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30 L (28L Actually) Pack big enough -- Or 40 L better ---

Discussion in 'Equipment Questions' started by JMiller, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. JMiller

    JMiller New Member

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    Although my first Camino is still at least two years away Im beginning to formulate my gear list and will soon begin the "boy in the toystore" phase (my wife accuses me of using this as an excuse for new gear...but what is a middle aged man supposed to do? Lug his 5.5 lb Expedition pack for six weeks across Spain? I already humped that thing across Europe for 9 weeks looking like a Sherpa in the process -- and I was only 25 at the time).

    Ive checked quite a few postings and it seems as if most are using larger bags... I want to "go small" if at all possible...

    Ive spent some time at the REI store and have narrowed down my pack choice down to the Gregory Z series. My other Gregory pack has served me well and the Z series fits me very well and has a lot of features i like -- especially the suspension system that really does maximize airflow on the back, making it comfortable to wear in the heat - an important consideration since I live in Florida and will be , God willing, starting my Camino in Mid/late May and ending up the first week or so in July.

    Logic tells me to go with the Z40 (L) series and have a little more room. But I have the nagging feeling that the Z30 (L) would make a better hiking bag for my "day to day" outings w/ the family. I also think it would force me to be a bit more ruthless in limiting my packing choices, which can be a very very good thing. It also weighs in about 10 oz less than the Z40, also a very good thing.

    Have any of you found a 28ish - 30 L bag adequate for the Camino? Again, I will be packing as light as I possibly can , and the timeframe of my trip dictates the probability of using a bag liner instead of a sleeping bag, etc. Planning on two sets of clothing, etc. Or is a slightly larger bag necessary.

    My wife accuses me of wanting the 30L bag then determining that it is not adequate and sizing up to a 40L bag, thus ending up with both. She knows me well, heheheh, and since I am the designated pack mule I cannot convince her that the smaller bag is for her...

    Any advice is appreciated. Especially if you have experience with the Z series bags.

    Thanks in advance,

    James
     
  2. vagabondette

    vagabondette Active Member

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    my 33l bag is 1/3 empty when all my gear is packed and I could very likely go down to a 20l so I'd say yeah, a 28 is fine if you're not bringing a bag.
     
  3. cmkudija

    cmkudija New Member

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    James, check out the ULA Catalyst or other packs made by ULA: http://www.ula-equipment.com/index.asp . Cottage industry rules in the ultralight backpacking world.

    Bunches of PCT and AT thru-hikers use these (we finally broke down and replaced our aging Dana packs with them this year). They carry well, are lighter than the (still very excellent) Gregory packs, and might be useful for you to examine.

    Buen Camino -
    Christine aka Ceanothus
     
  4. mspath

    mspath Veteran Member Donating Member

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    James,

    As Vagabondette mentions 30 L is large enough for all your kit!

    I have walked the entire Camino Frances many times always with the same 30 liter bag bought at Decathlon which is a large medium price sports store throughout Europe. Although it is a house brand you can see it and compare its description at this link. --http://www.decathlon.co.uk/forclaz-30-air-backpack-id_8207915.html

    A basic principle to follow is carrying no more than 10% of your total weight. For me 6.5 kilos total with a sleeping bag and water works well. Many times other over weighted pilgrims, generally resembling Father Christmas but not as jolly, have asked for help with paring their loads while on the trail.

    Be sure that you train before your Camino carrying your future load. That way your body will get used to your new weight. Unfortunately the most common injury on the Camino is the result of trying to walk too far too quickly carrying too much!

    Happy planning and Buen Camino,

    Margaret
     
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  5. jastrace

    jastrace Member

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    Another thought is to take a light day pack with:
    • Water bladder,
      Raincoat/poncho,
      medical essentials/blister kit,
      mobile (if you take one), and
      snacks (if required for that day).

    and put everything else you could possibly want including changes of clothes, more snacks, toiletries, etc etc in your bigger pack and have it transferred each day.

    Whatever your choice buy your kit before you go and train with it and adjust it until it is set up precisely the way you want it.

    Enjoy.

    Jason
     
  6. Stephen Nicholls

    Stephen Nicholls Veteran Member Donating Member

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    40L is better - even if you walk with it half empty! As a backpack it will only be marginally heavier than a smaller one. And the stage may come when you need to carry more food/water with you.

    Of course, if you plan to have stuff sent on in advance from stop to stop you might get by with big pockets in your shorts! But, to my mind, that's not quite the name of the game - and also restricts you by planning too much ahead ....just a personal opinion!

    Buen camino!

    Stephen
    http://www.calig.co.uk/camino_de_santiago.htm
     
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  7. Yallah

    Yallah Active Member

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    I say, give it a test run and see if it fits! REI has a great return policy if you buy one and pack it up with your packing list and see how it fits. You could also bring your packing list items to the shop and load it up there where the attendant could help you adjust the pack for the most comfortable fit.

