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Back Packs

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Terry Wilson, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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    I see packs here in New Zealand on line for $50 dollars am I going to get what I pay for and if so how much do I have to spend and how big. I dont want to carry to much as I am going o do the 800ks.. Has any one got any suggestions. I am going in August 2017.
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Terry - Very likely, you will get what you pay for! I believe that most of the higher quality backpacks will cost you more than $50. The most common pack I saw on the Camino were by Osprey. I just picked up the Sirrus 36L (the Stratos 36 is the men's model) for my wife for about $110 on Amazon.com. I think a very common mistakes many pilgrims make, including myself, is carrying too much. A 36 liter pack is more than sufficient for the Camino Francés. I started out in SJPP carrying about 18 pounds in a 35L pack. I quickly shed 2-3 pounds before even reaching Pamplona. When my wife and I walk the Portugués this spring, our goal will be to only carry 12-13 pounds. In terms of the Camino, bigger isn't better! You won't be collecting souvenirs along The Way.
     
  3. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I took a 48 L Osprey, if I ever get there again it will be a 36 L model or smaller. I got mine fitted at my local REI store.
     
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  4. freetobe

    freetobe Member

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    I don't really want to spend on a new backpack (this Camino can be an expensive exercise!) but I am now wondering if my Deuter aircontact 40+10SL is a tad on the large size. Its 40L obviously and weighs unloaded 2.3kg. I am used to this pack. Maybe I just have to be super strict on myself and not load it up.Total weight realistically should be 8kg??? Am I right?
     
  5. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Other than the extra weight, the problem I have is that I tend to "fill" the pack until it is full.
     
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  6. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Freetobe - As Hammy mentioned, the weight of the Deuter would be more than I would want. Based on the specs that I saw, at 5.1 lbs. or 2350 grams, it's almost twice the weight of the Osprey that I just bought my wife. That is a relatively heavy backpack!

    The general rule for backpack weight is not to exceed 10% of your bodyweight. I kept to this recipe on my Camino and walked with approximately 8-9 kg. It was more than I should have been carrying or needed to carry. There are several threads on this Forum that present some excellent packing lists. Less is better! You need to very carefully pick the items you plan to hike with and be conscious of choosing the lightest options possible. From my experience, I'd suggest that you'd be much happier with a backpack weight (including the pack itself) of between 6-7 kg.

    If you stay with the Deuter, don't fill it up! In addition to the weight, the size of this backpack may prevent you from taking it on the plane as carry-on luggage. I'd recommend that you don't baggage check your pack in case it doesn't arrive in Europe when you do. That can cause another whole set of headaches before you even start hiking.

    "To walk far, carry less."
     
  7. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Member

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    Comfort is one of the main things, if you are used to the pack and are comfortable with it just be a little careful in keeping your load down and you'll probably be fine. :)
     
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  8. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Member

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    As others have said Osprey are great mass market packs, I love my Exos 38 - a 1kg pack that will comfortably carry what is needed on the Camino. Will admit I'm more likely to use a 25-30litre ultralight (and likely ultra expensive) pack for something that doesn't include a load of camping gear. :) An OMM Classic 25 or maybe Alpkit Gourdon 30 (dry bag with straps and mesh pockets) maybe.
     
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  9. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    A key factor regarding comfort is whether or not the backpack fits the person using it. Like so many other pieces of equipment, proper size and fitting of the backpack are very important to a successful hiking experience.

    I remember a young pilgrim I met in SJPP who had significant problems with her backpack. Her boyfriend had bought her a great high-end pack, but it was much too large for her. Even adjusting it as much as possible, it still did not ride correctly on her back. There was no real way of fixing that problem! Depending on your height, it's important to pick a backpack that fits. I would never think of getting my 5'2" wife a M/L. The XS/S Sirrus Osprey fits her perfectly. The small Sirrus has no less carrying capacity, but it's designed to fit properly on a shorter person. By then keeping the carrying weight low, the backpack will not be a problem that she will have to deal with on the Camino or anywhere else.
     
