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bombinbrian
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01/07/2020 02:11PM  
I'm doing a base camp trip this summer. It'll be my first time of just going in and relaxing in the same spot. Since I won't be moving around, I'm thinking we can take different foods and maybe more food with us. I've never used a barrel, but came across two by chance.

Thoughts on putting it in this pack for portaging?
 
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01/07/2020 02:20PM  
That should work perfectly. I would weight it down and test it out for a 1/2 mile or so and see if it gives you any problems. If not, you should be good to go with that setup.

Tony
 
01/07/2020 02:48PM  
bombinbrian: "
Thoughts on putting it in this pack for portaging? "


My first thought is that I am surprised it fits.

It looks like a large molle ii rucksack in the less popular acu pattern. The rucksack with frame and harness goes for ~$80 at coleman's surplus. By comparison it looks like the retail of the GG flatbed harness is about ~$150.

Are you able to close the lid of the backpack? You might need to come up with a strap to go over the top to keep the barrel from falling out when loading and unloading.

The backpack is probably heavier than it needs to be for this purpose. You might want to cut off anything unneeded for this purpose, like the sleeping bag compartment or lid if it doesn't close. You could pick up an extra rucksack for ~$18.

Generally external frame packs are awkward in a canoe but in this case it is attached to an awkward barrel.

How will it carry on a portage trail? I agree with GopherAdventure, best idea is to load it up and carry it for some distance.
 
bombinbrian
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01/07/2020 03:17PM  
I actually love these packs for my trips to the bwca, it's all my son and I use. It was work getting it in and I have to push it out.

I just found out it fit this afternoon. I'm sure there will be some engineering done.
 
01/07/2020 03:26PM  
I carried a blue barrel for my first trip last year. I had one barrel bag (at least my breakfasts were easy to access). The next time I bring the barrel, I am going to have more barrel bags.

The 60L barrel is a huge cavern. The food/seasoning you are looking for will always be on the bottom.

These organizers also looked interesting.

KC Happy camper recently put out a series on the blue barrel.
 
01/07/2020 08:07PM  
+1 on the barrel bags. Get different colors or otherwise mark them with what's inside, (breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc.) will save you a lot of time. RDGBWCA is correct, otherwise whatever you're looking for is always at the bottom.

 
billconner
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01/08/2020 07:55AM  
I use the Cooke Custom Sewing stuff sacks and stack them like a stop light with blue at bottom. Red breakfast, yellow lunch and all meals, green dinner, blue - chesse and other things that benefit being cooler. Especially helpful for people who take ingredients and make up the menu on the go rather than pack meals.
 
Grandma L
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01/09/2020 04:02PM  
I pack most meals in zip locks and then pack the barrel with last meal in-working my way through the trip and the first meal is on top. (LIFO). I pack meals by the day and put limited "stock" items on the top in a sac. (Peanut butter, salt etc.) Spices and small ingredients are pre-measured per menu item and put in small "pill" zip locks to avoid over packing stock things.
Empty and washed -plastic drink mix bottles work well for small amounts of liquid. (cooking oil, lemon juice etc.)
I am a little OCD with food packing. I even have paddlers "order" so I don't over pack. They declare number of oatmeal packets or cheese sticks and portions of salami (3 oz. ea) per meal.
My goal is to have well fed happy campers and an empty food pack when we head home.
 
01/09/2020 04:27PM  
Grandma L: "I pack most meals in zip locks and then pack the barrel with last meal in-working my way through the trip and the first meal is on top. (LIFO).
My goal is to have well fed happy campers and an empty food pack when we head home. "


Sounds like you have your system dialed in. Maybe I can get to the point where I am carrying an empty food pack on the way out some day.

 
joewildlife
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01/13/2020 03:16PM  
That is pretty cool, never thought of using a Molle 2 pack to carry a 60L barrel!

I've been using a 60L barrel on my last 10 trips or so. It carries all the food and the entire kitchen setup. I use three of the Cooke barrel bags to separate out breakfast lunch and dinner, too. I use a Cooke quad pocket barrel and it fits perfectly in my Kruger Sea Wind behind me.

Joe
 
bombinbrian
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01/14/2020 03:25PM  
I've played around with it a little. At first, I didn't think the handles on the barrel were going to go in the pack. Then I thought that the bottom compartment was going to be empty and make it really unstable.

After monkeying around with it, (think of a monkey and a football) I found out that it will fit almost perfectly in and the top flap can be closed, even though there is no way its coming out on its own, again think of a monkey and a football.

