1st time backpack/backpacking

4:11 p.m. on June 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I am getting ready to go on my first backpacking/camping trip into the Backcountry of Yellowstone. I just purchased an older used 1x Camp Trails external frame backpack. I have been conditioning myself over the last few weeks and have really come to like this backpack. I am a heavier person so looking for a backpack with a good fit was kind of hard. Again this one feels and fits me great. My question i have is i am not for sure what kind of camp trails pack it is and do not no if it is missing anything or how to look for add on's. I know that they no longer make these packs but if someone could tell me what kind it is i think it would help in my journey to try and find things on ebay. Description: Large pack mainly red and black and the aluminum frame is black. Im gonna say this is a 40-60lb. bag It has great padding and straps for the waist and shoulders. It has a flip up cover that covers the main storage but does not have a rain cover which i am definately intersested in finding out if it did and where i could get one. Sorry for the long post, i am new to the site and to backpacking.

4:14 p.m. on June 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Here is a picture of what it looks like

5:46 p.m. on June 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Welcome dwoods8581,

I do not know what model pack you have, some of the other members here may recognize it, I will look around on the web some.

As far as a pack cover goes you should easily be able to find a pack cover to fit your pack.

I would love to go to Yellowstone sometimes myself.

6:46 p.m. on June 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace dwoods8581

The packs you have look just like a Camp Trails McKinley it is a sturdy well made pack. Here are the specs that I have for it.

Camp Trails McKinley
External Frame / Freighter Frame
4330 ci
5 lbs. 4 oz
Black & Red

Top Loading
Hold Open Bar
Sleeping Bag Compartment
Five External Pockets
Multiple Lash Points
All encompassing top flap
Insulated Waterbottle pocket
Map Pocket

7:40 p.m. on June 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I don't think you'll have any luck finding add-ons for that pack.As with most external frame packs,your add-ons are what you attach to it.Your sleeping bag,sleeping pad,fishing rod holder,external water bottles,etc. The inside pockets of that pack probably already have a waterproofing layer.Unless you are actually hiking in the rain,just take a 3mil thick trash bag and slip it over it,not much weight to it and you may find another use for it.

Glad to here you found a pack that you like and fits you well,a very important first step.Have fun!

6:17 a.m. on June 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Be careful when using the plastic lash points (the sewn on patches with slots to capture a strap or cord). My experience is these patches can fail under stress. I replaced these on pack I have with patches made from leather, which a shoe cobbler can sew on for you for about $5 per patch, provided you fashion the patch yourself. The cobbler may even supply the leather.

7:06 a.m. on June 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Hello. and welcome to the site and to backpacking! If your looking for a rain cover you have several options. Use a contractor trash bag, this is not the most durable method but does work well. Use a lightweight tarp. Or the company Sea to Summit commonly seen as S2S sells silnylon pack covers. They have small, med, and large sizes and they will fit most any pack. I know EMS and REI carry them, if you have a store in your area you can go there and try one out to see which one fits the best. I would guess med or large.

8:21 a.m. on June 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the advice. I work right down the road from a REI and just signed up for a membership there. This Sunday will be my first scratch and dent yard sale at REI so i cant wait. So my next couple of questions are as follows. I have an idea of the bare minimum necessities that i will need to take with me, we will be gone for 4 days and 3 nights, all of the sites we are staying at allow wood fires, its a relatively short hike from starting point to finish point but we will be doing alot of venturing around after we get our camp setup, any ideas on some items to take? Our first day in the backcountry will be August 25th so from what i hear daytime temps will be between 65-85 and nighttime temps could be between 25-50. Big swing in temps but it gives you an idea. My next question is has anyone been camping/hiking at Yellowstone in the "Canyon" area?

9:52 a.m. on June 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Don't take this list as gospel as I am putting it together off the top of my head. But this will give you an idea of what you need.

Tent or other form of shelter (tent, bivy, hammock, tarptent etc)

Sleeping bag-i would say a 30F bag at a minimum because temps can drop in late august. This can easily be one of the heaviest items in your pack, lower quality bags are often much heavier.

Sleeping pad-your preference whether foam or inflatable

Camp stove- many types, don't break the bank, they all work pretty good. I often use a cheap coleman sport dual fuel stove, weighs a ton but was cheap and has lasted me over 12 years now.

First aid kit-include general first aid supplies, tylenol, benadryl, imodium ad etc. I do recommend bringing an ace bandage.

Survival kit/repair kit- small or partial roll of duct tape, sewing kit(heavy duty thread), fire starter, some emergency tinder (cotton balls smeared with vaseline etc), 20-30ft of paracord, many other things you can put in also just search around on the forum. A good knife, I prefer a fixed blade knife. MAKE SURE YOU TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHEN YOU EXPECT TO RETURN.