  10. Gerry Vandermaat

    Gerry Vandermaat Donating Member Donating Member

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    G'day Terry,

    Whilst i hate to admit to a KIWI my wife and i used a New Zealand product (MACPAC TASMAN 45 - i am wearing it in my profile pic.)) . I was just big enough to keep what we needed and only weighed 1.1kg. It wasn't waterproof but it was quick drying so we had all our gear in waterproof "stuff" bags inside and didn't get anything wet/ Really comfortable and a good waist band. My wife had about 6-7 kilos of stuff and i had about 10kg - i had to carry the electronics :). Whilst the capacity was the same, there were different sizes for women and men - something to do with the length.

    Good luck and Buen Camino
     

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  11. freetobe

    freetobe Member

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    OK - back to the drawing board. I can see that I may have to rethink my gear. Hadn't even thought of the carry-on-luggage option. I am beginning to think that I have to be 'lean and mean'!!!! Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. Cheers
     
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  12. freetobe

    freetobe Member

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    Wily - I am 5'4". Do you think I should be looking at the same as what your wife will be using?
     
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  13. freetobe

    freetobe Member

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    Me again. I went to the Osprey site to check out the Sirrus 24 and 36 models. These are classed as Day Packs. I am wondering if these are sufficient to carry all your gear for the trip if you intend to be self sufficient and not rely on courier service and the like. Cheers
     
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  14. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Look at other models. some of them have alternate constructions that are better for a multiple hour carry, day after day.
     
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  15. Texanna

    Texanna New Member

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    I am planning for my first Camino in April 2017 but I am having the same questions as you. I am 5'3 and worry that the day packs do not provide the pockets, bottom entry, and good waist band among other features that I will want. REI spent an hour sizing a pack for me. It was amazing seeing the difference between how the packs fit me. I think it is important to try backpacks on.
     
  16. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey All - If you have an outfitters store near you, the best thing to do is to go try on a number of backpack. One does need to look at features as well as fit. Professionals are the best ones to help you get a pack that is right for you.

    Freetobe, at 5'4", I think that a "small" is still the size that will fit you best.

    Although the Osprey Sirrus or Stratos 36 may be classified as day packs, they will offer you everything you need. For example, the Sirrus has front entry which I personally prefer over top entry. The waist belt is substantial and will provide the support one needs to put the pack weight onto the hips. There are pockets in the belt and the side. Remember, you won't be carrying camping gear, so a 36L "day pack" will be more than sufficient to carry 6-7 kgs. of personal gear.

    These Ospreys are designed for day after day hiking. On this Forum, Laurie Ferris has a more detailed review of the Sirrus 36 under the "equipment" section. I think you'd find her information and the discussion informative.
     
  17. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Gerry - Love the weight of that backpack!

    Speaking of electronics, your use of a dry bag for them is a must! As a dry bag weighs next to nothing, it's an inexpensive and light way to protect valuable electronic items.

    For those who have yet to walked the Camino, I certainly learned a lot regarding what to take or not to take next time as it concerns electronics. From both a weight and a carrying perspective, my biggest mistake was to bring along my full-size DSLR camera. Way too bulky! Even though I got some great photos, I'm now in the market for a much small Point & Shoot-type camera with a high quality lens such as the Canon Powershot G7 or G9 X digital cameras. Being small and weighing only about 8 oz., it will nicely fit into the pocket of my pack waist belt. Phones still seem to be the most popular item on the Camino for taking pictures.

    The only other electronic item I carry when I travel is my mini-iPad. Even though I didn't find it necessary to carry a phone, the tablet came in handy for keeping in touch with home or sending emails ahead for reservations at albergues. As wifi is literally everywhere, and as I enjoyed blogging everyday, the iPad was all I needed for my travels. Switching out my old iPad for the mini version turned out to be an excellent decision. In addition to carrying a smalker tablet, I also cut the weight down nearly in half. Many pilgrims like having a phone, and it's easy enough to pick up a Spanish SIM card for one, but I did just fine without one.
     
  18. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I carried a cell phone and when an unexpected problem happened at home, I was very glad I had it with me.
     
