View Full Version : Luxury Item of Gear?
What piece of gear do we carry that, while not really necessary, we decide to lug along anyway?
Mine is a small, thin Scorpio flashlight weighing just 4.8 oz, and capable of turning night into day if I want it. Its mostly used for surveying my prospective campsites after dark and it shoots a beam so far out that I can check one out without walking to it. It's amazingly tiny and probably strongest by lumen/oz then any other light. But now, with the hammock, may not be needed.
well anyone who knows me knows that i can be pretty anal about flashlights and like to always have spares. i tend to actualy need them from time to time too. i carry a headlamp and two AA mags. then i carry atleast one extra set of batteries for each. my headlamp chews through batteries like there is no tomorow. so its a lot of weight but i live with it. usualy i have needed them one time or another. i dont want to get caught out with no light, and then have a reason for needing one. the extras are also useful because the groups ive hiked with in the past there was always atleast one person who didnt realize they needed a flashlight. im going to go out and look for some lighter models eventualy but for now what i have will probably do, its just my luxury.
I carry a book, really not needed because journal writing takes up a lot of time, but I still like to read occasionally.
The other major thing o\is a smal Sony AM/FM radio that can run off a single lithium AA. I likr to try and find NPR stations as I hike.
As for flashloghts. I carry 2 LED lights that are plenty bright enough doing camp chores at night. If I want to night hike I either smack myself back into my senses or use moonlight if available.
Not gear, but I carry a hacky-sack whenever and where ever I travel. It's a fun way to kill a few hours on a zero day, as well as a form of meditation (for me) along the lines of Tai Chi.
A small paperback book, preferably sci-fi, since I really enjoy reading and find it relaxing. However, the books I bring are not ones that I will keep, since I rip out the pages I've read and deposit them at the next trashcan.
Something to think about before you rip up books is an informal exchange program. Although I normally abhore people leaving crap in shelters, books are one thing I don't mind. I've left a book behind, or taken a book left behind. I also remember Walasi-Yi having a used books section.
I carried a small kite with me on my thru. Its a small roll up parafoil type that folded/rolled down smaller than a soda can. had a lot of fun flying it from peaks and above treeline.
Starting in new england somewhere i started hving all my trail friends sign it so now i have a real nice momento from my hike.
my pocketmail (10 oz) and sometimes a book Hammock Hanger
I carry two .The first is a chair conversion thing that make my thermarest into a camp chair(6oz?).It makes sitting on the ground much more bearable.The second is a swiss army knife called the champ,one of their biggest (8oz?).My Dad gave it to me and I've taken it on every backpacking trip since I was a teen.I know its overkill but I cant seem to part with it.
A bottle of bourbon or rum, put into a plastic flask and mailed stuffed in a maildrop.
Bourbon or rum? Ach, ye heathens! Ye get a gud dram or too of the true uisgebagh from the River Spey, and then ye share it, even with a damn Englisher.
yeah to wacocelt on the Hack-Sack....I have been hacking since 1985 and many a young kid freeks out when they see what an old man can do..in fact just last week I heard 'yo old dude you rule'....my lux item of carry is a small hand held ham radio...too many times my cell phone cannot get a signal but with morse code I can send distress from almost any mountaintop..the radio is a tri-bander and can also get FM radio/Am radio/tv and some world wide bands on short wave...lux or emergency you decide, even have the ear bud for FM listening while hiking...it is a Kenwood and is water resistant but does weigh in at 10oz.
A 1 1/2 oz. optumus AM/FM radio from Radio Shack. Good for weather reports, snore dampening, and listening to local bluegrass on the local FM stations; at least in the south.
I'll second the bourbon idea, preferably Jim Beam. Oh, and mark the moment---it's three o'clock on the 28th of October, and Chris and I have finally found something on which we are in complete agreement.
Well, it had to happen sooner or later.
right on, chris and jack! always bourbon in my pack. okay, sometimes it's tequila.
I'll eat just about anything if I have to, but when it comes to food, I really appreciate a good quality meal at the days beginning & end.
When someone who has never hiked with me before lifts my 40 pound 2-day pack and says, "How can this be possible Nick? I thought you had titanium this and that...", I just keep smug and say nothing while they shake their heads and laugh. Then after 12 mi. in the 2500ft. up and downs of the breadloaf wilderness in VT., I pull out potatoes for panfries, and a once frozen inch thick beef tenderloin that has conveniently de-thawed. Of course I have mini tupperware containers of worcestershire sauce, oil, and ketchup. By the time I break out the mini-plastic peppermill people are licking their chops.
The next morning, out comes instant pancake mix, another container of VT's finest amber maple syrup, and a piece of fruit that I keep wrapped in my TP (this also gives you a nice fragrance of orange zest when the time comes).
I may have 5 extra pounds on me for the same 2 day trip, but when your eating another bag-o-dehydrated veggies & rice, with essence of chicken, that steak smeels awfully good...
moonshine or scotch. bacon and eggs, fresh veggies and meat for the first2-3 out of town. a six pack of brew when leaving town.
I find that I lug the same amount of weight for 2 day trips as I do on 4 or 5 day trips. I just live like a king on the two day trips.
I also like to tease the thru-hikers when I see them. I'll be cooking up a killer meal, and then eat it slowly. I let them watch for a few minutes in silence, and then offer them some. It's the funniest thing to see someone staring at a steak like a wild animal. Reminds me of my dog when I'm eating at the table. Nonetheless, I'll be a thru-hiker soon, and be looking up to the table for scraps...
RH, you don't have to give up eating good because your thruhiking. You've got time till you leave. Start making your self some jerky. If you use good cuts of meat it does not lose anything to taste. I always carry a lot of very very good dehydrated ingredients, plus onions and garlic. There are now mutiflavored TVP and other things at health food stores. Exotic mushrooms, you can dehydrate. If you like to eat well, you certainly can if you prepare ahead. Just don't mix them until you're out there, and you won't ever get tired of what you mail to yourself. My gorp is dehyrated blueberries, strawberries and broken up poptarts (off the trail I can't look at them).
I'm making an attempt of the AT in 2004, so I have a ways to go. I will be thru-hiking several local trails though including the long trail and metacomet-monadnock this summer/fall/and next winter. Mail drops on 110-270 mile long trails is kind of foolish, and I will be resupplying in towns. In the case of the M-M, It can be done in 7-8 days at my current level of fitness. The AT will be different though...
I'm actually hoping to make as few maildrops as possible. I will definetly supplement my diet with home made stuff when I get a drop, but other than that it will be groceries from local places whenever possible. I will be mail-dropping some mini-dv tapes (about the size of matchboxes), aquamira, a mini-dv battery pack or two, and thats about it. I anticipate doing this only once every 3-4 weeks though. So probably 6-9 times max. I also live about 20 minutes from the trail in massachusetts, so a family visit/hand-delivered drop/zero day will be made then, along with additional cold-weather gear if required.
Of course I havent even begun to plan this journey yet, as it's still over a year away. I'm focusing on my LT and M-M Thru-Hikes Now.
I carry a miniature walkman-type radio to catch the weather and news at night. It's a tiny thing with ear nubs, can't remember the brand, probably Optimus, as I found it at the Shack. One AAA, which works well for me, since all other gear that needs batteries use AAAs (camera and Tikka headlamp). I also carry the LE Therm-a-Rest and consider that a luxury item, since I try to be weight conscious on all other gear.
My Item is a small Platypus flask of Moonshine or if I run out I fill up on some Crown Royal!