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All,

About a 18 months ago I exited retirement and took a job about 30 road miles from home. Home is on one side of the city and work is on the other side. The direct path home is much shorter but full of obstacles and contains a few of our rougher neighborhoods.

I am now realizing that should I be forced to walk home, it would probably be a 24 hour event that could require an overnight in order to avoid the obstacles and those sketchy neighborhoods.

I have all of the gear for a 2-day trek. I am not looking to be outfitted to the point where someone may claim that I am glamping versus just getting home.

I have settled on 1 of 2 bags to hold my gear, the Kelty Tactical Redwing 44 or the Kelty Tactical 50. Despite the name, they are not tactical looking. These bags are just made with better materials than the standard redwing. In black, they look like many average bags.

My question is, for those of you who may have one or both of these sizes, whether in the tactical or regular line of redwings is:

If all your stuff could fit in the 44, would you still choose the 50 just in case?

I think I can get everything in the 44, but it would probably be fairly full. I know everything will fit in the 50 and I am surmising that the use of the cinch straps would make the load nice and tight even though the bag may be a little oversized.

Also, my loadout would change depending on the season. Lighter in the summer, heavier in the winter due to the need for the additional layers that I would want to keep in the bag.

I am not a backpacker, but I do hike. My only experience is with small day packs. I do not want to spend a lot on the pack, but I do want some structure (frame) and a good hip belt to carry the load. For these reasons I have settled on the Kelty versus Osprey or some other brand. I would have to order online as no one in the city seems to have these bags. I just don’t want the hassle of a return if I choose poorly.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks…


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 1470 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No personal experience with these packs, but here's an Amazon review that seems to address your question...

quote:
I got the 45l[sic] first and then bought the 50l for me. Gave the 45l to my girl. The 50l allows me to carry a little more or br able to pick up items as we need run into them. Wish there were more sewn in pockets on the inside of the main compartment. I'm looking for a pocket side in that I can scrape out of another pack for better organization for all the small items needed for camping and hiking.


Amazon



ACCU-STRUT FOR MINI-14
"First, Eyes."
 
Posts: 15336 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks kkina...

I had noticed that review as well, but it is a little lacking in context.

Not sure if this fella is a hiker or a prepper or using it for an end of the world bag.


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 1470 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had a Kelty 3700 I believe. Lost it several years ago when my youngest left for college. It was good quality, no issues or repairs needed. I liked the big zipper so I could access everything in the bag without pulling out the top items. Several small compartments were nice.
 
Posts: 268 | Location: Outside St. Louis | Registered: June 14, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Kelty Tactical 50

Here's another review wit a bit more detail...

https://www.zigzagging.net/kelty-redwing-50-review/


"Cedat Fortuna Peritis"
 
Posts: 1913 | Location: Central Texas | Registered: June 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a Redwing 44, and my younger brother has the 50. We backpack together a few times a year. Mine was actually my wife's before I got her a new one (I was shopping for a pack, I found another Redwing 44 on sale and she liked the color better, so we bought her that one and I took her old one), and she took it on 4 or 5 international trips to places like Cambodia, Argentina, and Kyrgyzstan. It held up to all that, plus the 10-15 backpacking trips I've taken it on, and countless other vacations and work trips, and it's still going strong.

I'm a big guy (6'5"), and I can get everything I need for four days in my 44...this includes 20 degree bag, tent, extra socks, pants, underwear, thermals, sleeping shorts, extra shirt, water filter, sleeping pad (strapped to the bottom), puffy jacket, first aid kit, bug spray and other various small stuff, food, cooking kit, plus two 1.5L smart water bottles in the side pockets and a pair of camp/water shoes clipped to the outside.

My brother likes a larger zero degree sleeping bag, and felt like he needed the extra space, so he went with the 50. The shoulder harness on the 50 has more adjustment options than the 44, IIRC, but the pack itself weighs about a lb more.

Personally, I'm happy with my 44. It suits my needs, is durable and well laid out so I have easy access to food and other stuff I need on the trail without having to unpack everything. It's lighter, and the smaller size also helps me avoid the temptation to add stuff I don't need and thus end up carrying more unnecessary weight.

