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  1. #1
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    Default A New Pack Weight Formula!

    Everyone talks about straight pack weight. I was just reading a new thread under this one. People were actually arguing about it (though politely). The old, "this is my lower pack weight" and "my pack weight is heavier and I'm more comfortable" - you know. After I did a little "I'm so better than you" eye roll, I decided that a little math was in order. I put my considerable intelect to work.

    Let's say you think you have a UL pack weight. I'm talking total pack weight, not base (and not skin out). Let's say your weight is 17 pounds with 4 days of food and 2 liters of water.

    Sounds good, right? Now let's say you're an 52 pound 8 year old girl. That pack weight sucks.

    On the other hand...let's say your pack weight for the same trip, with the same water is 35 pounds. Reasonable by some standards, heavy by others. But what if you're a 225 pound running back? That 35 pounds probably feels the same to you as a 7 pound pack to that 8 year old girl.

    But what about us fatties?

    Put your mind to rest. Here is the New Ultimate Pack Weight Comparison Standardization Guide, or the NUPWCSG (trademark pending).

    You'll need a little data to begin.

    First, you'll need some inexpensive body fat calipers and the chart that comes with them. The instructions are there, but basically, you'll grab a hunk of your "insulating layer" around your occipital bone and measure it with the caliper. You'll take that measurement, compare it to the chart and SHAZZAM! that's your estimated body fat percent.

    Next, you'll have to actually weigh your pack. See other posts for instructions on this. And yes, there are some posts that describe this.

    Finally, you'll need to weigh yourself - in the nude. This is the fun part. Make a game out of it!

    Now you're armed with the necessary data to get your NUPWCSG rating.

    Fill in the formula:

    Step 1 - Nude Weight x Body Fat % = Weight of Body Blubber
    Step 2 - Nude Weight - Weight of Body Blubber = Close To What Your Doctor Wants You To Weigh or Close To What You'll Weigh After Your Thru
    Step 3 - Pack Weight /(that's divided by) Close To What Your Doctor Wants You To Weigh or Close To What You'll Weigh After Your Thru

    Now you have a percentage (or will after you move that dot that's between the zero and first number on your calculator over two place to the right).

    Follow this handy guide to see if your pack weight is good for you!

    1% to 7% - You're a Super Duper Ultra Light backpacker who probably has a bad back from that paper thin pad. You like cold food and eat 4 peanuts a day. Aqua Mira weighs too much.
    8% to 15% - You're an Ultra Light backpacker who probably uses a hammock. You're very smart. I like you. A lot.
    16% to 25% - You think you're an Ultra Light backpacker, but probably have to defend that Jetboil kitchen from time to time.
    26% to 35% - You should take a hiking partner with you and pawn off some of your gear on (most likely) him.
    Over 36% - You don't really need the chair, or you need to eat a side of beef once a week to prep for your upcoming thru.

    That's it! So please, from now on, don't just tell us your pack weight is this or your pack weight is that, it's not helpful. Tell us your percentage on the NUPWCSG. Give us a 14% and we'll be in envy. Tell us 27% and we'll know you're not really comfortable, even though you say you are.

    Good day.

  2. #2
    Registered User Storm's Avatar
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    Somebody has entirely too much time on their hands.
    "The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer"

  3. #3
    Registered User oldbear's Avatar
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    Default

    I tend to shy away from needlessly complex formulas and bastard numbers
    Thus
    Maximum packweight shall not exceed 25% of bodyweight
    Maximum non -consumable weight shall not exceed 50% of that

  4. #4
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    Default

    Or just carry as little weight as you can and stop comparing pack weights like you're comparing schlongs. Why anyone else would care, I don't know, unless they'll be carrying it. I don't even care what my pack weighs. It weighs as little as possible. What the grand total is doesn't matter at all. This is a very simple thing that people make way too complicated.

  5. #5
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    Default A New Pack Weight Formula!

