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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Backpack size

#1
I've been browsing the topic of equipment, smart packing, and backpacks. I plan to go shopping this weekend but am unsure of what SIZE a backpack to purchase? Besides folks talking about brands, I'm hearing a tad about frame versus no frame- airflow... does this mean that all frames are not adjustable because I love the sound of airflow!

Since I've decided that I will alternate between albergues/refugios and hotels, I'll now need to pack a sleeping bag as well, right? Therefore, if I consider minimal clothing, a tiny first aid kit, food, water, and a sleeping bag, how many cubic inches should I be looking at?

Thank you ahead of time for your input~ Denise
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
#2
Volume sizing of a pack is such a personal thing. Volume depends on the volume of your sleeping bag, clothing, food, etc. So there are two different "sizes"--one is volume and the other is relative to YOUR size. Try on lots of them to see how the back and straps feel on YOU. Some have adjustable back plates and others do not. Some have adjustable hip belts and some do not. Some have lots of bells and whistles and some do not. Packs are such an individual preference. And there can be real differences among packs even from a single supplier. It is important that YOU feel good about your pack--after all, you two are going to be spending lots of time together. Most outdoor stores will have stuff sacks filled with various weights to load you up so you can try them with loads. If anything, try for heavier loads than you anticipate because believe me, there will be times when it will happen. Once you've settled into one or two, load them up and walk around the store for a half hour or more. Something that feels good for five minutes may not after a longer period of time.

I took an Oprey 54 exos pack. Yes, the volume seems high but it did allow me to pack everything, including food inside my pack and my total pack weight (sans food) was 14 pounds. It has airflow which is really nice when it is hot outside. The pack itself is one of the lighter ones with a structural support system and has a few handy outside pockets. My one complaint is that the hip belt was smaller than you would think for the sizing. I carried a hydration bladder inside my pack (there is a pocket for it) and one small plastic water bottle in an outer pack pocket. I would suggest taking stuff with you such as your sleeping bag, etc. and loading packs up to see how they feel, how easy it is for you to get to things you need (such as a water bottle), how easy it is for you to adjust the straps and cinches to fit your body. Have the salesperson show you how to load a pack--it is different for women than for men.

I made copies of important papers and put them in a heavy plastic ziploc bag and put them behind my hydration bladder. A place most people would not think to look and they were out of the way.
 

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:
#3
The sizes of different manufacturers' backpacks also refer to different torso lengths, so check the pack’s technical specifications. For example, a 20-inch torso length may mean a regular size in one pack and a large in another.
If you have a short torso, you don't want a long pack that bounces on your backside when you walk!
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#4
I agree - it's a personal choice in many respects - right down to the color!

I use MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop) for my gear, and they have a backpack-fitting article that I think is very helpful for the general and basic concepts of fitting a backpack. Have a look at their recommendations.

lynne
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#6
You do not need anything larger than 2500 cu in.
Try to find a pack that itself weighs less than 3 pounds.
Remember, the 10% of body weight guideline INCLUDES the pack AND WATER.
 

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:
#7
The Osprey looks like a good pack. It is under 1kg (between 870g and 920g). On my list of packs it is in the middle cost region averaging $130 ($129 at REI)
By comparison, the GoLite Jam weighs 640g and costs $150
The OMM mean weight is 600g and it costs around $85.

A low cost isn't always a factor. I did a number of long distance walks, including two caminos, carrying a small school satchel that cost me R28 ($4) - I'm not kidding!! I think I would still be using it if it hadn't perished along the seams. It was colourful and had lots of pockets. The only thing I had to add to it was extra foam on the shoulder straps and I had to tie my sleeping bag underneath it. I really loved that little pack!
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#8
I used a 60L pack (I'm 5'3" woman), and was told many times by other pilgrims that it was too large. But, it weighed only 2.5 lbs, it felt comfortable and had a nicely padded hip belt (that's where you wear the weight!), and I didn't have to worry about cinching my sleeping down to the smallest possible configuration to get it into my bag!! I had room to spare, so I tightened up the belts where necessary, and loosened them again when I wanted to carry extra food or was not wearing any jackets or rain gear. It's a personal decision, so just get whatever size pack that fits and feels good. You don't have to subscribe to any Camino rule on 'how big'.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#9
That's true, if you keep the weight down and the pack itself is lightweight. But I like the idea of a school satchel! KOWABUNGA! Now THAT is a goal!
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
#10
Denise,
To add to all the great comments above I'd like to reinforce the importance of taking the time to find one that feels right for you. I walked part of my second camino with a pack that was smaller than my first one and had several features that I preferred, but it just didn't fit right and I can't emphasize how much harder it is to carry when it doesn't fit well.

As was suggested above - try on lots and do it in more than one store if possible. With weight inside you'll soon start to get a real preference for certain packs. That's when you know you're going in the right direction. The bells and whistles are convenient sometimes but the fit and feel counts more. You should be carrying most of your weight on your hips not your shoulders.
Buen camino
Cecelia
 
#11
Hi Denise,

I am also searching for the "right" back-pack and can only reinterate - go to a store where people are knowledgeable and take the time to advise you. Also try on LOTS of models.

