How to get stronger to carry bag? (1 Viewer)

BusGypsy

Wanderer
I closed my account
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
184
Location
Away
My EDC is about 15-20 lbs; I'm 130 lbs. and it sometimes leaves my lower back sore. I've gone through my bag and can't think of anything that I wouldn't need. Any tips? Maybe work outs to get a stronger back?
 
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!

roughdraft

RápidoCorrenLosCarrosRespletoLosRielesDFerrocarril
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
1,300
Location
smocation
I'm in the same boat, i am tired of not being stronger

from what I've heard Running is the most holistic and simple form of exercise, cuts yr abs and glutes and strengthens your back faster than anything else. just word of mouth. my one piece of advice is don't overdo it or you can get seriously ill (my dad used to run @100+miles per week. conservative estimate no lie. i am convinced this is what gave him colon cancer because his internal organs just got annihilated from pounding the pavement so often and so consistently) anyway that shouldn't be a problem for you or me. im starting...tomorrow

also obvious one is Yoga but you have to do it correctly or you'll fuck yourself up (?) really i never regret a good yoga session
 
D

Deleted member 20

I closed my account
I wouldnt actually be removing items as that would be counterproductive. I now ergonomics plays a part in how & where loads are distributed. Perhaps its not the contents & the weight but more so the design of the pack & where the weight gets distributed. Your height may also be a factor in this equation. Sure I am spoiled some as I am a bit larger & taller than you but I have carried the same loads in different packs & noticed huge comfort changes.

I kinda like the burn of wearing a pack for a few hours over the course of weeks/month. My ability to handle that same load is noticeably improved after carrying it for awhile. I recognize that over time (years) even after long periods (months) without shouldering a pack that those muscles tend to better prepared for the next time. I dont workout or exercise and am overweight atm but there is a confidence in managing an uncomfortable pack. My back is always sore after but I do not attribute that to injury more so to getting used to such strength training again. The longer I carry a pack the less I recognize that it is there.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

noothgrush

Wanderer
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
143
Location
Seward, Alaska
I hate lugging around a lot of crap so if I know I'm going to be hanging around awhile I'll find a place to store my bag where it won't get messed with and just carry a regular jansport with the essentials. I know this isn't always an option but I'm pretty crafty and luck has been on my side that nothing has been stolen from me.
 

warlo

Wanderer
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
174
Website
www.bonsai.cf
Maybe you already know all this, but I'll say it anyways just in case someone finds it useful.

First: learn how to adjust your pack properly. there's the waist belt, that should sit right on top of your hip bones and it should be as tight as it can so that when you loosen the shoulderstraps you can feel the whole weight of your pack on your hips/legs. use that set up when walking on a flat surface (not going up or down). then learn to distribute a bit of the weight to your shoulders and most of it to your hips/legs when you are going up and make sure to put it all or most on your shoulders when you are going down (specially on stairs) as if all the weight or most sits in your hips and legs you'll destroy them, mainly your knees.

Second: make sure you have a good backpack. short and fat ones like the alice pack or similar are really bad for you. the best ones are the tall ones. make sure the heaviest items are closer to your back and in the middle to top of the pack. all items at the bottom should be light. learn how to distribute the weight, its an art that can make huge difference. take it from someone who thought his pack would never feel light again since I started carrying an accordion, and after giving up removing items from my pack (I was down to the absolutely essentials) figured out that the disposition of the items could make a difference that would be really difficult for me to explain without sounding like i'm exaggerating.

Third: make sure you are not carrying lots of unnecessary items. this is really hard to do for most people, but almost everybody ends up giving up holding on the non-absolutely essentials so why wait and destroy your body?. If it goes on for too long that you cant give up any more items or build muscles to carry your pack, consider a trolley or a wheeled pack (or van living / motorcycle / bicycle / etc). you can get chronic injuries. again, take it from someone who's got left shoulder chronic pain thanks to not knowing what im saying here 8 years ago and insist on carrying a very heavy shitty pack for a year or so cause i couldnt give up a shit ton of "very useful stuff".

Fourth: take a lot of breaks from your pack, even if it feels unnecessary. after all, once you get sored then you are not going to recover as long as you keep carrying your pack. so any chance you get to drop your pack on the ground, even if its for a couple minutes or a single one, do it. dont wait to feel pain to do so.

Fifth and most important: never expect a weightless pack or get sored. (even if its an ultralight set up). after all, its unnatural to carry weight that way and muscles get sored from anything that isnt resting. its ok to feel sored or tired after hauling your stuff around. what you want to avoid is pain and injuries.


PS: id say yoga and excercise is really good advice. im not so fond of sports or planned excercise. but stretching/yoga is something I really like. a day with a yoga session and a day without feels like day and night to me.
 

Anagor

Hobo
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
748
Age
47
Location
Bonn, Germany
Website
anagortravelling.wordpress.com
My EDC is about 15-20 lbs; I'm 130 lbs. and it sometimes leaves my lower back sore. I've gone through my bag and can't think of anything that I wouldn't need. Any tips? Maybe work outs to get a stronger back?

