View Full Version : Hiking at 20,000 ft.

06-18-2013, 12:02
Hi guys.

I'm new as you will soon find out and need some help on a sunny Tuesday.

I am going on a trip in late Sept. for a two week stay in Greece at Mt Athos.

Mt. Athos is an island that has over 20 monasteries on it. I will be going to nine of them for visits and will be hiking to and from maybe 50% of them.

After that two weeks I will be going to Israel to spend a few days with my daughter, then home for a shower and rest.

I've been told to bring everything I need for the two weeks in a backpack.

That got me thinking and looking on the internet (where I found you guys) and I came up with the bright idea that maybe I would like to hike and camp out before I go and after I come back. All of my sleeping will be in dorm rooms or hotel rooms, so I won't be camping out while I'm there.

So here is my question: What pack should I buy?

I know everyone wants to know the right one to use and maybe you can even lead me to a thread that will answer all my questions, but here are my needs.

1st. I will be flying of course and the reg's. for carry-on with United is 22" x 14" x 9". So I need something that will conform to that size. I won't be taking any sleeping bag or cooking equipment or tent. There are no laundry facilities (washer and dryer) available, so I need enough clothes to last the two weeks. I don't have a big bank roll left after paying for the trip so I have to keep the cost down.

Oh, and BTW I'm 71 years old, had double by-pass surgery, 5'-8" and 195 lbs.. Torso is 19", waist is 38 on a good day, and I take my 8 yr old Aussi Shepard for walks 3 times a day. (I live across the road from Michigan's Tracks to Trails that goes through Mid-Michigan, so I can walk for practice, even though I don't now.

Other than playing taps slowly what advice do you have for me?

Thanks in advance for any comments you can give me. Except STAY HOME GRAMPS!

06-18-2013, 12:17
Very misleading post title, lol.

My take on this is that you really need to dial-in what you are going to carry on your two-week trip before you are in a position to choose the pack. You will want a pack that fits well, provides you enough support, and fits all of your gear, but is as small and light as it can be while meeting those criteria.

If I were you, I would take merino wool or synthetic clothing, and plan on washing in a sink somewhere, rather than carrying 2 weeks worth of clothing. Merino wool can be expensive, but it breathes very well and does not stink like synthetics after use. Pack as light as you can, given that you will be carrying it on your back.

06-18-2013, 12:32
Wear Smartwool and have one spare set. Wash the spare in a sink and let it dry while wearing the other set. Even without soap, this should work fine. The microweight smartwool is surprisingly comfortable in hot weather. Carrying two weeks of clothing will be impossible in any pack you hope to carry on a plane IMO...

06-18-2013, 13:24
Those pack dimensions are the about the size of my fully loaded ULA CDT backpack. I've flown on United with this fully loaded backpack always taken as a carry-on. It fits in the overheads of all the planes I've flown on. If an agent at the boarding gate thinks your backpack is too large to take as a carry-on they will check to see if it fits inside a cage with those allowed carry-on dimensions(22" x 14" x9"). To meet those United carry on dimensions you are looking at roughly a 3600 cubic inch(about 60 liter) volume backpack MAXIMUM. The ULA CDT is about 3400 cubic inches(55 liters). I wouldn't take the ULA CDT on a two wk Greece/Israel overseas traveling trek though. I would look for something with a better suspension(a suspension) capable of handling 35-40 lb loads comfortably. In your situation I would be looking for a pack with well padded shoulder straps, comfortable waist belt, small compartments for storage, GREAT durability/reliability, and very good ventilation(it's still going to be warm(hot?) in those countries in late Sept).

You might look at a traveling backpack such as the Osprey Porter which at about $100 which will not break the bank. Although you could go with a conventional hiker's backpack in your situation considering your age and surgery IF YOU CAN AFFORD one consider a convertible traveler's backpack that you can wear on you back but also be wheeled around with an extendable handle or tether. These types of traveling packs tend to be more costlier than say the Osprey Porter though but they will put less stress on your back as you travel through APs, cities, etc. Remember, you're mostly traveling with clothing in your backpack. When looking to purchase a pack make sure the sales rep understands that as well as the rest of your concerns. MAKE SURE you wear that LOADED backpack around a bit before you take it abroad to make sure it works COMFORTABLY for you!

People in Greece and Israel do wash clothes so I would FIND A WAY to get some clothing washed during those two wks, Hotels and dormitories can probably help with doing laundry ideas. I would bring: a bed sheet(like a thin sleeping bag for dormitories, etc, also called a sleeping bag liner), wide brim BREATHABLE hat, convertible pants(pants where the legs can be zipped off), shorts or bathing trunks, two short sleeved shirts, one light wt long sleeved shirt that can be worn trekking but also be used for dining out at nicer places, a wind jacket, SUPER comfy walking shoes, perhaps GOOD sandals. Don't forget the sunscreen and sunglasses either.

Sounds like a great trip going at a good choice of seasons. Enjoy.

Feral Bill
06-18-2013, 13:27
There are packs designed specifically to qualify as carry on, like this one http://www.rei.com/product/837012/osprey-porter-46-travel-pack. Trim away mercilessly at you wardrobe and you should be all set. And do see an outfitter (REI in Ann Arbor?) to assure good fit.

06-18-2013, 13:39
That's the Osprey Porter I mentioned FB.

06-18-2013, 20:58
Thanks guys for all the good info. I'll see if I can get it together and follow some of your suggestions.

Feral Bill
06-18-2013, 22:49
That's the Osprey Porter I mentioned FB. So it is:-?

06-18-2013, 23:46
Good reviews on this 3-1 wheeled backpack.