After reading all the threads here I set off to buy an Osprey as so many said that they were great (I live in The Netherlands and so some of the other brands are not available). I tried on various Osprey models but the salesman said that the fit was not right - even after adjusting all the straps, etc. I did not realize that until I tried on the Lowe Alpine centro+ 35 + 5. The pack "sat" on my hips and not my shoulders which made all the difference! I had set out to get a 32/34L but this one just felt right. Most likely I will return for that one but to be sure am going to check out one more store.

As someone else has said in a thread - nice to have a little extra space (the +5 is flap on top) in case of need or just for daily food supplies. It DOESN'T need to be used.

Good luck shopping!
Cheers,
Lee
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
#13
Just a personal preference, but I like to have everything inside my pack and compacted. I also use a few stuff sacks to keep the interior organized. I saw lots of people on the Camino with small packs with lots of stuff hanging off them and swinging around--sandals, clothing and food bags, etc. I watched those things bouncing around and slapping here and there--that would drive me nuts. But like I said before, packs are a very personal decision. Some people go for small and attach stuff; others go for a little larger and put everything inside. Whatever you do, go with your preference. You will know the "sweet one" for you. Don't get hung up on brand name, etc.--go for the one that bonds with your body. It is better to carry a pack that weighs a pound more and fits you like a turtle shell than to suffer with something lighter that does not. Then spend LOTS of time walking with it loaded up so you learn the adjustments you need to make for you.

I remember leaving Roncesvalles early in the morning. There were just two of us out on the path--there was an Asian woman in front of me and it was obvious that her pack was improperly packed because it listed heavily to one side and it flopped around because it hadn't been properly cinched. She did not speak English and when I went up to her and tried to signal that I could help her with her pack, she looked at me like I was a crazy person. Not only is it important to find the right pack but then to spend some serious quality time learning to pack it so the load is balanced, so the heavier stuff is closest to your back and to organize it so you can get to the things you need quickly--like your poncho, fleece, etc.
 

Mountainman

El Croco loco
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances
(StJ-Santiago) 2007, 2009
(StJ-Fisterra) 2011, 2012
Future:
Camino del Salvador 8/2014
Camino Primitivo 8/2014?
Camino del Norte 9/2014,
and hopefully many more yet unplanned
#14
Another brand worth trying on is Deuter,especially as they have a line specifically for woman...

The best of luck in finding your pack, and buen Camino!
 
#15
So much great info- grazie!!

Sillydol... your favorite pack photo was a hoot!!!

Apparently, the MOST important consideration is that of proper fit versus cubic size, weight, bells and whistles. I also liked Sillydol's nostalgia for her old pal of a satchel ( could it have been sewn at an upholstery?) And Annie... your point about buying smaller size forces one to pack less was a valid point!

I will take all your great advice with me to my local but tiny REI this Saturday. Then the following Saturday, I'll trip up to Seattle and visit the grand REI superstore! Although someone advised avoiding name brands, I think it's probably a good beginning for me to start since I've heard things like Go Lite and Osprey and Deuter, etc... and need to start somewhere.

Meanwhile, I don't know if I'll hear back on this thread or should visit another in the equipment department, but I need a very light weight sleeping bag (going in June-July) and shoes. Have read a few differing opinions on athletic trail shoes versus hiking boots.

Your thoughts? Grazie~ Denise
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
#16
Denise: not sure you can avoid brand names in packs! But don't get sold on one brand versus the other until you try on lots of different ones. I used to love Dana packs before they were purchased by another company--now they no longer fit me like they used to. I have an LLBean day pack that I also love but other packs from Beans do not work for me. The pack I carried on the Camino was an Osprey but that was after trying on many brands and models within those brands.

With regard to sleeping bag--you might want to consider taking a silk liner and foregoing a sleeping bag as you are going when it is hot. I used a liner when I walked last fall. Lots lighter & smaller than a sleeping bag and certainly easier to pack. I packed mine in a baggie with my ear plugs and eye mask at the top of my pack so it was easy to get to and easy to pack in the morning. Whatever you take, consider that you might have to wash it if you encounter bed bugs.

I walked from SJPP to Santiago and wore hiking shoes. I debated hard and long about my hiking boots but finally decided on the shoes and I'm glad. Because of the amount of pavement walking, be sure the soles are pretty thick and padded. Sneakers wouldn't feel too good after a day of rocks and pavement. I saw some folks walking in Crocs but that wouldn't work for me. Hiking shoes still give you some support, protect your toes from rocks, etc. but are not as heavy as boots. Forego gortex because you will be walking in the heat and goretex, especially when clogged by dirt and dust, will make your feet sweat even more. Dry feet tend to be feet without blisters.

Take two pairs of socks to try on shoes--a wool hiking sock and a liner sock--and then walk around in the shoes you're thinking about for at least half an hour. Why two socks? First, if your liner sock fits well, it will rub with the outer sock and take the "blister" rub. Second, the liner sock should be coolmax or some other wicking fabric and will move moisture away from your foot to the outer sock (and then out the shoe) rather than simply getting wet. I saw people with cotton socks wondering why they were getting blisters right and left.

Use the "rock" if they have one--REI tends to have a rock for testing hiking shoes/boots and how they feel going down hill. (Wear your pack too! You may feel ridiculous but believe me, you will be much happier.) You will probably want them a size larger than you usually wear as your feet swell when you're on them for hours and hours on the path and to accomodate the extra sock layer. Have the salesperson show you how to tie them as there are various tying methods for straight away, down hill, and up hill. I noticed quite a few folks last fall tying their shoes too tight and then wondering why their feet hurt.
 
