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The One With The Most Money Wins

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#1
Ah! Got your attention!
I was following a thread on backpack weight and couldn't find where to put my two cents in , so here goes. It seems there is a lot of anguish about who's pack is lighter and what to pack , what you must have, what you don't need...And there's a bit of bragging on the part of some who have lighter weights. Having researched every possible piece of clothing and equipment for several years for several walks and different seasons, and meticulously weighing things, I've come to the following conclusions:

1) We aren't always sure 'how'someone weighed the gear they are boasting about. A meat hook? A bathroom scale? A luggage scale holding the entire filled pack? Each bit on a postage scale? A jewelry scale? There are some pretty lengthy lists of gear out there, posted and claiming to be a bitty 5 kg...I'll leave you with that thought

2) Then there is the dreaded "I packed 4 shirts and three pants..." Well, the shirt of a giant XXL man is far from the shirt weight of a teenie woman...' nuff said.

3) Generally, the lighter the equipment is, the more expensive it is. Super Ultralight anything comes with a hefty price tag. If you don't have $450 for a backpack, it will not weigh 1 oz.

4) And there is the theory that others put out there, don't pack this and that, " You can just buy what you need along the way" . Granted, Spain is not a third world country, but the camino route itself is not necessarily walking through malls and plazas. Many of the little villages will have a tiny one room store, with a few veggies, fruit, pasta, wine...maybe a packet of tissue. But you are NOT going to find everything you need when you need it. Major cities have sporting goods stores, but they are generally not located right on your path...you will need to hike quite a ways off to reach it, adding to your long day, or take a cab to it. And it will be expensive . And they most likely won't have any larger sizes available ( met a big guy who could not find any shoes when his blew out, a large woman who lost her pants and could not find even a man's pair to fit during the entire trek ) Many of the medium sized grocerettes had only family sized everything: 3 bars of soap, giant body wash, huge shampoo bottle which you may need to buy and share or dump. And timing is everything as the stores tend to be closed on certain days and at certain hours...I guarantee you will need something from that closed store at that time...wait it out, or walk on without it.

Many posters who are boasting ultralight full packs, or are stating 'just buy it there' most likely have no budgetary concerns, and I'm not sure that's the case with a lot of other walkers. The one with the most money wins. So don't let it be a contest.

Bottom line: Don't stress trying to get your pack down to the stated weights of others...it may not be possible, it may not be true, it may not be reasonable financially. I prefer to pack exactly what I believe I will need...no more, but no less. Bring what YOU feel YOU need and don't let others stress you out about pack weights and gear...or bring money. ( please take this as a lighthearted, but pretty accurate post )
 
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tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte Sept 2018
#2
I am considering not buying a new pair of shoes which I research for 4 months and spend $200 I can't afford on. Imagine. The horror.

(But I'll have a darn light bag which I am proud of because I am proud of my ability to 'let go' and recognize what is needed vs what is wanted)
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#3
Then there is the recommended formula to carry 10% of your body weight. What? So a woman who weighs 200 pounds (90k) and is 4 ft. tall (1.2 meter) should aim to carry 20 pounds (9k) of gear and a man who weighs 160 pounds (72.5 k) and is 6 ft. tall (1.8 meters) should aim to carry 16 pounds (7.2k). That doesn't make sense to me. How fit are you? How are your joints? And if you forego too much beer and dessert for a few months before your trip, you'll be carrying way less weight on the Camino! It can be hard to reduce the weight of your pack by 5 pounds (2.3K) but not THAT hard to lose that much body weight. (Sorry if my metric conversions aren't accurate... I'm a stupid American.)

I lowered the weight of my pack by not taking too many "extras" of things, especially clothes. And trying to prioritize things that serve more than one purpose. I like the maxim: "Don't pack your fears" too.

As for buying things in Spain, it can take a long time to find what you need and can cost more than you expect as Sophie said. But it can also occasionally be a fun adventure. I wrote up a long story about looking for duct tape, which I finally figured out is Cinta Americana in Spanish. And how the heck do you say "safety pin"? Pin de seguridad got me blank looks. (Finally thought to go in a China shop and show them a picture on my phone).

I've gotten a lot of great ideas from packing lists posted on this forum. (Except the packable, stretchy-cord laundry line. It kept getting tangled up and wasn't ever the right length for what I needed, and I wanted to use it to strangle the person who recommended it.)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#4
I don't think most of us are bragging, so much as demonstrating that light packing can be done, and readers can get a pretty good idea of what things are most often viewed as important. On my first camino I read the advice quite carefully, followed most of it with success, and I have carried almost the same equipment now for 5 Caminos.

