Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Putting it All Together

The final countdown

This series of posts has talked a lot about the gear I take. But how's that all fit into a pack? Pretty well, actually!

Here's my entire load, laid out on my work space. And, believe it or not, it all fits in my pack!

For you gearheads out there, I use an Osprey Exos 58L pack -- a new addition this year, taking the place of my old REI Flash 65L pack. The Flash was a good pack, reasonably priced and versatile, but the Osprey -- while technically smaller -- seems to carry the load better and has a superior suspension system.

The one rule of thumb I've always observed in backpacking is that, the less experienced the hiker, the bigger the pack. It's not uncommon for me to meet weekenders and section hikers carrying massive packs, while the true long-distance hikers keep it small. Based on my observations, the Osprey is a pretty typical pack size for someone who wants to do some serious miles.

Lists rule!

It may seem anal (and probably is), but I never take off on a trip without going through my checklist. Over the years I've developed a spread sheet that covers all the gear I need, complete with a color-coded check off system. If you're interested in taking a look, here it is:

And that's all for now -- I'll be updating, starting tomorrow, as I hit the trail. Thanks for reading!

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