Can you give a suggestion on 2 things:
A backpack for day-hikes only, that can fit first-aid box, rain gear, extra jacket or sweatshirt, couple of water bottles, small amount of food, camera, binoculars, etc. Do you think the type with either internal or external frames for hikes up to 5-6 miles are necessary? Any with velcro on the compartments instead of zippers?
Boots for similar hiking as above. There are so many variaties from the type that look like sneakers to steel toe waterproof types.
Looking for what worked best for you.