Feel free to carry all that you want. However, if you want to carry as little as possible, there are some good ideas here.

I have met people whose first time carrying their loaded backpacks was from the car to the airport checkin counter when they were leaving home. They were surprised and dismayed soon into day 1 on the camino.
 
#5
As one who has never really obsessed about weight, I would also add that unless you are sure that the ultralight, form-free backpack works for your back (especially your lower back), you should be careful. I use an ancient Mountainsmith Ghost that weighs 2.1 pounds, which was very light in 2001 when I bought it. By the ultralight standards of today it is heavy. But I can also tell you that my lower back will not tolerate an ultralight pack, and that within an hour or so I am hurting. My heavier Ghost transfers all the weight to my hips, so that I can walk happily with 9 or 10 kilos.
 

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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#6
You make some really good points, Sophie. :)

For Camino only as a one time trip, it would not make sense to budget huge amounts for ultralight gear. However, if you are using that same gear for a lot of Caminos or backpacking and it will be used for a few years with many miles, then the investment makes a lot more sense. If one thinks of the expense as being divided over the miles that you will travel during its usable life, then for a backpacker who does many hundreds of miles of hiking over the life of the gear, it can actually end up costing very little per mile.

If all you are going to do is use the gear for a 480 mile Camino Frances, the cost per mile will be fairly steep.

However, a lot of this gear goes on sale, or can be found online at discount gear sites like Moosejaw and Campmoor. And there are decent quality, inexpensive, and very lightweight clothing and some gear choices at sites like Amazon and Alibaba with Chinese knockoffs which will last for a couple of Caminos or so. Costco, for example, has a decent very light down sleeping quilt which a lot of Camino walkers and backpackers use.

Some ultralight and very lightweight gear, like backpacks, from cottage manufacturers like ULA and Gossamer Gear are actually quite cost effective when looked at with some perennial favorites like Osprey.

For myself, I have a baker's scale which I calibrate with a 100 gram weight and a 5 pound weight. The 100 gram weight is sourced from a manufacturer of weights designed for scale certification compliance checks. The five pounder is a small dumbell disk that was measured on a calibrated scale at a machine shop. The weight was actually 4.25 ounces too heavy, and so care was taken to grind and file away enough metal to hit the 5 pound mark exactly.

I know, it sounds sorta OCD, but I also use the scale to do a lot of baking and like to be certain of my ingredient measures. :)

I weigh each item individually and all together as packed in the backpack. For measuring the entire backpack with contents, I use a digital luggage scale that measures about a 6 ounces heavier than it should according to my 5 pound weight.

What is absolutely amazing and confounding to me is that after each individual piece is carefully weighed and the weights all added together, the weight of the totally packed backpack never agrees with the individual totals. o_O I don't know if its the cumulation of small fractions of unrecordable weight of each item, the weight of air trapped within all the packed gear and clothing, or some sneaky gremlin trying to hitch a ride.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#7
As one who has never really obsessed about weight, I would also add that unless you are sure that the ultralight, form-free backpack works for your back (especially your lower back), you should be careful. I use an ancient Mountainsmith Ghost that weighs 2.1 pounds, which was very light in 2001 when I bought it. By the ultralight standards of today it is heavy. But I can also tell you that my lower back will not tolerate an ultralight pack, and that within an hour or so I am hurting. My heavier Ghost transfers all the weight to my hips, so that I can walk happily with 9 or 10 kilos.
I had to smile at the thought that your Mountainsmith would be outdated as an 'ultralight' pack. I would still consider that weight range for a pack 'ultralight'. My smile was brought on with what has now evolved in the fastpacker world of backpacking, which has taken 'ultralight' and moved the bar to 'hyperlight'.

And that is the category that those frameless, "free-form" packs fall into. The hyperlight fanatics will cut their loads to below 10 pounds for a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike. Yup, that's right.... it is really cutting corners and willing to accept discomfort on all fronts from weather to sleeping to hunger to, well you get the idea. To me, it is nuts :). But at those low weights, a frameless pack can work. it's not for me, though.

Your Mountainsmith is still considered ultralight, and like that pack, a lot of the ultralight cottage manufacturers will focus their energies on internal fully framed packs in the 2 to 3 pound range. I was able to take my Gossamer Gear Mariposa (normal weight 2.1 pounds) and do some elimination of unneeded features to get it below 2 pounds, and still have a comfortable full frame backpack.

