Sunday, June 08, 2008

PACK SURGERY

I should have taken before and after pics, but I didn't think of that till now.

Anyhow, my 6# Eddie Bauer backpack from Wal-Mart (4-5 years ago before I heard of lightweight backpacking) now weighs 3.2 pounds. I removed the sleeping-bag-compartment divider, the metal frame stay, the fiberglass frame stays, the plastic framesheet (THREE types of framework on this internal-frame pack, must be designed for a 75-pound load!!!) and the thick padding between the pack and me. This I replaced with the front of my wicking tech-fabric Austin Marathon shirt (which I never liked to start with, and which stained when anything touched it) made into a sleeve into which to insert a removeable pad, which may be my folded Therma-Rest sleeping pad (which will then do triple duty: sleeping pad, backpack pad, and sit-upon) or a piece of closed-cell foam pad (same triple duty -- I use it under my Therma-Rest since my hips need more padding), or a piece of compressed polyester padding (single duty, backpack padding only, but washable when it gets crudded up with sweat.)

That last sentence has got to rival the AT itself in length.

I've also done away with the backpack lid -- a topper made of a zipper-pack that cinches the pack closed. It adds weight and storage space, which I will use if I have, but which I don't need if I don't have. Just encourages me to take more stuff.

I reloaded the pack with all my gear plus 10 packs of Ramen and some other typical food, and I can't explain it but now my stuff doesn't nearly fill the pack. Maybe it's my new way of loading without a bunch of stuff-sacs. At any rate, I may be shopping for a smaller pack. Unless I can trim this one down some more.

It's getting to be a challenge.

3 comments:

fiberjoy said...

Removing many of the internal pieces would allow the pack more flex and expansion.

Wouldn't continually using the Therma-Rest, or foam pad, as the pack/back padding compress it to the point it'd be no longer useful for sleep padding?

Jade Lady said...

So, how heavy is your backpack now?

Flo said...

This is so much work!! I'd love to hike the AP but I don't think I could put in all the detailed planning you're doing.

You've been tagged over at my blog.