Fishing gear does not impact my pack size. The rod goes on the outside, so it is not an issue with respect to the size of my pack. Reel and all other stuff is small enough to easily fit in an outside pocket. I am a minimalist fisherman. All my fishing gear weighs a total of 11 oz. and is very compact. Nevertheless, I really have to watch my total pack weight as I am getting older and not growing any bigger! To compare, 11 oz is also the weight of my wading shoes, a bit less than a medium fuel canister, two layers of light insulation, more than my sleeping pad, so is not insignificant. The fishing gear is never an add-on. I compensate by not taking something else, usually less food. If I do not catch fish, I just have to be a bit hungry. So I prefer to have at least a good chance of catching a few fish if I take the gear.
Everyone is different. For me, I really need a small pack because I am a small person! I already look like a Sherpa when I carry a 50 L pack. I would look like an ant carrying a huge bread crumb if I were to carry a 80 L pack! If you are a big guy, then you are lucky that you have more choices of pack sizes that would work.
I found the following "experiment" quite useful. I used to carry much bigger packs. Then, I decided to try to do an 8-day trip with my 35 L Arcterex Kahmsin, which was my climbing day-pack. South Lake to Dusy and then follow Sierra High Route to Lakes Basin, out Cartridge Pass, over lakes below Striped Mtn and out Taboose Pass. I even got stuck in a few storms. It worked but was just a little too minimal for my ideal. But I really needed that experience to gain perspective on what is possible. I do confess to not taking a bear can, which was illegal for the first day out. I actually hid behind trees that first day if I saw someone coming down the trail. Even if you do not plan to go UL in the long run, knowing that you can go UL builds confidence.
Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
The Aether 70 has been a very nice pack for me for several years now, and I'm a fan of Osprey in general. But, most of my trips are 2-4 days, and I'm looking to go smaller. I think the Osprey 40L that REI is hawking right now will be ideal, but I'm not yet ready to part with $190, so back to using the Aether this season. It carries any amount of weight well for me...I often bring extra stuff on shorter trips geared towards fishing and relaxation (spinning rod + fly rod ((tenkara)), camp chair, whiskey), but forego the bear canister when I can.
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