Awhile ago we did a quick initial review on the Fishpond Piney Creek Tech Pack. Seeing as I am snowed in again (for the third time in December…If I ever get my hands on this La Niña character I am going to slap the piss out of her…I don’t care if she is a girl), I decided to take the pack out for more utilitarian purposes. In this case, utilitarian means strapping supplies to my back and making the soul crushing walk 3/4 of a mile straight uphill to my house, through a good foot of snow with nothing standing between me and the bottom of a frozen ditch except for a pair of glorified tennis rackets strapped to my feet. I am happy to report the Piney Creek Tech Pack not only met the challenge, but did it in a manner befitting the glorious sack of Zeus himself.
As you can see I was able to get two full size Digiornos’ Pizzas in there, what you can’t see is the 12 pack of beer, the half-gallon of milk, the 3 packs of smokes, and my iPad that were also crammed in that bad boy. If I could have found a midget at the grocery store, I would have stuffed him in there to with room to spare. The pack rides nice fully loaded, but a padded waist belt would make this thing a Cadillac. As it stands, you will probably never load the Piney Creek up heavy enough to need the extra padding, unless you are like me and like to load bags with rocks to carry around just for the f of it. Once the thaw hits I will fill this puppy up with fishing gear and head somewhere to test its non-utilitarian use, but it will probably still be loaded up with beer…lets make that definitely.
Once the magazine comes out, we will devote an entire department to gear reviews, as in the end we are nothing but boys with expensive toys. I have always kind of taken gear reviews with a grain of salt as most are glorified press releases or written by someone who used the gear in question for a total of one afternoon (if at all). In that vein, we are going to try to use all the gear we review for as long a period as possible before we pass judgment in print. In some respects this will hamper our ability to review the newest and raddest gear as soon as it hits the market but on the other hand, when SCOF makes a gear recommendation, you can be rest assured that there are a lot of river miles behind it. The Gear Review in the first issue will be called Sack Up: A Gear Bag For Every Southern Situation, and we just got our first bag to test… yay. The first entry into the SCOF bag bonanza is the Piney Creek Technical Pack (retailing for $169.00) from fishpond.
This bad boy is the leading candidate for our favorite backcountry creek bag. We were looking for something that had the capacity to carry backcountry essentials like water, rain gear, Snickers bars (at least 12), and maybe even an adult beverage or three for our aprés “slaying it” celebratory imbibing. What we didn’t want was an overly large “fishing” section of the bag since our Southern backcountry trout don’t require more than a couple small boxes, one or two spools of tippet, and a couple other essentials. On first glance this bag is gonna fit the bill well with a detachable chest pack that can be worn up front for fishing and in the back for walking. You can also stash the pack when you get there and just use the chest pack so your ninja-like boulder hopping skills remain uninhibited. The pack itself seems to ride nice fully loaded, and comes with all the bells and whistles that fishpond has become known for (rod tube sleeves, hydration bag slot, net retainer ring, etc…). Fishpond states that the pack material is waterproof and I really hope that this is the case because getting caught in a downpour is bad enough without adding the insult of a wet sack as well. All in all, I am quite pleased with the Piney Creek out of the box, but like everything else in life, time on the river will be the true test of its worth.