Sunday, February 17, 2008

Using a waist or lumbar pack

Recently, waist packs were discussed in the hiking blog sphere. I added a comment but decided to post since this topic continues the theme of needing to reduce my daypack weight which I posted last week.

I bought a small waist pack several years ago mostly as an easier way to carry my small camera and binoculars while walking along a beach or at viewpoints while traveling. It is also a convenient way to stow the camera and (now) monocular in the car, I can hook the waist strap over a seat and always know where they are and that they won't be thrown around after a hard stop. After a bit I added a bottle holder and use it a lot for hikes of approximately 1 hour where I plan to be near others or roads. A few years ago, I had an injury which made wearing a regular pack painful. So I bought a lumbar pack to use temporarily. I don't know the capacity but I can carry a sweater, lunch, camera, and monocular and a few other items although it isn't very comfortable with much weight or bulk. It has 2 side pockets for quart water bottles. I like to use it for 1/2 day hikes in warm weather when I'm not going far into the backcountry and don't expect much weather change.

I'm aware of some cognitive dissonance in my thinking; I load my daypack with emergency and survival items and then don't use it because it is too heavy. Also I've gone longer and to more remote locations than I had planned when using either of the waist packs. I do have some emergency stuff in both waist packs, a short vinyl poncho, matches, a pinch light, a small first aid kit, and a power bar with some extras in the larger lumbar pack. I find myself adding to the lumbar pack more items - I may fill that up with emergency stuff also!

I am rethinking what I need to carry in an emergency and how much weight and bulk I can cope with in a pack. Some of the same trade offs I've made with the waist packs should help me with the the daypack.


At 9/7/08 17:03, Blogger mossymom said...

This is why I like mesh pockets with elastic tops on the side of my day packs. I modified my overnight pack by adding two more mesh pockets.

I usually keep my GPS in one pocket and a water bottle in the other. I wear my camera around my neck unless I have to do lots of climbing over and under fallen trees.


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