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oldisnewagain1

Icarus dilemma

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I'm obsessing with the choice of a pack for a 2020 Philmont trek

On one hand I have my tried and true Alps Cascade 5200 (85 Liters) pack on the other hand I got a good price on a Granite Gear Crown X60 (60 liters).

The Pros and Cons as I see them right now are

Alps Pros

I already own it

There is plenty of room for my stuff, crew gear, and Philmont gear

It fits well and is comfortable

Cons

It is heavy (5 pounds 8 oz)

The pack has been repaired a few times (the sewed seams leave a lot to be desired)

With the extra space in the pack, I could over pack

Not as much airflow as I would like on my back

Granite Gear Pros

Lightweight (2 pounds 8.2 oz)

Good features including back ventilation

Price $120 (budget is always a concern)

Cons

35 pound max carry

It doesn't look like I could strap any thing to the bottom

Having never tried it before, I'm not sure how comfortable it will be

 

Now based on my current base weight is 17.11 but I still have some things to get and weigh. With water, an estimate of Philfood (for three days), and a tent my estimated weight is 37.5 and this is before crew and Philmont gear. I'm thinking the Granite Gear might not be the right choice.

 

Thoughts?

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Thoughts?   I never got to hike in Philmont. The senior Scouts from my Troop  used army surplus plywood packframes, made their own tarp tents out of 8 mil black plastic , duct tape, and grommets, came back hyped up. Our Troop went camping a lot after that.  Since the older Scouts used 'em,  dad and I went out and bought the M4 plywood packframe for me, lashed the BSA Yucca pack to it, and that is what I used thru the late 1950s. No hip belt, canvas, cotton cord. When the canvas backpad started to give way, I found a open mesh  one that fit and that made a world of difference in comfort.  Then a friend brought a Swiss rucksack. Aluminum frame, hip belt , nylon.  Wow.  Instant conversion.   I got a Kelty/REI packframe, and then even tried to convert the M4 with a homemade heavy hinge hip belt thingy, which bent under the load.  The M4 is ready for the museum....  

When my friend invited me to walk the Camino de Santiago with him, I went out and bought a new Deuter pack.  I think I had a max 20 kilos .  Very comfortable, extra roomy, served very well.  I crafted  some rings on the bottom of the pack to lash the sleeping bag to,  keeping the light weight stuff on the bottom.  I believe I still would favor an external frame as being more adaptable, but the internal frame Deuter was very nice. Pockets on the outside for small stuff... Rain cape, 

Such choices available now.  "Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer cherce." 

 

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Perspective: you are fretting over

  • a 2.97 pound reduction in pack-weight
  • a $120 cost, which means:
  • $20.20 per pound reduction in pack weight, but
  • you don't even know if you could strap that extra 3 pounds of whatever you want to the bottom of the new pack.

IMHO, the penalty for over-packing is huge. Airflow is nice, but not a show stopper.

I only switched packs when the wicking liner (Goretex, I think) crumbled. (Note to self: I need to scavenge that old pack. I could use the cotter pins and lock rings for my kayak.)

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36 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Perspective: you are fretting over

  • a 2.97 pound reduction in pack-weight
  • a $120 cost, which means:
  • $20.20 per pound reduction in pack weight, but
  • you don't even know if you could strap that extra 3 pounds of whatever you want to the bottom of the new pack.

IMHO, the penalty for over-packing is huge. Airflow is nice, but not a show stopper.

I only switched packs when the wicking liner (Goretex, I think) crumbled. (Note to self: I need to scavenge that old pack. I could use the cotter pins and lock rings for my kayak.)

And I'm fretting over the Alps seams once again letting loose

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54 minutes ago, SSScout said:

The senior Scouts from my Troop  used army surplus plywood packframes,...

Yeah, when I was a young strapping lad, I could diamond hitch just about anything to a WWII (maybe Korean War) pack frame our Troop had and carry way too much

But those days are gone and I'm expecting Vitamin I (despite conditioning before going) will be my best friend on this trek

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The 35# limit would stop me. Of course the goal is to stay below that weight, but that would be an easy weight to bust. There are all kinds of situations that could force sharing the load of a crew member.

Spend some time on Craigslist.

What state are you located?

Barry

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

 There are all kinds of situations that could force sharing the load of a crew member.

What state are you located?

That makes good sense! Thanks Barry!

I just cancelled my order for the crown x60.

My state, well usually, confusion and denial but I'm located in Mass

Edited by oldisnewagain1

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I went to Philmont in 2005, and my pack started out at 35 pounds.  Then they added 15 pounds of food and water.  You are looking at a base weight of 20.  Not hard to do these days, but you have to plan carefully and look at the gear you want to carry.

 

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I'm going backpacking next week with my troop. There is so much snow in the mountains that we need to bring snow shoes, and warmer clothing, and a big pack. Frost points the end of June, just what I want. Anyway, I went and borrowed a big pack. I'm thinking I'm getting too old for this. New thought: Now I'm more like the younger scouts on the hike - not quite sure if I'm going to make it. Reminds me of my first backpacking trips.

I have a smaller pack that works just fine for a weekend (without snow) and a recent external frame pack that is super comfortable but doesn't hold much more than the little pack. It could hold a lot more if I just make a pack that will fit the frame (the pack that comes with it is only 2/3 the size of the frame). I may do that some day.

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most of the time excess weight in packs comes from the the things that "weigh nothing". I am not an uberlight backpacker and I do carry some extras, but I found the key is to know exactly (to the tenth of an ounce) what everything weighs and use a list. This almost all but eliminates the "I *might* need this too and it doesn't weigh much". B/c all those add up to a lot. This is also why I suggest all scouts should pack for all trips as though it was for backpacking that way they know what is really necessary.

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10 hours ago, oldisnewagain1 said:

And I'm fretting over the Alps seams once again letting loose

Oh, if it's fraying (or frayed once) at the seems don't take it on a week-long adventure.

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My $0.02 worth - I would go with the GG pack.  Partly because of the weight savings, partly because smaller pack prevents adding unnecessary items (which saves more weight), partly because of the questionable stitching.  Mostly because Im a gear geek and enjoy trying out new stuff.

Ive carried a GoLite Pinnacle on 2 treks (and a bunch of other week-long hikes).  THe specs put it at 70 liters and 30# weight limit.  My personal gear was right about 18# so very similar to yours - add Philfood, water and tent and I was about 35#.  That pack was comfortable at that weight.  It was full to the top at our biggest food pickup but everything fit.

 

 

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Less weight  = more happiness.

Go with the lighter pack and work on a lower base weight.  Mine is around 12 pounds right now.  On a budget you can easily be under 15 before crew gear, food and water.

My mostly complete list for our 7/28/2019 trek:  https://lighterpack.com/r/1y08fv

 

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I am in a similar predicament. I am looking to get a lighter pack as I am using a Camp Trails Wind River Pack.  It is approx. 5.5 pounds, and is approx. 80 L expandable to 90L.  

After looking at what is out there. I am sticking with the Wind River. The 35# weight limit is a major concern for some packs, and for others, the weight savings was negligable for the cost. In one case, the pack weighed more than the Wind River! 

Not only do I use the pack for family camping, there have been two instances where I had to deal with medical emergencies, and gear had to be redistributed. First time it happened, I had a cheap pack from K Mart, and the pack broke from the excess weight.

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