I would second what @warlo said: "make sure you are not carrying lots of unnecessary items."

Ask yourself if there is really nothing you could ditch. As I started traveling my backpack was quite heavy cause besides my sleeping bag and sleeping pad I carried a few spare outfits, a spare jacket, a tarp with pegs, a rainponcho, even a notebook computer. And lots of bits and pieces like compass, torches, multitools, etc. All that added up to a quite heavy bag.

Later I found out I don't need most of the stuff I carried.

Last time I was on the road I had 3 sleeping bags in my backpack (since it was winter), the clothes I wore and not much more. And I never felt I would need more.

Your mileage may vary, though. Depending on traveling style, means of transportation, location, weather.
 
D

Deleted member 11392

I closed my account
my one piece of advice is don't overdo it or you can get seriously ill (my dad used to run @100+miles per week. conservative estimate no lie. i am convinced this is what gave him colon cancer because his internal organs just got annihilated from pounding the pavement so often and so consistently)

I'm sorry about your dad. Respectfully, you cannot get colon cancer from running. There are athletes who run far more than 100 miles/week and their risk of cancer isn't higher because of this.
 

roughdraft

RápidoCorrenLosCarrosRespletoLosRielesDFerrocarril
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
1,300
Location
smocation
I'm sorry about your dad. Respectfully, you cannot get colon cancer from running. There are athletes who run far more than 100 miles/week and their risk of cancer isn't higher because of this.

no worries, totally just an unfounded theory i came up with

you don't think overexercise can put a major hurting on your internal organs though? maybe the catalyst between one and another would be quality of diet.
 

rando

Wanderer
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
55
Location
up in the clouds
There isn't much more I can ad especially after what @warlo said BUT A CHEAP PACK SUCKS. If you can afford it, get a good pack. Not a day pack (like for school) not even a pack from REI is good enough imo. Go military surplus or find a company that makes packs for expeditions. I have a "mystery ranch" brand pack and it's fricken sweet. They have good stuff on there website but it's not cheap. I got mine at a pawn shop for a third the original price. Check pawn shops and thrift stores!
 

mono

Newbie
Joined
Jul 3, 2018
Messages
28
Location
World 2-1, Mushroom Kingdom
pull ups specifically helped me with this. 2 decades of being sat hunched over pc screens totally mashed up my back

if they're too hard to do (no shame in it - a lot of people nowadays struggle to do more them to start with) start from the top position and try to control the way down
 

BirdDaddy

Born Wild
StP Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
418
Age
31
Location
Wondering
Im sorry if i restate whzt has been said but packs are just as much uniqe to ppl as pp, are. So the first stdp is to have a pack that is ment for a person of your size and build, The typ of pack has alot to do with your body, experiance and needs. Second is how you pack the pack. Waight distrubutation has everythi g to do with pack balance and your natural center of gravity is not to be fucked with bc this would cause alot of lower back pain as you have to keep your upeer body steady and bad displacment makes more work for your back. The type of pack depends on how you should displace the waight as the differant designs put loads on differant spots of your body so a differant waight distributation is required. An ez example is an ALICE pack ( military- all pourpose light waight indavidual carrying equipment) VS your red cloud 80 from kelty. The alice is displaced low so you pack the heavy high the kelty is displaced high so you pack the heavy in the middle other wise your working your back, core and over exerting energy wasting valuable foods water and causing unwanted discomforts. Not being in shap will affect all of this and as your body cbanges so can your needs of a pack. Of cours the body is resiliant and will eventualy adjust to any dailey abuse.
I was learned how to hunt ppl and pack my ruck by a viatnam sniper William Knox aka WW knox or Bill. Bill told me that the first thing taught in ranger school is to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Bc it dosent matter how light your pack is or how good it is. If you walk far enough or long enough it will become uncomfortable and anoying as it is unnatural. Become comfortable, welcome the all familure pull on your shoulders the waight on your kidny and the callous on your shoulders... your pack is your home and it comforts you as you stride on. Stride on.
 

noothgrush

Wanderer
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
143
Location
Seward, Alaska
no worries, totally just an unfounded theory i came up with

you don't think overexercise can put a major hurting on your internal organs though? maybe the catalyst between one and another would be quality of diet.
Those ultra-marathon runners hit organ failure quite a bit from some of the stories I have heard. David Goggins tells a great story about literally shitting blood after a 24 hour run.
 
D

Deleted member 20

I closed my account
Go military surplus or find a company that makes packs for expeditions

The other thing to consider with military packs is that they are not built for comfort. Sure alice packs come in various sizes now but rarely is the weight evenly distributed even with a frame. Most military style packs are not exactly designed to be worn on a petite female torso either. Most high end hiking packs offer female specific sized & designed packs. Its worth knowing but pack choice could make the difference noticeable.
 

T Paradise

Newbie
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
42
Location
Metz
If you can't find anything to ditch in your pack you can still upgrade what you have to lighter versions, including the pack itself.
Especially military backpacks are really heavy. The only reason I see to get one is if you need the durability. I think a large Alice pack with frame weights more than my complete current setup excluding consumables.
If you haven't paid attention to the weight when getting your stuff, chances are that you could get a lot of lighter alternatives.
Getting under 10lb is doable, without losing too much comfort in my experience. You actually gain comfort, because you don't have to carry so much shit all the time.
 

