Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Addict
Posts: 2722
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:36 am

A friend of mine made an ultralight pack that fits her Expedition horizontally on the bottom of the pack in a special compartment. It's a 60 liter or so pack.








User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
Posts: 800
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:42 pm
Experience: Level 1 Hiker
Location: Santa Barbara
Contact:

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by freestone » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:32 am

I have gone from a 60cc pack down to a 40cc pack to reduce weight under the impression that "if it's big, I will fill it". I must confess however, that I have not carried a bear can in years but if I went into an area that required it, would go back to the 60cc pack. I do carry a small UL day sack containing some fishing gear that I sometimes strap to the exterior of my pack.
Fram...

User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Docent
Posts: 4673
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:35 am

It is not just the volume of a pack. The suspension system has to match your load. In addition to volume, you need to determine the weight carried. Every pack I have bought is comfortable at far less weight than they say it will carry. A smaller pack will not work well if you really need the weight capacity as well as the volume because most smaller packs have suspension systems designed for very light loads, of around 30-35 pounds (even though they will say these are OK for 45 pounds).

Tying a bear can full of food on the outside of an internal frame pack rarely works well. Bear cans are designed to be slippery and of all things tied to the outside of a pack, more likely to fall off. It would be better to just buy one of those smaller Bear Vaults that work for 2-4 day trips.

I was very tempted to get a longer Bearikade since the cost is nearly the same as the weekender, but decided that I really did not want to carry more food than the weekender would carry anyway. I would rather just cut down on food and fish more! If the Bearikades were not so expensive I would buy a custom smaller one for shorter trips. Wouldn't it be great if someone invented an expandable multi-size bear can!

User avatar
powderhound
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:45 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by powderhound » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:28 pm

That's a good idea about Malt-O-Meal! I'll have to try it. I'm not a fan of oatmeal, so I've been eating Nature Valley Protein Granola with a bunch of powdered milk dumped in it to help fill the voids.

I fish, but it can be tricky if there is a fire ban. I've been leaving my pole at home to cut down on weight, but will probably bring a line and some flies and tie them to a stick if I find myself setting up camp early.

It's also not a bad idea to sew a custom pack to hold the bear can. I got an old sewing machine and have been starting to sew gear, but I'm not sure I can make anything with good suspension for heavier loads. I saw a decent but badly ripped internal frame pack with a good hip belt and shoulder straps at a thrift store for $4, kinda with I bought it so I could use the parts to make a pack.

User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Addict
Posts: 2722
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:00 pm

What she actually did was tear apart an old backpack she wore to pieces, re-used the frame and belt, and so the franken-pack has a top load of upwards of 40 lbs with lightweight pack bag. And I believe the food went in bags inside the main body of the pack, and the sleeping gear went in the can at the bottom.

I'd do that with an old Granite Gear pack if only I were handier with the sewing machine.

User avatar
rlown
Topix Docent
Posts: 7298
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Petaluma, CA

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by rlown » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:36 pm

powderhound wrote: I fish, but it can be tricky if there is a fire ban. I've been leaving my pole at home to cut down on weight, but will probably bring a line and some flies and tie them to a stick if I find myself setting up camp early.


Buck it up a bit.. Bring the pan and your stove and enjoy that rod and fish meal: http://www.highsierratopix.com/culinary ... g-methods/

Good luck on finding a dead stick that'll work.. And don't even cut off a green stick.. [-X

Everything said about suspension systems relative to pack weight is of the most importance.

User avatar
ERIC
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Posts: 3174
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: between the 916 and 661

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by ERIC » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:18 pm

rlown wrote:Good luck on finding a dead stick that'll work..
I've done this many times, and been successful, on small creeks. With and without a makeshift pole.
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix

User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 1943
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Redondo Beach

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by Jimr » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:42 pm

Tenkara
“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

-John Adams

User avatar
rlown
Topix Docent
Posts: 7298
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Petaluma, CA

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by rlown » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:43 pm

a rod and reel weighs 12 oz. I'm not seeing the issue in carrying one rather than looking for sticks. The pan outweighs the rod/reel, but above fireline, that is what you do.

User avatar
ERIC
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Posts: 3174
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: between the 916 and 661

Re: Advantages of a Smaller Pack?

Post by ERIC » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:45 pm

Well, I guess YMMV.
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest