Friday, January 30, 2009

Just for fun I thought I would try packing my gear into the book bag I used to use in college. It was a giant LL Bean Super Deluxe book bag. When full, it sticks out about a foot from your back. I got teased a lot, but since I commuted to school on a scooter from my house in the mountains, I had to carry around rain gear and jackets and needed all that space to store them, in addition to my books. It holds something like 2200 cubic inches.

My gear fits in there with room to spare for food. Theoretically, I could go backpacking with just my book bag. I would try it except that the zipper is broken, thanks to my parrot who gnawed on it. I can zip it, but every now and then it splits open. That is not something you want to have happen when you're backpacking.

The problem with going ultralight with gear is that eventually you have honed your gear down so low that not only is it light, it's small, too.

I put all my gear back into my Osprey backpack. It all clumps down at the bottom of the pack in a big lump. There are limp and lifeless pockets everywhere. I suppose it won't hurt to have a big pack with little inside. It offends my hiker-chic sensibilities. This is silly. Fashion should not matter. Maybe I'll try my old external frame pack next.


  1. A Golite Jam2 or ULA Conduit would be smaller and lighter than the Osprey. I am looking into replacing my Osprey with one of those packs. They are relatively inexpensive, and you can sell your Osprey to help pay for the smaller volume pack.

  2. We'll see. I really like my Osprey and it will stand up to the brushy trails where I live a lot better than an ultralight pack will. Plus it handles the heavy weight of tons of water, which I need sometimes even in my own backcountry.

    Tony ordered me a Gossamer Gear G4. It might not be all that much smaller, but I might have to put my z-rest inside the pack since I'm too into my sleeping comfort to remove any more of its panels.