[at-l] backpacking with a bad back
blackwolfe at charter.net
Sun Jul 3 13:38:31 CDT 2011
Yes, I have been diagnosed with degenerative disk disease. Prior to that, I
had found that things felt better if I did get out backpacking often. I did
cut my pack weight considerably too after the knee problem in 2001.
Trekking poles, a smaller pack with a hip belt and a lighter load help too.
It does seem that the pack provides a splinting function that adjusted my
posture. Also the Hennessey hammock is a lot more comfortable for sleeping
than a pad on the ground or shelter floor.
Now mind you, when I was young and dumb I schleped a few 80 plus pound packs
over a few hills and dales. NEVER AGAIN! I seldom get my pack weight under
20 pounds, but rarely go over 30 either.
Unfortunately I have not been out much the past couple years since I am
primary caretaker for my ageing mother-in-law.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Hudson"
> So, my only real suggestion is to transfer as much weight to your hips as
> possible. So if you're going lightweight that may actually require a pack
> with a sturdier frame.
> Say, wasn't Black Wolf dealing with back problems? Maybe he'll chime in...
> otherwise chase him down.
> I recently started having some new back / sacroiliac pain, and my
> chiro sent me for an x ray and then an MRI. I have five bulging disks
> - 3 lumbar, 1 thoracic, one cervical. 2 of the lumbar disks are torn.
> And the L5-S1 joint looks like two heads of cauliflower having an
> I'd love to hear from anybody with similar issues about how, if at
> all, it has affected your backpacking. Do you have to carry a lighter
> pack? Sturdier pack frame? Do shorter miles? Avoid steep sections?
> Is it really horrible when you fall?
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