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WTB Dana Design Exterior Frame Pack
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Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
helpful on 10/18/2011 17:32:28 MDT Print View

I'm glad we have stephen billings around to keep you lightweight yahoos straight. See what avoiding moose hunting does? Makes ya soft. Next thing you know, you'll set up your own website dedicated to lightweight backpacking and start thinking that less is more, and... wait a minute... OMG I can't believe it...

Dang, I thought I was posting on :)

Dan, enjoy Philmont.

Edited by El_Canyon on 10/18/2011 17:33:47 MDT.

stephen billings
(stephenb) - MLife

Locale: oregon
DD ext pack frame on 10/18/2011 18:47:36 MDT Print View


Boy, I bet you are glad that you posted this thread here ;^) - hopefully you are- at least there is some entertainment value.

How dare you to post a request for a external frame pack on a lightweight backpacking forum. What did you think you wanted with that? Was it to possibly carry:

* a pack that is cooler in hot weather?
* a pack that can hold and carry the proverbial "kitchen sink"
* a pack that is capable of carrying extra gear for kids

And just where did you get off thinking that a external pack frame would be good for that. And why do you want to "carry heavy crap" like that anyways?

And why in the world would you think that it would be OK to post that sort of a request on a ultra light forum?

Well it is not, because you will be schooled ;^)

stephen billings
(stephenb) - MLife

Locale: oregon
Side note on 10/18/2011 19:04:17 MDT Print View

I guess some of the responses above would be analogous to asking for a Gossamer Gear 2 pound sil-nylon pack for a pack back hunt in the wilderness with the possibility of carrying out 100 pound loads on a backpack hunting forum. They would tell you -your not going to do it very well. And they would be right- it would not work well.

But the thing is here with this WTB thread topic- the OP was asking for the right type of tool for his particular purpose and he not only knew that it was the right one ahead of posting; it was what he wanted.

There is a difference.

He apparently just asked it in the wrong place, and apparently he did not know that ahead of time- guess he did not know the proper etiquette rules.

Edited by stephenb on 10/18/2011 19:11:42 MDT.

Laurens Wit
(LaurensWit) - MLife
to much entertainment on 10/18/2011 19:12:31 MDT Print View

I can't believe I could read all this without being a member, this makes me want to join.
I would give my right arm (and loose some unnecessary weight) to spend time around a camp fire with ya'll.
Congrats Dan for taking your son's out backpacking they are lucky to have you.
I'll bet this forum has a whack of camping stuff that isn't doing a whole lot at home. Would someone send this man the pack, I'll Pay shipping.
PM me Laurens

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Side note on 10/18/2011 20:05:38 MDT Print View

Stephen - Relax. The OP doesn't have a chip on his shoulder and there is no reason why you should. This is a light weight backpacking site where many members have a strong involvement in scouting and know Philmont. There is nothing wrong with people discussing packs being used at the camp. This is an internet forum, it's relatively friendly and well informed, but it isn't Ebay.
Dan - If you haven't already looked there are a couple of scouting forums here, including one specifically on Philmont. It has discussions on packs at Philmont with input from people with extensive experience there and rangers at the camp. I don't know your background. but I certainly learned things from the scouting forums and you may find some some good insights.

Dan Stelluto
(dstelluto) - F

Locale: NE Ohio
Re: Re: Side note on 10/18/2011 20:22:30 MDT Print View

I appreciate it Ronald - and I've been to many many other forums to research gear and technique over the past 8 months (you should see some of the emails I've sent to our scout groups with the several hyperlinks). And you know what? I think that posting this WTB here is quite appropriate and I'll tell you why. This site is for serious backpackers. Serious lightweight backpackers. Having said that, IMHO I'd imagine that there are a few fellas here who are not new to backpacking, but who are converting ---albeit, going lightweight as it were, and would like to sell their heavyweight gear. Wouldn't you? And people here aren't the type to have run of the mill kmart packs to unload either. Like I said. Serious backpackers. The ones that use (or used to use) DD's. I've searched craigslist, nationwide, several times. I have numerous saved searches for DD's on ebay. I'm doing my homework. There are ppl here that have gone lightweight and are looking to sell their heavy packs. I'm here to oblige them ;-)

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
kelty cashe hauler on 10/18/2011 21:07:46 MDT Print View

This may be a good second if you can't find the DD. I have been using a modified one for the past year and really enjoy it's versatlilty. You can order the packbag also. I have used it in 95 deg heat and loved the ventilation.

Good luck in your search.


