Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by ROCK6 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:45 pm

Asymetryczna wrote: It is kind of difficult to say that anyone has ever got it right because every single person is different in their preferences and peculiarities. And, you can find on the one hand people who want anything that is different than everybody else, and they go to places where yet others tell them they must conform “…in the high school halls, in the shopping malls…* ”
And this is really the crux why this topic will persist well into the future. Even after you define the parameters relative to the situation including all the factors of terrain, season, environment, etc., individuals will always have their own experiences, physical condition levels (or restrictions) and other specific requirements. My advice has always been to figure out what you what your certain piece of gear to do, such as a pack; what is your "plan". Then spend some time camping to figure out what you think you need and then start hauling that gear over some distances and moderate to difficult terrain to really assess necessity of the contents, pack comfort and how well it integrates into your "plan".

And yes, you'll have those who will never leave the building of "old school" and those who are obsessed with the newest gear or technique that hits the market.

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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by slingstone » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:50 am

RonnyRonin wrote:while I appreciate the community that GoRuck has built, I hate them. They have spread a lot of dubious information in the name of marketing, and in my mind is just another veteran tooting the "I was SF, listen to me!" horn.

While I will often tout simplicity as the goal of good design, not including a sternum strap or compression straps on a high-dollar pack is just bad form. They go on and on about how tough their packs are but the whole load is dependent on a relatively weak unprotected zipper to keep it from spilling on the ground. They have convinced their customer base that there is something magical about them when in fact they are just stripped down, overpriced 3-day pack copies. They are not using any materials or techniques that any other American pack maker (Kifaur, HPG, Mystery Ranch) isn't, but they offer fewer features at a higher price.

[/rant]

But yeah, I think GoRuck is just a group of very social masochists, and the shoulder only thing is just one more form of self-flagellation
So I'm gonna stick up for GORUCK on a few fronts here:

What dubious statements have they made? Yeah, you'd get more capability/capacity for your money at Kifaru or Mystery Ranch, but they go on sale frequently (20% right now, for instance). I'd never buy anything from them without a military discount or a sale. But the value equation here ultimately depends on your goals. What volume do you really need to move and how unobtrusive should you be? The fact that their sternum strap and hip belts are optional is a big selling point to people who want to use the pack in an environment where they can't look like a paramilitary goon or a thru-hiker. It's not a replacement for an expeditionary ruck. They found a niche between the limited designer/boutique urban packs and the tactical equipment industries.

The event side of GORUCK is more than a little masochistic. So are Iron Man races and Tough Mudders and Crossfit and other nonsense people do to make fitness interesting. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ You're either into it or you're not but using a pack doesn't force you into it.

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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by RonnyRonin » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:59 pm

slingstone wrote:So I'm gonna stick up for GORUCK on a few fronts here:

A sternum strap is backpack 101, it does not delineate a pack into any subcategory other then "one that doesn't totally suck." The MOLLE field on every GoRuck pack does far more to label the wearer as a paramilitary goon then any creature comforts on the suspension side.

My point on cost is that usually it means they have higher profit margins or are bad at making stuff, neither of which I care for. Certainly value and cost are very separate calculations, but I can confidently say that pack should not cost that much.
As for disinformation I mostly mean the usual marketing BS self aggrandizement that tacitly implies other stuff is lesser. When nearly every domestic pack, tactical, or garage business is using the same materials and (more or less) construction techniques this stretches my tolerance. Sure every pack company tries to imply they are special, but most will readily admit how many other companies are on the same tier and Goruck was louder and more insistent then most.

When Cordura, #69 thread and YKK zippers are high on your list of selling points you just aren't bringing much to the table They did not go on a vision quest to pick the best fabrics after years of testing, these are all literally the path of least resistance for sourcing and manufacturing.
When they list water resistance as an attribute yet have the laptop compartment behind a horizontally oriented uncovered zipper, they have my attention. When they repeatedly tout customizability and modularity but have, *drumroll* a MOLLE FIELD! It is easy to assume their marketing department takes precedent over design side. They write pages of copy on their design process and attention to detail yet a trained eye toward their copious product photos and CAD sketches revel that, nope, it is in fact just as basic as it appears at first glance. As I said earlier, their greatest sin in my mind is still making the entire load dependent on a single, unprotected and unsupported #8 zipper. Despite their claims nothing about the intrinsic design of the bag itself seems to compensate for this. That shows a level of trust in YKK that you will not find in older companies, or myself.

