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Another Backpack recommendation request

2020 Camino Guides

crhutch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2010) March/April SJPP to Santiago and hence to Finisterre
(2016) Hospitalero Grañón 15-31 March
(2016) April Logroño to Santiago
(2017) Hospitalero Zamora 15-31 March
(2017) Hospilatero Emaus, Burgos 1-14 April
Good tidings to all - My wife and I are planning to walk the camino in 2010. We are starting to buy our equipment so we can start our training program. I am looking for recommendations on backpacks for both men and women that I can buy here in the States. Thanks!
 
Yikes! You'll get lots of suggestions, but whether a pack is right for you depends on, well, you. :) My suggestion is to get ideas here, do some research online, then go to a store like Whole Earth or REI & ask questions & try on packs.

I have an Aarn pack that I got 2 years ago. I like it, but it doesn't have outside pockets to put water or snacks in. I **might** be changing packs for one I've seen a lot of Germans carrying, but I haven't decided yet.

Kelly
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
My son and I both used a men's 50l and women's 35l Osprey. I highly recommend them. What is best is to try them out in the store to make sure things don't rub as you walk around. The internal frame was what kept the weight off the shoulders so made it very comfortable. Stay tuned for more recommendations.
Have fun
Lillian
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
A pilgrimage in the Holy Year - how wonderful!

I've got a post on my blog devoted to 'Weight-watchers for Back Packs" that might help you in your research for packs and lightweight clothing.
http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2008/07/w ... kpacks.php

There are many websites devoted to Ultralight backpacking with reviews on different packs and it will be worth reading a few of these.

A few things to bear in mind when shopping around:

1) Packs come in different lengths - make sure that the one you buy fits your torso and doesn't drag down off your shoulders.
2) Many packs are made of sturdy, heavy duty fabrics for mountaineer campers who cart tents, poles, spikes, stoves etc. and can weigh over 2kg empty. Most camino pilgrims only need a pack to carry their clothing and toiletries so you don't need a heavy duty, inner frame army type backpack.
3) New generation backpacks are made of ultra-lightweight, rip-stop fabrics with features like foam backing for comfort and rigidity, hip belts that can be stuffed with socks, towels etc.
4) Take a digital scale with you when you go shopping so that you can weigh the packs before you buy.

EG:
The Gossamer Gear Murmur ultralight pack is for loads of 9 kg (20 lbs) or less and for trips of 1,000 miles/50 trail days or less. It sports a webbing only hip belt, is a one size fits most pack and weighs in at a paltry 212g (7.5 oz) fully loaded with all its features. The Murmur has side pockets, side compression straps, a pad holder pocket, an adjustable sternum strap and a minimal hydration bladder shelf. http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin (They have a sale on at the moment)

The GoLite Jam weighs 1 lb 6 oz. | 620 g -
http://www.golite.com/Product/proddetai ... PA5951&s=2

I started off hiking with a school satchel - and it served me well on 3 long distance hikes - including two caminos - until it started to perish and tear. I then progressed to a 'proper' backpack. A 35L Karrimor two compartment, sturdy hip belt pack that weighs 1.45kg empty. It hurt my shoulders, rubbed on my hips and was just too heavy. They now have ultralight packs - a 30L that weighs 600g and a 45L ladies that weighs 710g. Check their website at:
http://www.karrimor.com/SS08/X-Lite.htm

I have now progressed to a 32L OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) pack that weighs 575g and has everything I need including side mesh pockets, large mesh pocket on the back, lid pocket, double inner section, hip belt with zips and soft, wide shoulder straps.
http://www.theomm.com/products/packs/cl ... on32L.html

Good luck with your shopping!
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Well, I am reluctant to air my views here as I have been shot down in flames previously. However, just to let you have another side to consider, here is what I do. Like Kelly, I have an Aarn Pack (NZ made and designed) There are a couple of different sizes, and I actually have the larger one (Natural Balance) and I just take the Pack without the front pockets which help distribute the load if one carries more than 10kgs. This weighs 1kg and is about 50litres and allows me the freedom to pack more gear in it at the end of the Camino when I am travelling home.

Before I get howled down, let me add that yes, I do have the will power to carry a half empty pack 2,000kms across France and Spain!. I did it last time and intend to do so next! Why I carry the larger pack is that there are occasions when for a day or so I will need to carry a little extra (eg both the French AND Spanish guide books and also both phrase books etc), until I can post on a parcel to myself. The other great benifit is that I am able to put lunch etc inside my pack if necessary. My pet hate is haveing things dangling on the outside of the pack. For that, I am happy to carry a larger pack and I use restraint and refrain from carrying things just because I have room. The other benifit of this pack is the way it is moulded to my back and moves with me rather than against me and also it is waterproof.

As has already been inferred - there are almost as many opinions about packs as there are members of this forum. I can only speak with what works for me. Hope this adds to your thoughts, Janet
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
For all except the winter months, try think of 600g pack weight as the aim - mine holds 22L with water round my waist but that's maybe a bit extreme (and relies on having light and non-bulky clothes and the like) so think more like 32-35L as a maximum - multiply by near enough 60 to get US ci - the smaller the pack, the greater need for the tough decisions you will have to make before the Camino - as opposed to suffering with too much weight and then ditching or posting stuff home
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
GoLite:
I did a Camino with a large size GoLite Quest at 22 pounds loaded. It was too large, and its lack of structure allowed it to sag onto my shoulders. However, it was better than a Lowe Alpine at 25 pounds that was too short in the torso that I had used on my first Camino.

I did my third with a Lowe Alpine Hyperlite at 27 pounds, and it was not bad. The structure made for a comfortable ride, but I lost stuff that was stored in the side mesh pockets that were not designed to be deep enough! My back stayed cooler than with the GoLite packs.

I did number four with a large size GoLite Jam pack (at 21 pounds), which is smaller than the Quest. I used a folded sleeping mat along my back for structure (though I never actually used the mat for sleeping in 37 days). It had the right capacity, but the weight of the unnecessary sleeping mat made its empty weight almost as heavy as the Lowe Alpine Hyperlite. Even with the rigidity of the sleeping mat, the shoulder straps pulled down onto my neck muscles, and at the end of several days my neck muscles were sore. The waist belt is far too narrow on the Jam. The pack sits directly on your back, so there is lots of perspiration!

On balance the Lowe Alpine Hyperlite was the best, but the GoLites certainly deliver low empty weight.

A useful feature that appears on most European packs now is pockets on the waist strap. REI has an ultralite line at low cost with pockets on the waist strap. User comments complain, though, that the packs are delicate and prone to damage, a quality control problem that REI usually avoids in its house products.
 

viajero

Active Member
I've posted before on this...
I used the REI jetpack--it is small(30l), lighter than many, cheaper than most. I am a 5'8" female and it worked well for me although the REI people said I might have been a little too tall for it. I carried about 14 pounds and walked in March/April so had to carry warm and cold weather things. It was always jam packed full but I loved it. IT was considerably smaller and lighter than nearly anything I saw. For me it was great and comfortable --I think because I kept the weight so low. Because I walked in winter, I didn't mind it being against my back but in warm weather, one of the packs that keeps air flow between you and the pack might be nicer.
 

johnBCCanada

Active Member
HI

I used an older Millet pack that I had from earlier days when I was more active in the hills. I think that weight is important but the most important thing is fit and comfort. Go to a store that has experienced knowledgable staff with a good selection of packs - In the US REI would be a good example. Try on different packs and let the staff know what you are going to do with the pack so that they an assist. Put some weight in the pack and walk around the store for an hour or two with different packs. When you buy the pack see if you can walk around with it further with weight in it to get used to it. If a problem develops take it back to the store and see if further adjustment is needed. Wear it when walking or hiking to get used to it and to carrying a pack

My pack had no extra capacity which enforced a certain discipline on me but I suspect most people would simply ditch extra stuff brought with them if they found weight a problem. But especially for people who aren't backpackers and aren't used to carrying a pack I think the most important issue is comfort which is best acheived by getting assistance to find the pack that best fits you and then getting used to it before you go.

