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┬áthat 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.