You wouldn't notice it unless you've worked in a factory setting, but also a lot of what they write about production is crap. Either written by someone who doesn't really understand it, or creatively written to appeal to people that don't understand it. The "special forces as design school" narrative is also tiring, most designers can legitimately claim to have worked with "special forces end users" or to have made a product with "input from elite military units" but the more honest ones will tell you that military/special forces guys are just as likely to have really terribly suggestions as anyone that calls in with a "great idea for a product/feature/improvement." It certainly helps the brand narrative to have a Veteran co-founder, but it doesn't really lend legitimacy to their design.

Most of the marketing copy reads as treasure hunting. They made a basic, well executed product that they liked (and obviously made an emotional attachment with) and then went over it with a magnifying glass trying to find more talking points. It is the load carriage equivalent of a short sleeved t shirt, even if you make the best tshirt in the word it will still be a tshirt. Writing pages on flatlock stitching, seam placement and the pedigree of your knitting machines will never give it the same weight of design as a technical 3-layer shell with elbow articulation, differentially cut cuffs and a 7-piece hood. Do people need tshirts more then technical shells? sure. Do they buy more of them and wear them more often? Absolutely. But trying to elevate your tshirt design to the level of a more technically complex garment is quite simply a slap in the face of the people that actually have to design shells (spoiler alert: its a bitch).

Is a Goruck pack a well executed basic? Sure. Is it the perfect pack for a lot of folks? No doubt. But to think it is anything more then a shrunk, stripped down LBT/BH/Eagle 3-day pack is once again stretching the bounds of creative description. Goruck sells an emotional connection to a product, a lifestyle, and membership to a larger tribe. They have done this brilliantly, and their sales numbers reflect this.


I'm certainly not criticizing masochistic adventure racing as a lifestyle, just saying that I'm not taking comfort advice from people that pay good money to hurt themselves. I think "rucking" as goruck encourages it has a lot of roots in the "waistbelts are for sissies" military attitude that has already been discussed in this thread. I think rucking as training is great, and the community building is also commendable. But taking load carriage pointers from them is like wearing a weight vest on game day, purposely handicapping yourself is something that should be left for training only.

Companies like Tom Bihn and Mystery Ranch are actually putting in the design work and detail sweating that companies like GoRuck like to write about, and it shows. Doesn't mean the packs are a good fit for what you want to do (neither company has many packs I'd pay money for) but the effort should be recognized and praised. Just making a product and selling it is one thing, but trying to establish yourself as a leader/trailblazer/innovator in design and manufacturing invites a much higher level of scrutiny, one I don't think Goruck passes.
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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by moab » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:22 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
slingstone wrote:So I'm gonna stick up for GORUCK on a few fronts here:

A sternum strap is backpack 101, it does not delineate a pack into any subcategory other then "one that doesn't totally suck." The MOLLE field on every GoRuck pack does far more to label the wearer as a paramilitary goon then any creature comforts on the suspension side.

My point on cost is that usually it means they have higher profit margins or are bad at making stuff, neither of which I care for. Certainly value and cost are very separate calculations, but I can confidently say that pack should not cost that much.
As for disinformation I mostly mean the usual marketing BS self aggrandizement that tacitly implies other stuff is lesser. When nearly every domestic pack, tactical, or garage business is using the same materials and (more or less) construction techniques this stretches my tolerance. Sure every pack company tries to imply they are special, but most will readily admit how many other companies are on the same tier and Goruck was louder and more insistent then most.

When Cordura, #69 thread and YKK zippers are high on your list of selling points you just aren't bringing much to the table They did not go on a vision quest to pick the best fabrics after years of testing, these are all literally the path of least resistance for sourcing and manufacturing.
When they list water resistance as an attribute yet have the laptop compartment behind a horizontally oriented uncovered zipper, they have my attention. When they repeatedly tout customizability and modularity but have, *drumroll* a MOLLE FIELD! It is easy to assume their marketing department takes precedent over design side. They write pages of copy on their design process and attention to detail yet a trained eye toward their copious product photos and CAD sketches revel that, nope, it is in fact just as basic as it appears at first glance. As I said earlier, their greatest sin in my mind is still making the entire load dependent on a single, unprotected and unsupported #8 zipper. Despite their claims nothing about the intrinsic design of the bag itself seems to compensate for this. That shows a level of trust in YKK that you will not find in older companies, or myself.

You wouldn't notice it unless you've worked in a factory setting, but also a lot of what they write about production is crap. Either written by someone who doesn't really understand it, or creatively written to appeal to people that don't understand it. The "special forces as design school" narrative is also tiring, most designers can legitimately claim to have worked with "special forces end users" or to have made a product with "input from elite military units" but the more honest ones will tell you that military/special forces guys are just as likely to have really terribly suggestions as anyone that calls in with a "great idea for a product/feature/improvement." It certainly helps the brand narrative to have a Veteran co-founder, but it doesn't really lend legitimacy to their design.

