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Thread: Pct backpack

  1. #1
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    Default Pct backpack

    Would a zpacks arc blast be big enough for a thru hike? I have a tiny external I got for $12 dollars at a thrift store and I love it and really can't decide if getting a new pack would be fixing what isn't broken or just a good idea. My pack weighs 67.3 oz rn but carries itself well

  2. #2

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    Volume isn't bad on that pack or the arc haul is a touch bigger.

    I would save the pack upgrade for after you've sorted everything else out (or maybe you have?). if your base weight is a bit heavy, that's probably not the greatest pack to choose

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    Volume isn't bad on that pack or the arc haul is a touch bigger.

    I would save the pack upgrade for after you've sorted everything else out (or maybe you have?). if your base weight is a bit heavy, that's probably not the greatest pack to choose
    My base weight is like 15 pounds, so not bad at all

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    I follow the approach that my backpack quiver is based first on where I have evolved to as a hiker and with what kit wt, kit volume, and gear integration I generally rock. The backpack I elect from that quiver for what trail or route I'm hiking is secondary to those recognitions.

    However, if it helps a Dyneema composite hybrid fabric backpack such as ZPacks makes, AND OTHER UL/LIGHT WT BACKPACK MANUFACTURERS CONSTRUCT, serve many PCTers well. FWIW, historically the majority of PCT thru-hikers are experienced hikers/LD hikers often having already at least one other LD trail successfully accomplished. This means historically they typically have evolved kits, usually solidly UL, know they are LD hikers, have some semblance of knowing their backpacking hiking philosophy, and have many trail logistical factors generally down.

    FWIW, Cheryl Strayed does NOT resemble the typical PCT thru-hiker.

    This, and several other significant PCT traits, make a 67 oz(4lb +) backpack not often seen being used by PCT THRU-HIKERS

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    No one says you can only use one pack during hike
    Might give some consideration to desert water carries, on top of that 15 lb basewt, wrt pack selection.

    Arc blast would work well for some, not so well for others.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 01-23-2017 at 06:07.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    You may be pushing it a bit when you have longer stretches of resupply or lots of water, but if you decide to give it a try, they have 30 day return

    Could order it, load it up with 30-35 lbs properly distributed, and see what you think

    If you don't love it, then you could spend that $ on knocking a couple pounds off your other items

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddle sleeper View Post
    My base weight is like 15 pounds, so not bad at all
    The avg PCT thru-hiker has a lower base wt. Now add in consumable wts of 2 lbs of food per day for 5-7 day resupplies adding 10-14 lbs to the load. Add in possibly an ice axe, Katoohla microspikes, some sort of foot traction devices if planning a PCT thru-hike itinerary involving snow, etc add in an unplanned from the 15 lb base wt another 1-1.5 lbs. Add in mandatory bear canister use in the Sierra of about 2 lbs. usually wisely offset by lower water wt hauls though. And, add in the often biggest single category of wt, water wt, that varies all over the place depending own how well you are at decreasing water hauls from a logistical water wise perspective of 3L- 6L which again depends of 6.5- 13+ lbs and the haul can be as high as 45+ lbs. This has the potential to over max the designed wt hauling capacity of the 55L Arc Blast by 10 lbs. Arc Blast is designed for UP TO 35 lb loads. Over weighting the Arc Blast with any regularity stresses the design and you into a shorter lifespan and discomfort.

    So it depends again on where you have evolved to as a hiker, your logistical prowess, and your kit if the Arc Blast is the best PCT thru-hiker pack for you. FWIW, one does note quite a few Zpack's Arc Blasts on the PCT. The flexed arc frame allows air flow on the back, very good during the hot sweaty times, is capable of hauling a bear canister, has good load transfer to the hips, and is made to be highly water resistant so usually little to no need for extra wt of pack covers, etc.

    Downside is the high price of cuben fiber(Dyneema Composites) making this a $$$ backpack.

    So PCT thru-hikers make the Arc Blast work nicely for them. R U at the same place as other typical PCT thru-hikers? Can you climb the backpacking/PCT thru-hiker evolutionary curve quickly? Can you observe, consider, and adapt as needed as LD hikers do?

    Puddle Sleeper? Get that because you were found sleeping in a puddle? Sailboater?

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    What is the time period for these mythical average PCT hikers? 5 years. Maybe?
    I wonder what the average would be for PCT Hiker #1 with his 375 mile resupply schedule and the lightest 2016 Hiker?
    Fact is folks have been using what they had and or could afford to buy since forever.
    Just for grins and giggles throw Mr. Fletcher's "average" pack weights for his hikes through the Grand Canyon and the length of California.
    Wayne


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    The avg PCT thru-hiker has a lower base wt.
    Not sure where your stats on average base weight comes from but according to halfway anywhere's 2016 thru-hiker survey the average base weight is as follows:

    Thru-Hikers: Start: 19.84 End: 16.2
    Finishers: Start: 18.2 End: 15.53

    15 lbs seems to be fine. Can definitely be improved upon, but there will be plenty in that ballpark.

