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#136157 - 07/13/10 12:49 AM pack size photos/descr.
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I'm going on an overnight Wednesday with bigfoot. We're going to about 5,000' elevation in the Cascades. BF says it'll be 50 at night, so I have a WM Iroquois sleeping bag and a down jacket. I'm sure it'll be closer to freezing so I'm also taking long underwear and a poncho and gloves. I have a miniature 1 pound tent and a 6 ounce screen house, a miniature titanium alcohol stove and two small titanium pans, one is used as a cup and bowl and for heating food, the other is kept just for heating water. I was able to cram it all into my Golite Rayway pack. Only there wasn't room for my camera and I had only a tiny space left for food.

The pack weighs exactly 13 pounds and has everything but food and water, for an overnight. It has no waist belt and it is as overstuffed as a sausage and it is definitely uncomfortable on my back (the pack against my back is rounded, not flat, because its stuffed too tightly)and I have some concern about gear falling out.


So I dumped the same gear into my Kelty Cloud pack. This now weighs 14.5 pounds, (1.5 pounds more) has a real waist band, is soft and comfortable on my pack, and the gear is inside the pack, protected, where it belongs. There is room for my camera and food in a separate top pocket. Should I have to carry something else out, I have room for it. This pack is collapsed, if I filled it up it would be a foot taller.

The reason for this post is to demonstrate that super tiny packs are not cool (The bees knees), or even very useful unless you carry really small gear thats highly compressed. The weight of all those stuff sacks adds up quickly. And oh yes, that waist band on the Kelty weighs 10 of the extra 24 ounces, and it comes off if I want because its modular. If I removed it, the total would be13 pounds 14 oz, 14 oz more than the Golite.
Jim


Edited by Jimshaw (07/13/10 10:14 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#136165 - 07/13/10 02:59 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By Jimshaw

The reason for this post is to demonstrate that super tiny packs are not cool, or even very useful unless you carry really small gear thats highly compressed.


*Yawn*

Sounds to me more like a "use the right tool for the job" post, with a hint of UL bashing.

FWIW-- 13 pounds, excluding food and water for a simple overnighter in the middle of summer at only 5K--- perhaps you are bringing too much gear for such a short trip.

P.S. You and BF have a 22 degree discrepancy in your overnight low-- there is a world of a difference between 50 degrees and 32 degrees. There should not be such a difference in a one night outting.

Post your complete gear list and I am sure that I will whittle it down to fit into your Ray-Way backpack wink



Edited by ChrisFol (07/13/10 03:03 AM)

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#136166 - 07/13/10 03:09 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: ChrisFol]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6369
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Is the cute dog coming?
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#136170 - 07/13/10 07:13 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: ChrisFol]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
So, Chris...do you also poke sleeping bears with sticks, just to see what happens? grin


Edited by Glenn (07/13/10 07:14 AM)

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#136177 - 07/13/10 11:03 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Yes, there is a whiff of UL bashing in there...

But there are also those who would take one look at the Kelty and say, not enough, you're gonna die. grin

It's all about what works, right?
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#136181 - 07/13/10 11:11 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
I also prefer larger packs. I love the convenience of throwing things in without a lot of stuffing. As bag size increases the volume to fabric ratio improves. So the volume of a bag can be doubled without doubling the amount of fabric (i.e. weight) of the bag. Here are a few examples where my big bags have helped me.

I climbed Mt Baker in Washington State many years ago. On the way out I had to pack up a 9 pound tent that was encrusted in ice and snow that could not easily be removed. My large pack saved the day and easily accomodated this mess.

At the last moment I realized that I needed to bring along a 5 gallon bucket (or a bear cannister) to backpack on Washington's Olympic coast. No problem. The 5 gallon bucket easily fit into my large backpack.

Last example. My backpacking partner got so tired on one trip that he didn't think he could continue. No problem. I added the contents of his entire pack to mine and we continued home.




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#136187 - 07/13/10 12:05 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: DJ2]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
I take the pack that fits my needs for the trip. Sometimes it is my frameless UL pack, sometimes it is my Osprey, sometimes my MSGhost. It all depends on what I am bringing for that particular trip. UL bags are not "cool" and neither are midweight nor heavy-duty packs. Each pack has a particular use and using the wrong one for the job is senseless. To argue that a particular pack is "wrong" simply because it isn't up for that particular task is wrong. Use the right tool for the job.
_________________________
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#136193 - 07/13/10 02:09 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: ChrisFol]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
My bash filter picked up nothing. Should I have it adjusted?

