Jul 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm #1276539
I've been using my murmur and ray way packs without hipbelt at all and after a full day of hiking, I noticed my shoulder started hurting at the end of the day. I was carrying less than 10 pounds total. What's the best way to condition my shoulders for it?Jul 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm #1757854
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Change the pack to fit your needs.
Get a needle and dental floss and sew on your own hip-belt. It should take less than 15 minutes.Jul 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm #1757855
Get a different pack to use just for daily training. Load it up so that it weighs about 30-40 pounds. Use full water jugs, bags of sand, or anything. Carry it around the block once per day for a couple of days. Then make two trips around the block every day. Then three or four trips. By the time you get ready for your real trip, the Murmur with ten pounds will feel like a feather.
–B.G.–Jul 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm #1757856
The Murmur already has a webbing-only hipbelt. Wrap those with your spare socks to make padding for your hips. You can do the same thing on the shoulder straps, but it gets trickier to attach.
–B.G.–Jul 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm #1757864
I would like to go on without a hipbelt. And I know I'll be able to get it done.Jul 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm #1757865
Bob, I appreciate that idea. I'll use a random backpack I have and just fill it with 20-30 pounds and just wear it everywhere. I'm planning on using my Ray Way pack for the jmt this august/sept.Jul 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm #1757867
On the JMT, your load will probably be significantly more than 10 pounds.
–B.G.–Jul 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm #1757924
Piper S.BPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
My pack has a hip belt but that doesn't mean that it actually carries any of the weight. I have noticed sometimes if I undo the waist belt that there's no difference in how the pack feels on my shoulders. What the belt seems to do is keep the pack from shifting and keeps it resting on the part of my back where it's curving out to become my butt. All this is to say, perhaps, if you have a butt, you can adjust the shoulder straps so the pack-weight rests on your butt, thus relieving pressure when your shoulders get tired.Jul 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm #1757928
If you are carrying your backpack as part of a balance sport such as cross-country skiing or rock climbing, then you learn to adjust the backpack to put most of the weight on your shoulders and very little at the waist. The waist belt needs to be fastened, and this provides a lot of stability to the pack load. So, for ski season I carry the backpack with at least three-quarters of the weight on my shoulders.
However, if you are backpacking on a dry trail, you don't necessarily need all that much balance, so the waist belt isn't so important for balance. Still, it is nice to have the ability to "drop the weight down" on your hips for a while to relieve sore shoulders. For summer season, I have much less weight than in winter. For summer season, I carry it with about half on the shoulders and half on my hips.
–B.G.–Jul 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm #1757949
Konrad .BPL Member
John, do you have access to a gym? It's never a bad idea to work out your shoulders with machines that specifically target those muscles. Otherwise, I agree with Bob. Train using a normal pack (with a sturdy hipbelt) and load it with gallons of water. Go out on weekend hikes if you can. My old heavy gregory pack is dedicated to training purposes only now, and supports 40-50lbs as comfortably as I can hope for. Nice thing about water is you can drink it or dump it out once you hit the summit, and save yourself from knee pains on the descent. I've heard good results from people who carried heavy packs while walking on sand, or on a treadmill, or on staircases. I always found it weird (self conscious) to walk around with a pack anywhere but in the woods, so I did most of my pack training on weekend hikes, and just used machines, treadmills, and stair-masters for non-pack training during the week. Of course this was mainly for my leg muscles as well.
Also, have you factored in the weight of food for the JMT? I'd imagine your pack will weight at least 20 lbs at one point (MTR to Whitney Portal) unless you plan on doing tons of resupplies. I will be doing the JMT in september, but with the bear can, and food weight, I never even considered a hipbelt-less pack. Actually, I didn't even consider a frameless pack. I have a bit of group gear (carrying the majority of gear and food for 2) so I'm likely taking a ULA catalyst. If you can keep your overall weight that low, awesome…that's pretty rad, and I'm curious to know what your gear-list looks like. Good luck!Jul 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm #1757957
I was just saying that even at a 10 pound weight, that my shoulders were sore the day after a backpacking trip. I understand that I will have a lot more weight due to food and the canister. I guess it was just reading Ray Jardine's book and his ability to complete the pct without a hipbelt really inspired me to do the same.
This is my gear list that's still in rough draft form.
