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Rear hip pain when packing w/ Kuiu pack
Not looking for a new pack at this time, looking for advice.
Hoping the resident pack experts can help me out here. I bought a new Kuiu Icon Pro 5200 this off season. I used it on my treadmill and also around the neighborhood for some weighted practice runs.
We packed in a few miles this year to hunt elk and I quickly realized I was in trouble just a 1/4 mile from the truck. I don't remember the exact weight but I was on the higher end of the 40's or lower 50's with water, all the food and throwing some of my son's gear into my back last minute.
I really felt it on the rear/outside of my hips, below the iliac crest, in the muscles. It definitely wasn't joint pain and stopping to stretch helped. The pack in was a couple hours and we dropped camp, much to the relief of my hips. A short time later and I had an elk on the ground and I was loading up my pack for the load out. I was miserable for the next 26 hours! I hadn't really used my pack since getting home and washing it out.
I meant to do some pack adjustments and I was reminded last weekend when we hiked out to cut our Christmas tree. I loaded up my pack with lunch and drinks for the family. We had jackets and the DSLR and tripod, etc. I immediately noticed the pain in the exact same spots.
I came from an older Tenzing day pack and never felt this type of pain while using it. I upgraded for the capacity and reputation of the Kuiu packs.
Now, here's what I've tried since hunting season and the tree cutting loaded pack last weekend:
>12 weeks of yoga. I know, I know, but I wanted to become more flexible and more solid in the core. Yoga has kicked my ass and I am not afraid to admit it. It has been very helpful!
>Strength training. I have been doing more leg workouts; squats, lunges, dead lifts.
>Running. I am still running as much as before, 16ish miles/week.
All that said, I am going to loosen everything on the pack and go through the Kuiu pack fitting videos again. Can anyone else provide input, suggestions or thoughts? I did the measurements and ordered exactly what was recommended, tall frame and small waist belt. FWIW, I'm 5'11" and 165 pounds, fit, 32" waist, 34" inseam, blah, blah, blah...
Lark, have you tried to borrow a pack from someone else to see if it is truly how the pack rides or just a problem with your physiology in general under heavy load?
First and foremost, KUIU's reputation for packs isn't necessarily all that good, either way, I know people that use them without the issues you've noted.
I personally think your pain may be due to where you are cinching the waistbelt down on your hips. Correct placement is everything. I like mine to ride almost even but slightly lower than my belly button. Everyone is different, but I've found that if I load my pack up heavy and tighten the waist belt down and it's lower than that I get a real bad pain in my lower back.
Additionally, it's important to understand the role that your shoulder straps and load lifters play in the mix. When my waist belt is nice and tight, I loosen my shoulder straps so that most of the weight is on my hips. Then, after a bit of walking, I loosen my waist belt a touch and tighten up my shoulder straps a bit, then the weight is on my shoulders. Re-adjusting the load lifters throughout that process will also make the load much more comfortable.
I think (not sure if you do) that most throw on a pack, loaded to the gills, tighten everything down to the max and think that's the way to go, I don't believe that is ideal... manage each section of your pack accordingly and it may fix your problem.
The only other people that I hang out with more than twice a year are my son and my hunting buddy that was with me on the elk hunt. My son's pack is a regular backpacking pack (He has other day packs) and my buddy has the Kuiu Icon pack as well.
I wish I had friends close with the Exo pack, I'd like to try on one of those...hell, I wish I had friends that hunted...okay, honestly, I wish I had friends, lol.
I will go through all the fitting videos again tomorrow and try some different strap techniques. I may have had it cinched wrong from the beginning .
Lark, I've got the same pack and really like it, but my son used it for a packoit recently, and the next day I packed a deer and a half down a very steep slope and had similar issues. When I reset the "fit" it was all fine again. I think part of Kuiu's reputation that nick refers to is that it's easier to set up the pack incorrectly. There's a narrower range of good fit, but for me, there is a sweet spot that fits very well.
Check out this link. Note specifically, I am your size 5ft11in, 160lbs. I got the Kuiu short frame as I describe in my post. Other good comments as well.
