External Frame packs in city environment question. (1 Viewer)

Rufiodies

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What are your experiences lugging an external frame pack in urban areas? Do you get more shit from the cops? Kicked out of stores/public places more? I know certain places have bans on camping packs, but Chicago isn't one of those areas. I'm torn between a more stealthy set up that involves shoving my stuff inside a duffel bag for using utilities like library or train stations, and the external frame set up, which has more storage and better support.

What kinda advice/experience do you guys have with this? Especially in the chicago area.
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Ezra Fyre

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From friends experiences... Mixed reviews. The pack themselves, they LOVE... Long term traveling - frame packs absolutely rock. The only downside complained of travel wise - harder to get rides hitchhiking.... But not for the normal "looks like an ax murderer" or whatever type reasons... Frame packs cmostly don't fit in cars. So unless the trunk is like totally clear - there's just no place to put person AND pack. That was the travel complaint.
.... As far as cops and stores and harassment - that seemed more to do with appearance and carriage. Friends with new packs looking like they just walked out of a high end camping store, who carry themself like a "normal" person - usually got left alone by officials, regardless of how crusty their actual person was. The friends that had barely holding together packs, but were themselves cleaned up and looking like college kids - also tended to not have much problem. The friends that look like time travelers from the Manson family, and carry themself like they were raised in Lord of the Flies - that frame pack was like waving the PLEASE! Fuck with Me! Here is your excuse flag, while screaming fuck the police! ... Those friends always had a hard time though, but the frame pack definitely made it harder for them.

So, my answer is - It's not the pack, it's the appearance and ATTITUDE of the person wearing it. Act civilized while in civilized society (their definition, not yours) and they're more inclined to treat you like everyone else.... Don't want to be everyone else, expect to be treated as such. The pack is just an excuse to justify what they would do, based on their eyes judgement alone, anyway. It just makes them take more notice of what they're looking at... You could get the same flack wearing a ton of loud bells. Extra looks for sure, but asked to leave, or whatnot, more about you than the pack.

But hey, judgemental assholes are going to be that regardless, anyways... Right?

Best of luck & I hope nobody gives you shit.

Another trick though - especially with libraries and such - Go Ask! (Preferably without pack, at first) Just ask what their policy is... If they say No packs, it's easier to try to reason them to your side and letting you in with it - Before they're trying to throw you out and you're pleading ignorance. Asking first frequently goes a long way, and reasonable people will often make reasonable accommodations to rules - if given a chance. :)
 
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I don't see why the cops would harass you more or less for your pack frame. Cops are just cops. They'll harass you with or without a pack, at all.
 

Rufiodies

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I don't see why the cops would harass you more or less for your pack frame. Cops are just cops. They'll harass you with or without a pack, at all.

Just because it immediately marks you as homeless, especially in an urban environment. Chicago has pretty strong laws protecting homeless (illinois bill of homeless people's rights) but still, you're walking around with a big framed pack with a sleeping bag and whatever lashed to it, I could see you being denied entry/services to certain places (even though that would be against the law technically)
 

Its Anton

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From my experience, Color matters . Rather it is your pack or your clothes, I noticed a huge difference of how people looked at me and treated me . I have traveled with a camo pack and earth tone clothes and learned real quick that is a big no no . With camo cops and people where on guard with the quickness. When I had on blue work uniform pants a grey shirt , kept my hair and face groomed , a trucker hat and my pack was a medium brown leather back pack, then people did not seem to look twice at me. Appearance definitely matters . Humans have a natural instinct to profile for danger and so unfortunately if your concerned with people profiling you as a threat then try your best to blend in and not stand out. Good thing for me is I never gave a crap. Now , if you plan to hop freight, a large frame pack is not good. Sucks too because frame packs are awesome.
 

Rufiodies

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I have two options. I have a Kelty Trekker XLT from when I was in the scouts
https://i.ebayimg.com/thumbs/images/g/zdMAAOSwX0xbSCKs/s-l225.jpg

Or I have this https://kommandostore.com/products/sadf-pattern-83-battle-jacket

My plan with the second option is, I have a folding black duffle that can fit my bag, and my sleeping bag, and some other extra's I'd have lashed to my back if I was traveling, like tarps, and a yellow pvc long almost trench raincoat, as well my hammock set up. I was thinking I could lug the duffle around when I was in the city to stay inconspicuous so I could use amenities and public utilities, then when I was traveling I could have everything lashed to my pack, and the duffle folds flat.

The SADF P83 battle jacket is smaller, but it's olive drab military shit, so it looks like i'm packing, where as the frame pack is blue, so I look like i'm camping. the frame pack holds more, and more comfortably, with the SADF thing, I'm limited on my total carry, and the kidney belt isn't as supportive.

I'm just kinda back and forth here. What I should really do is sell both, as the SADF thing is in demand cause of the movie, that ad I posted has it going for almost 200, and I could just buy a more suitable bag, and probably a nice compact sleeping back, and hammock to boot. But I really don't have the time to get this sold, and I don't have the space to carry shit around with me to sell it.
 
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I'd go with an Osprey or Granite gear pack as they're great packs, not cheap and you wouldn't look homeless(not a bad thing). The expensive packs is like a mind trick with people, they see it and automatically assume that the person has some money to be able to afford good gear. I love my pack- the colors are great for stealth camping.
 

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