Training in Pinnacles

I've been wanting to hike Pinnacles for a few years now. I even tried to camp there a few years back only to find out that the west entrance of the park doesn't allow camping.. good stuff to know ahead of time!

After the amazing backpacking trip last week in Point Reyes two things became abundantly clear: 1. I need more backpacking in my life. 2: My heavy 35-liter pack wasn't going to cut it anymore. It became time to do some research and pick up a new bag; so after a few hours scouring the internet and subsequent hours spent walking around REI with different packs, I came to a decision. Kind of. I bought the Osprey Atmos 65 AG Pack.

Immediately upon walking out of the store, I regretted my decision.. but mostly because I am painfully indecisive. I decided I would ride home and test out the bag to be sure it was the right fit. I started back fully packing up the back and wearing it around my hour for an hour or so and decided it was ready for the next test.

I often try to balance equipment I buy for as many activities as possible. In this case, gear I can wear riding my motorcycle and gear I can hike with. While I don't necessarily plan on riding a motorcycle to any extreme backpacking trips, it seemed worth testing the two regardless.

With backpack filled to the brim with camping and camera gear, I hit the road to Pinnacles National Park. I road ~125miles south to the entrance, hike the 5-mile Hike Peaks trail and road the ~125miles back. It was great. Well, the ride back kind of sucked.. but you really have to expect that after having a ~30lb 65liter pack on your back for most of the day and then ride 80mph into the wind. There just isn't much you can do to not make that suck.. except be smart and strap the bag to the bike instead of you back, but that would defeat the purpose of the test.

At the end of it all, I am incredibly happy with my purchase with the Osprey Atmos. I doubted the anti-gravity pack design at first, missing the telltale pain of a traditional pack "should feel", but I came around. I am truly happy I gave it a chance and am anxiously anticipating my next trip!

Matthew BennettComment