I have used dummy-loads on my hiking gear for awhile. It keeps the wear and tear down on items such as my down quilt and jacket. It allows me to keep my pack at the same weight and bulk each time I hit the trail. It will also save time in the AM when I decide I am heading out to the trail. I no longer need to pack before I go. I am ready to roll. This technique also works well for simulating food loads or gear that you may not own yet but have an understanding of the dimensions. This is not recommended on a backwoods trail but more for the local training hike. So far it has worked well for me.