“Backpacking: an extended form of hiking in which people carry double the amount of gear  they need for half the distance they planned to go in twice the time it should take”

Recently I commissioned Ben from Garrison Packs to make a lumbar pack designed for the jungle and to own my particular specifications.  Ben is producing packs to the same quality as the top backpack brands (some of which go for, frankly, ridiculously high prices) at a more affordable price and, best of all, he will customise packs to your own design – so, even though I already owned two lumbar packs, I couldn’t resist the chance to design one for myself.

For me lumbar packs are well suited to the jungle because:

  • modern_jungle_packsThe lowered centre of gravity makes you more balanced on your feet.
  • They snag less on overhead branches as you duck under them.
  • Your upper body is unencumbered making it easier to twist and turn and to use a parang.
  • Your back is left exposed so you don’t overheat as much.

Rather than doing a straightforward review of the pack I thought it would be more helpful to look at the key differences between the traditional (Orang Asal) jungle backpack and the modern equivalent and try and draw out some general themes that might be of use when trying to select your own gear.