Mar 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm #1314076
Imagine a pack without any main compartment, just many smaller compartments attached to a framesheet. You'll say its weight-inefficient due to extra fabric, but you don't use any stuffsacks, dittysacks, bearhang sacks, first aid/repair bag, stove bag. All of those various bags get attached to a framesheet.
The sum of all of those little bags (most of us carry a few at least, even if its a ziploc) plus the harness they go on, is the weight of the bag. Nothing is "inside" your pack. It's modular: not bringing your stove? Don't attach the stove compartment. You save the weight of the Cubic inches that stove takes up too.
I'm just spitballing. This would probably be 100% MYOG, custom size pouch for each personal item. But it could incorporate a few purchased drybags, one for quilt, one for clothes, etc.
You'd probably want to add an empty bag (on-trail water grabs, resupply, worn clothes).
I think water in something like the Nalgene canteens fastened directly to the framesheet would carry very well, close to your spine and vertical.
What got me thinking this direction (very related but separate concept)
I recently hacked up an old camelbak into a minimal harness. The concept is to attach drybags for as a quick modular day-pack. The harness is 6oz so a bit heavy for this concept, but it carries well enough with a 20L bag/10lb test load (jacket, pants, lunch and 3L water, upper limit for sure).
Inherently waterproof. Rolltop closure bag clips into the top of the harness (supports all weight right at base of spine onto shoulders). Then I used the sternum strap to wrap around the bottom of the drybag (compression/stops swaying). I'd compare it to the Gossamer Gear Riksak in function (though 2x the weight), but likely way more comfortable in the 3-10lb range. Again, its a concept (hacked up camelbak) that I'd like to make from scratch closer to 3oz.Mar 5, 2014 at 9:08 pm #2079955
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
The closet I've heard of is the Luxerylite packs. Not my cup of tea but an interesting idea.Mar 5, 2014 at 11:28 pm #2079991
If you make this, your biggest problem is going to be creating an even load distribution and keeping the weight stable as the pack gets bounced around. A bunch of bags swinging from carabiners is going to make for a very uncomfortable hike compared to a pack with compression straps.Mar 6, 2014 at 3:26 am #2080010
Who said anything about carabiners?
But I agree its a problem that needs thought. Things would attach more positively than one point. Think a grid of horizontal straps on frame and vertical loops on bags. That, and maybe a dash of Velcro.
How do you get even distribution now? You get close and it works out. Remember, if it isn't right you can rearrange items, nothing needs to have a fixed location. You do this now with any bag.Mar 6, 2014 at 5:21 am #2080019
I have been pondering this for about two years now and have seen a few people that have tried it pretty successfully on the net, but I have yet to see a manufacturer ( other than Luxurylite) make one.
Here is a lady with similar idea…..http://www.trailquest.net/BRpackless.html
I have also looked at several types of harnesses such as the old German Army Harness for ideas such as this…..
It is a viable idea that if looked into and manufactured correctly would have a huge market. Lets face it, who likes digging into thier backpack for anything?
Maybe i'll re-visit this idea and start working on it again.
ernie the eyeballMar 6, 2014 at 6:20 am #2080027
@lunchandynnerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Couldn't you make a dry bag hauler with a frame sheet/stays and a more substantial compression system? Instead of loading in one large dry bag, you can stack in several Smalley ones as needed. Like, one for sleeping bag at bottom, then a bear canister with food on top of that, then shelter, then clothes, etc. Or use one big one when no bear canister is needed, etc.
Kind of like this but with many more compression straps along the side:
Also have the compression straps on side release buckles so you can undo whichever one you need and slide out a bad in the center/bottom, etc.
