How Many Dollars per Ounce does it Cost to Lighten Your Pack?

Tight on cash but still want to reduce your pack weight? Me too. Most ask where in their pack they can reduce the most weight the quickest. I’ve had to calculated where I can reduce it the cheapest. Disclaimer: I rounded up to whole numbers, it’s rough, etc. Measurements in parenthesis are cost per10 grams for the gram counters out there.

The cheapest: Taking something out of your pack and not putting it back. Goodbye camp chair. Hello log.

The big winner: rain jacket. Switching from my 15oz REI Elements based jacket to a 5oz Dri-Ducks jacket costs only $1.55 per ounce ($.54) of reduced packweight. Anything fancier, such as Go-lite pertex based jacket, and the costs jump to $25 per ounce ($8.75) of savings.

Shelter and sleep systems, not surprisingly, are next. Moving from a 5lb Marmot 2 person tent to a roughly $200 Locus Gear custom tarp/ homemade tyvek bivy set-up will cost me only $3 per ounce ($1) of savings.

Coming from the 72oz+ Lowe Alpine pack I’ve had since high school, the pack is compeitive with the tent in the cost-effectiveness catagory.  My Granite Gear Meridian Vapor rings in at only $8 per ounce. Unfortunately, I don’t like the lid and if I use a packliner the side zip is worthless (didn’t follow the good advice: buy the pack last). If I can sell it and move to a Virga or Vapor it would cost me just $3-4 per ounce ($1-1.5) in savings.

Last in the big three, moving to a 24oz Go-lite Ultra 20 quilt from my 48oz synthetic bag the cost bumps up to $10 per ounce ($3.50) saved; the pricier 22oz Jacks R Better Mt Washington costs nearly $11 ($4)  per.

Then things get a bit scary. Wind jackets, rain jackets, and titanium pots would all cost me $20-30 per ounce ($7-11) saved. That is one hour of English teaching to save one ounce in pack weight: a true test of commitment to lightweight packing!

The big loser: underwear. Moving from my 8 year old miss-matched long underwear to the SmartWool ML series so tantalizingly displayed by Hendrik would cost upwards of $50 ($18) per ounce saved. 8 more years it is. Socks, undies, and other small but expensive stuff is equally costly.

I’ve got quite a few hours to put in at work to really get the pack weight down. All this makes making my own stuff far more attractive; I’m ordering tyvek from Jotaro as soon as I’m done with this post.
Conclusion: The big-3 are the best place to start for your wallet as well as your weight.

Next in economics topics: The labor-leisure choice and reducing your pack weight

Question of the day: How long would you be willing to work to reduce your packweight by an ounce?

Best song I listened to while typing this: Rhymes Like Dimes

Image credit: Atomic Sheep


About hamilton

Walking, Walking!
This entry was posted in Gear, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How Many Dollars per Ounce does it Cost to Lighten Your Pack?

  1. Joe says:

    Very interesting post Hamilton. The one question I would raise is how many Dri-Ducks jackets will you trash compared to one GoLite Tumalo jacket? Then the $ savings will narrow considerably.

    But you’re right, concentrate on what you can leave behind, then the big three.

  2. Pingback: What’s Cheaper, Lighter and More Breathable than an E-Bivy? My MYoG Tyvek Bivy | Traverse Japan

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