Has anyone tried Teton brand packs/gear? (1 Viewer)

John Wick

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I'm trying to assemble a bug out bag/ vagabond bag for myself. In the survival community, a bug out bag is a bag that supports a person surviving for 3 days when moving from a dangerous location to a safer location in an emergency. I have a mediocre bug out bag and would like to convert it to be able to support being a vagrant traveler as well. I would like to upgrade the bug out bag's backpack as I find it too small to hold all the things I need.

The question is, what size bag should I get? I've got a low budget, probably less than $100. I considered military surplus bags, but after some research, decided a modern hiking bag would better suit my needs for the same or better price. I want to buy the TETON Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack on amazon, especially now that it is on sale for $55 and free shipping.

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Has anyone used this brand of pack? The reviews are about as good as they get, with 4.4 stars from over 1,400 reviews. It is 65 Liters. There is another version called the Explorer 3400 that is 55 liters.

I'm 5'6", 175 pounds, and in reasonably okay shape.

The pack needs to help me in:
-Travelling by foot, car, train (maybe), bus, etc. (must not be too large or heavy)
-Shelter from the elements(Tarp, clothing)
-Sleep gear (sleeping pad, sleeping bag)
-Getting water
-Getting food (from society, not the wild)
-Protecting myself from people and animals (weapons)
-Lighting
-Entertainment (small 12 inch laptop, small books, chargers, etc.)
-Personal hygiene
-First aid
-Taking pictures of my travels (small photo kit with lenses, batteries, etc.)

The bulk of my camera gear, sleeping bag and pad, and food make me want to get the larger 65 Liter pack.

In summary:
I want to buy a cheap but quality pack. My wants are above average in terms of what I want to carry, so I'm leaning towards a 65 L pack. I want to be able to travel a reasonable distance on foot.

What size pack do you use?

What pack do you use?

How long have you been traveling?

How much stuff do you carry?

Are you happy with your amount of equipment?

What size pack do you recommend?

Have you used or heard of Teton as a quality brand?

Thanks.
 
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Wile E Coyote

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I haven't tried that one, but the pack looks to be the material same material as my High Sierra Titan 55L. I've used this pack for about 4 years now.. I've certainly got my money's worth out of it but I would caution that the material is a bit delicate. I've had to be extremely careful with it.. a sturdier material like canvas would be much more preferred.. I nearly wore out the front pocket simply by stashing my pack against a brick wall when I first got the pack. Once I realised how fragile the nylon is, I've been able to avoid causing too much damage but get snagged on something and you'll wish you'd gone with something a little more durable. If that's the best you can find for the money you have, just be careful with it. Like I said, mine's lasted 4 years now.. but I'm always super mindful about it rubbing against anything or getting snagged on trees
 

Wile E Coyote

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As for size, I carry my 55L just fine, it's comfy enough that distance isn't a huge issue but tbh I doubt I need that much pack.. it depends on what you're packing for though. I keep cold weather gear, rain gear and summer gear so I'm always prepared for the weather because I never know quite where I'll end up next. 65L would get cumbersome, I suspect. Around 45L would probably be ideal for me.. but I carry no electronics so it's hard to say what you'll need. It might be worth ordering something on the smaller side and trying to pack everything you want to take in there, if it fits, great.. if not, see if you can trim any gear or return it and get something bigger if needed. Ideally you want the smallest pack you can manage because you will be lugging that fucker all over
 

SlankyLanky

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The pack needs to help me in:
-Travelling by foot, car, train (maybe), bus, etc. (must not be too large or heavy)
-Shelter from the elements(Tarp, clothing)
-Sleep gear (sleeping pad, sleeping bag)
-Getting water
-Getting food (from society, not the wild)
-Protecting myself from people and animals (weapons)
-Lighting
-Entertainment (small 12 inch laptop, small books, chargers, etc.)
-Personal hygiene
-First aid
-Taking pictures of my travels (small photo kit with lenses, batteries, etc.)
this isnt a unreasonable amount of gear at all.

i have a scout 3400 that i got as a gift earlier this year and i love it. fully loaded including food i still have room in the main compartment and thats with my sleeping bag not in a stuff sack just inside the bottom compartment. if i put my bag in a stuff sack i have even more room. i think 65 liters is just to big and because of the way the packs designed youd end up with alot of extra room in the main compartment making yer gear toss and turn all over the place. you can cram alot of stuff into 55 liters personally ide say go with that size.
 