    I tend to like a slightly larger pack so I can shove my things in without having to fiddle too much to make it all fit. I also like a good amount of empty space that I can fill with food. :)
     
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  8. Carla Jean

    Carla Jean New Member

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    I love my Kelty 38L (40W), 3 lb. 4 oz., purchased at Dick's Sporting Goods in Orlando. It sufficed for walking at my leisure from SJPDP to Finisterre last year September-November and all Aer Lingus/Ryan Air overhead compartments. It still looks like new after the heat of the meseta and the torrential rains in Galicia. My body had to adjust to not wearing it once I returned to Florida.

    My 40+ son (not quite middle age) asked to borrow it for a short hike on the Pacific Crest Trail and it worked for him, although he didn't need to tote camping gear and it looked silly small on his 6'2" frame.

    Travel Country, in Altamonte Springs, FL is a good "local" resource also if you happen to be in the Orlando area.

    This info may benefit you and your wife.

    Buen Camino,
    Carla
    65+
     
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  9. Charleston Tom

    Charleston Tom Member

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    In spite of a general emphasis on limiting backpack weight...I was quite surprised to see that many pilgrims ignore this advice and carry 50 and 60 L packs.

    I found that a 35 L pack provided sufficient space for everything that was needed on a pilgrimage last May. I carried an Osprey Atmos 35 and my son-in-law used an Osprey Talon 33. The Talon is a top loader and has a very slight weight advantage over the Atmos. My total daily pack weight (including water and snacks) was approximately 16 to 18 pounds.
     
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  10. Rafter

    Rafter New Member

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    I recently used a Gregory Z 40 on our Camino Inglese and had plenty of room. I did supplement it with a fanny-pack turned front-wise across my belly, and the fanny-pack also worked well for all the smaller stuff I used frequently during the day... like camera, cash, sunscreen, lip-balm, etc. My son had a Gregory Baltoro 55, and it was too big. My granddaughter carried a Gregory z 30 and was fine, but her stuff is simply smaller!! The Gregory bags fit well and were vented... but, not truly light-weight. The comfort made up for a few extra ounces. All three of us were able to carry the bags on as personal baggage and my son had his walking sticks collapsed inside his bag.

    As for a sleeping bag, since we were walking in summer, we only took 45 degree Big Agnes bags... mine synthetic, theirs down, slipped into E-vent dry-sacks that compressed the bags to almost nothing... I think they weighed in the 2 lb range.

    Buen Camino!
    Crane
     
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  11. inspiredjen

    inspiredjen New Member

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    Thanks for posting this question! I've been to REI a few times to look at packs and was steered toward an Osprey 55 (which is down from the Kelty 65 I already own).

    My plan at this point: get all my gear together (with considerations for weight) and then bring it all to REI to see which bag is most suitable. Based on everone's feedback so far, I'm thinking it'll be a much smaller pack than I had anticipated.

    Thanks so much! And buen camino!

    :) Jen
     
  12. vagabondette

    vagabondette Active Member

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    I don't know why REI does this. Maybe it's because they're used to backpackers needs and the camino is really just a series of day hikes so the gear needs are different. Last time I was there looking at packs the sales guy was selling someone a 55+ bag and I talked him down to a 35. When I told the sales guy what I was taking he was shocked but when I explained (to both of them) why I was taking a small bag they both agreed it made more sense. The only time someone at REI sent me to a small bag (Talon 33) it was because he was carrying the gear list of someone in the store who was actually doing the camino and that's what she was using.

    The good thing about REI is their return policy. I went through 5 packs before I found one I liked (the Talon) and I will have to return that one too but they make it nice and easy.
     
  13. JMiller

    JMiller New Member

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    Thank you for all of the wonderful responses! I actually considered a "test packing" with the 30L bag and will do so next week. With a few minor additions (like restocking my first aid kit), I already have pretty much what I need with the exception of a new bag and new pair of boots. Although I won't be taking a sleeping bag, just a liner, I WILL be taking a thermo-rest mat as I sometimes WANT to sleep on the floor and its probably not bad to be prepared during the busy season. I have also found that Gregory makes a Z35 so if the 30 is a little too small (I intend on carrying a hydration bladder and that takes up internal room, plus the less *stuff* I have hanging / dangling from my bag the less likely Ill lose it! ) I can "split the difference" between the two bags. I took a look at those UL bags you mentioned ... the Camino... and I like it but Id prefer to buy a bag that Ive actually tried on ...

    Its been a while since Ive flown. Do bags in the 30-35 L range count as carry-ons? Id prefer to keep my bag with me... if a bag gets lost in route, you can bet it will be mine.

    About the 10% rule... does that include what you are also wearing or is that just packed weight. Im looking at about 7KG for my 10% target. My brother , who is a fitness hound, is insisting that he will join me and is talking about carrying about 35 lbs of *stuff* :shock: despite being about my size. I keep telling him to reduce... perhaps the Camino offers lessons in Hubris?

