So Dana went and started Mystery Ranch? Is that right? I bet those packs are quite good. I was always happy with the Astralplane I had - it was just too heavy when I started going lighterweight with my gear.
So - I don't even have to try one to recommend Mystery Ranch as well, and I would agree that McHale is probably the Rolls since it's very customized to order and tailored to your particular body size and shape, and Dana (I mean Mystery Ranch) is the Mercedes...
definitions are interesting. These posts on whether something is or is not backpacking intrigue me. Another i have oft wondered about is when does a thru-hiker become a section hiker? If a person hikes the trail continuously on weekends only and takes a break for the week and then continues from where they left off, are they a section hiker? Does it matter if they spent the week at the local motel or drove home? What if they hiked for 5 days straight and spent only the weekends at a hotel? Does it change if they went home for those 2 days? What amount of "break" from the hike is considered "ok" for one to be considered a thru hiker and does it matter how that break is spent? Just some questions floating through my mind, I don't expect there to be an answer. Likely many opinions, but probably not a definitive answer, and there doesn't need to be one. As someone said earlier HYOH.
Loc: Central Arkansas
I have to agree with those that say Hazley isn't actually backpacking, but rather participating in some sort freaky, super-human, masochistic trail-jog. I also agree that, due to the support team traveling with him, it may not be an accurate indicator of true gear wear over that many miles. This fella just popped into my mind when I tried to think of an example of ULA's durability, as many people attack UL and L gear as being dainty and fragile.
I'm rough on gear, Arkansas trails aren't all that well maintained, and my ULA has held up great.
ULAs are made of Dyneema ripstop, which is some pretty stout stuff, not silicone-impregnated nylon. It looks to be extremely durable; certainly I haven't managed to harm it yet.
My unsolicited opinion: A big part of going lighter is replacing gear with skill; (generic) you should learn not to drop your pack off a cliff or drag it over rocks or swing it around your head like a helicopter blade. Then you can get a lighter pack and fill it with lighter and less gear. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
> Arkansas trails aren't all that well maintained
That's surely true, but not necessarily a completely bad thing. It keeps the tamer folk away, and I do like that solitude.
Another i have oft wondered about is when does a thru-hiker become a section hiker?
This is the simplest question about AT hiking I know, because there is a solidly accepted answer. When the trek goes beyond one year. The definition of a thru-hiker versus a section hike is that a thru-hiker completes the entire trail in less than one year's time. If the weekender started on March 1 and could finish by February 28 the next year, he's a thru-hiker, no matter the order or direction of travel, pack carried or any thing else.
Six Moon Designs has some excellant packs yo might want to look into. I have carried a Starlite for a few years. On a seven day trip I carried about 35 lbs with a good level of comfort. I wouldn't want to push it any further than that. They also have a panel loader that seems to be well thought of. Ron's packs are made form the same Dyneema as ULA packs if I'm not mistaken.
Deeds can't dream what dreams can do. e.e. cummings
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'm glad this thread has finally returned to WyoBob's problem after going quite far afield!
I would also recommend the Six Moon Designs packs: Starlight, Comet (although that one is made smaller--it's what I have) or the new panel-loading Traveler. They each weigh just under 2 lbs. Get them with the optional stays, which are needed for the load-lifters (a real blessing, at least for me) to work properly. I've carried up to 36 lbs. in my Comet, although it wasn't pleasant for my bum knee. The pack itself and my back and shoulders felt fine. Normally, I'd say it's most comfortable with 30 lbs. or less.
As well as total pack weight, a lot depends on your torso length (from the bump at the back of your neck to a point on your spine level with the top of your hip bones--don't try to measure this yourself!) which isn't necessarily related to your height. My son-in-law is 6'4" but wears a medium pack--his height is all in his legs. I've told him the only way I'd go on a backpack with him would be if he'd carry all my stuff as well as his--that would be the only way I could keep up with him! My daughter, his wife, thought that sounded like a great idea.
WyoBob, I'd love to see more pictures of the Big Horns! I've driven across them and was entranced, but I've never hiked there. I recently returned from a week in the Wind Rivers. Wyoming is a marvelous place for hikers!
Edited by OregonMouse (08/30/0811:10 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
I'm glad this thread has finally returned to WyoBob's problem after going quite far afield! <snipped> WyoBob, I'd love to see more pictures of the Big Horns! I've driven across them and was entranced, but I've never hiked there. I recently returned from a week in the Wind Rivers. Wyoming is a marvelous place for hikers!
The thread did kind of weave and wobble a bit, didn't it.
BTW, my torso length is 20 1/2".
And, just for you, some more pictures of the Bighorns:
It's pretty much AT specific, though I hear it has bled over to the other "big" trails like the PCT and CDT.
However, for "shorter" long trails, like the John Muir Trail, Long Trail, or Colorado Trail, there is more ambiguity. Most would agree that if you don't stay in the general corridor, it's more of a section hike. Like if you hiked Denver to Salida on the CT, got off for a few weeks, than came back and hiked Salida to Durango, it would likely be considered more of a section hike even if it all happened over a mere 2-3 months.
For the BIG guys, there's a bit of leeway based on the fact that sometimes, the rest of the world intrudes on you. I got off the AT at Harper's Ferry for two weeks for a friend's wedding. Then I got back on and finished the remaining 2160 miles. Definitely considered a thru-hike.