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Thread: back country backpack recommendations

  1. #31
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    Feb 2009
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    I have had no trouble with the pack fully loaded. Even have used it on overnight trips. Took it to yellowstone, smokies, western nc, no trouble. I sweat less than with my daypack.

  2. #32
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    Sep 2009
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    Maryville Tennessee
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    Sam I am a lightweight weenie when I hiked 700 miles on the Appalachian Trail this year I averaged 21 pounds with 3 days of food but I have found that backpacking to fly fish is different I want more stuff, more food, tackle, rods, etc, I just seen one of these packs today at the outfitters I was very impressed with the storage space and the features and it says you can carry 45lbs like a breeze. My last trip up deep Creek to #58 I was 30lbs but my buddy carried my softside cooler with the 6 pack inside or I would have had 35.

    I found out that the more I carry the more I like camping the less I carry the more I like hiking. here is the link to the pack I thought it was pretty sweet! at Riversports outfitters you can get a 10% discount tell them your a member of my hiking group The Great Smokies Hiking & adventure group Little River Trading in Maryville is a great outfitter as well.

    http://www.ospreypacks.com/Packs/Arg...sMens/Argon70/
    Last edited by spotlight; 11-17-2009 at 10:01 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #33
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    Sep 2008
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Spotlight, what are your thoughts on the 40d fabric on the Argon? I think 40d is a bit weak for a pack of that weight.

    My impressions of Osprey has always been that they have rode fit and comfort as their selling points (with great success), and not necessarily design and technology. I do like the Exos series for an ultralight pack.

    But hey, opinions are like you know whats, everyone has one.

  4. #34
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    Sep 2009
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    Maryville Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grannyknot View Post
    Spotlight, what are your thoughts on the 40d fabric on the Argon? I think 40d is a bit weak for a pack of that weight.

    My impressions of Osprey has always been that they have rode fit and comfort as their selling points (with great success), and not necessarily design and technology. I do like the Exos series for an ultralight pack.

    But hey, opinions are like you know whats, everyone has one.
    I have had my Aether 60 stuffed to the gills and never ripped it, I hiked with a guy on the AT and his Exos ripped at the mesh on the pockets and Osprey gave him a brand new one free of charge so their warranty is awesome and if you want a real ultralight pack check out these. http://www.ula-equipment.com/packoverview.asp

    But yes 40d is thin but it seemed pretty durable in the outfitters I WANT ONE!

    Right now I have the ULA Circuit and love it! however my big 4 weighs just over 7lbs that's a 2 person tent Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo 2lbs 7 o/zs, a 2009 Thermarest self inflate mat 1lb, a Western Mountainering Megalite 30 degree down bag 1lb 8 o/z, and the Circuit is 36 o/zs.

    I want the Argon because it has a lot of space I'd like to be able to put my rod case inside the pack so I could us a rain cover, right now my rain cover would never fit, it's way to small I am a ultralight backpacker but when I fly fish I want to be able to carry stuff the last trip I even had a chair kit for my Thermarest it's like a backcountry Lazyboy.