If you absolutely need the capacity, the 50 isn't a bad pack either, though. My brother has been very happy with his. We've found them to be a very well made product at a good price.

ETA: ours are the standard, not the tactical models.
 
Posts: 6577 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It depends on what you are putting into it and how big you are.

I have an older Redwing. Slightly different design. It's the 50. I've done many overnight backpacking trips with it. I wouldn't want the 44 if I was carrying all my gear. Maybe if I was sharing a tent, cocking gear, and such with someone else and sharing the load. The 50 can carry smaller loads fine if packed correctly.

A female I've hiked alot with used to also use a Redwing. She used the 44 and was fine with it.

While I use a different pack these days for overnight hiking trips I still have the Redwing and use it Redwing for other stuff. For the price, they are hard to beat.


_____________________________________

Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain. Jack Kerouac
 
Posts: 16153 | Registered: March 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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All,

Thanks.

I am 5’9” and in relatively good shape (although I just passed 50)

My list of pack contents would be roughly the following. None of it is the new high tech, ultra-low weight kit that real backpackers would insist on. I just have never needed to spend the money for that kind of gear as that is not typically my thing.
  • Clothes (socks and a fresh base layer, including thermals in the winter)
  • 2-3 home made MRE’s (I am prediabetic and have been on a keto diet for a couple of years now)
  • Tarp
  • First Aid Kit
  • Firearm (on me with extra mags in the pack, probably a G17 or P320)
  • Cordage
  • Possibly 2 of the 3 bags of the Military Modular Sleep System (in a compression sack, but still bulky)
  • Sleep Pad
  • Fire Starting materials (ferro rod, tinder, lighter, etc.)
  • A couple of knives
  • Maybe add in a small shovel I keep in my truck (the cold steel spetsnaz)
  • JetBoil System or MSR Stove with Small Fuel Can
  • Small 1-liter Titanium Pot (fuel can nested inside)
  • Stainless Steel Water Bottle with nesting Stainless Steel Camp Cup
  • A couple of collapsible Platypus Water Containers
  • Sawyer Squeeze Filter
  • Winter Clothing (bulky but lite for the most part)
  • Poncho or Lightweight Raincoat
  • Ball cap
  • Leather Gloves
  • Power Bank
  • Baofeng Radio
  • A few other odds and ends

I have carried all of this stuff on a couple of camping trips in a surplus ILBE Rucksack and 1 time in a Large ALICE pack. I know I can carry it, I just think those bags would be overkill and also draw attention to myself. Even though “tacticool” backpacks with molle are now sold at WalMart, my bags are the real deal and stand out.

Again, the loadout would change based on the season, so the bulky stuff would be out in the summer.

That is kind of where I am at currently. Judge/criticize the loadout, but I know I can survive a cold, wintery night with this stuff as I have done it before (although I had a tent).

Based on your feedback, I may just go with the 50 to account for the bulky winter stuff and then cinch everything down for the summer months.

I am not ordering a pack in the next 2 days, so I would still like you comments and input.

Thanks again...

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bozman,


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 1470 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Honestly, I'm not trying to be an ass, but if you can afford the pack, can't you just get an Uber and get home and deal with the dead car from there?

Is there something I'm missing?

Kelty makes a great pack, and I prefer a panel load to a top load and the 50 looks great so you can't go wrong with it.



"I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."

Captain William Mattingly at the Battle of Bulltown, West Virginia 1863
 
Posts: 12137 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A couple things I would add:

*Compass and map of area. Landmarks may not be there after something like a tornado or huge fire.
*Goggles to protect eyes from blowing debris, dust from fires or a 9/11 event (we all remember the dust covered people). Add in a really good face mask, N95 or one of those ones that folks with allergies use to do yard work.
*Monocular or small binoculars.
*I went with heat tabs and a small "stove" for heating water. Food is 4 packs of instant oatmeal with a couple packets of honey and splenda. Other food is a couple single serving backpacker meals.

Kelty makes good packs.
 