Navigation- map and compass, know how to use them, a gps is optional but always always always have a real compass on hand. By real i mean non electric, a traditional magnetic compass. I also like to mark my map with my intended track, water sources etc.

Bear bag or canister-check park regs, you will need one of the two. and need to know how to properly hang a bag if you go that route.

Clothing- can vary alot, but you want a few layers, you wil be the most comfortable with a wicking baselayer, you main layer can be almost anything although alot will argue. General advice though is to avoid cotton and to go with a synthetic or wool material that is quick drying. An insulating layer or jacket could be needed that time of year especially in the evenings. And then have a rain shell of some sort, some rain shells can double as an insulating layer. You probally wont get too chilled in August, but it is better to be prepared then not. Bring an extra pair or two of dry socks at a minimum, although I highly recommend a full change of dry clothes.

Food and water- bring a little more food than you think you will need. I usually pack 1 extra days worth. As far as water goes, I figure on 3 liters of drinking water a day plus water for cooking. Others use less. Research your route for where water is available.

Water filter/treatment- alot of options in this department, everything from a mechanical filter to UV treatment, or purification tablets.

Kitchen set-Personal preferance really, A cooking pot or a container that you can boil water in. This will depend on the types of meals you intend on having. I can bring two pots, or a canteen cup. Depends on your style. I highly recommend a drinking cup for coffee/tea/cocoa/oatmeal if thats your thing, and a small 1 liter pot or so or kettle. After a little cooking you will find what you like so start off simple. And of course utensils, spoon or spork etc.

Bugspray, sunscreen, headlamp, hat, sunglasses are also things to bring along.

Think I covered all of the basics. If you had those items you could easily get by. Many other things are comforts. Like a camp chair or stool. fishing gear, camera gear and whatnot.

If I forgot anything I am sure someone else can chime in. And if you have questions, keep them coming.

2:49 a.m. on July 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I have that pack! It used to be my dad's when he and I started backpacking fifteen years ago. I'm about to upgrade to an internal frame but I do really like that pack. I took it out last weekend with 30 lbs of gear and it handles it all quite well. I lashed the sleeping bag to the lower frame, hooked a Ridgeway self-inflating pad to the plastic slots on the bottom and used the top flap to hold in my tent and tripod stool. I carried extra clothes, 3 liters of water, a bunch of food and a book. I used the ice pick loop for my fishing pole and fit some fishing tackle in the lower "sleeping bag" compartment. The upper outside pocket is perfect for your survival kit and stuff you need quick access to like a compass, flashlight etc.

Since you're close to REI, I recommend picking up the Primus Classic stove. It's $25 (I got it for $15 with my $10 member dividend) I know people have lots of opinions about stoves but the Primus is small, weighs 8 oz and you can find fuel everywhere for it.

When I went out last weekend I didn't have a stove so I brought some tin-foil to cook the two trout I caught (make a hot fire, reduce to coals, insert fish, eat when ready) and brought along some canned food that I opened a little and set on a porous rock next to the fire till bubbly.

Keep it cheap for your first excursion and when you get back you'll have a better idea about what you want/need/.

have fun!

10:04 a.m. on July 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the advice. I work right down the road from a REI and just signed up for a membership there. This Sunday will be my first scratch and dent yard sale at REI so i cant wait.

Stay away! It will ruin you! Once you have the backpacking bug... you will find all sorts of things you "need" (which will sit on a shelf). It's horrible and wonderful at the same time!

As for your time in Yellowstone, which is just two hours down the road from me and has similar conditions, your mantra should be "layers" (as Rambler has already noted). Don't look for single articles of clothing that satisfy every need, but several layers which can be combined to suit a variety of conditions. Sorry if this is old advice to you, but it is essential! Especially in MT/WY where, as you said, the temps do swing!

I will disagree with Rambler about getting chilled in August. You can and will. I have been snowed on in August. Don't think the climate in Yellowstone is temperate or stable.

Have you read up on bear safety? Don't go to Yellowstone without doing that.

11:25 a.m. on July 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey Mike068: I have a Camp Trails Night Song II women's pack that actually fits me great. I have searched high and low on the internet for specs for this pack with no luck. You wouldn't happen to know the specs on that pack, would you?


3:06 a.m. on July 22, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey, kudos to you for finding a pack that actually fits! That can be the biggest problem, so you may be way ahead of the game if you can rig your stuff in a way that you can carry. Listen to the more experienced members of the board, but keep in mind that fit is extremely important. Don't abandon it until you've explore the options.

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