You are listening to the radio, when you hear about an uprising happening close to you. You grab you duffel bag and a tactical backpack and throw it in your bug-out-mobile to get out of dodge.
On your route out of town, you get stranded in a riot. You left your car and your duffel because you decided to bug out on foot.
One problem… 5 miles into your march, your shoulders get sore, your back gets tired, and your knees get weak.
This is a common problem for someone that is hiking with a bag that isn’t designed for it. You really need to keep a framed pack meant to distribute weight and keep it close to your center of gravity.
If you don’t choose the correct frame for you, you could be the recipient of severe consequences.
There are three main frame types that work well for a bag.
Each frame comes with its own advantages and drawbacks. Know what is available, and choose what you need.
Why should you consider an external frame? First, they have better weight dispersal. What this means for you is less compensating for shifted weight in your pack.
If you want something close to your body, so there is less weight causing you to lean, then skip the external frame.
Internal frames are close to the body, so it feels like it is more “connected” to your body. You end up leaning a little less.
They are poor at dispersing weight evenly, so you will end up doing more work on one shoulder than the other, or not quite getting the perfect amount on your waist.
This is not the best of both worlds. It is pretty good at both, but sacrifices some in each area.
Hybrid frames have better weight dispersal over internal framed packs, but are closer to the body than most external frames.
Although there are increasingly different hybrid frame packs coming out, a very reliable design is the “perimeter frame”.
When researching and trying bug out bags, don’t forget to research different frames, because they all lay differently on your body.
There is a perfect frame out there for you. You can find it. You just have to try many of them out to get a baseline of how each type feels.
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