/ Rucksack for load carrying training

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frqnt - on 17 Sep 2012
I would like to purchase a 40 - 50L rucksack. Preferably canvas and hard wearing so I can load it up with up to 40L of water and go for a walk.

I've found a canvas army surplus type thing for cheap but it doesn't appear to have any frame for back support and I'm concerned that the lack of said frame will make for an, unnecessarily, difficult to carry limp pack.

See here: http://www.focalprice.com/HL0520B/3655L_Large_Canvas_Army_Outdoor_Duffel_Bag_Black.html?Currency=GBP

Does anyone have any experience with this type of pack? Or alternate suggestions/recommendations for the prescribed use?
mike kann - on 17 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt: Don't you have a normal rucksack? Plus 40kgs of water is a feck of a lot to be training with... Having carried 40kg haulbags (which was much larger than these bags, you can do it but it's very uncomfortable. Thay also don't have a back system. Would it not be better to just use a lower weight and a normal rucksack to help avoid injury?
Gallant - on 17 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt: I've carried that sort of load in a bergan before, which has metal bars running down to support your back, however, that's probably closer to an 80l pack, and from what I gather, civvi prices make them quite an expensive option.

I've done loaded runs at about 30kg dead weight in my Berghaus arete 45l bag, but that doesn't have any real back support(by which I mean, metal structural supports), and the bottom is a little flimsy, so I probably wouldn't trust putting much more kit in it, they do however, make similar style bags in slightly hardier materials that might suit your purpose. Might I enquire why you're aiming to carry 40l of water rather than 40kg of free weights, which would allow you to pad out the bag slightly, increasing comfort.
frqnt - on 17 Sep 2012
In reply to Gallant:

I can get 20L army surplus water transport bags which will stow flat and will allow me to easily adjust the weight at a low cost.

I thought about using the bags for farmers walks but the handles on them are quite thin and won't allow me to travel far. Couple this with the inevitable strange looks I'd get and I figured I'd chuck them in a pack.

I thought the load might destroy my Blue Ice 45 which I'd like to preserve for actual climbing expeditions.

Ideally I'd acquire a canvas duffle similar to the one in the link but with some support frame.
redgm - on 18 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt:The modern rucksack frame is there for two purposes: To allow a space between your back and the bag, for ventillation-cooling, but more importantly to allow the weight of the bag to be taken on the hips via the waist belt. 40 kg may be a reasonable load for the legs; carried directly on the shoulder straps, which is what the bag you are looking at will do,is too much of a work-out for the muscles between your ribs, that enable you to fill your lungs.
Mike7 on 24 Sep 2012
Don't use water; even when the container is filled to the brim it creates a level of weight displacement that shifts with every step of the walk or run. It's tremendously draining over longer distances, and not at all in a good way.

Try sand or similar, wrapped up in a plastic bag and then encased in black nasty tape or similar to ensure that they're robust enough.

Trial the best sizes for your level of comfort - ideally with an even number of packages (but this isn't absolute), then spread them between layers of padding that themselves sit on other padded layers so that the actual weight sits higher up in your pack.

It seems like a faff but it makes a huge difference over a distance, which I found out when going from this preferred method to using water as a last minute replacement for weight on one long (and painful) loaded march and run.
JayPee630 - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt:

Why are you doing that? And that duffel will be next to useless. You might want a military bergen, but don't use water, use sand and padding.
frqnt - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to Mike7:
The two bag's I've purchased can be filled to capacity meaning there is almost no weight shift. I basically just need a frame of sorts to strap them to.

Failing that, I'll be doing farmers walks with 20kilo's in each hand.
frqnt - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to JayPee630:
> (In reply to frqnt)
>
> Why are you doing that?

I need to condition my lower body.
MFB - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt:
why do you want to condition to carry such a heavy load, what is your objective?

Robert Durran - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to JayPee630:
> Don't use water, use sand and padding.