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#136195 - 07/13/10 02:56 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Rick_D]
OldScout Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/03
Posts: 501
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
There's definately a whiff of something around here. Maybe we can blame it on the dog.

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#136197 - 07/13/10 03:13 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: ChrisFol]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Chris
you don't get it, but then this isn't the first time.


Edited by Jimshaw (07/13/10 10:04 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#136199 - 07/13/10 03:26 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Rick_D]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
"super tiny packs are not cool"

That's not a bash?

Sure they are cool. So are great big packs, and medium sized packs. All backpacking gear is cool, to a gearhead. But you don't take a candle lantern for night hiking any more than you take a day pack to carry stuff for a week of backpacking in winter.

_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#136201 - 07/13/10 03:34 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: lori]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
00


Edited by Jimshaw (07/13/10 10:04 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#136202 - 07/13/10 03:53 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
LOL Jim. Or how about the inverse; "If you think you are cooler than others because your pack is bigger, makes me wonder what you are compensating for." That would be a good bash too.

dT
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http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

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#136203 - 07/13/10 03:56 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I think all gear is cool, and backpackers in general are cool.

That of course makes me woefully uncool to millions who can't leave home without the promise of a flush toilet at the other end of the trip.

You got to specify when you throw around terminology. Cool only means what you think it does. cool

I like my super tiny pack. It fits real nice inside my big pack for those random dayhikes in the middle of a longer hike.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#136205 - 07/13/10 04:18 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: lori]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
To me, "cool" means a nice, 60-degree hiking day with a light breeze blowing puffy little clouds harmlessly around the sky, and a 45-degree night with a sky full of stars to watch - and me in my comfy down bag, looking up at them through my mesh tent walls. smile

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#136206 - 07/13/10 04:19 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
And awaaaay we go! wink

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#136207 - 07/13/10 04:25 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Thanks, Jim. That's a nice, simple, graphic explanation that covers what, to me, are the two critical criteria for any load: a) is it suitable for the conditions you expect to encounter? and b) is it as light as possible from the selection of suitable gear?

You've also touched, in passing, on another critical issue of trip planning: don't rely completely on what anyone else thinks or tells you, regardless of how experienced or trustworthy they might be; in the end, you are responsible for you own safety and comfort, and shouldn't completely subordinate your judgment to them. (You can use others to inform, but not make, your decisions.)

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#136213 - 07/13/10 04:44 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Glenn]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
That sounds cool, too.

I get the point at the heart of it - people who make gear choices based on what they insist must be best of all, who sneer or laugh at you for being 2 oz heavier, who dive in to that philosophy because it's "the in thing". But there's plenty of folks at the other end of the balance who lug bottles of beer, cans of food, chairs, and sneer at the folks with 20-30 lb packs for not appreciating the luxuries you can have camping, wimps, all of them, you just need to have this bomber McHale pack so you'll have room to haul that slab of elk meat home, too, with loops on the side for the axe. Also the ones who sneer at the hammock folk for not nailing their nylon shelter onto the ground, or the ones who sneer at the tarp folk for not having the illusion of safety a double wall tent provides.... Or the hummer driver who thinks your smart car is just another speed bump.

You'll forgive me, I hope, if I sense a slam in a post where someone tried to cram the gear they wanted to take in the wrong pack. I am critical in my own way of the fad packers and the heavy packers and the middle-of-the-roaders who are Just More Right Than Everyone Else About Gear, tho I don't tend to divide them up by weight limits or pack size. Perhaps I have been slammed enough for my unorthodox gear choices that I am oversensitive.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#136224 - 07/13/10 07:07 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: lori]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I think (didn't pull it out and check) that I remember Colin Fletcher making the same point: "They" know the best way to do everything and, having learned it, believe that all knowledge ends there. (I think someone once closed the patent office on the theory that everything had already been invented.) Anyhow, Fletcher said to take what They said with a large grain of salt, and go out and experiment, relying on the two best teachers: Trial and Error. He also expressed some fear that by being a successful author, he had unintentionally become one of They. (I don't think he did - otherwise, he'd have been offered a spot as a columnist at Backpacker magazine.)

