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Friday, December 19, 2014

What made my pack so heavy?

Recently on a day trip goat hunt/hike (read about hunt here) I brought along a tent, sleeping bag, and woodstove.  I figured you never know what will happen and the days are so short and nights so long.  Maybe I'd shoot a goat and he'd fall in a ravine and we'd have to spend the night.  So I brought along emergency gear, and the tent, while small, has slept three in the past (click here to see that hunt).  That morning when I picked up Philip and Adelia I felt a little insecure about my huge pack, and I almost, but not quite, decided to dump gear.

Anyway, it was a long day and on the last climb, as Philip and Adelia flitted on up the hill in front of me, my pack felt REALLY heavy .  Philip had carried my pack for a bit while I was stalking the goats and commented that he was surprised at how light it was considering how bulky it looked.  This got me a bit insecure and I pondered if I was just old and out of shape.  How heavy was my pack?

So when I got home I weighed the pack on my digital scale and it came in at 38 pounds.  That's pretty heavy for a day hunt pack.  I immediately wondered about the weight-cost of my emergency gear and weighed the tent, sleeping bag, bivy and woodstove all together.  I was shocked to find they only weighed 6 pounds!

So what had made my pack so heavy?  I weighed out the different parts and was surprised to discover that the bow, game bags, satellite phone and case, ice axe and crampons weighed 16 pounds!  That's what weighed the pack down!  I was particularly shocked at how much the game bags weighed.  Anyway, what made the whole exercise interesting was that the emergency gear really did not add all that much weight.  Maybe it's time to get some light game bags and dump the SAT phone case.

Seek Outside Evolution Pack empty = 4 pounds
Bow and arrows = 8.5 pounds
10 degree down sleeping bag, bivy bag, tent for 3 and woodstove = 6 pounds
3 Game bags, SAT phone and case, crampons, and ice axe = 8 pounds
Bone/wood saw, puff jacket, rain pants and jacket, food, knives, range finder and binos, water bottle and misc stuff = 11.5 pounds
Total = 38 pounds



Molly Odell said...

There are probably a lot of ridges and mountains from which you can get regular old cell reception these days, lessening the need for a sat phone. But, depends on how much risk you're willing to take.

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

Believe me, I know where cell phones do and do not work on Kodiak. And if my partner has a cell phone we bring it. Where we went on this hike cell phones do not work, but, funnily enough none of us own cell phones anyway.