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Thread: Backpack advice

  1. #1
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    Backpack advice

    I'm new to wild camping but I did a couple of days in the lakes trekking and sleeping last week and I discovered two things. 1 my pack is far to big and heavy (70L) and the vango trek self inflating mat gave me back ache for days which is unusual as im an otherwise healthy 27! It also doesn't pack very small.

    Some of the gear I carry include a zephyros 2 tent, a down sleeping bag and a wee stove and the usual survival bits and I would like advice on what size of rucksack to take? (Suggestions welcomed). Budget £60 max- ish. I have been looking at 45 and 35 litre packs such as Lowe alpine cloud peak 45 and the terra nova laser 35.

    Secondly I need a mat that will be kind to my back and offer the best possible nights sleep. Happy to spend here as its my health were talking about. Climbing helvellyn with an aching lower back was not as enjoyable as I hoped the trip would be.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Hi, Ginecha,

    You might want to check the name of this forum. Itís about hammocks rather than general camping.

    Coming on here and asking for the best way to carry your tent is probably not the best way to get a useful response.

    Now, as to your post, thereís nothing wrong or inherently heavy about a 70L pack. Just donít fill it up.

    Have a good look at what youíre carrying and youíll almost certainly be able to reduce the weight.

    And, to bring it back on topic, just about everyone finds they get a much better sleep in a hammock than on the ground. Many people on here have converted to sleeping in a hammock 100% of the time (including at home).

  3. #3
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I think Genecha has the wrong forum.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum, Ginecha! You'll find an incredible amount of hammock advice here from some of the most experienced and amazingly unselfish hammock advocates around the world. Your question may not be typical for this forum, but I'm sure you'll find a few folks willing to share their insights.

    Let me start by saying that I agree with everything ChrisJHC stated in the response above. I'm an avid backpacker who converted to hammocks from tents. I don't consider myself an ultralight fanatic, but I've gradually reduced my base weight down to about 20 pounds. A significant percentage of that is my Osprey Atmos AG 65L pack (at about 1900g or just over 4 pounds without the lid). I rarely fill it, but LOVE the support and comfort it provides and am willing to accept the weight penalty. Even when I do fill it (e.g. winter hikes with thicker insulation), it's mostly due to the extra bulk of the items I'm carrying and not because I'm adding a lot of extra weight. Based on your comments, it's likely that the Osprey is out of your planned price range, but you might want to consider investing in your pack for the same reason you're willing to spend a little more on your pad - better to keep your back healthy!

    Pack selection (like hammock selection) is very much a personal thing. Personally, I'd worry less about capacity (45L vs 70L) and more about support and fit. I recommend finding a good local outfitter and discuss your needs and constraints with the experts there. They can help you narrow your options. REI is a popular national chain in the U.S. but local outfitters can be excellent as well.

    My best advice regarding sleeping pads is simply to avoid them altogether by switching to a hammock. I struggled for years with uncomfortable air pads that always seemed to go flat at the worst possible times before I finally saw the light and started hanging. Once I got past the short initial learning curve, I never had another bad night's sleep on trail.
    ~ All I want is affordable, simple, ultralight luxury. Thatís not asking too much is it?

  5. #5
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    I will say one thing.,.,. Take the time and watch Shug's vid . Enough said....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK9o...6&index=6&t=0s

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginecha View Post
    I'm new to wild camping but I did a couple of days in the lakes trekking and sleeping last week and I discovered two things. 1 my pack is far to big and heavy (70L) and the vango trek self inflating mat gave me back ache for days which is unusual as im an otherwise healthy 27! It also doesn't pack very small.

    Some of the gear I carry include a zephyros 2 tent, a down sleeping bag and a wee stove and the usual survival bits and I would like advice on what size of rucksack to take? (Suggestions welcomed). Budget £60 max- ish. I have been looking at 45 and 35 litre packs such as Lowe alpine cloud peak 45 and the terra nova laser 35.

    Secondly I need a mat that will be kind to my back and offer the best possible nights sleep. Happy to spend here as its my health were talking about. Climbing helvellyn with an aching lower back was not as enjoyable as I hoped the trip would be.
    Thanks in advance.
    Will all of your gear fit into a 35 or 45 liter pack? As a general rule, 35 liters is adequate for a fairly well honed ultralight kit and 45 liters for cooler weather (and thus more clothing, bulkier sleep gear, shelter etc). It's hard to say without knowing about your current kit, how much other camping/hiking experience you have in good weather and bad, and the kinds of trips you want to do and the seasons you plan to be outside.

    Since you're new to wild camping, here is some good reading and overall philosophy from one of your countrymen, the legendary Chris Townsend. My recommendation is to read all of the links to get some perspective and some ideas on how to proceed.

    Welcome to HammockForums, good luck in your journey, and have fun!
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    ďIf everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.Ē ~ Gen. George S Patton

  7. #7
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    Ginecha

    Good question for a hammock forum - the reason that it is the right question is that hammock aficionados are all about counting grams. The push-back you are receiving is because you mentioned a tent (go back and edit the post and substitute a homemade hammock, (genuflect to the Hammock-Gods) and you should be fine.

    Backpacking Light is a website that costs about $8.00 US Dollars to join, and they cover backpacking and all things lightweight.

    https://backpackinglight.com/

    4-lbs 5-oz for that tent will buy you quite a beautiful entry into hammock camping if you make your hammock and gear. Chat these guys/gals up and let them suggest ways to allow your back to rest.

    https://youtu.be/k5j0uwFovOU

    Yep, there are trees...

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