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Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

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Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby Hetchy » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:35 pm

Well, I am moving out of my mountain home of the past 9 years in preparation for life on the Continental Divide. I began to dig into my closet. Behind the rifles, ammo, survival rations, stored water vessels, clothes, broken computer parts..uh magazine collection, there it was: My ancient external frame Kelty backpack. The one that had been mauled by a black bear while on loan to a Swiss hiker at Laurel lake in fact! I cannot help feeling sentimental about the heavy old bastard of a pack. Slashed by the bear to get at the deodorant Tomas had unwisely kept inside. The bear even ate the foam out of the shoulder straps and we had sewn it all back up with fishing line to make it back out to the Dam.
I am throwing old junk away, recycling the beer cans and bottles, and burning the trash.. but just can't bring myself to ditch this old dinosaur of a backpack. It is truly a sad piece of junk that I, nor anyone else would ever take on the trail again by choice. Relegated to containing all the other junk I cannot bring myself to part with, slumped sadly against the inside wall of my closet.
I don't know why I am so sentimental about it for it was truly the most uncomfortable pack I have ever worn. But it was there, at the very beginning of my introduction to the wilderness, so I suppose in my mind that is reason enough to reserve some twisted sense of respect for it.
I have half a mind to wear it to the thru hiker convention next weekend! He He He!
Can you imagine all those "ultra-light" folks with their 8 lb base weights when along comes this Old Kelty with it's gigantic metal frame, cotter pins.. like some Purple Prehistoric Load Monster from the Past. Then I'd pull out my MSR XGK stove and the 1/2 Gallon Stainless steel pot and cook up some ridiculously "non-ultralight" food stuff!
Better Yet After the jeers and laughter subside I simply pull my latest and greatest 14 oz MLD Pack right out of the Old School Keltys cavernous innards... along with a 1972 Caddillac! (Yes, I kinda have a strange imagination!)
Pure Fantasy of course. :D
Although they do have a makeshift post office right there at the event to mail the "old boy" home from.. Hmm. I could pull this off! :D
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.



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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby rlown » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:10 pm

I wouldn't trade my Kelty frame pack for anything. You never know when you might have to carry someone out in it.. :)

But really, i love my Kelty frame.
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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby treadwell » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:33 am

I still have two out in the garage somewhere. Last saw the trail in the early 80's, Pine Creek loop over Italy, Selden and Pine Creek passes. Seems like my folks bought them out of a converted garage/factory in the 60's, but maybe that was the dri-lite store, anyone remember eating that stuff?
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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:20 pm

ok.. this puppy has got me out of binds, by being able to carry more than I thought I might have to on several trips.

P4230008.JPG
Kelty Tioga 5500


They are not relics.. Sure, the base weight is, well, obscene if you're UL. I think of it this way. If your partner on the trail blows an ankle, and you have to carry out half his stuff, you kind of want to be able to do that. My friends did that for me in the 90's.

I'll stick with it.. Also much cooler on the back most other packs.

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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby markskor » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:08 pm

I too cannot help feeling somewhat sentimental about that heavy old bastard of a pack.
It was my first real backpack purchased...somewhere back in the early 70's. I remember buying my then "Top of the Line" Kelty Tioga (maybe it was the Bristlecone) and a pair of Red Wing Voyagers - (Vasque, way back then) and getting back change from a hundred dollar bill. I thought I was in hiker heaven.

That picture above sure brings back the memories...upon thinking about it now, the only good thing I can say about that ghastly powder blue color is that it closely coincided with the then blue and gold of my UCLA Bruins, otherwise whoever picked out that color for a backpack should have been shot. My memory (and a look at mine) has the real color a bit lighter shade of blue than the photo shown...more of a Barbie blue actually.

That pack worked hard - did see many the miles...easily over 800 trail days under it and never a complaint...well, maybe one... There was that constant squeak.
I guess I was too stupid to know any better. Little did I know anything about what a good pack should be like... nothing about it possibly being too much weight, or that all packs did not really have to be top heavy, or that a backpack shouldn't make a creaking noise every single step. Why should a backpack have a separate compartment for a sleeping bag when you could, just as easily, lash your sleeping bag under the pack exposed, and then constantly worry about losing it somewhere on the trail?

