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Extra resources for Outward Bound Backpacker's Handbook, 3rd
Floating lids and spindrift collars are particularly useful to winter campers, long-distance trekkers, and people who backpack with kids, all of whom need room for large volumes of clothing and food. indd 40 1/18/13 3:53 PM Backcountry—Picking a Pack That Works Most external-frame packs, whether top-loading or panel-loading, have a light aluminum framework called the hold-open bar at the top of the pack bag. On a top-loading pack the hold-open bar keeps the mouth of the bag open for easy loading.
In my experience even the best leather boots eventually begin to leak. To preserve the leather’s suppleness and waterproofness, I periodically apply some kind of leather conditioner. Here controversy reigns, with each manufacturer of conditioner finding some reason to claim that rival products will rot the leather, degrade the stitching, and delaminate the soles as well as give you night sweats and premature baldness. The safest course is to use the conditioner recommended by the boot manufacturer (if the manufacturer recommends one), if for no other reason than to preserve your rights under the warranty.
Good packs let you adjust the distance between the shoulder straps to fit your anatomy. Internal-frame packs use a different method to adjust the torso length. With most internal frames, the upper end of the shoulder straps attaches to the shoulder yoke, which is positioned approximately between your shoulder blades. The height of this shoulder yoke can be adjusted up or down, usually via some arrangement of straps and buckles. Regardless of the method the goal is the same as with an external-frame pack: proper positioning of the shoulder straps in relation to the hip belt so that the pack’s weight rides primarily on your hips, with the shoulder straps serving mostly to prevent the pack from swaying dramatically from side to side or falling over backward.