We are ready to go. Maybe? We sure hope so. At this point it doesn't matter because we are off. This shows the gear we have packed (the moment of truth).
Planning for our first multi-night (any night!) backpacking trip has been all-consuming. We have packed, unpacked, added and removed so much gear that it makes our heads spin like tops. And we haven't even started the hike!
Are you scratching your head? Did you hear me right? Hiking. In a.. Skirt. What?
Indeed you did. This isn't a fashion statement, though hiking skirts are rather fashionable. It is not about looking girly, though there is an upshot to that, too. It's all about comfort. Being able to freely move about. Other benefits include easy side trips off the trail to deal with those pesky human issues, an easy peezy breezy (you know what I'm sayin' here) and the ability to easily throw on tights if you are cold.
Delorme's InReach Explorer may just be the best non-human friend a hiker could have. This Global Positioning System (GPS) has the standard navigation that has been on the market for years. The cherry on top (or bunch of cherries, as it were) is the addition of tracking and sharing, location pinging, two-way messaging and two-way SOS. And if those features weren't enough to make it worth the price, the device also includes 100% Iridium network global coverage.
Being petite can sometimes cause unnecessary frustration when looking for gear that actually fits right. I searched around for quite a while and had a very difficult time finding the right combination of the size and length of rain pants I needed.
The decision on the "best" camping shelter is driven by many choices. These include the type of camping you will do, budget and personal preference. We wanted a light-weight shelter for two to take backpacking for several days at a time.
Walking down a trail is dirtier than what you might think. I mean, you're just walking, right? If only!
Gaiters have long been a necessary piece of gear for hikers. They keep dirt and mud out of your shoes in the worst of conditions. They also keep poisonous plants and ticks one more layer removed from your body. Gaiters were functional and basic, made of heavy material.
In our early days of hiking we hit the trails without poles. As time wore on, we picked up some poles online. Surely they would be good enough. They lasted about 4 hikes. As I planted my pole for a step, "SNAP!" and there it was. Broken in two pieces at the beginning of my day.
We began doing a "gear overhaul" last Fall to get our gear up to date. The folks at New England Backpacker helped us out again, and went over the features of each pole and how we could best use them. I decided on the Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles.
Last year we began a series of upgrades to our hiking gear. The decision of the right pack for a day or two on the trail was critical to our comfort and most basic needs. The folks at New England Backpacker were really great as we slogged through the packs to find what would work best for us.
I finally decided on the Deuter Futura 30 SL.