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  1. #21
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    I appreciate all of the input. I am grateful

  2. #22
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    I agree with Peakbagger. The ATC is recommending bear canisters for 2023.

    I’m planning a 2024 thru hike and have pivoted to a larger pack to allow me to carry the canister. I don’t want to contribute to bears being euthanized because of careless food handling. I hope others are moving in this direction too. Bear canisters help protect the bears.

    I’ve got an Osprey Exos 58 and just bought an Osprey Aether 65 that should better accommodate the bear canister I bought. If not I will go bigger. I won’t carry any extra gear than what i was already planning to carry - just want to be comfortable with the canister in my pack.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyclif View Post
    You won't need a bear can. There's only one short section of the trail that requires a bear can, and you can easily hike through it in less than a day if you plan accordingly.
    This is true, but not exactly truth. I'm not quite sure why there haven't been bear can recommendations in other sections - for example, the section on the other side of Neel Gap, or between Muskat shelter and Betty Gap - where there have been issues with bears raiding areas where there is consistently hung food to go after, which they happen to be quite adept at. So, I can't say I believe its true that you won't need one just because the formal restricted area is only 5m. I think what might be true is that you could end up wanting one, and it would seem to be an increasing probability.

    And then regarding pack size, sometimes you have to ensure the opening of the pack can accommodate the bear can. Most 50L+ packs can with no issue, but a lot of 35L packs can't, and its dicey with some 40-50L packs. My other pack is a CDT and it accommodates my BV450 rather easily. That said, it was recommended earlier in this thread as a main pack which I vehemently disagree with. Its frameless and has no load lifters. Its volume is larger than other small frameless packs which is great for putting my insulation in and letting other small summer gear pack into that to form a consistent feel on my back. I think it could be a great AT pack for a more experienced hiker, but I'd never recommend it here to a general inquiry on packs.
    "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

  4. #24

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    The volume of your pack should also be a function of the calorie density of the food you intend to eat. Like: a relatively small eight-ounce bottle of olive oil ($5 at most?) has roughly 2,000 calories, whereas you'd need five full-sized Mountain House beef stew entrees at 400 calories apiece (and a cost of roughly $55) to be the calorie equivalent. Olive oil = small volume, beef stew = large volume. One more consideration to factor in.

  5. #25
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    24 L is my favorite. If you cannot purchase light gear than pack less.

  6. #26
    scope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birthright View Post
    24 L is my favorite. If you cannot purchase light gear than pack less.
    LOT easier said than done. Kudos to you for doing it.
    "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

  7. #27

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    With some tents like Big Agnes, you can set the rain fly up first, and work on clipping the actual tent to the poles.
    Not easier, but dryer.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    With some tents like Big Agnes, you can set the rain fly up first, and work on clipping the actual tent to the poles.
    Not easier, but dryer.
    I have helped my wife practice this technique in the backyard.

    Works for collapsing a tent in the rain too.

  9. #29

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    If you hike a lot, you will end up owning a lot of packs (I have at least six). Choose the pack to fit your (minimized) gear for a particular hike, not the gear to fill up a huge pack. The tent and bag options you choose will influence your pack choice more than anything else. Yes 55-60 l seems right for the AT in good weather.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Do we? I've heard this many times but I certainly don't, and while I'm sure there are some who do, I don't buy that's the majority of experienced LD hikers.

    On my thru I typically had my summer weight down that all the cinch straps were at their max compactness. What a larger pack does is give you more options on how to pack and easier to pack and also to get the stuff one needs. This tends to allows an overall more comfortable pack as well. While the smaller pack folks were playing tetris most every time, especially leaving town resupply and getting ready for a longer stretch till next one, Sometimes even carrying a meal in hand. I could easily pack up and get on trail putting things were I wanted in the shape I wanted instead of where and how they needed to be.

    In that I do like some extra room, but not so much as I feel it is unnecessarily large, with the primary factor of comfort under a load.
    I didn't specify, but I was referring to newbies, not experienced ld or thru hikers. There is definitely something to having a larger pack to be able to carry larger food loads when necessary.
    If I were to do a thru, and didn't have the ability to swap out packs when the weather warmed up, I'd probably use my Osprey 75 liter rather than my smaller and lighter ULA pack...but since I have both, I'd swap out packs when I swapped out my 0 degree bag and extra layers.