I was actually thinking about exactly that the other day. After making my first pack, I'm going to start making one for my fiance and brainstorming for my second pack.Mar 6, 2014 at 7:31 am #2080044
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
I don't have time to look it up, but Mac (from hammockforums.net) makes the mollymacpack. Heavier, but the concept is there.Mar 6, 2014 at 7:51 am #2080048
Wow. That is definitely a similar concept! Much more bomber than I imagined it (he is strapping up multiple axes, something most of us don't consider normal use)Mar 6, 2014 at 7:58 am #2080049
@flriderLocale: The Southeast
As with any pack, this has its good points and its bad ones. I made a DIY Molly Mac Pack a ways back, which is similar to your idea.
It's good for adjusting the load size to the trip; no worries about minimum or maximum capacity. It also allows me to dual-use my straps as tree straps (but, if you don't use an hammock, that's a wash). It also requires me to have everything when I leave camp (since I can see if something is missing).
However, it isn't anywhere near as convenient to pack/unpack as a conventional pack. I've gotten my gear to the point where there's little variation in loadouts between trips (more or less clothing, insulation, food, or water, and not an whole heckofalot else), which means that moving over to a single-bag solution is probably in my near future. (I'll retain the current pack for heavyweight trips of just a few miles, or if I bring along an hiking partner who doesn't have their own gear and needs help carrying.) The weight savings over my current pack will be moderate (if I save 8 oz, I'll be happy, given the type of pack I'm likely to build), but the time savings will be wonderful.
On my Foothills Trail thru last October, I could've saved ~15 minutes to ~20 minutes of time each morning and the same each evening, working out to an extra 1 to 2 miles of actual travel per day, if I'd gone with a single-bag solution. That doesn't sound like much, but it could also be an extra 40 to 60 minutes in the morning for "coffee" to wake up or a slightly slower pace on-trail, which might've helped with my knees.
So, yes, your idea can work. Just be aware of the potential drawbacks to it; weight and complexity are the main ones.
Hope it helps!Mar 6, 2014 at 8:10 am #2080051
Yeah- that's the idea, your first paragraph is the idea I described, written another way. I might need to draw some sketches, or even mock one up, tough to paint a picture with a few paragraphs.
I'm thinking about a pair of huge daisy-chain loops, relax the loops, slide in the gear bag, tighten the loop. You only take your tent/pad/bag out once/day usually so those get looped up in a set.
Smaller bags (gallon ziploc size) for ditty/firstaid/etc (not sure what ditty is, but I know WHAT it is, you know?) would attach via another method, say a substantial amount of velcro surface area.
I like the zimmerbuilt drybag hauler for a trip with guaranteed submersion. The intended use of my smaller drybag hauler is in and out of a canoe all day, with exploring gear: map/compass/survival/gps/camera/lunch securely on your person. Land the boat, take a walk around, summit a rise to get a better lookaround, get back in the boat and always have your critical things.
(I know they're two separate ideas, but it is the same concept at two different scales/capacities)Mar 6, 2014 at 8:23 am #2080057
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I've experimented with this a lot. I started off with a bunch of separate bags but eventually ended up with only 3 separately attached bags.
(1) Tent/camp bag that quickly detaches from the pack when I get to camp and want to set things up.
(2) Things I need on the trail (front bag) always available for convenience.
(3) Conventional large back bag for everything else.
When I carry bear spray and a monocular I buckle them on the outside too…. for quick access.Mar 6, 2014 at 8:24 am #2080058
Thanks for the actual experience, that's great! I'm curious how it actually takes substantially longer, just getting everything fastened in? Hell, if you could get it dialed in you could pack into the bag without disassembling.
I wonder if time was saved throughout the day not rooting around the pack (this can be minimized but sometimes you want that sweater you didn't think to keep handy)
A lot of things already get stuffed into a sack. So that time is a wash, the fastening those sacks (or pouring them into a packbag) is the variable. I think that's where the key lies anyway, it's easy to overdo that and make a frame/harness/strap system that is heavier than one with just an actual bag!Mar 6, 2014 at 8:52 am #2080065
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
I was thinking of the exact same thing about a year ago! I guess my thoughts were more about myog-ing a custom foam pad that folds up and "becomes the pack frame".