So, you are still an ultralight walker, Laurie :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
#8
I think the 10% "rule" forgets an important couple of points - as a women who has only reduced under 100kg at 1.75m at at 56 with stuffed knees - there is no way in hell I'd do conventional travel with a 10kg pack. But if I was at the "right" BMI - I should be carrying about 7kg - interestingly enough that is exactly the weight of my pack when I checked in for a flight home last week from a trip in Asia. My partner's weight's less but only because I carry a tablet and electronics. For the caminio I'd be aiming for about 5kg before water was added. I think my knees can handle it - particularly if I can lose another 5kg from the actual body before next year.
 
#9
I had to smile at the thought that your Mountainsmith would be outdated as an 'ultralight' pack. I would still consider that weight range for a pack 'ultralight'. My smile was brought on with what has now evolved in the fastpacker world of backpacking, which has taken 'ultralight' and moved the bar to 'hyperlight'.

And that is the category that those frameless, "free-form" packs fall into. The hyperlight fanatics will cut their loads to below 10 pounds for a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike. Yup, that's right.... it is really cutting corners and willing to accept discomfort on all fronts from weather to sleeping to hunger to, well you get the idea. To me, it is nuts :). But at those low weights, a frameless pack can work. it's not for me, though.

Your Mountainsmith is still considered ultralight, and like that pack, a lot of the ultralight cottage manufacturers will focus their energies on internal fully framed packs in the 2 to 3 pound range. I was able to take my Gossamer Gear Mariposa (normal weight 2.1 pounds) and do some elimination of unneeded features to get it below 2 pounds, and still have a comfortable full frame backpack.

So, you are still an ultralight walker, Laurie :)
Ok, Mr. davebugg,
Since you are so well connected to the outside industry, would you PLEASE tell Mountainsmith to resuscitate its original Ghost backpack?! Or is the new Ghost 50 a good substitute? My pack is getting old, it has now weathered 16 caminos!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#10
Ok, Mr. davebugg,
Since you are so well connected to the outside industry, would you PLEASE tell Mountainsmith to resuscitate its original Ghost backpack?! Or is the new Ghost 50 a good substitute? My pack is getting old, it has now weathered 16 caminos!
I hate to be the bearer, but I don't think that the Ghost 50 is still in production. :(
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#11
Ok, Mr. davebugg,
Since you are so well connected to the outside industry, would you PLEASE tell Mountainsmith to resuscitate its original Ghost backpack?! Or is the new Ghost 50 a good substitute? My pack is getting old, it has now weathered 16 caminos!
I remember when Mountainsmith was a new little operation and I used to call them on Sunday to request special orders for customers. Not sure if it's that easy now!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#12
For myself, I have a baker's scale which I calibrate with a 100 gram weight and a 5 pound weight. The 100 gram weight is sourced from a manufacturer of weights designed for scale certification compliance checks. The five pounder is a small dumbell disk that was measured on a calibrated scale at a machine shop. The weight was actually 4.25 ounces too heavy, and so care was taken to grind and file away enough metal to hit the 5 pound mark exactly.
We knew you had this, DaveBugg.
:D
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#13
I'm with @peregrina2000. Smaller and lighter does not always mean more comfortable. I recently bought a much smaller, lighter pack than my old standby. It is OK - but I still think the old fully featured much bigger pack is more comfortable, even when fully loaded with far more weight. The only advantage of the smaller pack is that it is a carry-on.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#14
I use a digital postal scale! After putting each item in a separate plastic bag with rubber bands around them, I weigh them....as that is how I carry them.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
(Le Puy- St Jean Pied a Port (September 2018 )

St. Jean Pied a Port - Finisterre 2008
#15
. My heavier Ghost transfers all the weight to my hips, so that I can walk happily with 9 or 10 kilos.[/QUOTE]

Yes, true. 2 years ago I got a new pack (after 30 years) and it is heavier empty than the old one, but comfortable on back. And no more embarrassing events like on the CF asking for, begging for candle wax from villagers when the aged zip on my pack began unzipping all by itself.
Granted- it was light, old and beloved but times move on. Not sure how the new one will work out- have done some stressful walks in Azerbaijan using it, but I think that was the heat not the weight. (and that was 'normal' travelling weight, not Camino)
 
#16
Here's my simple rule - just bring fewer things

Camino Norte, May or September
Heaviest items first (would add towel and slippers if staying in albergues)

