The day I discovered my beloved eight year old Osprey backpack had a fray in the right should strap was the beginning of a harsh reality; I’ll need to replace my backpack or as I call it my Turtle Shell.
Sometimes that’s what I imagine we all are just little turtles, shuffling about on this long trek north. Often, when Phil passes me going up a steep (any) hill I think it’s not the hare that wins the race but the slow and steady tortoise.
Your backpack becomes a part of you; it’s everything you need to take you day to day, mile to mile, water source to water source. It carries; my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, extra clothes, food, water, medical kit, books, maps… Everything! Phil and I ever so carefully planned every square inch of our turtle shell capacity so when I needed to temporarily trade my shell out for a newer model I approached this concept with some excitement and a bit of apprehension. Will this shell fit the same, carry my load as I’m used too?
Osprey makes great backpacks and I’ve been increadibly impressed with their warranty department. As to not miss a step on this trail, Osprey gave me a loaner bag while mine is sent back for repairs to their Colorado based shop. In the mean time as this new shell has a few new bells and whistles I’m not sold on the hip belt fit and the capacity shape, my gear just doesn’t quite fit the same. After the first day my hips where burning with pain and decided I’ll need to carry the weight on my shoulders instead. My fingers are crossed that I will be reunited with my bag before we start out of Kennedy Meadows for our trek through the Sierras.