How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by moab » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:06 pm

While shopping for a new cookpot I realized that saving one pound was gonna cost me about $40-$50. And it made me wonder about my rationale for buying more expensive lighter weight gear.

Where is your cut off? When does it get to expensive to save that pound?

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by bacpacjac » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:20 pm

I had much the same debate with myself a couple of months ago. While on the hunt for something more pack friendly. Twice the price for half the weight, or half the price for twice the weight? Ultimately, my budget dictated for me and the titanium pot stayed on the shelf. Ended up with an adonized aluminum set with pot and cup (Twice the versatility?) for exactly half the price.

Of course, the old one pound coffee can with homemade wire bail that my son abducted works just as well, weighs as little or less, and cost exactly nothing in the coffee drinker's world. Doesn't come with a good cooking lid that would function as a pressure cooker as is, but the diy'ers of the world have probably already found a solution for that.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Ragged » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:32 pm

If I was to hump it around in a pack, to shave a whole pound off of a cook pot would be definitely be worth the money to me.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by ArmchairRacer » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:40 pm

Depends, how heavy is the total pack weight now? I like to look at the entire pack and see where the cheapest place to lose weight would be, start there. Often times you can ditch stuff that you don't REALLY need to lose weight for free. After you've taken out all the low hanging fruit then it's time to start thinking about spending money on dropping weight. My suggestion would be to run what you have until you decide it needs replaced, when the stuff you have now wears out then buy the lightest weight replacement.

Or just go hog wild and spend big bucks dropping weight on everything in your pack.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Mikeyboy » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:41 pm

A Pound of weight savings? Heck yea that is worth $50.

Over the years, if you upgrade here and there, saving ounces and pounds as you go, you will definitely feel the difference. A lighter weight pack will give you the ability to move quicker and farther. Also if you are short on something important, now you can carry more of it. Save a pound in your cook kit, and now you can carry more food and water, and not feel the difference.

Remember more ounces leads to more pounds and more pounds means more pain.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:55 pm

Depends. One pound off an EDC bag is worth more than a pound off a BOB.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Ad'lan » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:06 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Depends. One pound off an EDC bag is worth more than a pound off a BOB.
To play devils advocate… until you actually bug out. Then… who knows what you'd have paid to have it be that 1lb lighter.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:08 pm

Ad'lan wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Depends. One pound off an EDC bag is worth more than a pound off a BOB.
To play devils advocate… until you actually bug out. Then… who knows what you'd have paid to have it be that 1lb lighter.
I'm more comfortable carrying an extra pound on a 30lb bag that I may never have to carry farther than the front door to the car than I am carrying an extra pound on a 6lb bag I carry everytime I leave the house. YMMV.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by moab » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:32 pm

ArmchairRacer wrote:Depends, how heavy is the total pack weight now? I like to look at the entire pack and see where the cheapest place to lose weight would be, start there. Often times you can ditch stuff that you don't REALLY need to lose weight for free. After you've taken out all the low hanging fruit then it's time to start thinking about spending money on dropping weight. My suggestion would be to run what you have until you decide it needs replaced, when the stuff you have now wears out then buy the lightest weight replacement.

Or just go hog wild and spend big bucks dropping weight on everything in your pack.
This has been my strategy. I also wait throughout the year for when last years models go on sale. Or different items are found on sale. I have a mental checklist of things I want to lighten up. I have no formula for when a pound of weight loss is costing to much. I just sort of gut feel it.

This is for an INCH bag. So my weight has gone from very heavy (70lbs) down to lighter weight (40-45lbs). (That's without ammo. But I've just started work building another AK. This one will be an AK74 in 5.45. So I'll be able to carry more ammo for the same weight. And there is another good example. I have not factored how much this will cost me vs how much weight I will save. But luckily I build AK's like others build models or something. So it's not that big of a deal to me. Plus I already own all the tooling etc. etc) For an INCH bag 40-45lbs isn't much. I started out with the cheapest (usually military) gear. But that usually always comes in heavier than the commercial version. Although some things in the military equivalent are just to bombproof to pass up. And you just have to eat the extra weight. Like my ECWCS jacket. If I can keep my torso dry and warm. I can endure a lot. But you get your spine cold and/or wet and it takes it out of you. I could probably find a much lighter weight jacket. But it would not hold up as well as a cheap ass ECWCS.

The only downside is you sacrifice camo and/or subdued colors when you buy lighter weight commercial stuff - usually. Or better put you end up with very little camo and a bunch of subdued colors. Someday someone will offer all the great lightweight commercial products in camo or at least od or something. This doesn't matter to much to most on this board. But for me camo means a lot. It's my method of staying grey man - meaning I try to stay out of site - period.