Antlered

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First thing with bags, is the immortal question: "Is my bag too small or am I packing too much?" Most of the time with people and bugout bags, is the tendency to want to pack for every conceivable contigency that they can contrive. "I need to be ready for anything and everything! Zombies! Nukes! Alien Invasions! Oh my!"

There's a whole schpiel below if you want more. But, first that bag. From what research I made, it appears to have good reviews. 600D nylon is a sturdy, middle ground material. It's heavier than some, tougher than a few, and mostly weather resistant. UV has a nasty habit of wrecking synthetic fibers. Hell, it has a nasty habit of wrecking damn near everything. I've never personally used Teton gear, but a few I know have used it for backpacking and it seemed to hold up well in the woods.

The Schpiel:

The most critical requirement of any bag, is "DOES IT FIT ME WELL?" If it's ill-fitted, don't bother. Your everything will hurt, life will suck, and hauling it anywhere will be miserable. Seriously, take the time, and go to a reputable store and get fitted for one. It will save you much headache, heartache and backache. If they are good with their customers, you can tell them: "I have X dollars. I'd like a pack that does Y, and won't murder me."

Ask yourself a few honest questions:
"What is most likely to be the cause for me to need this?"
"What around me is likely to go wrong that I need to go away for a while? A long while? Possibly forever?"
"What do I personally need to ensure my own safety, health and wellness?"
"Is there anyone else I need to assist? Is it me, or do I have friends/family that need my help to get to safety?"
"How do I plan to get to safety? What is my vehicle? What's my route? What are my options in case those aren't going to work?"
"How long is this going to last? A few days? Weeks? Months? Years?"
"What services can I leverage to help myself and those I need to help?"
"Who knows where I am going, and who I'm going with?"
"How can I stay in contact with those I leave behind?"
Those questions, and the answers to them should guide you well. They are not an exhaustive list. You will have other questions.

The answers I came up with myself were actually really mundane. Something wrong with the house I live in. Fire. Broken Pipe that floods everything. Power failure. However, that only applies to me, right now, where I am. What would I need to ensure my personal safety? This depends on the area, and the threats in that area. Do you have any medical issues that need prescribed medication? If so, start considering asking your doctor for a longer supply. Some drugs they can prescribe a few months supply for you. Most, they cannot. Never hurts to ask.

Most of the time, it's not going to be a major widespread disaster. Disasters like that don't often happen without any warning. Earthquakes are an exception. Floods have warning time. Hurricanes have warning time. Tsunamis have warning time. (Not much, usually an hour at most.) Major weather patterns, blizzards and such are blasted across every weather station on the airwaves for days in advance.

External frames are good for lashing things to. Internal frames tend to be more comfortable, and less apt to snag on things. There is a whole internet debate over which is better. The answer I give? Depends on what you're doing.

Appearance: Go with something sensible. Bright colors attract attention. Camo patterns tend to make people associate you with paramilitary groups. Light colors show dirt, and black gets really hot inside. MOLLE is useful for attaching things, but can snag.

Weight and durability often go hand in hand. 15D silnylon weighs next to nothing. It also rips really easy compared to others. Heavy canvas truck tarp is tough stuff. It's waxed cotton, it's the John Wayne of materials. Rough, tough, and doesn't take shit off anyone. A pack made of this would last a very long time. The pack would also weigh 20 pounds empty. So we look for a middle ground. 600D nylon is right about the middle.

The list of requirements is bog-standard for what a person wants out of a hiking backpack. I'd recommend something padded for the camera gear, or just get a cheap cam that takes pictures you can tolerate, but that won't leave you heartbroken if it dies. The trails and roads are not kind to anything with delicate parts. A smartphone in a good case would be a better choice than a laptop. Laptops are bulky, fragile, and attractive to thieves. Smartphones are attractive for theft too, but provide much more in terms of functionality. Foremost, you can let people know what's going on and call for help. US regulations require that any cell phone, regardless of service. If it has signal, it must be able to call 911. Chargers for phones are smaller, lighter, and found just about everywhere. Lose a laptop charger, and depending on what model it is, you might be S.O.L. Paper back books are a great idea. Multiple uses, entertainment while you read them, trading fodder when you're done, and in a pinch, you can use them for hygiene purposes, or to get a fire going.


Recommendations for gear? Want some?

Travelling: Good workboots. Comfortable. Leather. Tough. Slightly heavy but good ankle support. Grippy soles.

Shelter: Depends. I've used a tent for the space and the ability to have all my stuff inside with me. I've also used a bivybag and a tarp.
Tarps are quicker and cheaper. Bivies are easier to manage because they slip over your bag, and when you roll about, don't have the tendency of uncovering part of you in the rain or snow. Tents are nicer when you have to wait out a rainstorm or something and want to do it dry, but are out in the middle of nowhere.

