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Thread: Hiking gear

  1. #21
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foolish heart View Post
    ^ If you bother with a blade, make it a machete, but IME they are more trouble and weight than they are worth unless you're trailblazing

    Most important gear:

    solid pair of heavy duty gaiters--keeps your boots from getting dirt and snow in them
    sleeping bag--not only is it where you'll spend at least a 1/3 of your time, it's also what will keep you alive in an emergency and doubles as a way to keep your gear dry (wear wet gear from the day inside out or lay it on top of you inside the bag)
    camp stove and aluminum cookware--dont skimp on these... needed to melt ice for every meal and refill waterbottles for everyone on your hike

    everything else is negotiable. a nice thing to pick up is a couple sea2summit dry bags for all your clothes and 2 heavy duty trash compactor bags to line your pack with. when it comes to your gear, the #1 battle is moisture. I prefer very thin base layers as they can dry by themselves once you stop sweating simply by the heat of your body. shell layer, get something gortex by a major brand and youll be fine. then add insulating layers in between depending on how cold you are. make sure you have enough thermal layering for a worst case scenario... you will probably never use it, but you can go from nearly overheating on a steep ascent to nearly frostbitten when you go through an opening at the peak where the wind is forced through, so make sure you can reach it quickly.

    last but not least, make sure your boots fit!! happy trails
    Good God, I just go out for a stroll in the Bush and sometimes camp overnight in good weather.

    This sounds like an expedition.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by foolish heart View Post
    ^ If you bother with a blade, make it a machete, but IME they are more trouble and weight than they are worth unless you're trailblazing
    Hence the kukri, which does everything a machete and an axe/hatchet and a knife can do, but in a more compact form, all thanks to the shape and thickness of the blade. Machetes can be rather useless for any sort of wood chopping, kukris are perfect for that. Machetes are too big for smaller jobs knives are used for, kukris (of moderate size) fill that gap. The design of it is utility first, in everything from the way the steel is tempered to the shape of the edge, which is convex so that it keeps an edge better when chopping through hard wood and is more easily sharpened. The good ones are also differentially tempered such that the flat inward facing part of the blade (the sweet spot used for chopping) has the greatest hardness, while the rest is left soft/more pliable so that the entire blade is strong and resists breaking. The level of craftsmanship that goes into making them is akin to a katana, though the latter has little/no modern world functionality. Add to that the thickness of the spine allows one to use the kukri as a hammer and as a prybar, and its usefulness goes far beyond a machete.

    Most important gear:

    solid pair of heavy duty gaiters--keeps your boots from getting dirt and snow in them
    sleeping bag--not only is it where you'll spend at least a 1/3 of your time, it's also what will keep you alive in an emergency and doubles as a way to keep your gear dry (wear wet gear from the day inside out or lay it on top of you inside the bag)
    camp stove and aluminum cookware--dont skimp on these... needed to melt ice for every meal and refill waterbottles for everyone on your hike

    everything else is negotiable. a nice thing to pick up is a couple sea2summit dry bags for all your clothes and 2 heavy duty trash compactor bags to line your pack with. when it comes to your gear, the #1 battle is moisture. I prefer very thin base layers as they can dry by themselves once you stop sweating simply by the heat of your body. shell layer, get something gortex by a major brand and youll be fine. then add insulating layers in between depending on how cold you are. make sure you have enough thermal layering for a worst case scenario... you will probably never use it, but you can go from nearly overheating on a steep ascent to nearly frostbitten when you go through an opening at the peak where the wind is forced through, so make sure you can reach it quickly.

    last but not least, make sure your boots fit!! happy trails
    Considering our climate, we never have to worry about snow (unless in the very high mountains). In summer its best to pack an extra layer for cold nights, especially if in the desert. I prefer to go out with ALL synthetic (nylon/polyester) clothes, pants and shirts. Cotton is just a pain in the ass, though it can be useful on cool nights for warmth. These are more hot climate considerations.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Phoenix_400's Avatar
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    I've been putting my kit back together slowly over the last little bit. There's definitely area and season appropriate gear. Since my back and shoulders are a bit beat up nowadays, I'm learning the benefits of going lighter. Multi-function gear is always good. The most important things: stay dry, stay warm, stay hydrated and well fed, TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET!!!...The army's answer for everything: Drink water, change your socks.

