I had this entire pack system loaded down for a 6 day trip with my daughter a few weeks ago, with the front pack and a full food bag. Everything weighed in (minus water) at 21 lbs, with only 9 of that being the gear. I found this to be the weight limit for an acceptable carry, as everything is on my shoulders with this system.
CLOTHING: I'll use one of my long pants and a NTS upper short sleeve. Because I have to be careful with sun exposure, I have been utilizing bike sun sleeves for a few years on blazing days. My noggin will either be covered with my ZPacks Pointy Hat, or an OR cap. For slightly cooler running I use a Beyond Clothing Brokk shirt. On this trip I will not pack a down sweater or vest, as I will either be moving or resting. Therefore I will use my Beyond Clothing ALPHA jacket for the insulation piece (these Beyond Clothing pieces have been drastically discounted as of late). I have used the Alpha jacket during periods of activity over the past 3 years and I can attest to the efficacy of this insulation. As a movement piece it fits perfectly into the ensemble, capped off by my ZPacks Challenger Rain Jacket, which I had made in size XL with pit zips and the extended 40 inch length. With my slim pack design it fits perfectly over my pack(s), essentially acting as a poncho. What's missing? Rain pants/rain kilt/long underwear/change of clothes. Everything I wear dries out by body heat, even if soaked. I will, however, pack 2 more sets of socks, and possibly an extra NTS shirt. Footwear will be by Inov8.
OTHER: med kit, which I will pare down to the minimum. My daughter tends to have more foot issues than I do, so we make sure I have plenty of foot care items. I haven't had a blister for years. Spare headlamp and batteries (lots of night hiking on this trip), spare camera battery, sunscreen, toothbrush, iPhone, InReach, minimal tripod, sunglasses, ZPacks mitts and Challenger Rain Mitts, BeFree .6 liter filter collapsible bottle, and about 5 pounds of food.
I anticipate my total weight, including food and water, to come in at approximately 10 pounds. This weight is unnoticeable when carrying and allows me to cover the distances required for this itinerary, even at age 61. Of course it helps that I have hiked this trail over 30 times. This familiarity, coupled with years of experience, makes me completely comfortable with this setup. Consider that 20 years ago I did this trail in 36 hours with probably 5 pounds of total gear.
I realize that the sparse nature of my kit is not for everybody. I actually prefer sleeping in a bivy (but not in the rain). I am very familiar with my body, nutritional requirements, and mental fitness and I have been able to dial in my equipment, much of it custom made, to my exact needs. I've seen decades of trial and error, and know what works for me. I enjoy both accompanied and solo trips, and my annual Wonderland hike allows me to traipse through this familiar terrain and recharge in the process. I also enjoy the ongoing process of dialing in gear and stressing my body and mind in the doing. Hopefully my next blog entry will be a trip report, where I can refer back to this post and recount my experience, hopefully giving the reader some useful information that he/she can perhaps embrace, or at least try. Cheers!