Regards

John
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Hi John,
I did exactly what you have suggested - went to a really good outdoor store to be fitted for a suitable backpack. The salesman had never heard of the camino but as soon as he heard the words '800kms hike" he led me to the heavy duty rucksacks. I ended up buying the Karrimor 35L pack. It is a good pack but it was really too long and too heavy for me.
I think it makes a big difference if you are a large or small person. I am a 5'3" lightweight and am much happier with my 575g OMM 32L ultralight pack. It holds all my clothing, toiletries, papers, extra shoes and has space for extra food when necessary.
And, the mesh pouch on the back is large enough to take a helmet so if anyone wants to cycle the camino with a backpack, this is one to consider!
 

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Wow..no other topic gets so many (good!) responses in such a short time...I agree with what everyone has said so far....and as we Canadians stick together..I feel the most important comments are:

" Go to a store that has experienced knowledgable staff with a good selection of packs - In the US REI would be a good example. Try on different packs and let the staff know what you are going to do with the pack so that they can assist. Put some weight in the pack and walk around the store for an hour or two with different packs. When you buy the pack see if you can walk around with further weight in it to get used to it. If a problem develops take it back to the store and see if further adjustment is needed. Wear it when walking or hiking to get used to it and to carrying a pack"

Before my Camino last spring...I really wanted a Osprey Aura 50....but it took only 15 seconds with it on my back to determine it was not for me...so putting aside any judgement of what pack was the best...for several hours I tried on every lighter weight pack in the store until I finally hit the one that fit my body....the Gregory Jade 50...it fit perfectly too I might add...not one complaint from me on the Camino Frances during May 2008...the rainest May in recent Camino history!

Tell the staff that you are going to "walk"...vs "hike"...and that you will be sleeping in indoor accommodations and dining in cafes....this will let them know that the weight and likely what you will be carrying ...which is less than hiking with the full gear.....and hence you can get by with a lighter weight pack...but still will need some support...

Good luck....and take your time!!

Marilyn

ps...if you want to see my pack...go to the Pilgrim Forum Badge section below....that was it's first public appearance!!
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Strange but true...

When we set out to get "fitted" with our gear for the Camino, we went to a large store which specialised in Trekking. The staff were all "Trekkers" & the store regularly did workshops on the Camino. They were just brilliant and spent hours with us, fitting boots, socks, bags etc., which we purchased.

However, when it came to packs....
Those they recommended, when correctly adjusted, felt great for me, but nothing could adjust to fit Helen really well. They tried Uni packs, Ladies Packs, Mens Packs, brand X & Y, they would not adjust & fit right (How they explained they should).

We then spent a number of weeks trying to find a pack that fitted Helen. Now you're thinking, "strange shape this Helen". Not so, tall, strong, ex national athletic champion, can move a piano if she has a mind to rearrange the furniture.

But, we spent hours laughing with staff who tried to fit her with a pack (I mean, fit properly, not "Oh, close enough"). We eventually found one, Osprey Kestrel, (although the lighter Ospreys were just hopeless for her), however, the brand is not the issue here.

So, first find someone who really knows packs, find out exactly how they are "meant" to fit (have all the adjustments explained, then make sure it does "exactly that", on your body, "when packed with weight".

Yes, weight of the empty pack is important, but how it "sits & feels" on you "packed", is what you are looking for. Don't rush it, take your time, get them adjusted until you know it's right.

Colin & Helen
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral2019; Finisterre/Muxia2019;
I concur with the suggestion that it's best to try on different packs and go with what feels good. My 2nd Camino I used a 55L, and I filled it (but only 11 lbs). I packed expeditiously but my fleece and sleeping bag both were very light and very bulky so the Litre size isn't necessary the most important figure when choosing your pack. It's weight and how it fits is much more important.
 

Rambler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
This has actually been one of the most informative threads on packs with everything put very succinctly.
Ivar: you should make this a sticky to the top of the Equipment section! Will help many people in the future.

Crhutch:
Since you are in Virginia, Let's just look at the packs you can get at REI right now. I am not sure if there is an Eastern Mountain Sports in your part of the country, but...

The REI brand packs are the best value.
The Jet or the Quick (It is on sale now for $75 plus you can get 20% off!!!) are great options.

Granite Gear's Vapor or Meridian lines are well known ultralights that are very durable, but very spartan. More for an AT through hike than the camino.
http://media.rei.com/media/767075.jpg
Gregory's Z35 or Advent Pro are good choices also, but the Z35 did not hold all my stuff for the camino easily.

Opsrey's Stratos 24, Talon 33, or Talon 45 are all good options. I would have bought the Stratos 24 when I went if I did not have a REI UL45 already.

Golite's Jam or Quest are most in line with Camino needs.

I don't know any of the others REI sells.


Falcon's comments are very valuable. Personally, when I do the Camino again, I had planned on getting a Gossamergear pack anf using the foam pad as the structure for the pack. But the value of the hip belt really is evident in Falcon's comments. Plus the issue of floppiness is a big one. Buy a pack that will allow you to adjust the pack size in a way that keeps the gear close to your back.

Given the Aarn packs are not available here in the US, I would suggest sticking with those you can try on.

Do what I did:
Get all the things you think right now you will be taking on the trip together in a bag (don't forget water bottles). Go to REI and try on the various packs listed made for your torso size. Try putting all your gear in the packs. See what you need handy and if there are places for them (camera, water, sunscreen) The Ospreys are great with this.
Now walk around the store with the one you like best for 40 minutes or so, shopping for Christmas gifts. Try another and do the same. Then get the one you like the best. Go home and keep all the gear in it and wear it around the house for most of the day to see if it still feels good. If not return it to REI and try another. (They are great about that.)

My choice was an old version of the REI Quick. At 45L it is a bit bigger than I needed, but the torso size made the pack fantastic.

Rules of Thumb:
Don't get a pack that weighs over 3 lbs. (this is the highest priority to me.)
Get one that fits your torso so that the hipbelt actually carries the weight of the pack and your shoulders are free.
Get a comfortable hipbelt.
Make sure all your stuff fits in the pack, but just barely if you cannot control yourself and underpack.

I hope that helps.
Rambler
 

lckgj

Active Member
Kelly is right, you will get lots of suggestions on this topic so here is my tuppence worth..

I am convinced that it is more comfortable to carry slightly larger pack not fully loaded than to have a smaller, and possibly slightly lighter pack, stuffed tight. A bigger pack gives you more options to distribute the weight, especially if you develop a 'hotspot'. It depends which route you are walking, but especially on Sundays you may have to carry more food than you had anticipated so make sure you have some extra capacity. I too hate things hanging off my pack and whilst I carry a rain poncho there were odd times when a light shower meant it was not worth putting on rain gear, as you knew you would dry out fairly readily whilst walking, but I would not have wanted my sleeping bag or fleece to get wet if it were hanging on the outside of my pack.

I have a Lowe Alpine Skyline ND55 which has the airflow system which keeps your back cool in summer. I like it a lot. I have the 35 litre version of the same pack but whilst I can fit all my stuff in, I find it is less comfortable when packed so tight and it makes my shoulders ache more quickly. Originally, I would have bought the Osprey Atmos 50 instead of the Lowe Alpine if it had not been so expensive and everyone I met carrying one said they were great. I have since bought one (very cheaply) second-hand on ebay but have yet to try it out.
I took ages choosing the right pack and it was the last kit item I bought so I was beginning to think I would NEVER find the perfect one. I'm sure the shop assistants whose time I took up trying on every last pack in the shop before leaving empty handed must have been cursing me as I left! You will hear a lot of helpful advice and a lot of sales patter but keep going until you find the right one. A comfortable pack is as important as comfortable boots - you will will make your journey so much more enjoyable if you get it right, and so much more arduous if you get it wrong.
Good luck!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
On my first few long walks I packed everything into separate plastic zip-lock bags to help keep the pack tidy and also to keep things dry if I was caught in a sudden shower. After a few weeks of hot walking, everything in the pack smelled like they needed airing!
For the past few years I've used a dry-sack liner inside my backpack. I still pack toiletries, medicines and laundry stuff into zip-lock bags but I no longer pack my clothes into plastic bags.
I have three different coloured fine mesh laundry bags - one for underwear, socks, shorts and t-shirts, one for trousers, long sleeve shirt, fleece jacket and chill-cheater jacket and another for laundry. They are lightweight, see through and don't make a noise. You can usually buy them in bulk - 6 different colours to a pack.
 

