Here I am, sitting in a coffee shop, my first day after my last day. This weekend I worked my last shift as a nurse in the emerg that has become my home for the last 15 months and before that a year in the ER and ICU of a small ski town hospital. Coming to terms with quitting a job without a job to go to has been surreal, it makes you reflect on the past, and the jobs I have held. I realized that this is now the first time in 20 years that I have not had a job.
So preparation for the trail is pretty much complete, or as complete as it will get. I have done all the research I can do, I have gotten all the gear I need without getting too much gear. Which leads me to an interesting topic, baseweight. Baseweight is the weight of all of your equipment, minus food and water, so all of the non-consumable weight. Ultralight is when you get to, or below, 10 pounds. So I stumbled upon a youtube post by an Australian PCT hiker talking about how he scoured the internet, and FB, and got all the right gear, and when he weighed his gear, it was a couple pounds heavier than people with identical gear lists. So he did the natural thing, he cut the tags and extra straps off everything, but how could that save pounds?(spoiler, it didn't) So he came to the same conclusion that I had been flirting with, fabrication of baseweight. If you use the same website that everyone does(lighterpack), you can see a detailed breakdown of the weight of your gear. I have casually fact checked a few lighterpacks, and found that the weight they posted, compared to the weight listed on the company website, was in some cases up to 3 oz different(that's 1/4lb), that shit adds up.
So I have come to the conclusion that I will be as light as I can, but still enjoy my hike. All in, to support my photography, I will be carrying around about 5lbs of gear(camera, lenses, tripod, case, extra battery pack capacity, cords, ect). According to my lighterpack(see it here), if I ditched that weight I would get around about 12lbs baseweight, which is nice and light compared to the 60-80lbs I was used to as a machine gunner in the army. It helps with some clarity regarding the internet trap, there is a tonne of information out there, just not all of it is good.