    One completely unrelated, and possibly looney, question. When I began training last fall and started my daily walks I salvaged a crepe myrtle tree I cut down and turned it into the most wonderful little hiking staff . It is now like an extension of my body . Do they allow you to take such items on the plane? I could also cut it in half and rig a locking device to make it more packable (or paint the tip red... no that would be bad Karma).

    Thanks again for the wonderful input!

    J
     
  14. vagabondette

    vagabondette Active Member

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    Test packing is good. Keep in mind that this is a series of day hikes from town to town, not a wilderness trek so you will be passing a pharmacy pretty much every day which will have everything you need for first aid. Keep the aid kit to the basics and you can restock when/if needed.

    Depends a bit on the bag but generally, yes.

    I'm counting everything that isn't home grown as part of my 10%. :)

    Send him here. He'll find dozens of threads with people talking about their regret about taking way too much crap. Remind him about the day hike thing and that might help if he's usually a backpacker/camper. I can't even imagine what you'd have to bring to add up to that weight...

    Generally walking sticks are not allowed but according to many it seems to depend on who is on duty at the security checkpoint. If it's IN your pack you're much more likely to keep it but there's no guarantee. I'm buying my poles in Spain.
     
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  15. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Veteran Member Donating Member

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    The guide is usually 10% of body weight to carry plus what you are wearing. That gave me 6.5kg, but my actual pack weight was 6.25 plus water, so 7.25 with full bottles. I had a 25+5 (ie 30lt) pack with no sleeping bag (Terry carried it). I had 2 fleeces etc as we were walking late April into May.
    I think the 'skin out' guide is 15% of body weight.
    Your plan to put your things in a pack and try it on is good and what happens in the best shops here (UK). Also I found that I could carry the odd extra bits in my pockets quite happily, but not in my pack.

    Terry's Camino pack was a 40lt and he was very happy with it. For days out at home he bought a mens' fit 25+5 pack, of the same make, and wouldn't walk the Camino with it as it isn't quite the right fit. So size is actually less important than fitting correctly.
    Buen Camino
     
  16. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Camino Busybody Donating Member Donating Member

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    My 30-liter Jansport TreeFrog has taken me all up and down the caminos and lots of other places too. I carry a small round-the-neck handbag as well for wallet/credential/evenings out. And that is almost always more than enough for any camino, barring deep winter or high-altitude.

    Reb.
     
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  17. JMiller

    JMiller New Member

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    Thank you for all of the responses! I found a local shop that had a 30L bag in stock (not the Gregory Z series but I figure volume is volume) , took my kit with me and did a "test pack". Everything fit quite nicely , although with a 30L bag I dont think there would be enough internal room for a full hydration reservoir, but that shouldnt be a problem, as I can carry my water in the external pouches that come on the Z30. I have decided to carry a very lightweight sleeping bag with me instead of just a bag liner.

    Soooo Ive now ordered a new Z30 and am looking forward to this fall so I can utilize it on some weekend "test hikes" with the family.
     
  18. vagabondette

    vagabondette Active Member

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    You would think... But sometimes, depending on the frame, a pack that technically has more volume can't hold as much stuff because of the internal configuration. For example, I tried a 35l pack with some gear that I was carrying around in a 25l pack. My 25l pack was half empty, the 35l pack was almost full because it had one of those arched back frames that messed with the internal space.

    Good luck with the Z. It's one I'm going to be looking at when I shop for packs...AGAIN. Ugh.
     
  19. JMiller

    JMiller New Member

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    Thats why I went with REI -- they have an excellent return policy. Hopefully I wont need to upgrade to a 35/40 L pack, though.

    The Z packs fit me very very well. I just hope the quality is up to what my older Gregory pack is ... wonderful pack that has accompanied me on many adventures...
     
  20. vagabondette

    vagabondette Active Member

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    this is why I generally use REI as well. I've gone through about 1/2 dozen packs that I've bought, used and returned.
     
  21. MichaelGeorgePhoto

    MichaelGeorgePhoto New Member

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    My 35L was more than enough! Even when I had to buy sandals and stuff my boots inside. Less is more. Don't forget that.
     
  22. alipilgrim

    alipilgrim Active Member

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    Sorry, less is not more. People seem to be obsessed with the #L size their pack is. This is such a backwards way of looking at it! Your pack must be comfortable, have adequate internal support to transfer the weight properly and not hang heavily on your shoulders, be lightweight, and, of course, carry all your gear. If a 40L or even a 50L meets all the above criteria more than a 30L, that's the right pack for you. I carry a 55L pack (I'm 5'3") that weighs just over 2lbs. It's what fit me best and had a configuration I liked. I don't carry it full as my gear list is my gear list, regardless of the size of my pack. I cinch the straps so the load is carried properly (and I have nothing dangling on the outside). Some people can get the similar satisfaction from a smaller pack but it should not be the #L that guides your purchase.
     