Guide book
Tube of electrolyte tablets x3
Electric shaver
Cool-Lite t-shirt LS
Soap, deodorant, plasters
Cool-Lite t-shirt SS
Water bottles x2
Sleeping bag liner
Spare glasses
Rain jacket
Running shorts
Sun cream
Hat
Underpants
Liner socks x3
Alarm clock
Dry bags x2
Buff
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#19
Thanks for the post, especially the merger contents of the village shops and closing at different hours, this is something i hadn't considered. So now pre warned. I hadn't realised there would be bragging rights about pack weight ! I hoped walking the camino was about leaving your ego at home. I totally agree, i'm taking what i believe i need and will find out on my journey if my choices were right, and examine my attachment issues if and when. To those who have perfected their pack, i say well done !
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#21
I hadn't realised there would be bragging rights about pack weight ! I hoped walking the camino was about leaving your ego at home.
Sometimes we have rose-tinted notions of what walking the Caminos will be like. Perhaps it is just as well to be forewarned that there are all sorts of people both here and on the Caminos - you will not always find everyone's words and actions to your taste. I have been known to walk an extra 10 or 15km one day to leave someone more than usually annoying well behind me :)
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#22
I don't think most of us are bragging, so much as demonstrating that light packing can be done, and readers can get a pretty good idea of what things are most often viewed as important. On my first camino I read the advice quite carefully, followed most of it with success, and I have carried almost the same equipment now for 5 Caminos.

Feel free to carry all that you want. However, if you want to carry as little as possible, there are some good ideas here.

I have met people whose first time carrying their loaded backpacks was from the car to the airport checkin counter when they were leaving home. They were surprised and dismayed soon into day 1 on the camino.

Please let me clarify: I never said 'most of us are bragging' , I said "Many posters who are boasting"...big difference. I'm not assigning braggery to the whole, but singling out some who ARE actually bragging. That said, the point, stated repeatedly in the OP is do not compare your pack efforts to others. I've seen comments of people stressing that another got his pack to 11 LBs and distressed because they can't get their pack lower than 12.2 LBs. No doubt there are good suggestions for decreasing weight, but in the end it is what is necessary and available to the walker.
Some with the barebones minimum for their size and needs, might have pack weights far exceeding mine with the same basic items and a few extras. My intent in posting was to give people things to consider when they get caught up in the endless abyss of why another's pack seems to weigh considerably less ( weighing methods, clothing sizes, gear weight, ultralight, etc) ...And to warn that comparison is never a good thing, especially when it's apples to oranges.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#23
Sometimes we have rose-tinted notions of what walking the Caminos will be like. Perhaps it is just as well to be forewarned that there are all sorts of people both here and on the Caminos - you will not always find everyone's words and actions to your taste. I have been known to walk an extra 10 or 15km one day to leave someone more than usually annoying well behind me :)
Thanks for the reality check Bradypus and the option to walk extra. Very good ! Blessings to you
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
#24
I'm with @peregrina2000. Smaller and lighter does not always mean more comfortable. I recently bought a much smaller, lighter pack than my old standby. It is OK - but I still think the old fully featured much bigger pack is more comfortable, even when fully loaded with far more weight. The only advantage of the smaller pack is that it is a carry-on.
Hey @Kanga are you referring there to the aarn featherlite freedom v natural aspiration?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#25
Hundreds of people every year walk with the stuff they already have at home, whatever it weighs, and they make it to Santiago somehow. It´s a pilgrimage. When you realize something is lacking, you don´t simply go shopping, because often there is no shop. You adjust to life without. You realize your pants are too big, your shoe is taped together, your hair is a frizzy mess, you don´t smell like a flower garden... and you´ve never been happier.
Less is more. You´ll find what you need, and leave the Stuff behind.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#26
Here's my simple rule - just bring fewer things

Camino Norte, May or September
Heaviest items first (would add towel and slippers if staying in albergues)