The best of both worlds is when you find something on sale that comes out at the same price point as something much heavier. I did that with our sleeping mattresses. WE had Big Agnes versions. And then Groupon had a big sale on Klymit(sp?) skeleton mattresses. And I cut a good pound each. Or something close. While spending the same amount of money. We'll see if the Klymits are comfortable enough to be worth the weight savings. But I figure some air mattress is better than none at all or a foam pad. Yes. I have a bad back. So it's a must.

But here's a sobering equation. If you spent $50 on every pound of pack weight. You'd have a $2500 load out. That makes me cringe. I think the better strategy for me is to find the lighter weight things on sale for at least the same price as the heavier stuff. Not always easy.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Guy Fawkes » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:32 pm

It depends on how often you'd be using it.

You're only saving that weight when you're carrying the lighter pot, rather than the heavier one.

But you're always out that extra $50.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Shadowalker » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:32 pm

It really depends on what you plan on doing. If your gonna be backpacking all summer or 3 seasons or 4. It makes a difference if you gaining elevation and working between trail camps 6-12 miles apart.

Are you bugging out for a temporary situation or like the hurricane Sandy victims still living in the woods in tarp cities? They will never go home. Lost everything and until they get ahead again finance wise they are gypsys and nomads.

I'm pretty sure they not only wouldn't want to shave an ounce they probably wished they hauled out a whole lot more gear.

So the real question is are you talking a 72 hrs bag, a treking bag, or an INCH bag.

I have a monster heavy inch bag. But at least 30-40% is consumables and deployable items, then it becomes lighter and more manageable. Some things I feel are so critically important I wont cut weight, and stick with durability. Its always a trade off and you always second guess your decisions.

A BOB, GHB, etc weight shouldnt be a worry and since you are not weekending every week with the pack, save the money.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Mister Dark » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:16 pm

Coming at it from a lightweight/UL standpoint, there are plenty of times when I have spent waaaaaaay too much money on some incredibly lightweight piece of kit, just to save a few ounces. For the most part, I never regret that decision.

Now, bear in mind, that I have built up my hiking/bugout kits over many years, so the UL hammock I got a great deal on in 2009 is still my go-to hammock, I got a great deal on a vaude UL backpack way back in 2007, my snowpeak stove cost too much, weighs 4 oz, and has worked great for two years. In other words, its the same old mantra - Buy once, cry once.

As long as the gear does the job it is supposed to do, and is sturdy enough to do that job for a few years of random hiking, its good enough for my Go bag. If it weighs half of what the "normal" version weighs, what do I care that it cost me my Starbucks budget for a few weeks?

I think it is all a matter of priorities. Many folks on here don't bat an eye at $400 for an optic for their $1000 custom built rifle, but then freak out at the thought of a $250, 4 oz tarp instead of their USGI poncho. Priorities. I dont have a problem with someone getting that $400 optic, but I'll spend my money on UL/LW camping and hiking gear so I can cover more miles with less pain. And besides, its only money, yanno? I'll get the night vision goggles I want next year, after I buy that cool new backpack that weighs 14 oz!

TL;DR, shop around, spend every penny you can to get a great deal, then get out there and use the stuff.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Flying Lead » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:50 am

First 5 pounds you shave off is 10-15 a lb. Next 3 costs you 25-30 bucks a lb. Next 3 is 50-ish. The final 3-5 you shave off cost 60-100 a lb. I'm at the stage where it's 10-30 dollars an ounce. Saving weight is addictive. I built an econo-bob for $65 that weighed 25 lbs. My good 3 night pack is 26 lbs and about $800. My lightweight rig for 3 nights with cold and wet weather gear is over a $1000, (well over) and weighs 16 lbs. My 2 night ultralight ran over, well too dang much, but got down under 13 lbs.
New tech has brought some really nice materials and designs to us.
All weights include, sleeping bag, tent, pad, pack, fak, knife, rain gear, camp pants, jacket, fire kit, pot, cup, fuel, stove, cordage, water filter, bladder, water bottle, pack cover, food, bear bag kit, compass, groundcloth, but no water.

What is it they say? Cheap, light and warm, pick any two.

I'm just thankful I don't pay retail. Shopping around and trading with buddies has saved me a ton. The Wife would have a come apart if she knew what this stuff would cost to replace.

