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Re: [at-l] External frame packs

This is what I did - might not work for some - may not work yet for me:

I got the Camp Trails Adjustable II (last years model, around $60 - not a bad
price. It only weighed 4-2, and by trimming off excess straps and a few mods, it
now weighs 3-14.

The few mods: I removed the back map pocket and used the materiel to sew on a map
pocket just behind my back that I can get a map out of without taking my pack
off. I sewed in (breaking LOTS of needles in the process) a "purse" (with a
zipper) inside the main hold for car keys and my ziplock wallet. I removed
crampon and ice axe nonsense (nonsense for the non-winter AT, that is, not for
Western trails) and ALL lash points and added a no-see-um mesh elastic-closing
pocket where I could reach it without de-packing for candy bar wrappers and to
stash my gloves when not wanted. Finally some elastic on the top to hold on my
sleeping pad. Oh, yes, and the ATC patch.

Problems: after 8 days of hiking the inadequate hip belt fell apart and I ended
up hiking most of the Smokies with the hip belt tied on with cord. I took it back
to Galyans and they cheerfully exchanged the hip belt. On the next trip the
sewing started to go again. Grrrrr...

I ordered a hip belt from REI, much better made, but alas much heavier. I finally
got out the heavy-duty thread and pliers and heaviest sewing needle and
hand-stitched that sucker ON.
Hasn't come off yet. Not pretty, but light.

So, much hassle, much sewing (which never killed anyone, although I bled
profusely at times), but a lightweight, well balanced external.

Also, I made a tent, but that's another story...

- Gary from Fairfax

> ...Anyway, suggestions for a quality external frame pack that won't break the
> bank? ...
> Second Chance

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