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#141025 - 07/23/08 06:01 PM Re: Proposed Day Hiking Kit, Feedback Requested [Re: Crowe]
BrianB Offline

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 99
Originally Posted By: Crowe
Originally Posted By: BrianB

Regarding the GI Poncho: Carried one for years stuffed in a cargo pocket. It's not a great way to carry the thing, but I can live with it. It's a very useful piece of gear. Though, looking at the prices on 'em online, it's not much more to get a high tech lighter one.

In basic training, we carried our ponchos tightly rolled secured to the back of our web belts with two blousing straps:


Handy, compact and out of the way, I think you could to it with a normal belt.

I did that too.

However, in Berlin, in the miserable, wet winter in the field, the sucker got stuffed in a cargo pocket for quick access. Taking it on and off the belt constantly was way too time consuming.

#141059 - 07/23/08 09:15 PM Re: Proposed Day Hiking Kit, Feedback Requested [Re: BrianB]
dchinell Offline

Registered: 02/08/02
Posts: 312
Loc: FL
The only things I noted on comparing your list to mine...

Titanium spork: I think you're further ahead with a spoon. The spork seems like a good idea, but it really just limits the volume of the spoon, and the tines aren't needed. You can always whittle chopsticks.

CPR Mask (if it fits): Seems like overkill. This assumes you'll be doing CPR on a stranger you encounter on a day hike. Your decision, but I don't carry one.

Gortex boots: I do better with regular New Balance running shoes for dry days and a pair of Teva sandals for wet days.

Emergency drink: maybe you could include some pouches of rehydration mix -- dehydration seems like a likely health problem. I carry EmergenC pouches. Good for an energy boost as well.

Micropur tablets: You're planning on being rescued within three days, so you need at least 9 tabs (3 L x 3 days) to be comfortably hydrated while you wait, without needing to boil water.

Glasses: Spare eyeglasses if you need them.

Gloves: Thin leather work gloves are handy for rough work. Totally optional. I don't carry them on day hikes. Some do.

Mess kit: My standby mess kit is a pot, bowl, cup, and spoon. You've got the cup and spoon part covered, but I wonder if you'd be content to boil up a squirrel in your little Nalgene cup? Maybe an MSR Stowaway pot could hold some of your gear and make a more spacious water boiler etc.? You could use the pot for a bowl as well, or take a few freezer ZipLock bags and eat out of them.

Shovel: Optional -- you may enjoy crafting a digging stick with your knives. This is more an overnight item than a dayhike item. (I'm talking about a little plastic poop scoop shovel -- or the deluxe U-Dig-It folding metal shovel.)

Towelettes: Glad to see you've got hand sanitizer for after you use your TP. But I also like to carry towlettes to clean up or just freshen up. Again, optional and more for overnights than day hikes.

Trash bag: I'm talking about a bag to actually put your trash in. Like a flimsy grocery store bag with handles. But that makes me think about the large, heavy-duty trash bags for shelter that you can loan out to the ill-prepared hikers you encounter. I find they stay under control if I sort of "vacuum seal" a neatly folder bag inside a ZipLock bag.

That's it.

No fire, no steel.

#141073 - 07/23/08 11:00 PM Re: Proposed Day Hiking Kit, Feedback Requested [Re: dchinell]
climberslacker Offline
Youth of the Nation

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 603
Originally Posted By: dchinell

CPR Mask (if it fits): Seems like overkill. This assumes you'll be doing CPR on a stranger you encounter on a day hike. Your decision, but I don't carry one.

If your trained and comfortable with your skills, I would carry one. The last thing I want to happen to me is for someone to need CPR and I don;t have a mask, but if your trained and not comfortable, just do compression only CPR

Originally Posted By: dchinell

Gloves: Thin leather work gloves are handy for rough work. Totally optional. I don't carry them on day hikes. Some do.

I have a pair of work gloves that I always wear... they call them calluses... I get them a lot because I climb, so I usually don't need gloves for the kind of stuff that others need them for... Plus, I hate gloves with a vigour. smile

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#141205 - 07/24/08 04:50 PM Re: Proposed Day Hiking Kit, Feedback Requested [Re: BrianB]
Crowe Offline

Registered: 12/03/07
Posts: 88
Berlin is one of those wonderful places where rains quickly roll through. My first day in Berlin was a continous cycle of 10 minute downpour, 20 minutes of sunshine. Fun place.

#142424 - 08/01/08 01:08 AM Re: Proposed Day Hiking Kit, Feedback Requested [Re: Crowe]
Hikin_Jim Offline

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Overall, your gear looks pretty good.

In terms of your clothing (UPF shirt, wicking underlayer, stuffable wind jacket), those are all excellent choices. You might consider adding a light weight fleece depending on the predicted overnight low. I always bring a light weight fleece cap and some lightweight gloves. You could probably dispense with the gloves depending on the predicted wx, but I bring the little cap even in the summer. One loses a lot of heat through one's head. Were I wet and were it windy, that cap could be a real life saver for mere ounces and not much bulk.

In terms of footwear I think I'll disagree with dchinell's recommendation to go with running shoes or Tevas. I think you'll get a lot more support and protection with boots than Tevas. Gortex boots will keep you way drier than running shoes. Were I in FL like dchinell, I might go with running shoes; it's warm in FL. In the Pacific NW, it can be cold and wet. Better dry feet I think.

