Pack recommendations

Quick aside: I may need to buy a new pack in Damascus. My current pack doesn’t seem to be working with my new body type (ie, bones), and I’m having a lot of pain on my shoulders, neck, and upper back, despite having adjusted every possible strap and reorganizing the contents about a dozen different ways. I’m going to talk to the pack guy in Damascus, but I thought I’d get some opinions.

Do you love your pack? What kind is it?

I’m currently carrying a ULA Circuit with the… J strap? The one for women. And I think that’s actually part of the problem.

Anyway, I’m just about out of battery so I won’t be able to respond untol Damascus.

All recommendations appreciated!

Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “Pack recommendations

  1. Shari wb

    Linda. I dont have a pack but just want you to know im thinking of you and miss you. I admire what you are doing and find you an inspiration!

    You rock woman!

  2. How many pounds of gear are you carrying? My fiance and I bought ULA Catalysts which are better at handling larger loads of weight than the circuit. We will be carrying packs between 26-32 lbs depending on weather and such.

    • I think my base weight is down to about 16, but I’d like to weigh it at the outfitters. At the NOC I was at 24 lb with 4 days of food, and I sent some stuff home since then.

      • That’s great 🙂 We are about the same 16-22 lbs base weight depending on season. We love our catalysts but you may be fine in a circuit since you’ve sent stuff home! I’m sure the outfitters will help you out 😀

  3. Mary Aikens

    Hey Karma, been following you ever since Milkman passed along your blog to me and I have certainly been enjoying your journey!! I actually have the same exact pack as you and I love it!!! I don’t usually have more than 30lbs in it, but I haven’t gone anymore than 110 miles at one time, so I will be interested in seeing how things turn out for you. Wishing you all the best in finding something that is totally comfortable to keep you going the distance!! 🙂 Blessings, Mary, aka Believe

    • Thanks, Believe! I’ve got my pack weight way down at this point, or I’d think that was the problem!

  4. I have had both an Osprey Aether 75 (a men’s pack I’ve used for over 8yrs, that is no longer made in this size) and a Gregory Savant 58 pack and love them both. But each hiker’s body is so different that while I can recommend those brands for their quality and durability, the best advice I can give you is to talk to someone knowledgeable at the store and try on as many packs as you can with weight in them. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, like choosing a pack made for the opposite sex or one that is bigger or smaller in liters than you think is what you should have. Your body is unique but even the hardest to fit bodies will find something that works, just listen to your instincts 🙂 My best friend and I are completely different shapes and both had a hard time finding a pack when we started backpacking and strangely enough, we both ended up in the same Osprey men’s pack. You just never know. Hang in there!

  5. Blackbird

    What they said. Never mind the gender-specific hoopla, just get one that fits and is light and feels good. I would recommend the ULA, but, well. Your ULA is probably sized a bit off somehow. Try them on with about 30 in them right there in the store.

  6. Lemon

    Osprey Atmos 65 Med. I’m 5 10. So far no complaints but the mileage is still under 300.

  7. Ann Kerwood aka birch


    I had the same problem with my pack and ended up switching in Erwin. I switched to a Gregory Deva 60 and loved it. I have very small bones and a very narrow collarbone. The shoulder straps and the belt fit perfect. But, I am with everyone else – try on different packs. The folks at the outfitters in Damascus were very helpful, so hopefully they can find you a solution. Birch

  8. Eileen Drummy

    I havent picked up a pack since my cousin was a Boy Scout so I am no help. Take care.

  9. an outfitter here in Bangor Maine, who has thru hiked himself, has recommended to me a Osprey 70 for my 2014 thru hike. (I’m 5’8 152lbs.) He said Ospreys are the most comfortable and rugged for what thats worth. Good luck Karma – routing you onward!

    • A pot pf folks are suggesting Ospreys. I’m seeing the outfitter tomorrow, after I smell better! 😉

  10. Kelsie

    I love my Kelty Coyote but it’s not really a lightweight option. It is, however, very comfortable and allows me to carry heavier loads (camera gear) on multi-day trips. Besides my Kelty I have a REI Flash. It’s fairly comfortable when I keep my pack weight lighter. Good luck!

  11. Love my REI Mars, but pack fit is key, I know at REI stores they put sandbags and such in the pack when fitting. Sounds like you need a new fitting.
    Keep going, stay strong.

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