View Full Version : Running with a Pack

Wolf - 23000
04-25-2011, 00:28
I backpack with an extremely light backpack and on a few occasions have tried running for a few miles - nothing far but a few miles here and there. Even traveling with less than 10 pounds on my back, I find running with a pack very annoying as if bounces up and down on my back. Almost all the weight is food so Iím limited what I can reduce. Iím curious. Those of you that do run with a pack, what do you do?


Johnny Thunder
04-25-2011, 01:30

this is actually something i've researched and thought about a lot over the past 2 years. i think that with regards to gearing running packs are counter-intuitive. the weight needs to be carried in a different place and must be WAY more compact than is necessary for hiking. so a pack that weighs 2 pounds but carries right will make ALL the difference.

for me the weight should be between my shoulder blades and nowhere near my lumbar region (where it'd bounce up and down of my hips). i like the osprey talon series but the 22 (which is about the size i need for gear/food) falls too far down towards my hips. if i could fit into the 11 i'd be pumped. it's ideal. innov8 has some interesting packs but i've never touched one.

04-25-2011, 03:54
I've seen your kit Wolf, a few yrs ago at Trail Days, and you've shared some of your hiking philosphy/style. You are one of the most UL extreme on the short list of what I would label as UL extreme. You hike with a extreme minimalist/survivalist mentality. If you are goimg to run with the types of packs I'v seen and heard you use, I think not just the wt of what you're hauiling plays a factor in the ride/comfort of your pack but perhaps the type/features of the pack you use.

Are you still using that REI Flash pack or, perhaps, a custom made Cuben? With a hipbelt or not?

When I do run with a pack it's not for more than 3 miles and I proceed slowly, at a very moderate pace, typically with less tha 20 lbs, lately with a ULA Conduit(CDT). Nothing hardcore or long distance. I am not military or NO WHERE as UL as you.

04-25-2011, 03:58
Johnny, based exactly on what you said and the types of packs I usually hit a trail with is the very reason why going beyond 3 miles for me is just too much with my typical kit. And, why I do as Wolf said I only run here annd there. Not hardcore!

Jim Adams
04-25-2011, 18:46
I have run as far as 5 miles non-stop with my pack but usually 1-3 miles once I was up the trail and in good shape. I get sooooo many endorphines going...it is a great feeling.
BUT......my pack is 26#....too heavy to bounce much.


04-25-2011, 18:51
I wonder if carrying a few inflatable items like pillows or (don't laugh) a beach ball would help.

Pack the backpack tight to start and then inflate the pillow(s) as you use your food to keep things tight.

Or am I not understanding correctly?

04-25-2011, 21:13
the only time I have run with a pack was when being chased by bees.


04-25-2011, 21:32
i usualy dont run with a pack on seems like a easier way to get hurt but i was walking into bland VA realized it was saterday and the post office closed at ten or eleven so i ran most of the 13 miles that morning to get there i held the pack straps with my hands to combat the bounce i wouldnt do it again unless in that situation... then in new york i would say i jogd down alot of nobo down hills seemd they were alot more relaxd then the climb to the top goin nobo......but id say with a pack ur better off not running

Jersey Tim
04-25-2011, 21:43
Depending on how much stuff you have, you might take a look at some of the packs Camelbak makes. I only bring it up because I bring one with me on very long runs; it's the Rogue model, intended for cycling, but it holds its weight up in a good place, ventilates well, and I don't even notice it there after just a few minutes. Obviously you'd need a lot more room that me if you're going out for multiple nights, but it's worth a look.

Wolf - 23000
04-26-2011, 03:07
Thank you to everyone here for your responds! Jersey Tim to answer your question about how much stuff. Almost all my pack weight is food. My pack/gear weight is between 1 - 2 pounds.

Being in the fairly good shape, I normal take a run down to the beach and back at least once or twice a week - 8 miles round trip. Hawaii has some good hills here that are butt kickers to try running up. Anyway when I do get back to the Mainland I figure I would give trail running a try with my pack. Something new.


04-26-2011, 05:40
We ran a lot in our quest for the triplecrown in one year back in 2001/2002.
We had a go-lite day pack which is very similar to the go-lite breeze but smaller.
It worked fine. We probably had 10-12 lbs of gear average.
We didn't run up hills much. But almost always on the downhills.
No hip belt, tighten the shoulder straps and enjoy.
By the way, your fanny pack idea is something that i've tried running with and didn't like it bouncing around and thought the packback bounced much less. It must fit properly i guess.
good luck.

