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Having the right hiking backpacks and gear is required if you go on a day hike or 3 day trek into the back country.
We will start with a short backpacking supply list that will make any outing safer and fun.
1) Map, Compass and GPS is optional.
Map, Compass and GPS
2) Sunscreen, Sunglasses and Lip balm is optional.
3) Clothing for any weather conditions.
Any Weather Conditions!
4) Flashlight or head lamp with extra batteries.
5) First aid or medical kit.
First Aid Kit
6) Waterproof matches, lighter or spark igniter (flint).
7) Multi-tool or knife.
Multi-Tool Or Knife
8) Extra food in case of emergencies (trip gets extended).
9) Water, water filter or water treatment system.
10) Tent, tarp or Bivy Sack.
The length of our hike, how much weight we have to carry and how comfortable we want to be, will determine the type of hiking backpack.
The length Of Hike
Never ever compromise safety for weight or comfort!
Never Ever Compromise Safety!
My wife Dolores and I once backpacked down a mountainside in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia to see a waterfall. Because it was so hot and dry the waterfall was dried up so we hiked way beyond it.
The Blue Ridge Mountains In Virginia!
On our return, we had to hike back up the mountain with a very small backpacking supply of water and soda. We got back but we both were dehydrated and exhausted because we had run out of water!
I know better, but for some unknown reason we did this hike with not enough water. The Park Ranger had told us at the beginning that this was a grueling hike.
A Grueling Hike - Half Dome
Don't learn this lesson the hard way. Always have more water than you need.
Always Have More Water Than You Need!
Keep your weight under 30 lbs., unless you just have to have all the comforts of home, and you're strong enough to carry it.
All The Comforts Of Home
For a day hike almost any hiking backpack will work. For an extended hike I recommend a much better hiking backpack with a Hip Belt. This takes the weight off your shoulders and puts it on your hips and legs.
A Hip Belt
This will allow you to hike further with more comfort.
Any hike over one day I also recommend...
Some optional gear to carry along for convenience and if the weight is not too much...
The discussion above is a good place to start and as you become more experienced you can experiment with ultralight backpacks that can get your backpack gear down around 10 lbs!
Again there is no magical formula. You decide what's best for you.
Use your common sense and follow all trail warnings and suggestions and you should have fun with lots of adventure!
Lots Of Adventure!
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