Posts: 3675 | Location: St.Louis County MO | Registered: October 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another very helpful Sig Forum thread.
Thank your for the insights.
 
Posts: 765 | Location: Baltimore, MD | Registered: March 29, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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ArtieS...

There are scenarios where driving, by anyone, may not be possible.

Although unlikely, there is the threat of an EMP attack. With all that is going on in the world today, it is a possibility. North Korean, Russia, China, etc. All have the capability of rendering all electronics useless unless they are hardened for that. My truck and most cars on the road today rely on those electronics and will not run without them.

Then there are natural disasters that could make roads impassable to motor vehicles.

There are other examples, but some would just call the discussion of these mental masturbation.

The bag is insurance in case something happens and I have to walk home to my family. No different than the gun in the nightstand, the homeowners/automotive insurance policies you may have, emergency water and shelf stable food you may have put away.

I remember seeing on 09/11/01 the large volumes of people who had to walk home/out of the city because public transportation was shut down. Or the winter of 2013 in Atlanta where people were stranded on the road for days (I was there for work). I do not want to rely on anyone else to get me back to my family and I am smart enough to know that I am not going to hump 30 miles without some supplies.

That is it. I do not think you sound like an ass.

I would rest easier knowing I have a bag in the truck with these supplies/tools.


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 1470 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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jsbcody...

Yes. Like I said, I have a few other things going in my bag, but they are not bulky like the items I listed and can be crammed into pockets and gaps between other items listed above.

Other items include:
  • Headlamp (LED)
  • Flashlight (LED)
  • Flashlight (with incandescent bulb and no electronics)
  • Extra Batteries
  • Eye Pro, but not goggles. Good call, I had not thought of that. I think I have some old skiing goggles in the closet
  • N95 Mask (2 with exhalation valves, I do have a full face respirator as well, but that is bulky, heavy, and taxing to wear when exerting yourself for long periods... I have a lot of experience with this and with respiratory protection)
  • And some other small items

I do have bino's, but they are also big and heavy. I will probably shove a 3X9 scope I have sitting around in the bag instead. I do not want to purchase a monocular as it would have no other use or purpose for me. The 3X9 is lite compared to the bino's I have.

My home made MRE's are abscent of carbs and sugars. I have been struggling with insulin resistance all my life. Even when I was a collegiate soccer player, I was on the verge of being diagnosed a diabetic. With my current diet, I feel good and have energy. If I eat carbs or sugars (like I allow myself to do at the holidays), I feel like complete shit and become lethargic. Not what I would want during a 30 mile hike.

Thanks for the ideas.

I do not want to side track the discussion though. I am really looking for people who have experience with these bags and distance hiking/rucking to let me know if I am making a huge mistake going with the 50 liter pack.


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 1470 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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44L vs 50L ....6L difference, this isn't a lot. Get the pack that fits.

Go with the 50L and don't fill it up. This is the problem for many novice backpackers, just because you have the space doesn't mean you have to fill it up.
 
Posts: 13236 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Boz, I don't know if you have an REI near you but I would go speak with one of their employees who does back pack. They know their packs and they know how to load, balance and fit a pack. A poorly loaded and poorly designed pack can be miserable. Get the free lesson from them and then decide if the pack will work for you.
 
Posts: 7549 | Location: West Jordan, Utah | Registered: June 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
There are scenarios where driving, by anyone, may not be possible.

Thanks for the explanation. I understand and remember seeing similar things on the news.

Is your everyday footwear good for 30 miles, or should you consider adding hiking boots/shoes such as Salomon to your loadout? Back in the day, I wore Wright Arch Support shoes with hard rubber heels, and leather soles. Great for the office, but I wouldn't want to do 30 miles of pavement or uneven ground with them. Now my usual is Salomon X Ultra 4, and you can do mileage in those things without pain or blisters.



"I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."

Captain William Mattingly at the Battle of Bulltown, West Virginia 1863
 
Posts: 12137 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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During the Atlanta Snowmageddon event in late January 2014, it took me 17-1/2 hours of “driving” to travel about 12 ‘miles to my son’s school. While sitting in my car, moving a tiny bit at a time, I was passed by countless people who’d abandoned their vehicles and walked home (about 15 miles was the longest I heard interviewed on the radio). Such things can happen.