    Source: http://www.halfwayanywhere.com/trail...ey-gear-guide/

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    Must be some of those alternate facts we seem to see floating around.
    Grinning.
    Wayne


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    Inerestin article.
    Not real surprising that people toting way too much wt would complain about packs.
    With 20 lb base avg, the most popular pack should not be a lightwt or UL pack.

    20 degree quilt performance also not surprise. Too much heat lost thru head, and they been sleeping wiith it for months without washing.

    Sounds like lots of newbies really.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 01-23-2017 at 23:04.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    The avg PCT thru-hiker has a lower base wt. Now add in consumable wts of 2 lbs of food per day for 5-7 day resupplies adding 10-14 lbs to the load. Add in possibly an ice axe, Katoohla microspikes, some sort of foot traction devices if planning a PCT thru-hike itinerary involving snow, etc add in an unplanned from the 15 lb base wt another 1-1.5 lbs. Add in mandatory bear canister use in the Sierra of about 2 lbs. usually wisely offset by lower water wt hauls though. And, add in the often biggest single category of wt, water wt, that varies all over the place depending own how well you are at decreasing water hauls from a logistical water wise perspective of 3L- 6L which again depends of 6.5- 13+ lbs and the haul can be as high as 45+ lbs. This has the potential to over max the designed wt hauling capacity of the 55L Arc Blast by 10 lbs. Arc Blast is designed for UP TO 35 lb loads. Over weighting the Arc Blast with any regularity stresses the design and you into a shorter lifespan and discomfort.

    So it depends again on where you have evolved to as a hiker, your logistical prowess, and your kit if the Arc Blast is the best PCT thru-hiker pack for you. FWIW, one does note quite a few Zpack's Arc Blasts on the PCT. The flexed arc frame allows air flow on the back, very good during the hot sweaty times, is capable of hauling a bear canister, has good load transfer to the hips, and is made to be highly water resistant so usually little to no need for extra wt of pack covers, etc.

    Downside is the high price of cuben fiber(Dyneema Composites) making this a $$$ backpack.

    So PCT thru-hikers make the Arc Blast work nicely for them. R U at the same place as other typical PCT thru-hikers? Can you climb the backpacking/PCT thru-hiker evolutionary curve quickly? Can you observe, consider, and adapt as needed as LD hikers do?

    Puddle Sleeper? Get that because you were found sleeping in a puddle? Sailboater?
    I am self titled puddle sleeper as waking up in puddles is a reoccurring theme in my life

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leanthree View Post
    Not sure where your stats on average base weight comes from but according to halfway anywhere's 2016 thru-hiker survey the average base weight is as follows:

    Thru-Hikers: Start: 19.84 End: 16.2
    Finishers: Start: 18.2 End: 15.53

    15 lbs seems to be fine. Can definitely be improved upon, but there will be plenty in that ballpark.

    Source: http://www.halfwayanywhere.com/trail...ey-gear-guide/
    Thank you for sharing that Leanthree. Lots of good stats to consider that Mac "Highway" has gathered! I'll offer some context that certainly some might debate but I'll offer for consideration

    http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-tra...00-miler-list/

    From the PCTA claimed 2600 Miler List survey in 2013 there were 277 claims of doing a thru-hike. Mac, in his survey for 2013, surveyed 100 participants, little bit more than only 1/3 of all the PCT thru-hikers. In 2014 PCTA records indicate 487 completions with Mac gathering info on 106 less than 25 % of all PCT thru-hikers making the claim. In 2015 PCTA records show 653 PCT 2600 Miler completions with Mac surveying 193 less than 30% of all PCT thru-hikers. In 2016 PCTA says 688 completions with Mac gathering 381 completed surveys well more than 50%.

    As Mac states:

    NOTES ON THE DATA

    • This year’s survey saw a total of 381 completed surveys (up from 193 last year).
    • The responses to some questions have been sorted and colorized to normalize the results and (hopefully) make them more useful (e.g. northbound vs. southbound).
    • Not everyone meticulously documents the stats of their thru-hike (I guess I’m weird). Therefore, the data is not 100% guaranteed accurate. However, I am hoping people gave their best guesstimates when answering questions.
    • For simplicity’s sake, I refer to the survey respondents collectively as this year’s “class“. Remember that this is but a percentage of the overall number of this year’s hikers and is not necessarily representative of the entire PCT Class of 2016.
    • If you’re that kind of person and you find some small discrepancy in the data, get over it – may I remind you we aren’t dealing in exactness here. However, if you find any large or obvious air-roars (<----like that!), please let me know.

