What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

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corlukan
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City, State: Yuma

What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by corlukan » Jun 19 2007 8:28 pm

I am new to backpacking and am most likely going to be doing 1 to 2 night trips, with an occasional 3-nighter. Will probably be doing 5 to 8 miles per day at most. The majority of my trips will be near home (Yuma) in the Kofa Mountains--wInter of course, it is too hot to even go take the trash out here in Yuma this time of year. I will most likely be packing in all my own water. There are water tanks scattered throughout the Kofas, but I always assumed those were for the animals, not the hikers. The winter temps. in the Kofas are real pleasant, with highs in the 60s and 70s so I shouldn't have to bring in a truckload of water. I am going to take my 8 year old boy with me on some of the hikes, so will surely be carrying some of his gear on my back.

What that scenario in mind, what size pack would you guys recommend for me? I have tried a few packs on at REI and really favor the Gregorys for fit and comfort. The guys at the store in Tempe recommended I go something around 4000 c.i., like the Gregory Baltoro or maybe the Kelty Coyote. I liked the staff there and don't doubt them, I just like to have second and third opinions from knowledgeable people.

Thanks,

Cory

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big_load
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Re: What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by big_load » Jun 19 2007 8:53 pm

4000 cu is fine, you could even stretch out to a week with the right gear. You could also probably squeeze into around 3000 with the right gear and save some weight. The standard advice (which I support) is to get the rest of your gear first, then get your pack to fit it. Also, if you can make yourself do it, get a lighter pack. Most people starting out can't avoid buying something that seems more bulletproof, but if they stick with it always end up buying something lighter. Among Gregory packs for example, check out the Z55 or even the G-Pack. There are many other options in this range.

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mttgilbert
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Re: What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by mttgilbert » Jun 19 2007 9:06 pm

65 liters (4000ci) is a pretty good size for a multi day backpack with extra room for your kids gear. Although as a beginner you might look at even larger packs. Generally entry level packs should be bigger than you'd expect to need. The more experience you have the more gear you will pear down, the less space you will need. Beginners tend to pack way too much (which isn't a bad thing, pack what you need to be comfortable). I wouldn't suggest starting with a Gregory as your first pack. You should check out the Kelty coyote or something in that price range. There's no reason to jump into an expensive pack from the get-go. Find a nice, cheap entry level pack that suits your size needs. After carrying that for a season or two you'll know enough about what you need to make the leap to a more advanced pack. Most everyone decides to replace their first pack (no matter what it is or how much they spent on it) after a year of use; mostly because they start to figure out what kind of pack they should have got in the first place. Unfortunately nothing but experience will teach you what you need take, so there's no sense in dropping a lot of cash on something you will likely replace after not too long.

I do support getting the rest of your equipment first, but I'm not a fan of going with a lighter weight pack. When you start to lighten up your load the last thing you should do is get a lighter backpack. Save weight with sleeping bags and tents first. Light (and especially ultralight) require additional care in packing and in maintenance. It's best to stick with a really durable pack at first.

Good luck and happy hiking!
Cogito ergo ambulo cum sacculo
-Matt Gilbert

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te_wa
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Re: What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by te_wa » Jun 19 2007 9:36 pm

there is no way to determine what pack to recommend for you without first knowing what you intend to carry. Dont run out and buy dog food if youre shopping for a cat.
make a gear list and we'll go from there :D
:D

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corlukan
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Re: What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by corlukan » Jun 19 2007 10:52 pm

So far....3 lb. Cabelas' Eureka sleeping bag, 2 lb Prolite 4 pad, Walmart Coleman Peak 1 stove and fuel cannister, and a few walmart stuff sacks. Looking at getting a 5lb. or less tent. Won't go without my Ruger 9mm either, not sure of exact weight on that. I would like to keep things as light as possible since I don't want to reaggravate an old back injury. Don't really want to spend a ton of money on ultra-lightweight gear either. I just want to go as lightweight as I can afford and without sacrificing too many comforts.

Cory

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braknstuf
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Re: What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by braknstuf » Jun 20 2007 9:20 am

one thing you can do is try to find a cardboard box that will hold all of your gear and then figure out the CI on the box to give you a rough idea of how much space you will need in a pack. I would shoot for a pack slightly larger than what you can pack in at home because its often harder to squeeze the sleeping bag as small as you can in your livingroom while out on the trail, the same follows for the tent, and other things - though with pracitce you can get good at it. Additional space can always be used up by compression management or even by not compressing you sleeping bag. Before you buy take your box of goodies, minus the 9mm, and go to REI and pack a couple canidates with your gear, try them on and see how they feel. You should be able to narrow the selections down a bit with the box but final fit and how things feel wont be possible till you load your gear and try it out. Also dont be afraid to load a pack in the store with gear they have on display, Tents and sleeping bags are readily available there - so if you havent found that piece of gear yet go ahead and borrow one (I dont think they let you repack it but its close). I think they are used to it at this point :)
Eric

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mttgilbert
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Re: What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by mttgilbert » Jun 20 2007 8:32 pm

braknstuf wrote: (I dont think they let you repack it but its close). I think they are used to it at this point :)
Eric

If they won't let you repack it, tell them I said it was OK.

REI is an outfitter, not just a retailer. It's all about the total experience, do what you need to do to convince yourself that you have what you need and want.
Cogito ergo ambulo cum sacculo
-Matt Gilbert

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Ace4
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Re: What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by Ace4 » Jun 21 2007 9:24 am

I started out with a Gregory Palisade pack, and have been using it for 4 years now. They're very comfortable, but on the somewhat heavy side. The only thing I could see myself replacing it with is a lightweight pack, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I'm a big fan of the divider for the sleeping bag compartment, and their strap system.

A good idea is to borrow your friends' packs for an overnight trip, it will give you a good idea about how they pack and feel. I spent awhile looking at packs, and didn't decide on the Gregory until I borrowed a friend's pack to check it out. Since you'll be doing a lot of desert hiking, try to find a pack that is set up for using a water bladder/straw system.

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Desertroux
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Re: What size pack would you recommend for 1-2 nighters?

Post by Desertroux » Jun 22 2007 8:52 am

I would take a look at a Gregory Z pack. I think it is called the Z55 now. Plenty of room for a multi-day trip and it has a great compromise between weight and function. I have had one for a couple of years and loved carrying it. The Z pack is a little pricey but it is worth it for comfort. Looking at your gear list everything should fit nicely.

When starting out backpacking you tend to buy things with a lot of "features". Compartments, zippers, stuff sacks and other miscellaneous debris that really only add weight and give you a slight piece of mind for organization. I never put my sleeping bag or tent in a stuff sack anymore. Now with my new generation of gear I go ultralight and use a GoLite Jampack. With the more time I have been in the backcountry the less I need or want. Weird but true. Simplicity is elegance.

Good luck with your first round of gear and have fun! See you on the trails soon.
The Dude Abides.....

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