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post #16 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by jett View Post
Re: Boots - The Scarpa's sound good, I will definitely check them out. I'm really looking for a boot that will handle lots of abuse and keep my feet dry. In your experience, when they do get wet do they dry quickly?

I don't want to sound obtuse, but it really depends on how wet they get.

A pair of good, leather hiking boots will be wholecuts, with only two stitched seams in the whole boot - one seam around the tongue and a vertical seam at the back. The seam around the tongue should be double-stitched, and the seam at the back should be covered by a double-stitched, additional piece of leather. I'm sorry if that's not a good description, but you'll see what I mean the moment that you look at a pair of Scarpa or Vasque boots.

This lack of seams means that, as long as you slather on the SnoSeal (or similar, usually beeswax-based, waterproofing compound and let it penetrate the leather), the boot is almost impermeable. The only way water will get in is if you submerge the boot and water can therefore enter around your ankle. Of course, if you are hiking in rain or snow all day, the leather will finally start to get damp, but you won't really feel it.

If you do end up walking through a creek or across a river ford, and the inside of the boots gets wet, it's usually not too uncomfortable. Sure, it feels a bit squelchy at first, but as long as the boot fits well and you are wearing good socks, your foot will still be well contained. It will, however, be wrinkled like a prune at the end of the day. If you take out the inner sole/footbed and let the boots sit in the vestibule of your tent overnight, they'll usually be pretty dry in the morning (although, if they are still a bit damp and if the weather is cold, it won't be much fun putting them on at first!).

I know that it's an obvious thing to say, but it's a really good idea to try on quite a few different boots and talk to people at camping stores about what boot they like, and why. Typically, they won't mind if you tramp around the store a bit and run up and down some stairs to see how the boots fit. When I first bought my Scarpas, I got a half-size too large, as I was worried that they would pinch too much if I bought the smaller size (as your feet swell a bit whilst hiking). However, after getting the boots home and wearing them around inside for a while, I realised that (unless I wore a couple of pairs of thick hiking socks all the time) they would be too big. Thankfully, I was able to take them back and exchange them for the half-size down. The moral is that you shouldn't buy boots over the internet, unless you've had a good opportunity to try them on at a bricks-and-mortar store (and even then, you might get it wrong at first).

Another reason to try on boots before you buy is that you might find certain boots to be too heavy. I like the feel of my Scarpas, but one of my friends only wore his a few times before deciding that they were too heavy to hike in, and he went out and bought a pair of light, fabric-and-suede hiking boots instead.

Hope that this helps, and that it makes sense.

Cheers,
JH
post #17 of 412
My daypack is a Deuter Futura 28. The selling feature for me was the Air Comfort mesh back that allows air to circulate around your back, mitigating (but not entirely eliminating) that disgusting sweaty back feeling. It has a rain cover, hydration pack compatability, seperable compartments, really good suspension system (for the price)... has everything a daypack should have.

Got a long weekend coming up (Canada Day) so hiking is on the agenda (likely in the US though).
post #18 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
I know that it's an obvious thing to say, but it's a really good idea to try on quite a few different boots and talk to people at camping stores about what boot they like, and why. Typically, they won't mind if you tramp around the store a bit and run up and down some stairs to see how the boots fit. When I first bought my Scarpas, I got a half-size too large, as I was worried that they would pinch too much if I bought the smaller size (as your feet swell a bit whilst hiking). However, after getting the boots home and wearing them around inside for a while, I realised that (unless I wore a couple of pairs of thick hiking socks all the time) they would be too big. Thankfully, I was able to take them back and exchange them for the half-size down. The moral is that you shouldn't buy boots over the internet, unless you've had a good opportunity to try them on at a bricks-and-mortar store (and even then, you might get it wrong at first). Another reason to try on boots before you buy is that you might find certain boots to be too heavy. I like the feel of my Scarpas, but one of my friends only wore his a few times before deciding that they were too heavy to hike in, and he went out and bought a pair of light, fabric-and-suede hiking boots instead. JH
This is very good advice. At most REIs they have a rock ramp that gives you a feel for how the boots are holding up. What you need to particularly look for is how they feel coming down a ramp - if your toes get squished, its a bad sign. Take a fully loaded backpack with you - or buy your backpack and put some weights in it before trying on the boots. REI also has an excellent return policy. A good local outdoors store should also have similar facilities and policies.
post #19 of 412
I do quite a bit of backpacking (For example, this year, I have 3 different trips planned of over a week in length.) I have a closet full of mountaineering and backpacking footwear.

I've been backpacking and climbing for a long time, and I've found that over the years, my preferences in boots, packs, and other gear have changed quite a bit. Early on, I tended more toward heavier sturdier gear. Now, I am gravitating toward much lighter gear. Reduction in weight has made my trips much more pleasant.

I started out wearing beefy, full leather hiking boots and used them enough that I went through a couple of resoles on several pair, but have moved more and more toward lighter backpacking shoes.

