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Thread: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

  1. #1
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    I once toured Italy with an 18-pound backpack. At the end, I was really sore and tired. Now, few years later, I am older and want to go hiking with my back pack in Southern California deserts, mountains, etc. I have a Super Speed Graphic (about 2.5 pounds) plus 4 film holders, plus one small and one medium lens, plus Pentax spot meter, plus dark cloth, plus little book and pen, plus Lupe, all including the back pack weights 10 pounds. My tripod with head weights 5 pounds. How come that adds to much? My question is does this weight seem normal? how much does your equipment weight when gone hiking? Thanks, Pepe

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    Routine conditioning carrying a pack weekly or so really helps to build capacity.

  3. #3
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    When the wife and I worked at China Lake, a popular activity was wilderness hiking. I seem to recall 40-60lb of equipment-filled backpack for 3-day weekend hikes in the Sierra Nevadas. That was food in bear can, shelter, water, 35mm camera with film, etc. Desert hiking and exploring ghost camps were day-only affairs with at least 1 gallon water and a small amount of emergency equipment and 35mm camera, film. Each gallon of water weighs 3.875 kg plus container.

    It's a beautiful region to explore, but be mindful of Mother Nature. She can be unforgiving out there for the ill-prepared.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
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  4. #4
    Foamer
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    Re: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    My pack weighs about 20 pounds with the water bladder filled. For a hiking tripod I use a Feisol 3441T with small Photoclam ballhead. It weighs about 2.5 pounds. I easily hiked in the mountains around Mt. Rainier last summer with this, but I spent weeks getting into shape. I went up and down stairs of a tall building with the pack, and also did some local hiking with it. I do have some basic supplies in my pack as well as camera gear--enough to let me spend a night if something doesn't go as planned.


    Kent in SD
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  5. #5

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    Re: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    The ideal weight? Easy: the lightest you can get all the critical equipment and food you will need for your duration.

    What else can be said? "Carry more weight, to get to the ideal...?"

  6. #6

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    Re: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    Stuff weighs what it weighs. There are lighter cameras and tripods you can buy if weight is an issue.

  7. #7
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    Just got back from the Redwoods where my pack for my 20x24-14x17 is 40 lbs! and the tripod is 18 lbs. I did not have to go far nor did I want to! All of my shots were close to the car. Carry what you need and always keep in shape. I work out like crazy because at 67 I still can carry my big camera and get it up on the tripod by myself. I want to do it for as long as I can. And yes I'm sore today.

  8. #8

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    Re: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    Seems like what would be ideal weight for a mid 20s athlete would not be the ideal weight for a 5’6” 60 year old couch potato.
    Besides what you want to carry the real question is what you are fit to carry and able to comfortably carry.
    Since you did not specify and asked a general question and don’t know ages, sizes and health of the responders the answers are basically meaningless to you!

  9. #9

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    Re: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    Don't spare the water!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  10. #10

    Re: Ideal weight of the back pack to hike in Southern California?

    I agree that there are so many variables that it's hard to give advice, but one constant is making sure you have your footwear sorted before getting too ambitious with your route planning--blisters probably blow up more trips than anything else. Realize, too, that both pack weight and of course terrain can affect your boot fit, especially over the course of a long day--hopefully you'll have time for a few shakedown cruises before you get in a situation where it's hard to bail-out. Otherwise, have fun and enjoy the process!

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