  11. #31
    Registered User English Stu's Avatar
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    I am a Brit. On my first 700 ml AT hike I used a Golite Breeze. Another time I hiked the JMT with a ULA Catalyst and had to carry a Bear barrel which juggled a bit fitted in or on the pack. I travelled part way home across the US to continue the AT; I still had the barrel and found it useful saving time avoiding hanging food: looking for suitable trees etc and it was a good seat in camp. I do go light weight and have been again on the AT to do the 100ml Wilderness; more than 100ml as I started earlier.
    Now on multiday/week hikes I use a Zpacks ArcBlast.
    It really is a question of getting a pack you can fit the gear in that you want to take; that is probably different to what gear you need :-)

  12. #32
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    I carry a 48L & it works fine
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind........Then Join In........

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by annoydbear View Post
    I agree with Peakbagger. The ATC is recommending bear canisters for 2023.

    I donít want to contribute to bears being euthanized because of careless food handling. Bear canisters help protect the bears.
    With this logic by the ATC, please let us know how many bears have been euthanized due to AT Thru-hikers
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind........Then Join In........

  14. #34

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    I certainly couldn’t answer that question, but it would be surprising if there weren’t at least a few. And that poster just said they didn’t want to contribute to the issue. That said, 2-3 extra lbs is a lot. I went with an Ursack. Although I know they aren’t perfect, they have been tested and passed. They’re a lot lighter and more compact. And you don’t have to find a branch to hang from. Okay, no good as a stool. Worked for me. No animal food loss on a thru, bear or otherwise.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    I would absolutely take my Catalyst, which is listed as 75L, but that includes the side, back and hip pockets. The main body is about 50L which is plenty large, but what I like is that it cinches down to carry a small load very well. Its reasonably light and I never have to worry about packing it as it will swallow more than I should carry. The other pockets as mentioned are larger than other packs which means you have a little more flexibility for how you utilize them - like carrying a plus sized iPhone in the hip.
    Iím late replying but thank you so much

  16. #36
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    I carried my (now) 30YO Lowe Alpine Contour IV for most of my LASHs up through 2012. Approx 5500CI. It was heavier by today's standard, but 5500 easily fit all my gear with room for warmer clothes/bag during shoulder months. Was my favorite bag - Still have it, but it is pretty well worn.
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

  17. #37

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    50 to 60 L should be enough without being too small for when you need to carry more insulation or food.
    Find the LIGHT STUFF at QiWiz.net

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  18. #38
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    I hiked the AT over 4 LASHES...the first year in 2016 I used an Osprey Exos 58...last year when I completed the trail by hiking NH and ME., I hiked with an Osprey Exos 38....the more you hike, the lighter your pack will get, and you will use a smaller pack to carry that lighter load...I'm hiking SOBO this year starting 3/27 from Grayson Highlands to Davenport Gap, then thru hiking the Benton Mackaye trail SOBO....all with my Osprey Exos 38...even with my winter gear...
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH ME to NH 2022 - Completion of AT
    Georgia Loop 2022

  19. #39
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    Peakbagger, I just hiked the AT from Springer to Woody Gap...hardly anyone starting the AT is carrying a bear cannister....maybe 1 out of every 20 hikers...bear cannisters are recommended, but not required, except for Jarrard Gap to Neel Gap, which most hikers hike thru without spending the night. Not an issue....yet....!
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH ME to NH 2022 - Completion of AT
    Georgia Loop 2022

  20. #40
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    I have a ULA Circuit and CDT. I’ve used the circuit for longer section hikes on the AT as well as thru hikes of the JMT and Colorado Trails, and a long section of the PCT (Mexico into the Sierras). The Circuit can accommodate my Bearikade Canister comfortably. The canister fits in the CDT but makes it into a barrel that is not comfortable to carry. The CDT has been great for short overnight or a few days backpacking without a canister or for walks in Europe, like hut to hut treks in Switzerland or the Camino. I think that the ULA Ohm 2 could be perfect for an AT thru hike, although the Circuit is only somewhat bigger. As should be obvious by now, I’m a big fan of ULA packs.

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