My current backpacking footwear of choice is a low-cut hiking shoe with a goretex liner, constructed of nylon with leather and rubber on the high-wear areas. It's no longer made, but is similar to this:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/1...R-For-Men.html

They are lighter (and less tiring) than traditional leather backpacking boots. They are also more agile than boots, and I find that they perform better off trail and on rough trails because of this agility.

The only time my heavier boots come out any more is if I am going to be traversing a lot of snow fields and need to kick steps in the snow. Then, the additional heft of a big leather boot comes in handy. For all other backpacking, the big leather boots stay in the closet, and I end up wearing the lighter trail shoes.


As for backpacks, look for something that is relatively light weight. Unless your total load is 60+ pounds, you aren't going to need a 7 pound backpack. Arcteryx, Osprey, Granite Gear, Gregory, and the Kelty "Cloud" series (their high end ultra-light packs) are all worth looking at.


If you are really bored, you could check out my climbing/backpacking web pages. (They haven't been updated in a while)

http://www.larsonweb.com/Bctry/BctryHome.htm
post #20 of 412
Thread Starter 
thanks kai. I keep seeing people recomending to not go with full on hiking boots so I will definitely check out hiking shoes instead. I just worry about ankle support with a pack on. I'm used to wearing heavy duty workboots so even relatively heavy hiking boots don't feel bad, but I do really like the idea of minimizing weight wherever possible. I hope to avoid snow as much as possible, at least for the next year or two. Re: Packs, do you have any experience with the Naos line from Arcteryx? It's crazy expensive, but I like the idea of a waterproof bag and it's not too heavy. The other bag I'm really looking hard at is the Osprey Aether (the current model, not the older pad-framed one). The whole ultralight movement seems a bit excessive to me, but I can definitely see the appeal in trying to get your base weight as low as possible.
post #21 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by jett View Post
thanks kai. I keep seeing people recomending to not go with full on hiking boots so I will definitely check out hiking shoes instead. I just worry about ankle support with a pack on. I'm used to wearing heavy duty workboots so even relatively heavy hiking boots don't feel bad, but I do really like the idea of minimizing weight wherever possible. I hope to avoid snow as much as possible, at least for the next year or two.

Re: Packs, do you have any experience with the Naos line from Arcteryx? It's crazy expensive, but I like the idea of a waterproof bag and it's not too heavy. The other bag I'm really looking hard at is the Osprey Aether (the current model, not the older pad-framed one). The whole ultralight movement seems a bit excessive to me, but I can definitely see the appeal in trying to get your base weight as low as possible.

I've seen the Naos packs, but never used them. Pretty much anything Arcteryx makes is top flight, so if it fits you, you will probably like it.

I'm not an ultralight packer, but I do incorporate some of the ultralight doctrine to keep pack weight down as much as possible.

To give you an idea of my current thinking on pack gear, here's a list of gear I'm taking on a 6 day trip next week. The trip is at relatively high elevation, following the continental divide in Colorado's Weminuche wilderness.

Personal Gear
Leatherman micro tool
3 liter water bladder
Petzl Zipca Headlamp
Two Lighters
sunscreen
Insect Repellent. (Ultrathon brand, spray).
Compass\t
Map
Altimeter watch
Kelty Cloud backpack
Marmot Hydrogen sleeping bag
Z-rest rest 3/4 length sleeping pad.
Oricaso bowl
Lexan spoon
Titanium cup with lid
Toothbrush
Small tube of toothpaste
small Pack Towel
First aid kit
Duct tape wrapped around a half a pencil.
Hiking poles
Digital camera with extra battery
travel pack of baby wipes

Clothing:
Polarized Sunglasses
OR sun hat
OR fleece balaclava
Montbell synthetic sweater.
Fingerless gloves
Marmot precip rain jacket with hood
Marmot precip rain pants
Fishing shirt
2 pair underwear
2 pair wool hiking socks
Vasque trail shoes.
Synthetic Long john top and bottoms
TNF Hiking pants

Fishing gear
5 weight rod with rod case
Reel
2 fly boxes
5 leaders
2 spools of tippet
Nippers
Hemostat
Sink gel
Floatant gel
strike indicators
Mojo mud
WJ ultralight fishing pack
Travel waders
Wading shoes

Black Diamond "firstlight" tent
Jetboil stove with 2 fuel canisters
katadin water purifier
katadin water purifier tablets
platypus 2 gallon water container
camp suds
post #22 of 412
Thread Starter 
Kai, any idea what that total weight is? Also, do you normally carry 2 gallons of water with you in addition to the 3-liter bag? That seems like a lot to me but I'm not familar with that terrain so perhaps it's a bit dry there? What do you think of the Marmot bag? I've read lots of good things about their bags.
post #23 of 412
Know I'm bringing up an old thread, but I'm going on a backpacking/climbing trip in a month and need I pack recommendation. Seems like the consensus is to go to a B&M store and try it on, so I'll do that for sure. In the interim, any recommendations would be helpful.

