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2019 Camino Guides

Osprey Backpack Rubbing

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
#1
I have an Osprey Exos 48 which I have used for two camino. It is a little bit too big for what I carry but I am happy with my choice on the whole except the bottom corners rub slightly on my lower back. This was not noticeable for the first few days but gradually (probably in conjunction with a sweaty top) caused skin iritation and became sore. I think I may have been the only pilgrim walking with compeed on my back :(

Does anyone else have this problem? Second walk on the vdlp this year I put some tape on my back and often walked with my fleece top around my waist under bottom of backpack. This reduced but didn't eliminate the slight discomfort.

I will be walking the CF from SJPdP August 21 and I am very reluctant to buy another pack. Any suggestions?

Cheers Paul
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#3
gradually (probably in conjunction with a sweaty top) caused skin iritation
Friction and moisture cause blisters (or just skin irritation). Eliminate both if you can. Try lubricant on you back, like Vaseline or a silicone powder/ointment. If you waist belt is slipping, try to find a comfortable amount of tightening. Good luck!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#4
weight changes? on my last camino, the pack — also an Osprey — was perfect until the last ten days. I developed a chafing wound on each iliac crest because I had lost 2 clothing sizes and was bony in a way I had not been when the pack was purchased. this time I will be putting packing foam on my hips.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Zwolle, Netherlands to Rome) 2013
Camino Vienna to Santiago de Compostela 2018
#5
Yes, I had the same problem with the Osprey Exos 38 liter backpack. I thought my problem was that I packed it too full: 13 kg including camp gear and water/food. But after about 500 km the problems went away and now my pack is very comfortable even with the same weight.
Maybe if you pack you stuff in a different way the problem goes away. Heavy stuff more against your back and something lighter in the bottom.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from O'Cebreiro to Santiago in 2016
Planning to walk from Burgos this June, 2018
#6
I have an Osprey Exos 48 which I have used for two camino. It is a little bit too big for what I carry but I am happy with my choice on the whole except the bottom corners rub slightly on my lower back. This was not noticeable for the first few days but gradually (probably in conjunction with a sweaty top) caused skin iritation and became sore. I think I may have been the only pilgrim walking with compeed on my back :(

Does anyone else have this problem? Second walk on the vdlp this year I put some tape on my back and often walked with my fleece top around my waist under bottom of backpack. This reduced but didn't eliminate the slight discomfort.

I will be walking the CF from SJPdP August 21 and I am very reluctant to buy another pack. Any suggestions?

Cheers Paul
Yes!! I had that problem this summer - bad irritation on one hip bone where the hip strap rested. It was bad and painful.
I remembered I had body glide I used for my feet. I put a little on the affected area and it solved the issue.
So many strange pains and injuries pop up that you never anticipate!
Good luck
Lynne
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#7
I have an Osprey Exos 48 which I have used for two camino. It is a little bit too big for what I carry but I am happy with my choice on the whole except the bottom corners rub slightly on my lower back. This was not noticeable for the first few days but gradually (probably in conjunction with a sweaty top) caused skin iritation and became sore. I think I may have been the only pilgrim walking with compeed on my back :(

Does anyone else have this problem? Second walk on the vdlp this year I put some tape on my back and often walked with my fleece top around my waist under bottom of backpack. This reduced but didn't eliminate the slight discomfort.

I will be walking the CF from SJPdP August 21 and I am very reluctant to buy another pack. Any suggestions?

Cheers Paul

I offer the following:
1) try adjusting the shoulder straps to lift the pack from your lower back from above...pull the two tabs that sit on your shoulders.
2) ask a seamstress if she/he can sew on extra padding ( thick fleece, quilted material, a tube of ripstop stuffed with batting/foam ) on the offending areas ( you could also velcro something in a MacGiver fashion )
3) as others suggest, adjust the load itself while packing to transfer the weight to different places.

Good luck...the solution will come :)
 

Attachments

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#8
I've had difficulty with the shoulder harness straps rubbing against my upper arms and causing blisters. The pack fabric is so rough because it's meant to be durable, but hell on the skin. I found padded, soft velcro covers that actually are marketed for baby car seat straps or seatbelts...they fit nicely over the pack straps in offending areas, very inexpensive, lightweight, washable. I don't think this solves the issue of the OP, but might help others with a different rubbing area.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#9
Have you tried experimenting with making the back pack longer or shorter ( velcro solution at the top).
I had aproblem this year and made the back lenght a litlle larger w good result...
 
