Feb 17, 2010 at 11:12 am #1255386
In terms of prioritizing, is it better to focus on losing five pounds of body fat or dropping five pounds in gear weight? Clearly, doing both is ideal.Feb 17, 2010 at 11:14 am #1574939
IMO body fat would be a higher priority. It's free to lose (might even save you money since you'll be eating less to lose it) and you always have that 5 lbs with you where you only carry a pack a limited amount of time.Feb 17, 2010 at 11:28 am #1574942
losing weight means you'll be in better shape and things will be easier to carry.
But the 5 pounds off the pack will make a bigger difference.
5 off a 20 pound pack is 25% difference. 5 off of a 200 pound man is only 2.5%.Feb 17, 2010 at 11:42 am #1574948
Yeah but buying light stuff is way cooler than losing weight;)
And more fun tooFeb 17, 2010 at 11:49 am #1574952
You could do a little challenge for yourself. For every pound you lose from your body, you're able to shop for/make lighter gear for your pack.
But as to the original question….You'll probably feel the 5 lbs decrease in your pack more than you will feel the 5 lbs decrease in your body. However, as Chris pointed out, losing weight (responsibly) is the healthier thing to do, and you'll benefit off-trail as well.Feb 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm #1574962
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
If you are overweight, then it's obvious! Lose 5lbs of body fat and enjoy the continuing health benefits.Feb 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm #1574964
drowning in spamMember
Losing 5 lbs of fat is 5 lbs that you never have to carry, don't have to hydrate, don't have to keep warm, don't have to protect from the rain, doesn't cost money, makes you look better, etc.
Where losing body and pack weight may both allow you to need less food and water, albeit to varying degrees, losing weight allows you to wear smaller lighter clothing.Feb 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm #1574969
@tippymcstaggerLocale: North Texas
Lose pack weight = bragging rights on BPL, but anyone else will respond with that why-are-you-talking-to-me look.
Lose bodyfat = higher status all over western civilization, perhaps to the point where your groupies will carry your heavy pack for you.
Also a little of that body weight will be from your swinging legs and arms and therefore make a slightly bigger difference than pack or belly weight. If you've already swapped out your socks for cuben and your wedding ring for a tattoo, definitely go for the body weight loss.Feb 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm #1574971
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
Losing body weight will take stress off of your body, leaving you more likely to be in the mood to strap on a pack and go for a walk.Feb 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm #1574972
@ultraboundLocale: NE Oregon
Isn't the sites motto "pack less be more". Does this point towards droping the pack weight?Feb 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm #1574980
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Both at the same time.
I doubt anyone is going to argue that losing weight and/or becoming more physically fit is not going to help you on the trail.
Why think of it as one before the other?
When taking on any physical activity isn't it about making sure that you have the right gear to keep you safe and comfortable, as well as making sure that you are physically up to the challenge to complete it safely?
For me, skinny dude that I am, going lighter has allowed me to take on longer and more difficult trips….however, I worked my way up to those longer trips by taking the shorter ones to get experience with my skills and to provide myself with some conditioning.
Maybe we can look at it in terms of going lighter might help motivate or make it possible to just get out there vs. carrying a traditional 35-50 lb load for a weekend, which in turn helps someone get into shape and lose some weight?
So my answer is do both at the same time.
Exercise by itself sucks….I have a Stairmaster and a full weight machine, which make great clothing hangers for airing out my clothing & sleeping bag after a trip. :)
As my friend, Jeremy, has told me, "The only way to train for climbing mountains is to climb mountains".
-TonyFeb 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm #1574993
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> losing weight means you'll be in better shape and things will be easier to carry.
The health benefits are undeniable.
> But the 5 pounds off the pack will make a bigger difference.
> 5 off a 20 pound pack is 25% difference. 5 off of a 200 pound man is only 2.5%.
That is not really the whole story. 5 lb off anywhere is 5 lb off your feet and legs.
5lb off a 20 lb pack may be 25%, but 5 lb off a 50 lb pack is only 10%. Statistics like this are of questionable value! That said, 5 lb off your back is of course nice.
CheersFeb 17, 2010 at 1:23 pm #1574999
But since you wear the pack its only 5lbs off the total of pack and body anyway. Even smaller percentage…
Losing weight isn't free- gotta buy smaller pants!Feb 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm #1575007
"Losing weight isn't free- gotta buy smaller pants!"
I'm hanging onto my big pants! I don't mind carrying a few extra oz. in pant fabric after losing 30 lbs, much cheaper.
I think I'm stuck on losing pack and body weight, at least w/o REAL sacrifice.Feb 17, 2010 at 1:38 pm #1575008
drowning in spamMember
Losing weight isn't free- gotta buy smaller pants!
Maybe so, but if you're desperate to drop ounces on a thru-hike, you can always break out a sewing needle and scissors and do it for next to nothing.Feb 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm #1575107
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Five pounds in the pack. The weight is probably going to be concentrated on your shoulders. Five pounds off the body is going to be distributed everywhere, so you will feel the difference in the pack.
But to take this discussion further, the goal should be a healthy body mass. Get your whole body in shape, along with light weight gear and you can do amazing things. Since I am in good physical condition and using the lightest gear possible, I can travel twice as far in a day with less fatigue than I could 40 years ago!! I have a son who runs 100 miles a week and is in phoenomial shape, but it is easy for me to keep up with him, and I am less fatigued because my gear weight is at least 1/2 of his.Feb 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm #1575117
> Statistics like this are of questionable value!
63.8% of all statistics are made up on the spot
IMHO, five pounds less body fat is way cooler than same pack reduction. You don't always carry a pack like you must with your jelly belly.Feb 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm #1575124
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"63.8% of all statistics are made up on the spot"
I've always considered it a branch of accounting, where the operating principle is well expressed by the following Q & A:
Q. What is 2 plus 2?
A. What do you want it to be.Feb 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm #1575141
Yes.Feb 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm #1575227
@rgrrecinosLocale: Redwood City
>losing weight means you'll be in better shape and things will be easier to carry.
Well losing weight doesn't generally mean you will be in better shape (you have to work at getting in physical shape), you will just weight less.
I know people who lose weight but are still weak. It all depends on what you do to loss that 5 pounds of weight. Also remember as you build muscle you loss fat and you will eventually gain back that 5 pounds but it will be 5 pounds of muscle, but you will be stronger.
So do physical training to loss that weight and raise your VO2 max and you will increase your preformance and your health at the same time. Good luck.Feb 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm #1575234
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
+1Feb 17, 2010 at 11:24 pm #1575240
Gaining 5 pounds of muscle is better than eitherFeb 18, 2010 at 4:22 am #1575250
Gaining 5 pounds of muscle is better than either
Not entirely true. How gaining muscle will affect your body depends and it's not always in a positive way.Feb 24, 2010 at 7:10 pm #1578262
Losing five pounds of gear weight just takes desire and money. Do it. Then also lose five pounds of body weight. But you may find that much harder to do. I've been much more successful at getting my pack weight and bicycle weights lowered than I have been at lowering my body weight. Good luck.
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