#17
Thanks Portia 1 (and everyone else again as well!)

Dread shopping but am getting excited to experiment with packs this Saturday. Hiked 10k tonight up Badger Mountain and found myself thinking maybe I could still use my old (15yr) hiking shoes but my girlfriend recommended I just go buy new NOW and break them in by June.

I hear what you and others are saying about name brands. I'll be open minded and remember it's about comfort and fit more than anything.

Did you take a mat to go with your liner? And as far as bed bugs, I thought I read that not only do you need to wash in hot water, but dry in high heat as well...? Can these liners be washed as such? Looks like I need to revisit the many topics again...

Grazie~ Denise
 

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)
#19
Must just make one comment - my pack is huge - about 60 litres, and I very rarely filled it up! I usually had to fold down the lid a lot - except for when I was carrying something fragile like a special pastry / pie etc for lunch or tea. It was then that my large pack came into it's own, as I was able to stow it and not have it getting crushed by banging against the side of the pack or having to juggle it in my hands. There are many of us who can resist the temptaion to fill up an empty bag - after all we have to carry it if we do!

Cheers, Janet
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
#20
I did not use a mat with my liner. I was surprized at how good most of the alberque mattresses were! I did like the fact that in Galacia, we were issued mattress covers last fall. Not that the little buggers couldn't still attack but it gave the illusion that at least you were sleeping on a clean surface. I did take a piece of tyvek pre-treated with premetherin (sp??) in a ziploc to put under my liner if there was any threat of bed bugs. The tyvek was washed in a washing machine so that it got all the crinkles out (noise).

As far as pack volume, yes, it is certainly tempting to fill the thing up if you have a larger pack. BUT if you constantly keep track of weights (I have a spread sheet with each and EVERY potential item in my pack (including the weight of the empty pack itself) and its weight so that as items are added or deleted, I have a running total of weight), you will be OK. Set a goal for yourself of total weight and go from there. I told myself I would not carry more than 20# total including water and food--I actually carried about 14-15# packed weight without food or water. I have a digital scale and weigh things down to the tenth of an ounce. I must have packed and repacked twenty times before leaving for Spain. Fear makes us pack more than we need--oh, that only weighs a few ounces and what if I need it? But those ounces add up. My spread sheet was my reality check. Remember, you will also be carrying water which is heavy and possibily food which can also be quite heavy--try weighing your water container filled, an orange, apple, some pasta, a can or two of something just to educate yourself by how quickly this piles on the pounds. This then must be added to the weight of stuff in your pack! There are plenty of shops along the French route so if there is something you really need, you can probably find it in Spain.

And when I got back, I went through it and discovered the only thing I didn't really use was my first aid kit. Not that I would ever consider not taking a first aid kit! There was nothing I took that I wouldn't take again. And I ended up leaving some things behind in alberques which I did not intend and had to replace them--clothespins, my pack towel, and a power converter plug. I did take a couple of luxuries--for me--a collapsible bucket which I not only used but others as well for soaking feet at the alberque and along the trail, and my Kindle-- there were times when I was the only English speaker in an alberque and it was nice to have a diversion if I wanted it while waiting for laundry to dry, etc.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#21
Portia -
Very wise approach. I'm going to use your spreadsheet method next camino.
lynne
 
#22
Jl- Thanks for letting me know that I won't automatically overpack if I have a bigger pack but then again, I appreciate the warning from others that it does become tempting to do so...

Portia1- you mind sharing your spreadsheet? I figure... why reinvent the wheel?

Grazie~ Denise
 

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:
#23
If you are walking in summer you could try my pack list as a base to work from as well.

Size counts.
Not only the size of the pack. If you are a small person, with a small frame, you don't need a 60L pack that weighs over 1.5kg empty.
Pack light - you'll be so pleased you did!
 

Attachments

#24
Hi Sillydoll,

Thanks for sharing your list!! However, I'm a little confused... you carried dishes/cutlery in your pack so I was thinking you camped along the way but I saw no sleeping bag? Does a person need a sleeping bag if not sleeping outdoors? Were you making your own coffee in the mornings? I'm assuming the F column is for items you carry outside of the pack? And if you don't mind me asking, what is Whizz?

Thanks~ Denise
 

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:
#25
Hello D
I carry a plate - which is actually an ice cream tub lid! It has a raised edge which helps to catch any spills from cut tomatoes or salads. Its also flexible so can curve into shape inside the pack lid.
I carry a plastic knife, fork and spoon. Useful when you picnic for lunch or when there is no cutlery in the albergue. Both plate and cutlery are carried in the top lid of the back pack, together with the sitting plastic, so that they are all easily accessible.
I carry the immersion heater to make hot drinks and also for cups of soup etc.
In summer I only carry a silk sleep liner. I do have a sleeping bag that weighs 600g but I haven't used it for a few years.
You can read about the Whiz here:
http://www.whizproducts.co.uk/en/product_shop.aspx :D
 
#26
Dear Sillydoll,

Thanks for the sites you attached. I was especially moved by the last one that took me to tripatini and to view the clips on youtube for the camino brought all this text to life!

