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[pct-l] packs: comfort vs weight

I have never done a thru-hike, although I have done several hundred 
miles on the PCT in the sierras.  I have done it both ways: heavy 
traditional pack with total weight at 50-65lbs, and I have done it 
the ultralight way with total pack weight around 25 lbs.  IMHO, there 
is no comparison, the ultralight method is just nore enjoyable and 
less strenuous, yet you still cover more ground.

Having said that, Ultralight is not for everyone.  You will have to 
try it to see if you like it. If you do end up liking it, there are 
many options for a suitable pack.  here are tow great ones here:
14oz, 4600 c.i pack:

12 oz, 3500 c.i. pack:

You can also make your own ultralight pack.

If you stick with the tradidional bomb-proof commercial packs, I 
highly recomend Osprey.  They are way under-rated.  I have three 
Ospreys (4 including my new fanny pack) that I use mainly for 
climbing, and I love all of them.  

Listen to everyone else on the list also: try out the packs and make 
sure you get one that fits your torso.  A good wilderness equipment 
shop will fit the metal stays in the pack specifically to your body.  
This is a tremedous help in making the pack comfortable.  If you can, 
take a bunch of your gear to the shop and put it in the pack.  Shops 
usually want to stuff the pack with sandbags or some not an accurate 
representation of how the weight will be distributed.  Also, REI 
rents packs, which is a good way to try different models out in real 
conditions before you buy. Borrowing from firends is another good way 
to try stuff out. (if you live near houston, you can borrow one of 

hope that helps.


> Fellow hikers,
> I am curious to hear your opinions on backpacks.  I am planning a
> thru-hike in 03 and will attempt to go as light as possible due to
> a late launch date but on most gear will not go as light as
> jardine does :). Recently I have been told that your pack is the
> only thing you DON'T want to sacrifice comfort for decreased
> wieght.  Is this true?  What types of packs have most thru-hikers
> used (volume capacity, wieght, internal/external/nonframed, etc.)?
>  On a hike such as the pct what are the key qualities I should or
> should not be looking for in a pack? thanks for the help.
> .luke
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