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Author Topic: Weight distribution help  (Read 2851 times)


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Weight distribution help
« on: July 15, 2013 »

I'm in the process of trying to cut back on the overall amount of things I take with me. Part of this is finally realising taking a big bergen for a couple of days just results in filling up the empty space.

This has also come with a switch to tarps instead of tents. With all this in mind I am ideally aiming to get down to 25-30l pack & belt kit for spring/summer and no more than 45-50l pack & belt kit for autumn/winter.

I have already made a start by switching the type of gear I use, I had used mod gear in the past and it's good fine kit but I have grown weary of dpm and so made a change for plain kit.

As things stand now I have a plain olive 25l pack which is meant for holding sleeping gear, spare clothes, cooking gear and little else.

I've changed to a molle style belt system with two maxpedition fatty packs (one is my personal medical kit, the other a bushcraft/survival/utility kit). I am intending on adding a maxpedition map case, and considering their Proteus bag for carrying things like food, water proofs, binos/phone etc.

My main concern is how this weight will all hang, obviously with a good framed bergen there is never any problem, load it up & fit the straps correctly and hike till dark. I have little experience though of how the human body copes with weight on the waist, at what sort of weight would most folk say a belt kit will need shoulder strap support? Also what sort of effects on the lower back will be felt when having a belt kit like this?

In an ideal world I want this to work as it will mean other than a camel back I can happily just grab my belt kit and poles and set off for a full day in the mountains without the hassle of a backpack. But obviously that is no good if there are going to be anatomical issues at hand.

Thanks in advance for any help offered.


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Re: Weight distribution help
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013 »

I've worn a waist pack for running ultras, but even with the water bottle full it must be well under 2kg. My lower back does get a bit tired after a lot of hours, but that could just be from running. It needs to be very snug to stay in place and minimise bounce.

Certainly the hips can take the weight... when using a bergen the weight should be transferred into the hips anyway, with the shoulder straps more or less just holding the pack on. There will be a bit of weight on them, and due to leaning forward with the pack on some weight will spread across your back too, but most will be through the hip belt. Only thing is, a bergen hip-belt is padded and shaped, most waist packs are simple straps so may not hold the weight with the same comfort.

I think pouches on a hip belt could bounce a bit or obstruct your view of your footing, or the swing of your arms. I'd be more concerned about issues like this than the weight.
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