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  23. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    I don't think you will regret extra space as long as it does not increase the pack empty weight more than an ounce or two. Cramming equipment into a small backpack each morning becomes tedious. However, resist the temptation to fill the extra space at the onset. Save it for food and bread on the road!
     
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  24. DurhamParish

    DurhamParish Un Cerveza, Por Favor Donating Member

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    Thanks alipilgrim, I feel better now. After reading the posts above, I was wondering as a first-timer if I was making a mistake with my 55L pack. Now I just have to make sure I resist the urge ot over-pack.

     
  25. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Veteran Member Donating Member

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    We also weighed everything, pack first then all our packing, right down to the smallest items. Then we decided how much was the best weight to carry and whether we needed to leave anything out, or could add in an extra packet of Polos. All our kit is the lightest, quick drying type, apart form our Corrymoor socks which are average weight and don't need washing.
    We also made sure we weighed the packs as if it was a hot day, with fleeces in the pack and full water load.
    Worked for us and came out at about 10 - 11% of body weight for me to be comfortable and 11 - 12% for Terry.
    So, as several of us have said, it is comfort of the pack, then weight of the load that are important and the distribution of the load in the pack. Easier to adjust where things go in a slightly larger pack than a slightly small one we find.
    Buen Camino
     
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  26. dennboy

    dennboy New Member

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    I found 28L was big enough and good discipline as I would have filled a bigger bag and then have all that unecessary weight. Travel light to enjoy the Camino. It is part of the freedom. There are good laundry facilities at most hostels so you only need two changes of clothes. I brought a silk sleeping bag liner which was exceptionally light and easy to store and I traveleed at the beginning of September. Remember to also bring a torch as people start early in the morning before the sun is up.
    The lighter you travel the freer you will be. The biggest weight can be the weight on your mind, so leave that behind, if you leave nothing else. And ENJOY1
     
  27. hotelmedicis

    hotelmedicis Commercial Interests

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    Bag size should follow the amount of gear you have. Assemble all that you are bringing or will conceivably bring (including any food you may carry and water) and then buy your backpack based on that information. If you need a 40L bag, buy a 40L bag. If you only need a 28L bag, then buy the 28L bag. Then you can also factor in any other considerations like what other uses you might have for the backpack, other trips etc and perhaps buy a bag that might be just a little bigger than you need for the Camino but will also do nicely for that trip in Corsica.
    I would think light if you can, something like a Gossamer Gear Gorilla or Murmur would be just the ticket of if you want to explore the cottage industry take a look at the super lightweight packs produced by Zpacks.
    Good luck!
     
  28. Solar Panel Phil

    Solar Panel Phil New Member

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    Hi, experience of Camino Frances was that "light is best", which can dictate your bag size, assuming it is comfortable and suits you. My wife and I had Osprey Talon 33 and Talon 44s respectively, although we carried similar loads. The larger pack was just more comfortable for me, and you have cinch straps or similar to reduce the volume. I suggest, as others have done, you look to go minimal (you are never that far from a settlement, even in the Meseta, I think) as much as possible and then train with the final load. That way, as one other person has written, you avoid injuries from trying to walk too fast carrying too much. We both suffered from tendonitis mid-Camino and then slowed down and carried even less. Good luck as it really is a special experience...
     
  29. AJ

    AJ Veteran Member

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    Surely this depends on what kit you are carrying?

    Are you taking a sleeping bag, mat, tent, tux....

    I use a 40 litre pack but I do carry a sleeping bag, mat and tent. But not the tux.
     
  30. koilife

    koilife Veteran Member Donating Member

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    In my opinion, fit is most critical, followed by weight transference to the hips. I've used 30L packs that were slightly too small for my frame, and 20 pounds felt like 30. I've also used 40L packs with correct length to account for my spine where 30 pounds felt like less than 20. I'm willing to carry an extra 24 ounces in my current Gregory Z40 pack precisely because of the excellent fit and weight transference for my specific body. Even with the void space created by its frame (which I love for keeping me cool), it rides nice and tight with the load compared to every other similar frame style that I've tried.

    One aspect that no one has touched on is that it is critical to pack the backpack for its effect on our center of gravity. The less the pack affects our center of gravity, the less energy we expend carrying it and the less we stress the body, especially the connective tissues all the way from the feet through the waist. It also makes a big difference on musculature around the lower spine and all the way up through the neck and shoulders.

    As a general rule, "high and tight" with the majority weight higher in the pack and closer to the back helps to reduce the "lean" that we automatically adopt to compensate for the pack's effect on our normal and natural center of gravity. The exception to this is when going down long, steep, and complicated slopes, wherein we want to lower the center of gravity to reduce the "tipping" effect if we lose our footing.

    An advantage to a "larger" pack (assuming it provides greater surface area next to the back) is that we can cinch up the pack's compression straps to keep the entire load "tight" to our back. This causes far less deflection to the center of gravity than would be caused by a smaller, more bulbous pack with the exact same weight and contents. Consequently, it feels lighter, we're less prone to overexertion-based injury, and we have greater control when managing more technical ascents and descents.
     