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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi, I am about to set off for my 3rd pilgrimage next year and have done a few shorter walks in between. My advice is that the pack has to fit your personal frame most of all and be comfortable. If you use a raincape, you can have a non waterproof pack, otherwise a waterproof one or a pack which has a built in waterproof cover is best.
You can get a Lower Alpine 32 litre pack which weighs only around 600 grams, great for women.
It is waterproof. The http://www.backpackinglight.com.au site has some great products. Their Roman Palm sleeping bag is the lightest I have found at 500 grams and sufficient for the Camino in Spain. On the Le Puy route gites have blankets and a sil bag is enough. Backpackinglight has the lightest rain cape I have seen at 140 grams. I personally used a Vaude Civetta 32 backpack, which I liked because of the many separate pockets. It has a waterproof cover and weighs just over 1 kg.
I have got my packing down to a minimum now, which really works for me:
Sleeping bag or sack
Lightweight but warmish fleece
Raincape or lightweight breathable Gortex Parka, which comes to just above knee, so no overtrowsers needed.
Lightweight but sturdy boots or walking shoes, waterproof. Shoes are sufficient in Spain, boots better on Le Puy route.
3 undies, 2 bras, 3 pairs of socks.
Merino first layer t shirt
lightweight wicking t shirt
long sleeved UV repellent shirt
Lightweight shorts
3/4 lenght or zippable pants
Lava Lava, great for going to and from shower/toilet or as a makeshift skirt while you dry your washing
Togs
Boxers to wear at night/but lava lava also good
Sunhat
1 metre of muslin to use as towel, much better absorption than synthetic and dries in seconds.
1 pair light sandals.
Documents and bank cards
Camera and charger and adaptor
Mini notebook
Pen
Spork, a titanium spoon fork combination, useful for salad, yoghurt en route
First aid kit with thread and iodine to treat blisters, plaster, bandage, antiseptic cream in mini tube, panadol, antihistamine
Emergency blanket
whistle
Toothbrush and mini toothpaste
Moisturizer with sunblock
Wondersoao for hair body and clothes
Waterbottle
Leightweight small bag to take around to go shopping for groceries or when you go for a swim or out for the evening and want to take a jacket and cape....
All this should weigh in around 6 kg, which makes for really pleasant walking.
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Time to weigh in...oops, bad choice of words.

I used a military style 3-day pack ( London Bridge Trading, Co). It has three zippered pouches, making everything easy to pack, un pack and most importantly...get to. If you carry more than you can fit in this pack..it's too much. It's rugged, is relatively light weight and you can hang things off it..such as a Katahdin water purification bottle...never go anywhere with out it.

Most hiking packs are made for relatively long distance treks where you will be off road for a week to ten days...the Camino isn't a walk in the park, but you seldom find a supermercado in a park either. Pack light...don't take something you might need...take what you MUST have...the rest you can get along the Way.

Buen lightweight Camino
Arn
 

crhutch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2010) March/April SJPP to Santiago and hence to Finisterre
(2016) Hospitalero Grañón 15-31 March
(2016) April Logroño to Santiago
(2017) Hospitalero Zamora 15-31 March
(2017) Hospilatero Emaus, Burgos 1-14 April
Well after all the advice I ended up buying the Osprey Atmos 65. It is a little bit over 3 lbs but my intent is to stay under 20 lbs. I've done a couple short hikes with 20 lb weight and it felt ok.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
crhutch said:
Well after all the advice I ended up buying the Osprey Atmos 65. It is a little bit over 3 lbs but my intent is to stay under 20 lbs. I've done a couple short hikes with 20 lb weight and it felt ok.
Well that makes my 2 cents worth...nada...or a lot...that is exactly the pack I have, used and love. I also have a Lowe Daypack...and love'm both for the ventilation across the back..with out which I would be a sad and sorry puddle on the trail!

Now you get to practice w/weight..for which I highly recomend.. standing at the pantry and flinging in lots and lots of canned goods! Bruces Yams work well as did large cans of tomato sauce! The others in my group of 4 laughed at me... till we got there and I had narry a complaint! Practice made for a damn near perfect trip!!

Buen Camino, Karin
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
Anyone out there still using an external frame pack? That's what I used and it served me well. It hauled a fair amount of weight (I'm no gram weenie :p ) and the external frame kept it off my back so I didn't soak the pack with sweat (air layer between me and the pack). Since you're basically walking down a road (as opposed to mountain climbing), you don't need the lower center of gravity an internal frame pack offers.

The external pack is more of a hassle in airports, though- too many external doohickeys to get caught in a luggage rack, baggage carousel, etc. I had a large canvas duffel bag that my pack traveled in for train and airplane rides.
 

crhutch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2010) March/April SJPP to Santiago and hence to Finisterre
(2016) Hospitalero Grañón 15-31 March
(2016) April Logroño to Santiago
(2017) Hospitalero Zamora 15-31 March
(2017) Hospilatero Emaus, Burgos 1-14 April
UPDATE ON MY PACK

I have walked a couple short hikes (less than 5 miles) with 30 not 20 lbs and it felt comfortable. In two weeks we are walking a 15 mile hike and we'll be training with the Osprey Atmos 65. :mrgreen:
 

Timo

Member
Terve,
if the main adjustments are correct, height of of your back, width of your hip, your over all lenght, I´d say that almost all the modern hiking backpacks are qood. A good backpack fells good on your back, like a well fitting shirt. You feel the weight but no pain. You´ll get use to carry the weight after the first few hundred kilometres. You´ll grow to the hump on your back.Start easy.
-T-
 

chris m

New Member
I havn't done the camino yet [May 2009] but am practising.I have found small 40L sacs are maybe too small for rainy/cold weather and sleeping bag.Now I think I'll revert to my old 65L bag ,althought much bigger than I need , allows me the volume to take off clothing , buy food etc. according to circumstance.Also find putting 7/8 kilos in small sac pulls back on the shoulders and not carried on the hip.
 

chris m

New Member
jl said:
Well, I am reluctant to air my views here as I have been shot down in flames previously. However, just to let you have another side to consider, here is what I do. Like Kelly, I have an Aarn Pack (NZ made and designed) There are a couple of different sizes, and I actually have the larger one (Natural Balance) and I just take the Pack without the front pockets which help distribute the load if one carries more than 10kgs. This weighs 1kg and is about 50litres and allows me the freedom to pack more gear in it at the end of the Camino when I am travelling home.
I agree ! Don't get shot down.Chris M
Before I get howled down, let me add that yes, I do have the will power to carry a half empty pack 2,000kms across France and Spain!. I did it last time and intend to do so next! Why I carry the larger pack is that there are occasions when for a day or so I will need to carry a little extra (eg both the French AND Spanish guide books and also both phrase books etc), until I can post on a parcel to myself. The other great benifit is that I am able to put lunch etc inside my pack if necessary. My pet hate is haveing things dangling on the outside of the pack. For that, I am happy to carry a larger pack and I use restraint and refrain from carrying things just because I have room. The other benifit of this pack is the way it is moulded to my back and moves with me rather than against me and also it is waterproof.

