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Luggage Transfer Correos

measuring weight carried - is FSO (full skin out) a useful concept?

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I see the FSO concept referred to quite regularly.

As I understand it, this concept is to designed to measure the all up weight being born by ankles and feet. And that FSO weight is the total of both pack (and contents) and of the clothes worn.

In my trade an important measure is the difference between the current the proposed state.

My assumption is that we normally wear clothes when we do normal things (shopping, theatre, whatever). My trade would first measure the all up weight doing those things. For me, on the last day of winter with wind and rain outside, I am wearing socks, casual shoes, underpants, long trousers, long sleeved shirt, wind jacket and carry a shoulder bag with my tablet/phone. All up weight = 75.5 kg (? 166 lb).

For today my Te ara hato Hemi (way of Saint James) clothes worn and pack (with tent, sleeping bag, rolled oats, water, tablet/phone, more clothes, charger, wet weather gear, meds, etc, etc) the all up weight is 81.2 kg (? 179 lb).

According to my lights the extra weight I carry when on the way is 5.7 kg.

This is both well under 10% of my body weight and the 7 kg (15.4 lb) suggested weight for pack etc.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Another strange measurement as a fat person will not be wanting to carry the same % of body weight as a skinny person. Carry as little as you can while still having what you need to be safe, fairly comfy, and not relying on others.

Camino from April-late October ... 8kg plus water should do it, even if you wear xl and not medium and even with a few luxuries.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I do not find either the FSO measure or the "10% rule" useful concepts. If I have taken care to pack only what I believe is necessary for my safety and comfort then what difference would weighing my pack make in practice? When walking the caminos the weight I need to carry is a trivial load in any case and would be well under 10% of my ample body weight. When walking other routes where more gear may be needed what should I do if by chance the total weight is over the magical 10% of my body weight? - abandon my planned walk? ditch some items I have already decided are vital to my safety? Rather than have my travels limited by some arbitrary calculation I prefer to rely on my past experience to assess whether I personally am capable of carrying this specific load for this particular planned journey.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
It is a useful guide - I can carry just under 10% of my body weight plus clothes I am wearing. My husband would struggle with the same ratio, but actually carries more 2kg more than I do. The important factor is 'can you carry it day after day without problems'? An extra 100gms can be the difference between comfort and difficulty. :)
 
What can one say? Each of us is different - in size, weight, muscle/fat, age, temperament and who knows what else. As we keep saying - eeryone has their own Camino.
At a 100 kilos I really have no issues with carrying all I need weighing less than 5 kilos. I can endure the wondering if I have sent my bag on.
Though when I went ultra-light with only 2.7 kilos I did feel that I had had enough looks of disbelief!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
On my VdlP walk I obsessed with weight... I lost 20 kilos in weight! and I shaved a few kgs off my pack. I felt great for both and I really felt I had my pack about right... and I was grateful for all the ideas that I had found in these pages.

What is interesting though is that in the early days we were starting the day with 3 litres of water and our daily food... adding almost 50% more weight to my pack? On one hot day walking Monasterio I learned a bit of a lesson... this is what I wrote in my blog...

... onwards we went and before we knew it we’d hit the motorway and a luxury for the Via… a lunch stop!


It’s Sunday and I had no food or snacks so I bought some nuts and mixed dried fruit from the shop… and sampled some tastier morsels of ham. For lunch we chose two tapas (Russian salad and tortilla patata)… they were huge! Maybe he thought that we were hungry pilgrims and deserved it? We took the bread for later and left most of the tortilla.


Outside there was a man selling fresh fruit… so I bought an orange and 2 bananas (one for Maggie) then I saw dried pineapple… oh lord then dried banana chips too. Then I put my pack back on. Mmm I thought, that feels heavier.


On we walked… the sun was back and we walked between the road and the motorway. Gosh my back moaned at me… my pack was sooo much heavier. After a while we stopped and had a drink… the sun and my full belly was really sapping my strength and the weight in my pack was crazy.


As we walked along I berated myself for being so crazy. Lesson learned. Take what you need Colleen and not what you want. At the next stop I gave away what I could to passing pilgrims… Branden took the bananas… we fed the birds with the bread and my pack felt so much better when it went back on.


But the damage had been done and I was tired. We had skipped into that service station like happy innocent little pilgrims… we ate too much and we bought too much and we paid for that as we walked up the hills… up and up relentlessly under a hot Spanish sun to Monasterio… where I am resolved to go through my pack and keep only what I need.

