Backpacking season is in full swing, with many folks being on the trail since March and April, en route to completing their thru-hikes. Some of these folks are seasoned hiking veterans and have dialed in their packs for maximum carry efficiency and load, while others are learning along the way, tweaking and changing as they go along. A few things to keep in mind before buying your pack will help prevent you from tweaking, changing, and wasting money on a pack which is ill fitting and painful to carry.
Choose your gear before you choose your pack.
After last week’s gear shakedown, I knew I would have to hike my own hike. And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the hiking and backpacking community, you’ll have undoubtedly heard the phrase “hike your own hike.” It basically means keep your nose out other people’s business and worry about your own.
We’d been planning this shakedown for a couple of weeks. It was our chance to gauge what did and didn’t work. Walking twelve miles, half going uphill, seemed like a great way to test us and our load out.
Clothing and Layering systems for outdoor adventures have been discussed ad nauseum. Rightly so, it is a first defense essential against heat and cold exposure. No matter how many times it is discussed, it still seems to confuse people.
Your clothing’s primary function is to keep you warm, dry, and offer protection from the sun. Their secondary function are to protect you from insects and small scrapes. There is a delicate balance which must be observed when deciding on your clothing. Putting on a heavy jacket while covering miles on a hiking trip, while keeping you toasty, can cause you to perspire making you wet from the inside which ultimately works against you.
When my daughter deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year, I knew I had to do something in support of her service. It had to be something meaningful to her and me, something special.
She was only seventeen and still in high school when she decided to serve her country. She would leave for basic training two months after graduating high school and then graduate basic training on her eighteenth birthday.