For starters, it's not an expensive designer brand. In fact, the whole pack costs less than the titanium dish set in your trail-mate's pack. But it's more than that. To most modern-day gearheads, adventuring in an external frame pack is kind of like climbing Mt. McKinley in woolen knickers and a pair of glacier glasses — it was only cool in 1968.
But in the spirit of 1968, the Foxhound 50 is a pack that could cause a revolution. In this time of change, outdoors-minded-people are pioneering local-food movements and urging de-consumerism, all in the spirit of simplifying our lives. Backpacking with the pack is a way to start acting on this ideal.
The pack is sturdy with a particularly substantial hip belt, perfect for dispersing the weight of a heavy load. It has plenty of exterior pockets for organization and easy access and sturdy bottom straps for secure tie-in of a sleeping bag and pad.
And in a pinch, many parts of it would be extremely useful in a survival situation. The frame could be turned into a makeshift stretcher. Add a couple of branches and you can carry your friend out instead of relying on life flight.
But what it doesn't have is just as useful. I didn't see features on it that make me think, "I wonder what that does." There's no über-tech in the Foxhound 50, but there is every bit of tech any recreational backpacker needs.
It's an updated generation of a design that has transcended decades, millions of miles and thousands of first ascents — and judging by the materials, there's no doubt it will continue to perform for decades.
Graceful simplicity — the High Sierra Foxhound 50 gets back to what the experience of backpacking was meant to be. It is the Edward Abbey lost in the world of Inspector Gadgets.
Now is the time. For revolution. For being the change you wish to see in the world. For leaving the iPhone solar charger behind.
Now is the time for the Foxhound 50. (MSRP $130)
Depending on the week, Karuna can be found producing feature films on fast-paced Hollywood movie sets, directing documentaries on the high seas or wandering the Colorado backcountry, exploring the serene mountains of her home state with her dogs, Sid and Loki.
Over the last decade she has written for dozens of publications including the High Country News, Denver Post and Rocky Mountain Sports Magazine. She has produced and managed a dozen features, with cast including Val Kilmer, Ray Liotta, Cybill Shepherd and Steven Weber.
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