Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Rucksack Night Walking

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
Now that it's become pleasantly cool here in Florida, I've been taking nighttime walks around the neighborhood loop with my camping rucksack. 

As I mentioned back in April, my Bug Out Bag had become too heavy to carry without back pain, and I needed to slim it down. To that end, I tore everything out and rebuilt it from the ground up with the philosophy of "a pack suitable for a three-day camping trip is also a 72-hour BOB". I then supplemented it sparingly with some items that would be useful in a longer-term emergency. 

I think it's safe to say that I've gotten most of the kinks worked out of this bag, and I can carry it without either pain or difficulty. I'm now able to walk the full loop, 1.1 miles, without back pain or getting out of breath. My stamina still needs work because my goal is to be able to do two full miles -- well, 2.2 in reality, because that's two full loops -- and by the time I finish the first loop I'm exhausted and ready for a shower and bed. Still, this is progress that I'm quite proud of, and I know that if I just keep at it I will eventually reach my goal. 

Last night really wore me out, though. I was wearing hiking boots rather than my usual sneakers because it had rained earlier, and they weigh slightly more than I'm used to having on my feet. Around the 3/4ths mark of the walk my feet felt like they were weighed down with sandbags, and I had to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. My new rule is that I either walk in boots or with my rucksack, but not both until I'm stronger. 

For those who want to know more about my current 72 hour bag / camping rucksack, it's a High Sierra Long Trail 90L. 

  • 90-liter, expedition-sized backpack with extra cargo capacity.
  • Top-load main compartment with gusseted drawstring closure and adjustable top lid.
  • Drop-bottom sleeping bag compartment with divider.
  • ERGO-FIT shoulder harness, constructed with HEX-VENT mesh and foam padding.
  • Dual, contoured aluminum frame bars
  • Molded foam back panel with AIRFLOW channels.
  • Waist belt, with HEX-VENT mesh and high-density foam padding.
  • Side and bottom compression straps.
  • Internal hydration reservoir sleeve and dual exit ports for tube.
  • Front access to the main compartment.
  • Adjustable sternum strap.
  • Webbing daisy chain for attaching other gear.
  • Soft lashing hardware.
  • Mesh pockets hold water bottles.
  • Tuck-away rain cover also protects pack when checked for air travel.
  • Capacity - 5500 cu. in.
  • Weight: 6.91 lbs.

I'll tell you more about my new boots in another post, once I have a bit more experience with walking in them. 

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