Thursday, March 11, 2010

Backpack: Recommendations Please!

I am researching backpacks.
  • Trying to figure out how much volume and how much weight it needs to accommodate is a bit of a trick. In the Grand Canyon we carried about 35 lb, but our guide had 85 lb! We were only gone for 4 days, and we were able to get fresh water every day along the way. I am looking at the 80-85 litre packs right now. Plenty to fit in with tent, sleeping bag, therm-a-rest, stove and fuel, cooking pots and plates, food and water, first aid, sat phone, clothes (for any weather and temperature), hiking boots (2nd pair), papers. 
  • Fit is super important, especially with the weight I expect to carry. Hence, I will explore women' fits and well padded hip belts, breathable materials for the back and excellent weight transfer to the hips and legs away from the shoulders.
  • I want a backpack where some part can be converted to a fanny pack, to I don't need to have different packs.
  • Sturdy bottom (some sort of hard-wearing rubber bottom would be good)
  • I want lots of pockets to keep things handy for the hiking parts and access points for packing/unpacking ease.
  • Camelback pouch and external water bottle holders.
I went to MEC to take a first look. Next up: Bushtukah, Expedition Shoppe and Trailhead. They each carry different brands, so no one-stop shopping here.

Any suggestions and things to look out for will be appreciated.


  1. Hey, I have taken to using 2 packs. There are storage facilities you can drop off non-essentials and then you can use the backpack for trips on the trails and trekking. We have also used the "home base" approach. Renting apartments in cheaper decent part of town and leaving things there and carrying what you need for the time away. This may alter you backpack strategy.

  2. Thanks for your note. Storage options, yes, that's a good point. Will depend on the finer points of our itinerary planning, as I keep having visions of point A to B trekking. We left much of our travel gear at the hotel in Mendoza when we went off to Aconcagua for 5 days. That worked great. While up there I only wished I'd brought even less.

  3. After my big trip in 1991, I learned that modularity for extended trips to be really handy. Also, I am also willing to Fedex things home (ground shipment). BTW, it is just me commenting! Brian