Making a List

I’ve started to firm up my plans for backpacking next year. I have a pair of loops that I want to do and I have the months picked out. The next thing is to start revisiting my gear. I’ve backpacked with a buddy before, but I want to be prepared to do these trips solo. That means that I will need a few necessities that I don’t already own. In addition to that, I have a couple more ‘luxury’ items that I would like to have.

The biggest necessity will be water filtration. When I’ve gone before, we shared a filter. I’m really quite unhappy with the idea of tablets, though I am told that they’re not so bad these days. I’ve really liked the MSR Miniworks EX that I’ve used before and I’ve yet to see another filter that was well reviewed. It might be a bit of weight, but it’s a luxury that I’m willing to carry. I might get a some type of bladder too, as my pack has a pouch for one. That might make water on the go a bit easier.

Since I am planning to do some video blogging from the trail, I’ll want some kind of tripod. My current thought is to get a GorillaPod and an adapter for attaching my phone. That way, I could use it for my digital camera and my phone. There seem to be a number of adapters on the market and the flexibility of being able to stabilize either one seems like a no-brainer. This should let me shoot better video and take awesome panorama shots. Groovy.

The last item on the wishlist is a handheld GPS device. I’ve been doing a bit of poking around, and I’m leaning toward something in Garmin’s new eTrex line. I might start at the low end with the 10, but the 20 might be worth the upgrade. This is something I really don’t know much about. I’ll have to spend a little time at REI one of these days poking at their demos and seeing how they work. Mostly I want them for tracking my progress and emergency navigation.

I don’t need much in the way of bells and whistles. In fact, I am a rather annoyed that they are starting to put things like cameras and games in the damn things. They are expensive enough as it is and I have a much better multi-function device in the form of my phone. If there was a way to give that better GPS functionality, I’d probably go that route instead.

Well, I want to make my first trip in May. That gives me six months to do my research and pinch some pennies to make it happen. I may not have all the perfect gear, but with luck, I will have everything I need.