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  1. #1
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    Default Size of backpack

    For 5 to 6 nights on the trail, what size pack do you guys use?
    Thank You.

  2. #2
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    I carry a synthetic sleeping bag (which is bulkier than down, because I'm allergic to down) so I usually use a 55L REI Flash backpack. Hope this thread helps give you a rough idea on where to start to look, but it will, of course, depend on you and what gear choices you make! Happy hiking!
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; NH 48/48 2015-2021; 8 of 159usForests.com
    "The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." - John Muir

  3. #3
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    I think that would vary wildly based on time of year (weather, which will affect how much insulation you'll need), resupply options (how many days of food do you need to carry at a time), location (type of shelter, need for bear canister or not, amount of expected water carry), and an under-appreciated element: your physical size (will affect the volume of the clothes you carry, and how much food you will require per day carried). This is just off the top of my head, there's probably more to consider.

    Conventional wisdom: decide on all your carried gear first, then buy the appropriate pack that works with that load.

  4. #4
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I've done about 12 week long hikes completing about half the trail using a osprey 70 liter in summer or shoulder season. But I like taking a few luxury items

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    I carry a synthetic sleeping bag (which is bulkier than down, because I'm allergic to down) so I usually use a 55L REI Flash backpack. Hope this thread helps give you a rough idea on where to start to look, but it will, of course, depend on you and what gear choices you make! Happy hiking!
    Thanks… I appreciate your input

  6. #6
    Siestita's Avatar
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    :banana

    I only have one backpack that I use these days, a ULA Catalyst. It weighs 3lbs, has 75 liters total volume if you include various pockets, and is designed to potentially carry up to 40 lbs. My fall or spring base weight is 18 lbs. so for two night trips I usually start out carrying just 23 lbs, including the pack. The Catalyst is easy to pack for such trips and carries that much weight very comfortably. But, in the future I anticipate sometimes doing longer trips, up to six nights, additionally taking along a 2 1/2 lb bear canister and perhaps also a portable CPAP machine and its accompanying battery. Setting out on such an adventure my total pack weight will probably be 33 to 35 lbs. (Ouch!) Under those circumstances and I anticipate appreciating having the Catalyst's load hauling capability. ULA sells more of their slightly smaller and lighter Circuit pack, which is not designed to comfortably carry quite as much weight. For me, having the ability to haul loads comfortably is worth adding a few ounces to a pack's weight.
    Last edited by Siestita; 12-09-2022 at 20:29.

  7. #7

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    I use a Gossamer Gear G4-20

    https://youtu.be/EFR23pIhdrg


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    Conventional wisdom: decide on all your carried gear first, then buy the appropriate pack that works with that load.
    Agreed with Time Zone for the simplest way to gauge pack size. A lot depends on the season and terrain I will be going into, I don't worry much about not using all the space in a pack, unused space doesn't weigh a lot, though things can move around if not packed well. Pushing a smaller pack to accommodate a load that is a beyond it's design is the gateway into the land of failed zippers, stretched seams, and torn fabric.

    I will usually lay out the gear/clothing/food I want to bring and fit it into the proper size pack, which I have a few to choose from. Like JNI64, I too like to bring some luxury items along, especially if they are light and add to comfort on dark winter nights, so I tend to select a pack that is slightly larger than what I need to avoid packing issues and take along some comfort things.

  9. #9
    Registered User hikermiker's Avatar
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    I have used packs anywhere from 30 to 50 liters. It all depends on the time of year and where I am going. I do find that if I have extra room i tend to bring more stuff.

  10. #10
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    I went the other end of a ULA pack line and chose the ULA Ohm 2.0 for my AT Thru Hike and other trips. It is made towards the Ultra Lite side of thing s and Carrie’s up to 25/30 lbs of gear. However, coming out of town and a few five day Carries I have pushed it to 35/40 lbs total. A thru is nothing more than a 2-3 night section hike repeated over and over. However, if I were to purchase a pack for the PCT or involve a bear canister or more luxury gear I would split the difference and get the ULA Circuit that was mentioned. Best all around pack IMHO. One important feature no matter which pack that I would recommend, is a “Roll Top” and V-Strap Closure. Most come with it now days, but if given as an option, choose it.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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    We are here to help one another along life's journey. Keep the Faith!

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  11. #11

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    I used a 20L when I did thru-hike the Colorado Trail back in 2015. The size of the pack wasn't the problem, I prefer a little bit more padding on the shoulder straps. I used the same pack on the AT and parts on the CDT. The CDT is harder because of the amount of water needed in some areas.

    Wolf

  12. #12
    Registered User One Half's Avatar
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    Since I live tiny I opted for a pack this year that will handle all my backpacking adventures and went with a zpacks arc air robic 60L. It's light enough that even if I am only going out for a day or two I'm not really carrying any extra weight to speak of and it's large enough for me to easily carry 7 days of food and extra layers of clothing for colder temps. I do NOT backpack in snow or consistently below freezing temps but I think I could do pretty well with this pack if I did (and bought more/better layers)
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  13. #13
    scope's Avatar
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    Lots of love for ULA packs, and I would recommend the Catalyst, though I get why others use the Circuit or Ohm. I just find that its the one pack that does all for me - mostly, as I have a CDT for truly light/small overnite/weekend loads, including fitting in a BV450. For most everything, the Catalyst either swallows the bulk, or cinches down very well on a smaller load, with lots of pocket volume to organize.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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