Long story short, $50 a lb is a bargain.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by moab » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:14 am

Flying Lead wrote:First 5 pounds you shave off is 10-15 a lb. Next 3 costs you 25-30 bucks a lb. Next 3 is 50-ish. The final 3-5 you shave off cost 60-100 a lb. I'm at the stage where it's 10-30 dollars an ounce. Saving weight is addictive. I built an econo-bob for $65 that weighed 25 lbs. My good 3 night pack is 26 lbs and about $800. My lightweight rig for 3 nights with cold and wet weather gear is over a $1000, (well over) and weighs 16 lbs. My 2 night ultralight ran over, well too dang much, but got down under 13 lbs.
New tech has brought some really nice materials and designs to us.
All weights include, sleeping bag, tent, pad, pack, fak, knife, rain gear, camp pants, jacket, fire kit, pot, cup, fuel, stove, cordage, water filter, bladder, water bottle, pack cover, food, bear bag kit, compass, groundcloth, but no water.

What is it they say? Cheap, light and warm, pick any two.

I'm just thankful I don't pay retail. Shopping around and trading with buddies has saved me a ton. The Wife would have a come apart if she knew what this stuff would cost to replace.

Long story short, $50 a lb is a bargain.
Very well put!
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Arsenul » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:20 am

Weight is nothing to me, because I use a cart.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Mikeyboy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:33 am

moab wrote:
Flying Lead wrote:First 5 pounds you shave off is 10-15 a lb. Next 3 costs you 25-30 bucks a lb. Next 3 is 50-ish. The final 3-5 you shave off cost 60-100 a lb. I'm at the stage where it's 10-30 dollars an ounce. Saving weight is addictive. I built an econo-bob for $65 that weighed 25 lbs. My good 3 night pack is 26 lbs and about $800. My lightweight rig for 3 nights with cold and wet weather gear is over a $1000, (well over) and weighs 16 lbs. My 2 night ultralight ran over, well too dang much, but got down under 13 lbs.
New tech has brought some really nice materials and designs to us.
All weights include, sleeping bag, tent, pad, pack, fak, knife, rain gear, camp pants, jacket, fire kit, pot, cup, fuel, stove, cordage, water filter, bladder, water bottle, pack cover, food, bear bag kit, compass, groundcloth, but no water.

What is it they say? Cheap, light and warm, pick any two.

I'm just thankful I don't pay retail. Shopping around and trading with buddies has saved me a ton. The Wife would have a come apart if she knew what this stuff would cost to replace.

Long story short, $50 a lb is a bargain.
Very well put!
+1 with that. Sure I have bought fancy lightweight gear from places like REI & EMS, but I NEVER paid full price for any of it. Check the clearance sections, wait for sales, and take advantage of store dividends and rebates. For example, camping stuff in most places usually goes on sale in the fall. Same with winter gear like snow shoes, thermal bases layers or ultra light weight jackets, wait until the spring. Also the good thing about fancy expense stuff is buyers are fickle, and styles change almost yearly. I bought a Mountain Hardware lightweight tri-layer rain jacket from REI that originally sold for $150, for only $30. You know why? It was last year style, and it was brown. Yuppie hikers like bright colored clothing, meanwhile the dark earth tone colors we preppers like, sit on a shelf until it goes on sale. The hottest lightweight pot, backpack, or whatever, will eventually be replace by something else that everyone will go bananas for. Then you come in when that original item goes on sale and scoop it up for cheap.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Manimal2878 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:11 pm

I agree with the poster above that said it depends on which pounds you are talking about. You can save many pounds easily and somewhat cheaply by lightening what are called the Big 3 or Big 4 items, Tent, Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Pad, and Backpack.

I went from carrying a 35 lbs. fully loaded pack down to about a 20 lbs. for not much money relatively speaking, but as I've tried to get down from 20 to 15 lbs it is exponentially more expensive. I read a lot of ustralight backpacking sites, some people will spend hundreds of dollars to save an ounce.

Of course not carrying items you don't need and simply finding a way to live without it is free. I'd start there before looking at buying a lighter more expensive version of something you already own if you haven't already gone through this process.

One thing that really got me to think, was after a trip, I dumped out my bag and made a list of the things I never used and the the things I did. Except for first aid, you really shouldn't carcry stuff that you don't use on every trip.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by moab » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:42 pm

Arsenul wrote:Weight is nothing to me, because I use a cart.
I've never considered using a cart. As my AO prohibits it. I mean deep woods. But I've never considered using a "disposable" cart. Say one you use to get from point A to the start of your hard mountain trek lets say. Where the woods prohibit the cart. And then just ditch the cart. Of course you'd also have to ditch everything except what you could carry on your back. But even a cart to carry just your INCH bag or BOB in for several miles up to your mountain trek would be nice to have. Or simply to get you out of your urban area. It would surely be faster too. You'd cover a lot more ground (assuming you have usable roads and trails) with the cart than with your gear on your back.