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  31. Caplen

    Caplen Wherever you go, there you are.

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Fall 2000 - Frances;
    Summer 2001 - Norte/Frances/Fisterra;
    Spring 2015 - SJPdP>Irun(GR10)>SdC((Norte)>Fisterra/Muxia
    Alipilgrim is right! Don't get over-focused on Liter size.

    I swear by this pack (as does my park ranger cousin):
    http://www.rei.com/product/810844/deuter-act-lite-45-10-sl-pack-womens

    I've hiked with a variety of packs of various capacities/weights over the years since my first camino in 2000. This is hands-down the most comfortable, versatile pack I have ever used. Capacity purists would rule it out because it is a 45-10. Ultralight purists would rule it out because it weighs 1.5 kg.

    But I have used it for everything from an overnight canyon hike (compressed down to virtually day-hike size) to 9 days in the Sierras backcountry peaks (packed to the max). I brought home smaller capacity Osprey and Gregory packs from REI and returned them after one loaded-up test hike around the neighborhood because of discomfort. Next year it will get it's first camino!

    Find what works for you based on comfort first. Weight/capacity are just factors that can affect comfort, but not in a black or white, all or nothing way.

    cheers!
    Adrienne
     
  32. Kimmy

    Kimmy Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    CF summer-06, SJPP to Burgos Sept-13, Burgos to Astorga Sept-14 (Astorga to Santiago de Compostela sept 15)
    I have a 28 liter back pack and it is more than enough, when packed it is only half full. Last time I had a 55 l back pack with lots of stuff I did not need (sleeping mat for instance). After a few days I sent a parcel to Santiago with 2,5 kg of stuff... My goal this time is to bring only what I will need, no more and no less. It is nice to have a back pack with a perfect fit. The smaller it is the freer you will feel! Of course it is possible to have a big pack and pack it only half full, but my experience is that it is not as comfortable as having one with perfect fit.
     
  33. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino France (Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016), Camino Salvado (Sep 2011), St Olav's Way (Jun 2012), Camino Ingles and Camino Finisterre (via Muxia) (Apr 2014), St Olav's Way (~Jul 2018)
    There are so many more factors that influence pack size than mere body mass, although that might be the major driver. The season you are walking in, your resilience in adverse weather conditions, and whether you can afford the more expensive lightweight gear all go to how big a pack you will need to carry. Walking with friends can also make a difference if you decide to only carry one camera, one phone or one first aid kit as examples.

    I intend to use the Deuter Guide 45+ on Camino Ingles and on to Fisterra in Apr next year. It is slightly heavier variant of the pack Adrienne has listed here. I know that it will carry the gear that I had got down to at the end of the CF in 2010 (which I can just get into a 40li pack with food and water, but it is tight). I have worn this pack with a slightly bigger load on the four days of the Milford Track, including piggy-backing my wife's pack onto it for a couple of hours when she was having difficulty. So I am happy that the harness will cope with much heavier weights than I intend to carry, and I will be able to walk comfortably.

    It is a two compartment pack, which means that it can be pre-packed the previous evening and in the morning my sleeping bag can be slipped into the bottom compartment without disturbing what has been packed into the top compartment.

    If I wasn't going to carry a sleeping bag, I would probably need something around 38-40li at that time of year, but I doubt that I would buy a new pack just for the Camino.

    Regards,
     
  34. Radhika Murari

    Radhika Murari New Member

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    Tia,
    I noticed you said you walked in April/May. That is when we are walking and the weather says it will be 10-15 C. Was that what you found the temp to be?

    Can you tell me what you packed for warmth? Walking and sleeping apparel?

    Thank you!
     
  35. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Location:
    UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
    C. Inglés 2011
    C. Primitivo '12
    Norte-C. de la Reina '13
    C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
    Somewhere I have my full packing list with weights. Basically however I had one set of clothes on and one set in my pack. Then I also carried 2 longsleeve vests which I wore after walking or as pyjama tops; two lightweight longjohns, also for post walk and as pyjama tops. My dress could be worn as a nightie. For walking the Primitivo we actually took 2 fleeces, one weighed 300gms and the other was reversible for extra warmth and weighed 400gms. Ladies undies 25gms per pair. All this stuff was from Rohan as it was the lightest we could find and also quick drying. Our trousers were M&S but are discontinued.
    Rohan stuff is expensive but an investment and it would be possible to walk with one set of Ultra silver LS vest and Longjohns if you don't feel the cold, but I do. Also note that these are now only available in Mens, but the ladies Ultra silver undies and cami type vests are still available. If buying mens then check the sizes - I take a M ladies and S mens where needed. The reversible 'Kombi' fleece is Medium Mens to be loose enough to go over everything and would be OK as a single fleece to save weight. Again it might only be available under 'Offers' which is where I would look first for the underwear too, especially as you have time to wait and buy later.
    Another brand that we have used in the past is Trekmate, but their stuff was about twice the weight of the Rohan.
    Happy hunting
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  36. dfitzg773

    dfitzg773 Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances (2012), Camino Frances (2014)
    In 2012 I walked with the Greggory Z40. It was fine, but bigger than needed. I am walking this fall with an OMM 32 L and it is so much lighter.
     