Regarding the backpack, My wife and I got our daughter a Tecton 55-liter pack for Christmas. She wanted a 50 but this one was more adjustable, could fit a woman better, and had a little bit of extra space she could use IF she needed it and make packing a bit easier when she didn’t.

Good luck finding what you’re seeking.


***

"Aut viam inveniam aut faciam (I will either find a way or make one)." -- Hannibal Barca
 
Posts: 1951 | Location: Georgia | Registered: July 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Based on my experience above, I think either pack will serve your needs just fine. They're both well constructed and thoughtfully designed for easy access to your gear. As others have said, you don't have to completely fill the 50L all the way if you don't want to. I just like my 44 because it's a great fit for me. I also have a Hill People Gear Medium kit bag that I wear on hikes to carry stuff that I need immediate access to, like my handgun, compass, maps, CGM reader (I'm type 1 Diabetic), and trail snacks.


The biggest thing I think you need to consider is that in the scenario you described, your primary mission is mobility. The pack and the loadout need to support that, not hinder it. When I'm working at home or out of a vehicle, I'm a big believer in the right tool for the job, and redundancy. Two is one, one is none. When I backpack, though, I want as little weight as possible while still having the necessities to keep me alive and at least moderately comfortable (I've done the freezing night thing before, and don't have any desire to do it again!). If there's a tool that will do 3 or 4 things adequately, and I can get by with just carrying that one tool instead of 3 or 4 specialty items, that's the one I want. A good 3-4" fixed blade will replace a hatchet, axe, and a folder for my needs. My streamlight macrostream has a clip that lets me clip it to my hat and saves me carrying a headlamp...stuff like that. Your goal is to get home from 30 miles away on foot, which is probably at most an overnight, maybe two if things go really bad...I'd start with what is absolutely necessarry to accomplish that and go from there.

A few years back at work I got called to a car off the roadway in somebody's front yard. I got there and found the driver unresponsive. I pulled him out and started CPR. Other officers got there, and finally medics showed up and took over. We started going through the car trying to find any medical information or medication for the guy, and ultimately ended up locating a handgun, a carrier with some really heavy steel rifle plates, and a military surplus backpack with between 75-100lbs of survival gear in it. Turns out the guy was from out of town on business and was a prepper who always carried his survival stuff with him. He had a medical event and just died driving down the road. His pack was very well supplied, but overly heavy. He had an axe, entrenching tool, clothes, milsurp tent and sleeping bag, a bunch of food sealed in glass mason jars, stuff like that. My point being, he was very well equipped, but he'd paid no mind to portability. I doubt I personally would have been able to do more than 5-10 miles a day (less over rough terrain) hauling all that crap, and it would have been miserable. I'm in much better physical shape than he was, too.

On a similar but different note, I'm really interested in your homemade low-carb MREs. Would you be able to go into more detail on those? Like I mentioned above, I'm diabetic and I'm always looking for good, shelf-stable low carb options for backpacking. My typical hiking meal plan is some granola with cinnamon for breakfast; cheese, onions, peppers, jerkey and zero-net-carb tortillas for other meals (if I'm somewhere I can have a fire and it's not blazing hot out I'll freeze something fancier wrapped in foil to cook on the first night); and mixed nuts for snacks. That'll keep me going for 3-4 days especially in colder weather, but the cheese, onions, and peppers won't keep forever.

quote:
Originally posted by ArtieS:


Is your everyday footwear good for 30 miles, or should you consider adding hiking boots/shoes such as Salomon to your loadout? Back in the day, I wore Wright Arch Support shoes with hard rubber heels, and leather soles. Great for the office, but I wouldn't want to do 30 miles of pavement or uneven ground with them. Now my usual is Salomon X Ultra 4, and you can do mileage in those things without pain or blisters.


This is a great point, too. I wouldn't want to hike 30 miles in office shoes. A good pair of cross-trainers or hiking boots depending upon your preference in the trunk with the pack wouldn't be a bad idea.
 
