First Use: Shimoda Designs Action X70 Backpack (Video)

My Shimoda Designs X70 originally arrived right after Xmas, at the tail end of 2019. Because of the pandemic and associated limitations on movement to limit spreading of the virus, I have mostly been unable to use the backpack for its intended purpose until now. Sadly, there are more Americans than ever before that proudly display their lack of education and general ignorance by defying the recommendations of individuals far more educated and experienced than them. It’s this attitude that’s caused the virus to thrive for much longer in the United States as compared to other countries and the result has been the forced closure of almost all non-essential business and activities. Their ignorance has also been the source of multiple “false starts,” as we’ve had to repeatedly close and reopen stuff due to their refusal to socially distance and wear masks to limit spread of the virus based on zero factual information. Why people think a virus cares about politics, I have no idea, but that’s where we are in the world today… the internet has allowed people to absorb only enough information to become dangerous to themselves and others.

Today will be my first opportunity for an overnighter in the mountains near Mt. Rainier. During the extended offseason, I used the opportunity to upgrade most of my camping gear to reduce mass and improve efficiency. Much of this was forced as compensation for adding the larger, heavier Fujifilm GFX medium format camera system. The result of throwing money at the problem is an overnight kit that fits completely within my Action X70 backpack while still having 15-20 liters of space left over and weighing in below 20kg.

To demonstrate both the efficiency of my chosen gear and my packing skills, I made a short video of my unloading all of the camping gear from my backpack’s expandable 35 liter cargo compartment.

Included, in order: tent poles, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, fire starters, camp chair and jetboil cooker.

This first trip, while short, will also give me a chance to shoot some astrophotography. The schedule shows the galactic core should rise and align above Mt. Rainier between midnight and 0200 from our campsite. Hopefully the weather forecast pans out and the skies remain clear tonight and early tomorrow morning.

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