Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
BCG Holiday Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#196820 - 10/22/16 05:02 PM internal or external for a bad back?
jerseydevil Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/22/16
Posts: 8
Loc: New Jer4sey
Is there a noticeable difference between using an internal or external frame backpack with a moderately bad back? I read where internals make you lean forward as you hike. When I fish I tend to lean forward in anticipation of a strike. This causes a lot of soreness in my back. Any advice? Thanks

Top
#196821 - 10/22/16 08:04 PM Re: internal or external for a bad back? [Re: jerseydevil]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I've never found lean-forward to be an issue - at least not after I acquired the habit of walking erect. Like any other habit, it's something you have to consciously remember to do, until you do it automatically.

I have noticed that it's a bit easier to remember with an external frame pack, but not significantly so. I'm not sure why, but I find I'm more erect with my Exos pack than I am with my Kestrel pack. (Yes, the Exos is an external frame - the giveaway is the trampoline suspension. It's a very high-tech external, that is far more comfortable than my 1980s aluminum pipe pack, but it's still an external.)

In short, the pack only makes you lean forward if you let it. It's very easy to walk erect with any pack, especially with a load of 25 pounds or less (which is not difficult to attain with today's gear, unless you're on a longer trip where you're carrying a lot of food.)

Top
#196826 - 10/23/16 07:38 AM Re: internal or external for a bad back? [Re: jerseydevil]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
Wow, I relate to that. I experience the same pain leaning forward stripping a fly or watching an indicator or dry fly. There's many days I have to take deep breaths and just back off on the anticipation and intense focus. Lots of days fishing for striped bass I reach for Aleve first thing in the morning. In recent years,as sore as my back has been fishing (wading and standing on rocky terrain is also very bad on backs), I've noticed very little back pain while backpacking. I have had soreness in my shoulders and hips, but the walking motion seems to keep the back aligned and pain free. I haven't carried an external frame for awhile . It's apples and oranges too: I use to carry a lot of weight in big framed packs, I've downsized and gone to smaller internal frames exclusively. The one thing that seems key is getting the right fit and packing your gear so the distribution is right. I also remember getting sore coming down steep trails before I started to use trekking poles. I subconsciously leaned forward, creating strain on the lower back. Staying more upright and letting the poles aid in balance and taking some of the strain off my knees leads to much less jarring descents. Welcome to this forum and best of luck (with fishing , too).
_________________________
Charlie

Top
#196832 - 10/24/16 03:46 PM Re: internal or external for a bad back? [Re: jerseydevil]
jerseydevil Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/22/16
Posts: 8
Loc: New Jer4sey
So now that you use an internal frame you don't get the same back pain leaning forward as we both do while fishing? It does not take much of a lean while fishing to feel discomfort. Its that subconscious slight lean in anticipation of that strike and subsequent hookset. Just curious if and internal packs causes the same lean while walking. So Glenn, if I get this straight, I do not HAVE to lean forward with an internal? Just that everything I read about them says that they do tend to cause you to lean. Gonna hike The Batona in NJ soon and just don't wanna get halfway into it and abort due to choosing the wrong type of pack. Thanks


Edited by jerseydevil (10/24/16 03:54 PM)

Top
#196834 - 10/24/16 04:38 PM Re: internal or external for a bad back? [Re: jerseydevil]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
I've never heard that, and the Granite Gear and Osprey packs I use do not make me lean forward. However, I do perhaps lean forward going up steep hills and when occasionally having to use your hands to climb. I could see having to lean forward if the hip belt is not riding in the right place and the pack doesn't fit well- you lean forward to take more weight on to your shoulders and upper back and give relief to the hips. I haul my heavy float tube in to some ADK brook trout ponds, and I do find myself leaning with the heavy load- but it's with a frame pack. I would see if you could find a place where you could get fit for a pack and try one out in a store. You certainly don't have to worry about rocks and hills on the Batona. (Did it about 35 years ago). At that time I was using a Jansport D-2 external frame and carrying 35-40 lbs. Might do it again sometime in winter. Pack fit is far more important than the type of pack, up to about 30 lbs. Keeping your pack weight as low as possible helps a lot.
_________________________
Charlie