Sooooo excited~ Denise
 
#27
Hello.....just returned from the camino late May.....have to say take less than more. I had the backpack fitted to me at a sporting goods store ....35 litres and I never had it more than 2/3 full or over 17 pounds total before water and food which was still more than I should have carried since I weight 132 pounds. You can try on several models and they will weight them for you to get an idea of how it feels on your body. Sleeping bags are important and you can get a light weight one that weighs under one pound and folds to almost nothing. What you need you can often get along the way so take the basics including good foot care and a change of clothing and enjoy the journey.
Best wishes to you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2011
Porto -Santiago 2012 inland
Porto-Santiago June 2014 coastal route
#28
Bohemianrose

Please advise me as to where to buy a sleepign bag that weighs a pound in the UK. I have trawelled the internet and so far not found one that light. :(
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2011
Porto -Santiago 2012 inland
Porto-Santiago June 2014 coastal route
#30
Hi Mike

Thank you for the links, had a look and am impressed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (09-10.12) Portuguese(05-06.13) Norte (05-06.15)
#31
gidday

some good tips so far, thought i'd add my 2 cents since i've just bought my camino bag after exhaustive searching. i want to say just one thing here: it is worth searching til you find the bag that really suits you.

i'm a tall guy, & the lesson was that i needed to find a bag that matched my own size. the deuter range of futura bags were really good. & i very nearly bought one. good on size, shape, convenient pockets, internal bladder & a nice netting type thing that keeps airflow between the actual bag & yr back, but it was not long enough for someone my height. great for women, the sales dude told me, but for my height either something longer or adjustable. exit deuter.

i already own a 45l macpac tekapo, which i use when i tramp, but its quite a heavy duty bag by comparison, & has more volume than i need for the camino. experience has taught me that if i have the space, i'll fill it! always handy having that extra pair of jeans/swandri/bottle of bourbon...

in years gone by i travelled the world with a llowe alpine bag, was about 30/35l & sat snug on my back. its the best bag i've ever owned, & if i could find it again i'd buy it in a heartbeat. small, but not too small, light weight but with good waist belt, i could even roll it up, & i wish i'd bought a few of them cos i have not found that bag anywhere (at home, online or in the shops). i bought that bag after downsizing from the 85l expedition pack i thought i needed when i first left home & which nearly bloody crippled me (see extra luggage note in last paragraph) & i learned a valuable lesson from the experience.

so i was thrilled when i stumbled upon the osprey bags. i picked up an osprey stratos 34l bag. aside from the baby puke green colour (which i cant actually see anyway when its on my back & that makes it stand out in a pile of other bags like at baggage claim or in a hostel foyer) it has everything i need. it also comes in different lenghts for different heights of person. at 35l it holds what i need for the camino, which is, afterall, a long walk.

hope this helps
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
#32
mikevasey said:
Xara712 said:
Bohemianrose

Please advise me as to where to buy a sleepign bag that weighs a pound in the UK. I have trawelled the internet and so far not found one that light.
Hi Xara712.

there are a some but this website is a starthttp://www.phdesigns.co.uk/sleepingbagsphp?cat=26.

Try also http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/the_gear/down_sleeping_bags/xero/xero_mm---534/

Mike
Mike you are a star, I never knew these people existed, definitely get a bag from phd, now although its a great way to save weight by leaving a zip off, when it comes to cleaning, I think you need the zip. Have just cleaned my winter bag after many years, its like new again, but it did take more than 24hours to do it. very pleased.

Now my qu. is how warm a bag does one need -5˚C in April?
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
#33
Lightest sleeping bag in the world is the Yeti,they have a website, at 265 grams for a down bag, expensive, but amazing, Gitti
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#34
The Yeti is lightweight at $600 or so, but a comfort level of 15 degrees C for the 265 grams? I have shirts that are warmer than that!

Outer material: LightyGram (RipStop Nylon)
Inner material: LightyGram (RipStop Nylon)
Measurements: 215 x 77 x 52 cm (M), 225 x 83 x 54 (L)
stuff bag size: 12 x 12 x 21 cm
Weight: 265 g (M), 320 g (L)
Filling: 100 g,
900+ European Downs 97/3 pro inch3
US Standard: around 980 inch3,
stitch through construction
Temperature Information:
Comfort +15°C, Limit +12°C, Extreme -1°C

Passion One
 

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:
#36
In my book 'Your Camino' I list about 25 ultralight (under 1kg) backpacks and about 20 ultralight (under 1kg) sleeping bags.
 
#37
I just bought the Yeti One Passion. Paid 250 euros. At 265 grams it's so light and small I can take my 130 gr silk liner as well on my next Camino. I tried it indoors (without the liner) in a pair of cotton pajamas with an outside temperature of 10°Celsius and was very comfortable; the bag is pretty warm, more than enough for the Camino albergues. In the unlikely chance that it gets very cold indoors (April - May 2012), my base layers + silk liner + sleeping bag + Altus on top of everything will certainly keep me toasty and comfortable. And I can wear my fleece jacket if I need to. So the great virtue of this bag is not high warmth; it's very low weight.

Great bag, I highly recommend it! It has saved me 500 gr compared to my older bag, so it's worth every penny. It's very high quality, it looks like it will last many years and I'll have plenty of opportunities to use it, including inside a larger bag while trekking in Nepal next year. I can even throw it inside a daypack when I go hiking, just in case. (I got lost hiking once, and had to sleep outdoors in my shorts and tank top. Although this was supposed to be the tropical rainforest near Rio, at night it was freezing. This bag would have come in handy!)
 
