Tag Archives: gear

REI Flash 22

flash_22For years I have been using an extra backpack that I had laying around for all my day hiking. It’s a sturdy old Timbuk2 bag and works fine, but it is heavy and lacks a chest strap or any of the other features that a good daypack might have. I’ve been a fan of REI’s Flash series for years. I use an old model that I got on the cheap for backpacking. My hiking buddy uses one of the small Flash 18 packs for his day hiking. I wanted a bit more in the way of features so I decided on the Flash 22.

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Benson Plateau (Day 1: Ruckel Ridge)

We started late on our first day. My hiking partner didn’t pick me up until around nine and we had to stop for some supplies on our way, so we didn’t get on the trail until almost eleven. Luckily, everyone else was lagging even more and we were able to get a good parking space right next to the caretaker’s trailer. We got our packs on and adjusted and got moving. Pretty much right away, my buddy realized that he forgot his poles. This was a bit of a disappointment for me, since it meant that I would feel like a bit of a jerk using my poles when he didn’t have his. The jaunt to the base of the Ruckel Creek trail was quick though, so I really didn’t have long to wait before the climbing began.

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Trail Tested

I really enjoy gear. I like to spend time comparing the merits of different brands and analyzing the performance of the kit that I take out on the trail. I might be a fetishist, yet I think that many hikers would agree that having good gear can make all the difference between a miserable slog and an invigorating hike. Gear can also be the only thing that stands between an inconvenience and a disaster. As such, I am always on the lookout for good books about gear. Trail Tested was written by Justin Lichter, who probably wears out more gear in a year than most people ever own. He hikes thousands of miles a year and he knows a thing or two.

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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.

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