Overnight Backpack

UKYanky

Tenderfoot
Jan 25, 2017
90
0
Grantham
Hi Ladies and Gents,

I've been reading quite a lot of threads ref back packs and its all quite overwhelming to be fair. I would like a back pack but I think it would be best to describe my intended activities.

I want a pack that will allow me to hike off (with the wife) with the possibility of staying overnight and return the next day (or two).
I was hoping to do this as lightly as possible so I would like some advice if anyone has the time and patience lol.

What size bag do I need? carrying the usual minimum stuff, bag, small 2 man tent, tarp, sleeping bag, pot/bottles/stove, etc

Things to consider:
Waterproof, or dry sacks?
PLCE might be good as Im in the military and can maybe utilise some stuff I have access to for other expeds or should I go with Osprey type bags.
Exterior pockets an advantage? Saving routing about all the time? Or not...a lot of bags I see dont have many exterior access pockets :confused:

Can anyone help with this...

TVM.
 

Squidders

Full Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,853
14
44
Harrow, Middlesex
Will you be carrying stuff for both of you or will you each carry your own stuff?

Are you sleeping bags big synthetic 4-season jobs or small down filled ones?

I personally love my Lowe Alpine Cerro Torre backpack. It's huge but the comfort is spectacular - really, it's an all day pack. I synch everything up if I'm carrying less and even when I'm carrying everything imaginable, it still takes it.

The downside, if you can call it one, is that it isn't really part of the bushcraft uniform many people seem to like. Don't get me wrong, if someone loves to look the part, crack on but I don't really care about that.
 

UKYanky

Tenderfoot
Jan 25, 2017
90
0
Grantham
Will you be carrying stuff for both of you or will you each carry your own stuff?

Are you sleeping bags big synthetic 4-season jobs or small down filled ones?

I personally love my Lowe Alpine Cerro Torre backpack. It's huge but the comfort is spectacular - really, it's an all day pack. I synch everything up if I'm carrying less and even when I'm carrying everything imaginable, it still takes it.

The downside, if you can call it one, is that it isn't really part of the bushcraft uniform many people seem to like. Don't get me wrong, if someone loves to look the part, crack on but I don't really care about that.
Thanks for the reply.

Good questions.

My Mrs will take her own bag and stuff. Although I will carry the extra items like tent etc.

At the moment I have my RAF issue bag which is massive and my wife has my ****ty little summer spare. I am hoping to ask for advice on good compressible 3 season bags soon. So If I say yeah a compressible 3 season bag.

I'm totally not bothered about looking 'on trend'. Im all about function and comfort.

BTW the Lowe Alpine looks great! Did you go for the 65 litre variant? I thought (excuse my naiveness) that would be too much...
 
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Squidders

Full Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,853
14
44
Harrow, Middlesex
Mine is a 65:85 model.

I have done weekends away with 35 litre packs and was getting more and more lightweight but one day thought "I'm not thru-hiking the AT, what am I playing at?" so I upsized. Not to say I carry a higher number of items, I just no longer worry about bulk so much.

Also, I see a ton of people with tiny packs and a million things strapped all over the outside and still they boast about how they can do it all with a small pack. Everything I carry goes inside. I use small dry bags for specific items like sleeping bags, down jackets and other bits but everything goes inside the pack.

Lastly, when I take my son out, everything we have will also go inside the pack - 2 mats, 2 bags, tent, cooking stuff, food, water.
 
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Squidders

Full Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,853
14
44
Harrow, Middlesex
Well, don't take my answer as gospel... it's just what works for me. As my thinking has changed in the past to get to this point, it is statistically likely to change in the future too.

My best advice is to go to a shop with lots of packs... take your gear with you and spend a few hours trying them on with your gear inside plus a little bulk to simulate food and drink.

Then buy from that shop. Online is great and often a few pounds cheaper but I love trying things on and prodding things and if everyone only shops online, those real shops won't last.
 
Sep 16, 2013
444
128
Rochester, Kent
Hi,
I think it's fair to say that 65ltr is a pretty good size pack to go for and there are plenty of options available at that size (and at various price points) in the camping shops.

