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356 Day Pack Equipment List 2011-03-02

day pack equipment

These are the items that we actually carry in our packs. Below is a link to the list in rich text format (any word processing program should be able to open it, even PC's!) . It can be edited and printed. By using a list it might prevent crazy mistakes like going on a long hike without any food (see Packing Mistake)!

Day Pack - Choose a Pack sized from 1000 to 2500 cubic inches and that is lightweight and comfortable. A big pack adds more diversity, but it also adds more space where unneeded gear can collect. We love the Osprey Talon series packs.

Pack Covers - Most packs are not waterproof. If you are only going hiking for one day, a cover is not necessary. Some of the items in the pack might get wet, but it usually is no big deal. If you plan on hiking for more than one day in a row, or have things you need to keep dry, you need a dry packing system. A good system is to first put everything in plastic or nylon bags before putting items in the pack. Another alternative is the pack cover. At times covers are noisy (flapping in the wind;) but we have had good luck with the pack covers and enjoy their simplicity. We use a lightweight "Silcoat" pack cover from Integral Designs.

Water - We use a hydration bladder and a collapsible bottle. Sip while you walk and guzzle when you are stopped. If hiking a longer trail a water filter might also be needed. There are a number of great products on the market, just find one that meets your needs. Water treatment tablets also work, but I am usually too impatient to work with them. We use a CamelBak bladder, Platypus bottles, and a Katadyn Hiker Pro filter.

Food - Generally we have a food bag stuffed in our packs. A good rule is to carry at least one snack for each two hours you plan on walking. Then add to the food bag a couple of lightweight extras. If you will be hiking for lunch, some folks enjoy carrying a more substantial meal than a snack. We generally eat normal foods. Amy does think her "gels" help her. I like peanut butter!

Clothing - How many layers should you bring? A good rule is to dress comfortably and then add one layer insulating layer stowed in your pack. When you start walking you might shed more clothes; but that is fine. An indispensable garment is a lightweight wind shirt/jacket. Also include a hat and gloves in the Winter and a brim hat for the summer.

Rain Gear - Okay it is clothing; but needs it's own header… we always carry rain gear. For hiking make sure the garment vents well, unzips, has a good hood, and is lightweight. We use Patagonia clothing.

Navigation - I always carry a map, compass, pen and paper, and GPS. The compass is lightweight and simple. The GPS is a Garmin 60csx.Even when I know where I am going, I find a map very handy to help others.

Light - We carry a small headlamp for hiking and also a backup even smaller headlamp in our Emergency Kit. We use a Petzl e-LITE as a backup and a Black Diamond Spot as our primary light. For a short hike we would only carry the e-LITE.

First Aid - A small kit lives in the bottom of our packs. Something to clean the injured area, stop the bleeding, and a means to splint an injured limb.

Repair Kit - We keep a small amount of duct tape, a few feet of cord, and a knife in our packs. As long as we take care of our gear at home, we generally do not have trouble on the trail; but things do break.

Shelter - We carry a small lightweight emergency blanket. There are other alternatives for shelter such as if you carry a pack cover, you can use the cover and the pack itself to help provide shelter.

Fire - Waterproof matches and a bit of Fire Ribbon are little add ons that I have never had to use: but there have been times when as I was wet and cold while walking, that I knew the fire starters were in my pack if I really needed them.

Sun Pro - For days in the sun, remember to pack the sun screen and glasses.

Communications - We carry a phone with us. With the phone you still might have to walk a ways for reception; but at times they have remarkable coverage. We keep a whistle in our pack. A satellite enabled device such as a SPOT might be beneficial in some areas.

Repellents - Your choice to keep the bugs at bay.

Toilet Kit - Paper, handi-wipes, trowel, and doggy poop bags - just in case you need them. We always keep a kit in the bottoms of our packs. Snow Peak makes a great light trowel. The poop bags are used to pick up and store the paper products.

day pack packed

Looking at the list, that seems like a lot of stuff... we pack our things in kits. Our emergency kit would include the fire starter, whistle, shelter, e-LITE, repair kit, compass, water purifying tablets, etc. The emergency kit is small.

What works for us might not work for you; but the list is a starting point.

Happy day hike trails.

Link - text only - Day Pack Equipment List

(Control click or right click the above link, and select download.)


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