As has already been inferred - there are almost as many opinions about packs as there are members of this forum. I can only speak with what works for me. Hope this adds to your thoughts, Janet
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Chrism, if your old backpack is the right size for you, and comfortable, you stick with it.
Everyone is built differently and has different needs.
I have a trusty old a 35L Karriemor backpack that weighs over 1.5kg. I decided a couple of years ago that it was just too big and heavy for me. (I am 5'2" and weigh 55kg). I found the 32L OMM ultralight that weighs 600g which is perfect for my needs.
I have decided not to take my HiTec sandals this time after all and will stick with the Off Road Crocs to wear after the shower etc. This has brought my fully packed backpack down to 4.4kg and there is still space for food. It will weigh 1kg more once I have added water to the two water bottle on the side pouches. (I reckon I am a pilgrim in progress and will probably find more weight saving tricks in future!)
 
Marilyn Canada said:
Before my Camino last spring...I really wanted a Osprey Aura 50....but it took only 15 seconds with it on my back to determine it was not for me...so putting aside any judgement of what pack was the best...for several hours I tried on every lighter weight pack in the store until I finally hit the one that fit my body....the Gregory Jade 50...it fit perfectly too I might add...not one complaint from me on the Camino Frances during May 2008...the rainest May in recent Camino history!
I whole-heartedly agree! I went to REI and they were fantastic. We spent an hour trying on packs and I went home with a different model then what I had planned on purchasing. We live in the Dallas,Texas area and found it very difficult to find some of the forum recommended manufacturers. It's hard to make an informed purchase when you don't think you've seen them all.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi, I have been researching the backpack scene for a long time and I agree that the pack thing is a very individual issue. After looking into lightweight packs I have now decided on a Deuter womens Futura Pro 34 litre pack. I only need 30 to 32 litres, but I don't want to squash the baguette and cheese! The pack also comes in a men's harness. I love all the outer and inner pockets and the harness is super comfortable with a steel arch thing to keep the pack from touching your back, so you don't get sweaty. The pack I had before, the Vaude Civetta 32 collapsed after 1500 km and I found the hipbelt and shoulder straps to minimal and ended up with pressure points.
The Deuter is a bit heavier, but the comfort more than compensates and I have paid major attention to getting the contents down to a minimum and finding the most lightweight version of everything I am taking. Do not carry more than 10 percent of your bodyweight under any circumstances. Regards, Gitti
 

johnjosiah1

New Member
at the risk of being stoned to death by all those who enter the arena of equipment i have a small question to ask too! i have walked the frances route and the portuguese. i tried to start from malaga this year but after a series of small incidents and accidents got very fed up and skulked home! i am 71 with lung problems and arthritis and yeah yeah yeah but still like to be a penitent :D i carried a very lightweight tent plus sleeping bag and mat and cooker etc. result? to get everything in and not hang on the outside, i had to take my bigger rucksack. 65+15 l. overall weight gain was 3.5 kilos. alas, trudging through the Torcal national park, i asked myself, yeah lord why am i doing this? sitting here at home, near bristol in merry england, i am again weighing everything on the kitchen scales and allowing for two litres of water, cant get below 10 kilos. 10% of my stocky little frame equals 8.3 kilos. The sack, lowe alpine, weighs 2.5 kilos so unless i ditch the damn tent etc, means the only weight loss will have to be through the rucksacks. have read myself blind on the net looking at different brands and tormenting staff in my local shops. One hard fact is begining to emerge. its ultimately NOT the capacity and weight of the sack, its how well does it FIT!! I was very surprised with DEUTER as i have one of their smaller sacks (1.5 k) which was brilliant on the Route Napoleon. its bigger brother weighs in at 2.8 kilos but fits perfectly as well! if i keep the tent package it really means training harder to carry the weight with a rucksack that feels comfortable and fits right. hope this babble is of some use and of course, feel free to hurl rocks at me except i hope to start from granada this time, in September! at my age, a nice rooom every nite is probably the best answer, but i Like my tent and i dont have to join any stampedes to get a bed! Buen camino and good luck. adios. johnjosiah1
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
Trust me if you start from Granada you won't be in a stampede for a bed-in may last year I saw 1 person,briefly, in the 400 kms to Granada. I couldn't find any albergues (although someone else on this route did find cheap accommodation) so stayed in Hostales-dearer but nice after long days.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hi Johnjosiah1, I walked the Camino frances last in 2007 - August - and I refused to join any bed race. I did leave early in the morning, but not to get to a bed, rather to enjoy that part of the day. I never missed out on a bed in that time despite the fact that there were times when I didn't arrive in the town until around 8.00 pm. One night I was deliberating as to whether (at 8.15p.m) I would go to the Albergue or go to a very nice hostal I knew of that was about 4 doors further on. As it turned out the albergue was full but I got a room all to myslef (with a bath!!) in the hostal for 25 euros! This was on the crowded Frances, the via de la Plata should be a breeze by comparison when it comes to accomodation. Cheers, Janet
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi I took a Civetta 32 by Vaude, I am female 161 cm tall. I liked the pack because it was light and had lots of side, top and bottom and front pockets, which makes it easy to organise your gear. The straps were a bit minimalist and I felt a bit sore around the hipbone/waist, but that settled down quickly. It lasted the length of the camino, but when I took it on a second long walk the long strips which bend outwards to keep the back of the pack away from you back kept on collapsing.
I have now bought a women's Deuter pack, 35 litres. It has similar pocket arrangements,is slightly heavier, but very comfortable and the hipbelt and straps are vastly superior. The bendy bits on the back are steel and will not collapse like the Vaude ones. I have looked at lots of lighter weight packs, but they all have hopeless straps, and hardly any pockets and the weight consequently does not sit as well on the back, but at the end of the day it is such a personal decision. Keep the pack small, you should only take a maximum of 10 per cent of your body weight in weight. I have my pack down to 5.00 kg, fully loaded, except for water. Regards, Gitti
 

soulmiles

New Member
Hi!

Buen Camino, when you get to it! I will pray for you two!

I have been using a TheNorthFace Primero 70 on my pilgrimages. Simply the best!

Be Well & Be Blessed!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
jl said:
Well, I am reluctant to air my views here as I have been shot down in flames previously. However, just to let you have another side to consider, here is what I do. Like Kelly, I have an Aarn Pack (NZ made and designed) There are a couple of different sizes, and I actually have the larger one (Natural Balance) and I just take the Pack without the front pockets which help distribute the load if one carries more than 10kgs. This weighs 1kg and is about 50litres and allows me the freedom to pack more gear in it at the end of the Camino when I am travelling home.

Before I get howled down, let me add that yes, I do have the will power to carry a half empty pack 2,000kms across France and Spain!. I did it last time and intend to do so next! Why I carry the larger pack is that there are occasions when for a day or so I will need to carry a little extra (eg both the French AND Spanish guide books and also both phrase books etc), until I can post on a parcel to myself. The other great benifit is that I am able to put lunch etc inside my pack if necessary. My pet hate is haveing things dangling on the outside of the pack. For that, I am happy to carry a larger pack and I use restraint and refrain from carrying things just because I have room. The other benifit of this pack is the way it is moulded to my back and moves with me rather than against me and also it is waterproof. Janet
Yes, I am a bit cagey about posting as well, disappearing to lick wounds etc then coming back ..... I agree with all of this, which is a complete turnaround for me.
I have been a 'keep it really light, especially the pack' believer for a long time but I am now coming round to the idea of using a larger pack - the two reasons are fit and spare room. The larger packs seem to fit so well that their extra weight seems unimportant (I carry too much of my own weight anyway).
I recently bought the OMM Marathon 32 and it is a marvellous pack but I was unable to use it! - the back was so short that it all hung off my shoulders and I had to sell it on (I bought it online and untried - yes, I know now!).

