Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Ideal Day Pack for the 2013 National Jamboree

Exciting to open boxes with new gear inside

REI Flash 22 Day Pack & Go Bag

Yesterday the box from REI arrived and inside was two new ultralight day packs, the REI Flash 22, one in Parrot and one in Titanium.  We believe that these are our day packs for the 2013 National Jamboree. (Update: to add sale link to REI, $33.99 (regularly $49.50) sale on until May 27, 2013)

Two packs in a box: The
REI Flash 22 in Titanium and Parrot
 We have lots of packs and a couple of favorite packs we use most often.  Kimberly's favorite is a 2010 Camelbak (in about the 30L size) and Steve's is a REI Lookout 40.  The size of the lookout is great and with heavy straps and waist belt any load is well managed.  However, the idea of hauling the heavy 3 lb. 3 oz. pack around in the WV heat during the 2013 National Jamboree is unbearable. 

The 18 bag and the 22 bag on the right showing both
cinch at the top and showing 2 water bottle pockets on the 22
So at Christmas Kimberly got Steve a REI Flash 18 (see the black bag in the picture to the left).  A super lightweight bag (11 oz) that holds 18L, has a hydration port and hydration pocket and reverses to a stuff sack. The straps are quite lightweight and comfortable.  Steve has started using it for almost everything.  The drawbacks include no pocket for a water bottle and no small outside pocket for easy to grab items and the biggest is the top cinches up to a pucker that is covered only by a small slip of leather.  Basically that top of the REI Flash 18 says if it rains, your stuff gets wet.

The 22 has a top "brain" with outside
zipper pocket that covers the cinched bag.
So enter the REI Flash 22 which has all of the great qualities of the 18L and solves all of the problems with it as well.  The Flash 22 is only 1 lb. and the 22L bag is much larger than the 18L, that extra 293 cu inches seems to make a huge difference.  The 22 includes a full flap with pocket to cover the top, shield from the rain and add a much needed outside pocket for small quick to need/grab items.  It also includes two water bottle outside mesh pockets that seem generous in size.  It includes the same daisy chain strapping as the 18L for clipping on gear and includes a tool hook permanently attached, perfect for holding the hiking poles we might want with us.

One neat feature of both bags (18 and 22) is a backing that slides out of the back of the pack and gives you a "sit-upon" or is discardable giving you an even lighter bag, but with out the padding the backing gives you.  The backing in the 22 is heavier and stiffer than in the 18 giving a little more support to the bag, but also not allowing it to roll up to almost nothing like the 18L.  If you want to roll up the 22 and put it in your larger duffel or pack you might pull out the backing first.

Both bags have identical straps, very comfortable
and the sternum strap and waist belt do come off.
The 22 on the right also seems like the "holes" will
add comfort in the heat.
We have encouraged our Venturers and Scouts to maintain Go Bags for camping and for those times you just have to grab and go.  I like the idea of keeping this pack packed and ready to go. You can see a list of what should go in our Go Bags at

We may have to create a post on what goes in our go bag too. for now here is the list of what is on page 264 of the Boy Scout Handbook:
  1. pocketknife
  2. first aid kit
  3. extra clothing / insulation layer
  4. rain gear 
  5. water bottle 
  6. flashlight /headlight
  7. trail food 
  8. matches
  9. sun protection
  10. map and compass
To that we would add insect repellent and our 1.7 lb. BSA UL Chair (ultralight-camp-chair-1.7-lbs-of-pure-pleasure.

See you on the trails of the Summit Bechtel Reserve
Steve and Kimberly Myers

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