That pack was a huge mother...carried well too...I had all kinds of tie ons added...hoisted 70+ pounds often...Since it had the room; why not fill it up? I did.
I truly loved that pack - an old friend... used it for years.

I still remember the day I met a good internal ...saw/tried on my first Gregory Shasta...In 1/8 mile I knew that the Kelty days were immediately over...never again carried.
I think my blue POS is also in the garage.
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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:33 pm

markskor wrote:I think my blue POS is also in the garage.


Well, mine'll be on my back this season. July and twice in Sept. I tend to use internal frame packs only in the winter when it's cold, close to the back to keep warm. In Summer, I like a breeze blowing back there.

My Lowe internal is great for winter overnight ski trips.

Yes, Kelty squeaks. Usually, that indicates you're tired and laboring; or in the "break-in" period. She's not a POS.. depends on what your intentions are, as with all equipment.
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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby cmon4day » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:11 pm

Kelty Pic1.JPG
Forest in W. Fork of Cherry Cr.
Here's a picture of my old friend. Still going strong by the way, bought it in 1981. It's a Kelty Tioga II.
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Kelty Pic2.JPG
Cherry Cr. Canyon
Kelty Pic.JPG
Forest, Emigrant Wilderness
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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby markskor » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:27 pm

I can still hear it...
Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...

Rlown writes: "Yes, Kelty squeaks. Usually, that indicates you're tired and laboring; or it is still in the "break-in" period."
Yea right!...I guess then whenever I hoisted up that good old friend/POS, I must have been always tired and/or the "break in" period took a little over 3000 miles and 7 years...You mean maybe if I check on it now, it might finally be broken in? ] ](*,)

(FYI, after lugging that powder-blue dump truck all over the Sierra including the Muir twice...I feel that I earned the right to call it whatever I feel like.) Is that smurf blue?
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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby rlown » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:21 pm

markskor wrote:I can still hear it...
Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...Squeak...

Rlown writes: "Yes, Kelty squeaks. Usually, that indicates you're tired and laboring; or it is still in the "break-in" period."
Yea right!...I guess then whenever I hoisted up that good old friend/POS, I must have been always tired and/or the "break in" period took a little over 3000 miles and 7 years...You mean maybe if I check on it now, it might finally be broken in? ] ](*,)

(FYI, after lugging that powder-blue dump truck all over the Sierra including the Muir twice...I feel that I earned the right to call it whatever I feel like.) Is that smurf blue?


Full on Smurf blue.. Call your pack what you want. If we meet up, I'll stick close so you can enjoy the retro sound. :wink:

Squeaks..
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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby treadwell » Thu May 06, 2010 11:09 pm

treadwell wrote:I still have two out in the garage somewhere. Last saw the trail in the early 80's, Pine Creek loop over Italy, Selden and Pine Creek passes. Seems like my folks bought them out of a converted garage/factory in the 60's, but maybe that was the dri-lite store, anyone remember eating that stuff?


These are from the days when you could have any color as long as it was green. Check out those unpadded waist belts.

Image


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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri May 07, 2010 8:43 pm

I love my Kelty frame. I slip a 1 pound Granite Gear Virga over the frame as if it were a person and have a moderate weight pack and day-pack also. Last year I sewed a ultra-light bag, added light straps and waist belt and now have the total weight to 3.5 pounds. I tested this prototype for 30 days in the Wind Rivers last summer and it worked great. Not bad for a pack that easily carries 50 pounds - not unheard of weight when alpine technical climbing or for 15-day trips. Lean the frame on an ice axe, and I can even have a lounge chair at high altitude! As for the squeaks - at my age the pack drowns out my own squeaky bones.
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Re: Kelty Boat Anchors Die Hard

Postby Timberline » Sat May 08, 2010 2:36 pm

Say what you want about those old timey packs (and us old timers too), but ours remain in their shrines (the original boxes)out in the garage. In July, 1973, my wife and I each bought an olive green Tioga at the Kelty outlet in Ventura, and immediately drove to Onion Valley for our honeymoon backpack into Rae Lakes and Sixty Lakes Basin. We'll always keep 'em now! :wink:
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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