My bet is if you posted pictures on here someone could help you with fit. Also...I am not trying to sound like a tool but this is why Kifaru is so awesome. Buy a pack, even a used one, and you can talk one on one with Aron or someone at the factory. They will get you set up properly and walk you through exactly what needs to be done. I can say this....I know very little about packs but I do know mine feels really nice and I had no idea how or what to do until I watched videos and had Aron tell me what corrections to make.
I have a Kuiu pack and here is what I notice. If I have been hunting and using a weighted pack for a bit, getting in the odd heavy load, I have no pain anywhere. If I pack a heavy load for an extended period of time with no work-up whatsoever, I get some pain in my lower back. But that is to be expected, because it is different than what my normal office body is used to ;)
I will post up photos later tonight or tomorrow morning, with some weight in it.
mvgoat, just curious why your chose the short frame? I did every measurement I could find online (REI's sizing video's too) and they all came back in the large frame.
I don't think it's the pack. I think you are using muscles that don't get used until you are packing a heavy load.
Looking at your workouts I see you doing everything except pack training. When I start to train with a pack, my hips hurt below the iliac crest only towards the front, not the rear. As I continue to train, I increase distance and weight. Eventually, I no longer have that pain as I work those muscles into shape. I start with 40-50 lbs. and a few miles working my way up to 90 lbs. and 6 miles over some rough terrain.
“I don't think it's the pack. I think you are using muscles that don't get used until you are packing a heavy load.”
I also think a persons gait changes when carrying a heavy pack.
I have that pack as well and have hauled over 100lbs with it and not had the issues you mention. However, while training, I have had what you describe, and like you said, you notice it within the first mile. If I readjust my pack it goes away instantly. I too like my pack to ride fairly high. I think you may be wearing it a bit low. personal opinion FWIW
Wider based, Cnelk. I think that's right.
In response to your question on frame size: I chose to go with a small frame as I have an older Kifaru long hunter that has a tall frame as sized by the Kifaru people remotely based on my height etc. I have carried many heavy loads in that pack but it never fit me right even after adjusting as much as is possible. (I didn't realize this was the problem for many years so didn't take up the issue with Kifaru). I also tried on a Kuiu tall frame owned by a friend and couldn't get it to fit me properly. With my small Kuiu frame I am the most comfortable that I have ever been with a heavy backpack. The load is on my hips and the shoulders feel right.
May not be the pack, at all. Could simply be the way you are taking your steps. Stick with the Yoga, quit running and if possible, add some water aerobics. If available, find a reputable-repeat reputable, massage therapist and get a couple sessions. Be sure and explain your problem to him/her. I have mine on speed dial. I do yoga 4X a week, walk on a treadmill 2-miles, 4X a week at 4.0 pace and do water aerobics twice a week. And I still feel like crap. So, ignore my advice.
I'm kidding, at 73.6, I am in better shape than I was at 50. Quitting running was the major factor. It is terrible for you after a certain age. Yoga, on the other hand, is tremendous. Seriously, getting off concrete and onto a treadmill was a tremendous help to start with. I do something called Mountain Peak program-from 0-15 incline varied, then water aerobics, cool down, then Yoga. I can now tie my boots. Two years ago, I could not.
Several touched on it. Your gait is changing due to the extra weight. The burn is from that and the weight. Also, pay attention to what Nick said about pack fit. That could be causing the different posture versus normal walking. Most common thing I've seen concerning packs is that most want to wear it around their belt line of their pants. Unless you wear your pants really high, that is too low. It needs to be at our a touch below the belly button for proper fit. It will allow you to carry the weight with better posture, less interference, and give you the ability to adjust the load from the hips to the shoulders as needed.
I've got about 2" and about 5 pounds on you Lark, same waist and inseam, so we're basically the same build. I have the Kuiu Ultra pack and at first I had a hard time getting it adjusted to where it was comfortable. My problem was that I was letting the waist belt ride too low on my hips and put pressure on the wrong areas, and since I have no ass (my wife says so) the belt tended to slide down as I was hiking. Once I got that figured out I liked the pack much better, but I do wish I had the Icon for the thicker padding on the belt and shoulder straps.
I think midwest is on to something. Sounds like you may have some periformitis, small muscle in the buttock area that crosses the SI. I have SI dysfunction which creates an imbalance among the muscles pulling on my sacrum.. and everywhere else, its a mess. But I have noticed that when I have my pack on and tight across my hips it does not irritate my condition. Have you consulted a good chiropractor?