Sleep Gear: Sleeping bag liner, bag, folding foam mattress. The liner is easier to wash and dry, and works as a warm weather bag when it's above 60F. Bag's good for padding if it's warm. Foam doesn't lose its cushion when punctured. Sometimes I just find a nice soft grassy area. Cardboard works in a pinch too.

Water: Sawyer filter, and found bottles. In town, just ask for water. In the woods, filter or boil, sometimes, filter AND boil.
Food: Ziplock gallon bags for saving stuff from wherever. Either what I get by asking, or what I find.

Weapons: Depends. Personally? I use a shoulder height hickory walking stick. It's simple, doesn't need sharpening or jam. When used as a walking stick, you can carry it anywhere. I've never had to check it at a door, or have security personnel question me about it. It's an all-audiences crowd pleaser. Bad dogs know what it means as soon as you raise it and yell. Any that I have encountered were happy to show me what their tail looked like and how fast it could go away. Most bad people will figure out what's about pretty quick too. It's also multi-purpose. Guns often cause more trouble than they're worth. There are also cases where they are THE thing to use in a situation. There are also a lot of situations where having one can land you in a lot more trouble. Knives are good to have too, but more as a last resort. A stick has reach. A knife doesn't. Never throw a knife. If you miss, now they have a knife and you don't.

Lighting: Found anywhere, usually cheap. Try to make sure everything uses the same batteries.

Entertainment: Books. Sometimes phone. Mostly being outside and fishing or bird watching. Working is also surprisingly entertaining if the job you're doing doesn't suck.

Personal Hygiene: The usual. Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, you get it.

First Aid: Lightweight, really, a few bandaids, and antiseptic stuff. Over-counter stuff for the common problems. Sore throats, stomach bugs, blisters, cuts and scrapes, etc.

Pictures: Smartphone camera. Sure, the camera on every smartphone is crap compared to a professional setup. It's also easier to stuff in a pocket. It's also easier to care for than a camera body and lenses.


As for my pack and me?
I use a Deuter 75+10. (Money was good, and it was on sale for a song) I am a large individual, so everything I wear has more material. Pants are longer. Shirts are longer. Everything is wider. Even folded, that stuff takes space.

I've been travelling on and off since 2010.

I carry more than I should. It's nice having it when I do. I use an alcohol stove, for instance. I like my coffee. I like it hot. Sometimes I'm nowhere near a gas station or place that offers it for free. I like my alcohol stove, because it's dead quiet and with the windscreen, nearly invisible to passers by. Alcohol is mostly everywhere, and in a pinch, the windscreen doubles as a can to burn solids, like sticks, cardboard, pine cones and other junk. High proof liquor works too. I'd rather drink it, but in a pinch, I can warm myself up with a fire.

I am happy with my amount of equipment. It could always be lighter. It could always be smaller. Replacements could always be cheaper. However, when things get lighter, they often get less durable.

I would recommend the size of pack that holds everything you need and some things you want. One that fits your spinal length and shoulder width. One that makes it easier to carry all your worldly possessions. One that will last long enough to satisfy the question of if you get your money's worth out of it.

Conclusion: It's your journey. It's your weight.
With Health and Luck,
Antlered
 
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Art101

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I'm taking a 50 liter on a 30 day hop out sorta thing.After a trial pack it seems to be holding everything I need.Will let you know how it works.
 

Skav

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Hi, I'm 5'7 and 140 lbs give or take.
Ive used the tenton scout 3400 on and off since fall of 2016. It rides well and so far no sign of ware on the seams or problems with the zipper.

I've done a few hitchhiking adventures with it(1-3 weeks long), taken it on hikes to break it in/test it. and a few multiday outings in the wilderness.

It holds enough to keep me comfortable and happy with some space to spare.
I'm not sure how bulky everything you're carrying is but I'd like to think that explorer 4000 should be enough space for everything and 3+ days food.
Kinda wonder if you couldn't try putting all your gear in a trash bag and using the size of trash bag as reference for how much capacity you need in a pack.
 

James Meadowlark

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I'm trying to assemble a bug out bag/ vagabond bag for myself. In the survival community, a bug out bag is a bag that supports a person surviving for 3 days when moving from a dangerous location to a safer location in an emergency. I have a mediocre bug out bag and would like to convert it to be able to support being a vagrant traveler as well. I would like to upgrade the bug out bag's backpack as I find it too small to hold all the things I need.