04-26-2011, 09:31
ran 15.8 out of the smokeys to davenport with no food or water and a base weight of 12. but because i use no stuffbags and have everything dispersed, i get no bounce at all. i belive its the secret. if you think about it, the best packed pack all strapped down tight and even would bounce way mor than the same size and weight if it was just a skin tight weight shirt.and if you factor in the sloshing liquids and slight movements of inersia within the poorly loaded pack, you get a wide range of bounce. dispersion and even soft packing with liquids topped off is the way to comfort. love running so frikkin much. why did i quit? why wolf!!!!!!! argg!

04-26-2011, 09:36
wolf23000 stirs up lots of funny rumers when he hikes. folks pass all day and ask, did you see that tall guy wearing a red unisuit with an ubersmall pack go by? and the next guy will say his pack was a bear container, then a nalge, and finally, later in camp, someone will say his pack was a toy pack from a doll. wolf is uberlight. his heavyest item is his sleeping pad witch is just a knee sized band aid. he puts it on the base of his spine and sleeps on rocks. thats the kind of stuff we joke about wolf. oxoxoxmatty.

04-26-2011, 16:19
"To get a bad back,run with a Pack"

04-26-2011, 19:22
There are many hydration packs made specifically for running/trail running. They're usually very narrow compared to a normal backpacking pack, and they don't have much space so that everything is purposely held snuggly against your back. Look at something like the Osprey Raptor packs, or any of the Camelbaks. I also have a lumbar pack made by Amphipod that holds a bottle horizontally and has a stretch zip pocket that holds WAY more than you'd expect it to. Between it and the small pocket on my handheld, I can easily carry more food than I'd realistically need for a 15-20 mile run, a small water filter, my keys, etc.

I wish there were a pack as light weight and simple as something like a GG RikSak that were also comfortable to run with. Maybe sewing in a bunch of shock cord would make the difference.

04-26-2011, 20:01
When I run with a pack I often find it useful to loosen the straps and then hook my hand into the straps to stabilize them, and support the weight of my arms at the same time. I can still slip my hands out if I slip and fall or crash into a tree, or at least I think I can.

04-26-2011, 20:58
I've been doing 7-10mi trail runs with a pack training for my hike. I use a camelbak I orginally bought when i raced DH mountian bikes. With waist, shoulder and sternum straps, it secures really well to my back. Using the bladders allows you to empty all the air out of it (then no water sloshing). Plenty of room to pack food, extra clothes, pieces of steel (to add weight). Some of the camelbaks have a pretty good capacity. The pack is narrower than my back and allows plenty of arm movement.

Using your hands to support the pack would work for short runs possibly, but I like to use super light trekking poles while running trail w/a pack to help with climbs, etc.

05-08-2011, 21:53
I have run quite a bit with my full "PCT load" which has a base weight of about 8 lb. The two packs that I used were the Golite Jam (2008) and the MLD Burn which is a much smaller and IMHO better pack for running. Both of these packs have hipbelts and the Burn also has a chest strap which I use on that pack due to small width. (the straps want to separate out) I also believe it becomes more important to watch the weight distribution. Certainly no level weight toward the back of the pack.

The other thing that I have done on both packs is sew on water bottle pouches on the hipbelt which also helps keep the weight off the back. With this setup I have been able to do some 20+ mile runs which consist of hiking the uphills and running the downhills and the 20ft of level on the GA AT.


Second Half
05-09-2011, 09:01

08-30-2011, 12:15
I have a Camelback pack but it bounces way too much. I have another pack, a really old hydration pack that isn't made anymore, that bounces very little. The old one doesn't have a hip belt and the shoulder straps are really close together at the top with a sternum traip. Maybe the lack of hip belt and the close-together shoulders are the secret, I don't know. I stopped using the hip strap on my Camelback thinking that might work, but all it does is reduce the amount it pulls up my shirt in back but it still bounces too much.

I can run with a small fanny pack if I let it hang over my groin area. Then it doesn't bounce. I can put a few snacks, a light jacket, money or whatever in there.

08-30-2011, 21:01
I have a Pinnacle, and I did some running with it in June when I was in Virginia. It did tend to bounce a bit, and I found that I could control that pretty well be hooking my hands through the straps, and adjusting my stride so that I was sort of gliding rather than traditional running. The danger there is tripping on a root or rock or whatever.

I didn't take any tumbles this year, but when trail-running disaster is just one stumble away...

Tom Murphy
08-31-2011, 10:23
ooops, I thought this thread was about joining a cliche of NOBO hikers vs. going solo, pardon me