So I am now looking for a pack that is above the 35 litre small pack size and has a proper chassis that will fit my long back so all rests on my hips ... so jl (and other larger pack folk) I am a convert.
And that space for fleecy things without cramping everything up - marvellous!

So something like 50 litres at a 1 to 1.5 kilos would suit me! (Crikey! - I can feel myself blushing)

But this time I go into a shop and try them all on, seeing I am now starting from scratch again.

(Funnily enough my mind goes back to a large external aluminium frame pack I had years ago that was really light and comfortable (though the bottom corners could catch on things)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Sillydoll

9 pounds!?!?

Ok Sil... you really DO need to post a packing list.
Did you do it already and I missed it?

Kowabunga, that is LIGHT!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
johnjosiah1 - the new Go Outdoors shop (town side of brislington by where the old MFI shop used to be) has a number on display to try on (lots of room, mirrors so you can see the fit, and they leave you alone) ....

the tent thingy and sleeping bag ... have you thought of just taking the flysheet and a bit of ripstop as a groundsheet and using two walking poles as uprights? would that save you some weight?

And I have just started wondering about the weight of an Ikea single synthetic duvet ... they have ones 4.5 to 9 tog on sale for under £6 at the moment ... I can't bear mummy bags, I twist around and end up like a stuck caterpillar but with hot feet .. have been thinking about how ridiculously light but comfortable a duvet can be ... lighter than a bag and more versatile (note: have never tried this, just thinking about it) .. and so cheap you don't need to take it home but can give it to a vagrant.

just a thought or two ... and way impressed with your age and fitness though I find, at 61, that I don't seem to improve much by exercising ....
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
The duvet is a great idea and I see very lightweight down blankets and polyfil blankets at thrift stores often for under $5 - they would compress down same as a bag - in fact, you could cut them to fit.

::thinking about this now:::
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Realised I had hijacked this post so have started a 'budget kit' thread - apologies
 

brooke

New Member
I walked the camino 3 years ago from Roncevalles. I took a small Dueter last time, this time I am carrying a daypack. A Flash 30 from REI with all the extra bits cut off. I'll carry 5-10 lbs. Food, water and warm places to sleep are all over the place. The idea is to walk not carry.

If you are carrying stuff you need later - send it on to the post office in Santiago.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
[quote="brooke"
If you are carrying stuff you need later - send it on to the post office in Santiago.[/quote]

The Post Office in Santiago now only keep your parcel for two weeks I gather..... so unless you want to send it to Burgos, then re-send it to Leon, then re-send it to Santiago....you might want to use ivar's luggage storage service in Santiago...
Margaret
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
jl said:
My pet hate is haveing things dangling on the outside of the pack. For that, I am happy to carry a larger pack and I use restraint and refrain from carrying things just because I have room. I can only speak with what works for me.

Janet, I love what your saying about filling space just because and also making sure what works for you. I know what you mean about things on the outside moving etc. I had a water bottle on a carabiner and it drove me nuts moving and swinging about as I walked. Same w/lunch in a plastic bag tied to the back. Also by having a bit of space in side, your less likely to squish your lunch when you sit down for a moment...as happend once in a bus stop on the Camino Portuguese last year...sandwich was edible..just a tad mishapen!

Wishing all the best equipment hunting...also have to weigh in for REI! My fav. store on the planet!

Karin :arrow:
 

pwabbit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cam Frances Sarria-SdC (2006); Cam Portugues Tui-SdC (2007); Cam del Norte, portions and Baamonde-SdC (2010); Cam Frances Sarria-SdC (2014)
On my first Camino (Frances from Sarria, 2006), I used REI's early model womens 45L Ultralight pack. It's the predecessor of the current UL packs. Worked well, although the bottom of the single internal aluminum stay kept wiggling off-center every so often. But it was well-balanced, and the frame design allowed the pack to form a slightly more tubular shape which sat off your back, so it didn't absorb too much sweat.

What i didn't like about it was the lack of external pocket for things like water bottles and guidebooks, etc. There were two mesh pockets but these didn't have enough slack when the main pack expanded to its full width. But I managed, and by and large the pack performed well.

On my second Camino (Portugues from Tui, 2007), I had to go with two friends who arranged a self-guided walk through a walking tour company (one of them couldn't carry too much weight on her back), so while the bags were ferried point-to-point, I used an early model REI convertible Flash Pack, with dry bags inside to protect my clothes and gear. Good thing, too -- the first day was spent walking through misty rain (6 hours of wet!). I got soaked, the Flash ack got soaked, but my things stayed dry :) In a way, that doesn't really count as a backpack but for people who are thinking of self-guided supported walks, the REI Flash Packs are worth considering as your day pack.

In Sept 2010 I plan to walk the section of the Frances that I missed the first time, also with friends. This time, I plan to use one of the ultralight packs -- either 36L or 25L -- I had custom-made by a local pack-maker who specializes in lightweight trek/camp equipment. I think he's known in the small international UL hiking community. I've tried his demo packs and they are extremely well-made... and fit like second skin. So next year we'll see how his products hold up to the Camino stress test.... :)
 

Jackbart

New Member
I am taking all this information in as I will be doing the Camino Portugues in May from Porto. I travel with a Black Wolf 75l pack and will take this for my 14 week European holiday. But for the camino section of my trip, my intention is to take off the day pack and use that, with my small sleeping bag and Downia jacket suspended from the pack. Drink bottle on my waist. Then send the rest of my gear forward to Santiago to pick up there. I feel for what little I will need day to day, that should be enough. I am 5'5", weigh 57kg and keep reading that no more than 10% of one's body weight is advisable to carry. I'm also at that age where the less strain on my limbs the better!
Any comments from anyone?
 

DOR

New Member
Hallo,
whilst on secondment to the US I set about to replace much of the hiking,camping and walking equipment I had let run down over the years.

I have on my list of things to accomplish the Way of Saint james. With that in mind, I set about to purchase the following equipment last year before I returned with my wife from California. I bought much of the gear through REI with the exception of the rucksack as REI didn't carry the model I wanted.

1) Rucksack-(Backpack in US English) Lowe Alpime TFX 65+10 Male and female equivilent for my wife. I have always gone with Lowe Alpine and so have some of my colleagues and friends who also are Alpine climbers. Its a personal preference only. The bag is spacious , expandable hence the plus 10,waterproof with rain cover as nothing is really waterproof and has GPS holder if that is your thing as well. I record all my trips on a Garmin 76CSx and load into Google earth for later use.

2) Scarpa walking Hiking boots- Super is the word I use. Straight out of the box I hit a three day trip with my Nieces around Haut Loire complete with Donkeys et al, perfect. Light and fitted just right. Note no boots are ever fully waterproof for ever. They need to be cleaned and reprimed with waterproofing products at least annually. That also applies to Goretex.

My wife uses Lowa walking hiking boots

) Hiking trousers. -After a thorough soaking on the second day of a 7 hike in Cantal Auvergne in July 2007, I decided I needed to waken upto the fact I was seriously under prepared for this trip. One weakness was in the trouser department. To remedy that I went for high quality but expensive clothing from Cloudviel. I bought a pair of top of the range waterproof trousers which were expensive but I believe worth it in the long run. However after water seeping upto my armpits in heavy rainfall from soaking trousers (cotton is a disaster on rainy days) with a rucksack flooded after a slip in a steep trail that doubled as the rainfall channel and days after in smoky clothing, I think its worth it. They are light and come fitted with removeable braces.

I would describe these trousers as serious for the job.

Gaiters- Perhaps not necessary but again based on the above I purchased a pair of Oregan gaiters knee length to assist with keeping dry, with or without using cloudviel trousers.

Map protector -I purchased at REI plastic freezer type bags that are billed 100% waterproof. I would recommend this as I purchased several in different sizes the purpose to keep things dry including maps. Alternatively you can buy products used to specifically store maps.