I'm going with two others, so I would be taking care of the shelter, one would carry the bear vault (not necessarily all the food), and the other, the kitchen, and if need be, a smaller bearvault.Jul 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm #1757959
here it is with the ray way inspired pack
http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=3472Jul 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm #1757965
Which grizzly bear country are you headed to?
–B.G.–Jul 10, 2011 at 11:39 pm #1757967
are you asking about the bear spray? Thought it would be helpful just incase. That can be nixed.Jul 11, 2011 at 12:19 am #1757972
So, you are not going into grizzly bear territory?
If it is black bear territory, then you don't need it. If it is non-bear territory, then you shouldn't even be thinking about it.
I think the product marketing manager for Counter Assault has been doing a good job with REI and the other retailers, because that stuff is all over the place, just in case.
–B.G.–Jul 11, 2011 at 12:21 am #1757974
gotcha. Thanks. that'll save A LOT of weight.Jul 11, 2011 at 12:29 am #1757976
I own bear spray plus a bear flare. In Alaska, they recommend flares over spray. In Yellowstone, they hate flares due to risk of wildfires. Last month, I was in Yellowstone (and this was before the recent fatal human mauling by a grizzly). I did one solo hike, and the spray was handy in the left side water bottle pouch of my lumbar pack.
I would never even dream of carrying bear spray where there are only black bears. They are about as deadly as a wild dog, only a little larger.
Save the bear spray for someplace where you might really need it.
–B.G.–Jul 11, 2011 at 12:34 am #1757977
I heard about that actually this morning.
As for bear flares, never heard of em. I'll educate myself on them soon.
As for the original topic, I still plan on using my ray way style pack without the hipbelt. It's quite spacious as well.
In the meantime, I'll do some trap workouts and carry heavy loads on my dayhikes.Jul 11, 2011 at 12:52 am #1757980
In Alaska, things tend to be kind of wet, so there isn't so much risk of wildfire. Also for Alaska, you tend to fly up there by air and travel around by air. You cannot take bear spray or flares by air to Alaska, so if you intend to use either one in Alaska, you'll have to buy there. The bush planes in Alaska are not pressurized. So, imagine that you are flying out and the bear spray dispenser is activated by change in pressure. That toxic stuff would fill the cabin, the pilot would likely be incapacitated, and the plane would likely go down. So, in lots of places there, they don't allow bear spray. But, since they are not so worried about wildfire, the idea of a bear flare is OK.
This is a handheld marine flare with a pull ring. It looks somewhat like an ordinary highway safety flare, except that it ignites by the pull ring in the handle end, and it only burns for 60 seconds. It is just the thing that you would want if you were out on the water in a disabled boat and you think you see help approaching in the distance. Well, when hiking alone in grizzly country, you can ignite one of those pretty quickly and wave it at the animal. They don't like the bright light or the smoke, so they tend to go the other way. In serious grizzly country, the guides carry two flares, and sometimes they get the pull ring out and ready to pop, but they seldom have to actually ignite it. In Alaska, a number of stores stock bear flares, especially as you get close to bear country, e.g. the Kenai Peninsula.
The label on mine: C*I*L /Orion. Handheld white flare. Made in Italy.
In the Lower 48, stores never stock them unless they are marine/yacht/boating stores.
The good news is that a bear flare is much lighter than bear spray. It is a little more for close quarters combat, though.
Black bears are way too cuddly to use either on 'em.
Edit/Correction: I just weighed. The flare is 9 oz., and the spray is 11.5 oz.
–B.G.–Jul 11, 2011 at 8:17 am #1758028
NMJul 12, 2011 at 6:09 am #1758393
Mike MBPL Member
curious have you tried the murmur w/ the hipbelt? are your shoulders still sore w/ 10#'s?
I have an Ion that has a "hip belt", I hesitate to even call it a hipbelt- it's a simple 1" nylon strap, I use it, but am convinced it does nothing in the way of weight transfer (like a traditional backpacking belt would do)- I simply use it to keep the pack from moving about
my 3-4 day trips the pack starts off @ ~ 15# and has never been uncomfortable
it does have a sternum strap and that is useful for getting the shoulder straps orientated where they need to beJul 12, 2011 at 8:58 am #1758433
I do use the murmur, and have used it with and without the hipbelt. It truly doesn't make a huge difference. The hipbelt feels lik it does transfer some weigiht, but it really is just there for stablizing.
It's not during the trip that makes my shoulders sore. It's AFTER the trip.
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