In ultralight or lightweight hiking, "pack weight" is a very common number to discuss. What does pack weight exclude? Is it limited to just what's in your pack, or does it also include clothes, shoes, etc.

2 Answers 2


There are a few common measures that I've seen:

  • Full Skin Out - we're talking everything you're wearing, everything in your pack, food, water, fuel
  • Base Weight - everything in your pack, minus "consumables" like food, water, fuel
  • Worn Weight - stuff on you, like clothes, shoes, hiking poles, whistle around your neck, etc
  • 2
    I wasn't even aware there were different measures! Feb 15, 2012 at 22:55
  • 2
    Ultralighters get very particular about these details and how they are measured. After all, if you're going to be cutting the end off your toothbrush and drying out pieces of toothpaste to store in baggies, you're probably going to need some obsessive traits to help you through...
    – Greg.Ley
    Feb 16, 2012 at 18:51

From Hikingwebsite.com:

Base Pack Weight - Weight of pack and gear carried in the pack, but no consumables

Total Base Weight - Base pack weight plus weight of clothes worn and gear not carried in the pack

Total Pack Weight - Base pack weight plus the weight of consumables (food, water, and fuel)

Total Weight - Weight of everything, or total pack weight plus the weight of clothes worn and gear not carried in the pack, or the weight of everything you take with you whether worn or carried

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