Gear

20140808_123441It has been a while since I have posted here. Most of the reason is that I had foot surgery here at the beginning of August and have been wearing one of those awkwardly awkward post surgery boots. This past Thursday I got the green light to take it off for good.

Goodbye boot and good riddance.

I am not any where near doing any real big hikes any time soon but I think in the coming week I might be able to little hikes with no serious elevation gain. With the boot on I have lost half the muscle mass in my left leg, so I am trying to get back into shape now.

Now that I have covered my predicament lets talk about gear and my suggestions.

Day Hikes

I am a day hiker. I like being in and out of a location. Lessens the impact I have on the region and I get to go home and sleep in my own bed. I am not apposed to over night stuff, but it is much more challenging to do. So lets start with backpacks.

Backpacks: I use the Coleman Max Elate 38L backpack. It cost 30 bucks and has been with me for almost every hike I have done in the past 3 years of purchasing it. It does well, but I do have issues with in. But as any good critique should go, lets start with the positive.

Mossy CaveFirst and foremost it is light and has some minor water resistant factors to it. It has three large pockets with a small one up front for storage of small things. Its shoulder straps come with a clip to keep them together. It has a nice handle across the top to grab onto when needed. I chose a color that stands out, bright red. I would consider this for safety reasons. The netted pockets on the side for holding water bottles are floppy enough to very easily pull out and return water bottles to them without taking the backpack off.

Issues: Pockets in some ways are too big and I wish I had an internal frame. When the pack has lots of water or camera gear it gets really heavy. It has no waist strap to support the wait. Lacks any design for holding camera gear. Came with a water bladder. I hate water bladders! They taste gross and I usually burn through them faster then necessary. Can’t stand on its own and falls over frequently.

So when considering to buy a day hiking bag look for these qualities.

  1. Light weight
  2. Large in size, with multiple pockets (those wussy tiny backpacks can’t hold enough)
  3. Internal frame
  4. Waist strap (preferably one with a pocket on it, that comes in handy so much when I have one)
  5. Easily access water bottles without having to remove it

Additional things to look into if a photographer

  1. Holds a tripod in the center (keeps weight balanced)
  2. Compartmentalization
  3. Has waist strap this is so important!

Shoes: Don’t buy hiking boots. They are way to heavy. I like Nike, but I am trying out Saucony. But a good trail runner shoe should be fine. Make sure it has good support (bend the shoe at the center, it should not be too flexible) and make sure it has a lot of tread.

Back to the boots. Boots have a place in watery, and snowy conditions. I use mine only in winter.

Note: Hiking on red rock is like hiking on sand paper. It smooths out your shoes tred over time. This is the main reason why I buy new shoes, because they become slick on rocks.

Cloths: Use polyester while hiking. For safety and for comfort. Cotton can hold up to 80 times its weight in water. That means if Kanarraville fallsit gets wet, it stays wet for ever. I sometimes get by with this on dry hikes in busy areas. I always wear basket ball shorts though. They are polyester and comfortable.  I switch it up a bit depending on whats going on, but this is always the rule.

Conclusion

When buying gear for what you are doing make sure you get what you need. I have regretted many purchases that were nice and were patches, but buy something that will be versatile and lasts a long time.

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