#38
grayland said:
I posted a thread about a great new book on backpack and weights.
"To Walk Far Carry Less" by Jean-Christie Ashmore.
This book is really excellent and very reasonably priced. I'd recommend it too.

Another resource to have a look at is the Long distance Walkers Association http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ and/or simply Google "Ultralight walking" or "lightweight walking" lots of free advice, hints and tips.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
#39
I am definitely a novice in buying a pack to fit vs being issued one that does not, but my recent experience in three visits to REI ended up twice being shown an incorrect bag, I'll grant the first one didn't grasp why i didn't need 75l nomatter what I said, o/w a good suggestion in fit but since 10% of my wt is 10 pounds (4.5 kg) a 3.5 pound pack was too much. The second refused to show mr anything other than daypacks that were medium or large despite my 16 in torso. The third visit I essentially did on my own armed with what was wrong from my first two and info from here. For what this is worth, the two best I found for my narrow shoulder width was an osprey youth ( I really liked the adjustable harness height) and a small exos, which won due to slightly lower weight. The experts here might know better but I asked a salesperson if the youth was less rugged and was told no, but the ventilation was better on the exos and like I said it was lighter. Still neither of the first two, despite their mutterings as they tried to make a pack fit, thought of the youth version. As I left the third time I saw the second salesman and he asked about the decision. I told him about how well the youth had fit and he said while he hadn't thought of it my short torso/longer arms/legs and narrow shoulders was a good match for youth sizing so it might be a place to look if you aren't average size. I thought of it because I often buy sweaters in the boys dept and gloves in the girls...
 

fraluchi

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
#40
bromeliad said:
I just bought the Yeti One Passion. Paid 250 euros. At 265 grams
We bought a sleeping bag, Ozark Trail, 680 grs., which to-day sells for 15 Euro (in Costa Rica and probably somewhere else)
It's a bit bulky, but it fitted in our backpack (Northface Skarab 40) and "slept" comfortably in the now over 100 albergues which we visited during our 4 Camino Francés pilgrimages from Roncesvalles to Santiago (twice May-June, twice September-October)
This year we'll have to change our backpack, which is worn out. Not so the sleeping bag, which has been washed a couple of times and is in good shape.
 
#41
I set a maximum target weight of 16 pounds (without water) for my backpack. My local camping store happened to have a sale on Osprey packs when I went shopping. I ended up buying an Atmos 35 L. It proved to be an excellent choice.

Another option is the Osprey Talon 33. My son-in-law purchased this model in Italy before we left for Spain. The Talon is a top loading pack and is slightly lighter than the Atmos.

Two thoughts on pack:

1. packs with more volume than is absolutely necessary add unnecessary weight. My 65 L backpack weighs approximately 3 pounds more than my new Atmos 35 L. That's equivalent to 1.5 L of water.

2. get a pack that fits. A properly fitted 'hipbelt' should ride centered over the hipbones and should be very snug in order to transfer weight from the shoulder straps. It should not go around the waist.
 
#43
Has anyone noticed that the Jade 50 in a small weighs less than Jade 40 in a small and more cu's? Its a couple ounces less. Not to split hairs or anything but hey thats extra socks or water! :arrow: :eek:
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#45
You can buy a small sheet of Tyvek 1443R from Amazon, for less than $10 including the shipping. This is the soft tyvek, not the house-wrap type. This sheet will cover the needs for several people. Other possible sources include craft-supply stores.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#46
During the summer I'd go with an old trusty BW-rucksack which is 28 L, it has served well and will do so for years to come. Going Oct/Nov/Dec now and warm clothes, camping gear and a synthetic filling sleeping bag, opted for a Haglöfs Matrix 60. Originally going on the 50, but needed the extra space and the weight difference between these too is minimal.

The general rule for hiking is 1/3 of bodyweight - which is much more then recommended here, but then again that would contain everything, food and lodging and whatever you might need while out in the middle of nowhere for weeks, or months.

If you're thinking your bag weighs too much - noticed a comment on another forum of a girl of 45kg carrying a 35kg on her hike, for months. As someone put it there, that would be 70kg for a 90kg man, and there ain't many men out there who'd be up for that (nor would it be sane). Tough lady.
 

Larazet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances "2013" had to stop half way due to tendonitis ... Continuing May 2014..postponed to 2015. SdC to Muxia 2016.
#47
alipilgrim said:
I used a 60L pack (I'm 5'3" woman), and was told many times by other pilgrims that it was too large. But, it weighed only 2.5 lbs, it felt comfortable and had a nicely padded hip belt (that's where you wear the weight!), and I didn't have to worry about cinching my sleeping down to the smallest possible configuration to get it into my bag!! I had room to spare, so I tightened up the belts where necessary, and loosened them again when I wanted to carry extra food or was not wearing any jackets or rain gear. It's a personal decision, so just get whatever size pack that fits and feels good. You don't have to subscribe to any Camino rule on 'how big'.
Very useful comment.. I am one inch shorter and not yet even been to an outdoor shop to do some research. I always take more than I need on holiday, but then this Camino is not a holiday, nor a fashion show! I am just hoping that my husband will give his support and help me choose (and pay for it) as he cannot come with me - whah hey, ten months to go!
 

