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update from my 1st backpack hike in 30 years

My wife and I are taking up backpacking and have equipped ourselves fairly well. We just did a small break-in hike (6mi) over some lumpy terrain ( partly bushwhacking map/compass stuff, not much elevation but virtually no flat areas). My oboz bridgers worked very well and our osprey aether packs were quite comfortable ( mine was24 lbs, hers 18). Got to try out our filters, msr whisperlite (superb!) and had a great morning seeing all sorts of flowers (yellow trillium!).  Prana pants were great and dry out so fast when you dump water down your leg filling a bladder. We both could definitely feel it right at the hips but nothing awful. My last pack was a us army alice pack (designed by mickey desade or some such name). It was indestructible but, compared to the aether, sooo uncomfortable. I think this will be a lot of fun

5 Replies

@Mooze - Thanks so much for sharing this update with us! It's great to hear that your gear treated you so well and that you had such a pleasant experience. The difference in comfort between an Osprey Aether and an Alice Pack must be incredible! 

Now that your break-in hike went so well, is there anywhere that you have your eyes set on for round two? 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

We plan to do a lot of smaller hikes to build strength in all of the weird areas we don't seem to use when not carrying backpacks. Some overnights in some of the many NY forest lands and later on, the cranberry lake 50. Next summer might well se us on the Northville-Lake Placid trail. 

@Mooze - Yay you ! The details about your gear are really helpful.  Where to next? 


Winona state forest is next. We did 7 and change at highland forest Saturday. It’s quite hilly but went well. The gear is good, it’s my legs and lungs/heart that need work. I’m also a bit foolish about drinking enough water. Then the muscle cramps helpfully remind me to hydrate. Where are you going next?


I would not trade my 57L Osprey Aether for anything. Durable, comfy, light and well designed. She has several dozen nights and hundreds of miles on her and is still in perfect condition.