My inquiring mind wants to know?

2:17 p.m. on July 12, 2010 (EDT)
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What is your preference when loading up your pack say for a week in the back country 1 ½ day trek in and the same out with a 2 day stay and re-coup, do you like your main pack weight low in the pack or do you prefer it higher in the pack?, What do you pack in? What is your pack weight limit? How many miles a day do you try for? I am basically wondering how everyone’s packs their pack and what is your preference are. I am just being curious thought I would just toss it out for discussion.

My current and favorite pack is old true blue a USMC ILBE Main Pack Arcteryx Proper Pack Backpack with) the Molle II Sleeping System Carrier and Modular Sleep System 4 - bag (centered low on pack) secured to the MOLLE system also is (1) ENHANCED MOLLE BUTT PACK ( centered low) with (2)2 Qt canteens (left and right of the butt pack) along with the (3 L) camelback system for the pack, (2) sustainment pouches (high mid back left and right side of the pack), 1 medical pouch (high) centered between the 2 sustainment pouches. On the front I carry a compass pouch on my right shoulder strap and a Phrobis III M9 knife on my left shoulder strap. Along the left and right sides there are slip pocket s and sleeve system to store long items, I store my trekking poles in these and if I am hunting I can secure my rifle in one also. Clothing I pack 2 pair of socks for each day plus 1 spare, 3 to 4 T-shirts, 1 light weight long sleeve shirt, 1 extra pair of Mesa convertible trekking pants, 1 pair of MK mountain pants, (1) pair of lounge pants for camp and my camp/river shoes and a fleece jacket with detachable sleeves. The tent I carry is the Mountain Hardware Trango 4 season. I also bring along (1) Therm-a-Rest "ProLite Plus sleeping pad, (1) Therm-a-Rest trekker chair {fits over the sleeping pad, (1) MSR MiniWorks EX water filter, (1) Primus EtaPower™ EF Trail cook system, stove fuel, food rain gear and a emergency pack { whistle, pop flare, signal mirror, water purification tablets, fire starter, space blanket, (2)Hoo-raa bars and a spare compass} add in food and snacks, toiletries, and misc gear I usually carry into the field for a 5 day trek about 45 to 50 pounds keeping the heavy and bulky to the upper center of the pack, I also carry in sometimes my repelling gear 120 feet of 11 mm rope, a repelling harness, carabineers and figure 8 device, and ATC, with this I bring 120 feet of par-a-cord also. With this my pack runs around 60 to 70 pounds and that is about my weight limit now. On a 45 pound pack I can average about 15 to 18 miles a day with the 60 pound pack 10 to 15 miles a day.

Ok I can go on but ya got the gist of this let me know if ya care to.



5:35 p.m. on July 12, 2010 (EDT)
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Where I hike I rarely need more than two quarts of water on board, unless it is a dry camp, in which case one gallon/day is brought along. The venue nowadays varies from spring trips to the high desert, summer trips in various mountain ranges, to winter snow trips in the Sierras and Cascades. If hiking more than one day in and one day out, I keep my pack under seventy pounds. Camp comfort items are added to the basics accordingly. Twelve miles a day is about my limit, regardless of pack weight, as my hip implant acts up. Normally I hike less than nine a day, as such distance usually entails 1500’+ altitude changes, and those I hike with balk at longer distances. Sometimes I am skiing, which often includes a bit of mountaineering and more gear. Sometimes I’ll go light – a forty pound kit - intending to cover the maximum ground in the least amount of time, but find twelve miles is still the limit I am willing to endure.

The pack I use also varies according to itinerary. I default to a very large Kelty external frame pack, but will resort to my Wilderness Experience expedition size internal frame pack if going cross country or over snow. (both packs are from the late 1970s, early 1980s.) The weight in my external frame pack is biased high in the pack, close to the back. I position heavy items lower in the internal frame pack, to facilitate better balance. If rain or snow is remotely possible, I bring a tent matched to the weather anticipated, but usually it stays in my pack while I sleep under the stars in my bag, covered only by a personal bug net. I choose from four sleeping bags, based on itinerary: One is a down fill @ -20°; a down fill @15°; a synthetic @ 30°; and a synthetic @ 45°. I use the blue pad for sub freezing trips, and a thermorest for everything else. My clothing is selected according to the itinerary, but rather than laboring to describe the wardrobe, suffice it to say I use a synthetic/down layering system topped by goretex shell garments. If camping above freezing, I carry along a canister stove; otherwise I resort to an old MSR Firefly white gas blaster.


6:47 p.m. on July 12, 2010 (EDT)
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Needless to say Ed I did tend to over state the clothing but it was a basic to gauge amount on a trip the bag is MSS 4 bag ( Modular Sleep System 4 – bag) is a very cool bag it is actually 3 bags and an outer shell by layering the bags you can go from tropic weather conditions to -30 below zero. As with you my weight ratio will depend on several factors also the gear I describe is for an early fall outing warm and pleasant during the day chill to frosty at night that pack I referred to is my large pack it can go up to 110 pounds they say never carried that much since I got out of the service, shorter trips I will use the smaller assault pack same as the ILBE Main Pack but the assault pack is half the volume. But thanks for the input it seems you like to balance the load like myself I am 48 Y.O and I find keeping it to high center(just above the kidneys) seems to work best for my back and knees I have blow my knees from jumping out of good planes and force marches with yea…110 pound packs try humping a 81 MM mortar and ammo up and over hills and mountains for a bit.



