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Backpack Advice?

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Backpack Advice?

Postby flyfishnevada » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:37 pm

I bought my backpack, an REI Trekker Long Trail, about 10 years back. Never used it. Nobody to go with, young kids, whatever, it has just sat in the garage. I am planning on taking my boys on a trip or two this summer and I am wondering if it's worth using this thing. It's in good shape and seems have a lot of room, not to mention the ability to strap stuff to it. Had a hard time finding specs, but saw it was rated at 4 lbs 12 oz, but mine weights about 4 and a half, so not super heavy.

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Have backpacks advance so much that I would be better off buying a new one? One problem I have is my sleeping bag is a rectangular and it's pretty large and weighs about 4.5 to 5 lbs. I'm a big guy and I don't like mummies or being all bound up in a bag. I'm afraid it wouldn't fit in a internal frame well. I'm not looking to buy a new pack, unless this thing is going to be uncomfortable or a PITA.



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Re: Backpack Advice?

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:19 pm

I'm by no means an expert, but if the pack is in good shape and it fits then there's no need to get a new one. (Especially since you are new to backpacking. Better to try it a few times and make sure it's for you before you drop some coin on new gear.)

I'd pack it up with some gear and do a day hike just to get a feel for it and make sure it works for you. Put 20-30 lbs of gear in there and do a couple miles—that should be a decent test.
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Re: Backpack Advice?

Postby sirlight » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:51 pm

I completely agree. If you have something that works, use it. Too many people get hung up on having the newest, best gear. This is not just happens in backpacking, it's every sport. I suggest you take this pack and load it up with all your gear. Do a couple short dayhikes as training. If it suits you, continue to use it.

When I am out hiking, I have seen people using all kinds of gear. There has been really old school external packs made from canvas, the newest high tech stuff and everything in between.

Bottom line is you need equipment that is comfortable, works well and that you can afford. It's only a fashion show in the store. On the trail, it's the hiking (and fishing) that matters!
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Re: Backpack Advice?

Postby The Other Tom » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:02 pm

I agree with Carne. Load up your pack with your gear, pick a spot where you can walk in ( maybe 2-3 miles in), stop and camp. See how everything works. If there's a problem, you can always get back to your car. And....take your kids with you. You'll form bonds that last a lifetime.
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Re: Backpack Advice?

Postby Flux » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:28 pm

People used external frames for a long long time before all this fancy stuff. I definitely suggest as others do. Just try it out on a mellow hike and see where it goes from there. Funny thing is, there is a whole slew of folks dedicated to cutting weight and using less fancy packs with minimal parts. You also want to see if backpacking is something you are enthusiastic enough about to drop more $$ into.

My buddies use inexpensive gear and kick my ass going up the trail. My cool guy gear doesn't make my legs stronger or my heart pound any less. That being said, I love my nice gear but am now addicted to backpacking and it's my own personal choice. My buddy uses a 5 dollar jansport pack he got at a garage sale. I'd still be using my Lowe Contour from 1988 if the shoulder strap bracket had not broken.

I'd say load that thing up with 40 lbs and see how it feels. Adjust it to your body and then put some more weight in it. If the weight is sitting on your hips and you have any pressure points, you are good to go. I say 50 lbs because you will probably end up being the pack mule for the kids and you will most likely have stuff you don't need as is always the case the first few times out.
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Re: Backpack Advice?

Postby flyfishnevada » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:17 pm

Flux wrote:I say 50 lbs because you will probably end up being the pack mule for the kids and you will most likely have stuff you don't need as is always the case the first few times out.


Good luck! They are 12 yo, 5'8" and 165 and 14 yo, 5'10 and 195. My oldest was the starting center on the football team as a freshman and both are in great shape. They are going to share the load! :D

Thanks! That's what I was thinking. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on something that would make life a whole lot easier. I will strap on my sleeping bag, the equipment I have and whatever else i can find to make up the weight and take a little hike. I seem to remember doing a lot of research on the pack and it was rated pretty good. Feels good empty, already rising on my hips.
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