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Re: [at-l] torso size

When I first contemplated long distance hiking, I spent months hanging out in
backpacking stores, studying catalogs, reading about equipment, the AT, etc.
The internet may be helpful, to view the complete line of a given
manufacturer (stores rarely carry a complete line). Also review the last
several years of Backpacker for all gear articles; the most recent reviewed
some external frame packs (my preference) and refered to an earlier external
frame article; and I believe there was a short female tester in the most
recent article. You'll be lucky to find any educated clerks, because you'll
know more than they do if you do your homework. To this day I overhear
ignorant advice & bs from clerks in those chain stores: REI, Backwoods
(Central US), & Mountain Hideout (Dallas area). It's not necessarily easy to
decide, and big bucks are involved, to most of us. Buy the best you can
afford; cheap gear won't stand up to a thru-hike, or even long section hikes
I do. 
If you want more brand specific info, e-mail me; I've used mostly the same
stuff for
11 AT section hikes. 
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