As you well know, I'll offer advice freely, but I also try to remind folks that it reflects my own prejudices and experience. I'll freely share my own preferences, but I try not to sit in judgment on their choices (though it may not always seem that way), especially when it's just choices between equally valid methods. Heck, it's all I can do to run my own life!


Edited by Glenn (07/13/10 09:05 PM)

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#136235 - 07/13/10 10:11 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: lori]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Lori,
I appologise for slamming you.[deleted]

I changed my signature line.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#136245 - 07/14/10 01:33 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
Chris
you don't get it, but then this isn't the first time.


What is it that I "just don't get" Jim?

To me it looks like you first used a pack that was too small for your needs and thus called all small packs "uncool" because this one didn't meet your requirements for this trip.

Secondly, IMHO a Kelty Cloud pack is far too large for a simple overnighter. What is the capacity 80L+? Geez, what are you taking to spend one night out in the low altitude, in the middle of summer that you need such a large pack?

It appears to me that neither of these packs are optimal for your overnighter-- the first one has too little space and the latter has too much space. By your logic, both packs are useless for overnighters-- but you just won't admit this and instead take a dig at the lighter and smaller pack.

I am failing to see the purpose of your post, beyond demonstrating what I have already stated-- use the right tool for the job- this is why I and many others have multiple packs because there are no packs that can do it all.

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#136248 - 07/14/10 06:44 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Jim, your new sig line looks vaguely familiar... whistle

MNS
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YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#136254 - 07/14/10 10:23 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
If I were at all UL, I might have needed an apology. But thanks.

You know what's dangerous? telling people what to do. All the noobs who want to backpack will ask me what the best tent, stove, whatever is. They do NOT want to hear the truth, that it depends. They do not want complicated. They start to feel like I expect them to think where they believe they should not have to. But if I tell them what size pack and what this and that and they are disappointed, can't set up the tent right, can't get the stove working, guess who they come back on? Then I am roped into helping them make the gear work the way it's supposed to.

Then there are the self motivated ones who do all the legwork and research and pick their pack, and it's the wrong size, and get another, and go backpacking until all the gear is figured out like they've been working on this huge rubik's cube for weeks and it all makes sense now. It's a beautiful thing.

It's really not my call to tell you which pack to use. If you want to use the smaller one, follow your bliss. If you want to use the larger one, go for it. If the stuff doesn't fit, change your mind or change your gear. Simple enough. So your OP still confuses me, but that's okay, I'm just some dumb inexperienced backpacker who maybe is deluded enough to think she knows more about gear than some, and less about it than others. Your real slam against me? It's that you assume I know so much less than you that you can mock me in your subtle little ways and think you're cute.

Me, I know exactly when I'm mocking someone, or just attempting to smile and nod when someone with decades of mountaineering experience tries to pat me on the head.

The kind of experience I like to listen to does not stand at a podium and lecture me, in person or in open forum. There are eleventy million guys like you around me, in my hiking group, in the SAR team, in the local Sierra Club chapter, who have vast amounts of experience, more than I will ever accumulate in the years I have left. I love to talk to them. They don't slam me down with the weight of it all. They let me ask questions and fill the gaps I know I have, on my own, taking the information I need when I can handle it. Some of the old guys love to talk for hours and only need the invitation. A wealth of information for anyone who will ask.

There are a few of them who want to tell me the gear I have won't work, despite my own trial and error process that led to getting it, or how to pack my pack, or how I'm doing things wrong. You do know people don't like to be told how wrong they are, or how dumb they are, right? Since you are so much more smarter than me?
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#136360 - 07/15/10 02:31 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Hey Jim, I think you are getting tired of that old Kelty. Tell ya what, I will PM you my address, and you can just send it my way. I will even pay shipping. wink

Anyways, I think you had a good post, and I think you were bashing UL. I am not UL, so no offense taken here. I somewhat agree with your last statement. I think it needs 2 modifications.