Guide book
Tube of electrolyte tablets x3
Electric shaver
Cool-Lite t-shirt LS
Soap, deodorant, plasters
Cool-Lite t-shirt SS
Water bottles x2
Sleeping bag liner
Spare glasses
Rain jacket
Running shorts
Sun cream
Hat
Underpants
Liner socks x3
Alarm clock
Dry bags x2
Buff
I hope you are staying in private rooms with an alarm clock ⏰ unless of course it is a silent alarm!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017
#28
See that checkered shirt... the pic is from my first Camino in 2012, at Fisterra. I wore it in 2015 and 2017 and at times my friends are confused because "same shirt, but different geography" It was one of my best "investments", super fast drying and it doubles as a jacket on cooler days and very sunny days to prevent sunburn. I carry my gear in my 28L Gregory, so everything has a purpose and I still manage to add my "luxury items a gongfu teapot and some cups plus my stash of tea". My heaviest item is my Altus Poncho, that thing weights a ton. I usually send it on to Santiago, where it is most likely needed. I personally don't care if I get wet, but my gear needs to be protected, so I have come up with other solutions that work, but I still bring that Poncho. In 2012 I carried a huge farmacia with me, even my hubby said "what you gonna play nurse to everyone on the Camino?" - actually I did, but when I got injured I went to the local Farmacia for help. - Go figure! No longer being Florence Nightingale, I carry only what I know I have to use. I still find myself surprised by the weight in the end (maybe because I pack for more then the camino) but I now no longer worry about it. I put my backpack into a suitcase that also holds my poles and everything else that I need post or in between caminos. Once I am in Spain, I retrieve my mochila and send the rest on to Ivar. My solutions work for me and next year, will see how I pack. I am starting in Ireland.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#29
I read this post and the ensuing discussion with interest. I have never "backpacked". Carrying a pack to walk a portion of the Frances route will be my first time doing so in 67 years. When shopping for a pack, I was uncharacteristicallly stressed out; I could feel that each pack I tried on rubbed or pressed on my body somewhere. Then I tried on "the one" - a Gregory Jade. What I didn't realize is that it was also the smallest of all the packs I had tried. I purchased it and then wondered how I would get even the essentials into it. With my start date just a month and a bit away, I have started experimenting by packing and repacking. I can keep my pack very light until I start to add the toiletries and a few medications - oops.... there goes my ideal weight. Eventually I came to the conclusion that 12 lb. total was an unrealistic number and that if I could keep it under 15 lbs (with the very unsophisticated method of stepping on a scale without pack, then steeping on the scale with the loaded pack and subtracting to find the difference), then I was doing well. Now I realize what a previous poster has already said, "take the recommended minimum and maybe one thing extra that would make you happy and be useful to you and then don't worry about what the numbers say. And wonder of wonders - the minimum plus one extra fits nicely in my Gregory 28L. What is more important, I hardly notice the weight of the pack as I walk because it balances so nicely on my hips and fits perfectly across my shoulders. Pack weight is a lot less important than pack fit, I have come to believe.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#30
I have been backpacking, in the mountains of western Canada, and more recently on three fairly lengthy camino routes, for the past forty-five years. I have never had a comfortable backpack, regardless of size, price, fit, contents, etc. Either my body is particularly perverse in this respect or the idea of a comfortable backpack is a fiction invented by the sellers of the same to encourage the hopeful to go on buying more backpacks. Regardless, I love backpacking and do my best within my budget and what is available to me to provide myself with a bearable pack. Recently, the backpack that I used on my three caminos has died. Admittedly, falling backwards into a mudhole may have had something to do with it, and besides it had about 3,000 km on it. I have chosen a new one from what is available and within my budget. But I know that my shoulders will hurt, regardless. Unfortunately, money does not always provide comfort or practicability.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017
#31
I read this post and the ensuing discussion with interest. I have never "backpacked". Carrying a pack to walk a portion of the Frances route will be my first time doing so in 67 years. When shopping for a pack, I was uncharacteristicallly stressed out; I could feel that each pack I tried on rubbed or pressed on my body somewhere. Then I tried on "the one" - a Gregory Jade. What I didn't realize is that it was also the smallest of all the packs I had tried. I purchased it and then wondered how I would get even the essentials into it. With my start date just a month and a bit away, I have started experimenting by packing and repacking. I can keep my pack very light until I start to add the toiletries and a few medications - oops.... there goes my ideal weight. Eventually I came to the conclusion that 12 lb. total was an unrealistic number and that if I could keep it under 15 lbs (with the very unsophisticated method of stepping on a scale without pack, then steeping on the scale with the loaded pack and subtracting to find the difference), then I was doing well. Now I realize what a previous poster has already said, "take the recommended minimum and maybe one thing extra that would make you happy and be useful to you and then don't worry about what the numbers say. And wonder of wonders - the minimum plus one extra fits nicely in my Gregory 28L. What is more important, I hardly notice the weight of the pack as I walk because it balances so nicely on my hips and fits perfectly across my shoulders. Pack weight is a lot less important than pack fit, I have come to believe.
You will be ok with the Gregory 28L, same one as mine. You will be so thankful for it, it does balance beautifully. FYI, If you are carrying a sleeping gear, more then a silk liner, attach it on the outside in a waterproof sack. First thing on the bed, last thing cleaned up. Especially useful trick if you are an early morning walker. Buen Camino!
 