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  37. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
    C. Inglés 2011
    C. Primitivo '12
    Norte-C. de la Reina '13
    C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
    Proposed packing list for 2015 attached which gives the weights of items. We will be walking later so are only taking one fleece each. For the Primitivo in April-May we had an extra 300gms fleece each plus our sleeping bags .
     

    Attached Files:

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  38. Johan

    Johan Member

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    Location:
    Worcester, Westen Cape, South Africa
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May 2013 : Leon to Santiago
    May 2015 : Porto to Santiago
    On my first Camino, from Leon, I used my old 80 l backpack. Never again!! For my next Camino in May 2015, I got myself a 28 l one.
     
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  39. Al the optimist

    Al the optimist Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Like you we all learn quick on our Caminos. 28L is a respectable size, especially if you don't fill it!
     
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  40. Calgarybiker1965

    Calgarybiker1965 Member

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    I am looking at a 40l and it weighs only.05k more than the 30L. I will be carrying a sleepingbag tent as well as a bag. I will seriously looking soon! Glad you said 40L as I looked at the 30l and thought....wow where will I put everything?
     
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  41. Johan

    Johan Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May 2013 : Leon to Santiago
    May 2015 : Porto to Santiago
    I now changed from a 28 l to 40 l backpack for my Camino in May. I'll be able to put my sleepingbag inside the 40 l one.
     
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  42. J Willhaus

    J Willhaus Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    24 May 2016- 14 July
    I think more important than brand is to make sure the pack actually fits you well and that you like the various features (waist belt, pockets/no pockets). Smaller packs all have a variety of these features to meet a variety of tastes. Smaller is better, but if the straps are uncomfortable or the pack is the wrong size, it will still be burdensome. When pack shopping for my husband, he went to the store "set" on a certain brand. When we got there the clerk had him try a variety of packs already loaded with a set weight amount and we purchased a different brand because it fit best and was most comfortable. Finding a store where someone will take the time to do this with you important and will save you time and back/shoulder aches.
     
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  43. Jo Jo

    Jo Jo Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances, July 2014
    Via di Francesco (Italy), July 2015
    Frances, Sept-Oct 2016
    I carried a 26L Osprey Stratos and my wife carried a 24L in the same model. More than big enough. For me, the mesh "hammock" on the back was a godsend in the heat. All for about 2.5lbs (without the rainfly; mine leaked badly, although others on a different thread reported no problems).

    If I was to do it again, I might look at the Arc Blast or Arc Zip from Zpacks. Little cottage maker of innovative, ultralight equipment. Very light because Cuben fiber (does not withstand abrasion as well as nylon, but the Camino does not have many (if any) rough granite boulders you are going to be setting you pack on). And the "arc" is designed to keep your back cool, and cuben fiber is waterproof (unlike nylon). The 45L is about a pound (which might satisfy both you and your wife). Plus, I feel good supporting American innovation and manufacturing (based in Florida).

    Buen Camino
     
  44. indyinmaine

    indyinmaine Active Member Donating Member

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    Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
    Whichever one you choose, choose Gregory, and not because its' my son's name! I'm slightly "older" and the suspension was what sold me. I really never felt as if I had a pack on my shoulders. It was all on my hips. As for what you put in it, the less the better.
     
  45. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    You could easily get by with a pack with a volume around 30-35 Liters for a summertime Camino Frances, especially if you are not humping a sleeping bag (and you definitely don't need a ground pad). The smaller volume pack also is easier to carry-on for your flight. Take a look at the Osprey Stratos 34L. Looks like a good piece of kit. I walked the CF last summer with a 48L pack, and it was too big.
    You really, really don't need that much stuff to walk a summertime Camino Frances. It's not a 30-35 day hike. It's a one day walk you do 30-35 times......
     
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  46. chericherry

    chericherry New Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances June - July (2015)
    Try on and take a look at the Dueter 34L. REI sales clerk suggested it along with the Gregory. The Dueter fits like a dream with great airflow. There are small pockets on the belt as well. You might be surprised at how well you like it
     
  47. rometimed

    rometimed Active Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    SJPdP: May/June 2015; English Route Nov 2015; Lycian Way Oct 2015; Coast to Coast Aug/Sep 2015; West Highland Way July 2015; Hadrians Wall June 2015; Westweg Jul/Aug 2015..... ..... .... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2020; A Coruna 2020... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2025... .. . SJPdP May/June 2030... .. . SJPdP May/June 2035... .. .
    I know this is an old post but I wanted to mention that i'm going to be using a 50L pack as i'm also bringing a tent and a couple of other items that I may not need as much on the Camino but i'm doing 3 other LONG hikes after and will need them.
     