I suffer from Noassititus as well. :(
I suffer from Noassititus as well. :(
Thank you all for the advice and tips. I ran across this photo from our tree cutting adventure. It's not the best photo but will give an idea of how the pack fits on me. I am working from home today so I'll see if I can set up my phone to take a few more photos in a bit.
Hahaha, yea.. I suffer from bigassitis.. literally and figuratively! I'm not a pack expert, but I wear my belt lower. My buckle is below my belly button, from the looks of it your buckle is on your belly button?? yes no?
I stole this off the meat packing thread.
I stole this off the meat packing thread.
In this pic it looks like your belt is low yet the load lifter attachment is even with your ear lobes. If indeed your belt is low, your frame is to long. With the belt in the proper place your load lifter attachment should be at your ear lobe. Hard to say in the blurr of never ending kuiu from that picture though.
That looks painful. I'd want that weight MUCH higher.
Yeah, I think that last pick shows the pack pretty low, lower than I'd have it at least...
"90 lbs. and 6 miles over some rough terrain" Now THAT'S who I want to elk hunt with.... =D
Lark- Talked to my doctor, re your problem, (we are also close friends.), and was amazed at his suggestion. "Go to a good chiropractor for a consult." My situation is so severe, I am forbidden to go to one but he said, you may just need a couple adjustments. He also echoed my statement, "quit running". Then he said something that cracked me up. "When old age comes creeping, it never stops. It just finds new spots to creep into." There is a name for your/our problem and I can neither pronounce it or spell it but apparently, it is fairyl common.
I seriously doubt Lark is just "an adjustment away" from happiness. The problem is the pack fit. With a properly-fit pack, a guy like Lark ought to be able to tolerate a quite heavy load. Again, I think the Kuiu pack's online reputation (not bashing it -- I own one, too) is due to having a smaller window of perfect fit than others. Find that window, and find happiness. It's there.
Quit running? Dumb advice.
He has a short torso,vary long legs,34in inseam for some one 5'11 he needs a shorter frame.
I am taking all advice under consideration but I don't think I'll be quitting the running anytime soon. I get a great cardio workout in a short amount of time.
Unfortunately, the weekend got away from me and I didn't have time to do any trial and error with the pack. Glad I am bringing this up now though in the off season!
Also, I am LMAO of that picture of me packing out the head of my first bull. I had NO idea of what the heck I was doing while loading that thing on. I was delirious from packing meat for 12 hours all night long and just wanted to get off that dang mountain. I obviously have a LOT to learn! :)
I’m not suggesting his frame length is the only problem.... might not even be a contributor. I’d start by figuring out the proper place to put your hip belt and go from there. Like a lot have suggested I would bet the biggest problem is those muscles are not in shape for that. Do some light(25-30) pound pack training for a month then try 50# and I bet most of your problem is solved.
You would be well-served to save up your nickels and go visit Kifaru. They'll help you dial in the pack when you pick it up. Heavy weights are not easy, but they shouldn't cause that much pain.
Case in point: my hunting partner 15 years ago was using a Dwight Schuh pack on a Coleman frame. He shot a fat cow, and packed her out about 2 miles. His hips hurt for a month. His 40th birthday present was a Kifaru pack, which is still good as new, and which has packed out a lot of meat over the years, pain-free. There are other good packs out there, but the Kifaru stuff is worth every penny.
I agree LINK, even with as much as I do, running, biking, lifting, etc. ...its not pack training. I am incorporating that into my weekly workouts starting this week.
KUIU packs are decent packs, my hunting partner has one and he likes it, works well for him, he has several different bags for it. But they are not known as "heavy load" packs. His gets up around 50lbs or more and there are comfort issues with it. Pinches and bites here and there.
Not to steal this thread, but i have been wondering the same thing when it comes to pack fit with these packs that have the lumbar pads.
Mine is an EXO 3500 and i too had alot of hip and upper leg pain while packing in a spike camp. I was use to the older style waist belts that didnt have a lumbar pad and im guessing i had it sitting too low. Should that pad have been right in my lower back, kinda right above my belt?