Outdoor Action Backpack

<p>Our family has NO experience with camping, hiking, backpacking. Which type of backpack is best, external frame or internal frame? I have tried to do some research but can't seem to find which type would be best for my son. We are going to go to the local Eastern Mountain Sports store but I wanted to get some input from possibly students who went in the past or someone who has some knowledge. Thanks!</p>

<p>Most serious backpackers prefer internal frames, but either type will be fine for OA. If your son doesn't plan to do any backpacking after the trip, he can also choose to borrow an OA backpack -- most of them are fairly new internals.</p>

<p>Since your family has NO experience with being outdoors, it's probably safe to say that your son won't be needing a backpack after the OA trip. You're probably much better off borrowing a backpack from OA - they're in very good condition, and they've been optimized for the trip over a number of years, so you know it will work well for the type of trip he's going on. I understand that this may not be the most attractive of options, since after all the backpack has been touched many times by the commonfolk, but I'm sure your son won't be too proud for that.</p>

<p>Thanks for the responses. It will probably be a good idea to borrow one. I just thought that since we are within driving distance that we should purchase one and leave the ones that OA have for someone that has to fly to campus. I don't think that he would mind using one that someone used last year, but I will have to check with him on that one. I guess I will have him contact OA and see if there are any left.</p>

<p>As an OA leader, I can tell you that you don't need to worry about your son taking a pack away from someone else; there are plenty to go around. Buying your own, especially if you'll probably never use it again, is unnecessary and expensive.</p>

<p>Thank you. I will talk to him about borrowing one. Since they have ones that he can borrow it does seem foolish to spend the money on something that he will probably never use again.</p>

<p>On the other hand, my son used his for traveling in Costa Rica this summer. Backpacks aren't just for camping. If your son has no interest in the low-budget, nomadic kind of travel, however, then definitely borrow one.</p>

<p>did anyone else end up spending a ridiculous amount on OA? Mom and I just got back from the local sports store. Wow did her credit card take a hit. Thermarests run at 90, plus the carrier bag which is 15, hiking boots are at LEAST 100.. Plus all of that other expensive stuff and it all adds up--wow. Is anyone else feeling a tad overwhelmed?</p>

<p>I bought everything I needed at Target for less than $20. You know you can borrow a sleeping bag (and pretty much everything else) from OA right?</p>

<p>And you wonder why Princeton kids are accused of being rich and snobby.</p>

<p>We didn't buy a backpack or sleeping bag. Actually, we didn't own a good portion of the things on the list. Everything that we didn't own we picked up at the sports store, many of which were on sale. We did check Target and also online for alternatives, but even there the items were just as expensive as what we paid for at the sports store. I'm not trying to be "rich and snobby"--just wondering how everyone else is dealing or if there are other options because we can always return our stuff (tags are still on) and purchase through other venues. Please don't think that I'm spending blindly or that this is typical. Usually parents and I are extremely cautious with money. We're also middle class, so we're not exactly rich either.</p>

<p>We are also trying to prepare for both OA and dorm essentials... all the things add up </p>

<p>For OA:
We used the equipment list, and looked very hard around the house to see if we can reuse/recycle or turn something into an item on the list, we found portable flash lights, pocket knives, small bottles of hand sanitizers we can refill, sun lotions and bug sprays, hats, sun glasses, plastic water bottles, plastic coffee mug and bowl plate, etc, etc, etc</p>

<p>Fortunately we have a sleeping mat for camping, but we did get a spleeing bag for $30-$40, it's one of those mummy ones, quite nice for the price... other things we don't have and ended up buying are linear socks and wool hiking socks.</p>

<p>S has only cotton t-shirts, pants and jeans, so we also eneded up getting some hiking pants/shorts, and sports t-shirts (he could use them late for jogging hopefully), hiking boots, rain jacket.</p>

<p>All these add up... now the big question is "Should we get the backpack or not?" </p>

<p>From reading the previous postings, looks like that we really don't need one...</p>

