I recently posted this on Instagram and Facebook. I thought it would be of interest to those blog followers that didn’t see it. Plus at the end I say where I will be hiking this year.

Since 2012 I have been using ZPacks packs. My first Blast pack accompanied me on the CDT, AT and from Mexico to Tehachapi on the PCT. After 5500 miles it was fuzzy and had been repaired a few times so I replaced it with the improved model the ArcBlast. I have a really short torso (17 inches.) ZPacks used to customize gear and I had them make me a shorter version. I carried this pack north from Tehachapi to Canada, the length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa, and around Europe on the HRP, GR 20 and Switzerland’s Via Alpina 1. Despite a few repairs along the way this pack has survived 5300 miles of hiking with me. When it was time for a new pack I was happy to see that ZPacks was ready for me with their Arc Scout. It’s a shorter version of the Arc Blast and is the exact same length as my previous pack I had custom made. This pack has so many adjustments and improvements over my previous packs. Just to see how many miles over 5000 I can get with this pack I decided to get it in Gridstop fabric. Plus I liked the orange color!

I’m getting ready to hike Canada’s Great Divide Trail this summer. I’ve loaded 22 pounds into the Arc Scout and taken it out for a few training hikes. It’s awesome! I’m excited to see where we will explore together.

Full disclosure: I paid for my first two packs. Zpacks gave me the Arc Scout. I am honored.

17 thoughts on “A TALE OF 3 PACKS and the EVOLUTION OF ZPACKS

  1. Lynn Duncan

    If I made hiking gear, I would be thrilled if you would use it!

    I like the other colors better, but the new one will be more visible.

    The Great Divide Trail looks very interesting! Look forward to following along.

  2. Carrie

    Those of us who don’t follow FB or IG, but want to follow you, appreciate this! Annie says hi!! 🙂

  3. chuckleber

    I told this to your partner:
    What an amazing adventure.
    Good news is the bears will be in berry mode.
    A friend told me a plains indian told him the people used to keep skunks for their scent (mercaptain).
    They put the scent on their children to keep the grizzlies (formerly a plains animal) away from the kids.
    So a skunk is a good sign.

  4. jerrywh

    Hmm, Great Divide Trail? Glad to see you are taking things easy in your declining years.. not!!
    I am a great fan of Zpacks gear. At present the exchange rates make their stuff rather pricy for us here in England, but I will look at the Scout anyway..

    1. nancyhikes Post author

      If I remember you are very tall. The Scout is for short people. But they have lots of others. Packs always look smaller on tall people. I’m jealous. Looks are everything. Ha, ha. I think you also have the duplex tent. Great gear.

      1. jerrywh

        Yes, I’m 6′ 4″ .. I have a duplex tent, ArcBlast bag and a bespoke sleeping bag too, all great; and Joe Valesko & his team so helpful and willing to do anything to make any of their products fit. They made me a cuben fiber waterproof/windproof specially to fit, it weighs just 50g and I love it ..
        *Really* looking forward to your next adventure, Nancy..

      2. nancyhikes Post author

        So you are one of their satisfied repeat customers also. I bought some pockets for my pack from Joe when he was sewing in his kitchen. From that to the present zpacks company is very impressive.

  5. Jill W.

    Exciting!! It’s like getting unexpected tickets for a wonderful adventure!
    I wondered what you were up to this summer. The hiking will probably be the easy part after all the logistics and planning!
    Best wishes as you set off. Thanks for posting here for us dinosaurs (calculated or otherwise) that don’t use FB.

  6. Lucy Grittman

    Looking forward to vicariously following you on this great adventure!! Stay safe but most of all have fun!!

  7. Yvonne Webb

    Nancy I will now have something to look forward to reading with my morning coffee and Vogels toast. I will be curious how the new pack works for you as I also have a short torso.
    Thanks for accommodating the non FB followers. All the best from New Zealand!

    1. nancyhikes Post author

      I’m hoping it will work just like that last one that was custom made for me. But one never knows if “improvements” are really better until you try them out. I love your country!

  8. Warren

    Hi Nancy,

    Will be following you and Rockin’ on your new trip. Hope you two have great fun together.

    This will be my fourth year using an ArcBlast. With 25 lbs or less it has been a really great pack. I really like the trampoline back and all the air it allows to circulate across your back. Not cheap, but for me, very much worth it.


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