#32
.
And no more embarrassing events like on the CF asking for, begging for candle wax from villagers when the aged zip on my pack began unzipping all by itself.
)
I had that problem on my Camino Mózarabe this spring. The zipper on my fanny pack just wouldn’t stay closed. After trips to a few outdoor shops in Granada withut finding a fanny pack that I liked, the guy who was helping me asked me why I didn’t just go get mine fixed. He sent me to an upholsterer friend who had a device that looked like a cross between pliers and a wrench with teeth, and with three little movements, he fixed the zipper. And he told me he had repaired zippers on countless backpacks. In the US, we just throw them out. So bring your broken backpack to Spain and get thee to an upholsterer.
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte Sept 2018
#33
I too have settled in a bag that just somehow suits.i have taken it on two now, with the third upcoming. It's really not a backpacking bag at all and I am sometimes questioned...'is that really your bag?!' It's moreso a glorified book bag. It is small which I like because it limits the load and while it's not necessarily all that comfy, I keep thinking it's good enough not to risk getting something worse. I remember the stressful trips and returns trying to settle on that one - can't bare to go through that again!

I will never forget the woman I saw motoring along one day with a loosey goosey fabric 'knapsack' one day, carrying a wicker basket in one hand and a wooden parasol in the other. That firmly instilled in me there was not necessarily an absolute need for the perfect hiking backpack.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Coast - March 2019
Camino(s) past & future
March-April,2016 finished
March 2019 the Portugal Coastal Route
#34
I have 2 kits. The first one (48 liters.) I wore on my first Camino because that is what I owned. I can load up to 40 lbs. for my packing expeditions into the Cascade and Rocky Mountains. It worked well on my Camino and was only half full and weighed about 20 lbs. which included my brothers ashes to spread on the Camino (2 1/2 lbs.) 2 years ago I purchased an ultra-light (38 liter) pack for common travel with beds to sleep in because as I have traveled with it into Eastern Europe and the Middle-East for a couple of months at a time but I never think about the weight because I pack just what I need and no more. Heavier kits can carry more weight comfortably 40 lbs. + and the lighter carries up to 15 lbs. comfortably. My next Camino is April 2019 with the smaller kit. Meanwhile the mountains are calling out to me. Last weekend I did a 16 mile loop on Mt Rainier.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#35
I have been known to walk an extra 10 or 15km one day to leave someone more than usually annoying well behind me :)
I tried that once, only to see the same person the very next day sitting in the only café in a small village. So I had to smile and say hello again. They had taken a taxi "to save a few kms".
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#37
:eek::oops::rolleyes:o_O:(:confused::mad:!!!!! I'd have to use emoticons because (polite) words would fail me ;)
Ha ha. Well, a little bit of tolerance and some patience seemed to go a long way. A couple of days later we ended up sharing a room together :eek:, and after a long chat I learned that this person was terminally ill. It was for me very humbling.
Jill
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#38
I tried that once, only to see the same person the very next day sitting in the only café in a small village. So I had to smile and say hello again. They had taken a taxi "to save a few kms".
Jill
So maybe it's better to stay half a stage behind ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#39
Fun thread - whether they are bragging or boasting or scared or concerned, I always enjoy the kit threads ... I always tend to disbelieve the superlights - just a litre of water weighs a kilo!

As for the 10% rule - forget it, there is a better way. If when you put your pack on you have to lean forward wearing it it is too heavy. The pack should be light enough that you are standing upright and balanced, simple as that.
I have put this in elsewhere but try this. Stand straight, with your arms down by your sides. Now, become aware of the front of your legs right down to your toes. Turn your elbows outwards slightly and then lean forward from the waist - just from the waist. You will feel all of the tendons and ligaments in the front of your legs, right down to your feet, go into stress - and this is what happens when you wear a pack that is too heavy for you, you lean forward the same way, to counter-balance - so, you need to be able to wear that pack without that leaning forward - and that is why if you cannot stand upright and relaxed when wearing your pack then it is too heavy - so forget the 10% rule and go for this.

You know it makes sense ;)
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#40
Fun thread - whether they are bragging or boasting or scared or concerned, I always enjoy the kit threads ... I always tend to disbelieve the superlights - just a litre of water weighs a kilo!
That is a great point, David. That is the reason why the term "base weight" came into being. Base weight is the weight of the pack and its contents, minus the consumables. It gives a better picture of the weight of the pack, which will remain relatively constant. Food, water, fuel will get used up and then replenished, so it is always a variable.

The term "Total weight" is the pack's base weight with consumables on board.