8:30 p.m. on July 12, 2010 (EDT)
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I have two packs. A Kelty Redwing 3100 and a Kelty Coyote 4750.

My 3100 is mainly used as a daypack, sometimes an overnight pack, and the wife uses it no matter the trip when she comes with me.

My Kelty Coyote is used anytime I am doing 1+ nights, and any overnighter or longer in winter. My gear is as follows

-Nemo Meta 2P tent

-TNF Nebula 15F water proof sleeping bag

-Wood-gas stove and a pop can alchy stove with 3oz of fuel as backup or in winter a coleman sport dual fuel stove with an extra fuel bottle if needed for trip (Yes i know the coleman sport is bloody heavy but i like it, and until it breaks I am satisfied with it)

-Camelback 3L and two 1L nalgenes for camp water and extra water for dog

-Survival / Repair Kit- 30ft para cord, dental floss, sewing needle, small roll duct tape, small assortment of zip ties, light my fire scout fire steel, 1 sparkler cut into 3 3 inch sections, altoids can stuffed with cotton balls smeared with vaseline, aquamira.

-SOG SEAL pup knife

-MSR Miniworks EX

-First Aid kit- ace bandage, compression bandage w/ quickclot, ibuprofen, alieve, imodium ad, benadryl, epipen, alchohol wipes, small roll of gauze, tweezers, small scissors, needle.

-Cammenga lensatic compass and area maps

Kitchen kit- MSR Alpine 2 pot stainless set w/ pot gripper, titanium spoon, metal canteen cup, small bag of cotton balls and 2oz container of vaseline, lighter, small bottle of olive oil, small bag flour, small bag sugar, 3oz clarified butter, small scrub pad, Ti fork, dr.bronners soap 3oz

-Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles

-2 pair extra socks, 1 stays in a ziploc for emergency, and if the outing is longer than 3 days i will bring an extra shirt and convertible pants, and 1 more pair of socks, down sweater, columbia rainjacket, gortex parka and pants in late season/winter and fleece top and panagonia l/s shirt and pants for winter.

-kangaroo skin hat

-scuba dive booties for camp shoes and river crossings

-maps, protractor, pencil, navigation dividers

-garmin rhino gps

-soft leather gloves

Plus food

Think thats it, but I am probally forgetting something.

Overnight wet weight 38lbs. 5 Day 45.5 lbs

8:31 p.m. on July 14, 2010 (EDT)
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306 forum posts

Wow, it sounded like you carried a lot of gear (60-70lbs) in that pack, but I looked into the ILBE Main Pack and was pretty amazed. The fact that it is designed by Arc'Teryx is a pretty good selling point too. That thing can carry up to 120 lbs! I guess it should not come as much of a surprise since it was designed for our Marine boys to haul their gear around. I like the fact that it has the MOLLE system and that it has many compression straps and lashing points. In fact, I am looking at one on EBay now......It is way more capable of anything I need, but who knows!....


10:39 p.m. on July 14, 2010 (EDT)
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67 forum posts

D&G in the smokeys:

the corps is where I fell in love with this pack you might want to also look at the smaller but not by much assault pack just as good also has a stiffener in the back panel that you can remove if you want all the MOLLE points

6:21 a.m. on July 15, 2010 (EDT)
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I agree the ILBE pack is a good pack. But, it is not exactly for backpacking, it's a little over kill. And on top of that, I couldn't find the weight online, but I assume it is about 8lbs just for the pack. The regular Bora is 3.1kg, so this pack is probally easy 5kg. I have a camelback motherlode made of 500d cordura and it is super tough. So this pack made of 720d cordura is even tougher, but for what we are using this pack for do we really need that?

On top of that the price tag is 600$. Yeah you can probally find one used, but good luck finding a replacement part if you ever need one.

I spent 8 years in the military and am all for milspec gear because it is as durable as you can get. But there comes a point where I am no longer interested, and this is one of those times. I went with the Kelty Coyote 4750 which is 250ci larger than the ILBE and about 5lbs lighter at 2.3kg, and as durable and tough as you would ever need.

To each their own though. If you need to haul 120lbs of ammo to the top of a mountain this is the pack for you. Otherwise, I would look for something more realistic and save some $$ and strain on your back.

9:29 a.m. on July 21, 2010 (EDT)
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306 forum posts


I agree with everything you have mentioned above and thank you for the input. I already have a great pack (Gregory Z-55) for hiking and camping. I have actually been looking for a large volume,mil-spec (heavy duty) pack to use for other purposes rather than hiking. I was in the Navy [10 years] and had seen the ILBE packs from some of the Spec-ops guys and remembered how well they were spoken of and rugged they were, and that is what I am looking for.

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