  19. Ashna Maharaj

    Ashna Maharaj Ashna Maharaj

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    Hi Wily
    Question: Was just one day bag transfer €7 and what company did u use ? Thanks Ash
     
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  20. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Ash - Yes, that is correct. JacoTrans charged €7. The nice thing is that nothing needs to be arranged in advance. The transfer service can be accessed at all the albergues. Typically, you will fill-out an envelop with your destination on it, you do need to know where you'll be staying the next night, deposit the Euros inside and leave it to be pickup sometime that morning. All the hospitaleros know the system very well and can help you with anything you need. They will let you know at what time your pack needs to be ready and generally have a secured spot for keeping the backpacks awaiting transfer. I would recommend that you have a small, very lightweight type of day pack for carring, food, camera, or other personal items for the day. The system is very efficient! I met a large number of pilgrims who used is regularly or occasionally and never heard a complaint. Buen Camino!
     
  21. Ryedalerambler

    Ryedalerambler Active Member

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    I think the 36 would be quite adequate - I used a Stratos 36 earlier this year and found it amply big enough, but I think the 24 might be a little restrictive. You need to be ruthless with your packing list!
     
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  22. Gerry Vandermaat

    Gerry Vandermaat Donating Member Donating Member

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    Yes we had dry bags inside our packs - the electronics only consisted of a compact camera (which was in my wife hand most of the time) an iPad and an iPhone (for blogging and emergencies) We also had extra stuff on a=our Camino because we were touring Greece after our walk - so some unnecessary Camino stuff had to come along.:)
     

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  23. Randy Dickow

    Randy Dickow Donating Member Donating Member

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    Regarding bag transport. I used once after a long hot day that killed my back. It was 5 Euros. I heard of 7 earlier the farther away from Santiago. From Sarria on it's 3 Euros. No idea why the differences.
     
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  24. calowie

    calowie Active Member

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    Freetobe and Texanna: When we walked the Camino del Norte and el Primitivo last year and the Portugues this year, we used the osprey 36 L packs (sirrus and stratos). They were more than enough for everything, including our sleeping bag. They are light and waterproof and have a rain cover that never let us down. Bigger volume packs tend to get filled with extra items!
     
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  25. Gerry Vandermaat

    Gerry Vandermaat Donating Member Donating Member

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    Probably because of the demand - it gets a lot busier after Sarria - more packs less needed to cover cost. - Maybe?
     
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  26. freetobe

    freetobe Member

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    Thanks for the follow up. I will certainly make the trip to town to start looking and trying on packs to fit the bill.
     
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  27. Ashna Maharaj

    Ashna Maharaj Ashna Maharaj

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    What if u want to send half your stuff and only meet up with it at a hospitalero two weeks later?
     
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  28. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    I only used the JacoTrans transport service once between Mansilla and Leon and paid €7. I met a number of pilgrims between SJPP and Astorga using the service and that seemed to be the going rate for everyone. Didn't keep track of it after Sarria. However, supply and demand might be a good explanation for lower rates over the last 100 kms. of the Camino. In that last section of the Camino prior to Santiago, one does see a significantly larger number of people without backpacks.
     
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  29. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Ash - I don't have an exact answer to your question. However, Express Bourricot offers transport of luggage between SJPP and Santiago. Check out their website for details and prices for shipping and storage. The Spanish post office, Correos, has also gotten into the Camino transfer business. On their website, they advertise sending baggage on to any town on the Camino and store for free for up to teo weeks. This might be your best bet for shipping items ahead.
     
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  30. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Not to be too contrarian with my camino colleagues regarding backpack size . . . we took the advice of this forum and went to an outfitters store to get measured, rather than get a bargain pack over the internet. We paid a bit more, but it was worth it. As Wily said, the Osprey brand was the most popular on the trail. Osprey has many sizes and models. My wife bought a 48L Kestrol and I bought a 50L Atmos. These were perfect for us. We learned how to pack it with sandals and compressed sleeping bag on the bottom, then clothes, fleece, rainjacket. There are lots of pockets - so easy to carry a litre of water, snacks for the day, John Brierley guide. We also both used a small Osprey daypack to carry around in the evening. It was easy to attach to the larger backpack. The Kestrol had an attached raincover. I purchased an Osprey raincover for mine. We were very satisfied with our packs and will use these again next year when we walk the camino frances in October, 2017.
     
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