cotton)
- S/S button shirt (1 syn, 1 cot)
- L/S Capilene baselayer shirt (1)
- Capilene baselayer pants (1)
- L/S button hiking shirt (2)
- Shorts (1)
- Swim shorts (1)
- Convertible hiking pants (1)
- Casual travel/hiking pants (1)
- Briefs (4)
- Windstopper fleece hat (1)
- Wide brim waterproof hat (1)
- Gloves (1)
- MHW Windstopper vest (1)
- MHW Synchro Softshell jacket (1)
- SD waterproof pants (1)
- Micro-fiber towel (1)
- Bandanna (1)

Sleep gear
- Folio silk liner (1)
- Inflatable air pillow (1)
- Eye shades (1)
- Ear plugs (1 pack)

Footwear
- Keen Targhee II waterproof, light hiking shoes (1)
- Keen Newport H20 sandals (1)
- Flip-flops (1)
- Socks (3 pairs, 1 crew, 1 lightweight, 1 mid-weight)
- Back-up shoe laces (1)

Hygiene - 1st Aid - Med
- Toiletry sack: shampoo, soap, lotion, toothpaste/brush, floss, deodorant)
- Braun Pocket Go battery shaver (1)
- Allergy, Diarrhea, indigestion, pain-killer
- Alcohol prep wipes, band-aid, moleskin
- Tiger balm
- Condoms

Travel docs - $$ - books
- Passport & copies, ISIC, DL, extra photos
- Airline tickets, travel insurance
- MC/Visa/ATM cards
- Guide books (3 Lonely Planets)
- Note pad & pencil
- Eagle Creek Hidden pocket (1)
- Cheap wallet (1)

Accessories
- Sunglasses (1)
- Watch w/Alarm & Compass (1)
- Combination Cable lock (1)
- Combination TSA padlock (1)
- LED headlamp(1)
- ZipLoc bags (12)
- Zip Ties (10)
- Dirty clothes sac (1)
- MSR 4L water bladder (1)... must have for TMB trek
- Swiss Knife Champion (1)... the biggest/heaviest model
- Small napkin packets (3)
- Bug repellent (1)
- Small portion of powder detergent (1)
- Wet wipes/towelettes (5)
- Nylon straps (2)
- Nylon guide string (1)
- Duct tape (1, small roll)
- Spork (2)

Photo & Electronics
- Digicam, 2 Li-Ion batteries, 2 CF cards, 2 filters, USB cable, Charger & cord
- Wide Angle Lens (19mm) & Adapter (1)
- USB flash drive as back-up storage (2)
- iPod Shuffle & ear-buds (1)
- Universal Plug Adapter w/USB charger (1)
- Small cell phone & charger

  • ** 2 items I'd like to add: pack cover/bag (for check-in) and a small table tripod. They'll probably add 2-3 pounds the pack.

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

I'm not sure about kicking out stuff (14 kilos is pretty good packing), but one thing that I noticed is your choice of shoes. I don't know the brand, but I'm reckoning a pair of light hiking shoes is insufficient for what you want to do. Better invest in a decent pair of boots. Or are you wearing these, and is that why you didn't mention them?

Also, you may want to bring an aluminum mat for heat isolation (to be used under your sleeping bag). Cheap, weighs close to nothing, but makes a big difference.

3. Posted by carosterns (Respected Member 159 posts) 9y

There isn't much there to kick out. I wouldn't bother with power detergent, use your soap. So you really need a battery op razor, could you get by with a disposable - I'm female I opt for waxing before I go so my comments may be irrelevant.
That is a lot of zip lock bags, what are you planning to do with them all - for 3 months travel I have 4, all different sizes.
Curious about the dirty clothes sac - I use a plastic shopping bag.

But for what you doing, that is pretty light packing and can't really see how you could ditch much.

4. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 9y

One thing that I would add is the pack cover. I did the Inca Trail in Peru a few months ago and wish I brought one. Instead I had to deal with a plastic poncho stuffed all over the place to prevent my bag from being soaked. It does not weigh that much and will be worth it the first time you use it.

Some other suggestions are to make photo copies of anything necessary in your lonely planets, take that and leave the books at home. If you still need the book you can usually buy a cheap used copy at a store or from other travellers. That will cut down the weight and space.

Cable lock. Depends. If it is to look up your pack if you go somewhere then you are its not worth the weight. If people want to steel your pack or stuff thats in it, they will cut the cable or just cut your bag and take what they want. Just a suggestion. I have never used one so you may want to wait and see what others have to say about it.

Hope this info helps and have a great trip. Brent

5. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

Quoting bentivogli

I'm not sure about kicking out stuff (14 kilos is pretty good packing), but one thing that I noticed is your choice of shoes. I don't know the brand, but I'm reckoning a pair of light hiking shoes is insufficient for what you want to do. Better invest in a decent pair of boots. Or are you wearing these, and is that why you didn't mention them?