So, for example, when I mention my pack weight, it is always the base weight I refer to. Since I will carry either more or less water, depending on conditions, the Total weight will reflect that additional load. If my base weight is 8.2 pounds for Camino, my total weight will probably be around 10 to 11 pounds.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 20, 2016 to May 20, '16 SJPdP to Santiago d C.
#46
Love this thread, Sophie! I like the point about not being so heavy you need to lean forward, too, David. The 10% rule is a good starting point, but it certainly doesn't apply if you're not fit. For me, starting at 140 lbs. and finishing at 126 it was a moving target! My pack started at 17 lbs. My mistake was bringing too much first aid stuff, and I started dumping in Burgos. A few warmer clothes went along the way as things warmed up in May. My pack was lighter as I went along, but considering my weight loss probably didn't make the 10% rule, but I persevered pretty soar feet most of the Camino and finished exhausted. I'd try and go lighter if I get to go back, God willing. Buen Camino amigos. You're always on my mind. 'Thoughts and prayers to those walking today.
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
#47
I’m an American woman in my mid-60s. I love to carry as little as possible. But It is ironic from the standpoint of age to see all the angst over weight. When we used to backpack in the American wilderness we carried packs of 40 lb or more! That was just how it was in the 1970s and 80’s.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#48
I had that problem on my Camino Mózarabe this spring. The zipper on my fanny pack just wouldn’t stay closed. After trips to a few outdoor shops in Granada withut finding a fanny pack that I liked, the guy who was helping me asked me why I didn’t just go get mine fixed. He sent me to an upholsterer friend who had a device that looked like a cross between pliers and a wrench with teeth, and with three little movements, he fixed the zipper. And he told me he had repaired zippers on countless backpacks. In the US, we just throw them out. So bring your broken backpack to Spain and get thee to an upholsterer.
Or carry some safety pins ;)
 

Bob P

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer, leaving April 3rd from SJPDP
#49
Aha, always back to pack weight. My "base weight" ( complete kit, no food or water) was 15#-9 oz. when I left home end of March. Plenty of clothes, night layer and rain gear. At Burgos I sent my insulated jacket to Santiago and bought a wind jacket. I reduced carried soap quantity. Otherwise kept original kit. When I got home my base weight was 14#-14oz. So lighter jacket and less soap was 11 oz. At 200 pounds body weight, I was well below the 10% and had everything I needed. I did most of my research on American thru-hikers kits. They have MANY YouTube videos you can watch to learn tricks. I ended up with an Exos pack for less money than lightest packs available. Thru-hikers also carry tent, serious bedroll and cooking gear and accomplished sub 20 pound kits all the time. Spend some time watching their videos and you can pick up a lot of information and details. "Homemade Wanderlust" and "Darwin on the trail" are excellent Vloggers. Things as simple as using lighter water bottles instead of Nalgene bottles is good for 8 oz reduction.
Coming back next year !!!!
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
CP, Porto to SdC, May/June 2016
#50
As one who has never really obsessed about weight, I would also add that unless you are sure that the ultralight, form-free backpack works for your back (especially your lower back), you should be careful. I use an ancient Mountainsmith Ghost that weighs 2.1 pounds, which was very light in 2001 when I bought it. By the ultralight standards of today it is heavy. But I can also tell you that my lower back will not tolerate an ultralight pack, and that within an hour or so I am hurting. My heavier Ghost transfers all the weight to my hips, so that I can walk happily with 9 or 10 kilos.
Check these two out. They seem close to your Ghost specs. Particularly on the weight, if slightly smaller in pack volume than 50L.
Sizing (torso length, not pack volume), if anything, may be the the crux issue for you with either of these. Each has a good built in U shaped aluminum frame stay should transfer weight to your hips. I like the "j" zip access. Seems just right for the Camino.

https://www.marmot.com/graviton-38/...=1414&dwvar_24690_size=0085ONE&cgid=equipment

or

https://www.marmot.com/wms-graviton...=4573&dwvar_24160_size=0085ONE&cgid=equipment

Or this Gregory series (28L, 33L, 38L, 53L and 63L) has 2 torso sizes. My daughter used this (the 38L) for the CP 2 years ago and really liked it, particularly the "trampoline" style mesh back panel. It comes with an internal daypack that can be removed and is pretty handy for around town once you reach your alburgue, or used for a water bladder holder, if you use one (she didn't). Of course, you could leave it out completely to shave pack weight.

https://www.rei.com/product/895090/gregory-jade-38-pack-womens
 
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#51
Check these two out. They seem close to your Ghost specs. Particularly on the weight, if slightly smaller in pack volume than 50L.
Sizing (torso length, not pack volume), if anything, may be the the crux issue for you with either of these. Each has a good built in U shaped aluminum frame stay should transfer weight to your hips. I like the "j" zip access. Seems just right for the Camino.