Waterproofing agents- I use Nixwax. see http://www.nikwax.com


Other links:
http://WWW.geartest.org see product reviews of people who test all sorts of equipment in the filed and post reports

see alo http://www.backpacker.com

see also http://www.rei.com for excellent advice sheets on a whole range of gear
 

Lemonkid

Member
I just picked up an ultralight Osprey 44L, I haven't loaded it up yet, but I think it's going to suit my needs just fine.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
After a lot of prospection, browsing on the internet I found my backpack. I bought a lightweight Gregory 45 liters. After trying numerous Vaude, Deuter, Mammut and Lowe Alpine...
The salesguy at the outdoorshop was so helpful ( and almost in tears because I kept bombarding him with questions lol...) and kept helping me with fitting and trying on different types of backpacks. Slightly more expensive than I estimated but it fits great. And for the first time in my life I have something in size small ( lol ), I imagined me being 172 centimeters I would need at least a medium size backpack but seems my torso is rather small...So yes trying and fitting is so important! So now some training with my gear...
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I am compiling a list of lightweight packs from a scale of 250g up to 1.5kg for an article for our local CSJ newsletter and wondered which Gregory you bought. The Gregory Jade 45, the Gregory Serrac 45 or the Gregory Inyo?
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
sillydoll said:
I am compiling a list of lightweight packs from a scale of 250g to over 1.5kg for an article for our local CSJ newsletter and wondered which Gregory you bought. The Gregory Jade 45, the Gregory Serrac 45 or the Gregory Inyo?
Hi Sil,
I've got this one :
http://www.gregorypacks.com/products/view/35

Made in 2006. Strange : the tag on my backpack speaks of sizes S, M and L whereas the link also has an XS? Anyway I have the one that weighs 1.3 kg and covers 45 liter.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
It looks like a really good pack - just under the 1.5kg limit for packs covered in my article.
Its a little heavy for my liking (mine weighs just under 600g) but I would love you to report back on how you found it after you have done the camino.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
HI Sillydoll, please can I ask what kind of pack you have and how much it weighs when fully laden and does it sit on your shoulders or is it supported by a good hipbelt? Thanks Gitti
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I also have a Gregory Jade 50 which I used last year. I loved the flow-through ventilation at the back as well as the fit of the hip belt and shoulder straps. It's not perfect - kind a pain for top-loading, and there could be more external pockets for convenience. Let me just add that I don't fill this up - I just like my stuff packed loosely so that I can get to it easily (plus leave room for the day's lunch).

lynne
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Sil, will keep you up to date.
Lynne, I neither hope to fill it up completely but I also bought a larger version than the salesguy suggested exactly for the reason of packing some extra food on those festive days or sundays.
And since I'm really a novice in the camino world I thought this kind of allround bag would be a good start. Will try it out next weekend somewhere in the belgian Ardennes ( the only sort of hills worth mentioning in this country ).
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Sounds good - I'd love to hear what you think after you've toured around a bit this weekend.

The snow has lieft and the sun is out in Northern Canada, so we went out for a lovely hike today - felt so great!

Best of luck with your trainng - you have some hills, of which I'm envious - we are fairly flat here, so must content myself with stairs training!

lynne
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Hi Gitti,
I have an OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) Classic 32L pack. It is very basic with no internal frame and was designed for running mountain marathons so it was designed to be ultralight.
It has padded shoulder straps: adjustable sternum strap (with a whistle): padded waist belt with zip pockets - you can add extra padding with socks or undies; 2 slanted mesh side pockets for bottles; large mesh pocket on the front for helmet or boots: top lid pouch with mesh pocket: 2 internal sections - one for a bladder - and is a top loader. One can buy a matching OMM chest pouch that weighs 140g.

When chosing one of the ultralight backpacks like the OMM (or GOSSAMER GEAR which starts at 224g for the 36Lt Murmur) - its important to follow the recommended maximum weight. The reccommended weight for the Murmur is 9kg. My pack usually weighs around 5kg when I get on the plane but is about 6kg once I've added 2 bottles of water and some food when I start walking.

I don't hink one needs a heavy duty, framed, heavily padded backpack on the camino.
Because one sleeps in shelters or hotels, all you really need to carry is a change of clothing, a few toiletries and medicines - all 'soft' goods. But, its a matter of taste and comfort and what works for one might not work for another.

You can watch a short video on the OMM Classic here:

http://www.hike-lite.co.uk/Rucksacks/21 ... n+32L.html
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Thank you Sillydoll, my pack weighs about 1.5 kg and the total weight of my pack was around 6.7 kg fully loaded, but I would love to economise on that, as I am quite short. I will look into the OMM, thanks Gitti
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
There is a similar pack with a zip opening as well, the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon 32, which weighs 760 grammes with the back sitmat in. I like it because it has a big net pocket at the front for the Altus, layers or other stuff you need handy, side pockets for bottles or shoes, removable bottle pockets on the shoulder straps and pockets on the belt, much like the OMM 32. But none of them have got stabiliser straps from the pack to the shoulder straps, which perhaps you don't need with such a light and small pack, the back length is relatively short - perfect for most women, but maybe pressing down on the shoulders for taller folk? - and the lid/zip things is a matter of personal preference. I love mine, it's easy to find stuff, hard to overfill it, and it feels very comfortable. I am still undecided on whether to bring the LA Mountain Marathon or the bigger, more padded Golite Litespeed 39 - also with zip closure, do I detect a preference? - to the camino. I like the thought of the smaller one, but then I need to rethink what I bring with me ... again ...


Have a look at this site, where you can see a 360 degree rotation (open it in a small window to see the whole pack) of the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon in the lizard green - which is even greener in real life! http://www.foxsoutdoor.co.uk/rucksacks/ ... rathon-32/
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Thank you Nidarosa, it looks a great pack. Unfortunately it is not available in NZ and neither is the OMM 32, I could order on line, but really feel I need to try on a pack before buying it. Regards, Gitti
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Gitti - take a closer look at the Macpac range, I thought I'd never get my stuff in a Tekapo 35L (Scott uses same model but a 45L), but it works really weighs 7kg fully loaded (or 12kg if its got water and food as well). Has good pockets for stuff and fits a camel well in the back in a mesh bag - which can also fit a couple of oranges and a load of bread. Its a tiny pack compared to others I've used, but still with the proper support and pack structure. The brand is readily available in NZ and world wide.
 

Attachments

Mediana

Member
sillydoll said:
One can buy a matching OMM chest pouch that weighs 140g.
Sillydoll can I ask you. Would it be possible to attach the chest pouch on the backpack instead? I'm not to found of carrying a chest pouch but I would like the extra space :) Is it possible to wear it in any other way?
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Thank you for your suggestions re backpacks, I will look at MacPac, decided against the OMM as the back is too long for me. Cheers, Gitti
 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
?
Gitti,

If available in N-Z, I would suggest you take a look at the Karrimor (British) line of products?: http://www.karrimor.com/
By far the best backpack I've walked with and believe me I've tried a few.

In second position, I would rank Tatonka (German) with the adjustable harness like the Karrimor. http://www.tatonka.com/en/index.aspx
My wife won't walk with anything else.

Cheers,
Jean-Marc
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Thank you Canuck, the Jaca 36 ltr looks great, it weighs about the same as my Deuter Rucksack though. May be the lightweight thing is not that important in the end, comfort is what counts I suppose, regards, Gitti
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I'm not sure if one can attach the chest pack to the back of the pack - or what the benefit would be? Perhaps just go for the larger OMM pack? The lean weight of the 35Lt is 675g - still pretty lightweight.
 