The advantage of carrying a heavy load of water for training is that it can be emptied out at the top of the mountain, saving knees on the descent.



stonemaster - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt: The recommended weight for distance back packing is approximately one third of your body weight. So either a. your body weight is about 120kg or b. you are going to seiously knacker yourself. Good luck.
MFB - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt:

I'm with Stonemaster, high risk of injury, knacker yourself for very little return - why not climb, swim, run, cycle, low weights as often and as much as possible then, when you have to heave 40kg up a hill, it should be a doddle



JamieLewin - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt: I'd seriously consider investing in a proper pack for it. As that thing is s**t. What kind of distance and terrain are you looking to cover? Or is the sole aim conditioning?
Robert Durran - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to MFB:
>
> I'm with Stonemaster, high risk of injury, knacker yourself for very little return - why not climb, swim, run, cycle, low weights as often and as much as possible then, when you have to heave 40kg up a hill, it should be a doddle.

I disagree. I like thgis sort of training. Why should this form of non-percussive training (as long as the sack is a suitable one) be dangerous if the weight is steadily increased. All that other stuff will do little good when you have the shock of actually needing the leg strength to carry a heavy sack.

frqnt - on 25 Sep 2012
To address the various responses (and in no particular order):

A. If one follows recommendations all their life, what does that make them?
B. I'm a little guy, at 60kg, and am confident I can do a 4km walk with 40kg load. As per my original post - I am looking for a mode to carry said weight without having to farmers walk the entire distance.
C. If I restrict my training in liue of my bodyweight, how do I get stronger?
D. I'm looking to condition my lower body and burn some stored energy.
E. In terms of strength training, 40kg would not be considered a heavy load.
F. Considering the 40kg load, I would prefer go for a loaded walk than do endless medium weight squats in a gym.
G. The water carrying bags are convenient for me as the weight can easily be adjusted and the bags stowed flat.
H. Anything done incorectly is likely to 'knacker' oneself.
I. If one believes there is merit in what Andy Kirckpatrick writes, 40kg weight for distance is legit.
J. I enjoy this type of 'old school' strength training.

From all your comments, it looks as though carrying this laod on my back is not going to be realistic. I appreciate the various voices of concern about my intentions and I will settle at doing farmers walks.
Ander on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt:

Fair play. But it's rubbish training.

I've carried getting on for that weight 64km round the Brecon Beacons. And much more weight than 40kg for shorter distances. But for training it's rubbish as it just smashes you to bits.
MFB - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: it will be dangerous because he is considering putting in excess of 6 stone in a rucksack and then going hiking - as you like this sort of training you will, i presume, be able to tell me what your favorite distance is with this load
Robert Durran - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to MFB:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) it will be dangerous because he is considering putting in excess of 6 stone in a rucksack and then going hiking.

Since that is not actually a reason for it to be dangerous, I'm tempted not to reply. Think about it.

Personally, I find that carrying heavy ruksacks uphill is far more effective training for mountaineering than hill running and leaves my body less trashed. I generally just do it on ascents (anything up to Munro height) and on a longer day out might stick a few rocks in the sack on each col and then dump them on the next summit. It is, of course, very hard work and I have to be pretty motivated to get fit to do it! I'm not sure what weight I've used (I've never measured), but certainly much heavier than 25kg.
MFB - on 26 Sep 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

so you don't walk downhill with 40kg on your back and i suspect you would have more sense than to do that without some overriding reason

I think if i had read your description of a Munro with a heavy rucksack and some additional weight for part of the trip (as training for a specific mountaineering goal possibly?) i would have thought good effort, entirely reasonable however if someone asks 'is carrying 40kg for some distance sensible' it's surely got to be a no that's not a good idea - pass the ibuprofen


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marvin1987 - on 27 Sep 2012
In reply to frqnt: Go to an army surplus store and buy an old bergan. We used a mixture of sand in taped up bags, and water containers in the side pouches (not much movement that you notice).

Nice little aArmy test for you:

Day 1: 12 miles: 3 Hours: 25 Kg
Day 2: 12 miles: 3.5 Hours: 30 kg

It was rats. My feet hated me. :D
paul walters - on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to frqnt:
Whether you decide to carry sand or water, and whatever weight you finally decide on, I would definitely get a rucksack with a weight belt. I tried humping 25kg of free weights up and down my stairs with an old canvas bag with steel frame so that the total weight was on my shoulders. It hurt big style. My lower back is not the strongest, and I definitely won't be doing that again.

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