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Rucksack Advice

My rucksack is just about to die. The straps are parting company with the sack. It may have been purchased from somewhere like a Aldi/Lidl/Netto, can’t remember exactly. It’s about two years old, and suffered massive abuse with a lot of weigh, so I’m not complaining.

Maybe something around the 20 Litre mark?

Your ideas or recommendations would be much appreciated.

TIA Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Use johns G1STQ and let him carry all the weight for you hi best 73 Dave M3XIE

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hello,

I’m looking for something to replace my rucksack as well.
I’ve been looking around and have some conclusions:

  • check the necessary volume first. It depends on your rig, battery, cables and cloths you plan to pack on it. As for me something starting in 30 L is the minimum (I have FT-817 + Tuner + Wires + Batt + Coat, water & sandwich…)

  • There are casual rucksacks or mountain type. The Mountain ones are more expensive but they add some usefull features, some straps to hang your Fishpole (if you use that), the Stick, etc outside the rucksack. I find Altus Dolomites 30 a good option under a balance price.
    In addition, these mountaineering rucksacks have a better back side, to facilitate ventilation, specially recommended when climbing and sweating (important when you plan to sit for a while, activate the summit and avoid to get a cold there…)

  • Some external pockets can be a plus to have water at hand or to put small things (gloves,GPS,Mobile phone…) when you need them.

Let us know what you find. Good luck! 73
Ignacio EA2BD

In reply to EA2BD:

I’m looking for something to replace my rucksack as well.
I’ve been looking around and have some conclusions:

  • check the necessary volume first. It depends on your rig, battery,
    cables and cloths you plan to pack on it. As for me something starting
    in 30 L is the minimum (I have FT-817 + Tuner + Wires + Batt + Coat,
    water & sandwich…)
  • Some external pockets can be a plus to have water at hand or to put
    small things (gloves,GPS,Mobile phone…) when you need them.

Let us know what you find. Good luck! 73

Hi Ignacio.

I carry quite a lot of equipment, FT-857, plus 20Ah SLAB, so maybe I should be looking more towards a 40 Litre pack.

Thanks for you help.
73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to M3XIE-1:

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Use johns G1STQ and let him carry all the weight for you hi best 73
Dave M3XIE

Hi Dave,

He’s usually far too preoccupied with getting us lost, so I don’t think that is a very good idea :wink:

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Having seen all the rubbish you carry to a summit, I would suggest a 40 - 45l sack. I use Karrimor, whilst not the cheapest are very well made & durable. You could do a lot worse than waiting for Aldi or similar to restock them.

In reply to G1INK:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Having seen all the rubbish you carry to a summit, I would suggest a
40 - 45l sack. I use Karrimor, whilst not the cheapest are very well
made & durable. You could do a lot worse than waiting for Aldi or
similar to restock them.

LOL.

Thinking about it Steve, I should have thought about this during the January sales.

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

20 litres is only suitable for lightweight summer activations!

I suggest that you think of going the other way. Look at an extensible climbers rucsac. Mine is an inexpensive Gelert 65L. This has a lower compartment seperated from the upper compartment by a zipped partition, and an extension to the upper compartment with a cord and toggle closure. It has a padded inside pocket against your back which will take an FT857, two zipped pockets on the “lid” for maps, notebooks etc, two side pockets plus side net pockets, fixings for ice axes, crampons and poles, and a waterproof hood that folds out of a pocket and protects the whole sack. Now you would be forgiven for thinking that this is overkill, but with the internal zip opened a two metre beam goes inside nicely and the pole is held in place by the crampon fixing. If the summit is very cold you can empty the rucsac, open the inside zip, pull out the extension, and pull the whole thing over your legs for warmth. All this for a few extra ounces!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G1INK:

I was surprised by the 20L comment. That’s not terribly big at all.

Karrimor make some damn fine bags and as the brand doesn’t quite have the kudos that the premium brands have, their prices are lower.

In reply to EA2BD:

Ignacio, I spent ages looking for a new bag in 2009. I wanted a bag with a frame so there was a good air gap between the bag and my back. The problem with these is that they are not a good internal shape for large hard objects like radios. I spent some time looking till I found a Deuter Futura Pro 38. This is 38L capacity, but due to the strange shape the space is hard to use. This is only just big enough for Winter walking when you have to take more clothing etc. Compared to the 25 year old bag it replaced it is a massive improvement. The waist belt and move independantly of the bag, the straps have more padding, the chest strap helps locate the bag securely, it can be configured as one large bag with 2 access points or 2 separate compartments, side pockets and straps are great for attaching fishing poles etc. It has useful side pockets, places to attach walking poles or an ice axe, a hydration pocket etc. It seems to be well made and strong and is available all of Europe. It wasn’t cheap but it I use it nearly every weekend and it has been on over 100 activations with me and shows hardly any wear.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

20 litres is only suitable for lightweight summer activations!

Having spent some time trawling the Internet, you are quiet right, I have seriously underestimated what I need.

I suggest that you think of going the other way. Look at an extensible
climbers rucsac. Mine is an inexpensive Gelert 65L. This has a lower
compartment seperated from the upper compartment by a zipped
partition, and an extension to the upper compartment with a cord and
toggle closure. It has a padded inside pocket against your back which
will take an FT857, two zipped pockets on the “lid” for
maps, notebooks etc, two side pockets plus side net pockets, fixings
for ice axes, crampons and poles, and a waterproof hood that folds out
of a pocket and protects the whole sack. Now you would be forgiven for
thinking that this is overkill, but with the internal zip opened a two
metre beam goes inside nicely and the pole is held in place by the
crampon fixing. If the summit is very cold you can empty the rucsac,
open the inside zip, pull out the extension, and pull the whole thing
over your legs for warmth. All this for a few extra ounces!