Attachments

+@^^

Active Member
i am the proud owner of the OMM chest pouch
and it works like a dream
it makes your important stuff available to you v conveniently
it is slimlined, so you can still see your feet (assuming you could before the purchase!) so your footing is steady
it has a waterproof slot on the reverse side into which you can put your maps for that days navigation
it has a slot for a small water bottle
it can hold about 4 litres, so extends the size of your backpac substantially
it frees up the hands so you can use dual stix
it has reflective strips to light you up for those early morning starts
so put in your camera, a buff, small water bottle, tissue paper, apple, sandwich, mobile phone, song book, mini phrase book, sunblock, LED torch, sunglasses, money allowance for the day, and a small blowup elephant
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi, re Osprey Talon, I am trying this out at the moment. It seems very comfortable, it is frameless though and it means you have to play around with packing the contents as it can kind of kink if you just chuck your gear into it. It weighs half of my Deuter Futura 34 which I took last time and the difference is noticeable. I am now aware how many pressure points there were with the Deuter pack. At the end of the day though it is such a personal thing, this backpack stuff, as no 2 people are the same. Regards, Gitti
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Does anyone know if there are any super lightweight (under 1 kilo) packs available in Europe? All the brands mentioned earlier seem not to be available here in the Netherlands. I do a lot of online shopping, but with backpacks that doesn't seem a good idea...
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
S

Sojourner47

Guest
Well, I'll chuck in my fourpennorth here, for what it's worth....
I don't know what youall carry to need such large and heavy packs - I'm doing the CI in 2 weeks and am taking a small - about 12 litre - Karrimor day sac, weighing 345grms, total weight about 3.6kg, including sleeping bag and a litre of water.
OK, I know it's only a 5 day walk, but in the past I have (twice) travelled overland to India/Australia
for 3 months carrying only a very small airline shoulder bag (about 8 litres). I wasn't doing much walking, but travelling by hitch/bus/train etc - but I did live out of that bag for the duration.
And I have walked the pilgrim paths in Mallorca for 8 days with similar minimum gear...
I agree with the suggestion about taking a digital scale or angler's balance when shopping for gear.
And don't forget - re. my post on another thread - get the lightest shoes you can. An ounce on the feet equals a pound on the back.... :D
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
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
Luka said:
Does anyone know if there are any super lightweight (under 1 kilo) packs available in Europe? All the brands mentioned earlier seem not to be available here in the Netherlands. I do a lot of online shopping, but with backpacks that doesn't seem a good idea...
Berghaus Airflow women's 25+5 ltr weighs 1.06kg. For 2010 they lightened the material and some of the clips etc. The 2011 model may be slightly different again.
Berghaus without the Airflow system may be lighter, but I prefer not to have my pack flat against my back.
I think they are available in Europe. My loaded pack weighs 5kg plus water and I could probably make it less if necessary.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral2019; Finisterre/Muxia2019;
Dear Sojourner47,

I find it's not the weight or quantity of items carried, but their bulk that requires a large pack. My sleeping bag is under 2 lbs but it is approximately 12x6" when compressed down. My Altus hasn't come yet but I know it'll probably be 8x4", my fleece is light but takes up a couple of inches, my Crocs are very bulky but weigh nothing, etc etc. It all takes up room. And I'm happier carrying my 50L pack that weighs 2.5 lbs and have lots of extra space for a demi-baguette inside than have to strap it outside! I'd be very interested in your packing list to see what you can fit into such a tiny pack....
 

smullins4

New Member
mosesmew said:
Anyone got feedback on the "Osprey Talon 33", I cannot get to a shop,to try one on. Thanks!
Greetings!
I know this is a late reply but I have the Osprey Talon and have found it to be very comfortable and functional. The size requires you to make good choices on the " essentials" and it can be a squeeze for cold weather gear if not compressible but I have very much enjoyed it as a 3 season pack! I actually bought it for an intended 2010 Camino trip but had to cancel so am now looking at starting in a month with either the Osprey or a newly ordered Gossamer Gear lightweight pack called the Murmer.
Hope this was helpful! Buen Camino!
Susan
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
mosesmew wrote:
Anyone got feedback on the "Osprey Talon 33", I cannot get to a shop,to try one on. Thanks!
I did try the Talon series when I was pack shopping; I found the shoulder strap and hip-belt padding to be wafer-thin and very uncomfortable. (This was in 2008, I assume the design has not changed but I could be wrong.) So I went with the Osprey Kestrel series instead -- a little bit heavier but much more robustly and comfortably built.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Luka,

I did lots of shopping last spring and I found that Bever Sports had the best selection. They have a huge store in The Hague with excellent sales people. I ended up with the Atmos 35 with I was very happy with. The pack is not ultra light but I keep the total weight down to 6 kilos without water.

The shoulder and waist straps are great - not thin at all. Here are the specifics:

http://www.bever.nl/dragen/dagrugzakken/1755.osprey-atmos-35

Don't bother going to Decathlon for backpacks (fine for shirts,etc) at least I found them very heavy and uncomfortable.

Never order via internet - you must try on as your torso size, etc. will determine which pack is the best for you. I am not tall at 169 cm but I needed a medium.

Cheers,
LT
 
S

Sojourner47

Guest
Dear Alipilgrim, here's my packing list, for what it's worth....

Karrimor daysac , Craghoppers rain jacket and overtrousers
Deuter Treklite sleeping bag - down, weighs 600grm,compresses to 12cm diam x 32 cm long
Lightweight foam sandals for shower/resting feet
1 spare set underwear, 1 spare 1000mile socks plus 1 pair others for emergencies
Light weight thin cotton pyjama bottoms for evening wear/everything soaked...
2 squares muslin - lighter and dries quicker than travel towel
Facecloth,sliver of soap,small toothpaste and brush,small mirror made from piece of CD
Outdoor "Toiletation kit": TP,disp plastic gloves (found by diesel pumps at filling stations),small plastic bags,scallop shell (for scraping cat holes - sacrilege!!)
Small firstaid kit :plasters,smidgin of antiseptic and insect bite cream, painkillers,earplugs
Shortie gaiters , Homemade bamboo stick in 3 sections
Neckachief and spare hanky, dry handwash gel
2 x 500ml plastic water bottles in pockets each side of pack
In small waist pouch : Documents,credential etc ,small notebook and pencil ,titanium spoon
Trail snacks, plastic carrier bag for shopping,tiny LED torch,mobile phone
SA knife with corkscrew (essential!) , blade reduced to less than 6cm in length to suit Ryanair
Worn: Rohan bags, Gortex lowcut boots 1000 mile socks,fleece top,Northface windshirt,hat
Hope that's not too boring for everyone....
PS... I'm now off to drill a couple more holes in my toothbrush handle....
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Never order via internet
You can save a lot of money if you try on packs in a store, then order on the internet, but you probably know that.
 

mosesmew

New Member
Hi Everyone, Thanks for all the help! I did get to a store and tried many packs.When I was ready to pay,Cashier told me I could order on the website for much less $$. So,I Bought the Osprey Talon 33.Got it at LaCordee,30% off!$111.00 Taxes in! Here's the website,www.lacordee.com
Blessings All! Nancy
Also they offer Free Shipping!
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral2019; Finisterre/Muxia2019;
Dear Sojourner, love the new use for the scallop shell! No sense carrying something without its' having a purpose!!
 

pal

Member
Great compilation of info on backpacks. I would add one other consideration: length of waist belt. Last year I went to REI to select a backpack and found that some of the recommended ones wouldn't fasten around my ample waist. This year I have whittled it down some 3 inches and hope to have a better selection. I don't think websites list this measurement, so best to go into a store to try on before purchasing.
 

smullins4

New Member
mosesmew said:
Hi Everyone, Thanks for all the help! I did get to a store and tried many packs.When I was ready to pay,Cashier told me I could order on the website for much less $$. So,I Bought the Osprey Talon 33.Got it at LaCordee,30% off!$111.00 Taxes in! Here's the website,www.lacordee.com
Blessings All! Nancy
Also they offer Free Shipping!
Hi Mosesmew
Think you'll really enjoy the Osprey. The suspension feels great and I had no problem with the waist band although certainly it is not as padded as some I have had in the past. Think it really depends on how much weight you are carrying and of course if the torso size is correct.