Most of the marketing copy reads as treasure hunting. They made a basic, well executed product that they liked (and obviously made an emotional attachment with) and then went over it with a magnifying glass trying to find more talking points. It is the load carriage equivalent of a short sleeved t shirt, even if you make the best tshirt in the word it will still be a tshirt. Writing pages on flatlock stitching, seam placement and the pedigree of your knitting machines will never give it the same weight of design as a technical 3-layer shell with elbow articulation, differentially cut cuffs and a 7-piece hood. Do people need tshirts more then technical shells? sure. Do they buy more of them and wear them more often? Absolutely. But trying to elevate your tshirt design to the level of a more technically complex garment is quite simply a slap in the face of the people that actually have to design shells (spoiler alert: its a bitch).

Is a Goruck pack a well executed basic? Sure. Is it the perfect pack for a lot of folks? No doubt. But to think it is anything more then a shrunk, stripped down LBT/BH/Eagle 3-day pack is once again stretching the bounds of creative description. Goruck sells an emotional connection to a product, a lifestyle, and membership to a larger tribe. They have done this brilliantly, and their sales numbers reflect this.


I'm certainly not criticizing masochistic adventure racing as a lifestyle, just saying that I'm not taking comfort advice from people that pay good money to hurt themselves. I think "rucking" as goruck encourages it has a lot of roots in the "waistbelts are for sissies" military attitude that has already been discussed in this thread. I think rucking as training is great, and the community building is also commendable. But taking load carriage pointers from them is like wearing a weight vest on game day, purposely handicapping yourself is something that should be left for training only.

Companies like Tom Bihn and Mystery Ranch are actually putting in the design work and detail sweating that companies like GoRuck like to write about, and it shows. Doesn't mean the packs are a good fit for what you want to do (neither company has many packs I'd pay money for) but the effort should be recognized and praised. Just making a product and selling it is one thing, but trying to establish yourself as a leader/trailblazer/innovator in design and manufacturing invites a much higher level of scrutiny, one I don't think Goruck passes.
Couldn't agree with this more. Great analogies too. It's like a t-shirt company that decided to build packs. Nothing new or ground breaking. But they sure know how to sling their sales-speak.

Which takes us back to the OP. Limiting yourself by not wearing a waist belt is like saying your going to drive across Africa without 4 wheel drive. Sure it's a cool goal to try. But it's not an argument for not using 4 wheel drive. It's just ignorant. Why put your body through that when your trying to be "effective". Either effective at bugging out or effective at hiking/backpacking. Your simply not going to be that effective without a waist belt. And why put that kind of wear and tear on your body? A pack without a waist belt is not as good as one with. Period. Trying to argue otherwise is simply...well...wrong.

I really kinda can't believe we're having this conversation in the first place. We might as well be debating the merits of 4 wheel drive.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by Asymetryczna » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:32 pm

Valid points. I kind of like the conversation. Praise for ideas and marketing, critiques on the technical specifics. I don't remember seeing the website before so perhaps this is an example of even somewhat bad press being good press. I was glad to see Big Daddy C's face on their team. (It scared me a little and made me want to call home.) He can carry his pack, me and my pack. I also like their marketing since it appears to encourage people -even families- to get outside and enjoy life rather than sitting at an expensive typewriter hooked to a TV. And those $25 T-shirts!

Marketing is a key part of some businesses; so, in this case, it is not difficult to see who/what/how the key is in their brand.

I don't recall seeing "waistbelts are for sissies" anywhere in the military but I do like it as a slogan if only because only one that had an opinion on the issue would even understand it. Some candy ass with dressy suspenders under his suit might feel part of a special tribe. The main reason I NEVER used one with an ALICE pack is because my fighting belt stayed on at all times and included enough items on it that even at its heaviest the pack sat on this shelf; so, in essence, this outperformed, for me, what a waistbelt would do. Another reason, when compared to the average backpacker, is that I wanted to unsnail as quickly as humanly possible - a quick release, bend at the waist, twist and dump. I am free.

Just a heavy pack and a walk for a good distance? Yes. Sternum strap and waist belt.

I trust your opinion RR, and your knowledge of the QC on this topic. My recommendation always is: find what you like and buy the best you can afford. I could never decide so I just kept buying packs. Just one, though. That's tough.
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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by zombieslayer001 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:14 pm

I myself am running a rucksack, the less is more strategy is something I don't subscribe to. Many people say anything over thirty pounds is stupid but I try to stay at 50lbs or below to accommodate the things I need. Some would say rucksack= target but take proper precautions and measures then things should be more in your favor.

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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:37 pm

Asymetryczna wrote:.... My recommendation always is: find what you like and buy the best you can afford.

This, right here.
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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:49 pm

KnightoftheRoc wrote:
Asymetryczna wrote:.... My recommendation always is: find what you like and buy the best you can afford.