I've decided that we are going to give it a whirl this year. We are base camping this year so we only have the 8 portages the first and last day and they're not bad. Longest one is 140 at the beginning and then a 60 and the rest are under 50. Worst case is that it sucks and we don't do it again. Best case, I start a trend carrying bear barrels in the BWCA.
 
01/14/2020 04:14PM  
bombinbrian: " Then I thought that the bottom compartment was going to be empty and make it really unstable.

We are base camping this year so we only have the 8 portages the first and last day and they're not bad. Longest one is 140 at the beginning and then a 60 and the rest are under 50. "


That is good news about the top flap closing.

What are you planning to put in the bottom compartment? Does the pack and barrel stand upright on its own? Any ability to make use of the molle and add some kind of pouch to the outside? Worried about busting a seem?

Where are you planning to base camp?
 
bombinbrian
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01/14/2020 04:40PM  
rdgbwca: "
bombinbrian: " Then I thought that the bottom compartment was going to be empty and make it really unstable.


We are base camping this year so we only have the 8 portages the first and last day and they're not bad. Longest one is 140 at the beginning and then a 60 and the rest are under 50. "



That is good news about the top flap closing.


What are you planning to put in the bottom compartment? Does the pack and barrel stand upright on its own? Any ability to make use of the molle and add some kind of pouch to the outside? Worried about busting a seem?


Where are you planning to base camp?"


It slides, or gets pushed all the way down now, so the bottom compartment has the barrel too. It's really sturdy this way and should be perfect. I'm not too worried about busting a seam, it's snug but since it can't expand it should be fine.

We're heading to Beartrap lake this year, hopefully grab the one campsite there, if not we'll stay on Thunder. We'll be going out of Mudro.
 
01/15/2020 07:54AM  
Blue barrels in a pack put a lot of torque on your back because of how far the weight is away from your spine. Short portages is fine. My preference is to carry it atop another canoe pack sideways. Then the weight is right above your spine where it's best to be.

 
01/15/2020 01:39PM  
rdgbwca: "
Grandma L: "I pack most meals in zip locks and then pack the barrel with last meal in-working my way through the trip and the first meal is on top. (LIFO).
My goal is to have well fed happy campers and an empty food pack when we head home. "



Sounds like you have your system dialed in. Maybe I can get to the point where I am carrying an empty food pack on the way out some day.
"


+1 on that...we dont determine every meal necessarily, just know we will some of this, some of that and also plan on fish for several meals - so need to improvise if the bite is not stellar.
 
01/17/2020 10:05AM  
When I used a 60L barrel last year I used four different colored stuff sacks to separate breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Since I might not always remember which color stuff sack had which meals, or so that my 12-year old son could find the right sack in the barrel, I printed out business card size tags, labeled "breakfast," "lunch," snacks," and "dinner" and then I had each card laminated and punched a hole in the card so I could attach it to the string on the stuff sack. The system worked like a charm and since the cards are laminated I can use them again. The previous posts are right in that whatever bag you're looking for will inevitably find its way to the bottom of the barrel.
 
Grandma L
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01/17/2020 01:33PM  
I have altered a Kondos standard #3 pack for my barrels. I also put a closed cell foam on the back for easier carrying.




I have tailored the top flap to be fitted. It will easily accommodate extra gear or a rain coat.
 
AriesRanger
member (17)member
  
07/17/2021 07:16PM  
Glad i came across this thread. I've been pondering a barrel pack for a while, and had a molle ruck gathering dust the entire time.
Problem solved it seems like.
Ill add a couple sustainment pouches for Camp/Kitchen Tarp and quick access stuff like rain gear and be all set.
 
07/17/2021 10:46PM  
We also use barrel bags that I sewed. Yellow for sunrise, orange for sunset, red for snacks & Gatorade, which left green for lunch.
 
HayRiverDrifter
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05/16/2023 10:19AM  
I have used a Coleman Feather 400 in the past. It's a solid stove and never let me down. A few months ago I purchased an Optimus Vega canister stove for several reasons:
- I wanted a remote stove that was stable and was close to the ground
- Not having to mess with fuel
- Save some weight
I will be taking the Vega on my up coming June solo along with a cat food alcohol stove.
 
tomo
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05/16/2023 10:37AM  
BeaV: "Blue barrels in a pack put a lot of torque on your back because of how far the weight is away from your spine. Short portages is fine. My preference is to carry it atop another canoe pack sideways. Then the weight is right above your spine where it's best to be.


"


That's interesting. I take the opposite approach, i.e. I wear the barrel as a pack, cinching the waist belt, and then use the flat top space to put a Duluth Pack (flinging it up and over my head is the hard part).
 
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