    Pts to further ponder:
    1) Since the release of Cheryl Strayed's Wild book in March 2012 and the 2014 Wild movie in 2014 were seeing greater exponential interest in PCT Thru-hiker class numbers. Low snow yrs and greater PCT seminated data has further sparked interest. IMO, I believe it is also affecting a much greater drawing of interest of a wider and different PCT thru-hike attempter, NEWBS to LD hiking, than previously. This is similar to AT thru-hiker data where the AT has traditionally attracted LARGELY fist time LD hikers. As seen in Mac's data for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 71-77% of those claiming to have done PCT thru-hikes it was their FIRST LD hike. Anecdotally, this is a higher % of NEWBS attempting PCT thru-hikes as their first LD hike than pre Wild release yrs. A full 77% of PCTers in 2014, right in the midst of the Wild releases, in Mac's survey said the PCT was their FIRST LD hike. IMO, this is now where near the % in 2008 or 2010 or 2012 when I did PCT thru-hikes or started among PCT thru-hikers to do long PCT section hikes.

    What does this mean? IMO, it means higher base wts than previous yrs for more experienced LD PCT thru-hikers pre Wild yrs and IMO it also means more people bragging about their kits as, anecdotally, from my observations, many experienced LD hikers have long gotten over beating to death ceaselessly publicly talking about their kits. IMO, most NEWBS LOVE to dwell on gear, going on and on and on about their kits. These characteristics affect Halfway's survey data!

    Additionally, although not a deciding PCT manager, I strongly strongly suspect the PCTA was well aware of the increased interest from the Wild book and movie hubbub that might result as well as being aware of the possible "quality" of PCT thru-hiker attempter represented in those increased users and issues on the AT as far as usage when they decided to institute the quota system. IMHO, the PCTA made a wise choice instituting a quota system that promoted stretching out and limiting PCT thru-hiker NOBO numbers.

    2) On the PCT some thru-hikers TRADITIONALLY change their kits, kit wts, not because they are evolving their kits to lighter wt hauls so much as can be seen for say AT NOBOers but because
    kits and hence kit wts are being tweaked based on conditions as they change. This affects starting and ending base wts. What conclusions you draw from this is up to you.

    Uhh, aren't these pts being played out here in this thread?

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    Sorry Halfway. Spell checker got me again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddle sleeper View Post
    I am self titled puddle sleeper as waking up in puddles is a reoccurring theme in my life

    Not yellow puddles I hope?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    What is the time period for these mythical average PCT hikers? 5 years. Maybe?
    I wonder what the average would be for PCT Hiker #1 with his 375 mile resupply schedule and the lightest 2016 Hiker?
    Fact is folks have been using what they had and or could afford to buy since forever.
    Just for grins and giggles throw Mr. Fletcher's "average" pack weights for his hikes through the Grand Canyon and the length of California.
    Wayne


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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Must be some of those alternate facts we seem to see floating around.
    Grinning.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Never said anything about 375 mile resupplies. I was referring to the "mythical" traditional pre Wild yr's PCT thru-hiker of which more than 95 % were NOBOers and many, I'd say MOST, anecdotally, were not attempting their first LD hikes. Many more PCT thru-hikers pre 2012 or so were, as a % of the total, experienced LD hikers. Different crowd mix attempting PCT thrus than 5-6 or so yrs ago.

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    My point: Gear weight has dropped over the years. 20 years ago pack weights were higher. People surveyed.
    A 10 pound load might be nice for some folks. Not required.
    Wayne


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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    A 10 pound load might be nice for some folks. Not required.
    Wayne


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    Would you like the newbies to be heckled? ridiculed? the other newbies to make fun of them?
    If your gonna hang with the cool kids, you got to have the latest clothes.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  19. #19

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    From the Survey:

    More of this class’s favorite gear items were:

    ULA circuit

    LEAST LIKED BACKPACKS: Osprey Atmos AG 65, ULA Circuit

    Some "circuitous" reasoning above.

    But really, people like/don't like those packs because a ton of people use them and it's somewhat divided (same with the zpacks ones), and people don't like EE rev if it's used in too cold of temps without proper gear, or if it's damp

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Would you like the newbies to be heckled? ridiculed? the other newbies to make fun of them?
    If your gonna hang with the cool kids, you got to have the latest clothes.
    I didn't hang with the cool kids. Why start now?
    Wayne


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