  5. #35
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Georgia
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    'Which pack' is too often asked [everywhere!] with no parameters set. It's like asking what 'reel' to get -with no line or rod weight established-much less 'water to be fished' described:-) ?! Simply doesn't 'work' that way.
    Duration of trips, terrain [open trails or bushwhacking?] weather zone [hot, temperate, cold [wet?] winter, 'comfort level' of gear[quantity/quality-lightweight] that's acceptable for the USER and MONEY are needed to make honest appraisals.
    Since FF in the Smokies is applicable here [assumed], then 'when' [winter packs have to be BIGGER-more Cubic Inches!], duration and whether on 'trailed' streams or bushwhacking for specs are the choices. Essentially you have to have your 'contents' BEFORE you can choose a suitable container [just as you need your FF line size BEFORE you choose the rod].
    Thankfully this forum doesn't have to overcome 'tactikewl' military wannabe's that promote 6# glorified daypacks as 'essential' to toughness-but totally inadequate CI-wise.
    Look to high volume ultralight packs of 4400ci and up to keep most contents inside. Oughta be in the 3-4# range MAX. The more you bushwhack the 'slicker' the pack should be [same as an ascending climbing pack]. Dyeema and kevlar /ripstop blended fabrics have supplanted heavy cordura in modern sport packs. If you like/prefer to 'tie stuff on' the outside and stay on developed trails, you can't beat a good old Kelty or packframe for versatility . BUT if you aren't hauling a duffel bag of gear, a 5gallon jerry can and/or an outboard motor, a newer UL internal frame is probably indicated:-). [The pic of Jim as an [overloaded!] child is a prime use for a pack frame [think bipedal mule 'packsaddle' concept:-)].
    Being realistic, money is a big factor. The higher quality [lightweight] gear you can afford [AND how 'spartan' you can camp 'comfortability'-this isn't about a 'sickening ' elimination hike for SAS selection!] effects how many CI you will need in your pack. Personally I gave up on the 1 pr. of boots, 1 gun, and 1 pack that 'can do it all' decades ago-simply isn't optimal -unless you're a hobo[and he just suffers alot].
    It's no simple decision because to be valid you need your 'contents' first. Simply using a siltarp rather than a tent eliminates AT LEAST a couple pounds and hundreds of CI. An 800 fill power 30 degree down bag is less than half as bulky and heavy as a synthetic.[BUT I don't use down bags in the smokies-simply too wet. Wet down is a killer just as is cotton in the cold. Now if you can sleep in JUST your denim bib overals, a canvas coat and brogans next to a fire -waking-up frozen to the ground like an old smokies bear hunter [Kephart], ignore my wussy recommendations:-)].
    Personally I'm guilty of 'overspecialization' with a dozen packs, about 7 bags and 3 tents, 6 tarps, etc-THAT isn't necessary. It IS why you need the knowledge to get the 'right' contents to determine what size pack you need-AND get the most utility out of our worthless FRN's.
    Again, it's comparable to matching fly sizes to water to be fished, the flies to tippets/leaders and line THEN the rod/reel. The pack is purely an accomodation that must fit your OTHER selections. Course, then you get into fit, comfort and color-all pretty personal by that point. [Why I have wool packs for winter still hunting-NO noisy nylon.] Just an example of thinking thru YOUR requirements.] Ghost

  6. #36
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    Feb 2008
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    Ghost,


    Assuming that a person was willing to not be fully optomized and carry a bit of extra weight, in exchange for a pack that would allow them to back country camp/hike in all seasons, on and off trail, what pack would you recommend, assuming that the person was hiking in the park, or areas around the park? Would a pack that produces less friction in the bush not also be fit for the open trail (assuming you could purchase one in the proper size)? Also, is there a significant difference in the weight between a large pack and say, a medium sized pack that it would deter the average hiker from buying a single pack for all occasions?

    Thanks,

    BRF

  7. #37
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    Aug 2009
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    central Georgia
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    Good question-and practical viewpoint. You're correct of course, a 'slick' pack works fine on developed trails.

    Your parameters are specific enough to make honest recommendations.

    Let me say up front that from the time I was issued the 'canadian ruck'[big knock-off Bergan design, steel frame with canvas bag] in '68 at Group at Bragg I've been fighting heavy rucks! [I was already a backpacker and thought most of the military stuff was truly 'retro']. Granted, a military ruck in an airborne unit takes a beating, there's no reason to accept that technology now.[And even then I carried a Gregory 'custom, handmade green nylon backpack with nice padding and aluminum stays when on non-jump team exercises.] I even used an 8X10 Eddie Bauer nylon tarp in Nam for night RON's and a nylon rain jacket rather than a poncho. So I don't think I've ever gotten locked into a 'rut' gearwise/institutionalized other than seeking the lightest strongest compromise with comfort and functionality possible. I say all that just to sorta establish some 'bona fides'-yep, I'm an ol' fart-probably older than Jim:-). [BUT I grew up on a horse ranch and not near the Smokies like him].