Anagor

Hobo
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
748
Age
47
Location
Bonn, Germany
Website
anagortravelling.wordpress.com
In my humble opinion downsizing rules!

Disclaimer: As said before, it all depends on the kind of travel you do, circumstances and location. For me, it's traveling in Europe, by hitchhiking or taking a long distance bus or train and staying in larger cities (think London, Bristol, Manchester, ...), no countryside.

So, for my next trip (which will be in Spring I guess) I plan the following:

My karrimor backpack
It's quite leightweight and I got it for free in Bristol 2 years ago

2 sleeping bags
Why 2? For me, my sleeping bag is the most essential thing to have. It gives me the option to sleep anywhere, it keeps me warm when I sit somewhere in the cold, etc. So I like to have a backup. Plus you can use one of the sleeping bags as insulation to the ground (if you are too lazy to get cardboard) or borrow it to a friend who has no sleeping bag with him/her if needed.

One change of clothing
Just something lightweight like a t-shirt and jogging pants. Not really needed, but comes handy if you need to wash the clothes you wear and don't want to be naked in the meantime.

Underpants and socks
Just one or two pairs each. More can be obtained when needed.

Bits and pieces in the backpack
Phone charger, spare glasses (I need glasses to see), sewing needle plus dental floss (I keep them in the case of the glasses, so they don't get lost), a small roll of tape, superglue, sharpie, nail scissors (I have a quite robust one, can be used to open cans as well), a spoon, wet wipes.

Bits and pieces on me
Smartphone, wallet with my ID in it on a chain, another wallet for money (in case I have some, haha), harmonica (to make money "busking"), tiny pen knife, small led torch.

Thats it.

:)
 

Jackthereaper

Vagabond
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
281
Location
Earth
Either just walk with half loads for a while when you homebum to build up to it, or play a sport if you can. Join an organized team and workout.

I only travel half the year, and play ice hockey the rest of the time. Its amazing to see my body one month before and one month after starting to play. It strengthens the core muscles and back very well and i find i can carry a 50lb pack if i need to(prefer to keep it light though so i can run).
If you can find anywhere to play and can find some used gear i would recommend anyone play, my current team has 5 doctors on it if that says anythng.
 

HanZi

Newbie
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
44
Location
Homeless travels
IDK the answer, but I started with a 60lb pack and hiking mountains, my bag is down to maybe 35lbs Max now. So it's like a cake walk at this point. But I do still get tired of carrying it, just can carry it much longer now. And I weigh 150, but I l
use to carry 80lb bundles of shingles all day long and worked construction for 12 years before I started traveling too
 
D

Deleted member 20

I closed my account
Either just walk with half loads for a while when you homebum to build up to it,
I dont think you have quite mastered the traveler nomenclature yet @Jackthereaper !! You may want to relearn the different nuances between greenhorn, homebum, tramp,rubber tramp, traveler, traveller, hitchhiker, hobo, oogle, anarchist, hippy, punk, traincore, rainbow & housie, houseless before using one incorrectly again. There once was a thread that explained the historical differences but I don't know where it went.

The act of homebumming is not something housies do, nor is it the same as being housed up. I think homebum is one of those words that can have a negative connotation if another describes someone as such. Its like I could be a homebum & or bumming it while homeless & not traveling but its kinda uncool for someone to call me a homebum or refer to me as a homebum. Most homebums never ever travel or have ever traveled. Many homebums suffer from mental illness & substance abuse, a few homebums once were/are travelers & may have circumstances that prohibit their traveling. Sometimes they share the same ailments as genuine homebums but often this is a temporary station in life. Sometimes people get daily habits & can no longer travel or have to stay stationary for some reason but may also not be housed up. Usually homebums dont dream big or plan excursions. Many greenhorns live in a house but are planning to travel, some are also young teens. I personally have & do live in an apt so housed up as a housie, I once was a greenhorn; I have been homeless & houseless, am also a hobo/hitchhiker/traveler all though not currently traveling full time and I also have Traveller (2 L's) ancestors. I have rubber tramped around as a passenger but not as a driver. I have attended Rainbow gathering but not a rainbow kid or a hippy. I identify as a punk but less & less do I look like a punk in my middle age years, as there is no official uniform .

The majority of us who are housies live in relative comfort & security while not ever being homeless or homebums.. Most homebums might never consider traveling or being housed but still might take offense to being called a bum. Any of these terms can be derogatory, especially if spoken from the opinion of an outsider who is confused. Someone who has never been homeless might not want to ever use that term. For the record homebums definitely do not play ice hockey or participate in organized sport & usually do not have doctors or health insurance. They do not consider how much a pack weighs as they have probably never owned a pack & or shouldered one. Perhaps housebum could be interchanged for housie but again if it spoken about me instead of by me or another like me it can be derogatory.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Users who are viewing this thread

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$105.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully this will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $105.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.