A foam pad, wrapped around a bunch of waterproof gear bags, with reinforced locations for shoulder straps and a hip belt to both weave through and compress the whole "burrito". Made with some webbing and netting on the sides to keep things from slipping out.
I just know that I am usually not carrying a backpack while sleeping, so I figured the foam pad would become the full pack frame and "bag", so to speak.
MattMar 6, 2014 at 9:17 am #2080079
Daryl and Matt,
two additional thoughts, thanks! I like the interest this is getting and the additional ideas. We're all coming at this from a different idea/history etc which gives it some depth.
I'll have to get making on this, or drawing sketches at leastMar 6, 2014 at 9:37 am #2080086
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
Many people who took "jaunts" over in the mountains of Afghanistan use a modular pack…
Rather heavy, but that is the MOLLE pack idea.
If you'd rather not have an all-expense paid trip to Afghanistan, you can hit up many surplus stores for this modular, if rather heavy, pack.Mar 6, 2014 at 9:53 am #2080094
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
I think you'd have a hard time making it as light as a comparabley capable traditional pack, due to the need for whatever attachment method you use to be reinforced. Smaller area of stitching requires heavier stitching which requires heavier fabric to not rip out. Then there is the issue of having to use heavier drybags (or what not) for durability because they're exposed.
Every drybag hauler and modular pack system I've used just reminds of the utility of a simple bag of whatever size is required.Mar 6, 2014 at 10:15 am #2080103
heres my modular concept which i am still working on. it is a modified flash 45 turned into a drybag cradle. my goal was to create a pack that i could carry different sized loads in depending on length of trip. it is holding a 35L S2S dry bag in the picture, and could carry more for sure.Mar 6, 2014 at 10:38 am #2080119
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
You're almost describing a Moonbow Gearskin.Mar 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm #2080157
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
Yeah, I guess I am…
Except for the actual Gearskin portion of the pack. Seems redundant if I can simply create a modded Ridgerest with reinforced slits where I can slip through the shoulder harness and hip belt. So the Ridgerest only provides the containment, but the harness actually provides the needed pressure to keep the various objects within the Ridgerest "container".Mar 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm #2080203
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Watch the Mystery Ranch "Nice Frame" videos on Vimeo. The system is heavy as hell but the modularity gets major kudos. Not exactly what the O.P. is asking about but gets the creative juices flowing along the same vein.Mar 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm #2080288
http://vimeo.com/80911468 Cool. "for people who are dropping their packs out of humvees or helecopters…" clearly! I like it a lot though, for what it is, it just ain't worth much short of helecopter drops. That, and it would carry half an Elk like a dream I bet (ok, 1/4 elk).Mar 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm #2080377
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
In theory it sounds good. But as Dave pointed out, it would be hard to actually save weight.
After a while you would probably find the "fiddle factor" would make you inefficient in packing as someone also pointed out.
The old external packs (3/4 bag) required a separate stuff sack for the sleeping bag (like my Kelty D4). Some full bags had a separate zippered compartment for the sleeping bag at the bottom(early Kelty Serac) and some had a zipper above the sleeping bag compartment to turn the zippered compartment into a full bag (Kelty Serac Expedition). All had external side pockets. My D4 and Serac have 4 pockets, the Serac Expedition has 6. The bottom two are good for water bottles. Both Seracs have a front flap pocket. To be honest, the extra pockets didn't do much to organize things and just took extra time instead of just throwing everything into the main bag. How much stuff do you need during the day? Usually some food, a map, and your compass.
How many Ziploc and ditty bags to you need? My stove kit is in a cuben sack. My FAk in a Ziploc. Another Ziploc for all other small items — none of which I need during the day, except for water purification tablets. In the morning I place the amount of tablets I need in a clothing pocket. Food in a cuben sack. That's it. I pack the backpack in layers as I need them. FAK at the bottom — I never need it. Then sleeping bag and groundsheet, air mattress if used, shelter/stakes. Then rain gear — if a chance of rain it goes on top. Next goes stove and food except snacks. Snacks on the very top in a Ziploc. Then insulation layers. That's it. Water bottles on the outside. During the day the only time I open my pack is to get snacks, which are at the very top. Compass and map are usually in my pants or shirt pocket. If I take a camera it is in my pants or shirt pocket too.
