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Old 08-26-2009, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Currently in Oscoda!!
274 posts, read 560,418 times
Reputation: 143

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Thank you so much to everyone. I really appreciate. And I will try Blood Mountain on the Appalachian Trail as my test runs as Movementarian suggested.

And thanks to 80skeys for the list of materials to bring along with. I look forward to reading the book that you are going to suggest.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,813,553 times
Reputation: 9316
I-Want_Snow wrote:
I am looking for something between 4,000-6,000 cubic inches.
Nature abhors a vacuum!

Go for the smaller size. If you have the extra space available you'll fill it up with STUFF. For most backpackers, backpacking enjoymjent is inversely proportional to the amout of weight being carried. The heavier the pack the less you enjoy it, the lighter the pack the more you enjoy it.

Go light!
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,407,166 times
Reputation: 3321
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
I-Want_Snow wrote:
I am looking for something between 4,000-6,000 cubic inches.
Nature abhors a vacuum!

Go for the smaller size. If you have the extra space available you'll fill it up with STUFF. For most backpackers, backpacking enjoymjent is inversely proportional to the amout of weight being carried. The heavier the pack the less you enjoy it, the lighter the pack the more you enjoy it.

Go light!
This is so true! I have a really old backpack that I'm looking to replace this year, as they are now building ones that are superlight. I know that others say it doesn't matter if you have wal-mart equipment or not, but I disagree. Anything I have ever bought at the discount stores seem to fall apart after one or two uses. I bought my backpack 15 years ago from EMS and it's still in excellent shape. It's just so darn heavy now! That's the other downside to wal-mart like stuff. It's usually much heavier than equipment made specifically for backpacking by reputable companies. This is just my opinion though...I realize others will disagree with me.

There is actually a company out there called Golite, that specializes in ultralight equipment. I don't know that you need to go to that extreme, but I do have friends who swear by it. I would recommend you pick up Backpacker magazine's Gear Guide (it usually is the April issue). It goes through many, many manufacturers and rates them according to things like durability, weight, use, etc. They rate everything too, from backpacks, sleeping bags, boots to stoves, water filters, and even cookware. I love the gear guide!

The other thing someone else mentioned is altitude. Make sure you give yourself at least 2-3 days in Denver (or somewhere at lower elevation) before you attempt a 7 day trip at higher elevation. I know many people that come from sea level and end up getting sick because they don't allow themselves enough time to properly aclimitize. Have fun preparing!
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,656 posts, read 9,386,582 times
Reputation: 2881
Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
This is so true! I have a really old backpack that I'm looking to replace this year, as they are now building ones that are superlight. I know that others say it doesn't matter if you have wal-mart equipment or not, but I disagree.
I should have clarified my statement. With experience, you come to realize which stuff is okay to get at Walmart or campmor.com and which stuff it's better to get the higher-end quality. I've found that in my case, the higher end stuff is the following:

* sleeping bag
* thermal tops and bottoms
* hiking pants (wicking, quicky dry, light, durable)
* outer shell
* hiking socks
* certain other small items and accessories

medium to lower end stuff is almost everything else. It's just as good functionally and the price is much better. If something is particularly heavy, then there's more of a chance I'll opt for the higher-end version simply to cut the weight. But this doesn't occur often.

I consider my Jansport Big Bear pack ($40) just as good as my Osprey Aether ($200).

The gloves I use for winter hikes are cheapo $10 campmor.com gloves.

My backpacking stove is a cheapo Walmart kind.

I prefer my Walmart headlamp to my Petzl which costs three times as much. (the light from the Walmart one is much stronger.) recently i've taken to leaving the Peztl at home because I just don't like it.

I also have a little story to share. A couple years ago, a friend and I were backpacking at 12,000 feet. It was the morning and we were sitting on a hill above treeline making coffee. An older man in his 50s armed with nothing but a walking stick and light jacket, small fanny pack, boots and shorts came sprinting up a steep grade and reached us. He stood and talked to us for a while. His story was that his life consists of hiking a different peak every day in the Rocky mountains. He told us some of his adventures and stories. I asked him what kind of boots his wears, he said he only buys cheap $20 Walmart boots. We said our goodbyes and he took off towards his peak for the day - one of the local 13k. This guy was in such good shape he could outhike any of us in his Walmart boots.