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  48. paul.ferris

    paul.ferris Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    2011 Camino Frances
    2013 Camino Frances
    2015 To be decided
    Nobody can tell you what size pack you need. Wisdom says smaller and lighter is prudent. My wife used a 30l., I used a 35l. and we were fine. My 35 had enough extra room to stow a loaf, some cheese and fruit. But if you're fit and need a little more stuff you may need a bigger bag. Remember though that a larger pack weighs more empty.
     
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  49. Melensdad

    Melensdad Active Member

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    Surrounded by corn & soybeans in Indiana/USA
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
    I've not yet walked the Camino, but I've done part of the AT and with my family this May we are walking Hadrians Wall (84 miles) across England, which is essentially a series of day hikes very similar to, but shorter than the Camino.

    I would avoid buying any pack because of the name. Buy a pack that fits! Size/capacity is secondary to fit. Brand loyalty should be dead last on the list of reasons to buy a pack. I often use a 45L Mammut Creon
    Light, even when it is more than I need. I choose it because it is comfortable with any reasonable load. The suspension system works well for me and it has better back ventilation than any other pack I've ever owned.

    But what works for me may not work for someone else! We each have different shapes, so I think that taking anyone's recommendation on what is the best pack is something that should be accepted only with a grain of salt. I also caution people not to assume that a BRAND X pack in 30L size will be just as comortable in 35L or 45L or whatever. Try on a lot of packs! Be willing to buy a small pack from one brand and a larger pack of a different brand if you need 2 different sizes.

    Fit is critical for comfort, not the size of the pack. But the ability to effectively carry a load is also critical and that is where the frame's ability to support the load, even a light load, will make a huge difference in long term comfort. Not the name or logo on the pack.

    As for weight: my 45L pack weighs a full 1 pound LESS than my wife's 30L Lowe Alpine pack. Mine is almost 1.5 pounds LIGHTER than my daughters 35L Lowe Alpine pack and its is 2 pounds LIGHTER than my daughter's 30L North Face pack!!! So if anyone thinks that bigger is automatically heavier then they are simply wrong.
     
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  50. rometimed

    rometimed Active Member

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    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Camino(s) past & future:
    SJPdP: May/June 2015; English Route Nov 2015; Lycian Way Oct 2015; Coast to Coast Aug/Sep 2015; West Highland Way July 2015; Hadrians Wall June 2015; Westweg Jul/Aug 2015..... ..... .... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2020; A Coruna 2020... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2025... .. . SJPdP May/June 2030... .. . SJPdP May/June 2035... .. .

    Awesome MD!!! :D

    I am doing the Camino from SJPdP this May/June... then doing Hadrian's wall in late June... then taking a train up and doing the West Highland Way in Scotland... then in late July am doing the Westweg Schwarzwald in the Blackforest of Germany. :)
     
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  51. Melensdad

    Melensdad Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Surrounded by corn & soybeans in Indiana/USA
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
    I will only be in the UK for 2 weeks, and 1 of those is visiting family/friends, the other will be doing Hadrian's Wall with the family. My daughter must return to her university for summer session, so we are fitting in the Wall walk during the 14 day school break. We plan to circle Mont Blanc, possibly in the late summer. I'm hoping to do the Camino next summer with my wife, possibly with our daughter too.

    Normally we try to spend 4 to 5 weeks when we are in the UK. We did spend Easter in Spain a couple years ago and wore through a pair of good shoes that had also taken me through France. Oh well. Shoes can be replaced!!!


    But back on point of the backpacks, I think people get hung up on size and brand way too much. To me its all about the suspension system, the PROPER FIT, and the ventilation along the back. I'd rather have a slightly larger pack, partially full & cinched down, than a smaller pack and be unable to bring home a wanted trinket found in a little village carved by a craftsman! I don't like having my laundry dangle from the outside of the pack either!

    So for those really uptight about this decision, I'd say RELAX and take a deep breath. Go find a lightweight pack that FITS, but that also has some sort of structure to it that properly transfers weight to your hips. Then buy it. If it is too "big" then don't fill it all the way! Certainly I am NOT advising to buy big packs, but there is very little practical difference between a <3 pound 35 liter pack and a <3 pound 45 liter pack other than capacity. So if you end up with a 35L instead of a 30L or a 45L instead of a 35L its not really going to be a big deal if they are in the same weight range and they have the same ability to carry a load.

    People who don't know may not understand, but the INTERNAL FRAME is designed to properly transfer weight off your shoulders and onto your hips. It is a CRITICAL piece of any pack. It will make -or break- your comfort over the long haul.
     
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  52. rometimed

    rometimed Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    SJPdP: May/June 2015; English Route Nov 2015; Lycian Way Oct 2015; Coast to Coast Aug/Sep 2015; West Highland Way July 2015; Hadrians Wall June 2015; Westweg Jul/Aug 2015..... ..... .... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2020; A Coruna 2020... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2025... .. . SJPdP May/June 2030... .. . SJPdP May/June 2035... .. .
    I liked the idea someone else mentioned that it doesn't really matter what your backpack weight is if you drop your own weight from training.