This, right here.

Unfortunately its truthfulness and universal applicability is directly proportional to its vagueness.

Sometimes people will find something they "like" and stop looking before they find something truly functional, and confirmation bias will drive many people to seek out others that agree with their bad choices and then they have a giant back-patting party. Youtube in particular seems to be full of people whose identity is wrapped up in being experts and will loudly and confidently share absolutists statements about what is best when it is obviously the first one they have tried. The worst part is that until you have learned enough that you don't actually need their advice it is pretty darn hard to tell the awful advice from the good.

One thing that makes pack selection an ongoing problem is that a lot of reviewers and users confuse features with performance, which leads a huge number of people to choose terrible backpacks with really good pocket arrangements.
The other massive problem is that there is at least 2-3 distinct body types when it comes to backpack fit and not too many people have taken a broad enough survey of both the packs available and the consumers using them to make recommendations for people that don't share their same body type.

A lot of ink is spilled over fit and finish, customer service, high techness (or low techness), access, convienience, country of origin, the life story of the owner of the company....all of which I think is important, but ultimately distracts from the issue at hand; does the pack allow you to carry weight as efficiently as possible on your back from point A to point B.

Packs unfortantely don't lend themselves much to generalizations; frame height/stiffness/shape, lumbar pad size, belt shape and stiffness, are all things that can be communicated on paper (though rarely are) but it is extremely difficult to perdict how all the factors will interact. I've owned somewhere around 50 fully framed/belted packs and I can make broad predictions about packs I haven't used but I am frequently surprised by minutia that I didn't forsee having a disproportionate effect on overall pack fit.

I see two basic ways to get a good pack:
1) Sift through the mountain of advice and try to find someone that has A) enough experience B) similar enough goals and C) a similar enough body type and take their word for it, or
2) Buy pack after pack after pack. This requires either a large amount of capital or a large amount of time to do the trading/buying/selling needed.
3) (bonus method) Luck
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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by woodsghost » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:49 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
Sometimes people will find something they "like" and stop looking before they find something truly functional, and confirmation bias will drive many people to seek out others that agree with their bad choices and then they have a giant back-patting party. Youtube in particular seems to be full of people whose identity is wrapped up in being experts.....
This pretty much fits me to a "T." Especially with the ALICE system. Lots of people proclaim it's superiority...but lots also condemn it. This is what shook me up and made me decide to seek advice. I do like the ALICE system. It seems to help that I have a shorter torso and fit the ALICE fairly well. But I trust the advice I have received here and in my other thread on the subject. I"ve obtained a more ergonomic pack, and when I can, I"ll obtain an even better civi pack. There is something to be said for getting a good pack that will do minimal damage to your body.

I think there is something to be said though for learning to love the pack you have. I think Americans have lots of options, and tend to get obsessed with finding the best one. We forget to get the miles under the pack and learn the pack. I know I have done that with knives, sharpening supplies, and paintball guns. Spent more money than I ever really needed to on them.

I"m also trying to trust the advice that the 3 essentials you need to ensure the quality of are: Boots, Sleeping Bag, and Pack.

Side note: I loaded up my gear with my fantasy load-out. I got all kitted up and ready to dance. Came in just under 100 lbs. I need to trim a little....about 40 lbs worth..... (20-25 of those lbs will be ammo. Probably do another 10 lbs in food.)
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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by Asymetryczna » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:42 pm

I’ve been thinking about a rain barrel patrol ruck backpacksack. I found this online and laughed my way through it. It adds to the general discussion here, or disorder, etc. http://faineg.com/hate-backpackers-illustrated-guide/
Backpackers will occasionally grow emotional for no particularly good reason and read you their poetry, which is inevitably heavily inspired by both Bukowski and that Kings of Leon song that really touched their hearts back in high school. Backpackers noisily demand that they be able to enjoy the trappings of home, from Family Guy reruns to chilled Snickers bars, wherever they noisily alight – cackling and domineering, like a flock of shitting starlings.
Image

Speaking of vagueness, may you always seek perfection. Sisyphus showed gratitude for each chance to start uphill.
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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by woodsghost » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:52 pm

Asymetryczna wrote:I’ve been thinking about a rain barrel patrol ruck backpacksack.
Not sure what you mean, but wondering if you are thinking something like this?





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6E2Dpas ... e=youtu.be


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Re: Help me: Bugging out: Rucksack or pack?

Post by teotwaki » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:51 pm

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I have the classified military version of those Ninja packs except mine is mounted on the much ballyhooed Alice frame, is air and watertight and comes in OD green :mrgreen:

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My adventures and pictures are on my blog http://suntothenorth.blogspot.com

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