Enter your total body weight into the calculator to determine to correct pack weight to use for a hike.

Pack Weight Formula

The following formulas are used to calculate the maximum pack weight to use for hikes.

DHPW = .10 * BW

LHPW = .20 * BW

  • Where DHPW is the pack weight for a day hike (lbs)
  • LHPW is the pack weight for a backpacking hike (lbs)
  • BW is the person’s bodyweight (lbs)

To calculate a pack weight, multiply your body weight by 20% (.20).

What is the correct pack weight for hiking?

In order to preserve energy and avoid injury, a day hiking pack should not exceed more than 10% of your body weight and a longer backpacking hike should not exceed 20% of your body weight.

Higher weights than recommended above could lead to injury or burnout.

How to calculate pack weight?

Example Problem:

The following example outlines how to calculate a pack weight.

First, determine the person’s body weight. In this example, the hiker weighs a total of 180 pounds.

Next, use the formula above to calculate the pack weights for different hikes.

DHPW = .10 * BW

DHPW = .10 * 180

DHPW = 18lbs for a day kike

LHPW = .20 * BW

LHPW = .20 * 180

LHPW = 36 lbs for a longer hike