Best of luck!
Susan
 

PilgrimChris

Active Member
Just adding my own thoughts :)

I own a Berghaus back-pack. I was lucky to find an independant seller who was also a keen walker and wild camper and who allowed me to test run number of packs until finding the one that suited me.

The make and model i settled on didn't suit the seller at all yet we both have similar pack contents when we hike and camp.

For me the weight of the actual back-pack was less important to how heavy the laden pack 'felt' after walking 25km a day for a week (the time allowed me to test each pack).

I have owned packs that weigh half as much as my current pack yet felt like a lumpy, dead weight on my back after a couple days hiking/camping.

The actual way you pack your back-pack and then fine tune it's fitting to you is, in my experience, a top priority.

But then my needs are slightly different to most walkers on the Camino as i carry my tent, stove and other items not required by those who dont camp :).

However i have gone for single day walks with friends just to demonstrate that a properly fitted and well packed heavier back-pack is far more comfortable to wear and puts less stress on your back and shoulders than lighter packs filled with a 'just stuff your things in' attitude to packing :)

There are plenty of packing guides on Youtube if anyone is interested.

To summarise - from my own experience - test packs out before you buy. Most reputable sellers will be happy for you to do this.
Learn how to pack your ruc-sac (it DOES make a huge difference).
Make sure your sac comes with a good rain cover!
A good sac will hardly come in contact with your back - the weight should carry on your hips and channel down you legs not your back or shoulders!

To reiterate - these are my own findings and work for me. If you feel differently please just post your own findings and resist the urge to personally contradict me or debate with me :) *wink
 
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Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
LTfit said:
Luka,

I did lots of shopping last spring and I found that Bever Sports had the best selection. They have a huge store in The Hague with excellent sales people. I ended up with the Atmos 35 with I was very happy with. The pack is not ultra light but I keep the total weight down to 6 kilos without water.
Thanks a lot! I bought my best hiking shoes ever at Bever Amsterdam. Will certainly try them for my pack as well. Will also visit Kathmandu in Utrecht and Zwerfkei in Woerden in the next couple of weeks. I just got the idea that the ultralight packs are not being sold in the Netherlands. I would like to try different Osprey packs as I read a lot of positive reviews about them. My length by the way is exactly the same as yours (however torso lenght may be different of course).
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
sillydoll said:
I did some research on ultralight backpacks for a post on my blog. I only included those that weigh 1kg / 2.2lbs and under.

You can read it here:

http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2010/07/u ... packs.html
Thanks for the good overview! Most brands (except for Osprey and Lowe Alpine) are not available in the Netherlands unfortunately.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I believe that proper fit is more important than total weight. The Osprey ATMOS 35 medium is around 1.2 kg but its particular features make it superior to other packs I tried on. Especially if you are walking in the summer as the ATMOS has a wonderful ventilation system with only mesh touching your back. The shoulder and waist straps are very well padded and ventilated and it has 2 zipper pockets on the waist - one side held my phone and money, the other side my camera!

There is also a woman's version called AURA 35 but I couldn't find it anywhere in NL.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Of course, weight is not everything. I want to find my pack between 1,0 and 1,5 kilo. Under 1,0 is hardly available here and 1,5 is about the limit. I think 35 litres is a bit too small for me because of my sleeping bag. I surely want to try the Aura 50. I hope to find the Zepton and Nanon of Lowe Alpine here, as well as some packs from Lightwave.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi Luka,

Size depends of course on time of year although 50L sounds large. I had lots of room with 35L but going in the summer cuts down on volume needed. My most bulky item was a fleece vest. I even sent my poncho home in Leon as the weather was perfect.

On the VdlP I will not need any larger but the overal weight will increase due to water. I am planning on buying a platypus or camelback to stick into my pack.

When are you planning to go?

Cheers,
LT
p.s. might be walking bits of the Pieterpad over Easter!
 

+@^^

Active Member
i found the Black Diamond Axiom 40 did it for me
1150g
top-loader with roll-top
removable lid
2 side and 1 front stretch pouches
herringbone ventilation system
shoulderstraps on pully system = as left arms goes forward, so right shoulder strap adjusts back = less strain
waist belt on floating ball joint = as left leg lifts, pack remains stable and upright = less strain
.
it packs down on the single compartment philosophy - so all my kit was contained in 4 separate colour coded waterproof compression bags. 1 sleep. 2 change. 3 cold and wet. 4 vanity medical and emergency
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
tamtamplin said:
i found the Black Diamond Axiom 40 did it for me
I found that they have one for ladies as well, the Black Diamond Astral 40. Thanks, have put that one on my try list as well!
 

Lindacn

New Member
From my experience, look for a backpack that is not too large - that will force you to pack only the bare minimum you will need for the journey. Believe me - once you have been walking for awhile, you will thank me for this advice!!
 

Lindacn

New Member
Short hikes are NOT AT ALL the same as the long haul on El camino!!!!!!! Carry only 10% of your body weight - at most!!
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I found my pack! Bought an Osprey Exos 46 today. It still has to prove itself of course, but it almost fitted like a second skin, so I am very hopefull. It weights a little over a kilo. Nice size also.
 

PadreQ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept Oct 2011, de Astorga 2015
Primitivo Oct 2013
Lebaniego & Ingles Sept (2017)
Luka,

I was looking at an Osprey Exos 46L today - Significantly lighter than the Atmos 50L. How did it work out for you?
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I walked with it for six days and am still very happy with my Exos 46. It is just a very complete pack with lots of handy functionalities and still very lightweight. It fits quite perfectly on my back, but that is of course very personal.
 

ion

New Member
Hello Everyone, I am getting " Nuts " trying to figure out what back pack I should have. ( Unfortunately where I live, I dont have the nice stores, to Fit / Buy the Perfect fit bag, so my ordeal will be online, luckily, the online stores, will take the packs back , no questions asked , so the idea whatever fits best, will be a little trick I will try to order this 3 packs at the time and try them on at home, Hopefully someone has or had a pack similar as the ones I am posting below,

The brands, I am more inclined to are : BRAND ( WEB LINK OF PRODUCT )
Arc'teryx
[url=http://arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Mens/Packs/Bora-80#Over_60L]http://arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Men ... 0#Over_60L
http://arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Men ... 40L_To_60L
http://arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Men ... 5#Over_60L
http://arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Men ... 5#Over_60L
http://arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Mens/Packs/Naos-85#
http://leaf.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?E ... Packs/Echo[/url]
____________________________________________________________________________
Elberstock
http://craven1.apollohosting.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=E1&Product_Code=V69

______________________________________________________________________________

Gregory

http://www.gregorypacks.com/products/me ... li-pro-105
http://www.gregorypacks.com/products/me ... alisade-80
http://www.gregorypacks.com/products/me ... baltoro-75
http://www.gregorypacks.com/products/me ... baltoro-65

_________________________________________________________________________________
Osprey

http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/mens/argon_85 [url=http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/mens/argon_70]http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/mens/argon_70
http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/mens/atmos_65
http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/mens/aether_60_1[/url]
___________________________________________________________________________________
Well guys, that's pretty much it, I just cant make up my mind, now that's my specs,
I am 6.00 tall, and weight 230, I will be on the Camino Frances, not sure if by the end this year or mid next one, ( no winter for sure ) , just want to get my gear ready. After the camino, my wife and I, will do a 1 to 2 mounts, trip around Europe, not Hiking, but going from one place to the other, and I just want a Pack that will hold up well .
I am just afraid that the packs that I am choosing are way to big, can anyone help me ?
I will be taking a sleeping bag for sure , Maybe if i can find a very light one i may take Bivy sack as well, it all depends how heavy it will get, can any tell me what pack they carried on to the camino, and yours toughs, if you have wished your pack, were smaller, bigger, stronger ???

I am sorry for the extensive question, but I will be greatly thankful for your help.
Peace to all.
 

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