Packing Pointers

2:01 p.m. on May 24, 2007 (EDT)

In a few weeks I'm going to be going on one of those life adjusting expeditions, looking for someplace other than my home town to goto school. I'll be starting in Portland and heading down till the coast into Southern California.

I plan on doing it all under my own steam, hitch hiking and good old fashion leg work. Anyway I need a backpack for this little trip and was wondering if someone might be able to make a suggestion on what kind of pack would be appropriate for something like this. I tried swimming through the sea of review on this website and only ended up more confused than when I started.

So if anyone has idea of what kind of pack I should get my hands on, or any other pointers on gear or anything, please let me know.

10:44 p.m. on May 25, 2007 (EDT)
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1,902 forum posts

Basically, all you need is a simple medium sized pack. I suggest going to REI and looking at them in person. Focus on a pack around 3000 c.i.-a medium sized pack. If you are really hitching, a huge pack will deter people from picking you up. I don't recommend hitching; I rarely see anyone doing that these days. REI has some house brand packs at reasonable prices. I'd also look at something like a Granite Gear Nimbus or similar pack-REI carries some of them as well. They are fairly lightweight, not too expensive and well made. I own a Kelty, but mine has too many straps and stuff on it for what you are doing (and mine's not made anymore anyway). I'd stay away from a cheap pack that doesn't fit right-or any pack that doesn't fit right as far as that goes. If money is an issue, I picked up a cheap Outdoor Products pack at Sport Chalet and it is fine for someone not over about 5-10 and not too heavy. I'd also stay away from a pack with a lot of extra pockets on it-they can catch on racks, hinges, etc.

3:53 a.m. on May 28, 2007 (EDT)

Thanks man, appretiate the info. Some things I hadn't quite thought of. I'm trying REI right now actually, any packs in particular you like?

3:54 p.m. on May 28, 2007 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
1,902 forum posts

There are plenty of well-made packs out there. Some people like panel loading packs (big zipper on the back) or packs with separate sleeping bag compartments. The important thing is to get a pack that fits you. This depends on your body type and pack design-some packs, no matter how well made, etc. just don't fit. I had an Arctery'x pack like that-excellent quality, but it just didn't fit me right, even after fiddling with it.

Granite Gear packs seem to fit me pretty well. I have only tried them on in the store, but they get good recommendations here and on other sites. REI's house brand packs are reasonably priced and seem well made.

Many packs have various adjustments to make them fit better. Fixed suspension packs either fit or they don't. If they don't, pass on them. An ill fitting pack is a waste of money regardless of its other features. You will soon hate it and wind up selling it.

REI will take back almost anything for almost any reason, so they are a good place to guy gear. You may not get the most knowledgable advice, but the return polisy can't be beat. Make sure when trying on a pack that you load it up in the store (REI has sandbags, or something similar) for this and walk around for more than a couple of minutes. They are used to people doing this, so don't be rushed. You want something you can wear for hours at a time. I used to be able to wear my old North Face pack all day because it fit me right.

11:14 a.m. on June 8, 2007 (EDT)
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77 forum posts

I agree with Tom D on around a 3000-3500 pack. I would also suggest that you buy a pack cover. I hitched from Miami into the pan handle of Fla. many years back. My pack was filthy from the exhaust fumes and oil stains on the road as I had sat my pack down on the road many times. I would also suggest to try to stay with the truckers. They are a little more kinder toward hitchers. If you bring a single sheet with ya, a lot of the truckers will let you sleep in the bunk while they are driving (use your own judgement on this). It really was a great experiance though.

Good luck on your trip

1:24 a.m. on July 12, 2007 (EDT)
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4 forum posts

These would be great for that kind of travel:

Osprey Packs Waypoint 60 Pack- Men's

Or this one if you are looking for a larger pack:

Eagle Creek Ultimate Explorer LT Travel Pack

Either of these will be enough for what you are out to do! Good Luck!

3:37 p.m. on July 13, 2007 (EDT)

a.k.a. Former Fleece wonderer has the 50 liter Osprey mens pack on sale for like $70, free shipping if you pick it up at the store. Not to mention, you could bring your stuff, try it on and walk around the store with it and do the return right there if it didn't work out.

May 22, 2018
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