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How heavy is what you carry? Did I overdo it?

Old 09-05-22, 08:52 PM
  #26  
stardognine
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Naw. I donít like most chocolate. It has to be really sweet, like a Snickers bar. Iíve never eaten an entire chocolate chip cookie or piece of chocolate cake.
I was kinda referring to Hershey's bars, but didn't really make it very clear. 😉 Here's some useless trivia for ya, Good 'n' Plenty licorice candies are made right there in Hershey, PA. That was one of my favorites, as a kid, but I never knew Hershey made them, until someone pointed it out recently. 🙂
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Old 09-06-22, 01:14 AM
  #27  
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What a strange brigade of weight shamers...

Let's be honest here, 60lbs isn't much. It's still a very reasonable hiking gear weight so on a bike it's a complete non issue. Unlike in hiking, having more weight on the bike doesn't affect how long you can go. There's some effect on how far you can go during a given time period but even then the difference between 60lbs and clean bike is surprisingly small.

It really isn't a race. Some people like to sit in a comfy chair at the end of the day eating a self cooked dinner of some complexity and then going to sleep on a large, thick, comfy sleeping pad and nice pillow in a spacious tent after which putting on a fresh clean set of clothes in the morning while others, don't... It's choices. There aren't right or wrong ones. Trying to tell someone they have too much weight without knowing their choices is just darn silly.

On the topic of weight I did some calculating and last summer my bike+gear+passenger was 175lbs. And the weight wasn't the hindrance. The weight was easy. It was the headwinds with a trailer which were difficult.
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Old 09-06-22, 03:12 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by cccorlew

Having comfy chairs to sit on my the river was kinda cool
This encapsulates one important issue when it comes to weight.

Lots of things are nice to have. When I have done supported tours I have packed a pillow. When going self contained, I make a pillow out of my clothes and sleeping bag stuff sack. Lather, rinse, repeat with other items and you could be talking about a significant amount of weight.

Iím going to continue to tote my Bodum Travel Press combination French press/mug and coffee because the ďweight penaltyĒ is worth it to me. (Though a pound of coffee seems excessive, even for two people. I just packed my coffee last night from a new 12 Oz package. Did even use half.) I take olive oil to cook with, but I donít take a whole bottle. I transfer some to a small plastic squeeze bottle.

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Old 09-06-22, 03:35 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Pratt
The GAP" and the C&O are so well served that the lower limit of weight is probably on the order of 12.5gm, the weight of a credit card.
More seriously, CGOAB has tons (pun intended) of posts of gear lists.
Personally, I have a chair I take when I'll be doing dispersed camping, camp sites have picnic tables to sit at.
One place to gain/lose weights clothing, the more fastidious you are, the heavier your load will be, the grungier you can tolerate, the less you can take.
My Rock and Road weighs 34 pounds, my usual load (including tent, sbag, stove, cooking gear, etc.) is about 35-40 pounds, so they total about half what I weigh.
One thing I learned that saves weight is a Kindle instead of a book.
Iíll agree with the grungier part. Many years ago there was a guy who planned to take an off-bike shirt for every day of the week. Iíll be setting off with one for 11 days. Two pairs of underwear and one pair of off-bike shorts. Cutting down clothing can definitely add up to weight savings, bulk savings and clutter savings.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:23 AM
  #30  
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As mentioned, itemize your things, and just be aware that one t shirt or button down shirt can be twice the weight of another.
I have very specific clothes for bike trips that are light and dry quickly, and I don't take jeans- maybe you do.

Bottom line, it all adds up, and attention to detail and making a list of exactly what you have is the only way to reduce weight, along with the very good advice here of listing what you used, didn't use, could replace with lighter items etc.

It's tough if you haven't done outdoorsy self propelled stuff in your life, but being attentive and learning to reduce redundancy is the way to improve.

In my experience, tools and electronics /chargers add up weight, but really, just itemize things, it's the only way to reduce.

Finally, don't fret, we all have taken too much, but learned and reduced.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:30 AM
  #31  
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Newbies inevitably bring too much junk.

How many add weight vs sending stuff home.

60 pounds for a backpack is stupid. Not shameful, stupid.

I doubt there is a single successful thruhiker with such a weight. 20-30 lbs is more typical and under 10 pound base weight is far from unusual.
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Old 09-06-22, 08:23 AM
  #32  
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Your lack of mental flexibilty fails to surprise once again.

Originally Posted by GhostRider62
How many add weight vs sending stuff home.
Our gear weight has steadily increased over the years.

60 pounds for a backpack is stupid. Not shameful, stupid.
I take it you've never had to carry two weeks worth of food?

The heaviest I've 'hiked' was around 40kg or 88lbs. That wasn't great but it was more because of the speed and carrying gear rather than the weight. No waist strap on the backpack, rubber wellingtons as shoes etc. Of course we did the whole 50km distance in one day so there was that too.. would have been fine with a proper backpack and the distance spread over two days.

I doubt there is a single successful thruhiker with such a weight. 20-30 lbs is more typical and under 10 pound base weight is far from unusual.
I was under the impression that on many thru hiking routes resupply points are relatively commonplace ie. one does not need to carry several days of food / water. Such civilized hiking doesn't require as many precautions.
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Old 09-06-22, 09:40 AM
  #33  
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Stardog-
Kindle is not too good on graphics, ''a picture is worth a thousand words' holds true for digital media. My sister is a birder and she has an app on her phone for bird calls. You hold up the phone to hear the bird call, and it tells you what the bird is. Doesn't add weight to the phone either.
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Old 09-06-22, 10:36 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
Your lack of mental flexibilty fails to surprise once again.



Our gear weight has steadily increased over the years.



I take it you've never had to carry two weeks worth of food?

The heaviest I've 'hiked' was around 40kg or 88lbs. That wasn't great but it was more because of the speed and carrying gear rather than the weight. No waist strap on the backpack, rubber wellingtons as shoes etc. Of course we did the whole 50km distance in one day so there was that too.. would have been fine with a proper backpack and the distance spread over two days.



I was under the impression that on many thru hiking routes resupply points are relatively commonplace ie. one does not need to carry several days of food / water. Such civilized hiking doesn't require as many precautions.
10 days is the most food I have had to carry.

I stand by my opinion.

60 pounds onto a 30-40 pound bike is rarely necessary. The longest I have had to go on a bike to refuel is 2 days. So, I never carry more than an extra day's worth of food. If someone is going to the North Pole, they need to get advice elsewhere.
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Old 09-06-22, 11:47 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
I was under the impression that on many thru hiking routes resupply points are relatively commonplace ie. one does not need to carry several days of food / water. Such civilized hiking doesn't require as many precautions.
A typical thru-hiker in the western US (PCT) will go two-weeks or 150 to 200 miles without re-supplying. A load might average 30 pounds. It could start out 45 pounds but end up less than 20 pounds before resupplying. The heavy stuff gets eaten first, and water weight is lost throughout a day, so average weight over the two weeks is about 30 pounds. Some people go ultra-light and might be more than 10 pounds under this. There is nothing wrong with carrying additional weight if you enjoy the items enough to be willing. However, 60 pounds is untenable for almost anyone hoping to complete the PCT in one go. The schedule to complete it is pretty strict because weather and snow conditions at either end of the season will make it nearly impossible. It starts in March and goes through September. To complete the 2,650 miles, the average is 16 miles per day. If you're slower than 10 miles a day, you'll either have to start too early in the season and run into impassable sections or you'll be going too late into the fall when the weather turns foul. These 10 to 16 miles a day are not flat miles. They can include thousands of feet elevation gain on a daily basis.

I agree that cycle touring offers more options, as does other types of backpacking, and carrying a lot more weight and going at a slower pace is one of them. But being self-contained, self-supported, and all-inclusive for weeks at a time doesn't necessitate more than about 30 pounds average over the duration.
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Old 09-06-22, 11:53 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
10 days is the most food I have had to carry.

I stand by my opinion.

