5 years ago, I left the services with a degenerative disc on my L4/L5. For those who do not know what it means, the simple run down is I have a perpetual backache whenever I carry loads, high impacts, long hard descents and hanging in the harness for too long.
Being the stubborn me, refusing to change the old ways, I had the FHAG and never say die mind set and kept on using haul bags as a primary means of carrying loads on and off crags and to the backcountry. That wasn’t a very smart move as I soon found out that everytime I get off a wall, I had to lie in the tent for 1 or 2 days and could barely arch my back on a cobra stretch. Kelly’s description is someone nail a piece of board on my back.
Last year, I went back to my sponsors Arcteryx Singapore for a backpack and I was lucky enough to get a Altra 65 which fits most of my missions and has become my day to day pack for guiding, load hauling to big walls and most importantly our backcountry missions. Nonetheless, back pain is gone and I have less down time due to back pains.
However a squeak starts to appear whenever I carry the pack. Its actually the load transfer disc which attaches the hip belt moving with your hip rotating clockwise and counter clockwise as you are walking. The squeaks starts to become annoying as I have to explain everyday to different clients that its not my wet fart but the bag making this noise.
I went back to my store room and pull out the pack of lubrication that came with the Altra 65.
Here are the steps to removing the Load Transfer Disc.
- Loosen the strap attached to the hip belt
2. Turn the hip belt counterclockwise and you will hear a click
3. Expose the dirt and grim and clean that off with a damp cloth
4. Apply the lubrication provided by Arcteryx on the disc and smear it evenly with your fingers
5. Since we are at this I would clean and lube the shoulder strap grid lock system too
6. Reattach both the shoulder straps to the grid lock system and the waist belt to the load transfer disc
And no more squeaky mouse in the bag!