Thanks for some good advice, Brian. Having got very cold on G/SP-004 this week, your idea of using the rucksack as a type of leg warmer, makes excellent sense to me.

73 Mike
2E0YYY

I had previously used a Berghaus Freeflow 35(+15) litre rucksacks, which was good. When I was out shopping for a new one last year, I stumbled across a Vango Contour 60(+10) pack that appeared to be tailor-made for the SOTA activator. Plenty of pockets/compartments, and a drawstring system by which the main compartment could be one large, or 2/3 sections, still with one big one. Down the sides are loops and base pockets perfect for poles and antennas.

The good thing about proper rucksacks, is that the large ones can still be packed down fairly small if used sections are compressed. So this is the pack I use for all outings, from Tuesday night summer contest activations (radio kit, coat, drink) to a multiband backpacking overnighter (NW-012 August 2011).

I seem to recall it was very reasonable - significantly cheaper than the “main brand” rucksacks, but with the best set of features for me and my activating. I am pleased with mine.

And by the way, never mind using a rucksack as leg warmers. Get yourself a 4 man bothy bag - it’s like having an instantly available indoor waterproof heated shack on the hill!

Tom M1EYP

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Thanks for some good advice, Brian. Having got very cold on G/SP-004
this week, your idea of using the rucksack as a type of leg warmer,
makes excellent sense to me.

I think the idea originated with Joe Brown and Don Whillans during their early trips to the Alps! Tom’s idea has much merit, too, but the extensible rucsac plus a cagoule and a foam pad to sit on is an emergency resource that will always be with you if needed - find a spot sheltered from the wind, use them as they stand or additionally inside a bothy bag, and you can wait out an unexpected blizzard and emerge in good shape.

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
You don’t need a rucksack Mick.

For the amount of equipment you insist on taking you need either a more motivated donkey - as your current one is getting a little bit lazy - or a golf cart.

Hi Dave,

He’s usually far too preoccupied with getting us lost, so I don’t think that is a very good idea :wink:

… Lost? Me? Never lost Mick. I might not be where YOU want us to be, but never lost. (learnt lesson…have map…will look at it a few times too)

In reply to G8ADD:

Still using a Whillans rucksac which, with the Joe Brown and the OB, was the favoured sac of our RAF MRT in the 60’s and 70’s. Liked the JB as the karrimat could be inserted in the back of the sac which when rolled up and strapped gave airflow to the back of the carrier.

In reply to G6DDQ:

I’m sure Mike will be pleased to know where he can get one of these bags if they last over 40 years.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply:

That Whillans rucksack, would I be right in saying that’s an old school Karrimor?, from back in the day when Karrimor were up there with the best, those bags have a reputation as being pretty bombproof I even think there might have been a version with a pull out bivvy bag or something.

Anyway after Karrimor got bought out in the mid nineties the guy who designed those rucksacks eventually started up a company making rucksacks - OMM - and if they fit you ('cos they only do one size) they are brilliant bags but they’re not the cheapest, though I don’t see many second hand ones come up which tells me something.

That said there is a whole load of choice out there, the best recommendation would be to pop along to a gear shop or two and try some on with the sort of weight you’d be carrying, good shops will have a pile of stuffsacks or similar to put in a bag to help you get a feel for what it’s like loaded up.

Iain, MM3WJZ

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike

Like Tom used to, I use the Berghaus Freeflow 35+10 Litre! It has served me well for 2.5 years now and is ideal for mounting my aluminium groundspike and fishing pole (Not a SOTA Pole, we all know it is a fishing pole/Roach Pole) plus the plethora of pockets for RF gear and of course additional layers seems to work well. Biggest gripe the straps on the waist band are too small in terms of surface area but fine in terms of the dimesions for a gentleman of a larger nature.

I very much think that like Tom I will inevitably upgrade at some point, big is good as you can always pack more if needed (Crampons etc for an icy trek up Tor) so I would recommend a 45 - 60 litre bag myself! But others will argue that other sizes are better.

Best thing you can do is not buy online and instead take all your kit to a store and try things out!

73

Matt G8XYJ

In reply to 2E0YYY:
http://www.rugzak.nl/rugzak-modellen-hiking.php?model=103

This is for me perfect for sota en outdoor activations.

The LOWA AIRZONE 25.

73s Bart ON3FMB

In reply to 2E0YYY:
I’m delighted with my Vango Sherpa Purple 60+10 Rucksack. I was lucky to get it in the sales for £35 at Go Outdoors. I think it’s a well thought out design and carries poles well on the outside sides.

I wish I could get a repair buckle for the waist band as I broke one of the tines on its first trip out [Hutton Roof crags]. I couldn’t see the alignment of the two buckle halves beneath my beer belly and < snap >. I’ve managed with one tine ever since!

73
David

In reply to M0YDH:
Hi David.

If you don’t mind a bit of sewing and the strap is webbing, you could try finding a cheap webbing dog collar with this type of clip.

Failing that, try e-mailing the manufacturers. Some can be most helpful.

73

Liz.