Backpackers (especially thru-hikers) are constantly in search of ways to lighten their load. When I did my initial gear weigh-in, my base weight was just under 20 pounds. Once I add in a full water bottle and the clothing I’d be wearing, the total comes to about 25 pounds.
This guy says he got his Camino pack load down to 10 lbs. When I compared our packing lists, I found that I did plan to bring some things he did not, but I also do not plan to bring some things he brought (e.g., gloves, tripod, extension cord – hmmm, that’s not a bad idea actually….). When I added my items to his, though, it only added 5 lbs – so he must have some lighter gear.
A few significant differences are that he brought clogs while I am bringing sports sandals (that’s a pound right there). He did not bring a blanket and some rain gear (he traveled in the summer). He also he relied more on Camino stores and laundry than I plan to so he brought less clothes (he walked the Frances, not the Primitivo). I will see about getting rid of or replacing some gear, but for several of these items I may just suck it up and favor convenience over comfort.
Now, I could spend 10x as much money as I have getting super-duper-ultra-lightweight gear and maybe shave off 5 more pounds – or I could just lose weight.
Just gonna be real here: I currently weigh 210 pounds (the .6 is my clothes…yeah, that’s it). Since I am not 6 1/2 feet tall or an Olympic weight lifter, that means I am overweight. More than 20 years of riding various desks have not been kind to my physique. Although I’ve tried to get in the odd hike now and then, that’s been about it exercise-wise for me for years. Add to that a mocha addiction, and I’ve become a recipe for disaster.
Of course “just lose weight” is easier to say than to accomplish. But it’s a worthy goal. I need to get ready for the Camino, so why not use that motivation to do better with exercise and eating habits too?
The good news is, I’ve actually lost 10 pounds since I started Camino training and I have nearly a year left to go. If I could lose 20 pounds, I would literally trade my fat weight for gear weight. It would be like walking the Camino right now carrying nothing! If I could get down to my ideal weight (about 175), it would be like carrying -15 pounds in gear.
Plus, there would be the added benefit of not dying of obesity anytime soon. Bonus!
All it will take is discipline. (Can I get a “Hoorah!“???).