Interesting idea.

As far as the original question I posed. I wasn't really asking "when" is it worth it to spend more money on lighter weight gear. But when "you do" spend more money on lighter weight gear - where is your cutoff amount per pound? I guess I'm cheaper than most. I spent an additional $100 on my second INCH pack (last years model in a way better color than the present year model) that cut 5lbs. That's $20 per lb. But by waiting for sales I've pretty much cut all my weight with little or no additional cost over the heavier weight original items I had. Like my original sleeping bag was around 9lbs(?) maybe. I waited for Kelty's year end sale and got one for about the same price that is way less than half that of the original. And just as good temp wise.

So I guess I'm not sure where my cut off point is. Except that I'm a cheap bastard. ;) But I will say this - if I find something I really like that is the best tool for the job - I will spend a lot more money on that item. Than say a cheaper option. Like my knife for instance. I'm sure I could probably get away with my Mora. But I like the security of my ESEE5 a lot more than the Mora. Long term it will hold up much better. And can be used for more jobs than the Mora. And it's a good $130 more expensive. But oddly enough a lot heavier. So there's a double step backwards I guess you could say. One step back for weight, one step back for cost - but one step forward for quality.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Shadowalker » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:51 pm

End of summer garage sales are prime time to pick up gear. Both from people who upgraded or shrank weight and people who "had bad experiences" lol and want to dump their stuff.

The key is there may be two or three steps in weight, between where you are on an item, and the holy grail/break the bank item.

If you can climb a step or two for not much cash plus off the item you have for a little extra cash....do it. If you know your gear and play your cards right, you could end up riding for free. It worked for me a couple times now. :awesome:

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by JRR » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:26 pm

In backpacking circles, a pound of weight savings generally costs $100 or so, so I'd say you did well. Go check out a decent sleeping bag. You can get a decent 20 degree or even 0 degree bag for $100, but it'll weigh 5 or 6 pounds. For $200, you might get one that weighs 4 pounds. For $300, well, you see where I'm going with this. And I'd dsay, yes, it's definitely worth it if you can afford it, but I wouldn't steal my kids piggy bank to lighten my pack.
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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by roscoe » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:15 am

It is a tough calculation, but a pound is a fair bit of weight - that is a day's dried food (or more), 40 rounds of 9mm, 2/3 the weight of a good bivy sack, etc. I know that money is always a factor (it definitely is for me), but I try to limit my BOB to 30 pounds and that requires either getting lightweight gear or going without.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Jungfrau » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:54 am

I only wish I was able to spend $50 to save a pound, in my mind that is a huge weight savings. Being a fairly avid backpacker I am always looking for new gear to keep the weight down but at this stage it is hard to come by. After doing any length of hiking I think most people would spend $50 for a pound lighter on the trail. While expenses are always a concern, being able to move at a reasonable pace for an adequate period of time with little to no recovery before moving on again comes at a price.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by ArmchairRacer » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:25 am

JRR wrote:In backpacking circles, a pound of eight savings generally costs $100 or so, so I'd say you did well. Go check out a decent sleeping bag. You can get a decent 20 degree or even 0 degree bag for $100, but it'll weigh 5 or 6 pounds. For $200, you might get one that weighs 4 pounds. For $300, well, you see where I'm going with this. And I'd dsay, yes, it's definitely worth it if you can afford it, but I wouldn't steal my kids piggy bank to lighten my pack.
You can drop a ton of weight on a sleeping bag by switching to a quilt.
20dF and ~24oz for $215: http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/pro ... ationx-20/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
or if you prefer synthetic insulation this one is 35oz and $190: http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/pro ... odigyx-20/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
A lot of people don't like quilts but if you're serious about shedding weight they work great, heck I usually use my sleeping bag like a quilt anyway.

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Re: How much is a pound of less weight worth?

Post by Jeriah » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:08 am

The amount I am willing to spend to shave weight off my pack is directly proportional to how often, and how far, I carry my pack. If your gear is "just in case," you'll make do (which is reasonable). If you use your gear often, for backpacking or mock bugouts, you'll gladly pay 50, even 100 bucks to shave a pound. Obviously budget is a factor as well.
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