Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Trip Day

If you look closely at these two pictures you'll see some familiar things ... these shoes ... and all the regular stuff one takes into the wilderness. Matches, pink water bottles, a bandana ... GPS.

Tomorrow I will be sitting around with my old friend and we will be picking apart the contents of my backpack, commenting on the coffee pot and the can of sardines ... talking about bear spray, and escape routes over a map, and reducing the load one more time. I am sure it's not the addition of that titanium fork that pumps the weight up, but rather the way that things just seem to get heavier over time. Although the two extra days of food could contribute, we all know that a fleece vest weighs about a pound when you buy it, but after carrying it for a while it weighs about ten. This is not a function of fatigue, but rather a general property of things to get heavier over time. It's called the uncertainty principle. You'll never quite know how much you're going to have to carry.

Despite knowing and planning for the afternoon showers and humidity, I will probably eliminate the rain gear in favor of the river shoes or try to strip the first aid kit by half. For some reason this pack is about 10 pounds heavier than it was back then. It's 50 pounds, and oh man -- there's no camera in it. Adding the 10 lbs I would normally wear and the 4 pounds of camera, my burden will be 64 lbs. Ouch. Once I eat all the food ...

It's always too heavy. Jim will remind me that I don't need an extra day's meals and that maybe I don't really need that jar of prunes dried fruit. He will carry about 70 lbs. while I struggle with 40 50. Go figure.


Jonah said...

Have a great trip!

Eclectchick said...

I so admire your get-aroundness.

Chris said...

64 pounds is a nut buster. I hope you are not carrying that too far.

Alberto said...

Wow! That's a lot of weight you're carrying. Trim down as much as you can and have a great time.

shawnkielty said...

Eclectic and Jonah and Alberto -- Thank you!

Just to get things straight -- At the entry point the weight of my pack was 56 lbs.

The exit weight of my pack was 48 lbs. (no food)

Most weight conscious people can get a pack down to a dry weight (no food or water) to ~28 lbs. Add 5.5 lbs. (2L) for water and 4 * 1.5 (6 lbs.) for food and that's 39. 4 lbs of camera is 43. Add boots, clothing, extra socks, walking stick tripod, and suddenly it's over 50.

I carry a real wilderness first aid kit and a few extras, like the river shoes, so my pack is a bit heavy.

Chris -- the trip was 26 miles RT.

Some people manage (claim) to pack weights of 13-18 lbs. I would freeze to death, and starve with that gear. One Oregon style rainstorm and exposure would be very much a threat.

John said...

Bear Spray=Hiker Seasoning

shawnkielty said...

Yeah -- you have to be careful not to use it on yourself.