Backpacks




For an accurate fit, torso length is measured from top of the 7th vertebrae*  (A) to the top of the hip bone or iliad crest (B). (*The prominent bump on the back of your neck when you tilt your head forward. )
Internal Frame

 

How to custom fit a backpack.

To help you achieve a custom fit of your backpack, begin with a measurement of your torso length to determine the right pack size for you. See the diagram to the right to get the measurement area.
 

EXTERNAL FRAME FIT & LOAD  
Any hiking trip, short or long, will be more enjoyable when the pack fits properly and the gear is packed correctly. Imagine a line of balance running vertically through the body. No matter where a person walks - level, uphill or downhill - the body compensates to maintain that balance. The higher a load is carried, the closer it is to that line of balance (the pack can actually curve over the head). Carrying weight too high, however, can cause an uncomfortable side-to-side sway when walking. Camp Trails recommends the zone method of packing. Another important key to an enjoyable trip is proper fit. Review the steps for fitting and loading an external frame pack.

Note: For accurate fit, the pack should be tried on, or the torso measured, from the top of the shoulder to the hip bone. Since everyone's torso length varies regardless of height, this is the only way to be sure of a correct fit.

FITTING AN EXTERNAL FRAME PACK:
  • Put on the empty pack. Tighten the hipbelt. The frame's S-curve should match curves in the back. The hipbelt should rest on the hipbones, half above and half below the highest point of the hip.
  • Take the pack off. Use grommets, pins and lift tabs to move the hipbelt into the correct position. Attach the internal spreader bar to the frame. Load 20 pounds in the pack.
  • Put pack on and tighten hipbelt and shoulder straps. Use a mirror to check the frame position. If needed, readjust the hipbelt to raise or lower frame.
  • Take the pack off and adjust the shoulder strap height. Adjust for width if the straps rub against the neck or slide off the shoulders.
  • Put the pack on. Double check hipbelt and frame. Shoulder straps should come off the frame and pass over the shoulders at a slight downward angle.
  • Fasten sternum strap, tighten stabilizing straps on hipbelt and shoulder straps. Weight should be on the hips with the shoulder straps balancing the load. Stabilizing straps should form a 45Þ angle from the ladderlock buckle or quick clip plate to the top of shoulder straps.
LOADING AN EXTERNAL FRAME PACK:

ZONE A:
Pack heavy gear - stove, water bottles, food, etc. - high in the upper compartment or upper pockets. Keep heaviest items closest to the back. Weight packed too low or too far back to the front of the pack will force you to lean forward to counter balance it. Lash the tent to the extender bar on top.

ZONE B:
For medium weight gear, like clothing, camera, flashlight, and personal gear.

ZONE C:
Pack the lightest, bulkiest gear on the bottom. A sleeping bag can be stuffed into the bottom compartment or if too bulky, lashed to the frame below the pack bag.

ADDITIONAL PACKING TIPS:

  • Use nylon stuff sacks to organize your gear.
  • Keep rain gear, snack's, first aid kit and other frequently used items in easily accessible outside pockets.
  • Lash long objects like tent poles and fishing poles to the sides of the pack, or store them inside if the pack has a divider with pass through corners.
  • Keep fuel bottles away from food stuffs.
APPROXIMATE FIT GUIDELINES:
• Small Frame 24” to 5'3” • Medium Frame 28”- 5'3” to 5'10”
• Large Frame 31.5”- over 5'10”
 
ADJUSTING SHOULDER STRAPS WITH A QUICK CLIP PLATE:
The black plates with the slots in them (clips) can be moved from side to side by removing them and placing them in a different hole on the horizontal crossbar of the frame. Grasp the upper crossbar on either side of the clip. Put one thumb on the upper lip of the clip and the other thumb on the clip just below the crossbar. Push directly away to pop the clip off the bar.

To put the clip into a different position on the frame, slide the bottom pin into the desired hole and with both thumbs on the upper

 

crossbar, the clip between your hands, and your fingers on the middle of the clip, pull the clip toward you until it snaps into place. Once you have the width of the shoulder straps properly adjusted, put the pack on again and check the height of the shoulder straps. A correctly fitted shoulder strap slopes from the frame to your collarbone at a slight downward angle. If the straps are too low or too high, they can be adjusted by simply removing the buckle from its position on the clip and sliding it into a higher or lower slot (as on a ComfortFlex® Frame).
INTERNAL FIT AND LOAD  
Any hiking trip, short or long, will be more enjoyable when the pack fits properly, and the gear is packed correctly. Here are some helpful tips:

Note: For accurate fit, the pack should be tried on, or the torso measured. Since everyone's torso length varies regardless of overall height, this is the only way to be sure of a correct fit.

 

 

 

FITTING AN INTERNAL FRAME PACK:

Select the appropriate pack size based on torso length. Torso length is the measurement from the 7th vertebra (the prominent bump on the back of your neck when you tilt your head forward) to the top of the hipbone, or the Iliac crest. Torso fit for packs are listed in the spec table at the back of this manual.

Locate the pre-bent aluminum stays and if necessary, re-bend them to match the shape of the back.

Put on the empty pack, and tighten the hip belt (shoulder straps are still loose). The bent stays should fit the back when the hip belt rests on the hip bones. Half of the hip belt should be above the highest point of the hip and the other half below. Note the position of the shoulder straps.

Take the pack off. Adjust the shoulder straps to their approximate position using the adjustments. Load 20 pounds of gear into the pack.

Put the pack on. Check the position of the stays and hip belt. The hip belt should wrap around the hips with a few inch gap in the padding at the front. Less than a few inches and the hip belt is too big, more than a few inches and the hip belt is too small.

Check the position of the shoulder straps. They should wrap around the shoulders and attach to the pack about two inches below the top of the shoulders. When cinched down, the end of the straps should be no more than 4” from the armpit, and should not bottom out on the adjustment buckles. If they do, a smaller shoulder strap is needed. The top stabilizing straps should be at a 45Þ angle. Readjust the shoulder strap fit as necessary.

When these adjustments are completed, fasten the sternum strap. It will typically sit 2-3” from the collarbone. Tighten the top stabilizing straps and hipbelt stabilizing straps.

LOADING AN INTERNAL FRAME PACK:

ZONE A:
Pack heavy gear in the middle of the pack, close to the back. This provides good control of the pack's weight and better balance for rock hopping and bushwhacking. Weight packed too low or too far away from the body will pull backward. A tent can be separated from the poles, folded tightly, and carried here. The poles can be slid down the length of the interior or lashed to the outside. Other heavy gear-stove, cook kit, food, etc. - goes here also.

ZONE B:
Medium-weight items like a water purifier go in the middle of the pack, away from the back. Lightest, bulkiest gear goes toward the outer edges and the top of the pack.

ZONE C:
The sleeping bag is stuffed in the bottom compartment of the pack.

ADDITIONAL PACKING TIPS:

  • Use nylon stuff sacks to organize gear.
  • Keep rain gear, first-aid kit, snack's, water and other frequently used items in easily accessible areas if not in external pockets.
  • Keep fuel bottles away from food stuffs
APPROXIMATE FIT GUIDELINES:
• 22”-24” Stays - 5’3” to 5’10”
• 26”-27” Stays - over 5’10”   

See Event photos link for pictures.

Directions: From North Dallas: During rush hour:) I-75 north to 360 east.
From Dallas : Non-rush hour: I-30 East to Greenville.

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