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Marta Velasquez
Mar 9, 2013

Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...


Fallen Rib

I'm just starting getting into hiking this year. After years of trying to get someone to go with me, I finally got someone (my fiancée) to go with me, but something happened recently and she can't go for medical reasons.

I live near an LL Bean. I bought a White Mountain pack, intending to carry both of our gear. I know it's not the best arrangement, but it was the condition I had to agree to get anyone to hike with.

I walk for miles all around town and have done a day trip or two along a small segment of the Appalachian trail. I've decided that I'm just going to do day trips alone. I originally was going to hike alone, but my fiancée was worried. Now that she's seen a trail, she knows that they're not as scary as she thought they were. I don't know what she was imagining.

Now that I'm not intending on carrying someone else's gear and only going on day trips for a while (although I'd like to do multi-day trip some time in the future, but I don't know when), I'm thinking about exchanging my pack for something smaller. Is that a good idea, or should I keep the pack I have? I'm not looking to go ultralight, but I don't know if I need such a large pack if I'm not bringing a lot of food, cooking supplies, a sleeping bag, etc.

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Marta Velasquez
Mar 9, 2013

Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...


Fallen Rib

stealie72 posted:

68 litres isn't exactly getting into an extended expedition sized pack. Frankly, I'm not sure how you'd fit two people's gear in there. It will work just fine for your gear for a 1-3 night backpacking trip, though.

By two people's gear, I meant as a day pack for two people with maybe some room for an extra sheet to have a picnic or something.

stealie72 posted:

You shouldn't have issue finding a pack like that for $50 $50-75 or so. I've been using a Lafuma pack that I got for like $20 at Sierra Trading Post for a decade now, and I adore the thing. I think my $20 even got me a hydration bladder.

MMD3 posted:

I've been really happy with my Camelbak pack for daypacks, all of their cycling/mountain biking packs feel very well designed for day hikes. They have just enough room for a hydration bladder, a jacket, your sunglasses/camera, and enough food to get you through the day. The plus side is they come with a good quality 2-3L hydration pack, the down-side is they're on the spendy side.
If you don't mind this yellow one you can pick it up for $56 on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Camelbak-Hydr...s=camelbak+mule

I didn't know Camelbak was a brand of pack. I thought it was the name of the hydration system that went in to other packs. :downs:

The people at LL Bean took my bag back. I originally paid for part of the pack with a gift card, so I still have LL Bean credit after the return. It turns out that I also have an REI in the area near LL Bean, so I'm going to look there, too.

Because this is my first pack, I'd rather go to the store so I can try it on before I but it. Maybe it the future I'll buy one online. I don't mind spending $75 if I know it will last me. I'll check out what is available while keeping an eye out for what you've mentioned.

One more thing: I'd like to bring my DSLR with me on the trail. Are there any packs that are good for that? I've seen padded camera cases to put in any pack and I've seen packs that are made to only hold tons of camera equipment. I haven't seen anything in between the two extremes, so I don't think they exist.

Marta Velasquez
Mar 9, 2013

Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...


Fallen Rib

MMD3 posted:

I've been backpacking with my dslr for several years now and I think the best way to do it is just to buy a camera wrap like this http://www.amazon.com/camera-photo/dp/B00009R88F and maybe a few extra for lenses if you carry more than one lens. Then I just make sure I have my dslr at the top of the pack and I don't set my pack down hard when I'm stopping for a break. Lowe Pro makes some good packs that you could feasibly use for backpacking but I think you'll be better served just buying something more specific to hiking and then wrap your camera in something protective to keep it from banging around.

I noticed the Lowepro packs. They seem like they'd be great for a professional photographer. That is not me.

I figured that protecting the camera and putting it at the top of my pack was going to be the best method. All the padding camera cases I found were camera-specific, though, and only for the kit lens. That generic protectic wrap is exactly what I was looking for. I was searching for "camera case" and "camera bag." I didn't think to search for a more general term.


Thanks, everyone!

Marta Velasquez
Mar 9, 2013

Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...


Fallen Rib

Saint Fu posted:

It might work better for smaller Rebel sized cameras. A 5D and a 70-200 would certainly be awkward.