1. A larger pack isn't good it you end up filling it with useless crap that you don't need. Jim, I know you don't do this, you have preached many times the importance of gear selection and leaving unnecessary things home. The problem is the newbie that reads "little packs bad, big packs good" and then fills it with crap.

2. A larger pack isn't good if it weighs a ton by itself. We all know that a pack designed to carry 20 lbs is terrible when loaded to 30. But what about a pack that can carry 85lbs and is loaded to 30 lbs? Especially if you can cut a few POUNDS off the empty pack weight and have it still comfortably carry 35?

Anyways, I like the post and think it is a good topic to hash out and discuss. Thanks.
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#136370 - 07/15/10 06:36 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
I was busy packing and did not see Jim's post until just now. He ended up sweating in the tent because it stayed relatively warm all night. He was spot on about the bugs , though!! I am sure glad he brought along his bug netting to suspend from a tree. It was a life saver for me and my dog the second morning when it got warm enough for the skeeters to come back out (at 5:30 am!).

I totally agree with Jim on the original post (even though he took pictures of me skinny dipping in the lake mad ). It's better to bring a larger pack half full than to bring a small pack and not have the capacity when you need it. It's not really the pack, but what you decide to put IN it that matters.

BF cool
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#136371 - 07/15/10 06:42 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
OK an explanation. I've owned the Golite for years and used it a ski day pack. Since I was going really light I decided to try to get my gear into it so I could use it. I was very disapointed with what I had to leave out to actually make my gear fit, like my sleeping bag and pad. So I poured it into my "go to pack". With so many people saying the tiny packs are so cool, I just wanted some photographic evidence to show that it is worthless to me as a backpack, but your mileage may vary.

Whats so controversial about that? Who is that bashing????? Only people who have an extreme need to make people believe that a size small will fit everyone. As in peple who make money selling that concept.

And further more - I NEVER tell anyone what to take, I only offer my ideas based on my own experience. See my new sig line.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#136373 - 07/15/10 07:07 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Originally Posted By Jimshaw


- I NEVER tell anyone what to take...
Jim


Unless it's at a Dead concert smile

BF cool
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#136415 - 07/16/10 12:16 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: bigfoot2]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
eeek a thread with all you veterans...
anyways this seems oddly familiar on my post to daypack or not too...

i've ended up like Jim getting used to my TNF 85l bag....but again akin to jim's 300th post...its more of why your doing and what you can do that matters....
cloud it up and enjoy being able to swallow someone else's baby pack should they need assitance on the trail...
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

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#136420 - 07/16/10 02:54 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: lori]
Cajun Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By lori
thinks your smart car is just another speed bump.



Oops... my bad!

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#136429 - 07/16/10 07:06 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: bigfoot2]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
oh yea Bigfoot! Just saw furthur at All Good. Great show!

Sorry, I digress.

_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#136609 - 07/21/10 04:40 AM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: Jimshaw]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
I just wanted some photographic evidence to show that it is worthless to me as a backpack, but your mileage may vary.


This is the key phrase that you had missed in your entire OP. A small pack is useless to you, but YMMV.

You did not state this in you OP, instead you wrote that all small packs are worthless-- this is a "controversial" statement.

Originally Posted By Jimshaw

Only people who have an extreme need to make people believe that a size small will fit everyone.


After re-reading the whole thread-- it is only you that is trying to make people believe that a single size (large capacity) will fit everyone. The rest is rather impartial and just offering opposing views.

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#136625 - 07/21/10 07:15 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: ChrisFol]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
My Dear Sir James,

Your post is my sentiments exactly. There is Light, there is UL and there is "Psycho-Lite". I'm a Lightweight guy W/ a 2008 REI Cruise UL pack & REI side pockets, WM Megalite bag and TT Moment tent.
All in all I'm comfortable on the trail with 30 lbs. of gear, water and food for 7 days.

And I'm very comfortable in camp with my ancient full length Thermarest Lite of 12 years, my one non-light item at 15 oz.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#136626 - 07/21/10 07:58 PM Re: pack size photos/descr. [Re: 300winmag]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
Depending on where one exists on the lighweight continuum, one will perceive others as psycho-light and will appear to be psycho-light themselves to others. I do not announce my packweight to others while on a trip as it is not a contest. I pack what I need/want; no more-no less.
_________________________
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