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bearbait

Day Hike Pack question...

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I hope I'm doing this right...

 

You are about to go on many day hikes in the blue ridge mountains. You will be out for around 4-12 hours, sometimes hiking alone. You have no equipment except a kelty blanca 2000 http://www.trailspace.com/gear/kelty/blanca-2000/ with a 2 liter bladder, but your mammy said you could go on amazon and buy what you need to be safe. You have a fixed knife limit of $50 and are trying to get everything on a budget of around $100-200.

 

I have a nice rain jacket (light-water-proof) and good boots. I won't be doing hard winter hiking, but it might be anywhere between 30-95 degrees F. Weather in these mountains changes fast.

 

Please keep in mind that I'm very green, but I'm trying to learn.

 

What would you bring in your bag? B)

Edited by bearbait

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my 2 cents, for $50 you can get the bear grylls fixed blade at wal-mart, i bought one just last week and put it through the ringer it performed very well for me and I would recommend it to anyone on this site, if its not for you no worries, there are plenty of them out there, just keep lookin! and welcome to the site!

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my 2 cents, for $50 you can get the bear grylls fixed blade at wal-mart, i bought one just last week and put it through the ringer it performed very well for me and I would recommend it to anyone on this site, if its not for you no worries, there are plenty of them out there, just keep lookin! and welcome to the site!

 

 

thanks for the idea. i'm considering that knife, but i read it was made in china and the metal quality is unknown. several reviews i've read have said just what you did though, so i'm still thinking about it as an option.

 

any other ideas on what to put in the daypack? thanks again for the reply.

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Knife on a budget, go with a Mora, I kinda sound like a broken record, but for $12 it's hard to beat, and holds its own against some $80+ knives. Get some wool layers, keeps you warm at a low prices and quite rugged, plus it continues to insulate when wet. I'd also suggest you get a good wide mouth stainless steel water bottle, you can boil water for soup/coffee/disinfecting etc, and cook food in it in a pinch, although I use a stainless steel coffee cup in my gear for all of the above (I realize you're not going to be out overnight intentionally, but why tempt fate?).

 

Another option for a bush knife is a good small to medium sized machete. If I have to choose I pack my machete over my fixed blade since my machete will do everything my knife will plus some.

 

Get some signaling gear, a shaving mirror and a whistle at a minimum. So many stories about dead hikers start with "He was only going out for a few hours." Please, do not become that guy, have the tools you need to get yourself found in the event you get lost or hurt. To that effect you should also have a compass with the knowledge to use it, and a map. You can pick up a functional compass pretty cheap, just one that can give you a cardinal direction to keep you going in a straight line can make a big difference.

 

Mora: http://www.swedishknives.com/

Some Surplus Wool gear: http://wardenssupplyco.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=14

Machete Specialist: http://www.machetespecialists.com/

Signaling: https://www.forgesurvivalsupply.com/my-cart/survival-tools/jetscream-survival-whistle/61-144.html?redirected=1

Compass: https://www.forgesurvivalsupply.com/my-cart/survival-communications-gps/suunto-a-30l-compass/23-191.html?redirected=1

 

Be safe out there, I hope you'll be teaching me a thing or two in a couple years. :)

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I'd suggest a genuine military poncho(2 if possible). These can be made into any number of shelters and help if caught in the rain. I also second VT's comment about a stainless steel wide mouth bottle, bowl or canteen cup for boiling water. The bowl and canteen cup can also be used for an improvised digging tool if needed, along with their other uses. Minimum of 100' of 550 cord (paracord) would also be in my bag.

Some other suggestions for fixed blades would be a small Ka-bar or a Case skinning knife. There are so many different and useful knives out there, it boils down to personal preference. A hatchet (tomahawk) is also a mainstay in my kit.

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Extra pair wool socks, stainless steel wide mouth thermos filled with hot water or tea, warm stocking hat, cell phone, matches, lighters, multitool, energy bars/trail mix, machete/backsaw, 200' paracord, hand/foot warmers, leather gloves, lifestraw, small solar/hand crank noaa/am/fm radio...If you have any money left, which you might, buy a good warm wool shirt or a sweatshirt.

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A good bushcraft book to do some 'homework' from so you know what to do if you get stuck in the woods, flashlight, even if it's a tiny led, light is good. Camp towel, ultra absorbent, kind of like a Shammy. Broth packets.

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Gilla hit a valuable point; the book. Read some of the threads on EDCs, BOBs, GHBs, etc and look at the extensive lists for others carry and try and prioritize the items for what fits your budget. The book will provide needed skills that hopefully you can practice not only before you go on the hikes, but also put in practice in a more remote location.