Interesting discussion - thought I was in chaff for a moment

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Side note on 10/18/2011 22:58:13 MDT Print View

Hi Dan - It sounds like you do your research. DD and other relatively heavy gear does sell on the BPL site. I have no personal experience but you may also want to look at the new Kifaru packs, they appear to be fairly light, large and are designed for hunters carrying large loads. McHale packs are also load carriers (I have one and it's great)and they regularly come up on BPL(I believe one is currently up for sale). You may also want to consider posting on and similar sites, they aren't lightweight but there is a lot of traffic. For example I just checked and they have had almost 10K visitors just today. The forums turn over very quickly here on BPL, so you have to bump periodically if you don't want your request to be lost in the volume. Good luck with the pack hunt and especially with the trip.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F

WTB Dana Design Exterior Frame Pack on 10/19/2011 00:11:26 MDT Print View

OK, so I may be out of line here, but the gentleman was looking for a backpack to carry heavy loads. Let me add some insight into this. I use to carry a Dana Design Loadmaster while backpacking. Why? Because, I started backpacking with my three girls when they were 5, 5 and 7 (yep, twin girls). We did the Grand Canyon, Half Dome and many other hikes. Yeah, I carried 50 to 60 pounds, however; I would consider this ultra-light for an adult and three kids. I would rather carry the weight than NOT go on the trips. They enjoyed it then and we still go on trip now 15 years later.
Now, as they got older, I sold the pack. I picked it up for $99 and sold it 15 years later on eBay for $175. I have seen them go for as high as $275. So that being said, DD packs are great, but not cheap. If you buy one used, you need to make sure that it is beat.
I tend to agree with the others that a lighter weight backpack would be better. That being said, you do what you do to get your family to enjoy backpacking. This is far more important than the weight (or cost).

stephen billings
(stephenb) - MLife

Locale: oregon
DD ext pack frame on 10/19/2011 09:05:48 MDT Print View

I am all relaxed now.

I obviously ruffled more than a few feathers here by my comments and I apologize if my comments offended anyone.

I also by my comments hijacked the OP's thread and got things off topic and for that Dan I apologize to you.

I obviously (as you could tell) was a bit miffed by people telling a fella that what he wanted was not really what he should get, or maybe he was not aware that there were other options out there and he should make a better choice. And, I guess when I heard the comments such as "outdated", "mystique", or told to find something else- that were basically putting down the fellas choice- it struck a nerve and I reacted. I should have kept my feelings to myself- or just to the OP. Again I am sorry.

And not to make an excuse here, but I guess I am just a guy that does not like it when people give other people advice, or they put down someone elses choice when they do not ask for it. Same thing as if if someone posted a specific post asking for a particular tent and posted a WTB a old "Moss" tent, "MSR", or "BA" Or a "Hilleberg Akto", or fill in the blank with any other floored double or singe wall tent;- and then, instead of help of having one or finding one for them, if they got comments back along the lines of: "Those tents are too heavy, you don't want one of those outdated things, you should use a tarp- that is the way to go- lighter and will work fine". Well, I would feel the same way. I would feel like the fella is not asking you what your opinion is of his choice or what he should do- he just wants to buy a particular tent, and is asking if anyone has one. That is just a peeve that I have when people put in there opinion when it is not asked for. And I guess that is what I did here.

But what I should do, and should have done in the above example and should have done here- is to keep my mouth and key board shut.

And from now on I will be sure to do that.

Happy Trails,

And Dan enjoy Philmont and your adventure with your Sons!

Edited by stephenb on 10/19/2011 09:10:57 MDT.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: WTB Dana Design Exterior Frame Pack on 10/19/2011 10:14:46 MDT Print View

Ebay has one up for sale right now and I think recently sold one to somebody asking for a DD.
You may want to try some of the hunter forums ( they sometimes use externals. Worth a shot.

Here's one just recently...

Good Luck!

Edited by leadfoot on 10/19/2011 10:24:53 MDT.

Mark Hespenheide

Locale: Wasatch and Redrock
Dana externals, etc. on 10/19/2011 20:25:57 MDT Print View


You're right to be looking for one. While I try to go lighter on my personal trips, I have a Dana external that doesn't see much use tucked in the back of my closet. But! I'm not interested in selling it. I'm a high school teacher and every year or two I do a big trip with a bunch of novice teenaged backpackers. Five to ten days, lots of food, full first aid pack (3-4# on its own!), plenty of "luxury" items, DSLR camera, two good lenses, tripod, etc. The pack weight for those trips easily pushes seventy or seventy-five pounds.

I'd never want to carry that much if I didn't "have" to. I don't carry that much when I'm on my own, even for a two-week solo trip where I'm not sharing any gear. But it's an entirely different dynamic when you're leading students or scouts who are new to backpacking and aren't even sure that they like the outdoors in the first place. On those trips, the weight and the monetary cost of the Dana are priceless. With those amazing suspensions, the weight isn't even that bad. (At least, not when combined with the relatively short mileage your group is doing anyway).

If you *are* willing to use some heavy/supportive internals, I've got a couple of tall/long ones: one from Dana, and one from North Face back when they made serious packs. PM me if you're interested.

