Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: May 2013
Location: VICTORIA, British Columbia, Canada.
last time I did the WCT, in 5.5 days, I started with 25 lbs, incl 2L water. And had just too much stuff for early Sept. Even had 1.5 days of food left over. Base weight was about 7.5 lbs incl 2 man tarptent, down 1.5lb bag, ultralight Sixmoon pack, Jetboil, merely tablets to purify my platypus. I never used my long underwear nor my poncho nor my UL umbrella (no rain! tent was super warm). I had no Dyneema, just silnylon stuff. I was under 20lbs the last day, wife was at 15 lbs last day. We gained body weight on that trip!
when I did a 7 day trip in the Sierras, I had 30 lbs, but that was with bear canister filled with stuff the group chose (eg canned wet food and glass jars of stuff, lol). 30lbs was at the limit my UL pack could handle (sixmoon). Had below freezing nights, so needed the long underwear for sure.
After I get my new heart valve (!), I plan to do the WCT again in 3 days, with 15 lbs max. No-cook (or Esbit), a Gossamer Murmur 1 lb 36L pack, a tarp+bivvy or a 1lb cuben fibre (Dyneema) tent, down 1lb quilt. 2 smart water bottles with a Sawyer filter. Will only choose to go if the weather is forecast dry/calm and the trail is dry-ish, as I live in Vic and thus flexible. Have hiked in rainy windy Wx doing the JDF trail and needed all that extra warm gear for sure, so want to avoid rain/wind so I can avoid that weight. Based on my last WCT trip, we got to Camper northbound from Gordon Rvr in 5 hours by 1pm, so might as well have pressed on for Walbran - after that the WCT is gravy if timed to walk on the shelf a lot. Have to put all those factors together to be under 20lbs imho
For the JMT I will have more like 23lbs pack incl water due to mandatory bear canister.
The real experts on hiking light are the many hundreds of thru-hikers who do the big long trails in the US. They live with their gear for 4-5 months straight, endure much wider range of weather than us weeklong section hikers, and have fantastic ideas to follow - sometimes super cheap ways to go light. The advice to avoid is from the kids selling over-heavy gear at MEC and REI.
Last edited by BCSaltchucker; 11-10-2018 at 05:43 PM.