You're right on with carrying a dry pair of socks. If there's a real chance of getting wet, I'll sometimes carry three pair. Two pair to swap out depending on which pair is wettest and one additional pair that is just for an overnight bivvy if things "go south." Maybe not so important in summer, but on a cold, wet fall day, I want at least one pair of dry socks in case "something" happens. I wouldn't carry dry socks on an "if they fit" basis. I think they're really more important than we might give them credit for. If space or weight were an issue, than I'd drop the CPR mask and the SAM splint. Both good pieces of kit, but to my mind not as necessary as dry socks. One of the perils of being well equipped is to neglect the basics and to carry a lot of good but less fundamental gear.

The hickory staff will also be a bit heavy, although it's a nice weapon if needed. I personally have some of those new fangled aluminum trekking poles which work well for me and could be used to jab/spear but wouldn't work as a quarter staff like your hickory would.

Regarding tinder, Wetfire is of course excellent stuff. However if the packaging is compromised, Wetfire quickly becomes useless. It's a good idea to periodically inspect/rotate Wetfire. I notice that you carry a Spark-lite kit. If by kit you mean that you carry some Tinder-qwik (or the equivalent) in addition to the Spark-lite, then I think that's a good back up to the potentially finicky Wetfire.

In the Wilderness First Aid class I took last year, they recommended soap and water over antiseptics. Apparently antiseptics slow the healing process whereas soap and water do not. Antibiotic ointment definitely, but you might just carry a small bar of soap rather than an antiseptic wipe. Something to consider anyway.

Regarding military ponchos, I still use mine. However, in a rainy place like the Pacific NW, you might want to either wear full raingear (pants and coat) particularly in cooler wx or to augment your poncho with rain chaps or rain pants. I find that when it rains hard or when I go through wet vegetation, my legs get really soaked, sometimes to the point that my socks get soaked too.

With regard to a spork, I think a couple of people have mentioned it already, but I personally prefer a spoon. It's hard to get into the corners of my bowl with a spork: the food often slips through the tines. A spoon can get those last drops of soup and small bits of food. If I really need to have jabbing capability, I use my knife. Uncivilized I know, but practical.

I'm +1 on headlamps. A flashlight held in the mouth is a pain in the proverbial butt. Outdoors, with no ceiling and walls to reflect off of, a mini-mag might have problems serving as an area light, and I'm not sure you'll always find a good way to prop it up. Experiment around and see what you like. Perhaps that Nite-Ize head band that Frankie recommended is a good compromise and would allow you to go either way.

One thing I don't see is a potty trowel (did I miss it?). One really should bury human waste about 6" down or so. You could use your knife or possibly even your staff, but a plastic potty trowel weighs little and would work quite a bit better than either. In some areas, potty trowels are required; check your local regs.

With all of this stuff, time and experience are good teachers. Try new things, ask what works for others, etc. After 40+ years of hiking, I'm still experimenting and fine tuning.

Have a great time; the Pac NW is great hiking country.

Edited by Hikin_Jim (08/01/08 01:12 AM)
Edit Reason: correct spelling error
Adventures In Stoving

#142840 - 08/04/08 09:26 PM Re: Proposed Day Hiking Kit, Feedback Requested [Re: BrianB]
Hikin_Jim Offline

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: BrianB
A good headlamp with spares batteries is one of the essentials you must absolutely never be without. Bring it everytime you hike, even during the day. Don't rely on the Photon only. You could use NiMH rechargeables but bring alkaline as backups (or Lithium for multiday trips or during the winter).

Handy, yes. Essential? No. I don't move in the dark, period. It's too easy to get injured in the dark. I have serious and permanent damage to a knee from putting a foot in a gopher hole in the dark in the Army. I have painful arthritis in both knees as a result of that one injury. So, essential? No. If I'm in a survival situation, I'm not risking injury to move around after dark. The maglite can be made into a lantern by standing it in its head, and provides good enough area light to accomplish in camp tasks.

For whatever reason, I was thinking about this post last night, and I thought I'd say something about it.

Firstly, I understand completely your perspective, particularly given your injury, but hiking with a light is quite different from patrolling in the army while maintaining noise and light discipline.

Secondly, I think having more options is a good thing in a suvival or emergency situation. For example, you're out on a hike of some sort, it's late afternoon, and your hiking partner starts really lagging. Finally your hiking partner can go no further, but by now you've lost so much time since your hiking partner has been hiking at such a slow pace that you can't get back to the trail head by dark. Your hiking partner is obviously deteriorating fast, he may not make it through the night, and there's nothing you can do for him with the training and FAK that you have. You calculate that you would only be on the trail in the dark for about 60 minutes after dark.

So, what do you do? Personally, although night hiking isn't my favorite, I'd hike out and go for help.

Admittedly, the above scenario doesn't happen every day, but my point is this: You can't always control your external environment. You never know when hiking after dark might be the lesser of two evils. Having the option of being able to hike in the dark might be really nice to have even if only to prevent folks from worrying about you and starting a needless SAR operation.

Just something to think about.

Edited by Hikin_Jim (08/04/08 09:30 PM)
Edit Reason: correct grammar.
Adventures In Stoving

#142842 - 08/04/08 09:30 PM Re: Proposed Day Hiking Kit, Feedback Requested [Re: Hikin_Jim]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2818
Loc: La-USA
I agree with you Jim!!!
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#142969 - 08/05/08 11:44 PM Re: Proposed Day Hiking Kit, Feedback Requested [Re: BrianB]
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Originally Posted By: BrianB
I considered a head lamp. But there are things a mini-mag lite can do that a headlamp can't.

Since you mentioned this a couple of times, I'm really curious to know what other uses does a Minimag have that a headlamp doesn't? Is it only mini-mags that have this feature, or just flashlights in general as opposed to headlamps? I can think of a few non-standard uses, but nothing that would be useful

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