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New backpack for a new hiker

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New backpack for a new hiker

Postby Bucky Sierra » Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:22 am

Long time tent camper, first time hiker. I am preparing for my first actual backpacking trip in the Sierras and have been looking at backpacks. I find many of the stores in my area don't have much of a selection and the prices are through the roof so I am looking on ebay. The one I am looking at is the Kathmandu 70+10 made by HIGH PEAK. I'm just wondering if anyone has used this pack and what your opinion is. I don't want to spend $ on a pack and end up having to carry my gear out in a Hefty bag because the pack fell apart on me. :paranoid:



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Postby Trekker » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:02 pm

Are you sure that's not overkill for what you are trying to do? A 5000-6000 cu. in. capacity is expedition capacity........are you doing the JMT for your first BP trip? My experience is if you get a large backpack, you will try to fill it up, and then suffer with all the excessive weight on the trail. That pack size is for a week + trip. Figure out what type and length of trips you will be doing and then buy a pack that will be enough to accomodate what you need and no more. The REI website has a guide on sizing pack capacities for trip lengths. Also possible to mail-order from them. I had not heard of High Peak until now, but did check it out on the net. Check other's recommendations for their trips on this forum.
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Postby Bucky Sierra » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:22 pm

thanks for the input, I am going for 3-4 days on the first trip, but want to get a pack that will be usable on longer trips later on.
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Postby StumbleBum » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:59 pm

I don't know anything about the pack you are considering, but in my experience the most important thing about a pack is how it feels to you. I would be a little concerned about buying a pack without ever trying out that make/model. Especially if it can't be returned if it doesn't work out for you.


You might want to consider renting if it's your first time out...
    REI used to rent - not sure if they still do.
    This place rents (good brands too) - http://www.lowergear.com
    I'd guess that a google search would find others that rent.
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Postby Rosabella » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:05 pm

I would also suggest that "price" not be one of your main factors in making this decision, if at all possible. StumbleBum is right in that the most important factor is how it feels to you... how it fits loaded.

I made purchases early on, trying to stay within a certain budget, and that equipment is long gone.

Find the pack that you LOVE, then find a way to make it work. Your going to have to make some trips to some gear stores. I wouldn't trust buying anything on Ebay or mail-order unless I'd already tried it and know it works.

You want to get a piece of equipment that you're going to be happy with five years from now.... and after five years, it really won't have mattered if you paid $50.00 more for a piece of equipment if it still does the job well and fits you comfortably.
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Postby calipidder » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:14 pm

The pack should be one of the last things you think about. You need to know the weight and approximate capacity of your gear to even start making an informed decision about your pack. Why waste money on a pack that ends up being too small or too big for your load?

Also, do some research into how a pack fits - don't buy something if you can't try it on or know if it will fit you properly. After one uncomfortable trip out on the trail you will suddenly be willing to spend a lot of money to get something that actually fits!

Once you know your carrying capacity and have narrowed the field down a bit, use backpackgeartest.org and other online review sites to help make your choice.

But DON'T just go buy a random pack because it seems like a good deal on ebay!
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Postby Sharp Rock » Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:48 pm

Bucky,

StumbleBum and the girls have given you lots of good info. Give it some thought. One thing everyone danced around but didn't quite say, and it's just my opinion. Especialy when buying your first pack, get someone (salesperson or friend) that knows something about packs to help you with trying on packs. There are torso measuments to take just to know what pack size you need (not meaning total cubic inches). Then there are the adjustments that can be made as well. Your probably not going to know what all those straps are for. I have found in my area that REI can be a great place to get help. This may not be the case in other areas, but I'd suggest checking the REI site just to see if you've got one clese enough to just go try some stuff on. They will even load it up with some gear so you can see how it feels with some weight.

Best wishes!

Jerry
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Postby mountaineer » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:19 pm

I still use an external frame Kelty that I have had for about 20 years. It feels good on the trail and the internal frame packs are too hot for me. I will use it until it falls apart. So far, the only thing that I have had to replace are the plastic clips on the straps.

Mine is similar to this one(couldn't find any photos of my old model). this one is 4745 cu. in. and only 119 bucks at Campmor.

Image
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Postby Trekker » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:34 am

Hopefully I'm not being lumped in with the "girls"! :wink:

Mountaineer, my first pack was a Kelty Super Tioga 40th edition (1992) external! :nod:
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Postby Rosabella » Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:06 am


Hopefully I'm not being lumped in with the "girls"!


Hmmmm.... so how does one of the "girls" take this? :\
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Postby Trekker » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:30 am

Thankful that there's not a guy on the forum masquerading as a "girl"! :D

Hopefully photographic confirmation in some of Snowy's albums is enough! :unibrow:
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Postby Rosabella » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:03 pm

:lol:

I think you can count on Snowy's albums... OR this could all be a conspiracy to lure you over to the "dark side" ;)
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