dollars per ounce?
I was sitting here looking at my gear list and started looking for ways to cut weight. I found a couple of easy ones, but I was wondering if it was worth it. If you switch suspensions, but it cost $30, how much weight savings makes it worthwhile? Lighter water bladder, lighter cookset, lighter water treatment etc.... Equals 40 dollars here, 65 dollars there, etc.... Pretty soon it adds up. I know this varies and everyone probably has a different idea, but I wonder where you all draw the line. Is it worth $50 to save 2oz? 6oz? 1lb?
I'm sure many would pay $300 to save 4lbs, but what about to save 1/2 lb? There don't seem to be any right answers, I was just interested as to whether or not anyone else has thought about this.
thought about it :) i have threads on other sites about it. LOL
bottom line for me, when i need to replace something i check weights carefully, but it is not my only criteria. i have backpacked over 1800 miles with what i got. i can do it again. :)
Search and you will find
I am sure I have seen charts with precisely this calculation for folks going to to UL. So, this post is not as good as doing the research for you or picking he only one I know. But, it is actually better than that, because I know for sure you can search and find this at least once, and maybe charts by many, showing item by item replacements, weight saved, cost, and cost / ounce
For the most hammock-friendly results, I might include Sgt Rock among the search terms.
When you find some result you like, please consider an additional calculation of cost per 100 uses or cost by # of uses before failure. Gravity was discovered more than a little while before UL. Mountain climbers and arborists don't carry so much heavy rope to prove they are strong men and women of great endurance. Why, there's even good reason for cotton duck.
Pounds are easy, ounces are hard, grams are a nightmare. I want to carry as little as possible when hiking but I want to have enough stuff to be comfortable when I stop and set up camp.
Right now my BB hammock is the second heaviest item I am carrying (my pack is slightly heavier and my 3L Camelback with water the heviest item if I take it). I have ligher weight hammocks but I take my BB because I find it very confortable to sleep in and getting a good nights sleep is important. I learned early on in the Marines that if I got a good nights sleep I could put up with anything.
When I first became "enLIGHTened" to reduce pack weight, it started with the biggest bang for the buck which was about $10/oz. saved. Now that I've been at it awhile, the law of dimenishimg returns is setting in. It's costing me $30/oz. saved nowadays.
I would say Ultra Light comes into play with age...we love to go lighter,,but we also seek more comfort as we get older...so there lies the question. It takes alot of coin to go lighter and still stay in the comfort range you seek...and at some point in time..the comfort will win out and keep you from totally going UL. For me,,I can hump a 8-9 lb pack plus the water, food and fuel,,however,,I would rather hump 15 and enjoy the moments more. (plus the food, fuel, water.) Now when you figure how many miles your going to hike,,it becomes another game of the mind as to what you want to carry. But,,as you buy gear,,spend the money on the what you consider to be the best and lightest,,and slowly you will lighten your load to a point that you are happy with. As I have always said to most,,hike your hike,,and carry what your comfortable with. Enjoy!
Only "You" can answer this question, no one can do it for you.
For "Me" yes it was and still is worth it!
If I didn't cut the weight I would have never been able to hike the trails and miles that I have. Reason, my knees are shot, still have bulging disks in my back, hips are terrible, I have arthritis....plus more.....
My first trip out my pack weighted about 50#'s, and it was the "Worst" time ever. I never really enjoyed the hike, the views, or time in camp as my body was just sooooo beat up.
Now (a few years later and who knows how much $ ) my 3 season pack weight with 4/5 days of food is under 20#'s (usually around 18) and even though my knee's still take a beating, and my back is sore at the end of the day I "Truly" enjoy hiking now and I have been able to do much more because my pack weight has allowed me too!
But as I said, this was "My" reason, whats yours?
One way I look at it...What is an hour of my time worth? I know what I bill when I am working with clients and I think all my time is worth at least that much. So, do I want to enjoy the hours I spend outside? Of course! So then I think how much more enjoyment will I get with x amount less weight AND how much will I enjoy playing with whatever new pice of gear I am contemplating. I take a longer term approach with this because I expect to get at least a few years out of any particular item.
Another way to look at it...I often compare the money I will spend on a piece of gear to the price of a fine dinner and/or a movie, concert, play, whatever. When you start comparing the costs of other diversions, the cost of gear, even expensive stuff like down jackets and cuben gear, starts to look pretty reasonable.
That said, I am not at the UL stage... yet. I am reading UL Backpackin' Tips by Mike Clelland right now and maybe I'll get there. Probably not, but I'll keep trying to get the overall pack weight down.
[Just read Cranky's answer and I, too, have knee, back and hip issues. Lighter let's me get out more.]
I think about this a lot too. There are a lot of other factors of course.
My old Kelty Flight backpack is 4.5 lbs. I'd love to trade it out for a ULA pack but they are all smaller and I simply can't give up the room till I first trade out using a $20 sleeping bag with some quilts.
I'm pretty sure I could save some weight by tossing all the dry bags we take and replacing them with cuben bags but that would be expensive. More weight could probably be saved by doing the same thing for the compactor trash bags. Those things add up QUICK. A couple cuben pack covers and a trash bag (to be reused of course) would save even more weight.
A lot of the choices are simply what sounds cool to buy at the moment.
As long I'm lighter each time and progressing in that directions, I'm happy.
The choice for me was lighten up or don't go. I hike in the mountains. A five or six mile hike goes from 6k ft to over 10k on some treks. Three miles and 3k feet up is not uncommon. Not getting any younger at 67, but still try to keep a 3 mph pace over all. Had to do a major overhaul on my gear set up, but shed just under 9# this year with pack, TQ, UQ and some other light accessories. I'm hiding from the cost per ounce.