Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Backpacking

Old 09-23-06, 09:04 PM
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Backpacking

Anyone considered backpacking as an alternative for carying heavy loads? I just got back from the grocery store 3.5 miles away with 80 pounds of groceries(I weighed my self before I unpacked), and it wasn't that hard. It was pretty fun too, and great exercise. Has anyone else tried this?
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Old 09-23-06, 09:57 PM
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I have carried lot less then that on normal backpacking trips. I carried 65 lbs for 2 people for a week. The friend I was with packed way to much couldn't carry the load. Dumped most of that on me then the person rolled a ankle I was carrying 2 packs for about 3 miles probally one of the most physically exhuasting days for me. Oh about backpacking groceries your allot strong then I . I bet it was a good excercise I have never tried this walking into the store with a backpack that size would draw allot of attention
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Old 09-23-06, 10:42 PM
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I've gone to the store and have walked home with 40 - 50 lbs. in my Chome Metropolis Msg bag. Certainly not as good as a backpack but it'll do.
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Old 09-24-06, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Slow Train
I've gone to the store and have walked home with 40 - 50 lbs. in my Chome Metropolis Msg bag. Certainly not as good as a backpack but it'll do.
How do chrome bags rate???
 
Old 09-24-06, 12:36 PM
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I use a backpack to carry all my groceries. I don't think I've ever carried more than 20 pounds on a bike, however. I usually buy enough groceries to last a couple days. Kroger is only 2 minutes by bike from my house, but I buy most of my food (locally produced) at markets that are about 15 minutes away. I quit doing the heavy biweekly shopping trips that most Americans do, in favor of the European style of buying food every couple days. I put the heavy stuff in the backpack. I tie or clip the light squishy stuff (like bread and toilet tissue) to the outside of the pack.

If I were still buying for seveal people, instead of just myself, I would use panniers or even a trailer.
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Old 09-24-06, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bike756
Anyone considered backpacking as an alternative for carying heavy loads? I just got back from the grocery store 3.5 miles away with 80 pounds of groceries(I weighed my self before I unpacked), and it wasn't that hard. It was pretty fun too, and great exercise. Has anyone else tried this?
When I first moved out on my own I did. It got old.
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Old 09-24-06, 01:39 PM
  #7  
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I've never used a camping backpack for grocery shopping, but i've used a small backpack for groceries and a large camping backpack for carrying other stuff on the bike.

There's nothing awful about using a camping backpack, but I don't think they're ideal for use with a bike that is set up for a bent-forward posture like mine. (I use low bullhorn bars.) All backpacks will tend to give you a sweaty back when used for long distances. So I just use a trailer these days- I may as well.

The "small grocery runs every couple of days" used to be my typical strategy. It was nice having a good grocery store along my route from work to home, and I would stop off often. Now I do some shopping at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, which are on the route from school to home... some shopping is at the farmers' market which is really close to home. And some is at a big supermarket which requires a separate 8 mile round trip to reach-- so I buy a lot when I go there, and don't go often.
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Old 09-24-06, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Hippykid
How do chrome bags rate???
There are many, many threads on bags here in bikeforums. Use the search function.
Also see this messenger bags review for a nice comparision.

The Chrome is good.
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Old 09-24-06, 05:24 PM
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The only problem I had with that was the difficulty of looking over my shoulder. I used a technical hiking pack, so it had a tall and thin profile which meant I had to sort of peer around the bag to check traffic behind me. Also, and this might just be an issue with my pack, it was tall enough that my helmet would hit the pack if I lifted my head too high.
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Old 09-24-06, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ryanparrish
I have carried lot less then that on normal backpacking trips. I carried 65 lbs for 2 people for a week. The friend I was with packed way to much couldn't carry the load. Dumped most of that on me then the person rolled a ankle I was carrying 2 packs for about 3 miles probally one of the most physically exhuasting days for me. Oh about backpacking groceries your allot strong then I . I bet it was a good excercise I have never tried this walking into the store with a backpack that size would draw allot of attention
I did get a lot of strange looks. On person I know even stopped their car on a busy road to ask me what the hell I was doing!
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Old 09-24-06, 06:18 PM
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To clarify, I wasn't riding a bike, I was walking. You guys actually ride with those packs on? You're nuts!
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Old 09-24-06, 08:37 PM
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When I depended on the bike to get groceries, I rigged up a system where I could tow one of those cheap grocery carts behind my Mongoose. I had only to go about a mile and a half to the store and had really good pavement and a bike lane to ride in. As long as I kept my speed under control and was careful in turning, it worked really well. The whole business including the cart cost me about $30. I couldn't be bothered in weighing down the bike directly as I am a bit on the heavy side already.
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Old 09-24-06, 08:39 PM
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I use a backpack on the rare times I must carry something too big for my panniers. Like kneehigh steel toes rubber boots.
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Old 09-24-06, 08:52 PM
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We use a rolling cart, backpack and we finally got the rack on the new bike so will be able to use panniers now. Not a hiking backpack, just a soft denim backpack. Friday I carried 10lbs of potatoes, 4l of milk, a bunch of bananas, two squash, pasta, frozen fish, frozen sausages, and a couple of other small things. It is too short to catch a bus or anything. Sometimes we ride, sometimes we walk.

When we buy tomatoes we take the rolling cart - 40-50lbs of tomatoes. Three trips in one week before they ran out. 148 jars of spaghetti sauces and salsa - about 65c a jar.
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Old 09-24-06, 09:51 PM
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Been there

I used to walk a mile and a half to the grocery store with a medium-sized backpack. I would load the pack and carry the food I couldn't fit in it with my free hands... I think I hauled around 20-40lbs of groceries per trip. I was quite sweaty by the time I got home, especially in the winter. The dumbest thing I ever did was carry 45lbs of flour without a backpack or anything. The flour bags were awkward and would tear really easily, so I had to cradle them in front of me with my arms at 90 degrees. Needless to say, my arms were quite sore by the time I got home.

And actually, I started biking so I wouldn't have to walk to the grocery store all the time. It just took too long, thirty minutes to an hour for each trip, and I couldn't carry as much as I can with the backpack and two panniers on my bike. And if I get a trailer, Iíll be able to haul even more.

I just hope I won't have to resort to walking once the snow arrives. I have to get my ice bike up and running FAST!
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Old 09-24-06, 10:11 PM
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I still have my seabags from the Navy .... I've had them weighed full at 80lbs+ .... And that was clothes, not something really heavy!

I've walked 3-4 miles with it loaded down before... But then, I was also the one that carried eveyone else's stuff on our 50 mile hike when they realized they'd packed too much stuff.
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