If you want a good solid bag but the high st options (such as osprey and berghaus) don't git your budget then I'd consider army surplus kit
 

RAPPLEBY2000

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Dec 2, 2003
3,195
10
47
England
Agreed that 60-65l is the general opinion of most outdoor organisations, and it's a good balanced size.

Something else to consider about size:

if you buy a Boheimoth of a sack, unless you are very disciplined you will be tempted to fill it. The PLCE is 120l! (I've done this many times!)

If you buy a tiny sack, (40l or smaller) you may well end up getting fustrated trying to fit just the basics in, and may have to resort to tieing stuff on the outside which is risky, or having to resort to buy different kit that will fit in the bag. (yup i've been there too!)

I went to the first ever Bushmoot, and whilst walking round the site I was pretty impressed to see one guy could carry all his gear in a single PLCE side pocket (about 20l)...his camp area including tarp, sleeping bag, axe, billy cans etc were immaculate and perfectlyl laid out almost like an example how bushcraft camping should be done. (don't know who it was). It was extremely minimalist, almost too minimalist if you know what I mean, and I was highly suspicious that he had the rest of his kit in a massive bergan hidden under a nearby bush ;) The problem is most people just can't do that, I really can't get enough kit into 20l.

I have found a nice bway round this, first time I tried it was on a 3 day expedition in the Lake district.
i used a PLCE bergen with side pockets attatched, but I left the pockets empty and compressed, so I was carrying just the main compartment about 60-80l?
the beauty of this is that I had everything I needed but if I needed to pack up fast I always had 40l spare to stuff kit into!
Might be worth considering this system and buying a sack with the option of extra pockets!
 
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IC_Rafe

Forager
Feb 15, 2016
247
1
EU
Easy answer:

1/ Buy what you'll put into the bag.
2/ Look at size of what you'll put into the bag.
3/ Look at bags and if it'll fit. Possibly allow for a bit more space than what you'll need.
4/ (VERY IMPORTANT) Try out bags in the store, loaded with some weight and see how it carries the weight. Have someone from the store help you adjust the pack so you know how it carries weight and how it transfers weight.
5/ Buy bag you like ;)

(Brandwise, i can say i have good experiences with Osprey packs, and for more rugged packs KarrimorSF has good quality stuff and great customer service.)
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,422
384
Cabin Fever Central
Sixty to eighty is about right, having that spare bit of capacity to stuff in a jacket when the sun's out, comfort food, or imperfectly packed sleeping bag makes all the difference. If the weather's nice you can lean things down to a 35L but everything on the trip has to go right.
 

Old Bones

Settler
Oct 14, 2009
740
63
East Anglia
Mine is a 65:85 model.

I have done weekends away with 35 litre packs and was getting more and more lightweight but one day thought "I'm not thru-hiking the AT, what am I playing at?" so I upsized. Not to say I carry a higher number of items, I just no longer worry about bulk so much.

Also, I see a ton of people with tiny packs and a million things strapped all over the outside and still they boast about how they can do it all with a small pack. Everything I carry goes inside. I use small dry bags for specific items like sleeping bags, down jackets and other bits but everything goes inside the pack.

Lastly, when I take my son out, everything we have will also go inside the pack - 2 mats, 2 bags, tent, cooking stuff, food, water.
I've got an old LA Liberty 70 + 20, which has been excellent as well. The good thing about something like a 65L pack is that there is lots of choice, from good brands (with good back systems!), plus there is plenty of room for starting out kit - relatively large sleeping bags, etc. You can always slim them down with the compression straps to fit the load, but as you say, its much easier putting everything inside a pack.

Minimalism is great, but it costs, either in cash or comfort. You could get away with a 30L bag for several nights, but either your strapping stuff outside the bag, or your having to buy the smallest sleeping bag possible.

Agreed, go to a proper shop and try them out. Cotswolds have always been very helpful, and if you can get a good deal on something like a Berghaus or LA from Go Outdoors http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/berghaus-trailhead-65-rucksack-p330094 & http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/lowe-alpine-atlas-65-rucksack-p371778 , then go for it. About a £100 plus is reasonable.

I must admit to not favouring surplus - heavy, not very comfortable and often a bit knackered for the money. A comfortable back system is worth a lot after even a small journey, and the lighter the better.
 

