scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: backpack advice
Nat Davis (ndavis@VT.EDU
Tue Aug 08 2000 - 09:27:38 CDT
>Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 12:05:37 -0500
>From: Steve Berry <sberry@PDCCONSULT.COM>
>Subject: Backpack Advice
>My son and I are getting ready to purchase backpacks for our Scouting
>adventures. I am curious what everyone would recommend as far as selecting a
>good backpack. ......
>WL, Pack 124
>SM, Troop 124
A well-fitting backpack that is large enough to comfortably carry your gear
and your share of patrol gear is essential if you want to have a "good"
experience. Please do not just buy the first one you find at a yard
sale! If you do not have contacts in your troop that can help with
selection, I encourage you to visit your local backpacking store and get
advice from them. Try on a pack before buying, if possible. Put weight in
it, too -- bring your "stuff" in and actually pack the pack to see how it
fits. It makes a difference and reputable backpacking stores will not
object. In addition, there are many good "how to" books on the market
(library??) that discuss backpacks, fitting, and features. Read
them! Also, check out the REI web site for information (www.rei.com) --
In general, external frame packs are cheaper than internal ones and most
scouts that I have seen start with them. Having just moved to an internal
one for this past summer's high adventure backpacking trip with my troop, I
was amazed at how much more comfortable the internal frame pack was on my
"old body." In either case, make sure there is enough room in the pack
(cubic inches!!) to carry your gear. If you plan to backpack in winter,
plan for the additional space that will be required for the bulky winter
clothing and sleeping bag! Properly fitting and well padded waist belts
can make or break a trip! Don't ignore them or think that a boy can "gut
out" a trip without one (on that $5 bargain pack his well-meaning parents
picked up at a yard sale). He might well never go on another trip again!
Do not expect a pack that fits your 11-year old to still fit him at 14 or
15! they grow too much in those years. Kelty and Camptrails both sell
"youth packs" that address the growth problem... They come with small
waist belts and their frames actually expand much like the slide on a
trombone. This gets you an additional couple of years from the
pack. Great idea. Buy such a pack and expect to sell it to a new scout
when you son buys an adult-sized pack.
I would avoid the surplus ALICE packs!
Hope this helps....
SM, Troop 56
K2BSA staff, Jamboree 2001