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Author Topic: Thoughts on Tanks & Top Bags  (Read 382 times)

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Thoughts on Tanks & Top Bags
« on: February 26, 2019, 03:19:57 pm »
Hope folk don't mind me jotting down a few words about some of the ideas behind my winter gear.

I've had a couple of messages in the past week about adding pockets and pouches to tank bags. After a quick brainstorm I confirmed that of course there would be no problem doing this, I suggested putting a zipper along the tank, allowing access to an internal bag, separate from the rest of the internal space.

Initially i was happy with this option but the more I thought about it I can see am major problem with trying to enable easy access to the tank.

Your toboggan tank needs to be strapped down really tightly so that when,not if, it rolls your load stays in place. You should be able to roll your toboggan upright by pulling on the load. This means you'll need a web of straps running backwards and forwards across the tank. Consequently any zippers or flaps in the tank will be obstructed by the straps. The ends are open but one end will be up against the curl and the other will be blocked by any other gear fixed to your toboggan.

I use a 5ft tank as it allows just enough room for a Rubbermaid tub and 18" stove at the stern. It also fits fully loaded across the trunk of my Subaru. I find tanks are best for soft gear, any hard gear is best lashed on separately.

This is why Garrett (Conover) developed the top bag, a long sausage bag that straps on top of the tank and outside the securing straps. It provides a place for snacks, first aid kit and spare clothing that you'll need during a day on the trail. I find a 4ft long top bag will hold more than I need, it even has room for a lightweight down parka.

The top bags I make come with a pair of straps every two feet that clip down to the running lines along the toboggan. I have the bad luck of having to test this system several times when my toboggan has rolled and am satisfied that everything stays in place.

This does sometimes make it feel like there is a spider's web of straps so one alternative for a more modular system would be to add buckles to the tank so that the top bag clips directly on to the tank, quite a neat solution.

Instead of a top bag a budget option would be to add a small zippered duffle on top of the tank, MEC sell a useful one for $45, that would fit nicely. You'd need to be careful not to overpack it with heavier items though as any load would sit much higher than in a custom designed top bag.

Anyway hope these ideas are useful for anyone looking to outfit a toboggan.

BV
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Offline GearFreak

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Re: Thoughts on Tanks & Top Bags
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 03:55:52 pm »
Agree, that is why I made my top bag to go with the tank. 

My problem is my gear needs to go on a diet
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss - "The Lorax"

Offline Coldfeet

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Re: Thoughts on Tanks & Top Bags
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2019, 08:24:28 pm »
BV, just saw this post.  Your toboggan bag and stove bag went on it's 2nd trip a few weeks ago and they both worked wonderfully.  I had to much gear and wanted a top bag for those objects you just talked about.   I ended up finding a long thin bag to strap on top but had to bungi it down and it was difficult opening the zipper to get gear out or put gear in.  I realized that a top bag is the way to go.  Looking at your site now, hope to contact you soon.   

PS, thought the red bags would make me go faster, I was wrong :(     haha, it was an exhausting pull.   how the heck does one get into pulling shape?   I'm guessing I'm going to need to cut down on those NY bagels!  Take care. 

Offline sleddawg

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Re: Thoughts on Tanks & Top Bags
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2019, 10:46:54 am »

Perhaps a little off topic but I haul a komatik or lake sled as some call it.  On the back I have a wannigan, it's dogged around the bottom so all I need is to lash the beckets on either end, the top is hinged and fully opens.  There's usually about six inches of space for layers as I remove them and access to water, snacks etc.  The stove lashes down next followed by the tent (9.5 X 11 exp. short wall), on top I use a hockey style duffle with my sleeping bag, clothing etc.  The duffle bag is also lashed the same as the wannigan, just by the end loops so I have access to the duffle if needed.  I've never had a problem with this system and haven't needed a tank, perhaps on a longer exposed trip over many days it may be helpful but not my three - four hour haul in and base camp trips.  The sled has an eight foot deck and is 9.5 ' over all by 16" wide, the runners are 1/4" UHMW 4.5" wide, never had it turn over (even when it went over the edge and down a hill), it's too heavy but I plan on building a lighter version.....eventually.....

Pictures, also...….eventually...……..still haven't made it out this year......full moon this month....if it ain't too late.

Ken
I, haul the sled so therefore I am "the" dawg.....

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Thoughts on Tanks & Top Bags
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2019, 11:32:14 am »
Yes wanigan's are useful, They often weigh more than a cloth bag so that is one downside. Hauling on a rigid sled is a bit different from a flexible toboggan, they are very stable.

As to tipping, the weight will help with that and maybe being hauled behind a sled means you are packing a trail just in from to the sled to give it something to ride on.

The worst place I have found for tipping is when snowmobiles and, even worse, ATVs have run through a portage. As the snow hardens it leaves ruts that cause the toboggan to run off track and tilt over to 45 degrees. A lot of effort is then required to get the toboggan back out of the rut and on to the level.

Maybe when you get some pictures you would like to start your own thread over in the "Sleds and Toboggans" forum.
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