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Pack size, I am light / My wife is not.
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Jeff Lewis
(jhlewis10) - F
Pack size, I am light / My wife is not. on 08/14/2006 09:28:39 MDT Print View

My first post here,

I want to really lighten up my load and need a new pack. I usually hike with my wife who is a cronic overpacker. I accept this and dont try to change her anymore.

I have a huge Jansport external frame pack, so I have no point of reference of what size of internal lightweight pack I will need.

Most hikes are 3-5 days. I will need a little extra room for some overflow from her pack.

I can research and try packs out but how many cubic inches should I be looking at?

Any tips?

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Pack size, I am light / My wife is not. on 08/14/2006 12:23:49 MDT Print View

You've asked one of the classic questions on this forum. There are two schools of thought on this. Get a small pack and only take what will fit, or determine what you need to carry and get a pack that will carry it. I did the latter, and ended up with a GoLite Jam at about 2,900 cubic inches. That works for me, but you should determine what works for you.

Jeff Lewis
(jhlewis10) - F
pack size on 08/14/2006 13:48:39 MDT Print View

Thanks, I think I will assemble what I want, add a little overflow for my wife, and see what it will fit into.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: pack size on 08/14/2006 14:16:48 MDT Print View

When you have assembled your gear, break out the scale and take a real critical look at your gear. If you aren't sure rather you need some piece of gear, you probably don't. If you have an REI close by you can go there with your gear and see what packs it will fit in. You may or may not find a pack you like there but now you will have an idea of what size works for you. The advice you get from sales people can be very hit and miss, so do your own research. A pack is a very personal choice. Don't forget the "cottage" manufactures either. I hope this helps.

Dane Fliedner
(dfliedner) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Pack size, I am light / My wife is not on 08/14/2006 17:02:00 MDT Print View

I take my daughter backapacking with me and so of course become a pack-mule (relatively, anyway) on those outings. Acknowledging this reality, I opted to buy an ULA P-2 (now the Catalyst, I think?) which is not as light as some of the others I'd like to have (Gossamer gear stuff, for example) but it is a solid pack, allows me to carry alot when I need to (something like 4000+ cubic) but still only weighs 2 pounds. I would look into their stuff, before making a decision.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pack size, I am light / My wife is not. on 08/14/2006 20:14:00 MDT Print View

HA! I wouldn't be packing stuff for anyone over 12 unless they had a disability, were pregnant, etc. If you can present someone with a perfectly reasonable alternative and they don't want to participate, they should get all the opportunity possible to "enjoy" the results of their philosophy :)

My wife is an experienced hiker and interested in saving weight in things like cooking gear or a good tent, but she doesn't think much of tarps and clings to an ancient frame pack, no matter how much I have offered ultralight replacements. One thing about that old frame pack-- it is so old that it is a very Spartan design and the hip belt is just a web strap-- good for stabilization rather than weight transfer. To my complete shame, she wears jeans too :)

I guess "hike your own hike" holds at home as well as onthe trail :)

To answer your question, the smallest pack that will haul the weight and volume you need. The rest is what you want for bells and whistles at what weight penalty. I use a GoLite Speed with lots of pockets and padding, but a Gust model would haul the same amount at 12oz less. I recommend a GoLite Trek which will haul good volume-- lots of room for bulkier clothing, food and/or a bear can, but will still limit you to 30 pounds total.

On the marriage counseling side, try getting her to try *one* trip ultralight-- throw out the extras, Spartan clothing list etc. After going up a trail with a 20 pound load, I was sold!

Edited by dwambaugh on 08/14/2006 20:44:16 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Pack size, I am light / My wife is not. on 08/14/2006 22:26:51 MDT Print View

My theory has always been "you can carry whatever you want, but don't expect me to help you carry it" ;-) Works great. My son carries his own gear (I carry our communal gear such as our tent and stove). I pack with heavywieghts sometimes, and I don't usually miss not having stuff they might have. Most times they are just carrying much heavier versions of what I have anyways.
As a woman, I'd say this....if the wife wants it, she has to carry it! Same with kids ;-)

Jeff Lewis
(jhlewis10) - F
Pack size, I am light / My wife is not. on 08/15/2006 09:39:09 MDT Print View

Thanbks for all the info, I will look at the models mentioned. I did not think to take into account the space needed for a bear bag/can.

When accounting for food for 2 of us how many lbs/oz should add per day? We tend to eat well.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Food on 08/15/2006 10:08:30 MDT Print View

Depends on your menu and the length of the trip-- thinking of the trip duration and fresh foods. Start working menus and lay it all out and check it for weight and volume just like your other items.

IMHO, if you are just going for a few days and not going at a breakneck pace, it doesn't matter much what you eat. Thru-hiking and racing needs a lot more attention to nutrition. An overnighter doesn't even need cooking-- a sandwich, granola bars and snacks would get by. From there it's whether you want to play gormet or go Spartan.