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#88366 - 01/28/08 11:09 PM putting on your backpack
barto123 Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 1
im a newbie to backpacking and im going down to central america with my osprey aether 70 packed with about 40 lbs. im not very muscular, so lifting the pack up off the ground and putting it on my shoulders has caused some strain on my back. i apologize if it seems like a dumb question, but is there a particular way you guys put on your packs to avoid hurting your back? thanks!

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#88367 - 01/28/08 11:37 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: barto123]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Barto,

Not a dumb question at all.

My "technique" is to:

1. Grab the shoulder straps, pack belt facing me.

2.Hoist the pack onto my right thigh at the highest point as I extend my left leg straight out to the side and bend my right knee. (I dunno why it's always the right thigh I use - habit, I guess.)

3.I slip my right arm into the right shoulder strap as I rotate into the harness, BENDING OVER a bit to more easily get my pack slid up over my back.

4. Reach my left hand down & into the left shoulder harness & stand up..

5. With the pack now on my back I hunch my shoulders high as I buckle the waist belt. This gets the pack high enough to get the belt on the top of my hip bones (iliac crest) where it should be.

6. Tighten the waist belt, relax the shoulders & adjust the rest of the shoulder harness & sternum strap as you walk.

After a long while I loosen the waist belt & cinch up the shoulder harness to give my hips a rest. Then later reverse this adjustment to give my shoulders and back a rest.

LONG DOWNHILLS: Loosen the lift straps on top of your shoulders. (This permits the pack top to lean backwards, balancing the weight better.) Hipbelt MUST be tight for this to work.

STEEP UPHILLS: Tighten everything - the lift straps, sternum strap, shoulder straps, waist belt &, on rough terrain or scrambling up AND down, the hip belt's side tensioner straps (most newer packs have them) can be tightened to lessen side sway of the pack.

Eric
P.S. This sounds complicated but will soon become second nature as you gain experience. And if you notice one shoulder strap hangs longer than the other but everything still feels balanced remember, your body may not be as symmetrical as ya think. Just adjust for comfort and "unlax Doc", as Bugs Bunny would say.
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#88368 - 01/29/08 02:01 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: barto123]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
Reverse the (perfect) instructions if you're left handed.
A 70 pack, 40 lbs...that's a lot. You're sure?

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#88369 - 01/29/08 09:39 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: barto123]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
300winmag gave some good instruction, and I would just add that if you are having trouble putting it on you should be careful. You may want to consider either carrying less weight or conditioning your upper body a little so that you don't injure yourself. I used to carry more weight than I was in condition for, and my body took a beating.

For frenchie, an A70 at 40 lbs doesn't suprise me. I used to carry an A60 at 35 lbs all the time, and that's only cause if I put more than 35 lbs in it it became extremely uncomfortable.

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#88370 - 01/29/08 11:34 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: barto123]
trailblazer Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 788
Loc: Menlo Park, CA/Sierra Nevada
300winmag gives good instructions and that's usually what I do for heavier packs. I'll add that if you can find a downed tree or a large rock about chair height, you can sit or squat down and rest the pack on it - from here you can remove or put on the pack without dropping it or hoisting it fully from the ground. Its not always doable if you can't find a rock or tree, but if you can it helps.
_________________________
Greg
www.naturefocused.com

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#88371 - 01/29/08 02:04 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: 300winmag]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Or....you could drop 20 lbs from your pack load, and that might solve the problem. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> This is The Lightweight Backpacker (TLB) after all. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

When I was a young scout with a big heavy monster to carry, we were taught to help each other. I would hold my buddied pack as he put it on, and he would hold mine. This only works if someone else is with you.

300WM summed it up, if you no have someone else with you. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#88372 - 01/29/08 06:08 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: 300winmag]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

1) Consider lightening up a bunch - when I'm out with 20lbs on I don't even think about
this technique - but 300 has the steps down pat.

2) If it's a lot heavier than 40 lbs. be sure not to fall like a turtle once it's on there (remembering embarassing turtle episode with a quarter of moose on back <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> )
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#88373 - 01/29/08 07:05 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: barto123]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Hmmm.. 40 lbs is a light weight pack to me. I usually carry 70 lbs. Thirty pounds of gear for a week or longer trip, and forty pounds of Spanish Bibles to give to the villagers I come across in the mountains. When the pack is full and I'm tired, I sometimes hang it from a tree limb to get it on more easily.