Here're the shoes I'll be wearing to hike TMB. In the low-ankle version, they're classified as cross-training but as mid-ankle they're sold as light-weight hiking boots. The footbeds are noticeably stiffer than the usual cross-training shoes I've owned. Aside from the ankle, they're the same. Although the mid-ankle gives a little more protection, they don't vent/breathe as well as the low-ankle version. It gets quite hot walking in them due to the waterproof nubuck leather and eVent lining (similar to Goretex). In warmer climes, I'll be wearing these sandals.

I have more technical boots for hiking off-trail and such but TMB isn't exactly "off-the-beaten" track. Aside from a few rocky sections, the trails have been stamped upon by thousands of hikers every season. According to my guide-book, it's the most-hiked trail in Western Europe.

Also, you may want to bring an aluminum mat for heat isolation (to be used under your sleeping bag). Cheap, weighs close to nothing, but makes a big difference.

I'll bring my NASA blanket.

Thanks!

6. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

Quoting caro_stern

There isn't much there to kick out. I wouldn't bother with power detergent, use your soap. So you really need a battery op razor, could you get by with a disposable - I'm female I opt for waxing before I go so my comments may be irrelevant.
That is a lot of zip lock bags, what are you planning to do with them all - for 3 months travel I have 4, all different sizes.
Curious about the dirty clothes sac - I use a plastic shopping bag.

But for what you doing, that is pretty light packing and can't really see how you could ditch much.

Ok, you're right... detergent is axed! As for shaving, I don't know why but I've never liked disposable razors. I've always gotten cuts using them. The really good ones are so pricey that it costs less to own an electric shaver in the long run. My re-chargeable Braun at home weighs 9 oz. The Pocket Go should be about 4-5 oz.

ZipLoc bags... down to 6.

Dirty clothes sac... a compressible nylon sac (2 oz.)

Thanks!

7. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

Quoting boreal2673

One thing that I would add is the pack cover. I did the Inca Trail in Peru a few months ago and wish I brought one. Instead I had to deal with a plastic poncho stuffed all over the place to prevent my bag from being soaked. It does not weigh that much and will be worth it the first time you use it.

I'm working on this. I'm looking for a lightweight cover/bag that's rugged enough for the airport luggage handlers.

Some other suggestions are to make photo copies of anything necessary in your lonely planets, take that and leave the books at home. If you still need the book you can usually buy a cheap used copy at a store or from other travelers. That will cut down the weight and space.

Yep, the LPs are about 4-5 pounds. Make copies of the necessary sections is the easiest way of reducing my pack weight right now.

Cable lock. Depends. If it is to look up your pack if you go somewhere then you are its not worth the weight. If people want to steel your pack or stuff thats in it, they will cut the cable or just cut your bag and take what they want. Just a suggestion. I have never used one so you may want to wait and see what others have to say about it.

Hope this info helps and have a great trip. Brent

The cable lock (6 oz) is just a deterrent measure when leaving the pack in hostels/hotels that don't have lockers and on trains while asleep.

Thanks!

8. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

If you have good experiences with these mid-ankle boots, by all means bring them. I personally thanked the gods several times for always bringing my own heavy-duty D-class Meindls, even to 'easy' hikes which, due to weather changes, can be surprisingly challenging... but this is coming from a guy with weak ankles :)

9. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

I once wore a pair of high-ankle backpacking boots with stiff Vibram outsoles to summit Half Dome in Yosemite. Oh boy, what a mistake! It was the longest hike (17mi/27.5kms) I've ever done in one day. Started at 6.30am, summited Half Dome at 1.30pm and returned to Curry Village at 7.30pm in 98* Fahrenheit temperature. The boots were comfortable on the way up, but hiking down 4000ft/1220m of elevation loss gave the palms of my feet a good thrashing. Even with hiking poles, the last 2 hours every step was painful. So now I only use serious boots if I go backpacking in the wilderness with a heavy pack, hiking no more than 9-10 miles per day.

10. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

I'm sorry, but I have to ask. What the heck is a Spork and why do you need two of them??? (am i right in guessing logically, and it's a kind of combined Spoon and Fork?)

After that, it all comes down to personal choice and what/where you are happier to cut down.
Probably won't save you much weight, but personally i'd have said that:

S/S T-shirt (3 synthetic, 1 cotton), S/S button shirt (1 syn, 1 cot) L/S button hiking shirt (2) and L/S Capilene baselayer shirt

Is slightly overkill, and i'd loose a short sleeved option or two, and one or two long sleeved ones.

I also personally made teh decision a long time ago that for the amount i need to use them, i' prefer not to both and just to get wet periodically instead so

MHW Windstopper vest (1)
- MHW Synchro Softshell jacket (1)
- SD waterproof pants (1)

seems well over the top to me.

However, much of that is probably releavant, if only for the Tour du Mont Blanc. i don't know if it's an option, but maybe you can arrange to leave some stuff not to carry on the tour and collect later, and/or send some of the more high tech and extreme weather stuff back - or maybe post it from Europe to NZ so you don't have it in between.

The only other comment would be that for such a circuit, maybe an extra pair of med-thick socks will come in useful. Nothing worse (for me personally) than having to put on wet/damp socks in the morning especially when i'm out on a long trek or camp. It's teeh single thing which will crush my spirits quickest!