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Outdoor Gear

Having the right type and quality of gear is paramount to spending time in the backcountry, however, the most important thing is to have fun friends who you can also trust to have your back if you run into any sort of issues.

 

Backpacks

  • I like my 42-liter Osprey backpack with several compartments
  • side holders for water bottles for me and my pup
  • rounded back support to reduce sweating
  • large main compartment for extra clothes, including a spot for my maps
  • smaller compartments for ancillary items noted below and another one for chow for me and my pup
  • chest and waist straps for proper support and to hold my bear spray
  • I don’t carry a waterproof cover, but that is something to consider

 

 

Footwear

  • I have various footwear depending on the conditions
  • hiking runners for warm and dry days
  • hiking boots (ankle high) for wet summer days or mild winter days
  • winter boot for cold days (Baffin Polar Proven are exceptionally warm and light)
  • gaiters for wet conditions
  • spikes for icy conditions
  • snowshoes for winter conditions when the trail is not packed down

 

 

Clothing

  • layering of clothes so you can adjust depending on conditions

(I bring a change of base layer clothes to switch out of my sweaty gear at the summit of our hikes regardless of the time of year, one of my buddies refers to it as my Mark Wahlberg move)

  • socks (ensure they are tight enough that they don’t drop down into your footwear)
  • long underwear for cooler days
  • short underwear (ensure they are tight, so the ‘package’ doesn’t rub and get chaffed)
  • rain jacket (also for protection against the wind)
  • toque (good to have any time of the year as you never know when the weather will turn)
  • hat (I don’t wear it too often as I like to soak in the best Vitamin D that mother nature has to offer)
  • gloves/mitts (I also carry a pair of kayak gloves in case it’s raining, gloves are also handy if you encounter any scramble conditions)

 

Food/drink

  • water (need to stay hydrated, especially in the summer)
  • snack/lunch (typically some sort of leftovers and chicken for my pup)
  • warm drink (I don’t bring one, but it’s a good idea)
  • shot glass (to enjoy the traditional shot of Fireball Whiskey at the summit courtesy of Oak)

 

 

Other

  • leash and poop bags for my dog
  • phone (acts as my camera to take pictures for my blog and Instagram…VERY IMPORTANT…ha ha)
  • bug spray (summer)
  • hiking poles (I don’t typically use them as I have a leash in one hand, but they can be very useful to handle tricky footing situations)
  • sunscreen
  • hand and foot warmers if it’s really cold
  • first aid kit (especially something for blisters)
  • map (GPS apps are likely the best, but I’m old school and still use a map)
  • swiss army knife
  • whistle
  • large knife (might help in an animal encounter or to cut something bigger)
  • duct tape (handy for almost any equipment or clothing repair)
  • headlamp (you never know when you might get stuck overnight)
  • Kleenex (can be used as toilet paper)
  • umbrella (I find this provides extra protection on rainy days)
  • matches (in a waterproof container)
  • bear spray (this is a must as you never know what animal you might encounter at any time of year)
  • plastic blanket (it’s a really small one that can be used to cover someone to keep them warm)
  • communication device (I used to carry a SPOT device and have thought about getting a satellite radio for emergencies
  • Sunglasses (most people like to have them, although I don’t wear them)
  • avalanche gear (beacon/probe/shovel if you go into higher-risk areas)