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Patagonia Tumpline

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Patagonia Tumpline

True To Size
November 15, 2018

It only makes sense ...

Our office (the archaeology program of the Museum of New Mexico) does education outreach in ancient lifeways in the Southwest for school and community groups. We have included tumplines in our programs for 20 years, using replicas of the ancient backpacks to demonstrate how they work and how they feel. We have been trying to convince people that th... Read Moreis is how children should be carrying their heavy day packs to and from school, and it is wonderful to finally see a readily accessible solution (although you can find tump bands for sale in traditional markets throughout the world).

July 6, 2018

Simple. Primitive. Effective.

I first used Chouinard Equipment's version - which I just recently rediscovered in the elephant graveyard area of my gear stash - back in the mid-1980s; I had somehow not gotten the hang of fine adjustments on internal frame packs yet and the hip belts were giving me strawberries. The tumpline took the pressure and pain off my hips and was a w... Read Moreonderful change of pace,never mind the additional utility as a laundry line over my head for those rainy stretches to dry out the spare socks. Other than finally figuring out how to properly adjust my pack,I'm not totally sure why I stopped using it. The Capilene lining on the head strap is a definite improvement over the original,but just as with any ancient design the rest of it is pretty much the same. You loop it around the base of your pack,hard up against the root of the hip belt,pull it over the top of the pack,hold the headpiece with your hand to keep it in reach while you winch the load onto your shoulders,and then raise it up on your head. I loosen the shoulder straps as much as I possibly can to make sure that my head is handling the load; the primary function of the shoulder straps is to stabilize load and keep it from rolling off of your back. (If you have seen pictures of traditional users of the tumpline they frequently hold the sides of the line with their hands; the shoulder straps make that unnecessary. The modern era once in a great while has something to offer.) Of course,you don't use or need the hip belt. The aesthetics of this carry may mean more to me than its practical benefits. It feels really good to take a small step away from modern technology. But one should consider both,and both are definitely there.

August 12, 2015


Used this as a guide in Maine, and N.H. I worked with a Sherpa for a summer and he used his own rope tumpline. Used it to carry 70 pond loads. This is a great tool to carry any loads. No sore hips or shoulders at the end of the day. Yes also no sore neck or head! I still use it even on my McHale pack.

November 30, 2012

Tumplines Work

This tump is designed to assist with carrying a backpack which it does well. I use an external frame pack and it allowed me to shift the load between hips shoulders and head. I would like Patagonia to make a traditional tump with 10 foot straps. They work well when canoe trekking.

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