My Hyperlite Windrider pack is a fairly minimalist design with one large compartment that has a roll-down Velcro and clip closure. There’s also a y-strap on top. I have two deep hip belt pockets, and two mesh pockets on either side of the pack as well as one larger mesh pocket on the back. I organize my pack with mindfulness towards the weather and ease of access for gear I’ll need throughout the day.
When I prepare for the day, the main compartment is completely empty. I fill my camelback water pouch with the amount I need depending on how far the first water source is from camp, and I put that in my pack first. Next, I stuff my Zenbivy quilt, sheet and pillow into a Hyperlite pod with my sleeping bag liner. This goes at the very bottom of my pack; I like the pod because it’s fairly water resistant and fits snug in the bottom of my pack. I fold up all my camp clothes and put them in a gallon ziplock bag to keep them dry; this goes in next to my Zenbivy zip pouch full of electronics. I then tetris my rolled Zenbivy sleeping pad, my first aid kit, glasses/contacts case, and my cook kit. My food bag goes next. Next, I’ll stuff my puffy down jacket into the cavity. If it looks or feels as though it might rain, I’ll put my rain jacket in an outside pocket; otherwise, I’ll stuff it into the main compartment as well. Once everything is in, I’ll roll down the top and compress everything down the best I can so it’s not bouncing around as I walk.
On the left mesh outside pocket, I place the rolled up tent ground sheet, tent stake bag, trowel, bag of toilet paper, and bug spray. On the right mesh outside pocket goes my Smart water bottle, my tyvek tarp in case we cowboy camp, and my snacks for the morning.
I roll my rain pants into a small log and stuff them at the bottom of the large outside pocket on my pack. I also fit my Katadyn gravity water filter, chip bag (in a large ziplock bag so they don’t get soggy…I’ve made that mistake before), and trash bag in the same pocket. I have a Kula cloth that I snap to one of the exterior loops. One thing I love about the mesh pockets is that I can store wet socks for easy drying when the sun is out! I use the y-strap to keep my fleece on top of my pack so I have easy access.
I keep my phone and wallet in my left hip belt pocket. In my right hip belt pocket, I keep my hand sanitizer, face sunscreen, chapstick, pocket knife, small canister of mace, ibuprofen, and Claritin.
When trail conditions call for snow gear, I use the ice ax loop to fasten the ax to the pack. I keep my microspikes in the outer mesh pouch for easy access, as well as my rain shell mittens. When necessary, I use the y-strap to fasten my bear canister to the top of my pack.
Our hiker friend Twist grew up in Portland, OR. He had a whole itinerary of people he wanted to see on particular weekends. Lucky for Journey Man and myself, Twist invited us to join him for a couple weekends. We first met Twist’s parents, Steve and Laurie, in Sun River. They
A couple days in to the time off trail in Seattle, I had to sit with myself and ponder the real possibility that I might not return to trail. It was such a disappointing thought. It made me mad. And sad. I didn’t want to be done hiking. I had two of the most talked about sections still left to complete—the North Cascades and the Sierra...
Due to injury and wildfire-induced trail closures, Journey Man and I flipped back down south to Northern California to fill in miles that we skipped previously— 622.3 miles to be exact. We hopped back on trail from Burney and took our time working up the miles.