Optional Field Gear
The Aether 60 is the smaller sized pack in the Lightweight Backpacking pack seires with a recommended pack wieght of between 40 to 55 lbs. The Large size is 3800 cu. in. and has stretch packet on the front as well as double entry water bottle pockets.
Why I bought it: Hiking in the grand canyon with about 45 to 50 pounds in my GoLite Pinnacle 1 and 1/2 lb pack demonstrated to me the needs for a framestay for heavier loads. I wanted a pack that was about 4000 cu in for overnight AT hikes and other 2-5 day hikes but that was lightwieght compared to the Gregory Chaos I already have.
Good for: Multi day backpacking trips where you are carrying more that 20 or 25 pounds, but want a lightweight pack.
Not for: Expeditions where you have to carry lots of stuff in yourpack and its heavier than 55 or 60 pounds.
Grand Canyon Notes: This is now my go to pack for anything where there is a need to carry a mid to heavy weight pack. I love the suspension and the ventilated back area is perfect for the heat. The back stretch pocket is also great for quick acces to the stuff you need quickly.
Mount Washington Notes: This is the perfect sized pack for a day hike of Washington. It's big enough to fit lots of layers, which is what you need on that thing. It's also got lots of pockets, that makes it great to throw your crampons or food or other stuff that you need to stowe. And the thing is very lightweight, which is now my number one feature of any peice of gear I carry on a mountain.
These are the best underwear I have ever used. Because i have a problem with my legs rubbing to together as i walk, which causes my pant to ride up on me, I decided to change to biker shorts (slick material) rather than a cloth material to see if that would alleviate my problem. They worked better than I ever would have expected. I will never go back to cloth boxer briefs.
I needed a microfleece and this one was cheap and felt softer than a baby's a$$. Plus I really wanted a fleece that was a pullover rather than a full zip for a mid layer so that I could tuck it in.
This synthetic fabric wicks moisture away from the skin, dries quickly, and resists wrinkling, tearing, and unraveling—a must for the adventure traveler. A lightweight, high performance microfiber fleece with a luxurious finish, TKA microfleece provides lightweight warmth next to the skin or in a layering system. This 100% polyester fabric is engineered to be both durable and resistant to pilling. It offers warmth when wet, launders well and packs easily.
This is now one of my more favorite shirts. First, the material is breathable. Second, the shirt is warm. Third, the shirt is quick drying. And last, the half zip is highly functional.
5 Boro Bike Tour Notes: This is usually all you'll need on the five boro because it's usually spring like conditions. I like this one because it looks good no matter what you do to it.
Snowboarding Notes: This is my number 1 favorite Shirt for boarding. I now longer go on a snowboarding trip without it. It's warm, but has a half sip for hot days in the sun. It doesn't need ironing and doesn't get wrinkled so you can go right from the slopes to the bar and be good to go. It has thumb holes that make it easy to layer and not get you're sleeves all bunched up. Perfect shirt.
II usually use Smartwool socks, but I've heard great things about this sock. They have a very thin top layer so that your feet can breathe with a very thick underside to absorbe sweat and shock.
Smartwool's Expedition Trekking line was the winner of Backpacker Magazine's Great Sock Test. They expertly control temperature and moisture, cushion your digits and are extremely durable. Wicks and evaporates moisture to keep feet and shoes dry. Keep your feet cool in the summer, warm in the winter and not too bad for odor prevention either. I can't see myself ever buying another brand of sock
Madawaska Notes: Usually, I am using these socks for hiking. But here, they were just for walking around and in case I needed them for the cold water. But it was warm enough that I didn't need em at all.
Canadian Rockies Notes: Once again, my favorites. Others say that the socks tend to slip or move on their feet, but i haven't had that problem. No matter what brand you bring with you, make sure you have wool socks for the hike.
This is a lightweight polyester shirt that is highly breathable and quick drying. It wicks moisture away from the body and comes in a fe different colors. I actually picked up a long sleeve and a short sleeve. They were great as a first layer in the jungle.
Iliniza Notes: Most of the climbs will have you at some point in your t-shirt. Let it be a comfortable one.
Canadian Rockies Notes: Most of the climbs will have you at some point in your t shirt. Let it be a comfortable one.
Grand Canyon Notes: It gets hot down there in the canyon, so bring a lightweight t shirt.
These zip off pants are quick drying, comfortable, and come in good colors. What else can you ask for. The bottom of the pants have the side zip to the calf so you can zip off the bottoms without having to take off your boots. Comfortable shorts by day, bug-thwarting pants by night! These travel-savvy convertible pants offer versatile comfort. Plus they are baggy with a deep enough crotch.
Canadian Rockies Notes: Definately bring at least one pair. I personally brought 2 pair. While I never unzipped tham on any of my hikes, others in my group did on the one hike I didn't do, because it got so hot.
Grand Canyon Notes: I brought 2 pair of pants, but only used these as my hiking pants all three days. I used the other pair as my camp clothing.
From what I hear, North Face is good for tall climbers and from my experience in trying a few styles and types from them, the beta is correct. The arms were long enough even though the body wasn’t built for Tony Soprano. I liked the fit and comfort level of this jacket and could tell it would be very warm.
Since soft shell was introduced, I decided I would move in that direction simply because I wanted to start packing more lightly, and this allows me to possibly skip a thinker shell and only bring along a thin lightweight shell.
Canadian Rockies Notes: This jacket served me well in the Rockies. Between this and my 800 fill down jacket, I never got cold and I used it every day. Definately recommend a soft shell over traditional fleece.
Nice little fleece hat to cover my newly shaved head! I like it because there's more fleece on the ears thatn the top which is exactly how I like it. My ears are sensitive like a little girls!! lol
Grand Canyon Notes: I brought one fleece hat and only used it in camp at night and in the morning. But I was glad I brought it. it's cold enough in camp during the spring that you will definately need one.
