Gear · Hiking Gear

What’s In My Daypack 2020

Years ago I was a happy UL (ultralight) hiker. I carried very little, I would do 4-day trips with a large daypack on. I was also on a high from the “there I was” tales. I once got into an argument on a trail about misery and hiking with a hiking partner, where I snarkily said that the pain and misery only made the tales that much better.

Needless to say…as I got older I decided comfort was worth a bit more weight. I also took it a bit more seriously that being in better shape was better than sucking it up. More muscle strength means I can carry more. And if that means I carry 3 ways to make fires, and 3 ways to drink water, more the better.

I got my daypack out and shook it out the other day – to see what needed to be replaced, updated and even seeing if I needed to add in. Now then…I don’t always carry all of it. If it is a close in local hike on the island I tend to part out a bit of it. But in the wilderness? Always all of it. And longer hikes usually get extra clothing added in as well, along with more food.

What I am carrying currently:

  • Deuter Trail 28 SL (woman’s fit)
  • LifeStraw (emergency use only)
  • Ultra-Sil Outhouse Toilet paper holder (Kirk found it in Australia and brought it back to me) (I like my TP. End of story.)
  • OR med kit bag (that is a whole post right there)
  • Sam Splint
  • Unscented baby wipes, travel pack (not shown) (Clean hands keep people from getting sick if you cook for them!)
  • Headlamp (check batteries every 3 months, look inside to ensure no leaking)
  • Pepper spray (kept in hip pocket)
  • Knife (kept in hip pocket)
  • Sit pad
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants (15 year old REI ones)
  • Waterproof bag for mobile phone/wallet
  • Pack towel (upper, light blue)
  • Cooking pot
  • Gas canister
  • Gas canister support
  • Snow Peak Stove
  • Lighter (BIC brand)
  • UL measuring cup
  • Bamboo utensil set
  • Tiny pack towel for kitchen
  • UL cutting board/prep station
  • Snack size bag with paper towels folded up
  • Fire starters, 2 types
  • Waterproof matches
  • Hand sanitizer, mini bottle (for fire starting)
  • Metal fire starter
  • UL blanket to sit on (with children this became important – it allows a clean place to sit on and take shoes off to cool off feet.)
  • Emergency blanket (not shown)
  • Hand warmers (not shown)
  • Hat, fleece
  • Gloves (not shown)
  • BeFree water filter bottle
  • Snacks (changes by the trip)
  • Food (for longer trips, depends on where are going/what I am reviewing or developing)
  • Emergency snacks (often honey packets)
  • Bag of plastic bags (for garbage or keeping things dry, not shown)
  • Water bottles (2) (not shown)
  • Prescription sunglasses (not shown)
  • Sunhat (not shown)

Two things I do not carry:

Commercial bug spray as I react in hives to it. Commercial sunblock unless at high altitude or on snow. Most brands I get hives from. I only use it if I must, and then cover most of my body with clothing instead.


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