How much weight should a person carry on a long hiking trip?

I was thinking of going on a two-week hiking trip in spring, and was wondering if there were any general rules on how much weight was good to carry, in order to not hurt yourself. I know I want to bring a one-person tent, lightweight sleeping bag, a change of clothes, camera, food and water.

Update:

to add extra info for this situation, I happen to be female, weigh 150, and am used to chopping my own firewood on a daily basis with an axe. I am a slow walker, but can continue for 8 hours.

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I was a guide and taught backpacking for many years. I've found that a general rule of thumb is that a reasonably fit person is most comfortable carrying no more than 25% of their body weight in a well-distributed load on their back. And 20% or less is even better. It can be tough in winter to keep it below 25% or on trips where you have to carry all your own water, as in the desert. One third your body weight and up becomes a real misery. I have carried almost half my weight (I am the same size as you) on winter mountaineering trips and it is not pleasant, even when you are extremely fit (as I was at the time.) It would kill me now. When I was younger I carried everything but the kitchen sink (often had to as I was the guide and would carry first add supplies and spare clothes and hardware for the clients who might need them). Now I am more cautious and prefer not to be beating myself up with a heavy pack -- much more enjoyable to hike with lightweight gear!

    So, if you could keep your total load between 30 and 35 lbs you would be fine, but if you can get down more towards 25 or less you will be happier. For average trips in moderate weather, I figure roughly 5 lbs for my half of the tent and accessories, 5 lbs for sleeping bag and pad, 5 lbs for stove and cookware (including pocket knife and fuel), and 5 lbs for clothing and hygiene and miscellaneous items like camera and flashlight. Water bottles add a couple of lbs each when full and of course your pack itself empty can weigh 3 to 6 lbs.

    Source(s): many miles on the trail.
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  • byro
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Person Hiking

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  • Gail
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/av2ML

    It really depends on 2 things: Your strength/stamina and the pack you're going to use. You can be uncomfortable with 20 pounds in a crappy pack and comfortable in a quality pack (like the Osprey Aether) and carry 80 pounds and feel good. Either way, you need to be in shape. I would take the pack you plan on bringing, load it with different things in different ways and do some test walks/hikes before the big trip. No one can give you the right answer, it's really up to you.

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  • 8 years ago

    You should carry as little as possible while still retaining sufficient equipment to be prepared for adverse conditions. I have never weighed my backpack, but weight varies depending on many factors, including the season. From your description, you are ill-prepared to begin a two-week backpacking trip and do not know what to pack. You are also probably overweight and out-of-shape. I suggest that you try a few weekend backpacking experiences to begin preparing for more serious adventures before you end-up wasting the time of a search and rescue team. Also, do more research on the gear you should carry.

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  • chris
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Well tried and true backpackers have trimmed down the fat on what they carry and with ultralight gear you can get your load down into the 30lbs or less class. You don't sound too experienced for a 2 week trip yet so try some weekend ones first and study up on what gear is out there and how to pack. REI has some great articles for your reading pleasure on the subject,

    http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/camping#tab_4

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    You can start losing weight steadily and quickly by cutting your calorie intake down by around 350-500 a day and drink plenty of water, eat healthily. Also breaking down your meals into multiple snacks can help speed up the metabolism meaning you will burn calories quicker and digest food quicker. By cutting down portions and being healthy you could loose a couple of pounds within a fortnight. Which isn't amazing but you are more likely to keep it off and get used to eating less meaning you can carry on your weight loss to further lengths.

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  • 4 years ago

    Hiking poles can greatly help take some of the weight off per each step you take. Since you'll be using your arm muscles, you wont have to entirely use your feet to carry all the weight :)

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Well in the infantry you would go on 20 mile hikes with a 60+ rucksack so whatever you feel comfortable with

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  • 5 years ago
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  • Whatever your pack weighs?! lol!

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