A simple water repellant hat.
This is the hat I use when its raining to keep the hood of my shell from falling over my eyes.
The Venture Jacket is North Face’s most affordable water proof shell. The Venture is a relatively thin and light weight jacket that is well suited as a multi season jacket.
The jacket is made from HyVent DT, a waterproof yet breathable fabric with raised microdots that lift the fabric off of the skin in order to channel moisture away.
Other features include a fully adjustable, attached hood, brushed chinguard lining, pit-zip vents, two hand pockets, adjustable Velcro cuffs, and a cinch cord at the waist.
One almost seemingly hidden feature is the left pocket stow. Stuff the jacket in the left hand packet, zip and the jacket quickly transformed into a small bundle
Pros: Very good waterproofing, lightweight and compressible, resonably priced
Cons: Hood doesn’t roll up and hide away. Cuff Velcro tabs stick out a bit, they could Velcro down a bit more
Canadian Rockies Notes: This was the only shell Jacket I took along on the trip and I actually pulled it out on the top of the 6 Glaciers hike when it started to snow and rain. I was glad to have it because it kept me dry and warm, but not hot. Definatley need a brimmed hat (like a baseball cap) or the hood can be uncomfortable.
5 Boro Bike Tour Notes: I bring this in my pack no matter what. It's light weight and
This was one of the major items that I had still not purchased for climbing but was looking forward to adding to my gear pile because of its utility. Besides being extremely warm, it is extremely lightweight and very compact and packable.
Canadian Rockies: I will never do a hiking trip without a down jacket again. Best thing I took with me.
Grand Canyon Notes: The beauty of this jacket is its flexiblity. It stowes into a little pocket, is extremely lightweight, and can be used for many things, from a jacket to a pillow. I pretty much take this on every trip or expedition.
El Potrero Notes: This is the perfect item to bring to potrero. It is extremely lightweight. It is extremely warm. And it is extremely versatile, given that you can use it as a coat, sweater, or pillow! It doens get windy and cold depending on what time of year you are going.
This is the third pair of Salomon Trail Runners I've bought and they sure won't be the last. The best part is the quick lace feature that keeps them tied tight and eliminates the need to tie your laces!
Canadian Rockies Notes: I absolutely love these things. I did all of my hikes in these. They are vented so your feet stay cool. They did well on the wet day (even better than some in boots).
Grand Canyon Notes: I did the entier Grandview to Tonto to South Kaibab trail in these. The first day was very tough on the ankles, when the steepness and sree caused us more than a little trouble getting down the trail quickly and efficiently.
Appalachian Trail Notes: The AT is pretty rocky, and most prefer to wear boots. Since I have very strong ankles and don't tend to turn them very easily, I prefer to wear runnind kicks ot minimize the weight on my feet. However, most will wear boots on the AT.
I really like this balm. Its very much like "Unpetroleum" that i took on Alaska trip and loved.
Grand Canyon Notes: Do not forget to bring lip balm on this trip. You will regret it if you do.
Mt Rainier Notes: If you have never been on a glacier in the middle of the summer, you can't really understand how important it is to have lip balm. I buy these 6 at a time every time I go to the camping store. I avoid chapped lips at ALL costs.
These bottles are indestructible and supposedly, they don’t promote bacteria growth or hold odor. In every picture I see of someone camping or on a mountain, I see them holding a Nalgene bottle. I’m not even sure they have any competition they’re so well entrenched. And what makes them even better is most water filtration systems are built specifically to fit Nalgene bottles!
I always wrap some clear and some gray duct tape around my bottles. First, it helps to tell whos they are and it also is an easy way to keep duct tape which is the most important item you can take on a mountain! It fixes everything from blisters to leaky tents. I always bring 3 liter bottles for summit day. I also sometimes bring an extra to pee in if im too lazy to get out of the tent! just be careful. Aim smart.
I like gel sunblock better than the normal lotion kind because I tend to sweat a lot and it lasts much longer. I also use bullfrog but couldn't find it this time around in the camping store.
Madawaska Notes: On this trip, I brought along the bullfrog sunblock, but for the most part, I barely ever used it. But I would definately lug it along in case you have that burnable skin type.
The Julbo Nomads are my favorite shades because of how closely they wrap around my face and their low profile. What I also liked about them was that they have plastic clip on side sheilds rather than the botton on leather ones.
Kilimanjaro Notes: I forgot them in the tent on summit day! But they worked great every other day!
Madawaska Notes: I went back and forth between using shades and not. in the end, I found that what i really wanted was just somehting to stop water going in my eyes, but clear. I'll get something for next time.
Grand Canyon Notes: Even though it was really bright, I usually don't use sunglasses unless I am driving or riding my bike. On this trip, I just squinted a little the whole time! :-) But I carried them the whole way just in case I needed them.
Film used to be superior to digital when it comes to pictures. Recently, digital has caught up and in some cases even possibly surpassed film in terms of quality.
Why I bought it: I chose this camera for a couple of reasons. First, it is a 10 megapixel camera. Second, it shoots in RAW format so I have ultimate flexibility in manipulating the photos in Lightroom, Photoshop or any other photo software. Third, the camera is very light so I can carry it in my chest pocket on the top of a glacier.
The only drawback to this camera is that it doesn't have a hot shoe to connect a flash. However, since i bought this for small size to carry in a pocket, that's not really a requirement.
This is the best tasting protein bar on the market in my opinion. I always bring protien bars on my trips because it's very difficult to keep your protein levels up on trips. Most camping geared dehydrated foods are really low in protein and high in carbs, so i always bring some protein bars to supplement my dehydrated meals.
Fruit bars are my favorite food. And you can get them pretty much anywhere.