I've posted about backpacking here before, but I'm back with a new issue! I got my pacemaker placed in Feb 2020 at 23 years old. Due to my age (and for cosmetic reasons) my EP put my pacemaker further to the left than normal, and under my muscle (sitting directly under a backpack strap). I am a big hiker/backpacker, but only got to go on 2 trips this year (both under 50 miles each, 2-4 nights). For each trip my pack was pretty light as I never had to carry more than 3L water and 3 days of food- I took my 30L pack with me without issue. As I am looking at longer trips for 2021, I cannot find a larger pack that is comfortable for me. Once I add the weight in and tighten everything up, the backpack straps push on my pacemaker. I can deal with it but don't want to cause any type of damage to the leads or my device if I will be out in the backcountry for a week or more. I am not UL but my gear is on the lighter end (budget reasons lol). does anyone have any suggestions for gear or brands that will work with you to fit a pack around your device? I have been in contact with ULA and they said that would help with my fit but have only had mixed success with pacemakers, so I am nervous to spend the money for a custom pack if it will still not work for me. I am looking for something in the 50L range. With my 30L pack I put a homemade cloth pad under the site to help with rubbing and it was fine, but for longer days/heavier packs I am worried about the weight distribution (ie if a pad will change the fit of the pack on my shoulders/back).
*I will edit to say that on my first trip which was 4 months after surgery, my pacemaker settings were apparently not correct because it did a "mode switch" 400 times in 3 days- basically everytime my HR went above the upper threshold, my PM thought I was in afib and would adjust the pacing to "correct it", resulting in a nonsynchronous beat between my heart and my PM. this is not related to my post but i thought interesting