My Coaxsher FS-1 is awesome, and I have been rucking with it to build up my legs ahead of my Americorps service, but I felt like it could go one extra step. Service requirements for my pack dictate a minimum of 50 or 55 liters, with a maximum of about 70 or 80. For me, rucking in 30 miles into the backcountry to set up base camp weighs heavily on my mind, especially considering the tent I chose. With my FS-1 stock and my Molle II med pack, my load out is currently 58 liters. I could use a little more capacity.
Luckily, Coaxsher offers several options to add on to the FS-1 pack. I was torn between their med kit pack, which clips to the bottom in place of where the fire shelter pack is kept, and the Sawyer Pack, which is stored on top. I went with the larger pack. With this addition, which also can serve its original purpose when I’m on the fire line, my load out achieves my desired 70 liters. I reach that with an additional sustainment pouch strapped to the PALS webbing.
What I like most about this pack is my freedom to include or exclude gear according to pack components where appropriate. Once base camp is set, I can simply clip off gear I don’t need for a day trek to our worksite. Or I can empty components to free up space for work specific gear.
Some of you might think this pack makes for a terrible hiking pack, and yes, it wasn’t intended for long hikes, but who said you MUST store your sleep system on the inside? Who determined that you MUST store your tent on the inside? I say NAY! It is perfectly fine, and yes, smarter to store your shelter gear on the outside of your pack. Quicker access in the event of a flash rain storm, and free’s up internal space for clothing, hygiene, and other gear. For me, trekking in the mountains during spring, summer, and fall seasons, I need that quick-on-the-dime versatility.
And to hell with the ultra-light hiking scene. I don’t get it. The wilderness isn’t for the weak and lazy. The backcountry requires only the brave and aggressive.