Most Important Pack Features

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zelph
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby zelph » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:34 pm

The material you use, fabric and thread are going to be the most important. Seam design important for strength/durability.
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cadyak
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby cadyak » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:27 am

Got to have that big pocket. I almost always carry my shelter/stakes back there which is especially nice and easy when its wet.
I still like big water bottle pockets that are accessible without having to remove the pack. (32oz bottle sized)
good Hip Belt pockets are very handy
I know that hydration packs are very popular but there are a number of things that I dont like about them for backpacking.
hose freezes
leaks can happen inside your pack ( bad news when its cold)
Hose/bladder can get really nasty if you dont routinely clean them.
I drink too quickly from them :geek:
Unless its summertime or just a weekend trip I like to have some kind of rigid frame for weight transfer
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Ridgerunner
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby Ridgerunner » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:48 am

I'm not a big bladder fan either. I like the bottle pockets on my REI pack as the are angled forward thus allowing easy access without removing your pack ;)
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realityguy
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby realityguy » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:29 am

I agree with "on-the-back" accessible pockets as a main issue I've had with a lot of packs..I also like external looped gear straps including on the front of the shoulder straps for tying stuff on the outside.That way I can make a 1lb pack work for an overnight trip also,just strap on a shelter,pad, and bag... and for hanging junk that gets lost inside packs..such as firestarters, light,knife,goat spray.I also have a water bottle holder on each one up front that holds the lightweight ones.Once I get into camp,I can setup my shelter and fire without even getting into the pack.
Waist belts need small pockets for TP(padding) and other small gear. ACCESSIBILITY is the most important feature of a backpack..!
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shakeylegs
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby shakeylegs » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:28 pm

ACCESSIBILITY is the most important feature of a backpack..!


Hi realityguy. I used to be a proponent of top loading packs - fewer features to go wrong, one secure place for everything. Over the years (and before ultralight packing) I learned to love "access". I still wanted one big internal top loading compartment for the bulky stuff, but I also appreciated lots of pockets on the outside in order to function efficiently. A lot of the ultralight packs I've seen are simple top loaders, often with a large kangaroo pocket on the back, and maybe some water bottle side pockets, along with various hip belt compartments. The one concern I had regarding zippers breaking never materialized as a serious issue. So I'm firmly in line with you regarding outside the pack access to gear. It's convenient, an easy way to stay organized - having a "proper place" for every item, as well as a quick way to take inventory when leaving a campsite.

While considereing this project, I started thinking how ultralight packing has simplified my gear list to such a degree that perhaps it doesn't make a great deal of difference whether I have a bunch of pockets or just a sack. In sketches for this new pack, I've played around with two different ideas. Simple, top loading with a minimum of outside pockets, and something more modular, perhaps no central cavern at all but rather a bunch of compartments designed specifically for my gear - everything in its place. A modular pack might conceivably be expandable and contractable depending upon the season and duration of trip. The latter presents some interesting issues with regard to fundamental pack structure and the integrity of the various parts as a whole. I'd hate to be hiking along and one by one, lose various compartments. This expandable angle appeals to me as I can have widely varying pack needs depending upon the trip.
shakeylegs

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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby realityguy » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:21 am

I've often thought about making at least a three compartment pack with basically two tubes up front and a third behind that straps on,that is removable, with maybe a mesh pocket(between the main two) there when not using the third tube(or the third tube creates an "inside" mesh pocket under a lid)...thereby reducing the weight of the pack by 25-30% when it isn't needed,depending on the length of the trip..OR modular tubes with compression type straps that link them together with main straps on the pack back/base itself,creating an endless(well you probably might not need more than 5-6 tubes) amount of tubes you can add,depending on what you need for the trip.Each tube could have optional outside pockets of different configurations(one pocket,two pockets,mesh large one,two mesh small ones) depending on what "tubes" you need for each trip....thereby needing only ONE PACK for several hiking options..and thereby emptying a closet of gear down to one functional set for 100% of a person's hiking.
The other point being that the tubes could be supplied and preloaded with "appropriate type" individual gear..like food/shelter/cooking/fishing/hammock/winter bedding/summer bedding/beach hiking/mountain hiking/his/hers/etc...and just grab the tubes you need for the trip..no farting around packing and repacking gear for EACH trip..The tubes stay prepacked.
Once a person designed one tube,they can duplicate the process and make 5-6 at once with straps/fasteners/tighteners the same way and same direction...
But it's just a thought and never came down to reality... :roll:
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shakeylegs
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby shakeylegs » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:35 am

reality guy,
I'm visualizing your tubes as vertical tubes. Is that what you envision? I've been thinking vertical modules as it would standardize length making the inclusion of an optional rigid frame practicable. At first I thought horizontal modules might be more efficient (think a sleeping bag in it's stuff sack - the length of which would be about the width of one's back.) But to include a frame, the "base" pack would necessarily have to run from hips to shoulders minimum. Unless I'm missing some angle.

Also, the tubes could be cylindrical, rectangular or whatever in cross section. Color code them based upon general contents. And cinch straps would hold it all in place securely, regardless of the connections used to group the modules. And, if you need a caverous sack for some reason, that option would attach to the "base" just like the other modules.