When I pack up in the morning, there isn't a lot of fiddling. Just stuff everything in order in the bag. Easier to stuff and fill voids on one big bag than a bunch of little ones with odd shapes.
I guess you will have to try it to see if it works for you.Mar 6, 2014 at 9:54 pm #2080420
>How many Ziploc and ditty bags to you need?
The paragraph following this sentence could have been written by me. Those are the bags I'd attach to the outside. I think that's my list (though ziplocs not cuben)
I don't even think there's a problem to solve here, I'm just considering a possible approach to the pack. The goal would be instead of pulling out one of those bags, then opening it up, you could just open it up right on the pack. Take the item out and close it back up. I admit it is pretty trivial most of the time.
If that could be done with neutral weight, or even a handful of ounces, that would be worth looking at.
Times when you don't take as much you don't need to compress down empty pack fabric. Everything is frame-out, not bag-in.
Its not even so much about rooting into the pack for the small stuff. Those go in bags, then in an outside mesh pocket anyway. Stove/fuel fits in mug, fits in quart ziploc, rides with my food in the bearbag usually up top. Hip pockets hold things I need while moving. It works ok.
I heavy-hauled a kelty internal bag for years, and grew up with an external. The ultralight pack with just one big compartment and a mesh sleeve or two, is new to me. The various external closed pockets let me get to stuff behind one zipper. I used less or no 'ditty' sacks then, even with lots of other gadgets I laugh at now, because the pack had them built in. I guess I'm circling back around to missing that (though not 5-6lb empty).
In a perfect world a pack would have that immediacy and still be light, I realize that's not trivial.
I get the weight critique from all the extra attachment, that's the major hurdle anyway. But I think that having no main compartment fabric could mostly offset that. Again, really just spitballing and do like to see a lot of others' thoughts on this come out to play!Mar 6, 2014 at 10:02 pm #2080422
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
IMO and experience, things hanging out in the open are subject to shrubs, branches, tree limbs, boulders, cacti, and all sorts of mean nasty stuff just waiting to grab your gear and rip it apart.Mar 7, 2014 at 3:55 am #2080448
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I believe this is a good idea from an organizational point of view. Steal a thought from LuxuryLite and make some front opening pouches. This will make stuff a little easier to get at.
But a rough weight calculation is likely in oder before you do anything.
I have seen some fairly good frames at about 6oz. With strapping for mounts this will add another couple ounces so figure about 8oz.
Each section will need a seperate bag. Roughly 3-4oz each for four bags, or, about 16oz.
Some easy grab pockets would also be needed, for drinks, snacks, etc., maybe 2oz.
So, the general weight is already looking like it is about 26oz if you keep things ultra-light. I consider 16oz about the max for a pack. Example: Gossamer Gear offers three in this range: Murmur(10.5oz), Kumo(15oz) and Gorilla (~15oz plus hip belt or 22oz)
Soo the weight penalty for a modular pack would only be about 4-5oz. Not real bad for the convenience of multiple bags. You would need to design these to be individualy removable. Example: food bag doubles as bear bag so some sort of attachment is needed for waterproofing and clipping to a line.
I usually carry three bags anyway. One larger compression/dry bag for my bag/sleeping cloths. (A real usefull addition as I found out on the NPT in 12 days of rain.) Another dry bag for my food. (It is necessary to keep stuff dry to avoid having a zillion ziplocks, just a few for bulk carries.) And one small ditty bag/rock sack for odds & ends, and, to set my bear bag. The fourth bag I mentioned would hold kitchen gear and tarp(stove, fuel, pots, lid, windscreen, spoon, tarp & stakes)
Like Nick was saying, it would all need to be rather firmly mounted, and free of snags.
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