That night I emptied out a few other items that I'd not needed... it was perhaps only 200-300gms but it was a good lesson... I almost skipped along the next day! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I think the FSO concept makes more sense when you are in the military. A pack weight of 50 pounds or more in that situation is different from one of a backpacker because you have to add in heavier clothing, equipment carried on belts and in pockets, helmets, body armor and weapons. In the military this extra stuff you wear is significant. On a camino the few pounds of lightweight clothing worn in addition to a 20 pound pack isn't going to slow you down much.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Personally, I find the FSO argument to be without merit, because, I rarely stroll about the Camino naked. Oh GOD! Blind people wherever I walk...!!! My fault...oh guilt!:eek:

Anyway, and seriously, even at home, I wear a certain amount of clothing each day. I also carry certain standard items in those clothes, just as I would on Camino. Examples include my iPhone, wallet, pocket change, small Leatherman or Gerber pocket tool, comb, tissues, notepad, etc. I also wear a ball cap or other shady hat anywhere I go outside (I live in South Florida). So, even if you were a FSO aficionado, you should concede a basic clothing allowance with loaded pockets, to clothe your nakedness, and calculate weights from there...;)

In any event, the 10 percent number is, as others have stated, A GUIDE. It represents a starting place to determine if you are likely carrying too much. I never worry about not carrying enough. So, being UNDER 10 percent of MY clothed body weight (@ 11 Kg) does not concern me in the least. This year (2017) for the FIRST time in five years, I actually hit that number...11 Kg, yippee!

As some know, I must carry an average, additional 1 Kg weekly in nutritional supplement powdered food, vitamins, minerals and prescription medications. So, MY 10 PERCENT goal is really better than the average value achieved.

All this said, fellow forum member DougFitz has achieved, IMHO, status as the Yoda of packing density and weight. He has reduced it to as much a science as one can do. Personally, I believe that it is as much an art as it is a science. But we agree more than not.

I hope this helps the dialog.
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
You asked "is FSO (full skin out) a useful concept?"

Certainly it has merit but only as a numbers game. Doing complicated calcuations would be a silly way to figure out how much to carry on the camino. The 10% guide is simple and can give a useful starting point for inexperienced walkers. It gives a range of 5-10 kg, assuming a range of adults' weight from 50-100 kg (110-220 lb). By happy coincidence, this is the weight that is typically needed on the Camino. If a person is small and weak, they should aim for 5 kg. A larger and stronger person might go closer to 10 kg.

Weight is easy to measure, and it can be fun to do calculations - useful or otherwise. However, those calculations ignore the vastly more significant factors that cannot easily be measured - strength and flexibility of each part of our body, metabolism, amount of sleep the night before, road conditions, balance, and a million more.

So play with the numbers as an intellectual exercise, if you like. Just understand that it doesn't make your pack any lighter!
 
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davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I see the FSO concept referred to quite regularly.

As I understand it, this concept is to designed to measure the all up weight being born by ankles and feet. And that FSO weight is the total of both pack (and contents) and of the clothes worn.

In my trade an important measure is the difference between the current the proposed state.

My assumption is that we normally wear clothes when we do normal things (shopping, theatre, whatever). My trade would first measure the all up weight doing those things. For me, on the last day of winter with wind and rain outside, I am wearing socks, casual shoes, underpants, long trousers, long sleeved shirt, wind jacket and carry a shoulder bag with my tablet/phone. All up weight = 75.5 kg (? 166 lb).

For today my Te ara hato Hemi (way of Saint James) clothes worn and pack (with tent, sleeping bag, rolled oats, water, tablet/phone, more clothes, charger, wet weather gear, meds, etc, etc) the all up weight is 81.2 kg (? 179 lb).

According to my lights the extra weight I carry when on the way is 5.7 kg.

This is both well under 10% of my body weight and the 7 kg (15.4 lb) suggested weight for pack etc.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
The only weight measurement I care about is what is referred to a the backpack's Base Weight. Base weight is the total weight of the backpack's load, minus consumables like food, water, and fuel for a stove. The base weight is a non-variable, whereas consumables vary in weight by the amount and frequency of consumption.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I remember starting a discussion on using From the Skin Out measures when someone claimed they were carrying under 5 kg, but had discounted a variety of clothing because they either wore it or carried it outside their pack. Using FSO rather that base pack weight, pack total weight, total base weight or some other measure establishes a common foundation from which to compare different packing lists etc. Even on this forum, I still see confusion about the 10% rule of thumb, and whether it refers to base pack weight or total pack weight.

If you are going to use FSO, then my interpretation of a variety of sources is that target load for the Camino should be less than 20% of your body weight. This applies everywhere and across all seasons, and this is the other good reason for using FSO measures. The 10% rule of thumb is only really useful for summer in Spain and countries with a similar climate. It does not work for walking in other seasons and places with cooler climates.

