Day Hiking Gear Chris & Mac Use

Day Hiking Gear

A discussion of the equipment and apparel Chris & Mac use for day hiking and links to manufacturers and retailers offering the gear.

Chris & Mac of Grey Otter Outventures

Chris & Mac
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The gear used for day hiking is an important component to having a pleasurable and safe hike.  As with most things, people have differing opinions as to what is the “best” gear.  Often times, “best” is the result of trade-offs between function, look, and, of course, price.  That said, there are stand-outs in the equipment and apparel world.

When Mac and I select the gear we use, we generally try to find equipment and apparel that is most suited for the activity we are doing, in this case hiking.  We provide you with this listing here because we believe you can benefit from the gear decisions we have made.

Of course, new gear comes to market all the time, so we change gear as improvements are made by the industry.  The following is a listing of the gear we currently use when day hiking.

Please Note:  Grey Otter Outventures, Inc. is an affiliate of some of the brands mentioned in this section and may receive a small commission from purchases made from these brands at no extra cost to you.

Backpacks:  We are big fans of Osprey backpacks.  They are well constructed and can hold up to years of hiking abuse.  The daypacks we use are the Osprey Talon 22 (men) and the Osprey Tempest 20 (women).  Both are light weight with an excellent harness system and plenty of storage.

Trekking Poles:  We use trekking poles on almost all our hikes.  They take pressure off knees and backs, which is particularly important on difficult and longer hikes.  They are also great for stream crossings and tough terrain.  Our preferred brand for poles is LEKI.  Currently, Chris uses the  LEKI Carbon TA XTG and Mac uses the LEKI Women’s Cressida COR-TEC Pole.
Hiking Shoes:  Hiking shoe technology is changing rapidly and we go through a lot of shoes.  Currently, Chris wears the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX and Mac wears the women’s Solomon Women’s Quest 4 GORETEX.  These boots are great right out of the box!  Not only do they have excellent traction on mixed terrain, but their waterproof/breathable membranes keep our feet dry in wet weather.  Additionally, these boots deliver outstanding ankle and heel support that are particularly important on tough terrain and long hikes.  We are both very happy with the performance of our shoes.
Water Bladder:  We both use Camelbak water bladders.  Osprey backpacks, although designed to carry a water bladder, do not come with one.  We think the best, most stable bladders are those made by Camelbak.  They come in a variety of sizes.  Chris carries the three liter size and fills it based on need, while Mac carries her two liter size on day hikes.
Bottle for Hydration Mix:  In addition to water, we both carry a separate bottle with a hydration packet added to replace electrolytes lost through sweat.  Hands down, we believe the best bottles for this are made by Platypus.  For this purpose, we carry the Platypus 0.5 litre size, but they come in a variety of sizes.  They weigh virtually nothing and are amazingly durable.
Water Filtration (Emergency Use):  We always carry a system for emergency water filtration, just in case.  Our go to is the Sawyer Micro Squeeze Filter.  It weighs almost nothing and can save your bacon if you run out of water before getting back to the trailhead or in an emergency situation.
Headlamps (Emergency Use):  We always carry headlamps for safety in case we end up out on the trail after dark.  Chris carries the Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp and Mac carries the Petzl ACTIK Headlamp.  Both are light weight, powerful, and have a variety of beams.
Multi-Tool:  Equipment does occasionally break while on the trail.  Carrying a multi-tool, as well as some tie wraps and a strong tape such as Tenacious Tape, can be instrumental in solving the problem.  Mac carries the ultra light Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool.  Despite its small size and limited number of tools, it has the basic tools needed to fix most problems.  Chris carries the larger, and substantially heavier, Gerber Suspension NXT Multi-Tool.  It has a broad array of tools to provide the tools needed for a wide variety of problems.
Ditty Bags:  Ditty bags are a great way to organize gear in your pack.  We carry the Granite Gear Tough Sack 2L for day hiking.  It has enough room to store first aid, a multi-tool, a battery back-up, tie-wraps, and some tape.  The bags come in a variety of sizes, are ultralight, and are coated for water resistance.
Pack Cover (In Case of Rain):  It is a good idea to keep a pack cover in your backpack just in case, as most backpacks are not waterproof.  We like the CamelBak Unisex Adult Pack Rain Cover.  They are very light weight and come in a variety of sizes to fit most day packs.

SAFETY DISCLAIMER:  The activities discussed in this website are outdoor activities and, as such, have inherent risks to which participants are exposed.  It is not the intent of this website, nor is it possible due to the variability of weather, terrain, equipment, and experience, to detail all of those risks.  The information contained in this site is informational, but not instructive nor exhaustive.  It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure he/she is in good health, fully prepared, and fully informed as to dangers before undertaking any of the activities discussed in this website and the user does so at his/her own risk.  The user understands that by using this website he/she acknowledges and accepts all risks associated with use of information from this website and participation in any particular activity addressed herein.  Please see “Terms of Use” for additional information.

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