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Pretty much what everyone else said. Also, echo the comments about knowledge. Its great if you have lots of gear, but if you don't know how to use them or your environment it doesn't really matter. Here are my thoughts in general and about specific prices of gear. Take it or leave it, but these are a few of my essentials.

 

-Knife - I've spent untold times out in the woods/mountains (East coast) and rarely carry a fixed blade. However, I did just pick up a Mora knife after seeing my buddy. This combined with a Swiss Army huntsman. Put you well under the $50 budget and you get more than just a fixed blade. The SAK has a saw, can opener, etc that would be handy in lots of situations. Its the same set up I use.

 

-First Aid Kit - For day hikes you don't need a lot, but you definitely should have the following (2-Triangle bandages, 3 in gauze rolls, some larger gauze pads, imodium ad, bendadryl, something for blisters).

 

- bandana or buff

 

-metal cup - I have one like this and its nice because it fits over a Nalgene, so it doesn't take up much space.

 

- Good Maps - Most parks have maps you can pick up at the trail head, however you should get a good topo map of the area. The free maps can only tell you so much. Also, learn how to read a topo map.

 

- 2 way radio - If you are spending time out in the mountains alone I would suggest getting on of these. Your cell phone will die or not have a signal. So if you do get stuck out there and people are looking, this gives you a better chance to get found. They have their limits, but for the price and weight, its a good option. Don''t forget spare batteries

 

- A Plan - Lastly, have a plan and make sure people know what it is. Key if you are going solo. Tell them where and when you are going and when you plan to be back.

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Thanks for the ideas vicioustom. Wool would be a very good material for these mountains. I've heard moras make for a good cheap knife in the woods.

 

I don't have any experience with orienteering. Any tips on the best way to learn?

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the poncho sounds like a great idea. i had been thinking about this bivy... http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Medical-Kits-Emergency-3-80-Ounce/dp/B004M7U1GA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330449671&sr=8-1 i like the idea of the stainless steel cup for boiling and digging. a hatchet sounds like a useful tool, but i worry if it will be too much weight. of course, if i was lost and spending the night outdoors i would be kicking myself in the #%@#$ if i didn't have one...

 

I'd suggest a genuine military poncho(2 if possible). These can be made into any number of shelters and help if caught in the rain. I also second VT's comment about a stainless steel wide mouth bottle, bowl or canteen cup for boiling water. The bowl and canteen cup can also be used for an improvised digging tool if needed, along with their other uses. Minimum of 100' of 550 cord (paracord) would also be in my bag.

Some other suggestions for fixed blades would be a small Ka-bar or a Case skinning knife. There are so many different and useful knives out there, it boils down to personal preference. A hatchet (tomahawk) is also a mainstay in my kit.

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would the broth just be for moral and salt? a camp towel is a good idea. i just bought a s.a.s. survival handbook by john wiseman.

 

A good bushcraft book to do some 'homework' from so you know what to do if you get stuck in the woods, flashlight, even if it's a tiny led, light is good. Camp towel, ultra absorbent, kind of like a Shammy. Broth packets.

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practicing in the actual conditions sounds like a good idea. i can't wait for some hikers to see this crazy guy building a makeshift shelter 3 miles from the road.

Gilla hit a valuable point; the book. Read some of the threads on EDCs, BOBs, GHBs, etc and look at the extensive lists for others carry and try and prioritize the items for what fits your budget. The book will provide needed skills that hopefully you can practice not only before you go on the hikes, but also put in practice in a more remote location.

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i had never heard of the buff. very cool. that metal cup is a space saver! i like it. the 2 way radio is a good idea, although a little pricey. pricey doesn't matter if you're dead though.

Pretty much what everyone else said. Also, echo the comments about knowledge. Its great if you have lots of gear, but if you don't know how to use them or your environment it doesn't really matter. Here are my thoughts in general and about specific prices of gear. Take it or leave it, but these are a few of my essentials.

 

-Knife - I've spent untold times out in the woods/mountains (East coast) and rarely carry a fixed blade. However, I did just pick up a Mora knife after seeing my buddy. This combined with a Swiss Army huntsman. Put you well under the $50 budget and you get more than just a fixed blade. The SAK has a saw, can opener, etc that would be handy in lots of situations. Its the same set up I use.

 

-First Aid Kit - For day hikes you don't need a lot, but you definitely should have the following (2-Triangle bandages, 3 in gauze rolls, some larger gauze pads, imodium ad, bendadryl, something for blisters).

 

- bandana or buff

 

-metal cup - I have one like this and its nice because it fits over a Nalgene, so it doesn't take up much space.

