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Thread: Talkback: Monday Kit Tip - Rucksack Packing

  1. #1
    Mini Goon otaku_steve's Avatar
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    I thought that you had to pack heavy stuff close to your back but fairly high up, so that you dont have to lean as far forward to get your centre of gravity over your feet, and that why the sleeping bag compartment is at the bottom of the pack. Having said that, once I manage to shoehorn my sleeping bag back into its stuff sack it feels more like a bag of sand than a bag of feathers...

  2. #2
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    I think it actually depends what you're doing. 'Close to your back and high up' was always the principle behind external pack-frame designs, for the reason you state, but imo makes most sense for walking on fairly level, evenly-graded terrain. When you move into steeper, rougher terrain that isn't necessarily so good (as I experienced many years ago with an old packframe on a teenage crossing of Crib Goch!). Stability becomes a more important factor and, especially if your activity extends into more dynamic things like scrambling or ski touring, the lower centre of gravity produced by keeping heavier items close to your back but low down in the pack becomes beneficial - hence the design of many teardrop or tapered packs for these activities.

    With that in mind, I'd choose a pack with an appropriate shape and suspension for the activity I'm doing, but then I pack it primarily for convenience - with the exception of one or two items I find that I can't sense much difference in the density of my items of kit once its compressed and packed, so it's driven by keeping what I'm more likely to need more accessible.

  3. #3
    Mini Goon otaku_steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt C View Post

    ...with the exception of one or two items I find that I can't sense much difference in the density of my items of kit once its compressed and packed...
    I definitely agree with that! I am still gaining experience on using packs, and currently using a somewhat large 70l model, however it does allow me to pack my closed cell foam sleep pad inside. It carries really well too, but on the downside its height mean I have to duck much further when passing under overhanging vegetation. For steep stuff I find it very important to cinch up the shoulder straps properly. I tend to loosen these when bimbling along to relieve pressure on the shoulders, but this can lead to instability when hopping from rock to rock. My next plan is to target a 50l pack size, hopefully without cheating and putting the mat outside.

  4. #4
    Widdler Eggy's Avatar
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    Otaku, consider going for an OMM pack as these are designed with a sleeping mat as the back support and have a pocket on the inside for this. The Villain pack would seem to suit your needs.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    get the heavy stuff close to your back. With a pack with a curved backyou will soon notice if you haven't. this really then ony gives you the option of top or bottom or both.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon otaku_steve's Avatar
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    Thanks - I will look into the OMM Villain, but first I need to work on reducing the pack contents.

    The problem with packing heavy stuff close to one's back is that the only obviously heavy (denser) item is water. I suppose a tent may qualify but here in Japan people typically make use of bothies or commercial mountain lodges (maybe because of typhoons?), with most campsites being restricted to the lowlands. As a result I haven't sprung for a tent yet. I dont know what the local stance is on 'unofficial' wild camping (or rather on whether its ban is enforced) though I seem to think in the far north its allowed (presumably they rely on bears rather than regulations to deter wild campers)

    Off topic but on a related note the other day I met 2 guys on the trail packing out a bothy's toilet waste. It would be about a 5 hour one way trip to the nearest trail head with a back laden with litres of you-know-what. I wonder how much they pay those guys?

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch .Paulie.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by otaku_steve View Post

    ...................... I wonder how much they pay those guys?
    Stating the blindingly obvious - the wages must be sh1te

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