    I recently addressed your question by buying a pack simply for 3 day trips in the Smokies. [NOT deep winter. After 3 chemo sessions and losing half my stomach I simply can't handle the caloric burn of cold, snow and weight-like Dirty Harry said, 'a man's gotta know his limitations'! No point in BS'ing oneself].

    I got a Golite Quest, 4400 ci/73L [?] at 3#3 oz. at Sierra Trading Post -or maybe it was Backcountrygear.com-for about $125-great deal. I have mostly ultralight equipment BUT tend to take more 'snivel gear' than a true ultralight packer [again, I'm an ol' fart:-)]. I use the lightweight Patagonia waders and carry wading shoes outside the pack. [Waders go in a WP stuff bag inside]. My March Brown rod[s] either 7' [17" in case]or 9' [24
    ' in case]will fit outside or in. The Golite Odyessy at 5800 ci/95L is a better all around pack for what you suggest. Only weighs 7ozs. more and has compression straps to snug it up if not full. That's a minimal penalty to pay for the extra latitude. Considering most 5800 ci packs weigh over 6#'s alone, you're GTG.

    For some perspective, the old steel framed/canvas Bergan weighs 6#'s as does the current military nylon version [but is bigger].

    Let me also add this: an ultralight pack is a minimalist 'structure' compared to the more elaborate hipbelts and frame sheets/stays on a 6#+ 'AT thru hiking' pack. If you're carrying 50# + and busting *** to make 12-16 miles a day months on end, the 'hiking dedicated' pack is gonna be more comfortable. That type pack is designed for convenience to 'live out of' as opposed to a fishing ['carrying'] pack that needs to be acceptably comfortable and functional to move from car park to fishing stream site -probably only 5-6 miles, or even 13 ONCE until you go back DOWNHILL:-) a day or so later.

    An argument I often get in with 'soldier wannabes' and pack selection is the weight/construction aspects. Neither they-nor a fisherman -needs a pack that'll sustain being dragged behind a deuce and a half nor creaming in from a broken drop-line on a DZ from 200ft. Nor do we need the 3 EXTRA yards of nylon webbing for MOLLE gear attachment-weight that does nothing FOR you. Practically speaking, if it doesn't contribute to your survival comfort and the REASON you're humping the gear to start with[fishing], it's extraneous BS-A WASTE. Not to mention a pain:-).

    I mention that only to be kept in mind when sorting thru packs at the store [REI is pretty widespread and carries a broad selection of various brands/types of packs to compare. Any ultralight pack may feel 'light'/flimsy? compared to expedition packs. Simply keep in mind, it's gonna be on YOUR back-how much abuse do you intend to put YOURSELF thru to be worried about some nylon:-)]. Packing the inside of an ultralight pack bears thinking/planning about for ultimate comfort-it's easy and plenty of info. is available.

    Hope I haven't put you to sleep, BRF-I do go on in my dotage:-). Feel free to ask if I've muddled something. http://www.rei.com/product/781547

    Ghost

  8. #38
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    Feb 2008
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    Thanks for the insight. You are definitely knowledgable and have some valuable insight. I understand about the health issues. I've had one for a couple of years that I'm just getting over (mostly). Still slows me down a bit. Energy level just isn't there and I fatigue easily. Always good to talk to a Vietnam Vet. I always admired you guys. Lots of them in my family. I will look into those packs. I am due for a new one.

  9. #39
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Georgia
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    Maybe I oughta clarify that the Golite example is just that. Plenty of other alternatives in lightweight packs. I simply shop for acceptable features and quality PREFERABLY that I can get a discount on [stretch those FRN's:-)] and Golite is big enough to have over runs which create savings with some searching. You may find something of better value/features locally or on the net. EVERYTHING nylon seems to be chink made anyhow.

    But definitely, with minimal weight penalty in UL packs, I'd recommend a 5800ci pack over a lesser volume. Even a fly vest bulks-up in a pack. Try to avoid ANYTHING except the wading shoes outside. If your rod case is too long try to position it so it doesn't interfere with either duck-walking thru brush or catching overhead branches when you bend over to avoid them [common sense].

    Thanks for the kind words and good luck going forward with your issues. Ghost

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