    Leafyye; EXACTLY ;-)

  6. #6
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    My kind of hiking math:


    Six 12 oz beers = a six pack
    12 oz = half a a case
    24 pack = case

    16 oz = 1 pt
    20 oz = 1 imperial pt

    Keg Specifications for
    U.S. 1/2 Barrel (Standard Keg)


    12 oz. Case Equivalent = 6.8 Cases
    12 oz./can or bottle Servings= 165
    16 oz./pint servings=
    124



    Other Dimensions of a Keg of Beer.
    Full Keg Weight = 160.5 Pounds
    Empty Keg Weight = 29.7 Pounds
    Beer Weight = 130.8 Pounds


    Height of Keg = 23.3 Inches
    Diameter of Keg = 16.0 - 17.0 Inches


    Contents in Gallons = 15.5 Gallons
    Contents in Liters = 58.7 Liters
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  7. #7

    Default

    Ok,those were the against crowd,now lets hear from the 4.

  8. #8
    Registered User Veetack's Avatar
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    Who has pinchable fat near their Occipital bone? I've always seen it done on the Humerus, using the fat over the tricep.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Veetack View Post
    Who has pinchable fat near their Occipital bone? I've always seen it done on the Humerus, using the fat over the tricep.
    That must have been an attempt at some ER humor,I like it.Can you really get lipo sucktion for those dropping saggy under eyes?

  10. #10
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    My 4 day pack with 2L water puts me in the unknown zone between 15% and 16%. What does it mean! Panic!!!!

    Seems like a reasonable formula but anything that involves calipers and body fat is a good first step unrelated to backpacking.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loopback View Post
    Everyone talks about straight pack weight. I was just reading a new thread under this one. People were actually arguing about it (though politely). The old, "this is my lower pack weight" and "my pack weight is heavier and I'm more comfortable" - you know. After I did a little "I'm so better than you" eye roll, I decided that a little math was in order. I put my considerable intelect to work.

    Let's say you think you have a UL pack weight. I'm talking total pack weight, not base (and not skin out). Let's say your weight is 17 pounds with 4 days of food and 2 liters of water.

    Sounds good, right? Now let's say you're an 52 pound 8 year old girl. That pack weight sucks.

    On the other hand...let's say your pack weight for the same trip, with the same water is 35 pounds. Reasonable by some standards, heavy by others. But what if you're a 225 pound running back? That 35 pounds probably feels the same to you as a 7 pound pack to that 8 year old girl.

    But what about us fatties?

    Put your mind to rest. Here is the New Ultimate Pack Weight Comparison Standardization Guide, or the NUPWCSG (trademark pending).

    You'll need a little data to begin.

    First, you'll need some inexpensive body fat calipers and the chart that comes with them. The instructions are there, but basically, you'll grab a hunk of your "insulating layer" around your occipital bone and measure it with the caliper. You'll take that measurement, compare it to the chart and SHAZZAM! that's your estimated body fat percent.

    Next, you'll have to actually weigh your pack. See other posts for instructions on this. And yes, there are some posts that describe this.

    Finally, you'll need to weigh yourself - in the nude. This is the fun part. Make a game out of it!

    Now you're armed with the necessary data to get your NUPWCSG rating.

    Fill in the formula:

    Step 1 - Nude Weight x Body Fat % = Weight of Body Blubber
    Step 2 - Nude Weight - Weight of Body Blubber = Close To What Your Doctor Wants You To Weigh or Close To What You'll Weigh After Your Thru
    Step 3 - Pack Weight /(that's divided by) Close To What Your Doctor Wants You To Weigh or Close To What You'll Weigh After Your Thru

    Now you have a percentage (or will after you move that dot that's between the zero and first number on your calculator over two place to the right).

    Follow this handy guide to see if your pack weight is good for you!

    1% to 7% - You're a Super Duper Ultra Light backpacker who probably has a bad back from that paper thin pad. You like cold food and eat 4 peanuts a day. Aqua Mira weighs too much.
    8% to 15% - You're an Ultra Light backpacker who probably uses a hammock. You're very smart. I like you. A lot.
    16% to 25% - You think you're an Ultra Light backpacker, but probably have to defend that Jetboil kitchen from time to time.
    26% to 35% - You should take a hiking partner with you and pawn off some of your gear on (most likely) him.
    Over 36% - You don't really need the chair, or you need to eat a side of beef once a week to prep for your upcoming thru.

    That's it! So please, from now on, don't just tell us your pack weight is this or your pack weight is that, it's not helpful. Tell us your percentage on the NUPWCSG. Give us a 14% and we'll be in envy. Tell us 27% and we'll know you're not really comfortable, even though you say you are.

