Keith Wood (kwood@CJNETWORKS.COM)
Fri, 12 Dec 1997 14:30:20 -0500
>For those of you who have been there, do you have any
>suggestions on pack requirements or even specific packs / brand ?
To Doc's question, the answer is not brands or specifics, it is quality and
size. Avoid the low end cheapy stuff like you can find at Wally World or
Kiddie Mart. Ten hard days on the trail with heavy loads require strong
packs (and backs) and good comfortable well made hip belts.
The question of internal versus external is a personal one. Which is more
comfortable. I noted in a recent magazine that externals are enjoying a
resurgence. Many people are apparently like me, finding internals
uncomfortable and awkward to balance, while others claim the same for
So, for youngsters, I would recomend externals of 3500 to 4000 cubic inches
max, a little larger for internals that have to put the sleeping bag
inside. Go for quality - Kelty, REI, etc. You can get very good packs
from the catalog people like REI for under $150. The Scouts don't need to
spend $250-300 for the fanciest internals. Personally fitting in the store
is best. Go to a good outfitter and have them try them on.
As to good equipment, I have heard various opinions, but my son did three
treks in the 80s and four years on the Philmont staff with a BSA issue
pack. The Black Bull packs are somewhat different but I hear they do the
job and are priced reasonably. I hope someone with recent experience can
A key item, good *padded* belts that fit. Many belts are too big for the
skinny hips on smaller Scouts. Some brands only have web belts - not
acceptable. Another reason to fit in the store. Easily accessible pockets
for two one-quart water bottles. On externals, points to lash on tent
and/or sleeping bag top and bottom.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City