Mike used a Gregory Forester backpack for his trip. This pack is the latest in a number of attempts Mike has made to find an OK (not perfect) pack. One of his first purchases back in the 70’s was a North Face Ruthsac, one of the first internal-frame packs. At one point he was using a Kelty frame with a North Face pack bag attached. In the last 10 years he has gone through a smallish Lowe backpack, an extremely large Gregory Shasta pack and a lightweight Gregory Z pack.
Shown is his current model (the Forester.) What to do!?—because it isn’t correct either. The hydration unit has to be attached to the outside of the pack using the compression straps (probably not the right thing to do): when it's filled with water the balance goes out of whack. Mike had to try and even things up by attaching his clothes stuff sack on the opposite side. Didn’t always work. And note how the Thermarest is also attached to the outside: asking for trouble.
The most serious issue was that the pack simply doesn't fit. It’s too wide at the shoulders (as Mike has been informed by the physical therapist at Kaiser) and the waist band is too large. All throughout the hike Mike’s right shoulder kept acting up . . . very annoying.
Mike considerately kept these and other aggravations out of the previous days' mikereports, preferring to create an idealized version of events.
Photo: Gregory Backpack—Sierra Nevada, 2008