Thanks.
To me the two are mutually exclusive. As everyone one here knows, I'm a recreational camper mostly, but I do pack a "get home bag" in my car. That along with some other loose things that I think (as you described will last me three or four days) will get me home, where upon arrival I can fill up my huge, long-term bag that I use when I go camping on vacation, if I ever had to get away for something major. Neither of my bags are good for traveling as a lifestyle- One's too small, the other way too large.

I think if you're looking for something in between, the referenced bag works since you're still going to have access to 'things' and infrastructure. It seems like the favorite blend here is the Alice pack, and probably for good reason.
 

siid

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dont fuckin worry about it
@John Wick Thats actually the exact pack ive been travelling with for the past 2 years or so, its perfect. I bought it on craigslist for $40 and ive been to several other countries / states, thrown it around, off and on moving trucks, cars, trains constantly, dropped it off a cliff into the ocean on the coast of mexico, its indestructable. Barely any visible wears or tears, no idea how. Its good as new like i just bought it yesterday. I think i lost maybe one string attached to the zipper. thats it. It has so many pockets and secret compartments, and places to hang stuff from/attach stuff which is perfect for me because im very organized and like to have everything seperated into categories even if I dont really have anything Hahahah it will be perfect for your size. For me its a little big but its still a lot more comfortable than smaller packs that SHOULD be more for my size. So i use it even if its half empty. I’m 5’3, 115lbs so yeah like i said its pretty big for me but even so still very comfortable. I cant think of anything wrong with it. I even attach my guitar to the side of it with bungee chords. You can fit ALOT in it/ around it/ over it/ under it Haha seriously. You’ll be happy and comfortable with it.
 

siid

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dont fuckin worry about it
Oh yeah, a 55L might be better but if you carry a lot 65L is okay, the extra space isnt uncofmortable. Depends how much you really need to carry/extra space you want.
 

Antlered

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Bigger isn't always better. Space to haul stuff comes at a premium of weight. You have to be very, very mindful of "Well, I've got the space... I guess an extra thing wouldn't hurt too bad..." Soon, you're stuffing it full regardless of how large the bag is. Strive to pare down what you can get away with. Personally, like anyone else, I like luxury items. I just have to be mindful not to cram too many in it. I don't have a java press. I would like to have one. However I don't want to be hauling around 100 pounds of luxury stuff. I try to analyse my load pragmatically. Does it do something I need? or is it something that I'd like to have? Sometimes I allow myself to have some luxuries. An alcohol stove is one such luxury. Like anything else, it's all a trade-off. A system of compromises, and finding what works best for the situation at hand, and what works best for you.
 
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John Wick

John Wick

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Thanks everyone! This is my first post in this community and am very impressed with how helpful you guys are.
As for the bag, I think I'll go to my local REI and test out some of their bags to see the sizes before I decide which one I get.
 
D

Deleted member 14481

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I recently had a guest that had a Teton pack, but it's a level up from the one in the picture. Granted this person is rubber tramping so it doesn't need to be thrown around a lot, but the person to very happy with the quality, space, and pockets available in the pack! When one learns how to use all the straps, it's great!
 

Hibiscus

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I have the 44L Talus, some of the stitching is giving out after carrying 40lbs in it for 2 months but would probably hold up just fine if you don't overpack it. The bottom gear loops are too small to hold most sleeping pads, but you can attach plenty of stuff to the daisy chains.
 

Koala

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I have a small Teton water bladder backpack that works fine for bike trips, hiking, etc. Definitely not sturdy & feels kind of cheap, but good for moderate use.

I have a Teton 0 degree sleeping bag that is pretty well made, have used it every night for 6 weeks now, love it, it's super warm, thickly padded foot box. Holds up fine when used inside a bivy on trains. Best value for what it is, synthetic 0 degree bag for about $70
 
D

Deleted member 26770

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I have that pack and have used it on several backpacking trips. It is very durable and there is very little that I can say negatively regarding it. I will tell you that you are better off getting rid of the rain cover and instead using a trash bag with holes cut for the straps to keep your gear dry because I was never able to get the cover to completely cover the pack. That said, I was using a foam ground pad strapped to the bottom of the pack. Other than that, it is a bit on the heavy side, which comes from its durability. You choose one or the other with this pack, durability or weight. It will definitely hold all of your gear as long as you are smart about packing.

Nowadays I am trying to be more lightweight with my packing so I use a Granite Gear Crown 2 60. It is highly rated and is much lighter than the Teton 4k, while still maintaining a stiff back via internal frame like the Teton packs, which I greatly appreciate when carrying a load.
 

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