Friday, February 12, 2010

Whats in my pack

Finding the gear that's just right for you can be challenging, just because it works for me doesn't necessarily mean it is right for you. I made this list to assist you and give you a starting point in finding your own gear. The following is all the gear I currently use while backpacking, this list is ever changing so if you saw something on here a few months ago and now its gone, chances are I no longer use it and it has been moved to the gear review section.

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Gear I Currently Use 

Backpack-
Osprey Atmos 50
LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I have gone through so many backpacks of all different sizes and companies and Osprey know what they are doing when it comes to backpacks! I can fit everything I need in the 50L pack for an 8 or 9 day trip and still have a small amount of room left over, and that's inside the pack, outside I still have the entire pack to tie or clip gear to!

Pack Cover-
Sea to Summit Ultra Sil
Glacier National Park, Montana
This is my first and only pack cover I have ever bought. Its small, lightweight and compact. It can be stuffed in a side pocket or clipped to the outside of your pack. It always keeps my backpack dry, just make sure you put it on correctly and all your gear will stay dry! I have even worn it on my pack while bushwhacking and it stayed put.
Check out this item online

Trekking poles-
Black Diamond Trail Back
First and only trekking poles I have ever bought! I absolutely love these poles! I can put all my weight on them and they stay strong. I have bashed them up against rocks, used them to keep me on the mountain, and they have even been chewed on by a deer and they are still as good as new. I highly recommend theses trekking poles, they are worth every penny I spent on them.
Check out this item online

Sleeping Pad- 
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite
I have used both foam and air sleeping pads and out of all the pads I have owned the XLite is the best one on the market. Its super lightweight and rolls up to the size of a one litter water bottle! When I bought it and took it out on the trail for the first time I was a little concerned with the material and how thin it felt but after a few uses I  realized the material is not as thin as it seems. Overall, this is an amazing sleeping pad and I highly recommend it!
Check out this item online

Tent-
Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo
When Eric and I go backpacking together we carry a two person tent. It's way heavier than a solo tent or even two solo tents for that matter. Six Moon Designs has some fantastic tents to choose from! The Lunar Duo has enough room inside for us and all our gear. My only complaint is the lack of ventilation, because this tent was designed with lightweight backpackers in mind its very minimal. There are peak vents near the top of the tent that don't exactly work so when it gets very cold at night we wake up every morning with the inside of the tent dripping wet! We have tried everything we could think of and have resorted to sleeping with the flaps tied open but that really doesn't help at all. The Lunar Duo is a great tent for warmer weather backpacking and I do highly recommend Six Moon Designs!
Olympic National Park, Washington
Check out this item online

Water Bladder and Water Bottles- 
Platypus SoftBottle with Drink Tube Kit
On backpacking trips I will topically carry two one liter Platypus bladders and two Nalgene water bottles. I recently found the Platypus bladders and I'm in love. These are great! They are extremely lightweight and roll up small when empty. 
Check out this item online

Stove-
Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti Tri Stove w/ Evernew 600ml Short Ti Pot
A MUST HAVE! While Eric and I have boiled our water, poured it into our mountain house bags, waited for it to cook, and started eating dinner, other backpackers we have shared cooking areas with are still waiting on their water to come to a boil or even worse! Still setting their stove up!! This stove and pot combo is the way to go! Its insanely lightweight, everything packs up and fits right inside the pot and you only have to carry tiny esbit with you; no more of those heavy fuel canisters!
Check out this item online

First Aid Kit-
REI Day Pack First Aid Kit
This is a great first aid kit, it comes with the basics but has tons of room to add everything else need for your trips. I call it Mary Poppins first aid kit, I have been cramming things in it since I got it and still have room for more! Its an excellent first aid kit and I highly recommend you get one.
Check out this item online 

Headlamp- 
Mammut S Lite
Evolution Basin Loop- California 
I spent a few days searching for an inexpensive lightweight headlamp and I ended up with the Mammut S Lite. Its tiny (I constantly am loosing it in my pack) and super light! However, I do have two issues with it. The first being the fourth setting, the fourth is a strobe setting, its extremely annoying and I don't think its necessary at all. The second issue is the third and brightest setting, it could be a lot brighter. 
Check out this item online

Winter Traction-
Kahtoola Microspikes
I have read great things about these, but have yet to use them. Review coming soon!
Check out this item online

Ice Axe-
CAMP Corsa Nanotech
Review coming soon!
Check this item out online

Socks-
Experia by Thorlo Coolmax Micro Mini-crew Socks
BEST SOCKS EVER! If you are like me and wish they would start making hiking gear with the same bright colors as the runners gear but with the thickness needed for backpacking you will enjoy these socks! They are heaven on my feet and I refuse to wear anything else!
Check out this item online

Shoes-
Merrell Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoes (woman's)
I have spent years searching for the right shoes and I found it in these. When I first bought these shoes I went from being about to go 6-7 miles before getting hot spots and blisters to hiking 15+ miles and still being able to keep going! I absolutly love these shoes! Try these shoes, try 5 or 10 others if these or any other brand don't work for you keep looking! The perfect shoe for you is out there!
*MEN- these are also available in Mens and my younger brother uses them and has only nice things to say about them!*
Check out this item online


Eric standing in the doorway of the John Muir Shelter along the JMT
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I have spent many hours going through suggested checklists online and could never find one that worked for me, till I took a look at Eric's checklist. He does his by compartment, so I tweaked it a bit for my needs.

Backpacking Checklist:






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