Okay, let’s just get the obvious elephant in the middle of the room out of the way. Yes, that was a Britney Spears reference. Yes, I may have gone too far back for a ridiculous title line. No, I was not a fan nor am I now. It’s just me going for the punchline…like I always do. Just can’t be helped.
Now on to what this is about. A new backpack. Yea, I know, exciting right!? Well to be specific, it’s not new new just new to me as I bought it from a fellow forum member. I’ve had my head, if not my hand, on my gear wallet waiting on a deal for a ULA Ohm 2.0. Ultralight Adventure Equipment makes some of the best backpacks on the market. Ask most anyone who hikes seriously or just do a random visual poll of those who are hiking seriously the AT and you will see or hear ULA mentioned. They are coveted, cherished, wished for and fought over consistently. They are exceedingly well made, have a customer service approach like very few others and an owner/designer/all around guy in the know who is so personally involved, he’ll return your phone calls, himself, no minion, resolving your issues and more. He is what I commonly call a GGTK (Good Guy To Know).
I have owned a ULA Circuit for some time now and have loved it. It was my first real hiking pack, the one I felt I would use more often than any other version. This is a true statement in that when I hike and camp with my son, I will carry a portion of his gear in my pack but generally carry all the food and extras we will use on the hike and camp trip. This would be even more so if and when my daughter were to hike and camp with me. Yea, she’s spoiled…a little. This pack is great and I have every intention of using it on the section hike coming up in just a short 21 days. Maybe.
Enter, the ULA Ohm 2.0 This is a revision of the Ohm in that it has some changes to the design and now allows the ability to swap out the waist belt for different sizes as needed. That and it is 5 liters smaller and 10 ounces lighter make it a real game changer.
I hear you. Five liters, 10 ounces? Really? It’s that big a deal? Let me help you quantify that. You should know that with my current Circuit and my pack list for my AT section hike, I am not at capacity for the Circuit. No where near it. Once everything is in the pack I am still about an inch below the top of the frame and not fully cinched down or compressed. This means that I am saving a good bit more than that five liters of capacity. Space is like money. If you have it, you’ll use it. The other thing is the 10 ounces. That is an additional two dehydrated meals for me. Not energy bars or GORP. These are full blown, start at 5 ounces go to 15+ ounces when I add water and re-hydrate. That’s one to one-and-a-half additional days on the trail if the opportunity or need arises. Ounces become pounds. Every ounce saved, without endangering my safety or health or comfort, turns into greater distance, energy and enjoyment on the trail.
This will become my son’s pack (or maybe the daughter’s) and I will use it when soloing or shorter trips. Now when this comes in the wife will say, “Did you need another pack?” Yes, yes I did. She has learned not to question my gear purchases too deeply. She knows it is valid, warranted or necessary. It’s more in jest and to pull my chain a bit for kicks and giggles. She’s more afraid I’ll be eaten by a bear or molested by a raccoon. Or is that eaten by a raccoon and molested by a bear? Either way she’s just wants me to be safe, have fun and come home, preferably not missing any important body parts, and seriously folks, aren’t they all important.
This will prove to be a good deal on many levels I’m sure. Epic pack, epic trip and epic adventure. Something I will definitely do again and again, but without the Oops. Wow. Did it again….