Larazet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances "2013" had to stop half way due to tendonitis ... Continuing May 2014..postponed to 2015. SdC to Muxia 2016.
#49
If I lose 5 kg in body weight (I weigh 55 kgs) can I take another 5 kgs of equipment/clothes?! I have bought a Scottevest with 17 hidden pockets which I may or may not take. Can you imagine trying to find something in the dark with all the noisy velcro and zips....but stuffing the pockets (ipad etc.) will add to my 10% of bodyweight allowance, or not?
 
#50
Larazet said:
If I lose 5 kg in body weight (I weigh 55 kgs) can I take another 5 kgs of equipment/clothes?!
no. :)

Can you imagine trying to find something in the dark with all the noisy velcro and zips....
I can imagine trying to kill you if you were in my room doing that. lol

but stuffing the pockets (ipad etc.) will add to my 10% of bodyweight allowance, or not?
Yes. Everything on your body that isn't home grown counts towards your weight allowance.
 

Larazet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances "2013" had to stop half way due to tendonitis ... Continuing May 2014..postponed to 2015. SdC to Muxia 2016.
#51
vagabondette said:
Larazet said:
If I lose 5 kg in body weight (I weigh 55 kgs) can I take another 5 kgs of equipment/clothes?!
no. :) But..... same weight on your feet? Not that I am going to do it anyway - just lose the weight I hope.
 
#52
Larazet said:
I have bought a Scottevest
I'm taking my Scottevest Lightweight Travel vest. 1. To help with the cabin baggage situation. 2. It's replacing my lightweight rain jacket. 3. I may wear it as a shirt as it's got a nice mesh liner.

Gerard
 
#53
gerardcarey said:
I'm taking my Scottevest Lightweight Travel vest. 1. To help with the cabin baggage situation. 2. It's replacing my lightweight rain jacket. 3. I may wear it as a shirt as it's got a nice mesh liner.
I bought one of these, too. It's amazing. I really hope to fit it into my weight allowance and to use it to keep some of my must-haves handy.
 
#54
I just ordered a 20l pack to test and see if it's something I want to use on the camino. It gets great reviews/recs by utralight packers and it weighs only 15oz (450g). I had a heck of a time finding a small bag that wasn't still heavy and expensive and (my desire but not a deal-killer)had a lid as well as some kind of frame system. This one was on sale for $63 and I can return it if need be. I'm excited - which makes me a total nerd... :)



TRAIL PRO 20

• Hiking
• HyperGrid SN44 fabric body
• Bungee compression strap holds clothing or compresses unused space
• Open mesh pockets for energy snacks and water bottles
• Hypalon accessory patches on shoulder straps
• Ventilated shoulder straps and back panel
• Hydration system compatible
• Gel carriers on the shoulder straps
• Accepts Bottle Holders (1593), not included

An ideal pack for trail running, day hikes and adventure racing, the Trail Pro 20 has just the right volume for extra clothing, food and water. When not loaded to the max, the Trail Pro 20 compresses down to reduce load shifting during intense activity. The ventilated suspension system doesn’t shift or chafe while running and is comfortable against the skin. Bottle holders not included.

SPECS
ID: 1590
Weight: 425 g, 15 oz
Volume: 20 L, 1220 cu in
 
#55
Re: Backpack size and weight

Hi: I keep reading about how much weight one should carry. 12-14 lbs. or 10% of your body weight. Well I only weigh 110 lbs, that means I should only carry 11 lbs, which includes the pack and water. Not a lot of weight even when you try to pack light. So what do all you walkers who are my size pack in your packs to keep the weight down.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
#56
Re: Backpack size and weight

northyukon said:
Hi: I keep reading about how much weight one should carry. 12-14 lbs. or 10% of your body weight. Well I only weigh 110 lbs, that means I should only carry 11 lbs, which includes the pack and water. Not a lot of weight even when you try to pack light. So what do all you walkers who are my size pack in your packs to keep the weight down.
I had understood that the 10% rule did not include your water or daily carried food.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
#57
Re: Go-Lite JAM 35L pack

Has anyone used the Go-Lite JAM 35L [previously known as Go-Lite PEAK]?
The Large size is actually 40L @ 794g but can be reduced to 17L with its compression straps.
Thanks for any feedback anyone can provide on this pack.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
#58
Re: Backpack size and weight

northyukon said:
Hi: I keep reading about how much weight one should carry. 12-14 lbs. or 10% of your body weight. Well I only weigh 110 lbs, that means I should only carry 11 lbs, which includes the pack and water. Not a lot of weight even when you try to pack light. So what do all you walkers who are my size pack in your packs to keep the weight down.
It's a guide...you don't have to follow it...however, you really shouldn't carry much more than 15lbs. What kind of gear do you already have? What's your pack weight? Sleeping bag weight? Those are the two heaviest items you'll carry. Everything else, minus water and food, should not weigh too much. You'll need two sets of clothes (wear one, one in your pack) plus a rain jacket/poncho, a fleece, toiletries, journal and a few other things.