Don't get me wrong. I love the quality of REI stuff. I mean, nobody makes better jackets than Marmot. But in most cases it's not necessary.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,813,553 times
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A year ago I bought some Royal Robbins Desert Pucker shirts at REI for $45 each. I expected them to last for years on end. Much to my chagrin, in less than year they are all frayed and torn, with buttons falling off. On the other hand, I have some 10 year old, Bugle Boy shirts that I paid $8 a piece for. Other than the colors being somewhat faded ( a look that I personally like ), they are still in good shape. Ya just can't judge quality on price and brand name alone! In my experience, alot of the high priced, brand name equipment and clothing is just plain old OVER-priced crap. Buyer beware and shop carefully.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:27 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,928,102 times
Reputation: 6677
The best backpack is the one that fits comfortably. When you try one on, always have somebody pull down on it to see how it will feel when its loaded.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:12 AM
 
Location: San Ramon, Ca
72 posts, read 161,245 times
Reputation: 55
Default Ca backpacker.

I have been a backpacker for 20 years and upgraded my equipment on a yearly basis. A little here, a little there and you start to shave pounds off your back. I am not an true ultralight backpacker though, I still find comfortable, quality items instead of cheap. I have found that the nice light, quality items I have bought over the years are as good today as they were years ago. My advise is start with a quality pack that is at least 4200 Ci so you can fit a 7 day trip of gear in it. Also find a pack that is around 4 pounds. I have a friend that has invested in some lightweight gear and his pack is 10 pounds less than mine and I have nice stuff. Every ounce counts and buying cheaper items is fine but you will be carrying that on your back. My average total weight less water for a 7 day trip is 32 pounds. Trip note. I have backpacked all of Yosemite, Kings canyon and gone to Montana for some trips but there is one breath taking trip in Kings Canyon everyone should do. It is called the Rey Lakes Loop. 42 mile loop surrounded by 12000 + ft peaks and some high mountain passes that have views to die for. Good luck, Backpacking will get in your blood once you start.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,407,166 times
Reputation: 3321
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
A year ago I bought some Royal Robbins Desert Pucker shirts at REI for $45 each. I expected them to last for years on end. Much to my chagrin, in less than year they are all frayed and torn, with buttons falling off. On the other hand, I have some 10 year old, Bugle Boy shirts that I paid $8 a piece for. Other than the colors being somewhat faded ( a look that I personally like ), they are still in good shape. Ya just can't judge quality on price and brand name alone! In my experience, alot of the high priced, brand name equipment and clothing is just plain old OVER-priced crap. Buyer beware and shop carefully.
Very true Cosmic. One thing to note though is that REI has a 100% guarantee policy. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase (ie you expected them to last a long time, which is why you paid the price) then return them. Most of the time they have honored this. Just take a look at some of the items they have for sale at the annual members garage sale. I literally have seen boots that were 10 years old, pants with giant holes in them, etc.
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:18 AM
 
Location: San Ramon, Ca
72 posts, read 161,245 times
Reputation: 55
Hay delta07. Have you done the Goat lakes loop in Washington? It is very close to Portland OR. My friend moved to Portland last year and his wife just backpacked the loop and the pictures were very nice. myself and 3 friends go backpacking at least once each year and we are thinking of doing that trail.
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,813,553 times
Reputation: 9316
delta07 wrote:
Very true Cosmic. One thing to note though is that REI has a 100% guarantee policy. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase (ie you expected them to last a long time, which is why you paid the price) then return them. Most of the time they have honored this. Just take a look at some of the items they have for sale at the annual members garage sale. I literally have seen boots that were 10 years old, pants with giant holes in them, etc.
Their return policy is the main reason I've been an REI member since 1980 when I joined at the original REI store in Seattle. The local Grand Junction store has given me a store credit ( instead of a refund, per my request ) whenever I've asked for it. You can bet your boots that I returned those crappy Royal Robbbns shirts. Now in defense of Royal Robbins, I do have a 15 year old heavy weight flannel shirt that I've worn many times every winter since I first bought it. So the Royal Robbins stuff is not all crap...but definitely don't waste you rmoney on Royal Robbins Desert Pucker shirts.
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