https://www.marmot.com/graviton-38/...=1414&dwvar_24690_size=0085ONE&cgid=equipment

or

https://www.marmot.com/wms-graviton...=4573&dwvar_24160_size=0085ONE&cgid=equipment

Or this Gregory series (28L, 33L, 38L, 53L and 63L) has 2 torso sizes. My daughter used this (the 38L) for the CP 2 years ago and really liked it, particularly the "trampoline" style mesh back panel. It comes with an internal daypack that can be removed and is pretty handy for around town once you reach your alburgue, or used for a water bladder holder, if you use one (she didn't). Of course, you could leave it out completely to shave pack weight.

https://www.rei.com/product/895090/gregory-jade-38-pack-womens
Oh, thank you so much, I have bookmarked this for when i eventually do go to replace my pack. It is so great to have all you gear experts out there always ready to help, buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#53
I think there’s a definite trade off between weight and comfort. At 3 lbs 3 ozs, my Osprey Stratos 36 pack isn’t the lightest out there, but I can wear it all day and not find it a bother. At 2 lbs 1 oz, my North Face Lynx sleeping bag also isn’t the lightest out there, but it had a wider shoulder and hip girth than the lightweight bags I looked into, which for a big guy like me is essential for comfort. I tried the silk liners but found I got all twisted up in them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2010, 2015
#54
Ah! Got your attention!
I was following a thread on backpack weight and couldn't find where to put my two cents in , so here goes. It seems there is a lot of anguish about who's pack is lighter and what to pack , what you must have, what you don't need...And there's a bit of bragging on the part of some who have lighter weights. Having researched every possible piece of clothing and equipment for several years for several walks and different seasons, and meticulously weighing things, I've come to the following conclusions:

1) We aren't always sure 'how'someone weighed the gear they are boasting about. A meat hook? A bathroom scale? A luggage scale holding the entire filled pack? Each bit on a postage scale? A jewelry scale? There are some pretty lengthy lists of gear out there, posted and claiming to be a bitty 5 kg...I'll leave you with that thought

2) Then there is the dreaded "I packed 4 shirts and three pants..." Well, the shirt of a giant XXL man is far from the shirt weight of a teenie woman...' nuff said.

3) Generally, the lighter the equipment is, the more expensive it is. Super Ultralight anything comes with a hefty price tag. If you don't have $450 for a backpack, it will not weigh 1 oz.

4) And there is the theory that others put out there, don't pack this and that, " You can just buy what you need along the way" . Granted, Spain is not a third world country, but the camino route itself is not necessarily walking through malls and plazas. Many of the little villages will have a tiny one room store, with a few veggies, fruit, pasta, wine...maybe a packet of tissue. But you are NOT going to find everything you need when you need it. Major cities have sporting goods stores, but they are generally not located right on your path...you will need to hike quite a ways off to reach it, adding to your long day, or take a cab to it. And it will be expensive . And they most likely won't have any larger sizes available ( met a big guy who could not find any shoes when his blew out, a large woman who lost her pants and could not find even a man's pair to fit during the entire trek ) Many of the medium sized grocerettes had only family sized everything: 3 bars of soap, giant body wash, huge shampoo bottle which you may need to buy and share or dump. And timing is everything as the stores tend to be closed on certain days and at certain hours...I guarantee you will need something from that closed store at that time...wait it out, or walk on without it.

Many posters who are boasting ultralight full packs, or are stating 'just buy it there' most likely have no budgetary concerns, and I'm not sure that's the case with a lot of other walkers. The one with the most money wins. So don't let it be a contest.

Bottom line: Don't stress trying to get your pack down to the stated weights of others...it may not be possible, it may not be true, it may not be reasonable financially. I prefer to pack exactly what I believe I will need...no more, but no less. Bring what YOU feel YOU need and don't let others stress you out about pack weights and gear...or bring money. ( please take this as a lighthearted, but pretty accurate post )
This is so true. My large friend's shoes took up a lot of room while mine were minimal in comparison. I believe that the excess pack weight accumulates when we pack our fears. The items that "might come in handy" for all possible scenarios one can think up will weigh one down. This happened on my first Camino in 2010. My second Camino backpack was half the size of the first. The third Camino the pack was a bit lighter. Training for 2020 and think it will level out the same as 2016.
 

Aysen Mustafa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the Camino April 2018.
#55
There was one in the pilgrim's office in SJPDP which I used to weigh my pack before I started walking. My bag was way too heavy and then I had to wait five days, until Puenta da Reine before I could get to a open post office, and also left behind a few items before then.
 
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