I'm currently weighing everything I'm taking and will post a link to my pack list when I get it all dialed in. I have an Osprey Exos 34 backpack, weighs 2lbs 2 oz and a Kelty Lightyear 40F sleeping back that weighs 1lb 14 oz (I think), so I'm starting out with 4 lbs of non-negotiable weight. Plus I have limited space. I'm shooting for a 12-15lb pack, I weigh 155lbs. I'll probably be down to 145lbs after my walk.... :)
 
#59
[Hi: I keep reading about how much weight one should carry. 12-14 lbs. or 10% of your body weight. Well I only weigh 110 lbs, that means I should only carry 11 lbs, which includes the pack and water. Not a lot of weight even when you try to pack light. So what do all you walkers who are my size pack in your packs to keep the weight down./quote]

I weighed about the same as you when I walked this Aug/Sept....my pack was about 13lbs. before
water and food, and I never had to dump anything :) When you walk affects how much you have to
carry...if I had been walking in the spring, or later in the fall or winter, I would have needed warmer
clothes and sleeping bag, so would have been heavier. We walked a variety of lengths...up to 31k in a day, and I never had any problems with my pack and weight. Be sure to go get fitted for your lightweight pack, and learn how to wear it properly as well, because you see so many people that need to tighten straps on their packs to save their shoulders and back. There were no items I would have left out, even though I never used them (bandages, rain pants, corkscrew), and nothing I wish I had taken.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#60
Re: Go-Lite JAM 35L pack

BrianForbesColgate said:
Has anyone used the Go-Lite JAM 35L [previously known as Go-Lite PEAK]?
The Large size is actually 40L @ 794g but can be reduced to 17L with its compression straps.
Thanks for any feedback anyone can provide on this pack.
That's one of the packs I'm considering for my Camino in 2013, but there are none in stock anywhere for me to look at and compare. The manufacturer says they will be available in November. There are three locations near me that carry Go-Lite products -- two in Denver and the main office/showroom in Boulder.

If you find one anywhere, please post your impressions here on the forum. But like you, I'd be most interested in first-hand reviews by actual users.

I've also looked at the Osprey Stratos 34 or Straos 36, and they look like a viable option, although they're about a third heavier in weight.
 
#62
Re: Backpack size and weight

northyukon said:
Hi: I keep reading about how much weight one should carry. 12-14 lbs. or 10% of your body weight. Well I only weigh 110 lbs, that means I should only carry 11 lbs, which includes the pack and water. Not a lot of weight even when you try to pack light. So what do all you walkers who are my size pack in your packs to keep the weight down.
I'm 5'4" and 110 pounds and carried a pack that, when filled, was about 12 lbs. Found it perfect, but really noticed if I had any extra. One way I kept the weight down was by carrying very little water. You have to be careful about this because you don't want to get dehydrated, and everyone's body is different when it comes to how much you sweat out and home much you need to take in, but I found all I needed was one 500ml bottle that I could keep refilling along the way. A very light weight sleeping bag also helped. Since I walked in the summer, I did not need much warmth, but I did find I needed more than just a liner. Mine was a 40 degree bag that weighed 1.3 lbs. My pack itself was also pretty light. I don't remember the exact weight, but it was an Osprey Talon 33L--a nice size for people our size. What time of year are you walking?
 
#63
I ended up with a talon 44 that is half empty because I wasn't carrying enough to fill the talon 33 I had which made it carry bad because of lack of frame. The 20l would have been plenty but I wanted something more versatile that I could use for other trips.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
#64
This is probably a silly question, but if you don't have a backpack with a sleeping bag component, how is the best way to attach your sleeping bag to your backpack. I'm really keen on the Gregory Jade backpacks. The two I like are the GJ 28 and the GJ 38 (which has the sleeping bag compartment.

Any suggestions?

CaminoKris2013
 
#65
CaminoKris2013 said:
if you don't have a backpack with a sleeping bag component, how is the best way to attach your sleeping bag to your backpack.
I use a 30L backpack with no separate sleeping bag compartment. My sleeping bag goes inside the pack. Leave the outer bag for the sleeping bag at home as it's unnecessary, put your unfolded sleeping bag down the bottom of your backpack (just squish it in) and pack everything else on top of it. It spreads into all the little gaps and helps to keep everything stable.

It's not a problem packing it in the bottom and, despite having to put your other stuff in last, it makes for a very quick morning preparation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
#66
Thanks, Julie! That is a great idea. I guess I am always seeing the bag rolled up and on the outside of the backpack I just couldn't figure out how to attach it. This definitely makes sense.
Quick follow up question...what do you mean, unfolded?

CaminoKris2013
 
#67
CaminoKris2013 said:
I guess I am always seeing the bag rolled up and on the outside of the backpack I just couldn't figure out how to attach it. This definitely makes sense.
Quick follow up question...what do you mean, unfolded?
Just that you don't have to try to put it in neatly. Toss it in, push it down a bit and it will spread out in the bottom of your pack when you put your other stuff on top of it.
 

soch

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camiño Portugués 2012
#68
If that old adage is true that__
“A picture is worth 1,000 words”
I wonder what a video is worth ?

See for yourself at the web-site
http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ ... kpack.html
which has a short video and commentary on how to prepare your backpack.
Elementary… yes, but admirably clear, and puts many valuable postings
on this topic into better focus.

soch
 
#70
Ladies Osprey Aura 50 (2011 model) worked out really nice on my 5'1.5 short frame. The inside frame collapsed down to be the perfect height etc...there was room to put snacks on top in the zip pocket..hip pockets (put little camera, chapstick & sunscreen for quick access) and shoulder straps fit really nicely and the balanced pack overall just became part of me. I carried it on airplane with no problem or additional bags and weighed 14lbs at the start, then lightened along The Way (depending how many snacks!)...then room to re stuff with warmer clothes after a week visit to Portugal post camino.
 

