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What backpack do you use?


wiiawiwb
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14 hours ago, wiiawiwb said:

I just got a Seek Outside Gila pack that weighs 2lbs 15oz. It can comfortably carry whatever weight I want to put in it. Carrying 100lbs? No problem at all.  It will be used for day trips and overnighters when I can remove the metal cross stay and get the weight down to 2lbs 10z.

 

https://seekoutside.com/gila-ultralight-backpack-gray/

 

You have some good taste in gear Wii!

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Having dinner at an exclusive restaurant in Manhattan, going to a ski resort in Aspen for the weekend, or jet setting to Europe for a long weekend are things that would bring me no pleasure. I see them as fleeting moments and a waste of money. Mind you, if they are the things that your dreams are made from, all the more power to you. I judge not.

 

Spending a little more on a backpack that will last for years is an investment from my perspective.  If I use it 80+ days a year over a 5-year period the marginal cost is peanuts per use and it brings me unbridled joy.

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12 minutes ago, wiiawiwb said:

Having dinner at an exclusive restaurant in Manhattan, going to a ski resort in Aspen for the weekend, or jet setting to Europe for a long weekend are things that would bring me no pleasure. I see them as fleeting moments and a waste of money. Mind you, if they are the things that your dreams are made from, all the more power to you. I judge not.

 

Spending a little more on a backpack that will last for years is an investment from my perspective.  If I use it 80+ days a year over a 5-year period the marginal cost is peanuts per use and it brings me unbridled joy.

A man with his priorities straight.

 

Of course, I just went the opposite route price wise and picked up an LAPG 3 day bag super cheap because I wanted a molle pack for brief day outings.  I think that I paid 40 bucks for it.

 

I sold off my three London Bridge Trading molle packs last year because I didn't think that I would use them anymore and I was overrun with packs.  

 

I had a LAPG bag that I used daily for 3 or 4 years that held up ok.  The quality in the new version is much much better.  

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Thanks for the kind words.  Last year, I bought a molle chest rig to allow me to mount my smartphone and see the GAIA/CalTopo map while I bushwhack. It was inexpensive and if I continue use it with the frequency I expect, then I'll upgrade. Until then, it works just fine and I'm happy with it. It's not something that is will make or break an outing.

 

A few years ago, two buddies joined me on an overnight to do a little sasquatching. One hadn't backpacked in a very long time.  He grabbed whatever pack he had. It was smaller than he needed so a sleeping bag and other bags were tied to the outside of his pack. The would swing left and right with every step as he walked.  He kept swatting at the attached bags moving about and looked like the Cowardly Lion on the Wizard of Oz marching into the castle reaching back to swat its tail.  I ended up putting those items in my pack so he could walk normally. When we returned he went out and bought an appropriately-sized Osprey pack which he loves.

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"Cry once" as I've heard it expressed--when you pay for it, not every time you use it. I try to buy the best I can afford, and if I can't afford new I'll find a good used version. I have so little tolerance for crap and we're inundated with it nowadays. So much nicer to use a quality piece of kit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The SO Gila pack I ordered just arrived.  It is remarkably light (2lbs 10oz) yet can still haul 100+lbs.  Today, Seek Outside just announced their new Flight Two which is designed to be a through pack...2lbs 5oz.  The Flight Two can carry up to 50lbs. Most through hikers would never carry that kind of weight. Grams counters would never consider the Gila. Surprisingly, for an additional 6oz (for the Gila) you can haul as much weight as your legs can carry.

 

I would recommend the SO packs to anyone looking to buy a pack. For example, with my small Gila, I can add a monsterous pack bag and can use/rotate it into my SO frame/suspension system and be able to backpack in the winter. How many companies offer that?

Edited by wiiawiwb
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3 hours ago, wiiawiwb said:

The SO Gila pack I ordered just arrived.  It is remarkably light (2lbs 10oz) yet can still haul 100+lbs.  Today, Seek Outside just announced their new Flight Two which is designed to be a through pack...2lbs 5oz.  The Flight Two can carry up to 50lbs. Most through hikers would never carry that kind of weight. Grams counters would never consider the Gila. Surprisingly, for an additional 6oz (for the Gila) you can haul as much weight as your legs can carry.

 

I would recommend the SO packs to anyone looking to buy a pack. For example, with my small Gila, I can add a monsterous pack bag and can use/rotate it into my SO frame/suspension system and be able to backpack in the winter. How many companies offer that?


what’s a through hiker?

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I think technically it is referred to as "thru hiker" but I just use through.  They are people who do long-distance hikes such as the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.  The AT being the most well known.