Camino(s) past & future
2 Camino Frances completed, 1 Camino Portugues completed from Porto
#10
I have an Osprey Exos 48 which I have used for two camino. It is a little bit too big for what I carry but I am happy with my choice on the whole except the bottom corners rub slightly on my lower back. This was not noticeable for the first few days but gradually (probably in conjunction with a sweaty top) caused skin iritation and became sore. I think I may have been the only pilgrim walking with compeed on my back :(

Does anyone else have this problem? Second walk on the vdlp this year I put some tape on my back and often walked with my fleece top around my waist under bottom of backpack. This reduced but didn't eliminate the slight discomfort.

I will be walking the CF from SJPdP August 21 and I am very reluctant to buy another pack. Any suggestions?

Cheers Paul
Ha ha sorry to laugh, but competed on your back is a good image :) ask in a pharmacy for diaper rash cream (often mostly zinc), show the pharmacist your rash, he/she can definitely help. And switch your shirt once it’s soaked through, the friction from moisture is a problem. Might also want to try buying a sportshirt made of those sporty polyester materials - there are excellent Decathlon sports stores just outside Pamplona, Logrono and Burgos, plus I’ve seen other sports stores in every large town. Finally, adjust your pack straps and try a radically different weight distribution, that often helps.
 

LaFlorida

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF May-June 2018
#11
I agree with the strap/weight load adjustment suggestions. My Osprey Sirrus 36 was causing that problem during some training hikes. I went back to the store where I bought it and they helped me make adjustments that really improved my comfort. It made me glad I bought local inside of saving a few dollars by buying online.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#12
@NomadBoomer , sorry to read of your plight.

I would normally use a pack without a frame only for small part day trips.

For long haul I will always use a pack with an external frame.

But that does not mean heavy (mine of four years is lighter than most)

But a week to go suggests you should not try anything new.

So suggestions like those by @LaFlorida above make most sense

Kia kaha (you take care, be strong, get going)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#13
@NomadBoomer , sorry to read of your plight.

I would normally use a pack without a frame only for small part day trips.

For long haul I will always use a pack with an external frame.

But that does not mean heavy (mine of four years is lighter than most)

But a week to go suggests you should not try anything new.

So suggestions like those by @LaFlorida above make most sense

Kia kaha (you take care, be strong, get going)
???? :) The Exos 48, though not an external frame pack, does have an excellent internal frame which is as supportive and comfortable as any external frame I've worn; and in a lot of cases even better.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#14
I have an Osprey Exos 48 which I have used for two camino. It is a little bit too big for what I carry but I am happy with my choice on the whole except the bottom corners rub slightly on my lower back. This was not noticeable for the first few days but gradually (probably in conjunction with a sweaty top) caused skin iritation and became sore. I think I may have been the only pilgrim walking with compeed on my back :(

Does anyone else have this problem? Second walk on the vdlp this year I put some tape on my back and often walked with my fleece top around my waist under bottom of backpack. This reduced but didn't eliminate the slight discomfort.

I will be walking the CF from SJPdP August 21 and I am very reluctant to buy another pack. Any suggestions?

Cheers Paul
Hi, Paul...

What is it that you mean by "bottom corners"? When you start to adjust the pack when you put it on, the shoulder harness and waist belt should have slack and be loose. The first step in pack adjustment, is to position the waist belt so that the top of the hip belt just above the iliac crest of your hip bones, and the bottom of the belt below the middle-line of the hip bones. The belt should "cradle" that area when you snug it down. At this point all the weight of the pack is on the belt, and the lumbar support should be at the small of your back and not riding lower against the skin on the curve of your back just above the tail bone.

Then when you go to the next step and snug down the shoulder harness until it is just beginning to take some weight. The back of the harness -- where it is attached on the pack -- should wrap over the shoulders until it lies just below the top of the shoulders on your back. Again, the effect is to have a shallow "wrapping" effect. If the wrap extends more than a bit below the top of the shoulder blades, that is an indication that the frame does not fit.

Once the major adjust is made to the shoulder harness, then the load lifters can be tensioned so that they form a basic 45 degree angle.

The hip belt and shoulder harness share the load in a roughly 80/20 ratio, the majority on the belt. That can be changed on the fly, so to speak, as you need to adjust for comfort.