If you want to stick with externals (and that's your call to make), keep an eye out for the ones branded with "K2" as well. They're the company that bought out Dana Designs. They sold internals under the Dana name, and externals under the K2 name for a few years.

Marc Dworkin
(Scoutmaster_Marc) - F
Re: Re: Re: Very strong convictions on 10/21/2011 15:04:42 MDT Print View

Dan....I have a DD T1 which I would be willing to sell at a reasonable price. Used it at Philmont 4 years ago...needs new padding in one of the shoulder straps (I gave-up trying to find a replacement or get it fixed) and purchased a new Osprey for my upcoming 2012 trip to Philmont. Contact me at if interested.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: DD design packs on 10/21/2011 15:41:09 MDT Print View

Stephen Billings wrote, ..."Now the Dana Design externals are considered one of the best external frames ever made- meant to carry very heavy loads. Still carried by guides in Alaska who carry moose out on them with truly heavy 3 figure loads. Now try doing that with a Osprey Exos (which BTW is NOT a true external) and then tell me after 3 miles with 85-100 pounds on your back with one of those Exos packs (or fill in the blank with any other internal today) with the "updated" frame how you are doing. Carry a load like that, if you can, with the DD external and then tell me which one you want to continue the pack out with- the DD or the Exos. Tell me after that which one is the "mystique"."...

No doubt about it, Dana made good packs. No way I'm hauling 85 pounds, let alone 100, so that isn't even in my reality. This is BPL, so big loads like that are more of an interesting (if not nightmarish) tangent. IF I had to haul heavy loads a conventional external frame makes a lot of sense and I wouldn't be unhappy to use a Dana.

Is an Exos a "true" external frame pack? It has a continuous metal frame that is outside the pack body and transfers weight to the hip belt. My old Trapper Nelson had an "external" frame and didn't accomplish the weight transfer, other than trying to end my life, slowly, with intense pain :) My Jansport "D" transfered weight just like the Exos with a metal frame and the pack body wrapped around it. It was also huge and top heavy. You wouldn't get 85 pounds of gear in an Exos, unless it is brick-like!

My "fear" was that the OP would spend a lot of money for older heavier packs with a questionable service life and that finding three of them would be somewhat miraculous. There are modern alternatives that are readily available. Don't kid me that you don't pay a premium for the Dana name and a used pack, aka "mystique." In other words, I didn't think it was worth the trouble and expense for a father with a couple growin' boys. Just my $0.02.

I often see Jansport D and other models at garage sales and thrift stores for under $20. I've been looking for just the right one for a little project using a minimalized frame and silnylon stuff sacks.

Never understood it with moose and elk hunters-- why not get the game to walk down to the truck and then shoot them? Those are BIG animals :)

Dan Stelluto
(dstelluto) - F

Locale: NE Ohio
Ever Grateful... on 10/21/2011 15:55:53 MDT Print View

I'm on my third pack since 1977
1. Himalayan external
2. Jansport external(huge, yellow, w/ wings)
3. Cabela's XPG 4000 internal
(4.) my sons use the Jansport Scout

We're all ready to take our external packs to the next level. I believe the DD is something to use for many, many years, and hand down to grandchildren perhaps. And with posting WTB's on other forums, as suggested earlier, I have been able to locate more than three (I just don't have enough $$ for three all at once---not to mention that finding three to fit our dimensions is a longshot...Also, keeping tabs on all the different forums is becoming an orgaizational nightmare :-/.

My main goal is to equip my boys first. I can use my XPG 4000 at Philmont if need be.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Ever Grateful... on 10/21/2011 16:10:16 MDT Print View

There are some K2/Dana variants on eBay right now at $160-$245 plus shipping:

Erik Bresnahan
(ErikinDuluth) - F

Locale: the shores of lake gitchigumi
WTB Dana External on 10/27/2011 21:32:10 MDT Print View

PM Sent

Dan Stelluto
(dstelluto) - F

Locale: NE Ohio
2 out of 3 ain't bad on 10/28/2011 13:49:03 MDT Print View

Hey what an overwhelming response! I only need one more pack. It has to be a regular frame size. The large frame will no longer be needed.

And thanks everyone for your well wishes for Philmont! This is a nice community.

Edited by dstelluto on 10/28/2011 13:50:14 MDT.

Dan Stelluto
(dstelluto) - F

Locale: NE Ohio
MEDIUM / REGULAR BELT / HARNESS NEEDED (dana design, of course) on 11/06/2011 05:55:37 MST Print View

Oh boy, I have four DD exterior frame packs in the house now - all large frames with large belts and yolks. I'm the only one that can use them. My one son can use a large frame but needs a medium/regular belt and yolk. My other son needs a regular/medium frame, belt and yolk. I am willing to buy or trade packs and/or suspension.
Do you guys think I should start a new thread?