Top
#196835 - 10/24/16 06:17 PM Re: internal or external for a bad back? [Re: jerseydevil]
jerseydevil Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/22/16
Posts: 8
Loc: New Jer4sey
Great insight. Thanks to both of you.. Problem solved

Top
#196836 - 10/24/16 07:24 PM Re: internal or external for a bad back? [Re: jerseydevil]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
No, you don't HAVE to lean forward with an internal. It can have a bit more inclination to encourage it, but you can overcome it without undue effort.

Putting a load on your back (in a pack, a gunny sack, or whatever) shifts your center of gravity back from its "normal" location - and to compensate, you feel like you need to lean forward. After you get used to the new normal center of gravity, that sensation goes away.


Edited by Glenn Roberts (10/24/16 07:27 PM)

Top
#196841 - 10/25/16 01:35 PM Re: internal or external for a bad back? [Re: Glenn Roberts]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
An awful lot depends on three things--the structure of the individual pack, the fit of the pack to your body (when loaded), and the distribution of weight within the pack.

The center of gravity of the pack (where the heaviest items are) should be just slightly above (but not too far above) the center of gravity of your body (which depends on your individual build). If you find you are leaning forward, the center of gravity of your pack is too high, and you should be packing it so that the denser items are a little lower and closer to your back.

I find that I do a lot less leaning with my internal frame pack than I ever did with the old external frame. The best part, for me, is that with the internal frame, the pack moves with my body. With the external frame, the pack tended to zig when I zagged, throwing me off balance.

Of course as a woman with (unfortunately) extra weight on my hips, the center of gravity of my body is low (well below my waist) and therefore the heavy stuff has to be carried low.

One problem with this is that there are few items in my lightweight gear that are significantly heavier than the others except my food bag. Of course the food bag gets lighter each day, so by late in the trip it's no longer an obvious item for the center of gravity. Fortunately, the total pack weight is much less by then!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#196855 - 10/27/16 01:33 PM Re: internal or external for a bad back? [Re: jerseydevil]
jerseydevil Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/22/16
Posts: 8
Loc: New Jer4sey
["The center of gravity of the pack (where the heaviest items are) should be just slightly above (but not too far above) the center of gravity of your body (which depends on your individual build). If you find you are leaning forward, the center of gravity of your pack is too high, and you should be packing it so that the denser items are a little lower and closer to your back."]
This is great stuff to learn. Thanks. I would love to contribute to this site but unfortunately I have never backpacked before Just hiked 7 miles yesterday but with just a fanny pack with water. Never carried a pack. wanna get up to 10-12 miles a day before I start to carry a pack, so I'm just in the market for one now. Ask me about fishing though... smile (Sorry...bad job of quoting Oregon Mouse)


Edited by jerseydevil (10/27/16 01:36 PM)

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Butane Stove
by Jim M
12/15/17 08:05 PM
Knife, Fire Starter, Ignition Source
by Jim M
12/11/17 07:34 PM
Bivvy bag with wired peak
by Petro1234
12/10/17 01:06 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Greetings - and a question
by valongi
12/11/17 11:35 AM
Just found out about UCO candles
by toddfw2003
11/30/17 08:41 AM
Hitting the eagle rock loop, Ark in 3 days
by toddfw2003
11/19/17 11:31 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Plant based insulation...
by billstephenson
11/18/17 02:58 PM
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
10/22/17 06:13 PM
avalibility of thin ti rod
by the-gr8t-waldo
01/26/17 04:45 PM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 16 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
runningman55, ponchoman, valongi, Atkinson J, Dcarpenter
12471 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com