Should I move to another forum because I don't adhere to the light weight protocol here? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________



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#88374 - 01/29/08 08:56 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: Brumfield]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:

Should I move to another forum because I don't adhere to the light weight protocol here? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Take out the food, and bibles. How much does your pack weigh? You fit in just fine. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> Just don't fall on your face like a turtle. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#88375 - 01/29/08 10:16 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: Brumfield]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Brumfield
"Should I move to another forum because I don't adhere to the light weight protocol here? "
______________________________________________

Depends - what are those bibles printed on? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />Are they say lighter than some other kind of bibles? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />Titanium covers?
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#88376 - 01/29/08 11:09 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: Brumfield]
Ben2World Offline
member

Registered: 10/26/04
Posts: 1754
Loc: So Cal
Carrying an extra 40 lbs to pass out bibles to fellow Christians/Catholics? That's poaching. You should hike in Asia and pass those bibles to Hindus and Buddhists instead! Oh wait... wrong forum. Sorry....

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#88377 - 01/30/08 05:25 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: Ben2World]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
The really courageous would go to Iran to pass them out...

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#88378 - 01/30/08 06:39 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: Paddy_Crow]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
The really courageous would go to Iran to pass them out...


Courageous? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> How about suicidal. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#88379 - 01/30/08 06:49 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: Brumfield]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
Hmmm.. 40 lbs is a light weight pack to me. I usually carry 70 lbs. Thirty pounds of gear for a week or longer trip, and forty pounds of Spanish Bibles to give to the villagers I come across in the mountains. When the pack is full and I'm tired, I sometimes hang it from a tree limb to get it on more easily.

Should I move to another forum because I don't adhere to the light weight protocol here? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
I think it makes sense to carry 40 pounds or more only if you are doing it for a reason, which you are. I'm more into distributing baby seal pelts myself, but that's a topic for another thread. For straight hiking; no hunting, trapping, sealing, plundering from the rich, or caring for the poor, 40 pounds is a lot, but some of those things do have their time and place and thus 70 pound packs are quite worthy of discussion here. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#88380 - 01/30/08 07:03 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Good video here on the only proper way to carry a swag bag.
You may want to skip to the end of the clip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAs2m7Hr3Bc

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#88381 - 01/30/08 07:27 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: finallyME]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
I have hiked (not too much...) with a 30 kg pack, and luckily, a partner in the same misery. The partner proved sooooo useful to hoist the pack, 'cause with could only lift it to hip height, and with both hands, lady newbies we were!
Help from a fellow is still the best way <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.

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#88382 - 01/30/08 12:25 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: JAK]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
JAK
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#88383 - 02/03/08 08:24 AM Re: putting on your backpack -Iran [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
paddycrow wrote: "The really courageous would go to Iran to pass them out..."

Paddy, I get enough death threats from Iran, Iraq, and the other pro-Islam / pro-terrorism nations because of my anti-terrorism websites. I prefer Mexico over Iran, the Catemaco witches here only stone me and beat me with sticks, I'll pass on going to Iran. With my 70 lb pack I tend to keep my balance better with my head still attached to my neck. Brum <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#88384 - 02/03/08 09:25 AM Re: putting on your backpack - Lite weight Iguana [Re: finallyME]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
finallyme wrote: "Take out the food, and bibles. How much does your pack weigh?"

David, I suspect that it's the food, machete, dive knife and mask, caving lights, climbing gear, repair kit, and medicine/first aid kit that might be weighing me down. To save weight I depend on eating the wild fruits in the jungles as part of my food supply, but the mountains are a bit scarce of food (and water) during the dry season. We have a dry season of 6 months out of the year and when off the beaten paths, I always pack 64 ounces of water minimum at any one time. I use a homemade ceramic gravity filter to make use of the streams or the local hand dug wells.

During the rainy season it rains every night, and I capture rain water with my hammock tarp. I can also get a quart of water or more per day from the stump of a large banana tree as a back up. You can live indefinitely in a banana grove since each freshly cut stump will seep water for 2 or 3 days. Fresh bananas at arms reach, and a supply of protein is just one roasted (plentiful) Iguana away. A freshly cut, large diameter, jungle bamboo will drip water for about 12 hours from the stump and the suspended top section.. a cup per night is average from one 30 foot stalk, and the bamboo forests here have tens of thousands of stalks.

Now, ya see there, I'm trying to go light weight. I weigh everything with a gram scale and bring only the things I really need...well, sorta, I have a small pillow too....and my pipe, and tobacco, and, my broad band radio to receive tsunami warnings when beach camping in Michoacan, and my digital camera, and my Carson MA-30 microscope, and my wife makes me bring photos of her.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Brum

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#88385 - 02/03/08 01:51 PM Re: putting on your pack "Poaching in Mexico" ?? [Re: Ben2World]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
ben2world wrote:
Quote:
Carrying an extra 40 lbs to pass out bibles to fellow Christians/Catholics? That's poaching. You should hike in Asia and pass those bibles to Hindus and Buddhists instead! Oh wait... wrong forum. Sorry....


Ben, my travels in Mexico take me to villages with no church, and where many of the people have not seen a Catholic Priest or Protestant preacher in many years. You could consider them to be slightly off the tourist routes. These villages are not all located on a map, so I do grid searches using Google Earth Plus to locate them.