    Most of my kit is milsurp or old issue gear I still have lying around. Its heavy, but its bomb-proof. I'm trying to find some good weight compromises now. I bought a digital fish scale from Gander Mountain to weigh all my gear. I'm trying to get my base between 20-25lbs for a week-long loadout. I'm sitting at about 30lbs right now, but my ol' ruck is 8.6lbs on its own. With all the heat and humidity (I don't do cold weather well and only get outdoorsy in the warmer months) I prefer external frame packs. Been looking at a Kelty 3950, it would drop a little over 3lbs off my base weight just from switching packs.

    As for gear, I'm slowly swapping in civvie stuff. Sweatwicking clothes and convertible nylon cargo pants (that way I don't have to carry an extra pair of shorts). I usually stick to UnderArmor and Northface. An aluminum alcohol stove (been eyeing the Trangia 28). I've got the usgi MSS bags (I love those things) and pack the patrol bag and gortex cover. My tent consists of USGI poncho, bungee and para cord, and a few aluminum stakes. I always carry a Kershaw Blur pocket knife, Leatherman Wave, and Surefire E1L Outdoorsman flashlight even in my everyday wear. I back those up camping with a cold steel SF shovel and a 5.5" kabar. The blades aren't really necessary for trailwork, but very much needed if you're gonna off-trail or into less maintained areas. You can never have enough 550cord or 100mph tape .

    My camping list is so similar to the old packing lists for going out into the field, its funny. Just gotta swap to lighter gear and I ditched the combat related equipment.

    On the knives, I really recommend the coldsteel shovel. Serves multi-purpose as my hatchet/machete/hammer/shovel.

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7EdhnReYH0"]Cold Steel Shovel[/YOUTUBE]

    I actually have 2 packs:

    Good Ol' Alice. Heavily modified. Similar to the Hellcat ruck:
    Share your cheap yet potentially valuable tricks.... - AR15.COM
    My extended range, all season bag (or zombie apocalypse gear ) She may be a bit thick, but you can always count on her. I've seriously considered swappin' her out for a Kelty Trekker 3950 (which I would of course modify, like my pack even with my shoulders so I don't have to worry about snaggin' it on every tree limb in the forest, civvie ex. frames sit up way too high, plus better center of gravity for my tall, lanky ass). I just can't bring myself to give up that 'toss her out of the back of plane into a minefield and she'll just shrug it off' durability.

    Its a little empty right now, been going through my gear and revising my loadout.

    The 2nd is my 'Daypack'. A modified Camelback Mule I've had for ages. I actually have enough gear, food, and water in there that I could get lost in the woods for a couple of days and be perfectly fine. Full load-out comes in at about 15lbs. This is what you'll most often find me hiking around with.

    I've actually got a lightweight sleep system in there. The same poncho hooch I mentioned earlier and a woobie (poncho liner) for warmth(plus a space saver blanket in my medical pouch to supplement). Otherwise known as a Ranger Roll.
    "People in glass houses shouldn't use Windex when living near bird sanctuaries."- myself

    "We are never alone my friend. We are constantly in the company of victories, losses, strengths and weaknesses. Make no mistake, life is war...and war is hell. Those who fight the hardest will suffer the most...but that's what you have to do: Fight. As long as you're feeling pain, then there's hope...because only the dead do not suffer." -RD Metcalf
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix_400 View Post
    I've been putting my kit back together slowly over the last little bit. There's definitely area and season appropriate gear. Since my back and shoulders are a bit beat up nowadays, I'm learning the benefits of going lighter. Multi-function gear is always good. The most important things: stay dry, stay warm, stay hydrated and well fed, TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET!!!...The army's answer for everything: Drink water, change your socks.