If the pack is fitting you are still getting rubbing, then there are ways to add padding to pressure points. Extra foam, fleece, wool, etc. Something that is a frequent culprit is the trouser belt used to hold up one's pants or shorts -- which is one of the reasons I prefer backpacking and hiking in running shorts :) . But sometimes even the best fitting pack will not completely conform to a unique body shape, and compensation is needed as an add-on.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#15
I've had difficulty with the shoulder harness straps rubbing against my upper arms and causing blisters. The pack fabric is so rough because it's meant to be durable, but hell on the skin. I found padded, soft velcro covers that actually are marketed for baby car seat straps or seatbelts...they fit nicely over the pack straps in offending areas, very inexpensive, lightweight, washable. I don't think this solves the issue of the OP, but might help others with a different rubbing area.
I too, start my caminos with rather annoying, itchy shoulder straps where they wrap around under my shoulders on my Osprey Sirrus 36 women's pack. After a week or more I stop noticing the discomfort and wonder if my skin has finally "toughened up". Thankfully I've never gotten blisters. Could you please send a link on the velcro product you are referring to? It sounds like it could be a goid option for me to try. Thanks!
 

JRO

Member
Camino(s) past & future
santiago to muxia
#16
I have an Osprey Exos 48 which I have used for two camino. It is a little bit too big for what I carry but I am happy with my choice on the whole except the bottom corners rub slightly on my lower back. This was not noticeable for the first few days but gradually (probably in conjunction with a sweaty top) caused skin iritation and became sore. I think I may have been the only pilgrim walking with compeed on my back :(

Does anyone else have this problem? Second walk on the vdlp this year I put some tape on my back and often walked with my fleece top around my waist under bottom of backpack. This reduced but didn't eliminate the slight discomfort.

I will be walking the CF from SJPdP August 21 and I am very reluctant to buy another pack. Any suggestions?

Cheers Paul
Looks like you are getting tons of good advice. My favorite thing that I brought on the Camino was a small packet of lambswool; a gift, but I used it for a lot of irritation spots....shoes, backpack straps, on my hipbones, etc. Even if you find another great answer for your back, you might consider some for the unexpected. It can be washed, is very light (no exttra weight) and can be pulled apart and shared with someone else. Try a pharmacy, perhaps even IN Spain, as I know that's where my friend (a long time Camino-ist) purchased mine.
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
#17
Thanks everyone for the heap of useful advice. I feel a little foolish that I walked so far with a small problem without taking any active steps to avoid. I guess I was so focused on my legs and feet, and as the problem initially took a couple of weeks to manifest, I just lived with it. I think the point about weight loss changing the fit may be part of the issue in my case.

Loading my backpack now it feels very comfortable, it is hard for me to see what the problem was and hence fix. I am going to try just about all of the suggestions above. If the problem still occurs I will be more proactive and test out what change up works for me.

I really appreciate the help from you all and I will post later to let you know how I went, in case my experience is useful for anyone else.

Cheers Paul
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#18
I too, start my caminos with rather annoying, itchy shoulder straps where they wrap around under my shoulders on my Osprey Sirrus 36 women's pack. After a week or more I stop noticing the discomfort and wonder if my skin has finally "toughened up". Thankfully I've never gotten blisters. Could you please send a link on the velcro product you are referring to? It sounds like it could be a goid option for me to try. Thanks!
I bought mine in a store, but found a close version on amazon to give you an idea...there are some in every length and width...just search 'seat belt wrap'...mine are by DinoWrap and are about 6" long...
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#19
I have an Osprey Exos 48 which I have used for two camino. It is a little bit too big for what I carry but I am happy with my choice on the whole except the bottom corners rub slightly on my lower back. This was not noticeable for the first few days but gradually (probably in conjunction with a sweaty top) caused skin iritation and became sore. I think I may have been the only pilgrim walking with compeed on my back :(

Does anyone else have this problem? Second walk on the vdlp this year I put some tape on my back and often walked with my fleece top around my waist under bottom of backpack. This reduced but didn't eliminate the slight discomfort.

I will be walking the CF from SJPdP August 21 and I am very reluctant to buy another pack. Any suggestions?

Cheers Paul

Maybe the LAST thing you need is another suggestion...but I'm offering one LOL
I saw an older walker a few years back who wore a wider, waist fitted 'fanny pack' actually on her lower back to support the weight of her backpack. Did not pay enough attention to her pack's waist belt, etc.... but it seemed to work quite well for her and may be a viable option for you. If the fanny pack is comfortable and padded and doesn't shift, and lifts your pack from rubbing in troubled spots...what the heck, I'd try it! lol
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#20
I bought mine in a store, but found a close version on amazon to give you an idea...there are some in every length and width...just search 'seat belt wrap'...mine are by DinoWrap and are about 6" long...
Thanks! I found some good options on Amazon to consider...great idea!
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
#21
One day left to Finisterre after a glorious camino with some people who will live in my heart forever.
Following the kind advice here, I found that rebalancing my pack by putting some heavier items in the middle, and using my fleece jacket as padding, fixed the problem for me
 

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