 

If you're backpacking for 6+ months straight, every ounce counts. You count everything, weight everything, then see what you can eliminate or reduce.  Most people try to have the "Big Four" (backpack, tent, mat, sleeping bag) weigh in at 10lbs or less. Not easy especially when you're likely to hit winter conditions (cold maybe even snow) at some point during that time period.

 

I would do the same if I were out for 6+ months at a time.

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On 4/7/2021 at 3:10 PM, wiiawiwb said:

I think technically it is referred to as "thru hiker" but I just use through.  They are people who do long-distance hikes such as the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.  The AT being the most well known.

 

If you're backpacking for 6+ months straight, every ounce counts. You count everything, weight everything, then see what you can eliminate or reduce.  Most people try to have the "Big Four" (backpack, tent, mat, sleeping bag) weigh in at 10lbs or less. Not easy especially when you're likely to hit winter conditions (cold maybe even snow) at some point during that time period.

 

I would do the same if I were out for 6+ months at a time.


Understood. 

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Nowadays, there are backpack companies that spend untold sums of monies advertising and can be seen in every outdoor retail store.  They cater to a crowd that wants one backpack for all occasions. One size fits all. It doesn't work that way--at least not optimally.

 

Do you have one knife that addresses all cutting? How about one firearm that works for all hunting whether it be a grouse or an elk? I don't think so. So it is with backpacks.

 

You either buy based on a specific use or you buy into a system that allows interchangability.  Seek Outside is a backpack company that has a system. You can buy a large-volume backpack. Great for extended trips but what about an overnight? You can also buy a smaller bag and simply remove the large bag and replace it with small bag. The frame, shoulder harness, and belt system are the same.

 

That's not an option with box-store retailers.

 

 

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Thought I would post pictures of my new Gila and existing Fortress 6,300. Took the Gila out for its maiden voyage today.  It carried like a dream. All the weight was on my hips with no weight pulling down on my shoulders. That included a very heavy revolver in a chest pack that was docked to the backpack. Docking allows the chest pack to be weightless even though it held gear plus a 47oz revolver and eight .454 Casull rounds. The weight is transferred to the backpack.

 

Their 4-way forward pull mechanism really allows you to dial in the belt.  If carrying all day long, you can readjust the backpack quickly to have more of the weight on your shoulders giving your hips a break. That way, at day's end, neither your shoulders nor hips feel overused.  It's a keeper and I'm already looking at ordering different-sized bag. Remove the existing bag and put on the new one in two minutes.

 

One feature which is fantastic is the side pocket. As you can see, a quart-sized Gatorade bottle gets lost in the left pocket which can easily fit two. They've designed the side pockets at an angle so you can reach back on the fly, easily grab the water bottle, then put it back in with ease. You don't need to be a contortionist.  Finally, for comparison, on the bottom is SO's much-larger Fortess 6,300 which I've had for 3 years.

 

In my opinion, Seek Outside is on the cutting edge and revolutionizing this industry. The gatekeeper system used to lash things down or tighten the bag can be configured any way you want. Moreover, when carrying additional weight in the pack, you can add either 2" or 4" extenders to the frame to allow the load lifters to actually do their job. Flexibility for any condition.  Finally, the weight is crazy light.  The Gila on the left is only 2lbs 10oz and the Fortress on the right is 3lbs 13oz (each with cross stay removed).

 

Gila.thumb.jpg.bf591322ef0b75a0625d57831ef62335.jpgGila2.thumb.jpg.3c188dddb4443bc045cbc944afac2235.jpg586532316_SeekOutsideFortress6300.thumb.jpg.c5106847c3ce6f9a8d0095c04ec835da.jpg

Edited by wiiawiwb
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Went ultralight. We'll see how it holds up. 

 

Outdoor Vitals. 2 lbs total, nice padded straps, which I really need, and tons of pockets. I pulled out the metal stays, so it rolls smaller. I can fit the kitchen sink in here. It's 45L.

 

So far i am liking it!

 

 

20210425_085100.jpg

Edited by Madison5716
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Nice score Madison. Plenty of space and lots pf places to store items. It has good-sized hipbelt pouches too. I also like the dual mesh face pockets. Quick access.

 

Keep us posted how it works out. Kitty seems to like it!

 

 

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The backpack aspect of bigfooting can present a challenge especially when you stay overnight. In addition to hauling in trailcams, thermal imagers, sound recorders, all of which are extra weight, you now have to make room for a tent, pad, sleeping bag, headlamps, flashlights, and so much more.

 

It's a challenge but one that is a blast!

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I like the pack but need to figure out something for my gun and knife. The belt pockets are competing for the same spot on my hip.

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