The question was:
Someone somewhere arbitrarily came up with this guideline that one should strive to restrict the weight of their backpack to 10% of body weight. This gets passed around over and over again and seems now to have become a golden rule. Where does it come from?
Obviously it helps to limit weight, but there is no reason to blindly follow some artificial rule that may have worked well for the person originally establishing the measure, yet may not necessarily be appropriate for a good many others.
Factors not directly related to body weight, such as a person’s physique, level of physical conditioning, body strength, state of health etc. determine the amount of weight that one can comfortably carry. To base the decision soley on body weight doesn’t seem to make all that much sense.
I’ve seen people who go to extremes to keep their backpack weight low. Things like removing staples from papers they may carry, cutting off and discarding half of the toothbrush handle and drilling large holes in the remaining portion to reduce miniscule amounts of weight, packing half of a comb. Do these and other such measures really make that much difference?
This is not to discount the validity of suggestions to minimize weight. But, 10%: Just doesn’t work for everyone.
Read the conversation on backpacks should be 10% of your body weight on the Camino de Santiago.