    Good day.
    Hike and exercise often, eat food...mostly plants and not too much...finally, take what you need and your pack will be fine, then go hiking

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veetack View Post
    Who has pinchable fat near their Occipital bone? I've always seen it done on the Humerus, using the fat over the tricep.
    Take it from someone who has too much time on his hands, the occipital bone area is laden with fat (at least it does on a fat person). But you have to be a serious hiker to know what I'm talking about. Because that's what hiking is all about. Being serious. There should be no fun involved. Particularly in these forums. This is serious business. And most importantly, don't use sarcasm.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    Or just carry as little weight as you can and stop comparing pack weights like you're comparing schlongs. Why anyone else would care, I don't know, unless they'll be carrying it. I don't even care what my pack weighs. It weighs as little as possible. What the grand total is doesn't matter at all. This is a very simple thing that people make way too complicated.
    This was what I was shooting for. I just overthought it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leanthree View Post
    My 4 day pack with 2L water puts me in the unknown zone between 15% and 16%. What does it mean! Panic!!!!

    Seems like a reasonable formula but anything that involves calipers and body fat is a good first step unrelated to backpacking.
    Sucks that I have to tell you this, but you're in between 15% and 16%. That's bad. Really bad. You have to stop hiking. Seriously.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    My kind of hiking math:


    Six 12 oz beers = a six pack
    12 oz = half a a case
    24 pack = case

    16 oz = 1 pt
    20 oz = 1 imperial pt

    Keg Specifications for
    U.S. 1/2 Barrel (Standard Keg)


    12 oz. Case Equivalent = 6.8 Cases
    12 oz./can or bottle Servings= 165
    16 oz./pint servings=
    124



    Other Dimensions of a Keg of Beer.
    Full Keg Weight = 160.5 Pounds
    Empty Keg Weight = 29.7 Pounds
    Beer Weight = 130.8 Pounds


    Height of Keg = 23.3 Inches
    Diameter of Keg = 16.0 - 17.0 Inches


    Contents in Gallons = 15.5 Gallons
    Contents in Liters = 58.7 Liters
    I'm pretty sure that 12oz only equals half a case for hamsters.

  16. #16
    Registered User Big Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loopback View Post
    This was what I was shooting for. I just overthought it.
    uhhhh,, ya think,, lol.

    Funny thread,,, it should be in the humor section.

    Oh wait,, you said "this is serious business". Ok then,, per your formula, my number is 14.5%,,, and no, I don't use a hammock. Once I finish shedding my massive amount of "body blubber",, then my % will be even awesomer, lol.
    NOBO section hiker, 1066.4 miles... & counting!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dawg View Post
    uhhhh,, ya think,, lol.

    Funny thread,,, it should be in the humor section.

    Oh wait,, you said "this is serious business". Ok then,, per your formula, my number is 14.5%,,, and no, I don't use a hammock. Once I finish shedding my massive amount of "body blubber",, then my % will be even awesomer, lol.
    I'm at 15.1. Blast! Now I'm envious.

  18. #18
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    Pretty cool concept. By your math I am sitting right at about 8.6%, woohoo! Also, no hammock for me.

    Just for comparison, by OldBear's math, an acceptable base weight for me would be about 32 lbs. No thanks.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loopback View Post
    1% to 7% - You're a Super Duper Ultra Light backpacker who probably has a bad back from that paper thin pad. You like cold food and eat 4 peanuts a day. Aqua Mira weighs too much.
    8% to 15% - You're an Ultra Light backpacker who probably uses a hammock. You're very smart. I like you. A lot.
    16% to 25% - You think you're an Ultra Light backpacker, but probably have to defend that Jetboil kitchen from time to time.
    26% to 35% - You should take a hiking partner with you and pawn off some of your gear on (most likely) him.
    Over 36% - You don't really need the chair, or you need to eat a side of beef once a week to prep for your upcoming thru.
    That is so amazing! I fall right around the 10% range. I do use a hammock, I am very smart, and I am liked! A lot.

    Spot on! I am so impressed.
    The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..." Isaac Asimov

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro. I came, I saw, I stuck around.

  20. #20
    Registered User GolfHiker's Avatar
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    This is exactly why I love this forum. Clearly we can all agree Loopback has "too much free time", but hey, he had a lot of fun with this, made some great points, and made me laugh at his % guide. I may never actually learn my NUPWCSG, but I know the formula does exist.
    "How can something this hard be so much fun".

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