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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Lancaster, Pa
    HH Expedition

    What is Needed for Hiking?

    I am a bicycle tourer. I did my first tour with my hammock this past June. I see these posts for weekends on hiking trails. What do I need to (equipment-wise) to go on a weekend hiking expedition? Back pack, shoes, etc.

  2. #2
    Senior Member default's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Summerville, SC
    Eno DL, Deep Jungle XL, Kammock Roo
    UGQ Winter Dream
    UGQ quilts!!!
    Whoopies and web
    just about the same things youd need on a bike, just a little different.

    you already have the hammock, so thats a start. lets assume you have a tarp and things to keep warm.

    backpack to carry the gear
    ways to eat & something to cook with if you dont have it (stove, pots/pans etc)
    good shoes. maybe a spare pair of socks.
    appropriate clothing
    hiking poles are optional but nice
    sunscreen (you should already have)

    theres not a whole lot different than what you already have just slightly different to set up to walk, not ride.
    Give a man fire and he's warm for the night.
    Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life. Dante

  3. #3
    Senior Member shumway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Edmonton, AB
    WBBB 1.1dbl,Hennessy Exped
    WB Super fly
    HG tq/uq (soon)
    diy whoopie
    I suggest paying extra attention to your footwear purchase. Everything you carry ultimately gets carried by your feet. You'll get a thousand opinions on what is best. On rough terrain I like boots that support my ankles. 2 pairs of socks to reduce blisters. Carry spare socks. Carry moleskin in case of rubbing.

    Backpack... I'll keep it short... Make sure it has a good hip belt. You don't want the load on your shoulders.

  4. #4
    wisenber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Gargoyle Custom
    Start off with Grandma Gatewood's list. Anything beyond that is just for comfort.
    I can only imagine how many people have gone to an outdoor store and asked a retailer what one would need in order to go backpacking only to depart the store with a heavy haul and a light wallet. I have the heavy boots, white gas stove and giant backpack to prove it.

    Instead of "gearing up", you might already own a backpack of some sort. Why not just take a simple single night trip with what you think you need to navigate, sleep, stay warm, stay out of the weather, stay hydrated and eat. (For an overnight trip you might skip the stove, pots, pans and fuel and just bring some "no cook" food like a few bagels.) Take a short hike into the woods and set up camp. Bring a little notepad and something to write with. Enjoy your simple overnight in the woods and make a list of things you think that you needed that you did not bring. You'll probably find that you had most everything that you needed for that night, but you will identify the remaining items without much risk involved.

    If most people started off that way, they could probably avoid buying a few hundred bucks of things they thought they "must" have but actually didn't. That will in turn allow you to save enough for what you actually do need.

    We tend to make a lot of things much more complicated than they need to be. Starting off simple can help you keep it simple. There are plenty of gadgets and pieces of gear that can make backpacking more entertaining, just allow yourself the opportunity to distinguish between what makes a trip entertaining versus what you actually need.

    [Disclaimer: I am a gearaholic and own more outdoor gadgets and gizmos than any rational person would ever need.]

  5. #5
    Senior Member Damifino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    St Paul, MN
    MacCat Delux
    HG 3/4 - UGQ TQ
    WOW! Now there's the question. This is the essence of hiking. What do I need?

    Yes, you need a backpack and shoes and a few other things but the catch is how do you manage all of the other comprimises. Some of the factors you'll balance are:

    What are your goals for hiking? Do you want to venture out just to experience the beauty of nature? Do you want to log mega-miles on the trail? Or, do you just want to get far enough away from the road that you can't hear the road-noise simply enjoy a few days of peace?

    How much weight can you carry? Is it enough for the time/distance you want to be out? Maybe not how much can you carry but rather how much do you want to carry? OR, how little can you pack for a given trip and still be safe and comfortable doing it. (You'll be amazed how much crap you can do without when you have to haul it over a mountain).

    What is your $$ budget? Do you have an interest in making some of your own gear? You can spend a lot of $$ on gadgets and items if you're into that. I like to test and try new stuff. Much of my new stuff never gets used after the try-out but I'm cool with it - it's part of the fun for me. If you are into creating your own gear you can tinker with improving or inventing a new idea (I'll probably buy it).

