Hi, I am new to the site forum and also new to split boarding. Hello.
Split-crampons and skins are lighter than snowshoes (I use MSR). But snowshoes could be strapped to the outside of my pack. That's not so 'ergonomic', I agree, but now I have to put my skins and split-crampons in my pack and.... they are bulky and take up too much room inside. I want my pack interior back!
On a light trip I can get by if I leave nice-to-haves like my video camera and thermos at home. But if I need to pack rope (60m) and boot-crampons then I have to strap something to the outside of the pack and I still need to leave behind my video camera etc.
My 30L pack is now bursting at the seams and not practical to use. Already looking for a 40L. I didnt expect splitting to lead to a bigger or more cramped pack.
Any imaginative solutions out there? The split-crampons are sharp (I cut my office workers finger!) and that kind of limits how they can be packed. They deserve to be strapped on the exterior but they are as sharp as F and could come loose.
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:15 pm Posts: 2596 Location: san diego CA
Welcome to the forum Dimian. And welcome to the world of splitboarding. First, what kind of camera do you have? If its faily small get you a lowe camera pack (padded) and strap it to your pack waistbelt using a small caribeaner. Next ....and this is tough Finish your hot beverage at the trailhead and leave the thermos. And last get a crampon specific bag for your crampons and put them inside your pack . Have fun Oh and By the way I know its tough to leave the thermos ..Im a coffee addict but just like beer it will taste so much better once you have done without all day
That thermos of mine, why did I ever mention it. I am totally with you. Its the first season I have used one and really, it almost never gets packed because its just extra bulk and weight and also... who has boiling water on tap at the trail head after a 5 hour drive? I really only use it for easy fun days, like a Christmas day tour or when the load is already very low.
Camera is a Sony video, with helmet cam gear. I prefer to keep it the pack in its padded waterproof bag.
I have the Voile bag that the split-crampons came in, that keeps them safe in my pack. Its just that they are so bulky.
I am buying a Deuter 35+8L pack this weekend which I should only need to use that on rope and boot crampon days. I can also strap my boot crampons to the outside... a bad habit but I certainly l see others doing it.
Dude - hold off on that honkin' big pack until you see what this one guy was able to fit into his 14 liter pack:
I'm not totally sure how he did it, but maybe you can figure it out by reading this thread.
My pack is 30 liter and I'm a crappy packer and it is more than enough. You get better at packing efficiently with time and also you get better at figuring out what to leave behind. True though - those splitboard crampons are too big!
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:59 am Posts: 549 Location: Stowe, VT
Hmmm. Also, I've heard a lot of people say that they keep their skins inside their coat to keep the glue warm... If it's really wet, this might be unpleasant, but it would certainly clear some space in your pack. Maybe also strap your avy shovel to the outside, now that your board doesn't go on there?
Best of luck. May you find your Zen-packing place!
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2389 Location: California
Skins go inside the pack if I'm going to use them again on that trip, if not they should easily fit inside or be strapped on the outside.
What are you bringing besides 1) food and water, 2) small first aid kit, 3) a few spare parts/tools, 4) extra super lightweight coat (maybe socks too), 4) axe (I only bring mine about half the time), 5) split crampons (I've had them for two seasons and have yet to actually use them), 6) boot crampsons (half the time), 7) camera, 8 poles, and 9) avy gear?
Pack space never seems to be an issue for me or my partners.
I had to get a bigger pack when I started splitting too. I don't know how big either is/was but while I could make do with my old Burton AK Teardrop, everything was so crammed-in that it was hard to access. That was a drag on cold days.
I upgraded to a Dakine Poacher and haven't had troubles since. Partly because of extra space but also because of the zip-away back panel access. I keep everything inside my pack now and have no troubles getting to anything quickly and efficiently.
BTW, I like carrying a puffy down jacket AND a 1/2 liter thermos with me all the time in the winter. Nothing energizes me better than something warm in my belly after a long skin in cold weather. Also, it allows you to carry less water since you can use the hot liquid to melt snow as the day goes on.
I've also had an experience or two when the temps dropped pretty quickly and either myself or a partner (typically my wife) was very glad to have my down jacket on hand. Either would be welcome in an emergency too.
If I carry split crampons, I will put my tool kit in between the two crampons to save space (or maybe a big sandwich). I keep the cramps in the sack. There should not be a problem with sharp edges if they are packed the right way in the sack.
If you can avoid folding your skins too many times, it will help. Fold once and slide them in around the shovel or against the back of the backpack.
Downsize everything and experiment with different ways to pack it all in.
I'll list the extensive contents of my crowded pack tomorrow when I have a day at work to kill. Its my big 'emergency' kit and the rope that kills it for me, but that is only on-board for half of my trips (glaciers). I bought the 43L pack and its really nice to use with the rope, so I'm happy.
In the meantime, I found a space saver solution: skins are (obviously) the same width as the crampons. So fold skins up to be the length of the crampons then make a crampon-skin sandwich. The folded skins fit in the empty space perfectly, so you get skin and crampon in the space of just the crampon. Bang the sandwich in the crampon bag for easy packing.
Carrying skins inside your jacket to keep them warm is pretty mandatory to make sure they will stick, especially when it is really cold and when the skin glue gets a little more mature. I only put my skins in my pack when I am positive that I will not have to put them on again. Even then I sometimes still leave them in my pack.
Tea in my 1 l Nissan thermos is normally hot enough to burn me after 5 or 6 hours in my pack in single digit temps.
I'm a fan of bigger packs. Few things are more irritating to me than trying to get stuff out of or into a super-stuffed pack with cold fingers in a storm.
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:00 pm Posts: 293 Location: Northern CA
Dude - hold off on that honkin' big pack until you see what this one guy was able to fit into his 14 liter pack: I'm not totally sure how he did it, but maybe you can figure it out by reading this thread.
I teased "this guy" on how he uses a backpack that small with so much stuff packed into it. The problem I see is with the ease (or lack there of) of getting to gear and then packing it away again. He packs it tight like a perfect Tetris session!
I like to be able to loosen up some compression staps, and easily get to or pack away any gear without having to hassle with how it was originally packed. A 25-35ltr. pack insures me of being able to bring all my toys and the ease of packing.