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Thread: Recommendations on Best Equipment

  1. #1
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    Default Recommendations on Best Equipment

    When I was in my late teens and early twenties I did quite alot of backpacking. Even a 3 week trip in what was then Mckinnley Nat'l Park. That was over 30 years ago though and I have been out of the game for some time. I now have loads of time on my hands and want to get back to it. I know getting in shape is the first and most important hurdle but that has been taken care of. I would like some suggestions as to what the best backpack is today. One not for mountaineering but for 4 to 5 day trips in Denali and other places close to the Valley. Also what stove is best. I have everything else.

  2. #2
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    I really like my Barneys Hunter Pack, does everything I need it to do. A lot of people are also talking about the Kifaru packs, the 5200 cubic inch pack only weighs 2lbs 13 oz!

    As far as stoves, a lot like the MSR whisperlite, check em out.

  3. #3
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    I can see why you're probably posting for recommendations. I imagine a whole lot has changed in 30 years! I can't even imagine how many different options there are today versus back then. Welcome back!

    The MSR Whisperlite is a good stove. There are plenty of good canister stoves. I like canister stoves myself. If you're going to be traveling internationally, on AK Airlines to rural communities where canisters are not available, or doing a lot of cold weather camping, white gas stoves are good. Even for flying out in Wrangell St Elias and the Brooks Range, my pilot let me take canister stoves. They are simple, light and easy to use. No priming or cleaning required. Check out REI, there are stoves from Primus, MSR, Snowpeak. I have had a Primus that has been running for over 12 years without a hitch. I also have a Snowpeak that has been running great. You can get one that is around 3-4 oz. It depends on how big a pot you plan on putting on there. Most of the smaller ones will be a little top heavy with a pot larger than 1300 cc or so.

    Backpacks? I don't even know where to start, there are so many options. The Barney's is an external frame pack and for backpacking without a ridiculously heavy load, I would stay away from those. I didn't mind my Barney's for hunting, but ditched it for a Mystery Ranch NICE 6500. How heavy of a load might you be carrying? If you are still of the mindset that thicker stouter materials like Cordura and a stout backpack are the way the go, a Mystery Ranch pack (located in Bozeman, MT, look them up online) will suit you well. I like my NICE 6500 along with a 3-Day Assault pack I have from them. I just ordered a custom McHale pack, which is very expensive, but should last me a long long time. He can make stout pack or lighter packs. That being said, all my lighter packs have lasted abuse. I have an Osprey Aether 85. They come in 60, 70 and 85 liters I believe. I think it's a great pack and I used it on my trip to the Brooks Range. I got an 85 liter because of my role as sherpa/alpaca for my children when we backpack. If you are carrying for yourself and some typical group gear, you can get away with the smaller sizes depending on your other gear (mostly your sleeping bag and tent). Plenty of other pack makers to include Gregory, Arcteryx, Granite Gear, etc. I have an older ArcTeryx Bora 80 which was great, and fell along the lines of a more stout pack. If you don't mind a used pack, I would sell it if interested.

    PM me or reply if you have any more questions. Enjoy the shopping!

  4. #4
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    I have an Arcteryx Bora 80. I love everything about it except that the H20 reservoir is in the lid and it doesn't fit a 4-liter Camelback. Generally speaking though, Arcteryx makes great kit. Kifaru also makes bomber packs (they're incredibly popular amongst military SOF units), but they aren't cheap.

    As for stoves, look at either Jetboil or MSR. Both companies are good to go.

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    If the question is who makes the best pack the answer is easy Dan McHale at www.mchalepacks.com They are insanely expensive but I lobe mine! For more reasonable though still plenty spendy options Kifaru for internals or Barney's for external frames. Next tier down would be osprey, arctyrex, or Gregory. That is about the lowest I would go and expect it to hold up to real use. The cheap stuff tends to break under a load and I for one would hate to break a shoulder strap 10 miles from the road!

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all of you for the advise and recommendations. I'm getting the pack ordered this weekend and buying the stove. Then all I have to do is wait for some melt.

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