    Most of my kit is milsurp or old issue gear I still have lying around. Its heavy, but its bomb-proof. I'm trying to find some good weight compromises now. I bought a digital fish scale from Gander Mountain to weigh all my gear. I'm trying to get my base between 20-25lbs for a week-long loadout. I'm sitting at about 30lbs right now, but my ol' ruck is 8.6lbs on its own. With all the heat and humidity (I don't do cold weather well and only get outdoorsy in the warmer months) I prefer external frame packs. Been looking at a Kelty 3950, it would drop a little over 3lbs off my base weight just from switching packs.

    As for gear, I'm slowly swapping in civvie stuff. Sweatwicking clothes and convertible nylon cargo pants (that way I don't have to carry an extra pair of shorts). I usually stick to UnderArmor and Northface. An aluminum alcohol stove (been eyeing the Trangia 28). I've got the usgi MSS bags (I love those things) and pack the patrol bag and gortex cover. My tent consists of USGI poncho, bungee and para cord, and a few aluminum stakes. I always carry a Kershaw Blur pocket knife, Leatherman Wave, and Surefire E1L Outdoorsman flashlight even in my everyday wear. I back those up camping with a cold steel SF shovel and a 5.5" kabar. The blades aren't really necessary for trailwork, but very much needed if you're gonna off-trail or into less maintained areas. You can never have enough 550cord or 100mph tape .

    My camping list is so similar to the old packing lists for going out into the field, its funny. Just gotta swap to lighter gear and I ditched the combat related equipment.

    On the knives, I really recommend the coldsteel shovel. Serves multi-purpose as my hatchet/machete/hammer/shovel.

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7EdhnReYH0"]Cold Steel Shovel[/YOUTUBE]

    I actually have 2 packs:

    Good Ol' Alice. Heavily modified. Similar to the Hellcat ruck:
    Share your cheap yet potentially valuable tricks.... - AR15.COM
    My extended range, all season bag (or zombie apocalypse gear ) She may be a bit thick, but you can always count on her. I've seriously considered swappin' her out for a Kelty Trekker 3950 (which I would of course modify, like my pack even with my shoulders so I don't have to worry about snaggin' it on every tree limb in the forest, civvie ex. frames sit up way too high, plus better center of gravity for my tall, lanky ass). I just can't bring myself to give up that 'toss her out of the back of plane into a minefield and she'll just shrug it off' durability.

    Its a little empty right now, been going through my gear and revising my loadout.

    The 2nd is my 'Daypack'. A modified Camelback Mule I've had for ages. I actually have enough gear, food, and water in there that I could get lost in the woods for a couple of days and be perfectly fine. Full load-out comes in at about 15lbs. This is what you'll most often find me hiking around with.

    I've actually got a lightweight sleep system in there. The same poncho hooch I mentioned earlier and a woobie (poncho liner) for warmth(plus a space saver blanket in my medical pouch to supplement). Otherwise known as a Ranger Roll.
    Yea, i find that the interests of camping/backpacking/hiking converge with military stuff quite a bit, which is to be expected. You should check out these convertible pants:

    The North Face Paramount Peak Convertible Pants - Men's 34'' Inseam at REI.com



    These are the best convertibles I've come across. They're durable (not super thin like most nylons), fully waterproof, have more than 6 good sized pockets (a lot of convertibles have crappy small ones), and they zip off at a good length down the leg, not too high and... queer looking. Plus they have actual belt loops in addition to a built in belt.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Phoenix_400's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Yea, i find that the interests of camping/backpacking/hiking converge with military stuff quite a bit, which is to be expected. You should check out these convertible pants:

    The North Face Paramount Peak Convertible Pants - Men's 34'' Inseam at REI.com


    IMG

    These are the best convertibles I've come across. They're durable (not super thin like most nylons), fully waterproof, have more than 6 good sized pockets (a lot of convertibles have crappy small ones), and they zip off at a good length down the leg, not too high and... queer looking. Plus they have actual belt loops in addition to a built in belt.
    LOL!!! That's the exact pair I've got, just in khaki. I have 2 pairs of those and two pairs of green Underarmour Heat Gear t-shirts in the big pack as spares, plus 1 set that stays out to wear.

