So this weekend was the ARRL VHF/UHF/Microwave contest, one of my favorite contests and a good chance to work on a SOTA microwave award.
The plan was to hike up W2/GC-055, a short hike, and contest from there. I packed a ton of stuff, IC-905, aluminum mast, beams for 2m-5.7Ghz and HTs for 33cm and 1.25m. Its a short 1 mile hike so I figured what the heck!
Unfortunately I was delayed, the weather became a bit intense and I found myself going up in about 10-15F with a driving wind late in the afternoon…but I had plenty of cold weather gear so I pressed on.
What I was not prepared for was my 15 year old Osprey backpack (Kestrel 48) failing. The left shoulder strap ripped off of the bag when I was 3/4 of the way up, and being that the weather was so intense and it was about sunset I decided to turn around and scrap the operation rather than haul all my heavy gear down on one strap at night in cold/snowy/icy conditions. I have never had a pack fail before.
So instead of W2/GC-055 I ran a bit of the contest from the drive up summit W2/NJ-009 today in slightly warmer weather.
But the thought occurred to me, what would have happened had the bag split and the contents spilled out onto the ground? What would have happened had this not been a 1 mile hike but rather a 7 mile hike with a million little ham doodads spread over the ground around a split pack? Even if one didn’t have a million little things go everywhere, its not always possible to carry lots of stuff by hand for miles in the event of a failure, especially on tough terrain.
Do people have any ideas for planning for backpack failures? I can’t be the only person who this has happened to?
Are people carrying sewing kits suitable to fix backpacks or is this something so rare its not worth thinking about?
How much life are people getting from their backpacks?
BTW Osprey apparently has a lifetime guarantee so lets see if they fix/replace the pack now.