I am 5'9" and wear a 36R Jacket. The trip is going to be around 3 days, so I'll need a frame pack that's fairly lightweight, but roomy enough for the essentials (food, sleeping bag, rope, etc). Thanks.
post #24 of 412
Eh, I use my old aluminum external frame pack from Scouts that I picked up used for ~$10, and it always worked fine.

However, I will hopefully be doing some longer hikes in the future and my old Army-issue surplus 0-degree sleeping bag is entirely too heavy. Any recommendations on a durable, cheap 0-degree sleeping bag that's fairly lightweight?
post #25 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by remn View Post
Know I'm bringing up an old thread, but I'm going on a backpacking/climbing trip in a month and need I pack recommendation. Seems like the consensus is to go to a B&M store and try it on, so I'll do that for sure. In the interim, any recommendations would be helpful.

I am 5'9" and wear a 36R Jacket. The trip is going to be around 3 days, so I'll need a frame pack that's fairly lightweight, but roomy enough for the essentials (food, sleeping bag, rope, etc). Thanks.

By all means, you need to be fitted for a pack by someone that's experienced with fitting. But, if your local shop carries Arc Teryx, it fits you, and you can afford it, buy it. In my experience, no one makes better soft gear than Arc Teryx and Patagonia. Unfortunately, Patagonia doesn't make packs. Arc Teryx packs are minimalist, but bomber. You will not regret spending the money on a pack that fits you well and is comfortable. If you're in the market for boots*, I suggest you get them as soon as possible and wear the shit out of them in the month leading up to your trip. Throw out the stock foot beds and replace them with a set of Superfeet. You'll thank me later.

*You can't go wrong with La Sportiva or Scarpa.
post #26 of 412
I am forum moderator for a emergency preparedness website. I will wait for moderator approval to post a link ( it is non profit.) I've found more mindsets entering the wilderness than varieties of backpack. A ultralight proponent is a completely different animal than a survivalist in cammies, buckskinner or horsepacker. My observations and experience show most people carry to much kit. Sometimes nothing but experience will winnow out the kitchen sinks. The flip side is people insist on putting wieght as first priority on the strangest things. A sleeping bag, which I personally consider the # 1 piece of survival gear above all else is to keep you warm. The law of physics cannot be overturned. We need X amount of loft to maintaint X heat ( with variations of body mass, metabolism and other mechanisms used to keep warm.) Most of the rated claims are IN TENTS and using laboratory measures about as real as new car gas mileage. You cannot have a sleeping bag that wieghs 2 oz and rolls up into a grapefruit and expect to be warm in a suprise blizzard. A combative and controversial ( but hard to debate) member of the industry is Jerry Wigetow of www.wiggies.com Read his lengthy materials on insulation. You may go out with a pair of wool army blankets or a goose down mummy bag.Your the guy who crawls into it at night, nobody else. But read Jerry.
post #27 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
By all means, you need to be fitted for a pack by someone that's experienced with fitting. But, if your local shop carries Arc Teryx, it fits you, and you can afford it, buy it. In my experience, no one makes better soft gear than Arc Teryx and Patagonia. Unfortunately, Patagonia doesn't make packs. Arc Teryx packs are minimalist, but bomber. You will not regret spending the money on a pack that fits you well and is comfortable. If you're in the market for boots*, I suggest you get them as soon as possible and wear the shit out of them in the month leading up to your trip. Throw out the stock foot beds and replace them with a set of Superfeet. You'll thank me later.

*You can't go wrong with La Sportiva or Scarpa.
Got fitted for packs today. Arc Teryx was out of my price point so I ended up walking away with a Gregory Z55 after trying on a lot of packs and walking around for quite a while (the outfitters place had a rock ramp and other stuff which was helpful). With regard to shoes, can I just wear a pair of comfortable sneakers or running shoes?
post #28 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by remn View Post
With regard to shoes, can I just wear a pair of comfortable sneakers or running shoes?

If your an experienced backpacker with well conditioned ankles you could possibly get by in comfortable sneakers/shoes. However, if you not use to carrying a load and your hiking across rocky/unstable terrain you probably going to want the ankle support a boot offers you.
post #29 of 412
Get a good boot, and more importantly good socks and wicking liners. And break the boots well in before you go. Moleskin is perhaps the most counterproducctive stuff around. It actually increases bacterial growth in a blister when used as a cheap and dirty placebo for every foot ouchie.
post #30 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caomhanach View Post
Get a good boot, and more importantly good socks and wicking liners. And break the boots well in before you go. Moleskin is perhaps the most counterproducctive stuff around. It actually increases bacterial growth in a blister when used as a cheap and dirty placebo for every foot ouchie.

Do you have citations for your claim about moleskin? If so, please list them, I'd like to read them.

Thank you.
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