Posts: 6577 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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gw3971… Yes, we have an REI in town. Unfortunately, they do not have the bags I want. They are heavy into Osprey, their own store brand, and others. I will stop in though and speak with someone who knows these types of bags better than I. I just hate going in there… Too many toys to impulse buy even though I really do not have a need for them.

ArtieS… I wear Merrell low-top hiking shoes to work every day. However, I have a spare set of footwear I keep in the truck at all times. In the winter, the mid-top winter version of my everyday shoe that is waterproof and Gortex lined. In the summer, the mid-top version of my everyday shoe. All have very few miles on them (if any). In my line of work, my shoes have become contaminated several times with oils, solvents, and even blood (facility EHS Professional… or “Safety Guy”). When this happens, something bad has happened and I am the last guy who can leave the facility to run home to change out my shoes.

StarTraveler… I was building a new production facility in Carrollton when both storms hit that year. I had already been in GA in a hotel for 3 weeks when the worst of the 2 storms hit (I was there for both that year). All flights were cancelled, and I wanted to go home as I had some family stuff to take care of (and the hotel had no room for me as I had checked out that morning and was at the jobsite when it rolled in). Being from the North, I jumped in the rental and drove home via the back roads to avoid the blocked roads. Took me 10 hours, but I got home with no issues. Amazing how many cars and trucks were in ditches and whatnot with Northern plates on them. I should have left earlier, but was convince I could wait out the worst of it. Little did I know that GA had very few snow removal or salt trucks and they were all converging on Atlanta.

92fstech… My MRE’s are not the healthiest concoctions, but I like all of the food in them and they meet my carb limits. I will take a picture of the items or give you a complete listing later, but this is a pretty good idea of what is in them:

  • Star-Kist Chicken (double serving size in a retort pouch… store bought), or individual Spam Slices (also in retort pouches)
  • In non-freezing storage conditions, I have canned sardines in various sauces (don’t store cans if they will freeze)
  • Packets of Dukes Mayo and Guldens Spicy Brown Mustard
  • Tillamook Zero Sugar Smoked Sausage Sticks (individually wrapped)
  • Pack of Ramen (this is really the only carbs I have and the last thing I would eat if time allows and I am really feeling drained of energy).
  • Russell Stover Sugar Free M&M’s or some other Sugar Free Candy
  • Wasabi or Smokehouse Blue Diamond Almonds (individual serving packs, jut one or the other, not both in the same MRE) or Pistachios (individual serving packs)
  • Chai Tea Bags, Instant Coffee, and/or a very low carb and very good hot chocolate powder I have found (tastes amazing… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N...product_details&th=1)
  • Zero Sugar Electrolyte Sports Drink Packets
  • Lipton Onion or Beef Soup Packet (to eat alone or dumped into the ramen instead of the flavoring pack)
  • NuTrail Keto Nut Granola
  • Salt & Pepper Packets that I lifted from Wendys, along with some of their spoons and forks.
  • Individual tablespoon packs of Honey (again, only if I start getting a low blood sugar headache… I only experience these things after long periods of exertion)
  • Individual Wet-Ones wipes
  • Sugar Free Gum


Update... Forgot to add, I also have the Mountain House Scrambled Eggs w/ Bacon that I will be throwing in the pack.

I have a half roll of TP with the carboard removed and flattened that is packed separately not in the MRE’s

The meals are in 6 mil mylar bags with oxygen absorbers that have been vacuum sealed in my chamber vacuum machine.

I will not be carrying an axe. I have a small silky folding saw and a larger cold steel camp knife to baton through wood. The shovel also can clear small limbs like an axe and will allow me to clear ground cover and build a draft hole style fire if I need one (low signature, low smoke, and tends to throw less embers onto me, my tarp, or my sleeping bag. However, I will not be digging holes in the winter).

Thanks all... Appreciate the info.


The "Boz"
 
Posts: 1470 | Location: Central Ohio, USA | Registered: May 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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Thanks, there are some good ideas in there that I hadn't thought of!
 
Posts: 6577 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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