Thursday, February 10, 2011

Top 10 Things for Backpacking

Farming Mama  here, Rory asked me to write a guest post on the top 10 things I take on backpacking trips. Some are obvious, others I've got some little tips
1. Water bottle.I prefer stainless steel - I love my kleen kanteen wide mouth bottle. I also typically have a platypus-type bag & tube system in my pack lid, but have been trying to get away from plastics as much as possible.
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Poly Loop Cap (18-Ounce)

2. Comfy pack.I never regret spending more on my gear to get higher end stuff. Ever. I do have regrets when I compromise on quality due to money. of course, this doesn't mean I go for the most expensive, nope, not I. See my post on our gear selection process to read more. That being said, I don't love my pack. Back in the day I didn't spend as much time picking my gear as I do now, and with my pack it shows!
Kelty Red Cloud 5600 Backpack (Nite Sky)

3. Sleeping bag
The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag: 20 Degree Climashield Prism Atoll Blue, Reg/Right Zip

4. Food
5. Stove & FuelWhen we are camping during hunting season, we have campfires, but when I'm doing serious backpacking, I use a MSR whisperlite stove. One trick I use is to put a sock around my metal fuel bottle, so it doesn't get scratched up or rattle in my pack.
MSR Whisperlite International Liquid-Fuel Stove

6. Clothes
7. Bear Bag & RopeWe live in bear country, so backpacking means possibly crossing paths with a bear. Carrying rope and a bag to hold your food and toilettries means you can hang your smellies up in a tree during the night. One thing I really like is putting a light on the rope so you can find it during the night if you need to. A friend put me onto this doing owl work about 3 years ago. You use one of those lights that you put on your dog, or your bike, or your pack, for increasing visibility after dark. When we set camp up, we would set the rope up and put the light on the rope. When we left at dusk to go out surveying, we would put our food up, and turn the light on. When we came back at 3 in the morning, the light would make it easy to find our food bag (and our camp!) so that we could brush our teeth and put any garbage we had from our surveying up in the tree. Perfect & simple!
Bear Bag

8. Thermarest.When I'm doing serious backpacking, or getting heli-dropped into an area, I like to go ultra tech-nerdy and have the lightest stuff I can get my hands on. That's why I have an amazing super small & light thermarest. Love it to death when I'm having to pack it around. If I have more space but weight is a concern (read kayaking trips) I have a ridgerest. If I have more space and weight isn't a concern (read truck camping while hunting) we have a nifty home made strap system that loops 2 ultra thick thermarests together. But when I gotta carry it around - my ultra light bright pink ladies thermarest is what I choose. (they have it in a longer & less-pink men's version too)
Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus Mattress, Pomegranate, Large

9. Tent/Tarp/BivysackI prefer a tent. Rory prefers a tarp. Solution: Maddy and I sleep in my 2 person MEC tent (I know, MEC, cause I'm Canadian like that), one or two of the dogs sleep in the vestibule, Rory sleeps beside us under his tarp, with the other dog near him, or in his bag with him if its cold out. I've always drooled over the bivy sacks, but so far for me its never been both practical (wet dog = smelly dog) and affordable (single student = broke), and now there is Maddy (and 3 dogs, not sure how that happened!).
Texsport Saguaro Bivy Shelter Tent

10. HeadlampStreamlight 61052 Septor LED Headlamp with Strap

One thing to mention, we haven't gone on a hiking trip since Maddy was born, although we plan to this summer (as long as we can coordinate our days off!). I'll likely have some modifications on our list after we go on that trip, as I'm sure with 3 dogs and a 1 year old there will be other things that are really critical to a great trip!

No comments:

Post a Comment