Weighty Matters… because weight matters

Back in mid-May I ordered a few items from ShamShuiPo Hong Kong. ShamShuiPo is the 10-block square, 10-story high, retail “gear”, junk, and tech market over Kowloon-side. It is my go to place to try for the 50/90 deals. Knockoff City.

Part of the order came within a week. The rest is been lost in transit so long that I had given up hope. That is occasionally the price to be paid for getting the cheapo prices and the famous Chinese ” free shipping”. One of the items that hadn’t come was a little electronic luggage scale. This was especially irritating since I don’t have a household scale of any kind and, thus, had no way to keep track of how heavy my pack was actually getting… one item at a time. Yesterday, at long last, the stuff simply appeared in my mailbox… Registered, but without ever having shown up in international tracking. … Cost for the scale?…. five dollars w/2AAA’s included.

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Up to this point, all I have been able to do in terms of weighing out my pack load was to compare it with 12 packs of soda. Loaded pack = two 12 packs…  According to a Google search that was supposed to be approximately 20 pounds.

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I threw everything together, and, sure enough, the scale says 19 lbs. 13 oz. Admittedly this photo is not of the most elegant packing job I have ever done, and is certainly undeserving of  the onecoolbackpack, but it shows a packed up version of what was my goal weight for a “necessaries” loadout…  Sleeping bag, bivy bag, pad and ground cloth, 8′ tarp, stove with cook gear, fuel and accessories, rain suit, fleece hoody, 36 hours of food and snacks, and three little mixed bags of my personals.

The only thing not weighed in is whatever water I would be carrying at the time. In the comparatively well watered areas in which I would be likely to find myself, I don’t ever anticipate these being more than a liter or two at a given time.

Since I hadn’t had any way to keep track of my progress along the way, I’m very proud of myself for having met the goal weight so accurately. At 64 years old I’m still pretty confident that I can still carry a 20 pound pack up a steep trail, or for several miles at a time. The 30 to 40 pound pack that I used to tote when I was younger would probably kill me. Using the various components on the canoe trip up to Flagstaff Lake easily showed me that the gear I’ve gotten together can keep me safe and pretty comfortable as well.

The best part of it is that I managed to get together a really nice kit of equipment even without becoming a “gram-weenie”, or spending an exorbitant amount of money, Furthermore, I know that there are still possibly as much as 2 to 3 pounds that could yet be trimmed off my load. This would especially be true on simple overnight trips. The MRE retort-pack meals that I just quickly stuffed into the bag for the weight test amount to almost 3 pounds. And the cook kit bag still has everything left over from the lake trip in a canoe when we weren’t paying attention to the weight of the gear at all. Most of all, I just need to get the pack on my back and see how I do with it. Then I can worry about those last couple of pounds. I’m 3 ounces under the goal weight, but who knows how those 20 pounds are going to feel on these 64-year-old shoulders.

It looks like my efforts paid off. I’m happy with the results, I ended up with some really nice gear, and none of this has caused me to go broke.

Onward through the fog…  and hopefully up into the hills.

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