60 pounds onto a 30-40 pound bike is rarely necessary. The longest I have had to go on a bike to refuel is 2 days. So, I never carry more than an extra day's worth of food. If someone is going to the North Pole, they need to get advice elsewhere.
Now where does necessary come into all of this? We're discussing essentially vacation planning. On my vacations I usually take more than I need for pure survival.
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Old 09-06-22, 12:04 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
A typical thru-hiker in the western US (PCT) will go two-weeks or 150 to 200 miles without re-supplying. A load might average 30 pounds. It could start out 45 pounds but end up less than 20 pounds before resupplying. The heavy stuff gets eaten first, and water weight is lost throughout a day, so average weight over the two weeks is about 30 pounds. Some people go ultra-light and might be more than 10 pounds under this. There is nothing wrong with carrying additional weight if you enjoy the items enough to be willing. However, 60 pounds is untenable for almost anyone hoping to complete the PCT in one go. The schedule to complete it is pretty strict because weather and snow conditions at either end of the season will make it nearly impossible. It starts in March and goes through September. To complete the 2,650 miles, the average is 16 miles per day. If you're slower than 10 miles a day, you'll either have to start too early in the season and run into impassable sections or you'll be going too late into the fall when the weather turns foul. These 10 to 16 miles a day are not flat miles. They can include thousands of feet elevation gain on a daily basis.
is it safe to assume then that thru hikes are typically done in fairly warm weather?

I'm only asking because most of my hikes have been in the fall in the finnish lapland where temps rarely go over 10 degrees celsius and nights are pretty much always below freezing. Proper layering and sleep gear for cold temps and more importantly cold rains adds up fast.
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Old 09-06-22, 12:06 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
What a strange brigade of weight shamers...

Let's be honest here, 60lbs isn't much. It's still a very reasonable hiking gear weight so on a bike it's a complete non issue.
I almost agree here, particularly for C&O/GAP. You're not talking about lugging that weight up 10,000 feet of climbing, and the steepest sections are probably near the locks: six feet of climbing?

My touring bikes weigh about the same as O.P.'s, 32 pounds with racks. It's about what most loaded touring bikes weigh (at least in larger sizes). And when I loaded everything up to ship home from my first loaded tour, it was about 60 pounds (and that's after I mailed several packages home along the way). I've always been inclined to have at least two sets of clothes so I stay decent while laundering the rest, but YMMV. FWIW, I nicknamed my bike "Pig" after a few days on tour, both because when loaded it handles like a pig and because it's iron, and of course, pig iron is part of the smelting process.

With that said, it can be more fun to ride lighter bikes. mev's got a great way to cut back on the load. Figure out how you can cut 5-10 pounds out of that load and go for another tour, then lather, rinse, and repeat until you've found your balance.
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Old 09-06-22, 01:33 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
On the topic of weight I did some calculating and last summer my bike+gear+passenger was 175lbs. And the weight wasn't the hindrance. The weight was easy. It was the headwinds with a trailer which were difficult.
No surprise it wasn't a hindrance. I think 175 pounds is less than most people reading this weigh, even before adding bike and gear.
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Old 09-06-22, 02:07 PM
  #40  
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Something I find interesting is how many people seem to think that everyone comes from roughly the same strength base. I'm here to tell you that some riders are a hell of a lot stronger than others. I met a young guy once on my first trip across the US. He had a typical touring rig with lots of stuff and it weighed probably 80-90 pounds. He was also towing a trailer with a fair-sized dog. That whole rig easily weighed in excess of 150 pounds. He was averaging around 95 miles a day and didn't even look tired after 3 weeks on the road. He commented that he wasn't making as many miles as he expected, assumed he'd be making at least 100. Said he was having too much fun taking it easy and didn't want to miss anything. Kid ate his frickin' wheaties, that's for sure.

I've met folks on $5,000 ultra-light rigs who barely manage forty miles a day and average much less over the course of a multi-week trip.