    That will actually work quite well for me since for the last 6 months i've been training about 30 lbs over what I normally weigh (and keeping my weight up to do so).

    In theory all I need to do is cut 20 lbs off me and that's the weight of all my gear right there and since i've been training with all this extra weight it shouldn't matter. ;)
     
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  53. Melensdad

    Melensdad Active Member

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    Surrounded by corn & soybeans in Indiana/USA
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
    The ONLY caution that I would throw out is that people who are NOT used to carrying a pack will end up with sore shoulders and waists from the shoulder straps and the waist belt if they don't do a bit of training WITH a pack.

    Yes, I think you can drop personal weight and that will offset the weight of the pack, but it does not necessarily make the pack comfortable :p
     
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  54. Silvester

    Silvester Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NZ
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino del Salvador (2014)
    Camino Primitivo (2014)
    Camino Muxia (2014)
    Camino Fisterra (2014)
    I originally took all my gear to the store and bought a 28L frameless pack. Nearer the departure time my daughter bought a 30L Berghaus pack with a frame. It felt so much more comfortable so I bought one too and it performed beautifully on Camino, including food for a day or two when we were not near tiendas. I gave the 28L one away for commuter use. I think that a real frame is a must - the weights sags into the lumbar region even with some stiffening in a frameless bag.
     
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  55. fiona99

    fiona99 Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
    Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
     
  56. Melensdad

    Melensdad Active Member

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    2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
    One other thing to look at is clothing weight! A cheap FROG TOGGS rain suit weighs TWICE as much as a higher quality/more expensive rain suit from Marmont, OR or REI. It is also bulkier. It is also FAR LESS breathable and therefore less comfortable. Two different fabrics may claim to be BREATHABLE but it does not make them EQUALLY breathable. The $29 'breathable' rain suit at Wal Mart is better than a plastic rain suit if that is all you can afford, but it it not nearly as good as the $250+ rain suits from real outdoor companies. You pay for breath ability, you pay for actual waterproof versus water resistant. You will be walking through rainstorms, high winds, humid conditions . . . This may be the trip of your lifetime, you should spend as much time selecting proper clothing as a proper backpack.

    So when we look at BACKPACKS and OVERALL WEIGHT we should consider the higher tech clothing and its weight. A pair of Ex-Officio boxers weighs 1/2 the weight of a pair of cotton Fruit of the Loom boxers, dries faster on laundry day, doesn't hold onto sweat, etc.

    If your rain gear is featherweight, your undies are like gossamer wings, your hiking pants are a quick dry nylon/polyester, your shirts a 'performance' fabrics with anti-microbial qualities (or better yet are Merino Wool) then you can actually carry a little luxury item or an extra pair of something and still have less weight on your back than someone who paid close attention to their backpack weight but didn't choose their clothes wisely!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  57. TrulyUsefulInfo.com

    TrulyUsefulInfo.com New Member

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    Hi James,

    I'd agree with Yallah - slightly bigger (35L/40L) means that you can pack quicker as it's not dependant on everything being in exactly the right place to squeeze in.

    I'd also go with a slightly bigger pack to avoid the chance of having to hang gear on the outside, for 2 reasons:
    - The sound of gear flopping around on the outside can get annoying very quickly
    - It can sometimes be a problem if you need to pull your rain-cover over your gear.

    A slightly larger pack would also double as a good weekend-hike pack when you DO need to carry a sleeping bag along.

    On the flight question:
    It depends on who you fly with, and how strict they are on the day. Most airlines have a 6 or 7kg weight limit, but in about 10 flights in the last 8 months and many before that I have yet to find a carrier who has checked my carry-on weight.
    Size-wise most 40L packs will be larger than the maximum dimensions, but I recently saw two backpackers manage to make it onto a flight with 60L/70L packs as hand luggage...
    Most important thing to remember is the "no sharp objects" rules for hand-luggage . We normally carry a small kitchen knife for picnics and I carry a small pocket knife - both would be confiscated at airport security.

    Happy shopping!
    Drew
     
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  58. WldWil

    WldWil Active Member

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    Location:
    Wisconsin USA
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2015 SJPDP - Halfway
    2016 Fromista - The other half
    I haven't seen it mentioned. I went with an Osprey 36l for a bunch of reasons like fit and comfort, but also that I could take it as a carry on aboard the airplane on the flight over. I am flying from the USA and have had to many negative baggage stories, from lost, delayed up to three days in about 20% travels. So far, I have had bags replaced and clothing paid for, but the delay in starting the Camino for me would be huge.
     
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  59. Rikkitikkitavi

    Rikkitikkitavi Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    2015 Camino Portuguese, Appalachian Trail SoBo 2014 ME/GA
    I am doing the Camino Portuguese with a 30 L REI Traverse. You can get an idea of my gear in this youtube vid. I did manage to get everything in my lil 30 L.




     

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