Wednesday, June 13, 2007

1500 cubic inches is small, and that's a good thing.

I went to check out the VO pack from Go-Lite at REI. I've been thinking about the ION which is the same size (1500 ci). It's a lot smaller than I had visualized. The only real problem for internal storage is my sleeping bag. It won't really fit in there, but I'm thinking I could attach it to the outside and take a trash bag along in case of rain.

It's retarded that REI carries so little of the GoLite line (they're based 30-minutes away in Boulder, have lightweight and reasonably priced gear), but I understand why. I understand each time I eavesdrop on backpack sales and someone in a green vest tries to shill a $200, 4-pound, 5000ci Gregory backpack to someone.

Selling an over-sized bag is the equivalent of selling someone calamity insurance. A novice hiker can look at that cavernous 70 liter bag all googly-eyed and envision filling it with remedies for every possible insecurity. It's not their fault, it's the natural consequence of inexperience.

I'll admit, before the JMT I fell for it -- but after nearly three weeks on the trail I decided I could be more comfortable with half the gear (and half the weight). This decision isn't about forsaking comfort in search of a 4-pound baseweight, but rather about covering basic safety and packing simply.

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