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ERIC Number: EJ1045726
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Backpack Weight and the Scaling of the Human Frame
O'Shea, Michael
Physics Teacher, v52 n8 p479-481 Nov 2014
Modeling real-life situations is an important part of introductory physics. Here we consider the question "What is the largest weight of backpack a hiker can manage?" A quick perusal of the Internet suggests that as the weight of a healthy adult increases, the largest backpack weight W[subscript bp] also increases and should be about 25-30% of a person's body weight for a reasonably fit adult. We show here that a careful modeling of the hiker and backpack leads to a somewhat different result, with hikers of sufficiently large (but otherwise healthy) weight not being able to carry as much backpack weight as hikers of smaller weight.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A