November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Pack Ideas
Display Avatars Sort By:
Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Pack Ideas on 10/13/2010 23:00:37 MDT Print View

I Am(funding permitting this year)Attempting the Canol Trail in Northern Canada. As we all know guidelines for times to complete mean nothing to UL hikers, But they say it takes about 22 days to do the approx. 380Km. I want to do it in 14 days or less, More likely 12 because of the relative low elevation gain. There are 3 rivers that can require swimming, and Because its up north BUGS, BUGS, BUGS. It has the ranking as "Canada's Hardest Hiking trail" but anything is harder with 90lbs of useless gear. My gear and knowledge is Dialed but I'm looking for peoples experiences with packs, as I don't think my Jam2 will cut it with the weight. Please understand it is a Remote Fly in hike through abandoned WWII camps, river crossing, synthetic gear and 2 straight weeks with no resupply is something completely different from weekend hikes and hikes on established trails where you can and will see someone. Frameless, cuben and sil-nylon packs are out(I have carried 33lbs in my Jam2 and it didn't hurt for 5 days, so I might try the new one over the winter). Out there it is Very unlikely we will see anyone but the bush pilots.

So Far the packs I'm looking at are

Golite Pursuit/Quest (med)
Golite Jam(2010 version)
ULA Epic
Potentially a Stripped McHale

Here's some of the things I'm looking for.
-3lbs or less
-Not overly "pocketed"
-Hip belt pockets
-No bottom access(The quest has it I know)
-simpler the better
-50ish to 70L

I've got to be missing some packs out there that you guys know of.

If anyone has done the trail Please do Chime in. Any Alaskans or Backpackers from Up north Please comment on what the conditions are like. I do live In central Alberta and have been in northern Alberta a lot so I know about those conditions(colder, swampy, buggy, lots of light and no people)

Edited by rcowman on 10/14/2010 01:35:04 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: Pack Ideas on 10/14/2010 00:02:04 MDT Print View

A few years ago Ryan Jordan and friends took off for a 1000 mile unsupported trek through the Arctic. Their experiences and gear should be a good read for you:

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Packs on 10/14/2010 00:39:42 MDT Print View

Very cool trail. I'd love to do it someday....I've bookmarked a website about it, to add to my 'dream hike' list. Are you guys driving or flying in?

So I imagine you're looking at a baseweight of 10-12 lbs and food weight of ~1.5lbs/day x 14. That's 31-33 lbs and then you've got water and fuel on top of that.

At those weights, I would say the ULA Ohm is out. I've used it at 40 lbs but that's past it's limit although tolerable for a day or two. The Ohm is great sub 30 lbs and okay to 35 lbs, so if you are looking to go as light as you can then it might be an option.

The ULA Circuit looks to meet all of your criteria, although it's not much lighter than the ULA Epic.

Edited by dandydan on 10/14/2010 00:50:24 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
weights on 10/14/2010 00:41:41 MDT Print View

my base is going to be about 7-8lbs without the pack and about 1.2lbs of food per day for the first half and 1.5lbs for the second(I don't eat a lot).

Driving to Whitehorse. then we're flying to Norman wells, and then flying back out

Edited by rcowman on 10/14/2010 00:44:22 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Gear on 10/14/2010 00:45:33 MDT Print View

I'm hoping to find an old BPL 180 quilt(pretty small) and no tent, Cuben mid and headnets/or Bug bivies

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: weights on 10/14/2010 00:48:36 MDT Print View

Reading about the route, it looks totally do-able in 12 days but I don't know enough details to really be sure. You'd know better.

If you set out with 12 days of food at 1.2 to 1.5 lbs (16 lbs) and an 8 lbs baseweight, I think you'd be good with an Ohm even with water and fuel. You'd be near the upper limit at the start with water weight but overall I think it would work well.

Last month I did 8 days with a ULA Ohm and I was carrying most of the food for two people, so I effectively 12-14 days worth of food.

Edited by dandydan on 10/14/2010 00:55:37 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Avatars on 10/14/2010 00:49:13 MDT Print View

OT: Funny how similar our avatars are :)

Edited by dandydan on 10/14/2010 00:52:25 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Details on 10/14/2010 00:53:01 MDT Print View

there hard to find. I've not found a lot of accurate route data. Were going to be using gear kinda similar to the Arctic 1000(minus double quilts, and the packs we don't know yet.) We're not lugging a huge camera either.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Avatars on 10/14/2010 00:53:58 MDT Print View

mine was when it was colder. you should have seen the trail in 20 min from there....

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Book on 10/14/2010 00:58:41 MDT Print View

Do you have Tim Hawkings guide book? It sounds like a good resource. Obviously I haven't read it since I just heard about this trail 5 min ago.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
book on 10/14/2010 01:01:37 MDT Print View

can you post a link Google doesn't like the spelling of his name

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Guide Book on 10/14/2010 01:12:27 MDT Print View

I just saw this reference on the wikipedia article on the Canol Trail:

"Hawkings, Tim: “Hiker’s Guide to the Canol Heritage Trail”, Government of the North West Territories, 1996."

