The Pacific Northwest trail kicked my rear.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default The Pacific Northwest trail kicked my rear.

So my brother and I decided to get back into hiking and possibly scout a few areas for elk. Packed around 70 lbs in each. Tent, bags, two rifles, three pistols, ammo, food, fishing supplies, food water.

After a three day hike, I hurt in places I was fully aware existed lol. Good stuff.

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:24 PM   #2
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What, no pictures??

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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We're at the bottom end of the Cascades. The Trinity Alps are among the most scenic areas of the country and a favorite backpacking area for me. I've been on 2 and 3 week long treks without resupply drops. It results in 70 or 80 pound packs. I've felt your pain many times before. Ibuprofen, Flexeril and Vicodin are among the most used items in my first aid kit.

I've got about 20 pounds of crap that never leaves my pack. I also pack 50% more food than what is needed for a trip, just in case I need it or I run into someone in the back country that needs it.

I'm not sure what you run for a backpack, but years ago I switched from a Kelty external frame pack to a North Face soft pack. If you use an old school frame pack, I highly recommend a soft pack. They allow much better balance and allow you to carry double the weight of a framed pack much more comfortably. If you take a even just couple of trips per year, the cash outlay is definitely worth it. With an 80 pound pack, I can reach down and touch my toes and stand back up without the load shifting.

Mine is something like 8400 cubic inches and allows me to carry everything from a weekend's trip worth of stuff to a full blown trek load. It has compression straps and cords that allow it to be cinched down to keep it compact and balanced or open up for stupid big loads.

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Old 08-03-2009, 05:09 PM   #4
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My wife works at Eddie Bauer and she won a backpack for meeting some goal or something, not really sure. Anyway she brought home the biggest pack they make for me and I agree with you on the softpack. Mine isn't 8400 ci but it is much more comfortable then any framed pack I've tried.

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Old 08-03-2009, 11:55 PM   #5
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Chris,

All I can say is, "Good for you."

You're my hero.

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Old 08-04-2009, 03:38 PM   #6
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I may have to try a soft pack next time. We were using internal frames.

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Old 08-04-2009, 04:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I may have to try a soft pack next time. We were using internal frames.
Soft packs are superior to anything with a frame. They do have a couple of aluminum stays that run up the back of the pack, so they do offer some support in that aspect. The main deal is that you can comfortably cinch them straps down tighter and pack them tighter, so the weight doesn't shift or transfer at all. I've jogged down screed slopes, done swift water crossings and climbed granite with mine packed up pretty well. They're just that much easier to deal with.

Leaning forward slightly keeps the weight of the pack centered over your center of gravity. When paired with the lack of weight shift, you aren't limited by your pack anymore, especially when you get a stupid big pack. I can't say enough good things about them.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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We were using the "Bone Collector 2.5". It's a beast of a pack but cinches down really tightly. Lots of straps to get it tighter and carry all sorts or various gear. To be honest I think we only used about 40% of the strap capability and 80% of the main bags, 100% of the side bags and 50% of the built in rifle bags.

Leaning forward when walking and taking breaks really seemed to lighten it all up. The bag seemed to perform ok but I am willing to try a softpack and compare. Any suggestions on better packs out there?

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Old 08-04-2009, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Soft packs are superior to anything with a frame. They do have a couple of aluminum stays that run up the back of the pack, so they do offer some support in that aspect.
Those aluminium stays are the frame, and that is a internal frame pack...
BTW.... 8400c.i is huge! ...are you sure that your pack is that big, is more than 135 liters... the biggest internal frame pack I had seen is 120 liters (like 7500c.i). I had a 75 liters (4500c.i) and was enough for a long weekend... I miss hiking badly
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Those aluminium stays are the frame, and that is a internal frame pack...
BTW.... 8400c.i is huge! ...are you sure that your pack is that big, is more than 135 liters... the biggest internal frame pack I had seen is 120 liters (like 7500c.i). I had a 75 liters (4500c.i) and was enough for a long weekend... I miss hiking badly
I've always heard them referred to as soft packs. I always thought internal frames were the ones with the plastic frames inside of them.

There are a few companies that are making them that size and bigger. IIRC, the North Face has a newer design that is something like 9600 cu in fully expanded. Mountain Hardware makes one close to that, as does Moutainsmith.

When you're doing treks, you really do need that sort of room. It sucks to have to dump ground cloths, rain flys, rain gear and thermals in favor of food. It also sucks to have to waste a day or two of extra walking to hook up with a resupply. Stupid big packs allow you to carry all you need and be truly self sufficient when out in the back country.
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