    The peaks were really hard to find locally. I had chosen those specifically for the larger cargo pockets and longer shorts length.

    Underarmour T-shirt
    Under Armour
    "People in glass houses shouldn't use Windex when living near bird sanctuaries."- myself

    "We are never alone my friend. We are constantly in the company of victories, losses, strengths and weaknesses. Make no mistake, life is war...and war is hell. Those who fight the hardest will suffer the most...but that's what you have to do: Fight. As long as you're feeling pain, then there's hope...because only the dead do not suffer." -RD Metcalf
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix_400 View Post
    LOL!!! That's the exact pair I've got, just in khaki. I have 2 pairs of those and two pairs of green Underarmour Heat Gear t-shirts in the big pack as spares, plus 1 set that stays out to wear.

    The peaks were really hard to find locally. I had chosen those specifically for the larger cargo pockets and longer shorts length.

    Underarmour T-shirt
    Under Armour
    Yea, they're great. I just wish they came in more colors. I also wish it had another belt loop on the front left. I need to hang my kukri scabbrad in that area, and the lack of a belt loop there makes it sag too much.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Phoenix_400's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Yea, they're great. I just wish they came in more colors. I also wish it had another belt loop on the front left. I need to hang my kukri scabbrad in that area, and the lack of a belt loop there makes it sag too much.
    Nice to know I'm not the only one who has a problem with that missing belt loop. I always keep my leatherman on my belt at about the 7-8 o'clock position and usually have my kabar on the left in front of that and CS shovel on my right if I'm out in thick bush. I've been seriously considering taking them to one of the sewing shops around here and having a loop added.
    "People in glass houses shouldn't use Windex when living near bird sanctuaries."- myself

    "We are never alone my friend. We are constantly in the company of victories, losses, strengths and weaknesses. Make no mistake, life is war...and war is hell. Those who fight the hardest will suffer the most...but that's what you have to do: Fight. As long as you're feeling pain, then there's hope...because only the dead do not suffer." -RD Metcalf
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix_400 View Post
    Nice to know I'm not the only one who has a problem with that missing belt loop. I always keep my leatherman on my belt at about the 7-8 o'clock position and usually have my kabar on the left in front of that and CS shovel on my right if I'm out in thick bush. I've been seriously considering taking them to one of the sewing shops around here and having a loop added.
    Do you wear a regular (32") or long (34") inseam/length on these? I'm wondering if the length of the shorts differ between them.

  9. #29
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Smile Trekking Poles

    The dog next door is bit like you - he has a go at me whenever he can. He has started whispering through the fence at me, "Four legs good, two legs bad", and then kinda sneering at me until I brought down my trekking poles behind my back, and when he started whispering at me, I brought out my poles and strode off on four legs. He look dumbfounded and started to chase his tail in pure frustration.

    But I must say the dog next door is right - four legs are better than two.

    Of course trekking poles are very good for moving up and down slopes but I rather like them on the flat where I not only exercise my legs but my hands, arms, shoulders and back. You might say I walk a bit like a dog.

    The other advantage is that they attract attention as I walk around the suburb and people start to talk and so we have nice conversations.

    I am surprised how hi-tech and well made the trekking poles are and how cheap, but see for yourself by clicking on -

    YouTube - Hiking Equipment - About Hiking Poles
    Last edited by Mole; 07-12-2010 at 12:31 PM.

  10. #30
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    True Victor. Trekking poles are a huge advantage anytime the footing is unstable. This includes flat ground with ice, snow, sand, or mud. This May, I did a 24 mile, 2 day loop in the mountains where the trail was probably 50% mud and water. I really missed having a pair of trekking poles even though I was using a single hiking stick. (I'm not sure why I didn't just grab another stick actually.)

    Other advantages which stand out for me:

    1. Help out lots on uphill sections.

    2. Reduce knee strain on downhills if carrying a load and going slow. I often just go fast though, and then they get in the way.

    3. Lengthen my stride on flat sections, causing me to walk faster.

    4. Stop my hands from swelling due to gravity when walking for long periods.

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