I also came across this which appears to be a reference to the same guidebook:

"Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
Government of the NWT
Box 130
Norman Wells, NT X0E 0V0
tel: (867) 587-3500
fax: (867) 587-2204
Publishes the Hiker's Guide to the Canol Heritage Trail."

I imagine you could give them a call to order the book.


Other pertinent links:

Edited by dandydan on 10/14/2010 01:13:18 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
This trail on 10/14/2010 01:16:59 MDT Print View

Thanks Dan

I found this as well

Believe it or Not i remember Reading about this trail in Explore Magazine(amazing I thought they only ran stories on the WCT and Skyline) like 3 years ago. Since I've been planning a 1200km trip for next year, reading all these long distance articles, has rekindled my desire to do it.

Edited by rcowman on 10/14/2010 01:32:05 MDT.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Pack... on 10/14/2010 02:17:48 MDT Print View

Not sure what your budget is, but I know a McHale LBP is a pretty sweet pack, weighing in about 2 1/2 pounds? But the comfort level (from what I hear) is insane. Also, carries 40lbs easy...

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Aarn on 10/14/2010 06:52:47 MDT Print View

You should do some research on Aarn packs. I have a small 33L Aarn pack that is extremely comfortalbe at 20lbs, you would require something larger. I have tried many other packs framed and frameless.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
aarns on 10/14/2010 07:22:14 MDT Print View

second the aarns, check out the youtube video: aarn part 2 or something like that. IT shows how the pack is not actually attached to the hippbelt except at one small point. Allowing the hipbelt to move up/down/left/right as your hips move. Also the shoulder straps are connected in a loop at the bottom of the pack. This allows you to raise one shoulder and the whole strap moves up and down, same for the other shoulder. The strap that you normally pull to tighten down your shoulder straps slides up and down when the shoulders are moved-really comfortable stuff. This way, there is no weight on the shoulders. No weight on the shoulders, all on the hips, balanced between front and back. The width of the shoulder straps can be adjusted about 8 different ways for wide or thin shoulders. The hip belt is 2 pieces that are velcro'd to another piece and sit inside a matrix mesh piece that is connected to the back of the pack. Each "Wing" of the hip belt can be adjusted up or down, left or right in milimeters-independently of each other. So if you had one hip bone a tad higher and a tad left of the other, you could adjust the velcro hip belt wings until you had it exactly in line. A vertical stay runs down the center length of the pack and flushs it with your back. A vertical stay runs down each front pocket, lifting the front pocket off your body(its not touching your chest/abs making you sweat, it also doesn't block you from seeing your feet) and putting ALL the weight in the front pockets on your front hip bones. I have the featherlite freedom. Im about your height i have a large torso version. But i think i would opt for a small torso if i had it to do over.

The way to determine your perfect hip belt position is to load the pack up really heavy. Put say 15lbs in each front pocket, 30lbs in the pack. Hike a few hours with it. Where ever you feel pressure on the hip bone, stop, make an adjustment for that hip bone, continue, and adjust again as necessary. After you feel no uncomfortable pressure and =even distribution of weight, leave it alone. Then you can dump your heavy gear, fill in with your lightweight stuff and be good to go.

Edited by isaac.mouser on 10/14/2010 08:05:12 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Pack Ideas on 10/14/2010 08:58:14 MDT Print View

Re: ULA Circuit. I love this pack but it will be too small to hold all of your food requirements. No question. The main bag is smaller than the VT that I have.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Pack Ideas on 10/14/2010 09:08:03 MDT Print View

On GoLite: the Pursuit is the smallest 50L I've ever seen, with a remarkably narrow packbag. I'd count it out. The Quest does not have bottom opening; the Odyssey does.

You should be able to pull off a pack that is a legitimate 50 to 60L, I'd think. I've carried 13 days of food w/a 9-10# base in a pack the size of the Jam, but frankly I wouldn't want to carry that kind of weight (~32# starting) in a frameless pack. Do-able, ok, but not as comfortable... especially considering that I could get a framed pack in the same weight range.

Granite Gear has a newer pack for spring, based on the AC 60 frame... see:

Edited by 4quietwoods on 10/14/2010 09:30:44 MDT.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
McHale on 10/14/2010 10:30:50 MDT Print View

Don't play around, and get a McHale Chasm. Its worth the couple of extra Lbs.
Stripped and minus a Kangaroo pocket it may go 4lbs or slightly under.
But, if used for a 12 day trip, you would probably want the Bay-o-nets(frame extensions)and Bypass straps(Load lifters) installed, which would add at least 8oz to the packs weight, but worth it, for loads of 40lbs or greater.
Crest hip-belt pockets are huge. I ordered a Hip-pack lid, after the fact, and really like this lid as well. Water bladder sleeve(optional)attaches to the Fanny Pack Lid, which is great to use for Summit bids or away from camp day-hikes. Fanny pack Lid comes with built-in waist-belt with buckle, summit lid does not and is the lighter weight of the two.

Edited by mfog1 on 10/14/2010 15:52:39 MDT.