Thursday, December 5, 2013

An Ideal Loadout for Long Day Hikes

I've been asked by several people recently what my go-to setup is for day hiking.  My standard response to that type of question is, "It depends". 

All irony aside, it really does depend on a number of factors including: weather, trail profile, location and whether I'm running solo or with someone else.

Over the years, I have found that my preferred load has evolved from a spartan one to a much more prepared and versatile gear load out.  The benefit of this is that it allows me to hike solo with more comfort but also with the piece of mind of being ready to tackle anything I run into.  I generally try and take enough that i could spend 24 hours on trail if required.  If the weather is particularly threatening I will usually bring some shelter to bivouac if required.

The most recent addition to my gear is the Deuter Futura 32 pack.  I chose this pack to replace an aging Solomon adventure racing pack that has seen 10+ years of use and has more holes than it has memories at this point.  I chose the Futura 32 based on its tall, slender design which gives me lots of options for balancing heavy and light gear to obtain a comfortable load.  I really don't care for the larger single compartment packs that end up with 1 bulbous clump of gear...they are just too hard to set up comfortably.

Deuter Futura 32 loaded up for a long hike.

 With the new pack out of the way, the essential day hike gear usually includes:
  • 1/2 Liter of water per hour of hike +1 for safety.  (1L per hour if its hot)
  • 200 calories of food per hour.  This is usually a mix of carbs and fats with some chocolate thrown in for variety.  Also great for survival in a pinch.
  • 2 lights
  • Knife
  • First aid kit (with blister pads)
  • Map
  • Compass
  • extra socks
  • Rain gear (weather dependent)
  • 50ft Paracord
  • Trekking poles
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • sunglasses
  • fire starter +lighter
  • TP 
  • 2x large plastic bag
  • camera (pics or it didnt happen)
  • Money (bribery solves everything)
  • ID

Trekking poles complete the load out and save energy and the knees!
Beyond this basic load out I tend to add things here and there as the situation requires.  One thing I no longer leave home without is trekking poles.  I used to think they weren't really necessary but have since found them essential for saving energy and my knees on long hikes...especially when there is significant climbing.

With a set up like this there are very few adventures you cant handle.  Hopefully this will give you a good starting point to building your own preferred load out. 

No comments:

Post a Comment