Re: sleep in your backpac

Posted by Terry Mcadams on Jun 11, 2004

Yeah, how does one sleep in a pack, particularly a smaller 2800 cu in. model? I've used the pack to keep my feet warm when it gets colder than I expected, but beyond that, unless where talking about Houdini, how would one sleep in a pack?

The coal toothpaste is a new one for me. Not sure about the health effects, but I'll stick to using a stick or baking soda (toothpaste smells like candy to critters and can lead mice to trash a pack or tent in one night).

As for the ultralight packs, they're out there, but I've yet to try one that really made the load comfortable and stable. Even in high mountaineering, I use a pack that weighs nearly 4 lbs. I want that load to stay put when I'm traversing an ice ledge. And I don't want the gear or ice cutting up a flimsy pack when I use it for a bench.

As for tarps - not bug and mouse-proof enough for me.

As for costs, when I re-outfitted after back surgery in '97, I figured I'd be spending a couple Gs. With sale shopping, and careful browsing of the net. I cut my pack weight nearly in half for less than $500 - Still a piece of change, but worth it for the comfort and safety gains. The most expensive stuff, tents, bags and packs are ubiquitous on the sale pages at steep discounts. Fashion and fad are a big part of gear appeal, so last year's color/model may be just as functional as this years. Some of the better outfitters have a bomb-proof return policy, so be persistent until you get gear that works for you.

As for the first aid kit, common sense does dictate that each packer bring any items that are peculiar to them, like epi-pens and prescription drugs, and let the leader know you have them and tell the leader why/how they are used. Put for the other stuff (SAM splints, bandages, o-t-c treatments) why carry more than you need?

As for communication gear, the needs of kayaking are different to some extent from packing. When I lead packs, I keep the group together, period. Phones and walkie-talkies are notoriously unreliable in the mountains and I'll never trust them. GPSs are interesting, and I may eventually get one. I'll never rely on it for packing, but for kayaking in the fog of Nova Scotia, it's a good idea.

And now all the light packing stuff fits in the kayaks quite nicely to the point where we can load the boats, put them on the car and just launch when we arrive at whatever halcyon pond we choose to paddle.

Thanks for the thought, guys. Packing and paddling are rife with technique. Nice to learn more.


In Response to: sleep in your backpack? by Peter Lyons on Jun 10, 2004