How Big a Pack for Long Trips

SKLund

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Aug 19, 2016
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459
I'm planning to do a couple of week long trips next year and I know my Deuter 50 +10 is not going to cut it. I'm not an ultralight packer but do pay attention to weight. I see food as the main use of volume. Looking for input on what you use for long trips.
 
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Perry

Formerly Cuberant
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Aug 8, 2016
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2,046
My brother and I recently did a 9-day Highline Trail trip. I have a Baltoro 75 and my brother has a Baltoro 85 and I can tell you we had a hard time getting it all in. If you're doing a week you should be okay at 75 liters or so.

And to your point about food... it was absolutely the biggest challenge for us.
 

Venchka

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Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
330
In September I packed for a 7 day trip in a ULA Catalyst 75 liter pack.
I carried an MSR Hubba Hubba tent strapped to the outside with the tent body and fly on one side and the poles on the opposite side. A 1 liter water bottle and water pump filled the two side pockets.
Rain jacket and pants in the outside front pocket.
WM Alpinlite bag, NeoAir Xtherm, down vest and dry camp clothes in the bottom of the pack.
Stove, cook pot, fuel, food and a Platypus 2 liter hoser filled up the upper half of the pack.
The next time I go out for a week, or more, I'm going to use the Dana Design ArcFlex Terraplane.
Have fun.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

SKLund

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
459
In September I packed for a 7 day trip in a ULA Catalyst 75 liter pack.
I carried an MSR Hubba Hubba tent strapped to the outside with the tent body and fly on one side and the poles on the opposite side. A 1 liter water bottle and water pump filled the two side pockets.
Rain jacket and pants in the outside front pocket.
WM Alpinlite bag, NeoAir Xtherm, down vest and dry camp clothes in the bottom of the pack.
Stove, cook pot, fuel, food and a Platypus 2 liter hoser filled up the upper half of the pack.
The next time I go out for a week, or more, I'm going to use the Dana Design ArcFlex Terraplane.
Have fun.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks. I actually have a Terraplane of 2000 vintage. Problem is that it never fit me. The shop dudes made up a story and sold it to me anyway. Guess I better sell it.
 

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
Messages
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I have a Bora 95 for the biggest trips! It's a beast. Wouldn't use it for less than a week unless a lot of gear was necessary for some reason.
 

Venchka

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
330
Thanks. I actually have a Terraplane of 2000 vintage. Problem is that it never fit me. The shop dudes made up a story and sold it to me anyway. Guess I better sell it.

I joined the same club. I held off buying the Catalyst until I could get fitted by a dealer. I was sold a medium which matched the size of the Terraplane and Jensen Pack. When I get home I realize that the Catalyst frame is shorter than the Terraplane and the load lifters are horizontal.
No worries. The pack fits my granddaughter perfectly.
I'm going back to my roots. Old isn't always bad.
Wayne
Ps: I'm intrigued by your Yellowstone South Boundary hike.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Dan_85

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Jul 25, 2013
Messages
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I've been trying to reduce my pack weight with newer, lighter gear but I'm far from a serious ultralighter. I did 2 weeks in the Sierra this summer with a 48L Osprey Kestrel pack. It was tight but I liked it as it forced me to pack light. The bear canister took up most of the space; the longest I went between resupplies was 9 days and my pack weight maxed out at 35lbs with those 9 days of food and a liter of water.

My sleeping bag and down jacket went in the bottom compartment as they were both very compressible. My tent body and fly (BA Copper Spur 1) were then folded into a square and went into the bottom of the main compartment, bear canister stood vertically on top, paralleling my spine. I obviously had my day to day hiking clothes which I wore, then I had 2 replacement base layer tees (one long sleeve, one short sleeve), rain pants, rain jacket, hat and gloves, 1 spare set each of boxers and socks - all of which were stuffed down and squeezed into the space surrounding the canister. Cookset (titanium pot, BRS3000 stove) and sleeping pad (Exped Synmat UL7) laid on top of the canister before the main compartment was closed over the top and cinched down small and tight with the compression straps on the side. Tent poles and stakes vertically in one side pocket. Gadgets, snacks, maps and other little bits in the pockets up top or hipbelt pockets.

