I have three separate lists indicated by coloured columns for different periods of the year:- 1: Summer 2: Spring/Autumn 3: Hard Winter. The lists are for solo trips.
These are rough divisions and depend on the weather forecast as much as the calendar, the twilight zones being the transitions between the traditional seasons. Spring/Autumn includes the periods when there can be a large temperature differential between day and night: the nights and early mornings can be cold and even frosty while the days can be mild or quite warm. On some trips I'll take some items from one column and some from another, but they give a good idea of the weights involved.
The base weight is supposed to be the pack weight excluding water and food, i.e. the constant weight carried throughout the backpack. One problem with the often quoted base weights is exactly what is included (and excluded) and I never believe any figures unless accompanied by an itemised list, and I don't always believe them even then. It seems to me that there is a lot of gamesmanship in this circus and some people seem hell bent on reducing that final number no matter what. It would be interesting to take some of these packs and weigh them when loaded, giving the 'all-up' weight, and comparing it with the claimed weight: I'll bet it would be significantly heavier in some cases.
Another problem is clothing that is worn only part of the time: sometimes it is on your person, sometimes in the pack. This represents a considerable weight and includes waterproof jacket, waterproof overtrousers, fleece, gaiters, gloves, hat, shades etc..
In the USA there is the convention of listing literally everything added to your naked body: this eliminates ambiguity (not dishonesty!) but gives figures that are not intuitive when thinking about the weight of the pack on your back. My approach here is to exclude from the lists the clothing that is always worn all the time, i.e. base layers, normal legwear, socks and footwear. All the other part-time items mentioned above are included in the lists.
Also I have excluded camera equipment from the lists since it is not related to the walking or camping, and in my case I have a DSLR with a relatively heavy lens which would give a distorted view of the weights. I have also excluded winter hardware like ice axes and crampons: I rarely take crampons but my Kahtoolas would add 545g to the winter column when I do. I never take an ice axe these days.
Although these are usually excluded from quoted weights, it can be helpful to predict the total weight carried, in particular the maximum carried at the start of the trip. However water requirements vary wildly and it depends on the route and time of year, it must therefore be treated separately for each trip and excluded from the lists.
Food is easy to estimate by averaging the weights of the varied foodstuffs, assuming you want a bit of variety, and bearing in mind that the first and last days of a backpack are different from the rest (in my case and probably many others). I eat breakfast on the first day before setting off and obtain an evening meal after returning to the car on the last day, so these need not be carried.
This table shows the base weights for the three periods of the year, together with the total (max) weights carried, including food but excluding water and camera/winter hardware, for backpacks of various lengths.
|Total weight 2 days||7.7||8.2||11.9|
|Total weight 3 days||8.6||9.1||12.8|
|Total weight 4 days||9.5||10.1||13.7|
|Total weight 5 days||10.4||11.0||-|
|Total weight 6 days||11.4||11.9||-|
This table shows the itemised weights that constitute the base weight for the three periods of the year.
|Tent: Terra Nova LaserComp||1012||1012||1012|
|Pack: Golite LiteSpeed or Golite Quest||1100||1100||1410|
|Pack liner: Sea-To-Summit 60l or 80l||74||74||98|
|Mattress: Thermarest NeoAir Small or Exped 7||270||270||850|
|Sleeping bag: PHD Minim 300 / ME Lightline / ME Iceline||760||1106||1760|
|Headtorch: Petzl Tikka Plus||78||78||78|
|Bin liners (multi purpose)||80||80||80|
|Water bottles: 3 x Evian ½l||57||57||57|
|Platypus (taken only occasionally)||36||36||-|
|EZEE toilet trowel||54||54||54|
|Victorinox (knife/scissors/pen etc.)||25||25||25|
|Toiletries bag incl. shaver||330||330||330|
|Towel: ZAP + bag||90||90||90|
|Mobile: Nokia 1100||90||90||90|
|Map case: Ortlieb||60||60||60|
|Maps: average 3 x A4 sheets||24||24||24|
|Stove: Coleman F1||-||-||77|
|Pan: Vargo ¾l titanium||-||-||75|
|Grab handle: MSR LiteLifter||-||-||28|
|Flask: LifeVenture 0.5l||-||-||375|
|Waterproof jacket: ME Makalu||745||745||745|
|Fleece: MH Monkey Man||490||490||490|
|Lightweight down jacket: RAB Microlight||-||320||-|
|Serious down jacket: ME Lightline||-||-||800|
|Overtrousers: ME Drilite Plus||275||275||275|
|Shades: Bloc visor||40||40||40|
|Hat: Nike cap / Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap||83||-||98|
|Gaiters: Trekmates + bag||185||185||185|
|Gloves: The North Face / Lowe Alpine Mountain||-||88||225|
|Consumables & oddballs|
|MP3 player: iRiver T60||70||70||70|