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Day Hiking Gear

Here is a detailed listing of stuff I bring on day hikes. I don't always bring all of the stuff here. It depends on the weather conditions, terrain, etc.

Walking Stuff

Walking Stuff Pounds
Hiking Shoes
1 pairs socks / liners 0.363
Trekking Poles
extra shoelace 0.006

I've never gotten a blister since I started using hiking socks and liners. I've never had to use the extra shoelace, but it's light. Trekking poles have several advantages, the best of which is saving the knees.


Food Pounds
Sandwich in tupperware
Granola bars
Dried fruit

Lately, I've been bringing sandwiches in the new light tupperware containers. This keeps the sandwiches from getting crushed in the pack. An alternative to using these containers (if you can't spare the bulk) is to bring tortillas, pita bread, or bagels, which can stand the pack better. Bananas are a big no-no (they'll turn to mush); apples are better. Grapes in tupperware are great on a hot hike. Pack what you like to eat. Variety is good. I like to bring along bars (granola bars, Luna bars, etc.) as a quick easy energy source just in case I don't bring enough food. The bars are good early in the hike (if I didn't eat a big enough breakfast), or later in the day when I don't want to stop long.


Item Pounds
Tang or Gatorade
CamelBak 0.313
water filter 1.081
2 96-ounce floppy Nalgene bottles for filtering 0.338
Total 0.000

Water (and other liquids) weigh about 8 pounds a gallon. That's about one pound for every 16 ounces. I usually bring a 105 ounce Camelbak, filled appropriately depending on the weather and length of the hike. I'll bring an extra 32 ounces of Tang, Gatorade, or other sports drink. After drinking water all the time, the sports drink will be a welcome relief. It may also help in avoiding cramps.

The only time I've needed the water filter is on Mt. Whitney. Still, if you're going somewhere hot and you know you'll be hiking near a water source, it's a good thing to have instead of bringing all your water with you. It'll actually save on weight. Another great thing about it is that usually the water is cold.


Pack Pounds
Kelty Redwing

I've gone through a variety of different day packs. I've settled on this one because it has a stiff back, solid waist support, and lots of room.


Photography Pounds
Stitz tripod 3.131
Minolta Maxxum 7 body 1.581
Minolta 100-300 lens 1.425
Minolta Maxxum 5 body 1.131
Minolta flash 1.100
Minolta 24-105 lens 0.931
large camera bag and strap 0.763
3 rolls Fuji Velvia film 0.168
Filter holder (for grad ND) 0.118
2 rolls Fuji Provia 400F film 0.112
Blower 0.106
Graduated neutral density filter w/ case 0.100
Mesh bag for blower, ND filter 0.081
2 CR5 batteries 0.081
polarizer 0.063
cable release 0.056
lens tissue in pouch 0.019
Total 10.966

Obviously, one of my primary objectives on a hike is to take good photographs. So I take a lot more photography equipment than your average hiker. Consider all of this optional gear. Still, if you bring a camera, you'll have lasting memories in the form of real images. So I find it a bit more satisfying experience. It's worth the extra weight.


Clothes Pounds
jacket 1.788
Tevas 1.563
light fleece 0.650
shell pants 0.350
Balaclava 0.094
Total 5.969

I almost never hike without my balaclava anymore. It is so light it's ridiculous, and it provides a huge amount of warmth if necessary.


Misc Pounds
poncho 0.563
Matrix lamp w/ batteries 0.375
Cobra/weather radio + battery pack 0.375
accessory cord 0.156
2 garbage bags 0.094
Gerber knife 0.069
compass 0.063
credit cards + ID + cash 0.056
Paper / pens 0.050
matches 0.050
whistle 0.038
4 ziploc bags 0.019
Total 2.365

My most-used piece of misc gear is probably my poncho. I almost never need to use it because of rain, but I lay it out on the ground for something to sit on or put lunch on -- a picnic blanket, so to speak. Great for lying down and taking naps, too.


Bathroom Pounds
Wet wipes 0.400
Sunscreen / lip balm 0.213
Kleenex 0.138
Quick-drying towel 0.169
Trowel 0.119
Toilet paper 0.094
Quick-drying towel 0.094
Moisturizer 0.088
Handkerchief 0.044
Mirror 0.013
Total 1.485

Sunscreen, lip balm, and mirror are the essentials here. A handkerchief is good as a substitute for kleenex, as a cooling tool (soak it and put it around your neck), and as a wash cloth. I've also once wrapped it around my face to keep from swallowing hordes of bugs.

First Aid Kit

First aid kit Pounds
Insect repellent 0.088
Ace bandage 0.075
Bandages 0.056
swiss army knife 0.044
waterproof tape 0.044
Sting Eze 0.038
Ibuprofen 0.038
Antacid 0.038
Neosporin 0.031
Thermometer 0.013
Bag for first aid kit 0.013
Moleskin 0.013
Antihistamines 0.047
Emergency blanket 0.000
Total 0.538

A first aid kit is essential. I bring it on every hike. For beginners, moleskin may be the most important ingredient in helping relieve hotspots on the feet.

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