My goal has been for our packs to weigh at most 15 pounds without food, water, and fuel (AKA base weight). Right now I am at 14.5 pounds and Tim is at 15.5 pounds, both close to the 15 pound goal. Both of our packs will be a bit heavier when we add maps and drugs, but I am pretty happy with what I came up with.
There are people out there called ultra-light hikers whose base weights are closer to 10 pounds, but this doesn't seem like for me. There are some things I don't want to do without...namely my "luxury items" accounting for about 1.5 pounds (10% of my total base weight). These items include my iPhone in a waterproof case, my new camera with 22x optical zoom, and my newest and most exciting addition, a portable solar charger to charge my iPhone and camera battery on the trail.
As we hike, we may find that we don't need everything we are carrying so we might be able to lighten the load some. For instance, some people don't carry rain gear (~1.5 pounds) through the desert portion of the trail, while others carry it for another layer of warmth for the cold desert night. Also, our first aid kit weighs in at over 0.5 pounds. Can we maybe shave some of this weight? Do we really need 10 Band-Aids instead of just 5? These are questions that will not be able to answer until we are on the trail and getting comfortable with the situation. I know that a half pound doesn't seem like a lot, but it really does add up! I never thought toilet paper and wet wipes would weigh 0.5 pounds, but again...this is a luxury I am not willing to go without.
Don't forget...all this weight I am talking about is our base weights and does not include food, water, and fuel. Food will weigh 1.5 - 2 pounds a day, water weighs 2.2 pounds per liter, and fuel weighs 0.5 pounds. So, for instance if we are on the trail for 5 days and assuming the dry weather in California continues making us have to carry extra water, my final pack weigh will be 15 lb base + 1.5 lb (5 days) + 2.2 lb (4 liters water) + 0.5 lb fuel for a total of 31.8 pounds! Now you can understand why we might need to shave some of our gear...even if it is only a few Band-Aids.