camptrail explorer

4:25 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Hi everyone I just joined the site and I like it very much. I recently found a camptrail explorer pack on craigslist for 25 and I was wondering if this is a good find and a good bag for a beginner?

6:16 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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I have a couple of older camptrails external frame packs, I dont use them much. The explorer is the newer palstic external frame, right? I would recommend an internal frame pack, but its a prefrence not a requirement. Where will you be hiking? An external doesnt flex with your body, it makes steep trails or scrambling much harder, plus the frame can hang up on branches when bushwacking. I use my externals if im carrying tools or other bulky,pointy gear. On a long flat, heavy hike I would maybe use an external, not much in new hampshire.

6:33 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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I am not familiar with the Camp Trails plastic frame pack, but if the frame is anything like the Coleman Peak 1 frame the flex was welcome. Coleman went to create the Peak 2 and that frame was too stiff mick line alloy.

 I still use kelty frame packs in summer due to the load a frame pack can deal with and off your body, allowing more air to circulate any place the straps, belts and in part the mesh padding don't touch you.

When you hike any part of a pack that is in contact with you and your clothes gets wet from trapped moisture, ok sweat...

I used you criteria to search like packs and see in on e bay for 99 bucks. That is way too much for this brand.. You could probably find a vintage kelty frame pack for under 99 bucks.

Hotdogman is right however,  in he and others here, need to know you use more.

If by any chance you are in NH there are good used equipment consignment shops.

One other thing we should know is a measurement. With both hands on your hips, thumbs pointing at one another, there is a imaginary line.

On your spine up, to the larger bone on your neck that sticks out most with your head tilted down is XX inches...... You will need a helper for that one :-)

7:20 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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848 forum posts

but how much is the shipping? shipping costs can make a good deal go bad in a hurry. for twenty five bucks I say go for it.

8:08 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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I see camp trails packs on clist for as little as ten bucks. There are five or six externals on clist new hampshire, one is a nice old kelty.

8:54 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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well, to answer where I will be hiking, it will be in SC, mostly flat. And to answer trailjester there is no shipping it is located in my hometown. I just started hiking, I guess I mean real hiking. I am on a very tight budget, and I have accumulated to much equipment for my little day pack. I am also looking at a mil-spec brand mil pack 45.

9:09 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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606 forum posts

If you are walking fairly flat, open trails that pack will work great. You can hang any gear you cant fit inside on the frame. They are many people who still use a metal external frame everywhere they they hike. The trails here tend to be steeper and tighter, which make an internal more comfortable, they just flex more. I havent carried an explorer, but both the camptrails I have carry a heavy load well, and are pretty rugged. For $25 I dont think you can beat it. Go try it on, carry some weight in it. If it feels good buy it.

9:53 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Look out for mil spec gear...... Some can be very nice and other can be a heavy drag....

Rugged but heavy gear can be ok, but it depends.

7:32 a.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace packlitemb!

I don't know from your post where you are in the educational process but the first thing you really need to know is what will you be carrying in the pack. Otherwise how will you know if it's big enough? Or is it too big for your purposes?

IMO, the pack should be the last thing you acquire when equipping yourself for backpacking.

That being said, I don't know much about that brand of gear you mention but fit is key with any pack. I agree with the camp that states it's best to get fit for a pack by someone who knows how to do it.

Of course $25 isn't a huge investment if it doesn't work out for you but your enjoyment level can be adversely affected by an ill-fitting pack. I suggest at least reading a bit about the fitting process and then using that knowledge to evaluate the pack since it's local and you can try it on.

A couple basic points:

  • Torso length is key; if the pack is too short or tall for your frame, the load will never transfer correctly between your hips and shoulders.
  •  Always load some weight in the pack to see how it actually rides, or better yet, load your actual gear. I do this when pack shopping and I get a few funny looks when I bring a duffel bag full of gear in to the store (but so what).


7:54 a.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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In my experience, those camptrails externals have a huge torso range. The two I have both adjust several ways. They dont seem quite as hard to fit as an internal.

9:36 a.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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14 forum posts

Wow, thank you guys so much, I had no idea about the fitting aspect. That is why I am so glad I found this forum. I think I will look around abit before I get this pack. Again thanks guys.

11:08 a.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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Of anyone comes across a Coleman peak 1 frame i am interested. I don't care about anything else but the frame. If the pack is trashed and the straps are too it won't matter, but I must be a Peak 1 and not a Peak 2 frame.

And cheap! :-)

Hotdogman doe the camp trails have all sorts of slot adjustments? Double D rings sewn to straps just button in any where you like?

That was how the Peak 1 frame was, and that frame was springy.

I consider that one of my worst errors in selling anything. At the time i thought the Peak 2 being bigger would be spring like too and so I could haul more bulk.

The peak 2 turned out to just be heavy and being the pack was black made finding anything impossible.

Packlite, Beware of black items.... be very leery of too much black. A black pack makes finding anything hard to do and if you have black stuff sacks and assorted other black items it can and will drive you nuts.

3:34 p.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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168 forum posts

My brother carried one of those Camp Trails packs for years. It gave him good service. Granted, there is also a lot to be said for internal frame packs. I've owned several. On the whole, I prefer external frames for the kind of backpacking I do. I am in a clear minority.

If cost is a major consideration, and if the pack is in good shape, then $25 is a darn good price for a good pack. It won't hurt you to use it, period. If you find after a few trips that it doesn't meet your needs, then you will know better what kind of pack you do want.

Don't get caught up in over-thinking this stuff. Most of us guys here on Trailspace are gearheads and can come up with tons of information about teeny tiny details that are important to us. That can be a blessing and a curse for the beginner trying to sort things out for him or herself.

3:47 p.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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Brerarnold who you callin' a gear head? Just because i tore the soles off my koflach vertical boots? LOL  (see the repair/ maintain gear room)


4:45 p.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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848 forum posts

if it's local then try the pack out before you buy it. check that you can adjust it to your torso length. put about 30-40 lbs in it and walk around. you want the weight on your hips, not your shoulders.

6:43 p.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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606 forum posts

Bill, they dont have slots. They have three options for the distance between the shoulder straps, then vertical pins with about 5-6 inches of adjustment for torso length. Plus the waist belt moves up and down about another five inches. So, it kinda has about 10 inches of torso length adjustment. I have two of them one with the old style of string closures, one with straps more like an internal with a lid. I bought the newer one a few yrs ago for $20 and the older one for $5 at a thrift store, both have seen some rugged duty with no damage. I really only use them to carry stuff that I think might damage my other packs. They work great carrying tools for trail maint and big square boxes of beer.

9:29 p.m. on March 26, 2013 (EDT)
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437 forum posts

Oh I think I understand.. Something like Kelty full frame packs but with a plastic frame instead.

If i ever find a Peak 1 frame it is just for a pack board. I don't really need a pack board but I just think I do. I have days where i think i would like to be 19, then harsh reality sets in..... :-(

Legs get lame, back hurts I wonder who and where I am.... Then this sort of familiar woman shows up and I call her Helen, she gets mad and says she's Gwyn ;-)

Huh what was the topic?

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