I think it boils down to what gear you have, how light/compressible it is and how comfortable you want to be. Are you OK slumming it in dirty clothes for a few days or do you want a fresh set each day? Is your sleeping bag and tent big and bulky? Do you need to carry a canister? Etc etc

60L seems to be a pretty commonly recommended size for folks hitting the longer trails (AT/PCT/CDT etc) who aren't serious ultralighters. Personally I feel like you should be able to get everything you'd need in a 60L pack. I do often wonder exactly what those folks with 70L+ packs are carrying with them lol
 

slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
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Jun 7, 2012
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A 50L is big enough for me if I don't have to carry any technical gear, up to about 7-8 days.
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
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May 31, 2015
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I've been trying to reduce my pack weight with newer, lighter gear but I'm far from a serious ultralighter. I did 2 weeks in the Sierra this summer with a 48L Osprey Kestrel pack.
A 50L is big enough for me if I don't have to carry any technical gear, up to about 7-8 days.
I must suck at packing because my 65L Osprey Atmos seems almost full when I pack for even two nights. Pretty much just tent, pad, down bag, a jacket or two, cooking stuff, food, and filtration. I probably just don't organize well.
 

b.stark

Forever Wandering
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Apr 8, 2015
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794
I use a pack that's roughly 85 liters for a the 6-7 day trips. Food is a major part of that space. Another issue I usually have is clothing. Not so much shirts and pants, but clothing to deal with potential weather. Rain gear, gloves, beanie, jacket, long johns, etc. They just take up space! If I did a week in warm weather with good access to water the whole way a 70L pack would probably be enough for me. For a week, I can usually keep my pack weight to 40lbs or so to start off with, food and water included.

EDIT: Actually it's a 5500 cubic inch pack, which converts to a beastly 90 liters! It's an older Kelty internal frame, it's a Scheel's store brand pack and I can't remember what the normal Kelty model name was.
 
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SKLund

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Aug 19, 2016
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459
I think it's down to a Gregory Baltoro 65 or whatever is closest to that or a Deuter 65+10. I like the Dueter brand and have a couple already. You can really customize the fit. Not quite as much cush as the Baltoro but a lot less $$.
 

slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
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I think it's down to a Gregory Baltoro 65 or whatever is closest to that or a Deuter 65+10. I like the Dueter brand and have a couple already. You can really customize the fit. Not quite as much cush as the Baltoro but a lot less $$.

I have a Gregory pack I was able to review, and while I like it, the Osprey's are more comfortable for the same price.

If I was buying new, I'd go Osprey.
 

pstm13

Auribus Teneo Lupum
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Dec 27, 2012
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I got 4-5 days into a 50L but it was tight. I wanted a bigger pack for longer trips like you and found a deal on a Gregory Palisade 80 which is similar to the Baltoro. It is the Cadillac of backpacks. If money was not an issue I would pick up an Osprey. Go to REI and try on several first and make sure they are going to meet your needs. They can measure you and everything. Just a warning...if you have a large pack you will find more crap to put in it. Your gear list will expand to fill space available or whatever. I got mine used for $125 and it's as good as new. Don't be afraid to buy 2nd hand gear.
 
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HomerJ

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Jan 19, 2012
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I have a Gregory pack I was able to review, and while I like it, the Osprey's are more comfortable for the same price.

If I was buying new, I'd go Osprey.
I had the Osprey Atmos 65 and it pulled way off my pack. I hated the thing and sold it and bought the Baltro 65 and just love it!
LOL! I guess the Osprey's just don't fit me. Love their daypacks though!
 

Yvonne

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Jan 19, 2012
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A 50L is big enough for me if I don't have to carry any technical gear, up to about 7-8 days.

I usually get about 6 days with my 50L, because the camera gear takes up so much space.
Also used my 36L pack for a 4 night trip including bear canister inside plus tripod and extra lens. But that was a bit borderline because of the bulky bear canister.
 

SKLund

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Aug 19, 2016
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459
I had the Osprey Atmos 65 and it pulled way off my pack. I hated the thing and sold it and bought the Baltro 65 and just love it!
LOL! I guess the Osprey's just don't fit me. Love their daypacks though!

Packs are like shoes.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
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Jan 4, 2015
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I can get 9 days into a 50L pack but I'm also probably on the lighter end of the spectrum. But I think the principles apply no matter how heavy or light your pack is:

1) If you chop out a few things (go with Aquamira or iodine) you can reduce a lot of volume. Take a good look at your first aid kit and take out anything that you don't know what it is or how to use it.
2) Try not to put anything in a stuff sack if you can avoid it, as stuff sacks really waste space. I have a food bag, a bag for all my "important little stuff" (gloves, hat, headlamp, first aid, knife, lighter), and that's it.
 

Wanderlust073

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2) Try not to put anything in a stuff sack if you can avoid it, as stuff sacks really waste space.

Yeah this helps a lot. Sleeping bag and clothes in particular. Less wasted space when they are loose and can get smashed in to every nook and cranny on their own.

I have a stupid amount of backpacks though, and like them all lol.
 
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