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#192053 - 09/24/15 11:49 AM Backpack
Zuuk Offline

Registered: 09/22/15
Posts: 70
Loc: NB, Canada
I have an old Cabela's backpack that I bought 15 or so years ago, and it's been out in the woods twice, and I've hiked about 3km with it, so it's in new condition. The pack fits me and is very comfortable, even with a heavy load. The pack though weighs around 6 pounds. It's an internal frame and I'm thinking somewhere around the 85L size... I can't remember what it was and can't find any info on it.

I know that there are lighter packs out there, but is a 4 pound reduction really worth the purchase of a new pack? Is a 6 pound pack considered "heavy" or is more "average" in the grand scheme of things.

I want to get to an "as light as I can get" point, but should I dare waste time trying to replace a well fitting pack?

Right now I'm trying to fit everything into a smaller hunting backpack I have that is really light, but then there is the question of space and comfort.


#192057 - 09/24/15 01:15 PM Re: Backpack [Re: Zuuk]
BZH Offline

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 870
Loc: Torrance, CA
6 pounds isn't terribly heavy for an 85 L full frame pack.

People pay quite a premium for a 4 pound reduction in weight. When your base weight is around 10 pounds you're talking a 40% reduction in weight!

You are probably starting at a heavier weight where the % reduction isn't as great. One thing I have noticed is with big bags people tend to take more stuff. With a smaller bag you run out of room sooner and are forced to scrutinize what you are bringing. That reduction in weight can be significant!

#192058 - 09/24/15 01:36 PM Re: Backpack [Re: Zuuk]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6430
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'd get the rest of your gear reduced down to lightweight before replacing the pack. Heavier gear in a lightweight pack usually doesn't work too well. Once you get your other gear items reduced in weight/bulk, then look for a lighter pack.

It's the same principle as for new pack buyers--get your pack last! I did the same for lightening my load--bought a lighter pack (just under 2 lbs) when I had my base weight (everything except food, water, fuel), including the contemplated 2 lbs. pack weight) down to about 15 lbs. I had the gear, plus a mockup in bulk/weight of a week's food, ready to go when the new pack arrived.

Have you discovered the useful articles and gear lists on the home page of this site, left hand column? There is also useful info in the "sticky" from phat at the top of the Beginners section of this forum.

Edited by OregonMouse (09/24/15 01:38 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#192060 - 09/24/15 02:39 PM Re: Backpack [Re: OregonMouse]
Zuuk Offline

Registered: 09/22/15
Posts: 70
Loc: NB, Canada
Thanks for the replies. I've spent quite a few hours looking at links and posts all over the site. It's like a goodie bag of knowledge.

I've been gear reducing, because I do like to fill up space. It's almost instinct to fill up space with something that would be of convenience. Each night I've been going back and taking things out that I don't really need. I'm getting the gear weight down quite a bit, so it got me thinking about the big pack again, because my first thought was to reduce that weight. I've dropped about 25lbs of gear since last weekend which is why I thought maybe I should afford the 6lb pack.

By the end of it I'll definitely know exactly what is, and isn't in the pack. It's kinda fun going through it all too.

#192068 - 09/25/15 09:10 AM Re: Backpack [Re: Zuuk]
bluefish Offline

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
It also depends on your usage. Lightweight helps with lots of elevation changes and long miles. If you're planning on not doing multiple days and long miles, you may be content with a comfortable pack that weighs a little more. I have a 30 year old bombproof 90l internal frame that weighs in just about the same. I use it in the winter for bulky loads where I'm only going a few miles on snowshoes.

#192069 - 09/25/15 09:21 AM Re: Backpack [Re: Zuuk]
Zuuk Offline

Registered: 09/22/15
Posts: 70
Loc: NB, Canada
So I went and repacked everything into my large pack, and total weight is just under 40lbs. I'm going to try and do the 8.5k hike tomorrow with it, but I'm going to go through and try to shed more gear first. I feel like I'm getting down to the bare minimum though.

I packed a light fleece blanket, but since I moved up in weight to my 0C sleeping bag from the 7C one, I don't need it. This morning it was 5C and I had frost on the window of my car.

I think I'll drop my survival kit as well. I've programmed myself to never go into the wilderness without it, but in this case, it's not like I need to build a shelter or do other survival stuff... it's all in the backpack now. Have to start telling myself that that is my "hunting survival kit" and that's it's okay to leave it behind backpacking.

Other than that, I don't know what I can really drop. Invest in a spork next I guess.

#192119 - 09/30/15 01:49 PM Re: Backpack [Re: Zuuk]
finallyME Offline

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Your clothing and cooking is probably where you will find the biggest drop in weight. Most people bring too much clothing and too much "kitchen". After that, look at your sleeping bag. Getting it under 3 lbs will help a lot in weight and space saving. Then look at shelter options. I wouldn't buy a pack until all these have been gone through. Kinda like what OM and others said.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

#192122 - 09/30/15 03:29 PM Re: Backpack [Re: finallyME]
Zuuk Offline

Registered: 09/22/15
Posts: 70
Loc: NB, Canada
Yep, I'm finding everything to be spot on what everyone is suggesting. I guess I'm not so much looking to get a new pack, but was more looking to see where it fits in the overall scheme of things weight wise. When I bought it, I believe it was considered really lightweight, but things have changed since then.

I can't be that far off weight-wise when I think about it. 40lbs fully loaded isn't that bad considering. I know I'll drop about 5lbs when I get my new tent. I've got 10 days worth of food, which I can get lower in weight by making my own meals, which I'm starting to now do prep for.

My largest weight drop though will happen this winter as I'm bound & determined to lose some girth. My new rain gear arrived today, and come to find out, their sizes run a bit small. Both pants and jacket are XL, but I've got L size clothes that are bigger than those are. The store doesn't sell larger than XL, so I'm going to fit into them rather than get something else to fit onto me. Hockey will start soon, badminton starts Monday, and I'm going to start walking a treadmill when watching TV instead of laying on the couch.

Just think, if I were to lose 60lbs, that would be like carrying a -20lb pack!


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