Carrying what you want doesn't make you stupid or a newbie. If you want to haul it, that's your choice. If you don't want to haul it, don't. There's no right or wrong way.
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Old 09-06-22, 03:03 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
is it safe to assume then that thru hikes are typically done in fairly warm weather?
I met a thru hiker this past summer who was nearing the end of a south>north CDT thru hike. He's had to get snowshoes and ice picks in Colorado. Might have been quite warm, but still considerable amount of snow/ice on the ground.
This being said, thru-hikers are known to discard/acquire equipment over time: very interesting charts here suggesting that a reasonable base weight is about 20#. Those starting lighter *added* weight over time (presumably not mementos) while those that had started with a heavier load have shed some over time.
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Old 09-06-22, 04:05 PM
  #42  
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When you're hiking over 2000 miles and from March through September at elevations ranging from 0 to 14,000+ feet, you will run into all kinds of weather, temperatures and conditions. Thru hikers can also hike through the winter, but it's fair to say that many of the extreme routes are attempted in the best weather possible because they would simply be impossible otherwise. With respect to weight, those thru hikers that are carrying 20 to 40 pounds or so are definitely dealing with sub-zero temperatures (-18 deg. C), high winds in the mountains at over 10K feet, and with rain and snow. A thru-hiker with an ambitious route seeks to avoid extreme weather -- they're typically going to prioritize mileage and route completion versus some kind of storm chaser -- nevertheless, they have to be prepared to deal with anything.

Taking a zero-degree rated sleeping bag versus a 30 degree rated bag doesn't add a ton of weight (especially if you're willing to pay $$). Nor does taking rain gear. Thermal underwear and some insulation to wear under a shell doesn't add many pounds and is often enough when you're on the move -- it's cold sitting around in camp, so you just get in your bag earlier. There is definitely a trade-off between being lightweight and being comfortable in bad weather, or being lightweight and having all the varieties of food you like, or being lightweight and having non-essentials you appreciate -- like books, watercolors, additional camera lenses, or a 'walkstool.'

Just like bicycling itself, it's fair to say that in backpacking or other self-contained travel like cycle-touring, there is a trade-off between lightweight and cost. Going light is mostly a matter of choices about what not to take. Those last few pounds and ounces can sometimes be about exotic materials and more expensive versions of the same thing, but costly gear won't transform a 60 pound load into 30 pounds, the same way it won't transform a 30 pound touring bike into a 15 pound road bike -- the transformation isn't just cost and material choices. The 15 pound road bike flat out omits many of the features, benefits and capabilities of the tourer. The same is true for cargo. If you want to scramble some fresh eggs on a griddle for breakfast, you can't cut that weight in half by getting a titanium griddle and carbon-fiber eggs. You simply need to forgo.

Bikes, especially on flat routes and with the proper racks and bags to hold it, do enable a great deal more weight to be accommodated. I have no criticism of the OP's 60 pounds. I'm only responding that it can be done with less, a lot less. It's up to each traveler to evaluate their cargo and decide what they're willing to lug and look into alternatives when they want to take less.

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Old 09-06-22, 05:41 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Pratt
Stardog-
Kindle is not too good on graphics, ''a picture is worth a thousand words' holds true for digital media. My sister is a birder and she has an app on her phone for bird calls. You hold up the phone to hear the bird call, and it tells you what the bird is. Doesn't add weight to the phone either.
That bird call app is a good idea, but I can never get the birds to speak into the microphone. 😁😉

At least it's a paperback, hardcovers get WAY worse. 🙄
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Old 09-06-22, 08:03 PM
  #44  
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During summer, the Missus & I average about 25lbs each, not including water. We usually maintain 2+ days of food and powerbank charge. Itís rare we donít come across a store or gas station during a day but it occasionally happens. I simply cannot envision what 60+lbs of gear would include.
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Old 09-06-22, 08:41 PM
  #45  
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Two thoughts. One - the easiest way to reduce weight is to limit your carrying capacity. Four Ortliebs, two of them big plus two racks and a good sized front bag is a lot. I'd pass on that front bag and use 4 of your front Ortliebs. (You get to save weight on that front rack also. Keep the LowRider.) Other thought - clothes. The perfect packing job has you wearing everything you brought on the worst weather day of the trip and it is enough. Granted, that can be a tough target but lightweight warm hats and some other lightweight specialty items can go a long ways if the weather turns worse than planned.