I reach the Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists through my web site located here:

http://ReligionStudy.com

No heavy backpack needed, only a heavy heart for the deceived and lost. ReligionStudy.com is one of my anti-Islam web sites through which I receive death threats.

PS: Ben, there's a contact page available on ReligionStudy.com if you want to further discuss my "poaching in Mexico", as you call it. I'll not clutter up this forum with further discussion of such. My apologies to everyone, for my having gotten off subject. I think all this began with my mentioning I carried 40 lbs of Bibles and 30 lbs of gear, and sometimes have to hang it from a limb to put it on...

Each to his own heart's desire. May God bless us all. Brum

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#88386 - 02/04/08 05:16 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: Jimshaw]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Is JAK married to that gal in Russia? She said he poached for a living......
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Another way to hoist pack onto back....works for scuba rigs too....
Place the pack on its back at your feet, the top of the pack pointed toward your shins, shoulder straps and hip belts splayed open, to the sides. Kneel down and reach through the shoulder straps and grab the pack towards it's back. Hoist the pack straight over your head, then straighten your arms and let go of the pack. It will fall right onto your back. Make sure everything in the pack is secure before doing this but it works! It's a symmetrical lift that allows use of both arms.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#88387 - 02/04/08 07:52 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: Dryer]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
Quote:
Another way to hoist pack onto back....works for scuba rigs too....
Place the pack on its back at your feet, the top of the pack pointed toward your shins, shoulder straps and hip belts splayed open, to the sides. Kneel down and reach through the shoulder straps and grab the pack towards it's back. Hoist the pack straight over your head, then straighten your arms and let go of the pack. It will fall right onto your back. Make sure everything in the pack is secure before doing this but it works! It's a symmetrical lift that allows use of both arms.
IMHO, this is absolutely the best way. Your back is straight, no twisting of shoulders, no potential for strain. I found out about this when I was healing a rotator cuff injury and it really saved the day.

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#88388 - 02/04/08 08:24 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: barto123]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I did not read all the posts, so this may be a repeat of information.

First, the poster is requesting information on lifting a pack. All the criticism for carrying 40 pounds is not helping the poster figure out how to lift the pack!

In the old days (1960's) our packs were always heavy with the old heavy gear and add food for 15 days and climbing gear and we always carried 60 pounds. Here is how we did it.

First, find a spot if possible where your pack can sit uphill from your feet. This helps but is not absolutely necessary.

Second, grab both staps and glide/lift the pack up onto one bent knee.
If you loosen the pack straps a bit (but not too loose) the next step is a bit easier.

Third, once the pack is balanced on your knee, keep holding the right strap with your left hand (right strap is the one that ends up on your right shoulder) , release your right hand from the left shoulder strap, twist slightly as you insert your right arm into the right shoulder strap, remaining a hold of the strap with your left hand and the pack weight on your knee.

Fourth, use your right elbow to shove the pack to the right as you shift the weight of the pack from your knee onto the right shoulder. This is one smooth move. Stand up and unbend your knee.

Fifith, reach behind with your left hand and find the left shoulder strap. Insert your hand and arm and get this on your shoulder.

Sixth, hunch shoulders and lift the pack up a bit as you buckle the hip belt.

Now tighten the shoulder straps so that most of the weight is on your hip belt but some on the shoulder straps. Clip the sternum strap and adjust.

This definetly works better with the old external frame packs but I use this method on my interal frame pack too. Use your legs and knees. Do not bend and pick up the pack with bent back.

I am about 115 pounds and picked up packs weighing up to 100 pounds this way (carrying out an elk).

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#88389 - 02/04/08 10:43 AM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: barto123]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
1. Place packed backpack on a picnic table, stump, or fallen log. It should be close to height as if you were wearing the pack.
2. Back into the pack and put the shoulder straps on.
3. Fit the rest of the straps and lift the pack off the surface.

Ground method (also works with scuba gear):
1. Put packed backpack on ground. Sit down with your back to it as if you were going to wear it.
2. Put shoulder straps on.
3. Buckle up the rest of the straps.
4. Lean forward to place the weight of the pack on your back.
5. Straighten your legs and stand up.

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#88390 - 02/04/08 02:09 PM Re: putting on your backpack [Re: bulrush]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
With all due respect, Dryer's method works a lot better.
Quote:
Another way to hoist pack onto back....works for scuba rigs too....
Place the pack on its back at your feet, the top of the pack pointed toward your shins, shoulder straps and hip belts splayed open, to the sides. Kneel down and reach through the shoulder straps and grab the pack towards it's back. Hoist the pack straight over your head, then straighten your arms and let go of the pack. It will fall right onto your back. Make sure everything in the pack is secure before doing this but it works! It's a symmetrical lift that allows use of both arms.

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