<p>Thanks for all the information!</p>

<p>TigerMom2014-I too have been looking around my apartment for things that my son can reuse. If you don't mind me asking where did you find a sleeping bag for that price? I have been looking and can't find one cheaper than the one they suggest on the list. I am a bit confused because of what they said the filling should be. We also bought the socks and are looking into the rainjacket and he does need some sort of pants, he like everyone else only has jeans.
I told my son that he should see about borrowing a backpack from the school, since that seems to be the most expensive item, but he wants to have one so that we can pack it before we go. He wants to make sure that his stuff will fit. I don't think that he realizes all of the other stuff that we will have!</p>

<p>The main thing with the sleeping bags is to make sure that it's not made out of cotton or any other fabric that will take forever and a day to dry if it gets wet. So, you don't have to get anything really expensive, but it should probably be made out of a synthetic fabric. Same goes for clothes, which is why jeans are a really, really bad idea.</p>

<p>ProudNJMom: If you're going to do a "trial run" of packing a pack, please keep in mind that your son will also be carrying a good amount of group gear, food, etc. so be sure to leave room! If it's a problem, I'm sure his leader will be able to help him figure out what he needs and what he doesn't.</p>

<p>Thanks Tralalala. It's nice to have a leader reading our questions.
How in the world are we going to fit everything??? Maybe I am stressing way too much about this. I think that he wants to have one so he can figure it out himself. Thanks for letting me know about the extra stuff that he will have to carry. I did read that but it slipped my mind. I will have to remind him.</p>

<p>I think people often bring a lot more stuff than they need. For myself, all I bring as far as clothes go are two pairs of shorts, one pair of long pants, one long-sleeved and two/three short-sleeved shirts, and a fleece to keep warm as well as socks and underwear (don't skimp on those last two!) Bringing a whole lot more clothes than that would probably take up a lot of space.</p>

<p>Also, there's more room in a pack than you might think, especially since some things (like sleeping bags and pads) can be lashed to the outside.</p>

<p>ProudNJMom -
I got the sleeping bag at MSports for 20% off, I just checked, it was $49.99, $39.99 after discount, I got it back in July I think it's around 4th of July time....</p>

<p>What I found out is that the camping stores tend to sell more expensive, one can get similar things in MSports, Dudham, or even Kmart/Walmart (they may not be brand name, but hey ...:-) </p>

<p>S also has the same idea, wants to get one so he can pack up to see how much the backpack can hold and set aside all the OA stuff, etc. </p>

<p>I guess another thing he could do is to put all the OA stuff in a separate box/bag, and pack them after after OA check in...?</p>

<p>tralalala- like ProudNJMom, I'd like to thank you for all your advice and suggestions, they are really helpful...</p>

<p>Will they let me participate if I just wear sneakers? I REALLY believe hiking boots are unnecessary; I'm a laid back kind of guy and don't mind if my feet bleed or anything.</p>

<p>TigerMom2014 - Thanks for the info on the sleeping bag. I will have my son check out the website. And I too have found that the camping stores are more expensive, but he wants to go and check out the different types of packs and have someone show him the best way to attach some of the stuff. I am still pushing for him to borrow the pack, but what if he really likes OA and wants to become a leader like tralalala? Then he will have his own to bring. Right now he is focusing on breaking in the boots!</p>

<p>Chairman Guo: Hiking boots are absolutely essential. They stabilize and provide support for your ankles so that when you're walking on uneven terrain (stepping on and around rocks, roots, etc.) you're not going to turn your ankle if you make a misstep. Trust me on this; each step is "weightier" when you've got a heavy pack on your back and you won't be as nimble or balanced as usual. If you don't bring your own boots, your leaders will require you to use old OA boots, which is not ideal but still way better than wearing sneakers. No leader wants to have to evacuate a frosh who can't walk!</p>

<p>ProudNJMom: I'm leading my third trip in September and still don't own a pack! Leaders can borrow them too, and we get nicer ones than the frosh. The night before we leave on the trip, the leaders will go over the equipment list, explain the best way to pack a pack, and demonstrate the use of lash straps before helping everyone pack up, so I wouldn't stress about it. We assume zero backpacking experience.</p>

<p>Packing pro tip: I don't know whether they mentioned this on the equipment list, but I find it really helpful to pack everything in gallon Ziploc bags -- one bag for shirts, one for socks, one for toiletries, etc. This way, everything will be organized as well as waterproof.</p>

<p>They did mention to bring ziplock bags and heavy garbage bags. But not to worry, I am known as the "Ziplock Queen"!</p>