    The folks on this forum are the best resource anywhere. Use the search tool to read other's experiences with whatever item is next on your list. You'll get 20 different opinions about any given topic but the opinions will generally include an explanation and will always be civil. What could be better than that? You'll find the explaination that fits your goal or philosophy.

    Shoes and a pack is a great start.

    Shoes; I wear Merrell Ventalators (low). It is so dang hot here in FL, a heavy, poor-breathing shoe would not work. (actually a heavy, poor-breathing shoe doesn't work very well anwhere else either). We are always hiking in ankle deep swamp-water anyway so waterproof is useless. Ventillators are are available in EEE wide, comfortable, and not too expensive (around $80 - you can get them on sale online sometimes for $60). I'm lucky because I can use basically one pair of hiking shoes all year round. Pay attention toy your climate in selecting footwear. (travelling to hike is often expensive because your everyday gear isn't right for your travel destination).

    I have 2 packs, both are Ospreys. One I purchased used from a member here, an Aether 60. (hammockforums just might be the safest best place to buy and sell online - never a complaint from me on anything that I've picked up here). The Aether is VERY comfortable but too large for just a few night trip. It also is top-loading only and it seems that whatever I want is way down in the bottom. It also does not have any pockets on the belt. I like to hold a snack and my digital camera there. The camera is weight that I am happy to carry - take pictures of critters and vistas along the trail, they're worth the weight and time. My other pack is a Kestrel (48). I'll let you know what I think of it another time. I only have few miles on it.

    The beauty of this activity is how personal it becomes. In that, I might tolerate some added weight to take along an electronic gadget while you might find electonics pollute the experience. Over time, you'll develop a pack list and gear that is in many ways is a biography of you. Your gear will evolve as your experience and goals change.

    The steps in the journey along the trail is the real-life metaphore for how you incrementally discover how to enjoy the trail more (often with less).


  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    South Florida
    DIY, WBBB & Switchback
    HG cuben,OES Spinn
    DIY down 3/4 UQ/TQ
    Dynaglide & Dutch
    Well said, Damifino!
    "Life is a Project!"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Long Island, NY
    1.1 Blackbird or Traveler SL
    OES Deluxe Cuben
    Yeti - all seasons
    Dynaglide Whoopies
    I made a complete basic gear video series. Check out my blog listed in my signature and go to hiking 101. This will put some visuals with what people are talking about.
    "If you give a monkey a gun and he shoots someone, you dont blame the monkey"

    The end of the world is not coming in December, it is happening now in my living room. - TFC Rick

    Youtube Channel:

  8. #8
    Senior Member JalapeñoBen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beaverton, OR
    WBBB 1.0 dbl
    Edge w/ Dutch CRL
    D. Buckle/Whoopies
    Footwear (most important thing)

    Sleep system- hammock / tarp / quilt system
    Rain gear- jacket or shell / rain pants (optional) / gaiters (optional)
    Clothing- down vest or jacket / thermal undies (depending on weather) / any other clothing you think is comfy to hike in that's NOT cotton
    Socks- yes... it's own category: Get 2-3 pairs of GOOD wool socks, you won't be sorry
    Kitchen- some people go stoveless cooking, I use an alchy stove, many options here on any budget
    Pocket knife- I use a Gerber Gator, some use a box cutter, some use a machete (depends on the complicatedness of gear you carry as well as personal safety concerns)
    Bathroom stuff- some use leaves, I use Charmin Ultra / hand sanitizer / toothbrush with paste (cut the handle off and save a little weight)
    Ditty- camp soap / microfiber towel / I carry a super lightweight litte plastic scrubby thingy
    First aid- I bought a nice complete kit and stripped it to my needs (always pack extra moleskin)
    Backpack- buy this last, know what you are carrying (ALWAYS try it on in the store with weight in it... packs fit everyone differently, that's why you have a billion opinions. Try several different brands, the nice peeps in the store don't mind helping you out as everyone does this... it's part of the process)
    Pack cover- some use garbage bags, some use cuben fiber pack covers with pictures of Dutch (he's easy on the eyes)
    Hydration- some use aqua mira, I use an MSR Sweetwater filter / platypus or camelback hydration pack / extra collapsable platypus bottle (I have a 2 liter and a 3 liter, they are interchangeable so I can carry a lot or little water at any time!)
    Headlamp- many options (90% of the use for this thing will be waking up to take a piss at night... keep that in mind when you buy a 5 pound caving headlamp with 50,000 lumens)
    Orientation- compass / map / gps / guide book (depends on your skills... bottom line, know where you are going)
    Fire starter- I carry a lighter, some use flint steel or magnesium starter
    Sun protection- hat / sunscreen
    Hiking poles- these are optional (however not optional for my knees!) some use titanium, some use sticks found on the trail
    Food- not even going to get started on this one

