[at-l] backpacking with a bad back

Black Wolfe 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.

Black Wolfe

Bruce W.


----- 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.
> skeeter
> <<
> 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
> argument.

> 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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