UKYanky

Tenderfoot
Jan 25, 2017
90
0
Grantham
Thanks so much for the advice all of you.
The consensus appears to be around 65L being a good size. I actually liuke the Lowe Alpine as mentioned early on and I think I'll make this my starting point when looking for the back pack.
Thanks again.
 

Somellier

Member
Jan 17, 2017
23
0
Peak District
My wife and I can carry all we need for a 3/4 night backpacking trip, including what is now a bulkier and heavier tent than modern ones available, in my 45 litre and her 40 litre packs. This includes all food for the trip. Think twice before you buy a huge pack, because there is always the temptation to fill it, because there's space inside. My advice is to go for the smallest pack you can get everything into! Your back will be happier :)
 

Big G

Full Member
Jul 3, 2015
3,144
0
Cleveland UK
I agree with the consensus on the thread a 65l+ pack, esp if your cold weather camping in a tent.

.... or if your going out bivvying, a smaller 45l+ pack should suffice.
 

IC_Rafe

Forager
Feb 15, 2016
247
1
EU
I still think you'd better first look at what you want to put in it xD. The consensus may be 65L, but if you're using a 40L sleeping bag (just an example but have seen those before, usually the cheap crap ;) ) and want to pack a cheap tent in your bag too, the 65L may be very cramped.

Packsize just depends on your gear. If you don't have a pack yet, really help yourself and buy the gear first, then the bag. Made the mistake myself with the Osprey stratos 38. Great pack, but with what i carry (not that much), it's just useless outside of summer. That's with the bivy, tarp, sleeping pad and lines tied to the outside in a drybag.
 

Big G

Full Member
Jul 3, 2015
3,144
0
Cleveland UK
I still think you'd better first look at what you want to put in it xD. The consensus may be 65L, but if you're using a 40L sleeping bag (just an example but have seen those before, usually the cheap crap ;) ) and want to pack a cheap tent in your bag too, the 65L may be very cramped.

Packsize just depends on your gear. If you don't have a pack yet, really help yourself and buy the gear first, then the bag. Made the mistake myself with the Osprey stratos 38. Great pack, but with what i carry (not that much), it's just useless outside of summer. That's with the bivy, tarp, sleeping pad and lines tied to the outside in a drybag.
Aye, my first pack was a PLCE Bergen, then a British army arctic bag. Then the dilemma of how to carry the bag, in the bergen or straped to it.

Decided to stuff it in loose, but it nearly filled it :confused:

But, we all have to start some where, we live and learn :)
 

Old Bones

Settler
Oct 14, 2009
740
63
East Anglia
There was a thread a couple of years back about why DoE's all have huge backpacks, which are heavy and make them miserable. The reason is fairly simple - if you've got kids, then your going to spend about £40 on a sleeping bag, or beg/borrow one a bit like it. And its likely you'll get a 65L sack from possibly the same source, because thats just about big enough to take it!

Yes, you can get away with a 38L pack (and I do want an Osprey when I can afford one), but the sleeping bag that will fit it is going to be nearer £500, so a 65L is a good compromise - you can fill it with what you like, and as you get better/more compact kit, you can fill it less, and compress it more. In terms of money/bulk/weight, I worked out that my rucksack isn't too bad in terms of weight, it was the sleeping bag and the tent which were the big ticket items that it was worth replacing first - I got more bag for my buck that way.
 

IC_Rafe

Forager
Feb 15, 2016
247
1
EU
Aye, my first pack was a PLCE Bergen, then a British army arctic bag. Then the dilemma of how to carry the bag, in the bergen or straped to it.

Decided to stuff it in loose, but it nearly filled it :confused:

But, we all have to start some where, we live and learn :)
True, that's why i want to try and save him some trouble in the near future ;). Plenty of people have gone through it, no need to have others go through it unless they choose too :). (Heh, i used to be of the "let me just run into the wall myself" kind myself, now that's only half of the time :D.
 

Big G

Full Member
Jul 3, 2015
3,144
0
Cleveland UK
True, that's why i want to try and save him some trouble in the near future ;). Plenty of people have gone through it, no need to have others go through it unless they choose too :). (Heh, i used to be of the "let me just run into the wall myself" kind myself, now that's only half of the time :D.
Just cracked me up reading that :lmao:

I just dived in with the romantic notions of hiking and wildcamping, big pack, big warm bag = Big Mistake ;)