Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Backpack Dilemma
Display Avatars Sort By:
Yes 1000
Backpack Dilemma on 12/31/2012 13:39:21 MST Print View

So here my problem. When I started I purchased a Gregory 75 and I love the pack, great support and comfortable. But it weighs 6.5Lbs and now I am realizing its an overkill for my needs.

I also have a REI lookout 40L, its nifty little back and can hold significant amount of gear for 2-3 night summer trips, but once I throw my winter stuff it becomes too uncomfortable to pack (zippers tighten up) and carrying it becomes a pain. Now I need something in between and planning to go lightweight. Some questions I have on lightweight choices and how people use them.

1. How do you guys put your Ridgerest Sol full length pad in the UL packs. (I normally strap them outside the pack)

2. I have a BG UL2 tent and I strap it using some webbings to my REI pack. How do I do that with UL pack.

3. My Sleeping bag is MB UL 15F so it occupies significant volume inside the pack.

Jason McSpadden
(JBMcSr1) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Backpack Dilemma on 12/31/2012 13:57:12 MST Print View

I can only share what I do. But I would encourage you to read Mike Clelland's book on ultralight backpacking or Andrew Skurka's new book. I don't use a full length pad--mine just goes to below my butt. I would use my empty pack as the pad for under my feet. Usually I roll up my pad put it lengthwise into my pack and then let it unroll as much as it can. I put in a trash compactor bag as a waterproof liner and then stuff the bottom with my sleeping bag. I don't use a stuff sack for my bag--I stuff my pack with it. My clothes that I want to keep dry then go ontop of my bag. I will then twist the top of the liner to close the top and tuck it down between the pad and liner. The tent I would just stuff into the pack. Tent pegs and whatnot in a ditty bag in one of the pockets. Tent poles I would secure lengthwise to the side of the pack.

I hope that makes some sense.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Ah, the backpack dilemma on 01/01/2013 09:31:27 MST Print View

Before I switched to a cuben tarp (which seems to pack better in its stuff sack...after numerous trials and errors) I would put my down bag in a dry bag, roll closed smashing as much as possible. This goes in the bottom. Stuff the loose tent in the spaces at the bottom of the pack made by the round rock of a stuffed sleeping bag. Put my clothes bag (also loosely in a dry bag) on top, then smoosh the rest of my gear on top of that.

Tent poles go in a side pocket.

I do it a bit differently now, but when I had an actual tent this seemed to work the best.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Ah, the Packing dilemma on 01/01/2013 09:59:08 MST Print View

"I would put my down bag in a dry bag, roll closed smashing as much as possible."

The trash compactor liner bag approach IS the most bombproof in terms of water protection.

But I don't use it. (Go figure.) But I do want my 15┬░sleep bag and camp gear dry no matter what. So like Jennifer (did), I stuff my bag etc into a Large stuff sack, but one with and eVent bottom, which then goes into my pack. In fact, it completely fills my pack. Until I lean on it. Then the air squishes out through the eVent, and then I turn it sideways. Then I layer in the rest of my stuff. The eventual volume of the sleep gear dry bag becomes Very small, and more importantly, is amorphic, filling every possible space in the bottom and accepting the intrusion of everything on top. (There is no "beach ball effect".) It virtually flows (under pressure) into and around everything. A Large bag permits a Lot of flow and go, a Small would be self-defeating.

This "fluffy stuff" management is what I like and why I don't go with the trash compactor bag
stuff-it-all-in approach. FYI, I use a ULA Ohm (40 L) for no-canister 12-day hikes.

You can find the stuff sack here: eVent Drysack

Edited by greg23 on 01/01/2013 10:22:26 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Backpack Dilemma on 01/01/2013 12:21:30 MST Print View

I use a bigger pack for much of the year than many UL hikers because I use a full leagth Ridgrest for spring/fall and most of winter. I use a 2010 Six Moon Designs Swift (frameless) start with a packliner then roll my riderest up and put inside and let it spread out and then pack inside the cylinder of the pad (this is called burrito style) and pack everything inside that. I have probably 1200 miles packing like that and it works great. A MLD Ark or Golite Pinnicle would also work well packed like that.

In the summer I use a ULA Conduit and a 3/4 z lite.

Rob Daly
(rdaly) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Re: Backpack Dilemma on 01/02/2013 11:28:10 MST Print View

Roll the pad inside the pack so that it acts as a liner. Then I'd stuff the sleeping bag in a tall kitchen garbage bag and put that in the bottom of the pack. Then I'd stuff the tent, w/o a stuff sack, on top of the sleeping bag and compress. Then I'd load everything else on top of that.

You could also replace your pad with a Z-rest which would fold up and store easier and sometimes be used in a frame sheet sleeve on many UL packs.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Backpack Dilemma on 01/02/2013 11:44:20 MST Print View

So use your Gregory in winter with your bigger volumes, and your REI for summer. Done! Free!

Your questions:
1- full legnth pad prob wont fit in "true UL" pack. Ridgerests are huge. Hoe to strap it depends on your pack. Really its so light it shouldn't matter where you put it so much. I'd reccommend vertically carrying it to minimize your width. Other than that just srtap that bad boy down.

2- Depends on the pack. Do you have a daisy chain or something? Many UL packs dont have much in the way of tiedowns. Get one that does have em if you think you may wanna strap stuff down.

3- Carrying a 15* bag in summer? its big, no? Maybe get a smaller SB and you can have room in your pack for that tent in #2.

If you want to use that SB for some reason (not patronizing, but if you really do want to use it) sounds like a bigger pack may be in order...

Personally I would get a Neo air and a smaller, summer weight bag (30* or higher)(in the PNW for me, I like a 30* cause I can get 9months out of it and its pretty small- but I am cold blooded- see previous posts, and ask wife/ friends)
With a smaller pad and bag you should be able to make it work with the smaller pack, while being more comfortable on a thicker pad and SB closer to the actual temps.