Hiking Gear

Backpack: Raggedy old Eastpak held together with duct tape. Inside, a roll of duct tape, lighter, bottle opener, zip ties, toilet paper, hand cleaner, wet wipe packets, Maglite XL50 200 Lumen LED FlashlightBlack Diamond Storm 160 Lumen Headlamp, x7 AAA and x4 AA batteries for backup (one set for each flashlight, two sets for my GPS), a bag of gorp, notepad & pen, “emergency poncho” (really a trash bag from Dollar Store), x2 actual garbage bags, space blanket, an extra pair of socks, work gloves, a couple of energy bars, emergency mirror, bottle opener, sweat rag, tweezers, comb (for cholla balls), bandaids, antacid tablets, ibuprofen, anti-itch cream, sunscreen, lip balm, backup multitool (Leatherman of course!), ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon, three magnetic compasses — one of which I “borrowed” from the Army ;-) — and 100-130 oz. of fluids (depending on heat and length of hike). For longer hikes, I’ll also throw in a sandwich and a bag of chips (usually vinegar flavored :o ). Just about everything is in ziploc bags. Emergency blaster whistle on the left strap. Basically, enough junk that if I did get stuck over night, I would not be totally screwed.

Liquids: All my liquids — other than beer — are in plastic bottles, so I can accurately gauge consumption rate, and turn back if my consumption rate is greater than predicted. Besides, if I wore a Camelbak, wierd things would grow in it, as I would never remember to wash it. (Like my canteens in the Army.) I carry x2 20 oz. Gatorade G2 rehydration drinks (they are not as syrupy as regular Gatorade), x4-6 16-20 oz. waters and, if I don’t need the water, I’ll swap in a summit brew. ;-) I carry one water in my right rear pants pocket, the rest in my backpack. I typically drink 1/3 of a G2 after every bottle of water to maintain a regular flow of electrolytes.

Clothing: Your standard many-pocketed hiking shirt and pants. (REI never has my very common middle-aged fat guy size :roll: ) My shoes are 5-10‘s: model S-1 for dirt and Water Tennies for … water. Of course. They have great grip, which normally translates to a high rate of tread wear, but I got 900 documented miles out of my last pair of S-1’s, and only got new ones because the toes blew out. Socks are a wide variety of thick, wooly, socks. My hat is either a baseball cap or my old Army boonie cap, which has never been washed. (I bought it in 1981. :o ) There’s a lot of luck in my hats — and a fair amount of blood too :lol: — and I wouldn’t want to wash it out. The luck that is. I carry a second, primary, Leatherman on my belt.

Pockets: In my pants, right rear is a water bottle, right front is a sweat rag, and left front is my iPhone 5S & lens wipes (in a ziploc bag as mobiles are very water sensitive) In my shirt, right pocket is my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 water- & shock-proof camera (which has been field tested many times ;-) ), and left pocket is my Crappy Garmin 62S GPS, which unfortunately has also proven to be shockproof. :-(

Poles: x2 Black Diamond. I forget the model, but they have two non-flexible extensions, hardened metallic tips, cork grips, and are left/right-specific. They suck. Despite tightening the screws on the clamps, the clamps would constantly pop open — sometimes every 20 yards! :o — so I ended up duct taping the upper clamps in place. The lower clamps work better. Due to the lack of connected ACL’s in either knee, I mostly use them for balance.

Seems like a lot, but …

Better to have it, and not need it, than to need it, and not have it. ;)