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post #361 of 412
Looking to transition from car camping to backpacking and need a backpack. I researched most of the recommendations given at the beginning of this thread. I'm just planning on doing weekend trips in the Blue Ridge and Smokey mountains in spring, summer, and fall. I was thinking a 50-60 L pack would do, but I'm a little conflicted: do you guys think that it would be best for a novice to get a so-so pack to learn on rather than spend $$$ on something very top of the line? Or should you get the best you can afford, even if you're inexperienced? I don't want to fuck up my back or anything, but at the same time I don't want to be some weekend warrior under-utilizing an uber-expensive piece of equipment.
post #362 of 412
How important is your back to you, and when you do get out there, how much do you want to enjoy it vs. feeling crappy due to your pack? I say go to an REI, Summit Hut, etc. and try on packs. DO NOT BUY WITHOUT TRYING ON! Pick one that feels good and know you'll have it for years.
post #363 of 412
You need one that's comfortable and dependable, first and foremost.

And in my opinion, 50-60L is too big for one or two night outings.
post #364 of 412
I started with a medium ALICE pack that I picked up from the local Army surplus store. It is big enough for 1-3 day outings, is really durable, and is actually pretty comfortable. And it was under $30!!! If you want to start with a fairly inexpensive pack, give it a thought. You can purchase them with or without a frame; you could try without the frame, and pick up a frame later if you feel you need one (particularly if you are planning on carrying a lot of gear).
post #365 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by fareau View Post
I started with a medium ALICE pack that I picked up from the local Army surplus store. It is big enough for 1-3 day outings, is really durable, and is actually pretty comfortable. And it was under $30!!! If you want to start with a fairly inexpensive pack, give it a thought. You can purchase them with or without a frame; you could try without the frame, and pick up a frame later if you feel you need one (particularly if you are planning on carrying a lot of gear).

Sounds like the way of the past. No one uses frames now. I question the genuine utility of this bag.
post #366 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by unjung View Post
Sounds like the way of the past. No one uses frames now. I question the genuine utility of this bag.

I use an external frame. And most packs have frames, they're just internal.
post #367 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
How important is your back to you, and when you do get out there, how much do you want to enjoy it vs. feeling crappy due to your pack? I say go to an REI, Summit Hut, etc. and try on packs. DO NOT BUY WITHOUT TRYING ON! Pick one that feels good and know you'll have it for years.
I value my back pretty highly. If a high quality pack makes a big difference even on short, less strenuous trips, then high quality it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by unjung View Post
You need one that's comfortable and dependable, first and foremost. And in my opinion, 50-60L is too big for one or two night outings.
You think so? In the store I thought 50/60 looked to big for my purposes, but all the buyers guides and shit on the internet seem to disagree. May have to reinvestigate this issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fareau View Post
I started with a medium ALICE pack that I picked up from the local Army surplus store. It is big enough for 1-3 day outings, is really durable, and is actually pretty comfortable. And it was under $30!!! If you want to start with a fairly inexpensive pack, give it a thought. You can purchase them with or without a frame; you could try without the frame, and pick up a frame later if you feel you need one (particularly if you are planning on carrying a lot of gear).
There's an army surplus store near my apt. Maybe I'll have a look. Thanks for the suggestions guys. Researching on my own has kind of led to information overload, so this helps.
post #368 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCal View Post
I use an external frame. And most packs have frames, they're just internal.

They have an internal structure to them, but I assumed no frame. I see you are right and bags with frames are still available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dexterhaven View Post
I value my back pretty highly. If a high quality pack makes a big difference even on short, less strenuous trips, then high quality it is.
...
You think so? In the store I thought 50/60 looked to big for my purposes, but all the buyers guides and shit on the internet seem to disagree. May have to reinvestigate this issue.

I just think you need something that places weight appropriately.

I use 60L bags for four-plus night trips. I'd think for one or two nights, 40L should be fine unless you're carrying special gear.
post #369 of 412
What trips have you guys made this summer? This thread is awful quiet...Especially given the season.
post #370 of 412
Nothing too strenuous but did a day hike down in Big Sur. The best part is hitting an isolated beach cove and feeling like Chuck Heston.

lefty
post #371 of 412
Nothing real big yet this summer, or any good pictures. Short hike to Strawberry Lake in Oregon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawbe...ain_Wilderness - patchy snow at 6200 feet in July. Lots of snow this year. Hiked to some petroglyphs in CA desert ranges.
post #372 of 412
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post #373 of 412
Went hiking in Alaska last month. Awesome trip. In addition to my 10+ year old Herman's Survivor boots (which are sadly now outsourced by Wal-mart and are no longer the boot they once were) I brought along my pair of AE Bayfields. I wore the Bayfields the entire time. While perhaps not designed as a hiking boot I found them perfectly suited to this task. They offer great ankle support, a good sole, and after breaking in are more comfortable than my Merrell sawtooth boots.

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I gave these boots a good beating but they held up well. I will continue using these as my go-to hiking boot for the foreseeable future.
post #374 of 412
Anyone have any experience with NOLS trips? I was thinking about this one next year: http://www.nols.edu/courses/locations/rockymtn/rocky_mountain_lightweight_backpacking.shtml
post #375 of 412
Keep the pictures coming gentlemen.

Headed out to Sequoia/Kings Canyon on Friday, this guy has some decent pictures up:http://kevingong.com/Hiking/ParadiseValley.html
Never been and if we take the same trail as in the link I'll be more than pleased. I need to grab some whiskey and a bottle of wine.
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