I have a Rebel XSi, but I tend to keep a telephoto lens on it for bird photography. I think I'd still prefer to stop and take it out of my pack than risk a banging my exposed camera into something.

The example scenarios on the site are great. They would be excellent for sports photography and times where you'd need to switch cameras quickly. Too many in addition to wearing a pack and you'd end up looking like you were drawn by Rob Liefeld, though.

Marta Velasquez
Mar 9, 2013

Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...


Fallen Rib

So, I'm torn between two packs at REI. Their current sale is much better than LL Bean with more variety. The sale is good enough that I'm going to risk buying it online before trying it on.

http://www.rei.com/product/849062/sierra-designs-herald-30-pack-2012-closeout

http://www.rei.com/product/852971/kelty-courser-40-pack-2012-closeout

The Herald looks like it shares the main compartment space with the hydration pack, so it will be smaller than 30L. The front access might be nice, but isn't a deal-breaker for me.

The Herald costs more than the Courser, but the Courser seems to be comparable to the Herald except larger. Does Kelty have a worse reputation that I don't know about?

I'm going to order one of them sometime today. I can use my LL Bean credit to buy the hydration system and the other odds and ends I still need to put together.

Marta Velasquez
Mar 9, 2013

Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...


Fallen Rib

MMD3 posted:

honestly I'd go even smaller... and you can grab a pack that has the hydration system already in it to ensure it's a secure fit and then just save the LL Bean credit for duckboots or whatever other hiking gear you may need down the road. Both of those packs look much larger than what you'd need for a day hike.

Check out these ones: http://www.rei.com/outlet/search?cat=22000016&cat=29354105&hist=cat%2C22000016%3ABackpacks%5Ecat%2C29354105%3AHydration+Packs

Any of the larger hydration packs should be able to hold a DSLR and all of the food you'd need for the day as well as a first aid kit or whatever.

They're a little bigger then I need. I was hoping that if I ever did get to go on an overnight trip, I wouldn't need to get a different bag. I thought that 20-30L would probably be a good compromise. The 40L caught my eye, but it's gigantic for my needs. The pricing just threw me off.

MMD3 posted:

Are you near the LL Bean in Freeport?

I wish. I'm in New Jersey.


a foolish pianist posted:

I'd also recommend going smaller for a day pack. My absolute favorite is this one:

http://www.rei.com/product/796730/osprey-stratos-24-pack

It's plenty of space for just a day, and it's easy to stash whatever size hydration bladder you happen to need. The mesh back is also really awesome - keeps you much cooler. I've had mine for about four years now, and it's been up

This seems like it would be a pretty good fit for me.

e: Looking at the specs, I may be too fat for it, but it's definitely in the direction I'm looking for.

Marta Velasquez fucked around with this message at 19:18 on Jun 7, 2013

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Marta Velasquez
Mar 9, 2013

Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...


Fallen Rib

stealie72 posted:

That's not really going to be realistic unless you're planning on doing an insane ultralight overnight.

20-25 liters is perfect for a day pack.

You really can't walk a middle road on this one and not have it suck. :)

MMD3 posted:

yeah, going to agree on this one.... don't try to get some kind of crossover size backpack or you'll regret it. It'll be far too large and cumbersome to be comfortable for short light dayhikes and it'll be too small to hold a tent, sleeping bag, and cookware for overnight trips.

Focus on getting a nice daypack first if that's what you're intending to do the most of and then worry about a fullsized pack down the road. You'll probably also want to spend a little bit more to ensure that whichever fullsized backpack you get is going to fit you perfectly and last you a long time, that's considerably less important w/ a daypack when you're carrying under 5-10lb.

Yeah. I thought as much. I had a sliver of hope that if that perfect bag existed, I should get it during the sale. Then again, if it existed, I probably would have read about it already when I read the rest of the thread.

I found something similar to the Osprey Stratos that a foolish piantist wrote about. http://www.rei.com/product/853143/platypus-origin-22-hydration-pack-20-2012-closeout It is cheaper right now because of the sale and already comes with a nice reservoir. The other points in the description make it look like this would be a good deal.

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