@Anemone del Camino suggests it is a strange measurement for some reason associated with larger people not wanting to carry as much as slimmer people. That is true of any guide based on weight, including using the 10% rule of thumb. I have addressed this in the past by suggesting that if one is overweight or obese, then any target weight should be set on an 'ideal walking weight' calculated as the weight you would be were your BMI were 25, the accepted upper end of the healthy weight range. I know BMI has issues, so if you think you have a better measure for your own healthy weight, use that.

@Anemone del Camino, your suggestion of an a FSI - from the skin in - measure brought a wry smile. It's may not be the cafe con leche that will slow you down, but that menu del dia in the early afternoon can be a lead weight on walking afterwards.

Whatever measure one uses and whatever guidance is associated with it, these are targets to stay under, but they are not weight limits. Getting under the target is a good thing, but if you are over, it will just slow you down, not stop you walking. If there is one thing we all seem to agree on is that keeping pack weight down is key to having a safe and comfortable camino. Someone else said it this way - to travel far, travel light.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Better still, stop weighing things and fussing with calculators and do what I did before my first camino - pack your bag how you are planning to, and get your dad to drop you 15 miles from home.
I come from a perspective that we can give prospective pilgrims much better advice on this and why today, and sharing that is a good thing to do. If it gets them a better understanding of their options, and they then test that using the approach suggested here, that is good too, and I think most of us would suggest doing that testing beforehand in any case. Lets help others get to a reasonable place in the first instance rather than using some form of trial and error.
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
I see the FSO concept referred to quite regularly.

As I understand it, this concept is to designed to measure the all up weight being born by ankles and feet. And that FSO weight is the total of both pack (and contents) and of the clothes worn.

In my trade an important measure is the difference between the current the proposed state.

My assumption is that we normally wear clothes when we do normal things (shopping, theatre, whatever). My trade would first measure the all up weight doing those things. For me, on the last day of winter with wind and rain outside, I am wearing socks, casual shoes, underpants, long trousers, long sleeved shirt, wind jacket and carry a shoulder bag with my tablet/phone. All up weight = 75.5 kg (? 166 lb).

For today my Te ara hato Hemi (way of Saint James) clothes worn and pack (with tent, sleeping bag, rolled oats, water, tablet/phone, more clothes, charger, wet weather gear, meds, etc, etc) the all up weight is 81.2 kg (? 179 lb).

According to my lights the extra weight I carry when on the way is 5.7 kg.

This is both well under 10% of my body weight and the 7 kg (15.4 lb) suggested weight for pack etc.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
Perfect if you can get prescriptions the pharmacys in Spain are the cheapest in the world I was gobsmacked how cheap the drugs were
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Lots of posts here about pack weight and almost none about the extra body weight many of us carry. (Although it's a lot easier to throw an extra jacket out of your pack than to say no to chocolate ice cream)
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
I used the 10% target as a starting point. I trained with a pack at that weight and determined that it was a good weight for me. Then my job was to get my pack down to that weight. I counted ounces. I'm glad I did. I didn't use the FSO concept, as I wasn't wearing anything unusually heavy. I counted my camera and water toward the 10%.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
If I think something is essential then I must carry it - no matter what it weighs. If I think something is unnecessary then I will leave it at home. I cannot understand how bathroom or kitchen scales can be expected to make that judgment for me. Therefore I cannot see how weighing my pack serves any useful purpose.
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
If I think something is essential then I must carry it - no matter what it weighs. If I think something is unnecessary then I will leave it at home. I cannot understand how bathroom or kitchen scales can be expected to make that judgment for me. Therefore I cannot see how weighing my pack serves any useful purpose.
Hi,

Probably by ringing a bell if the weight of your pack is beyond 10%, and let you check whether some supposed essentials could be challenged ?

Except for seasoned pilgrims who have already solved this question from previous experience...
 

NicP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata, Seville to Santiago de Compostella via Astorga, then Finisterre... April and May 2016
I agree with much of what is written above - its a useful basic guide for those who have never walked before, but as @Bradypus says, there are significantly more pragmatic ways of deciding how much to take with you if, you've done a little walking before. The forum has loads to say about what might be good to consider taking with you, and what is superfluous to requirements. We're all different, with different needs and desires, as well as different budgets.

From my own personal perspective, @JillGat has really hit the nail on the head. From both a general health and a comfort-whilst-walking perspective I'd be better to lose 10kg of body weight pre-camino than worry about how to reduce my pack weight from 10kg to 5kg. Doing both would be ideal, but the first (if it can be sustained) would likely also help me live significantly longer, as well as help my knees cope with the burden of hauling my not insubstantial butt across Spain! If only I didn't enjoy food quite so much!
 

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