When I crossed Wisconsin 50 years ago in October with a very light sleeping bag, I had everything on the second night. Slept well. Woke up scared because I knew I was close to the edge warmth-wise and saw zero frost when I woke up. ("This could be bad" thinking of the upcoming nights.) Found my WB frozen. "So it was actually cold. Whew!" (Forgot you don't see frost among the pines I chose for my campsite.)

That Wisconsin trip, my bike probably weighed less than 50 pounds loaded minus WBs. 24 pound bike with sewups. No tent, A tarp and line for rain. Not the approach for us older folk but it worked. Slept under the stars 6 nights, motel one. Tarp got used once or twice,
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Old 09-06-22, 08:53 PM
  #46  
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Another way to look at this is to ask yourself the question - is this about the camping or "the ride"? If you are clear and at peace with that decision, a lot of this simply falls into place. With two of you and perhaps not quite eye-to-eye on the camp vs ride it might be worth writing down the items and decisions that are choices and do a formal bartering.

Oh, actually weigh and record everything so that weight is a part of the bartering, I am finalizing packing for my 9th Cycle Oregon. I years ago made a spreadsheet of everything I bring (CO has a 65 pound bag limit per rider. All but the bike, what's on it and what you are wearing on the road. The camp crews handle that 65 pound bag. About 2000 of them.) Weighed everything down to toothbrushes and the like on a digital kitchen scale. (Set to decimal pounds.) That 65 pounds includes tent, bag, etc. The fact is that motels will not be an option. (If the weather turns, several hundred people are going to want the three beds in that small town.) Also clothes for both on and off the bike and I now bring a chair because they are not plentiful in camp and I do not do well sitting on the ground. I also bring bike gear because I love to ride CO on unusual bikes the very, very good mechanics will not be able to support. (For me - "the ride".) Now, I am gradually acquiring lighter, higher tech stuff so that does open options.

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Old 09-06-22, 08:59 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Newbies inevitably bring too much junk.

How many add weight vs sending stuff home.
When I started my first tour, which was ACAís unsupported Northern Tier tour, one participant had a blow dryer and a Sony WatchMan TV. (Remember those?) They got sent home at the start of the third day, before we caught the ferry from Port Townsend, WA. A couple of others also sent stuff home.

I packed relatively light except for the extensive amount of film camera equipment I toted. The only things I sent home were exposed rolls of film. Had mom mail me fresh stock from time to time. Never once walked a hill.
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Old 09-06-22, 09:59 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Brett A
No surprise it wasn't a hindrance. I think 175 pounds is less than most people reading this weigh, even before adding bike and gear.
With me riding the bike the complete system weight was around 400lbs. The passenger wasn't me, it was my kid.
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Old 09-06-22, 11:56 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
When you're hiking over 2000 miles and from March through September at elevations ranging from 0 to 14,000+ feet, you will run into all kinds of weather, temperatures and conditions. Thru hikers can also hike through the winter, but it's fair to say that many of the extreme routes are attempted in the best weather possible because they would simply be impossible otherwise. With respect to weight, those thru hikers that are carrying 20 to 40 pounds or so are definitely dealing with sub-zero temperatures (-18 deg. C), high winds in the mountains at over 10K feet, and with rain and snow. A thru-hiker with an ambitious route seeks to avoid extreme weather -- they're typically going to prioritize mileage and route completion versus some kind of storm chaser -- nevertheless, they have to be prepared to deal with anything.

Taking a zero-degree rated sleeping bag versus a 30 degree rated bag doesn't add a ton of weight (especially if you're willing to pay $$). Nor does taking rain gear. Thermal underwear and some insulation to wear under a shell doesn't add many pounds and is often enough when you're on the move -- it's cold sitting around in camp, so you just get in your bag earlier. There is definitely a trade-off between being lightweight and being comfortable in bad weather, or being lightweight and having all the varieties of food you like, or being lightweight and having non-essentials you appreciate -- like books, watercolors, additional camera lenses, or a 'walkstool.'