    Lastly- An open mind. Hiking is supposed to be fun, an adventure... make the most of it. Stay positive and enjoy your time out there!

    This list is pretty comprehensive methinks. I'm sure some people will carry a lot more or a lot less than I do, however this is pretty much what I take on most of my trips (I don't always carry all of it, just trying to cover the bases). It's a generic list, so it can vary a lot in price and weight. If you want specific examples to fit a budget or just a wish list, I would be happy to send you some info. Most people start out thinking they need everything, then as time progresses, their pack gets lighter and smaller.

    Oh... don't forget the Apple Pie.... yummmmmmm!

    Happy Hangin'
    Pass the Apple Pie

  9. #9
    Senior Member DaleW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Hennessy Expedition Zip
    Arrowhead Toxaway
    Wilderness Logics
    DIY whoopie slings
    Check the "gear list" forum at . You will get all kinds of detailed ultralight gear lists that will blend nicely with your bike gear.

    Here is my generic gear list:

    Pack liner
    Trekking poles
    Ground version:
    Ground cloth
    Guy lines
    Sleeping bag
    Sleeping pad
    Hammock version:
    hammock and suspension
    guy lines
    bottom insulation: underquilt or pad
    top insulation: top quilt (or sleeping bag)
    First aid kit
    Fire starter
    Insect repellent
    Small repair kit
    Water container(s)
    Water treatment
    Cook pot
    Fuel container
    Eating utensil
    Bear hang bag
    Base layer shirt

  10. #10
    Senior Member FLRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gainesville, FL
    DIY Gathered End
    DIY Asym
    DIY Modular Quilt
    What you need is simple:

    1. A way to walk:
      This covers shoes and socks. I, personally, don't use socks when I'm hiking unless it's cold out. I wear knockoff technical sandals in the Keen style (with a toebox), and since I live in a place where it gets cold maybe two months out of the year, that doesn't present problems for me. Find some footwear that doesn't bother your feet and will hold up under the conditions you expect to be walking in, and that's all you really need.
    2. A way to carry things:
      This covers backpacks, holsters, pockets, etc. It can be as simple as a cotton sack on a pole or as complex as the latest external frame pack with all the bells and whistles. This should probably be your last piece of gear chosen, since everything else needs to fit into it.
    3. A way to eat and drink:
      You may not need a stove; there're people who've done the Appalachian Trail the whole way through without cooking a single meal. Then, there are folks who bring Dutch Ovens out into the backcountry to bake with. And everything in between. Find your level of comfort here, and see what works for you on the trail. Remember, though, that hydration is even more important than calories; you can go three weeks without food. Dehydration'll kill you in about three days.
    4. A way to sleep:
      Since this is a hammock forum, after all, I'm going to assume that you prefer lying in that hammock you mentioned above .
    5. A way to protect yourself from the weather:
      This can be as simple as a rain poncho or as elaborate as a five-layer insulating system that makes the Apollo Program's best efforts look like Joey's last leisure suit. As long as you're comfortable, don't sweat the rest of it.

    My priorities are as follows: 1.)footwear; 2.)pack; 3.)sleep system; 4.)weather protection (including cold weather insulation and bug protection during the summer); 5.)food and water systems.

    Note that outside all of the rest of this is your emergency kit. When you're out on the trail, make sure you have a first-aid kit that matches your needs--not anyone else's--a way to figure out where you are and where you want to go, a way to make fire in an emergency, and a way to signal others should you be unable to move.

    I second (third? fourth?) the recommendation that you do a couple of overnighters and day hikes before settling down to spend any kind of serious cash on equipment. You'll get a better feel for what compromises you want to make and what your hiking style is before you spend on the "latest and greatest" gear that the salesperson is going to make their bonus off of.

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