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Day-hike backpack and boots

Richmond, Virginia
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357 posts
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Day-hike backpack and boots

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.

Worcester...
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1. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

I don't know much on bags but the hikes I took on mount Rainier, Adams, Hood, and st Helens, as well as the Grand Canyon were all with Asolo boots. They were great. I wish my knees could take it again.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

You will not need that much of a pack for 5-6 miles. I would go for the lightest one you can find! I have a really old JanSport which has a leather bottom. It is heavy as heck EMPTY, but the dang thing wont wear out so I can't bring myself to give it the heave-ho. I would go look at packs and take a couple of sweatshirts with you to a brick and mortar to see what size works, then scout things out online. Put them on to see how they feel on your back as well.

As far as boots...I am an old person so I prefer to have boots that are up over the ankle. I also have waterproof ones just because you never know. As far as a brand, my latest ones are Montrail, I think. They are fine. I think the biggest thing to look for is that they fit well and that you get them at a store that can help you figure out if they do fit! If you are not going to have time to break them in much, I would go with the *sneaker* type as they don't need much break in time. Don't get leather as they do require more time. You wouldnt need a heavier boot unless you are planning to go on some very difficult hikes, say across trails with scree etc. or off trail. Are you planning to hike in Yellowstone? If so, which hikes are you considering?

Do you have an REI near you? If so, I would go at least try on boots there as they will likely have people who have some training as opposed to someplace like Sports Authority.

Finally, if you are hiking 5-6 miles in Yellowstone you will need bear spray.

Pam

Driggs, Idaho
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for Grand Teton National Park
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3. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

No need for external frame. I would opt for a camelback type backpack w/water. Check everything out in person, see how it feels, see if you like the compartments for storage. Nothing beats having your water available via a hose vs having to stop/take it out etc.

As far as light day hiking is concerned, steel toe/leather etc is excessive, heavy and hot. Look up nice trail running shoes w/grippy soles. That is all I hike with and I leave my heavy duty hiking shoes at home for long overnight backpack trips which require a lot of hiking up and down. If you are hiking Mt. Washburn etc - no need for this as all of the trails are nice, no scree. My personal favorites are La Sportiva and Saucony - but again, this is just something you have to go try out on your own. Do you have an REI or something similar nearby.

These types of things should not be bought online but its nice to have people's opinions.

Billings, Montana
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

There are a variety of daypacks available. My suggestion is to go to an outdoor store and try on some different packs to see how they fit on you. This is a link to an osprey daypack that has pretty much all the features that you would need for dayhikes. They are comfortable and have a mesh in the back which helps keep your back cooler which is a huge priority. You also want wide, well cushioned hip pad straps.

rei.com/product/808306/osprey-talon-22-pack

I have a camelbak kind of like the osprey in the link. I absolutely love it and it has been very adequate for the dayhikes I take. I hiked over 37 miles in three separate days in Glacier last year and it was very comfortable.

It is amazing the different types of shoes I see people hiking in. Some people are pefectly satisfied with hiking in regular tennis shoes. If you think that you're going to do a lot of hiking both in this trip and within the next year it would be in your best interest to buy a separate pair so that you will be comfortable. My recommendation for shoes is the same....go to an outdoor store and try on different hiking shoes. They all fit differently. Some people like low-rise hiking boots and other people like mid-rise and then there are high-rise hiking boots Whatever you buy, break them in before you go hiking. Do not get steel-toed boots.

I used to do low-rise hiking boots but decided that I need more support for my ankles and have gone to mid-rise. I have a pair of these and they have worked out nicely.

rei.com/product/828400/merrell-moab-mid-wate…

At first I thought I wouldn't like a mid-rise boot but loved the support they provided. So much that I just bought a new pair of boots that are higher (they were on a great sale). I couldn't find the link to the pair I bought but this is the men's version

http://www.columbia.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Columbia_US-Site/default/Search-Show?q=daska+pass&Submit=Search

When you try out hiking boots buy a pair of good hiking socks (smartwool type). You will want to try on and buy boots to fit the socks that you will be wearing on hikes. Do not skimp on the socks...buy good ones. They really do help a lot.

Deb

Fort Worth, Texas
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308 posts
53 reviews
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5. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

A regular backpack will be fine for day hikes. I have a Nike I picked up at Academy or Sports Authority. I would like one that holds a Camelbak water bladder, but for now. I'm perfectly ok with sticking my Camelbak water bottle on the exterior side pockets. The framed backpacks are for backpacking trips involving overnight stays.

Regarding boots, you want something comfortable first and foremost. I would check out REI if you have one nearby. Otherwise, you might check Zappos or onlineshoes.com. there are reviews, and that helps. Zappos has free returns. I have a pair of Merrels that I love, but go with whatever is comfy for your feet. Anything waterproof will be warmer, but I like waterproof so my feet don't get wet. There is a local state park I go to a lot and it involves a river crossing, hopping across boulders with my 4 yr old. Steel toe boots aren't necessary.

There's a book called "A Ranger's Guide to Yellowstone Day Hikes" that I found helpful for planning hikes. You'll also want to get "Yellowstone Treasures" so you can plan the sites you want to see. Its such an interedting book as well. If you are hiking, you probably want to pick up bear spray as well. I've still never seen a bear, but lots of people have so its better to be safe than sorry.

Have fun!!

Fort Worth, Texas
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308 posts
53 reviews
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6. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

D0bby, I have one of those Jansport backpacks too!! Lol! Had it since college. :) we use it for our "in the car" backpack to hold maps, car games, guide books, etc... its still in perfect condition!

Driggs, Idaho
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
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7. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

Also, make sure that your bear spray can strap on comfortably to your side. You do not want to pack your bear spray. You want to have it readily available. So when you try on your backpack, see where the straps reach down to your gut and see if having something like bear spray hanging there would be comfortable. This is very important. My bear spray lands right above my hip so its not constantly banging against my body with every step.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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8. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

This is so funny! All of us were composing at the same time...with very similar advice!

Pam

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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18,673 posts
110 reviews
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9. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

Again!

Yes, Lisa, that thing is darn near indestructable! I haven't weighed it but good grief, it is SO heavy empty. Mine is probably...ummm...20 years old?? It's been thousands of miles on planes, in cars and on my back.

Pam

(and a couple of snowmobile trips into Yellowstone where I had fastened the zippers with twist ties so the dang ravens could not get into my lunch!)

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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10. Re: Day-hike backpack and boots

You have REI near you. Given advice above, go to REI or its equivalent and try on a pack and boots. Boot recommendations are quite personal, so try on several, with hiking socks, walk around the store, use their incline board to see how they work uphill and down, etc.

http://www.rei.com/map/store#VA

Given your age (no, never mind that, given anyone's age), I'd go with mid-rise, higher than your ankle, boots, you never know when, where and how you'll use them again, and you'll want/need that support. Many boots are lightweight and quite comfortable.

Also, I'd never buy boots w/o having worn and worked them in the store.

Edited: 22 March 2012, 02:59