Pack Base Weights

Trailpost was the first pack manager to distinguish between carried and worn quantities without duplicating items and, when we initially launched, the breakdown between carried and worn weight was our primary distinction. However, last week when we released per-item consumption rates it unlocked the most important number in pack planning, the Base Weight. In the update pushed today, base weight is now the primary metric for packs, along with worn, consumable, and total pack weight.

A screenshot showing the re-designd pack page prominently featuring base weight

Packs now have base weight as their primary weight metric, and Trailpost has updated it’s design to accommodate it.

So, what is base-weight? If you’re not familiar with the term, it is the sum of all carried items, minus consumables. It doesn’t include the boots you’re wearing or the food that may vary per trip, it’s just the amount of weight you will start with on your back on any hike. Many hikers have a “Target base weight,” and noted outdoor communities like Backpacking Light, and /r/Ultralight use this number to quickly compare packing plans and make suggestions for how to optimize a packing list to make it lighter.

I hope this design change, enabled by our growing feature set, helps you better understand your packs and how to improve them.

Customize your pack checklist printout

Every pack on Trailpost has a print view which you can use to print out all the items in your pack showing quantities and a handy check box for real-world packing. One complaint about this view was that different people wanted different information on their printouts and not everyone was happy with the defaults provided.

Well, starting today you can now configure the pack and item-level data you want to display on your printout. Just click the Settings (Gear) button in the top right and Trailpost will present you with check boxes for each piece of data that it can display in the printout. As you make changes, the print preview below will refresh in real-time.

A screenshot showing the updated pack checklist printing screen with checkboxes for the various pack and item data points to include in the printout

You can now choose which data to include in pack checklist printouts

Lots of other design, usability, and performance updates

In addition to the significant changes, this week’s release is comprised mostly of improvements to the current feature set. Some of the things I’ve included are:

  • I’ve updated the “Add pack items” screen to work better on small screens, and significantly improved performance on mobile devices.
  • I’ve redesigned user-related pages (profile, packs, locker) to be more functional. The header now takes up considerably less screen real-estate, improving mobile usability the most.
  • Trailpost now has a prettier 404/Not Found page, something you should hopefully never see.
  • I have added tooltips to various screen elements that benefit from the additional information, such as buttons with only an icon. This change is focused mostly on increasing usability for Trailposters who may use assistive technologies due to vision impairment.

Along with that, there are dozens of other small design changes, performance improvements, and other minor usability enhancements that I hope will enhance your experience using Trailpost to plan your next adventure.

Posted by Dan

Daniel Pehrson is the founder of Trailpost and a guy lucky enough to combine his shared love of the outdoors and technology into a career.


  1. Didn’t really find a place to submit a ticket so I’ll just post here. One minor usability issue is that adding locker item weight uses a default value rather than a placeholder. I just added 50 items and 3 of those had a trailing 0 because I just wanted to type in the weight. Quantity on the other hand I think is okay being a default value.


    1. Hey oxyc! I just wanted to let you know here that I responded to your larger post on /r/trailpost.


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