AmoreSteyn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2013
#71
Hallo all

I am a 31 year old lady starting my first ever Camino in June, and have a question regarding backpack size. I own a 35l backpack, but I cannot get it to sit comfortably on my hips - my shoulders mostly end up doing the supporting. I managed to borrow a 75l pack now, and it is the most comfortable fit ever! I know that it is way too big, but if I take care not to carry unnecessary weight then this must surely be a better option than my ill-fitting 35l? I am quite tall - 1.82 m (6ft).

I would appreciate any feedback!

Buen Camino!
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
#72
First are you looking at female packs? They're different then male packs to reflect the differences in bodies.

The other problem might be your height. I wonder what torso length a female L would be designed for :?: .

Yes better a pack that fits you well then one that doesn't.

Have you tried going to a real hiking shop with good staff?
 

AmoreSteyn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2013
#73
Thanks for the reply! I have been working on a rather tight budget and am trying to avoid buying a backpack as well at this stage. (There are so many expenses when preparing for such a trip! :) ) Obviously it is a very integral item, and if push comes to shove I will have to make a plan - I don't believe it's worth it to spoil the Camino by having to work with an unsuitable piece of equipment. So that's why I am trying to see first whether this borrowed pack might do the trick! I just haven't come across anyone using a 75l pack for the Camino, which concerns me a bit...
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
#74
The litre measurement is just the cubic size of the pack.

Most packs also have a recommended weight carrying limit. Personally I think this number is more important then just the cubic size.

Having said all that. Nothing forces you to fill a big pack. Odds are it's designed to carry more weight so might even be easier to use. Better straps,supports,hip belt etc.

It'll likely be a hassle on a busy train/bus.

I think most people are avoiding the big packs to save the extra weight. But if the smaller pack is uncomfortable you aren't saving anything.
 

FatmaG

Active Member
#75
Just be sure that the "big" backpack still fits comfortably when packed.
All you stuff will be in the lower part of you pack - but normally the weight should be close to your back/shoulders in the upper part of it...

(Else, what about a second hand pack? If you will find out in a good shop which backpack is the best, you could try to find this one even via internet)
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
#76
Larger packs often have more options for packing things. Places to attach items. My midsize pack (55L) is basically one large section. My large pack has pockets/sections that make dividing the load much easier. It's also easier to access things.

OTOH my large pack is twice the weight.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#77
AmoreSteyn said:
I just haven't come across anyone using a 75l pack for the Camino, which concerns me a bit...
I carried a similar sized pack, regretted it and would not do it again. It was too tempting to take things that weren't really necessary. When I got rid of those, the load that I carried could have fitted into a 45li pack (tight) or 50li comfortably. While I had got rid of the weight of the contents, the pack I used was about 1.5kg heavier than the lightest of my packs I would now choose to use.

That said, if the smaller pack is loading up your shoulders, this can be really tiring on the Camino, and it might be preferable to carry the larger pack. Just stay disciplined about what you carry, and learn how to pack it so the load stays close to your body along the length of the pack rather than all dropping to the bottom.

Regards
 

AmoreSteyn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2013
#78
Thank you all!

I am going to give the bigger pack a trial run this weekend and see how it goes. I guess if it feels good then I might take it on its first Camino! Otherwise I'll make another plan!

All best
A
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
#79
Don't know if anyone has said this yet because I did not read all the responses. My suggestion is to take all the stuff you are taking on the walk in a bag or duffel to the store where you plan to purchase your pack. Play around with packing, putting it on and carrying it. My experience was that with a little ingenuity, I found I only needed about half of what I started with. Less is more.
Have fun
R-
 

christer1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
none (yet)
#81
Well, I have the "advantage" of weighing about 230lbs, but am aiming for a 30-35litre back pack - and carrying around 6-7kgs without food and water. As I am planning to walk from end Aug onwards (CF) I will only use a silk case not a full sleeping bag - so reckon the target is realistic as I probably will not need cold weather clothes? I am also not going for hiking boots, rather the "approach shoes" type hiking shoe etc.

I am leaning towards an Osprey 33L pack, but havent tried any on yet.

I guess I could omit underwear as well to save weight but not sure how socially acceptable that would be... :wink:

Thanks for all the ideas and thoughts/experiences.
 
#82
Hi friends... I'm doing my first Camino in August. I have bought a Deuter aircontact 55+10 and it is a great backpack but I the start it was too heavy- without anything inside. Now I'm looking for a new one. I'm a 1,78 cm tall women, weigthing cca 68 kg. But I have backproblems and now I know that my backpack must be more lighter in the beginning. I backed really my minimum in gear. Some suggestions if a 38+5, 38+8 or a straight 40 will be enough?
Thanks... :D
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
#83
I have been walking for several years with a Deuter Groeden 30 ltr women's pack. I am short 161 cm with a shortish back and I weigh 63 kg. It has been perfect and I fit everything in comfortably. On my last walk I even carried a blow up mattress. It is by far the best fit for me and I echo that it is a very individual thing. I have used Vaude, Aarn, and tried Osprey which did not fit my back at all.
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
#84
I got together all of my gear first, measured the volume, then bought a backpack slightly larger than the volume I wanted to fit inside of it.
 

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