Just like bicycling itself, it's fair to say that in backpacking or other self-contained travel like cycle-touring, there is a trade-off between lightweight and cost. Going light is mostly a matter of choices about what not to take. Those last few pounds and ounces can sometimes be about exotic materials and more expensive versions of the same thing, but costly gear won't transform a 60 pound load into 30 pounds, the same way it won't transform a 30 pound touring bike into a 15 pound road bike -- the transformation isn't just cost and material choices. The 15 pound road bike flat out omits many of the features, benefits and capabilities of the tourer. The same is true for cargo. If you want to scramble some fresh eggs on a griddle for breakfast, you can't cut that weight in half by getting a titanium griddle and carbon-fiber eggs. You simply need to forgo.

Bikes, especially on flat routes and with the proper racks and bags to hold it, do enable a great deal more weight to be accommodated. I have no criticism of the OP's 60 pounds. I'm only responding that it can be done with less, a lot less. It's up to each traveler to evaluate their cargo and decide what they're willing to lug and look into alternatives when they want to take less.
Good points here. I do wonder however whether there are some cultural differences at play...

I'll start off by saying that the whole premise of Ghostrider using thru hiking as the example of hiking weight was simply a bad one. The way I see it thru hiking is somewhat of an achievement to be executed. This is further emphasized by the time limits placed by weather conditions. It parallers randonneuring or transcontinental race even though the hikes aren't organized events. They are still A to B efforts though and that dictates how you set out.

However the way people tend to hike where I'm from can be with high daily distances but with lots of down time as well. The point isn't as much the hike but rather the location, silence, nature and that kind of thing. Hiking there is a means to an end. The idea, that one would be cold enough to be forced into their sleeping bag early instead of enjoying the evening with a hot beverage, is an abomination to me. But so is riding 200 miles a day, setting camp and going to sleep directly.

Which really emphasizes the point made by 79pmooney about whether people value the riding or the camping. Though I've always found that heavily laden bikes are pretty fun to ride. They're so stable you can almost fall asleep on one when tired.

I do object the flat route thing though. Elevation is about gearing and not much else. I went over the alps (among other mountain ranges) with 60lbs and it wasn't an issue. And it wasn't the smartest route either (I scratch my head at our past decisions...)
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Old 09-07-22, 07:08 AM
  #50  
djb
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[QUOTE=cccorlew;22637362]
Good comment on chairs. There were picnic tables a plenty. We only used out 1.2 pound chairs once. My wife insists our time on them sitting by the river one evening justifies all the time we carried them. I'm not as sure, but it was nice.
/QUOTE]

first of all, as you said in this post about the chairs, there have been lots of good comments here.

the chair photo made me want to add, that yes, sometimes an extra pound or whatever of X, Y, or Zed object is worth it. I've often thought of one of these chairs for if I were to do a really remote trip, as the sitting aspect would be worth it.

elcruxio put down some really good comments just earlier, and I would add that a bicycles gearing is a big factor here also. If you can handle the added physical effort of pedalling a 60lb load along and up and down hills, thats great, but 1--anyone will always noticeably appreciate a reduction of weight the next time they tour, ESPECIALLY if the reduction is redundant things that have no impact on your comfort or whatever, but 2-if your bike has low enough gearing, then this makes a huge difference on the physical impact on going up hills with a really heavy bike.
Like cruxio, I have also schlepped a much heavier bike than usual in mountainy areas, for a few thousand of kms, but because my gearing is basically mountain bike gearing, 44/32/22 and 11-34, which gives a 16.7 gear inch low gear, I can spin up hills and keep my cadence from getting too low, which is hard on the knees and leg muscless (too low a cadence) . Yes, I go slowly up hills, really slowly, but it works.

in the end, its up to you to reduce or. not. As a newcomer to riding fully loaded, I understand your questioning your load weight, but its very realistic for you to shave at least 10, maybe 15 pounds off the total--although we have no idea whatsoever what stuff you brought.
And or if you have self propelled outdoor experience or not, which makes it harder for you to evaluate what is "essential", but this trip will serve as a great benchmark for you to try to evaluate what wasnt needed , and or how to reduce weight of things that you do want (using one pair of very light long pants vs a pair of jeans as a conjecture example) , lighter pair of second shoes etc etc etc.

you guys are also nearly 70, so perhaps harder to imagine having less stuff if you've only car camped before or whatever.
No matter , this will be a good learning experience.
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