Robert M Lewis (science_guy@JUNO.COM)
Fri, 6 Dec 1996 11:48:56 PST
I personally have logged many miles with a few different backpack,
internal, and external, so I feel that I can get up on my soapbox.
For the person that is just starting out with packing and don't know if
they like it or not, I strongly reccomend getting a lower priced, external frame pack, with the following features:
2 to 4 side pockets, 2 internal spaces, and many lash points.
Along with that, also get some waterproof stuff sacks, and parachute cord
or bungee cords.
As has been said before, allways try the pack in the store with about 20
pounds in it. Make sure that the load is riding on the hips, not the
shoulders. This meas that the hipbelt must fit snugly. This can be
hard for the 11 year old scout. I was there, and I survived having a
loose hipbelt throught my first couple of trecks.
As for the brand of pack, I reccomend Camp Trails for the following
1) They are cheep, so if the scout decided he hates backpacking/camping,
you didn't waste your money.
2) The bag is held on by clevis pins. These are cheep and easy to
replace in the field if they fall out (as they often do)
3) They are very durable. I have one of their internal from 5 years ago,
and it is still usable after hundreds of miles, and mistreatment.
My first pack was a Jansport though. Here is why I do not reccomend them
for the beginner:
1) They are very expensive.
2) The bag is held on by bolts and airplain nuts. If for anychance the
nut falls off, it is tough to repair the pack in the field with out
tools. I have had this happen to me.
I hope that this helps with what pack to buy the beginning scout. There
are other brands out there and most are designed like the Camp Trails.
I personally am also shopping for a pack, and decided on a Dana Designs
Arc Flex series (internal) pack. These are the top of the line pack as
of now, but they also cost around $400. From all I have heard/read they
are very good packs, and you are garunteed a perfect fit due to many
different sized hipbelts and shoulder straps offered.
off soapbox. ;-)
Robert M. Lewis
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City