Behold, the North Face Skareb 55l backpacks that will hold our very existence around the globe! We went to the local Sun n Ski to check out a few different packs and, after some testing and deliberating, decided on these. They have an internal aluminum frame suspension that is very adept at keeping a heavy load from bearing down on you. In the store, Indi had me push down as hard as I could on the pack and it felt fine. Huzzah!
55 liters is a little higher than a lot of experts recommended that we go (recommendation was no higher than 50L) for the true ultralight experience, and I believe it – these packs are pretty huge. Indi did a lot of research and had narrowed our options down between these Skarebs and the Osprey Atmos 50. After trying the Atmos, though, it seemed considerably smaller, and less stable, than the Skareb. A little extra room in the pack never hurt anybody (I say from no experience whatsoever!).
We’ve also recieved some our other gear (tent, neoprene Laptop sleeve, shoes, etc.) and we should post pictures/impressions soon.
Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe.
After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world.
Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa.
Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
View all posts by rhysfunk
3 thoughts on “Our Packs!”
Some things to think about as you prepare to travel.If your life depends on it, buy the best the first time, do not skimp on anything. If you buy cheap shit, you get cheap shit. There are lots of knock off items out there that look just like the quality ones but will not last and won’t work as well as the one that costs 5 or 10 dollars more. Buy right the first time or you’ll end up buying it again later.YOU NEED GOOD BOOTS, SOCKS, AND INSOLES PERIOD. Buy the best you can get and make sure to break them in before you start. Get real hiking socks have at least 3 to 4 pairs for each person.You’ll need hats and bandannas A wide brim hat with a chin strap and a good large bandanna make your life easier. They help with rain, dust, walking through the forest, sweat from hiking, etc.Get your asses out and hike around with your fully loaded packs before you start next spring. Trust me, you will want to try them out before you trust your life to them. Make sure that they don’t tend to pull on your shoulders and really distribute weight equally. Ditch the idea of carrying a laptop.Pen and paper or if you have to have something to type with use a PDA etc. You do not want to have to carry around a laptop. After a day that sucker will feel like a gigantic brick tucked in your pack. Use public computers and skip carrying that weight. Aside from the weight issue, it is one more thing to lose, break or have stolen and the benefit it gives isn’t that great.Get LED headlamps. They are cheap, bright and work great to allow you to keep your hands free.Skip the mini mag lites Go with Surefire G2 Nitrolons with the LED lamp will run you about 80 bucks but they put maglites to shame.You each need the following tools:1 Good folding non serated knife (Spyderco Tenacious should work)1 GOOD multitool (Leatherman or Gerber)1 Set of light thin gloves1 Set of warm leather gloves1 Whistle (get a combo whistle with a thermometer, compass and led in it from Coglans)1 Sabre Cut Saw if you plan on camping out and making fires. DO NOT get a hatchet. It doesn’t work as well as the Sabre Cut Saw, weighs more and you can get hurt by it quite easily. 1 Strong belt Make sure your tent can be set up by one person easily in the dark. Also make sure your tent is light. You do not want to be dragging around a heavy ass Wal-Mart tent. Also make sure you can pack it up quickly and tightly after each use before you depend on it. Take it out in the back yard and spray that bastard with a hose for 30 minutes. See how well it holds up to water.Have a ‘get out of jail’ plan for everything that can happen, because one of the following WILL happen and you have to be ready for it. What do you do if:One or both get sick (think dysentery, parasites or just plain Flu)One of you falls and is hurt.One or both get arrestedOne or both are mugged.Your gear is stolen or breaks.Do you plan to have cash for bribes, pick pockets etc?Do you have enough money in reserve to both get a one way ticket home from anywhere in the world should something go wrong or a loved one back in the states is dying?Finally have you guys thought about just hiking around the US first before heading out to other countries? There are loads of places you could hit in the states till you’re physically and emotionally ready to head outside of the states.
DUDE! Rick!! Saw your profile – you look awe-SOME!!! Thx for the comments, all very good points… a few things.We disagree on the laptop front, and his laptop is fairly light. Considering we’re ultralighting virtually everything else, the laptop shouldn’t be that big a burden in our packs – we’ll each be comfortably under 40 pounds.Got most of everything else you discussed, and in the specifications you discuss it. 😉 I had to laugh, because we even got an amphibian compass with a signal mirror and whistle, which you mention (although from a diff company). Our tent, which we’ll post whenever we get around to it, is THREE POUNDS, and VERY easy to set it up (that reminds me, I need to set it up and seal it). We have a great doctor who will be prescribing a considerable amount of meds (antibiotics, steroid pills, etc) before we go, plus we will have travel health insurance. We do have a considerable reserve set aside, plus in a huge emergency, we’ll have 30k in empty credit cards that can be used. Totally agree on pretty much everything here! We have VERY good shoes, trying out several different high-end merino wool socks in them to see which are most comfortable with the shoes. Also, I have quit smoking (this week, actually) to give myself six months of clean lungs before leaving… we’re just doing walking training now, we’ll start adding our packs in a few months once we can easily handle all-day walks without them.
It’s a good thing you didn’t go with the Atmos one. Remember what Atmos did in Doctor Who?-Brock