The one thing I often struggle with is finding a place for the bear canister. With one large sack, I usually put it in last so that it rides high and close to my back. Where might it fit into the modular system? I guess the Ursack, or some homemade equivalent would be the natural, however for those times (Yosemite, Sequoia NP's) when a hard shell canister is required, the problem arises again.

On a side note, I was in CVS for something and being spring, they had a large bin of "pool noodles", those styrofoam hollow tubes that kids play with in the pool. I picked up a couple with the idea of using them whole or halved lengthwise as vertical/horizontal frame members. I think they are compression proof enough to support 20 to 25 lbs when strapped into a loaded and cinched pack. And the hollow center would accommodate any sort of small tubular framing I might devise, plus provide cushioning from the frame and creating air channels for keeping your back dry. Those things are so light, they might even function for a few trips as the basis for a sleeping pad. And they are cheap enough to replace often (I'm thinking about a simple lashing system or perhaps a ripstop cover with internal slots for containing the noodles). They could provide frame rigidity as well as sleeping comfort.
shakeylegs

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zelph
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby zelph » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:42 pm

On a lighter side, I had the thought to incorporate a pair of suspenders as a means of attaching a lightweight stuff sack to your back. Sew the large cuben fiber sack to the suspenders. Insert 3 modular cuben fiber stuff sacks into the main one. If the pack is on the heavy side and pulls your pants upwards in the front that's a plus. Consider it an aid to your athletic supporter. :mrgreen:
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realityguy
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby realityguy » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:31 pm

Tubes..I'd only do vertical..but they could have shorter sections horizontally..say a 2/3rds bottom area and 1/3rd top with zips around at those points or vertical zips or velcro..for shorter tube section so you don't have to dig to the bottom of one long one.As far as diameters..a person could make 4",6",and 8" diameter tubes to carry most stuff they need.Again..pockets outside can carry smaller stuff that gets lost.One of the main ideas is to eliminate a lot of sorting,packing,and unpacking..before and after a trip by segregating the items you need into separate areas.My golite packs have several pockets for small stuff..mesh ones to see through..that contain or carry most smaller items.They also have no internal support so I roll a foam pad around the inside perimeter..ease it out to the full diameter,then stuff the larger items inside the rolled pad..and saving the weight of "pack padding or internal supports..but I always am 25lbs or less for everything including food and water.
I don't usually use tent poles because I use my trekking poles for them..so I really don't need a full length one unless I want to stuff a tent or hammock skinnier in a long one..say wrapped around 3-4 beers.. :mrgreen:
I think horizontal tubes might be an option..use ties and push button cord lock all on the same end..but that might screw up ideas for pockets on the outside..unless they also have some kind closures,velcro,cordlocks,etc..
Bear cans are a pita,guaranteed to screw up a back if carried without adequate padding..especially because they make the diameters large enough a bear can't get his mouth wide enough to crush them.I usually use a golite race or speed packs(2lbs each) and add a special mesh bag I can lay across under the hood or strap the mesh bag on(tie-on spots added to the outside of the bag).The damn cans do not have any or adequate ties on them.The little bumps they have on some of them I wouldn't trust to hold a strap between them and would expect to see a bear can rolling all the way back down the switchbacks you just climbed..or over a cliff somewhere,impossible to get back..no thanks.
I only use the legal manufactured bear cans in the upper mountainous region of Olympic National Park($3 refundable fee..or donation,your choice..per can/ trip..why buy one).On the ONP coastal beaches I can use aluminum(or stainless)dairy farm cream containers in optional sizes(1-4qt..have 3-4 sizes..think one might even be 5 gal!) with bail type handles and screw on lid.The diameters are smaller but the beach areas only have raccoons and possums as pest problems so the rangers have approved them for me there.Most of the local areas around Seattle..don't seem to need "required bear containers"..a lot of places have hang wires(noted at websites)..so a person can prepare appropriately for the trip.I add a bolt and wing nut through the screw on lid area(or slide in),a couple caribiners,and about 40' of line wrapped around the can..I can hook the bail to the back of a pack and strap the rest with a strap through the equipment strap loops on the back.Golite packs lack strapping per se on the back..but both of mine have "helmet" mesh areas that will hold the cans.My smaller 1lb pack I've added straps to tie stuff on the outside.
Keep in mind that I can also use the metal cans for boiling larger amounts of water..where you can't do that with a plastic or kevlar bearcan...
I think I've seen some of the metal cans in the larger oriental stores...but have found all mine for $2-5 each at the local thrift stores here.The smaller diameters make them also easy to get into smaller packs with just clothing as padding between the back and the can.I think I probably have 4,5,and 6" diameter ones..about 10-14" high.
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zelph
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Re: Most Important Pack Features

Postby zelph » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:30 pm

On the ONP coastal beaches I can use aluminum(or stainless)dairy farm cream containers in optional sizes(1-4qt..have 3-4 sizes..think one might even be 5 gal!) with bail type handles and screw on lid.


I'm going to start looking for an aluminum or stainless cream container like you have. I think they are cool looking and a handy anti raccoon container. I'm going to check ebay right now :mrgreen:
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