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690 Daily Hiking Gear - 2012 2012-02-04

Amy climbing the ridge to access Mount Alice

During our summer trip to the mountains (2012) we used our day packs almost every day. Our day trips' distances ranged from a few miles to over twenty miles, but we carried the same gear on most hikes, with a few exceptions. Basically, the essentials lived in our packs, with a few extras added to meet the special needs of a trip.

Packs - Osprey - Talons - I carry a 44 Liter (2685 cubic inches) and Amy carries a 33 Liter (2014 cubic inches). These are great, lightweight packs that carry well. We've used the Talons for years and they are still our favorites. We still highly recommend them.

Trekking Poles - Black Diamond - Alpine Carbon Cork - We have used the poles for two years and are very pleased with them. They are lightweight, and have a good feel. The locking mechanism is solid and the poles collapse into a manageable size. We were originally concerned with the carbon fiber material being to brittle, but we have had no problems after two hard years.

Cameras - Canon - D20 and Canon - PowerShot ELPH 300 HS - both cameras are point and shoot models. The D20 is new. It is supposed to be waterproof, freeze-proof, and shock-proof - just what I need. I dropped and broke my last camera and needed a tougher replacement. The D20 is bigger and heavier than credit card sized cameras, but I liked the bigger size. The Elph 300 is a few years old. It is still a good camera.

GPS - Garmin 62 S and Garmin 60 CSx - we like to carry both GPS units on most hikes. The cameras and GPS units are synched so that we can georeference the pictures. The 62 S died on one of our first hikes in New Mexico, lucky for us an REI was close by. We were glad we bought it from REI. There are a few improvements in the 62 model, but for basic use the 60 is still a good GPS. We also carried a paper map and a small compass.

Water - CamelBak - Hydration Bladder - a great water tank. We use the small 50 ounce bladder and also carry a liter sized Platypus water container. Most days we carried the Platypus bottle empty, until we filtered water. Then we would drink the fresh water and maybe stow a little in our packs. We also carried the Katadyn Hiker Pro Filter. The handle of the Hiker Pro broke. The break was very odd. I was pumping easily when the handle just came off in my hand. The handle must have been damaged during travel, it was the first time we used it on the trip. REI, naturally, replaced it. We also carried a couple emergency purification tablets, but luckily, we did not have to use them.

First Aid Kit - we both carried an assortment of first aid gear. In the desert, we also carried a Sawyer Snake Bite kit. The extractor is supposed to be effective in reducing the amount of venom. We did not have to use it. It was too hot for the snakes!

Emergency Gear - we both carried an emergency blanket (lightweight version), fire starter, light (Petzl e Lite), and a small repair kit (glue, tape, and string) - with the way things were breaking on us, we had lots of opportunities to practice fixing things.

Protection - for protection from the elements we carried sunscreen and insect repellent. I did not use insect repellent at all, but used sun screen (and sun block) every day. We also naturally had sunglasses. On some hikes, Amy carried the bear spray.

Food - we always carried our own food. We ate a variety of trail foods (food we ate on the trail) during the summer. Being on a 60 day trip, it was easy to get bored with the food we had packed. We would be hiking ten or so miles down the trail and had not even stopped to eat. On one trip, I did get hungry enough that I finally tried to eat my emergency Hammer Gel. It had been in my pack since 2009. When I opened the package I found that the gel had hardened - it was more like a silicone caulk than a gel. Thankfully, Amy had an extra gel to spare.

Toilet Kit - we each carried paper, wipes, plastic bags, and a small trowel.

We also carried rain gear, an extra layer of clothing (a jacket), a hat, and gloves on most trips. More on clothes next week.

My average pack weight was 12 pounds including food and water. The pack weight did not include the camera, GPS, or trekking poles.

Happy Day Pack trails


Camping Gear - Summer 2012

Kitchen Kit - Summer 2012


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