To aid in reducing my gear weight, I built a nice spreadsheet that allows you to enter all your gear items and the weight of each and it will calculate your total base weight. It prints nicely too. Download it below and start analyzing your backpack weight!
Base Weight: the weight of everything carried, including the clothes on your back, but excluding – food, water, fuel, shoes, trekking poles.
Base weight is used because things like food and water are a moving target. You will have more or less depending on your trip, but your base weight items are likely to be the same on overnight trips. Focus on those for trimming backpack weight.
Get a scale of some kind with ounce precision and start weighing! I used a cheap food scale to start, but now prefer a digital postal scale for ease of use and accuracy. Check my Lighten Your Backpack guide for ideas. The spreadsheet only supports English measures now as that’s what I’ve found most gear is listed as here in the US, but I hope to add the option of using either English or metric for each item soon. There is an area at the bottom for non-base weight items so you can list things like old gear that you’ve retired in favor of something lighter.
I’ve found that the listed weights for my gear were usually accurate but occasionally an item is off by a noticeable amount. Of course many things don’t have list weights as well.