 

- Good Maps - Most parks have maps you can pick up at the trail head, however you should get a good topo map of the area. The free maps can only tell you so much. Also, learn how to read a topo map.

 

- 2 way radio - If you are spending time out in the mountains alone I would suggest getting on of these. Your cell phone will die or not have a signal. So if you do get stuck out there and people are looking, this gives you a better chance to get found. They have their limits, but for the price and weight, its a good option. Don''t forget spare batteries

 

- A Plan - Lastly, have a plan and make sure people know what it is. Key if you are going solo. Tell them where and when you are going and when you plan to be back.

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I don't have this exact pair (and someone more experience with radios can give you a better one), but gives you an idea about what I was talking about. I wouldnt worry about it for your first round of buying, but keep your eyes out for a good deal later on. Another thing, when you write out your plan, include what station you will keep the radio on.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Midland-LXT380VP3-24-Mile-22-Channel-Two-Way/dp/B0039YON5C/ref=pd_cp_e_0

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Not sure about what type of radios park staff use. Generally speaking, you can use these a couple ways if you get in trouble. One, if you have a designated channel you use, then when people start looking for you, they will probably try that station. The other is you can scan the various channels and hope to hit one that someone is using and let them know you need help. You have a good point about checking to see what channels and radios Rangers or Park staff use. I'll try to look into that. As other mentioned, these don't have the best range when you get into think bush or mountains, but they are a lot better than nothing and if used right they can be a big help. And for the low price and limited skills required, I think its worth it.

 

Anyone else have thoughts about this? This is just what I've done, but if anyone has better advice, let us know.

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i never thought about leaving the signal you would use in an emergency with someone else. that is a really good idea.

Not sure about what type of radios park staff use. Generally speaking, you can use these a couple ways if you get in trouble. One, if you have a designated channel you use, then when people start looking for you, they will probably try that station. The other is you can scan the various channels and hope to hit one that someone is using and let them know you need help. You have a good point about checking to see what channels and radios Rangers or Park staff use. I'll try to look into that. As other mentioned, these don't have the best range when you get into think bush or mountains, but they are a lot better than nothing and if used right they can be a big help. And for the low price and limited skills required, I think its worth it.

 

Anyone else have thoughts about this? This is just what I've done, but if anyone has better advice, let us know.

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For your consideration http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/emerbcns.html

 

PLBs and EPIRBs can pinpoint your location to within a few meters. I've flown search and rescue on EPIRB signals that were picked up by a satellite and prompted the SAR (search and rescue) activity. It's actually pretty cool how close the satellite can get you and then the aircraft based homing takes you the rest of the way. Down in a cave it probably wouldn't help much but then, neither would a radio.

 

Not cheap but this is an all day, every day coverage regardless of who knows what about where you are. The PLBs (personal locator beacon) is manual on only so you're not wasting batteries. DO NOT TURN IT ON unless you really want someone to come looking. Some years back, some mental midget with a room temperature IQ thought it would be a cool joke to set one off and then play rabbit for the search crews. It was REALLY funny to him until he got the bill for a dozen light aircraft, a helicopter and a C-130. Fueling a C-130 for a few hours flying time is EXPENSIVE! These things are taken very seriously by the SAR boys and girls.

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That is very cool! It isn't in my price range right now, but it may be an addition for the future, especially if I decided to do some REAL back country hiking over an extended period of time.

For your consideration http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/emerbcns.html

 

PLBs and EPIRBs can pinpoint your location to within a few meters. I've flown search and rescue on EPIRB signals that were picked up by a satellite and prompted the SAR (search and rescue) activity. It's actually pretty cool how close the satellite can get you and then the aircraft based homing takes you the rest of the way. Down in a cave it probably wouldn't help much but then, neither would a radio.

 

Not cheap but this is an all day, every day coverage regardless of who knows what about where you are. The PLBs (personal locator beacon) is manual on only so you're not wasting batteries. DO NOT TURN IT ON unless you really want someone to come looking. Some years back, some mental midget with a room temperature IQ thought it would be a cool joke to set one off and then play rabbit for the search crews. It was REALLY funny to him until he got the bill for a dozen light aircraft, a helicopter and a C-130. Fueling a C-130 for a few hours flying time is EXPENSIVE! These things are taken very seriously by the SAR boys and girls.

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I asked a buddy of mine who does a lot of work with the BSA about a simple lightweight land navigation system you could access on line to learn the basics of compass and map use. Most of my training was hands on father/grandfather to son/grandson or military so it was bit out out of my toolbox.

 

He suggested this http://landnavigation.org/default.aspx

 

I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, let me know if it works for you.

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